Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2016, Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Pictures of Perfection – Reginald Hill #20booksofsummer

Book 3

Pictures of perfection.jxr
Crime Fiction 5*s

What a delightful novel for me to have picked more or less at random from this wonderful author as part of my 20 Books of Summer challenge and one that couldn’t fail to remind me how well this talented author wrote exceptional tales in his many diverse books. This is the fourteenth book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series, and as with any series they are probably best enjoyed if you read them in order although many, this one included, can be read and appreciated perfectly well as a stand-alone novel.

Despite the book opening with a truly terrifying scene in Pictures of Perfection Reginald Hill has given us a slightly gentler read than some others in the series, although don’t be deceived, at its heart are some very black truths along with some almost prophetic happenings!

Two days before the opening in 1980s rural village of Enscombe in Yorkshire, the local bobby (yes as recently as this the local policemen still lived in the villages) goes missing. He didn’t return from his day’s leave and there is no sign of where or why he might have left. Sergeant Wield is called to the scene, he turns up in style and begins the investigation. Not long afterwards and Superintendent Dalziel gets wind that there is something amiss so he and DCI take a visit to lend a hand.

All the while those opening scenes were in my mind but I had little joy in linking this event to the half-truths and misdirection that was being played out in Enscombe by a whole host of delightful characters. We have a beautiful artist is the love object of many of the male inhabitants, the spinster who runs the hall while her father the geriatric squire is regretful that the laws of inheritance have dictated that this should actually go to Guy with his flashy cars and dress sense. Not to be out-done with have the highly religious café owner who serves her delicious cakes with an aside of bible texts, while the vicar is waiting for eviction from the vicarage when it is sold off to make money for the church. One thing the village is in agreement about is that their local school should remain open, with this in mind there is the ubiquitous fund-raising which comes with a plan B, the sale of the village green.

There is so much to delight in within the pages of Pictures of Perfection, from the links to Jane Austen both ostentatious in the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter and slightly more subtle references within the themes themselves, to the moment in history that the book evokes; this was probably the last moments where ‘village life’ could be portrayed in this manner without those who live in such places laughing at the cliché of ‘Olde Worlde Britain’ that it evokes, one where everyone knows each other better than they know themselves often bound by a common enemy or two.

You’ll be pleased and reassured to know with all the periphery views to enjoy within the pages of this novel, there is also a proper plot with a full-blown mystery or two to be solved so my favourite policemen, complete in triplicate; Wield, Pascoe and Dalziel get to business and each in their own way bring pieces of the puzzle back to the police house for examination. Meanwhile the preparations continue around them at the Hall for the ‘Day of Reckoning’, a village tradition where the rents due to the Squire are paid, and it is here that the opening passage is seen from a different perspective. While I never doubted that the trio would solve the mystery of the missing bobby, I did wonder if they would come to a conclusion for the meaning of the Hall’s motto fuctata non perfecta; fear not, all the loose ends, even those in Latin are sewn up, neatly or otherwise!

This was a perfect addition to my 20 Books of Summer challenge the only downside to reading this book on holiday was that I didn’t have ready access to a dictionary – reader, I confess, I needed one more than a few times!!

Posted in Challenge

20 Books of Summer 2016! #20booksofsummer

20 Books of Summer 2016

Cathy at Cathy 746 has a yearly challenge to read twenty books over the summer months starting on 1 June 2016 and running until 5 September 2016, and I’ve decided to join her. In preparation I had already decided not to read ARCs during June to get me off to a flying start.

As I’m competitive I’m signing up for the full twenty. My personal challenge is to read these twenty books from my bookshelf, physical books that I already own before today. Funnily enough I have plenty to choose from… a whole 95 in fact!

Because I know that facts in one book tend to lead me to seek out other books in my tangential reading style, I’ve decided to start with a spread of genres and authors for the first ten books – fat books, thin books and books inbetween! I will post the next ten when these are all finished hopefully mid-July, if I’m on schedule!

The links below will take you to the Goodreads description

The Testament of Youth by Vera Britten

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Poison Principle by Gail Bell

The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams by Jane Robins

Other People’s Secrets by Louise Candlish

You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge

Pictures of Perfection (Dalziel & Pascoe #13) by Reginald Hill

Buried Angels (Patrik Hedström #8) by Camilla Läckberg

The Shrimp and the Anemone by L.P. Hartley

I will be joining Cathy by tweeting my way through the challenge using the hashtag #20booksofsummer and I will provide (a yet to be decided logo) to demonstrate when one of my reads is part of this challenge!

PicMonkey Collage

Like last year there will be a master page linking the titles to my reviews as they are posted, and of course eventually listing the entire twenty books.

There’s still time to join in and Cathy has also provided a 10 Books of Summer image or even a 15 Books of Summer image for those of you who feel aiming for 20 is quite frankly ridiculous. Visit Cathy to get the full details here

So what do you think to my choices? Do you have any suggestions on where I should start or perhaps you think some of these need to be put back on the shelf and forgotten about? All comments welcomed!

Posted in 20 Books of Summer 2015!, Book Review, Books I have read

Under World – Reginald Hill

20 books of summer logo

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction
4*s

This is number ten in the wonderful Dalziel & Pascoe series, written in 1988 with a setting centred on a small mining community in Burrthorpe in Yorkshire. This is in the aftermath of the strikes of the 80’s and the miners now have sponsored day release for educational purposes. Ellie Pascoe is roped in to take some classes which provides her from a break writing her feminist novel which isn’t proceeding as planned. Her class includes an angry young man, Colin Farr whose father was the last person to see young Tracey Pedley alive before she was murdered. A local man who committed suicide was widely believed to be the culprit but that hasn’t completely stemmed the whispers and rumours.

Under World creates the atmosphere of a small closed community perfectly, a place where old secrets are kept and ruminated upon away from outside eyes so when a murder occurs in Burrthorpe mine means that the police are called in to investigate it takes Dalziel and Pascoe a while to get to the truth. It doesn’t help that Colin Farr is one of the chief suspects not least because Ellie obviously is attracted to the dark brooding young man who hates the locality but is unable to leave until he works out the truth of what his father did the day little Tracey went missing. Ellie is drawn to the young man’s mind, as well as his physical attributes, as she struggles to balance her feminist and leftist ideals against her role as wife and mother, most particularly her role as wife to a Police officer in a place where the wounds from the strike have not yet healed.

Most of us won’t have worked under ground yet Hill manages to recreate the atmosphere both from multiple points of view, from the seasoned miner to a sightseeing trip for the educators and an investigative perspective for the police. All add a different facet to build up a picture of what this way of life would have meant for those toiling unseen in the depths of the earth and given the lack of alternative employment in the locality, let alone one that would provide the same sense of mutual dependency on those who worked alongside you, why the downfall of this industry had the power to change these communities for ever.

I love Reginald Hill’s writing, he is one of the few writers whose strong political messages I enjoy rather than dismiss, probably because he weaves this carefully into the story-line without ever invoking a ‘preachy tone’. The black-humour that is present in the rest of the series also threads its way throughout this book, raising a wry smile from time to time, usually provoked by one of Dalziel’s proclamations. None of this gets in the way of a really good story though, the plot is as convoluted as expected, the tension kept taut as the investigation is sent hither and thither and the set of characters entirely believable. Although the absence of modern technology was noticeable, especially the use of phone boxes to summon help, apart from that, despite having been written so long ago this book didn’t feel dated, it easily stands up to the more modern police procedurals from one of the masters of this genre.

I’m delighted to have chosen this as part of my 20 Books of Summer 2015! Challenge, it reminded me quite how good this series is and I can see that I will be revisiting more in the not too distant future.

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (July 22)

This Week In Books Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I am currently reading In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark Dark Wood

Blurb

Someone’s getting married. Someone’s getting murdered.
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever. NetGalley

I have recently finished Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby

See yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book
My review will follow shortly

20 books of summer logo

Next I am going to read Under World by Reginald Hill, the 10th in the Daziel and Pascoe series and one of my 20 Books of Summer! Challenge

Under World

Blurb

Years ago, young Tracey Pedley disappeared in the woods around Burrthorpe. The close-knit mining village had its own ideas about what happened, but the police pinned it on a known child-killer who subsequently committed suicide.
Now Burrthorpe comes to police attention again. A man’s body is discovered down a mine shaft and it’s clear he has been murdered. Dalziel and Pascoe’s investigation takes them to the heart of a frightened and hostile community. But could the key to the present-day investigation lie in the past when little Tracey vanished into thin air…? Amazon

What have you found to read this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Challenge

20 Books of Summer 2015!

20-books-of-summer-master-image

Cathy at Cathy746 has a yearly challenge to read twenty books over the summer months starting on 1 June 2015 and running until 4 September 2015, and this year I’ve decided to join her. I had already rationed myself from requesting quite so many review copies so the choices I make will be in addition to those that I have obligations to read and review.

As I’m competitive I’m signing up for the full twenty. My personal challenge is to read these twenty books from my bookshelf that I already own with at least half being physical books. Funnily enough I have plenty to choose from…

The only drawback with this challenge is I want to experience choosing a book that fits my mood so I have decided to begin by choosing a spread of genre to list the first ten books for my summer reading.

Summer Reading May 29

The links below will take you to the Goodreads description

The Night Watch – Sarah Waters

The Anatomy of Death – Felicity Young

Letters to the Lost – Iona Grey

The Maul and the Pear Tree – P.D. James & T.A. Critchley

The Disappearance of Emily Marr – Louise Candlish

Every Secret Thing – Emma Cole

Dancing for the Hangman – Martin Edwards

Rutherford Park – Elizabeth Cooke

Under World – Reginald Hill

The Whicharts – Noel Streatfeild

I will be joining Cathy by tweeting my way through the challenge using the hastag #20booksofsummer and I will provide (a yet to be decided logo) to demonstrate when one of my reads is part of this challenge!

There’s still time to join in and Cathy has also provided a 10 Books of Summer image for those of you who feel aiming for 20 is quite frankly ridiculous. Visit Cathy to get the full details here

So what do you think to my choices? Do you have any suggestions on where I should start or perhaps you think some of these need to be put back on the shelf and forgotten about? All comments welcomed!

Posted in Books I want to Read

On My Bookshelf

On My Bookshelfv1

As I haven’t acquired any new books this week – how good am I? I thought I’d share my bookshelves with you this week having got the idea from another bookshelf sharer; Snazzy Books

So for one week only I have some pictures and I will answer some pre-ordained questions.

I often rearrange my bookshelves mainly because I can’t keep all the books that pass through this house so I have to rationalise fairly frequently. I tend to do this by giving my books away in small amounts rather than having one big clear-out.

Top Shelf

This is the shelf that originally made up the header for my blog and the most prominent of the bookshelves in the house, the one book-loving guests first gravitate to when if they are like me want to have a good nose!  These are the bigger paperbacks that I have and on this shelf because they are more or less the same size.   The newest addition to this shelf is No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

Full Shelf 1
How do you organise your books?
Each bookshelf is organised in a slightly different way. The full bookshelf (aka bookshelf 1) has the top shelf by size, the middle shelf is half-full of recently read larger books and half-full of the dual time historical novels by Kate Morton, Katherine Webb and Rachel Hore.

The bottom shelf is smaller favourite books and new additions to the TBR!

Favourite Authors that appear on your shelf?

These live on bookshelf 3 – amongst others you will find my Peter James collection, including You Are Dead, Sophie Hannah, Reginald Hill, Margaret Forster and Barbara Vine books. This shelf isn’t as easily accessible, being in the hallway, which is fine because I’m not so keen on lending these books out – many of them have been on several house moves with me!

Bookshelf 3 full

What books do you have that you want to read soon but haven’t yet got around to?

Well these live on the bottom shelf of bookshelf 2 – apart from the overspill to bookshelf 1 (see above)

Bookshelf 2 bottom shelf

The book I’m most looking forward to reading from this shelf is The Night Watch by Sarah Waters after remembering how much I love her books when I read The Paying Guests

Which books do I wish that were on my bookshelf but aren’t?

I wish I’d kept a selection of my childhood favourites. I was often given books as presents and had beautiful copies of The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Peter Pan, Anne of Green Gables etc alongside well-worn copies of an abundance of Enid Blyton books, Noel Streatfeild and Roald Dahl.

Which books on your shelf are borrowed?

I have been lent a copy of A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry by a work colleague

A Fine Balance

Blurb

With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.
The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers – a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village – will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.
As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state. Goodreads

So that’s a snapshot of my books that sit neatly on a bookshelf and aren’t squirreled away because I may have run out of space again! Check out Snazzy Books shelfie too!

What’s on your bookshelf today?

Posted in Books I have read

The Stranger House – Reginald Hill

Crime Fiction 4*'s
Crime Fiction
4*’s

Reginald Hill departs from his normal genre of detective fiction in The Stranger House, instead we have one mystery that spans decades to the forced migration of children to Australia and another that goes back centuries to the time of the reformation.

Sam Flood, Australian and former priest, Miguel Madro who is half-Spanish, meet at The Stranger House in Illthwaite, Cumbria. With the two strangers thrown together to uncover what happened to their ancestors they soon find that the villagers will close up as tight as a clam to protect the past from them because while they appear to help in finding out why Sam’s grandmother was shipped off to Australia they are actually working frantically to conceal the past from her.

Reginald Hill moves the subjects covered seamlessly from mathematics which is Sam Flood’s speciality to Nordic myths from the supernatural to historical records, this book has so many layers that as a reader even in the slower middle section there is much to ponder and wonder about. The villagers if not the stars of the show are certainly deserve the best supporting cast moniker, with the mix of fantastically ugly identical twins, the half-truths told and the mysterious contests held to liven up the days such as the gurning competition.

A book so dense in detail and one that covers the present, past and recent past it all sounds a bit heavy, and in the hands of a less accomplished writer could easily be a turgid read, but we are lucky that Reginald Hill is a master of adding a light touch with a touch of humour to ease the complexity at just the right moments. I struggle reading about the supernatural, often this will make me put the book aside in disbelief and annoyance however once again Hill judges his readers capacity for reality and within the claustrophobic setting of the small village where secrets are kept to hide other secrets this aspect complemented rather than overwhelmed the plot. This isn’t a story of good and bad, or to use the disparate protagonist’s characteristics one of logic and spiritual, instead expect a mixture of shades of grey with multifarious conclusions to be taken.

So with fantastic characters, a plot that you feel has been carefully paced to get the maximum reaction The Stranger House is a perfect standalone novel from this wonderful author whose books are always a pleasure to read.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (August 29)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

This week all my finds are real, physical books!

First up I saw a wonderful review of The Ruffian on the Stair by Nina Bawden on Heavenali’s blog and bought myself a copy. I was a huge Nina Bawden fan as a child and read The Peppermint Pig and Carrie’s War so many times.

ruffian-on-the-stair

Blurb

In six days Silas Mudd will be one hundred years old and is alarmingly healthy – more than can be said of his son. `Not sure he’ll make old bones’ he confides loudly to his daughter-in-law. Grumpily flattered by the fuss over his impending party – even from his irritating family, Silas’ greater pleasure is `to go over his life’ and the women whom he loved and who made trouble for him: his sterling and capable Aunt; his wonderfully vulgar second wife Bella; Molly, a music-hall singing sister; and Effie, his first and hopeless wife. Silas is the only one left who knows exactly what is shoring up his family. And now he sits, waiting and thinking, just wondering what it would be like if he were to say …Amazon

To get a better sense of this book please read Heavenali’s review
I was lucky enough to win a fantastic prize of two books by Kevin Sampson; The Killing Pool and The House on the Hill from Shaz’s Book Blog, thank you Sharon!

The Killing Pool

Blurb

Detective Chief Inspector Billy McCartney discovers a headless corpse in the scrubland close to Liverpool docks. The slaying carries all the hallmarks of a gangland hit – a message from the underworld to snitches, cops and rival gangs.
One mile away, a girl staggers into a run-down bar, dazed and confused. The bar’s owner, a career criminal called Shakespeare, cannot get a word out of her.
DCI McCartney is all too well aware that the clock is ticking. The body was one Kalan Rozaki, youngest brother of a notorious crime family – except Kalan is no criminal. For almost a year his brothers have been under full-time Drug Squad surveillance as McCartney slowly closed the net on their heroin trafficking. McCartney’s chief informant on the case is someone with insider knowledge of the Rozaki clan’s operation…their newly deceased baby brother, Kalan.
McCartney’s investigation into Kalan’s murder peels back layer after layer of a decades-long dynasty of drug smuggling. Each revelation plunges McCartney back into the dark heart of an unsolved drug crime that weighs heavy on his soul. He wants to catch the Rozakis – badly – but he wants the shadowy men behind their drug empire even more. The closer McCartney gets to Kalan’s killer, the closer he comes to facing down a lifetime’s torment. Amazon

The House on the Hill

Blurb

DCI Billy McCartney has gone to ground, disillusioned with his job. When a runaway turns up on his doorstep, her story plunges Mac back to the summer of 1990, and one of his most traumatic cases.
McCartney and his partner DS Millie Baker are in Ibiza, on a joint venture with the Spanish serious crime agency. Their objective: to infiltrate the Liverpool-based drug gang responsible for a wave of ecstasy-related deaths. But their stakeout takes both Mac and Millie to the heart of a dark empire whose tentacles stretch from Ireland to Morocco, and whose activities include industrial-scale drug production – and terrorism. They’re close to their big bust when Millie is abducted by the gang, and killed. McCartney never quite recovers from it.
The waif who knocks on Mac’s door twenty-four years later has escaped from those same captors; a dynasty of international dope dealers based high in the Moroccan Rif. What she tells McCartney blasts his apathy away, and sends him on a mission that goes far beyond law and order. This is his chance for redemption. Amazon

I am an ardent follow of Margot Kinberg’s wonderful blog Confessions of a Mystery Novelist Margot is an expert on all crime fiction, her ingenious posts made me certain that it was time to read a Ngaio Marsh novel so I have a copy of Off With His Head.

Off With His Head

Blurb

Pagan revelry and morris dancing in the middle of a very cold winter set the scene for one of Ngaio Marsh’s most fascinating murder mysteries.
When the pesky Anna Bünz arrives at Mardian to investigate the rare survival of folk-dancing still practised there, she quickly antagonizes the villagers. But Mrs Bünz is not the only source of friction – two of the other enthusiasts are also spoiling for a fight.
When the sword dancers’ traditional mock beheading of the Winter Solstice becomes horribly real, Superintendent Roderick Alleyn finds himself faced with a case of great complexity and of gruesome proportions… Amazon

Fiction Fan suggested a book to me following on from my review of Your Beautiful Lies which deals with the after effects of the miner’s strike. I wouldn’t normally be so easily led astray but the book in question is by one of my favourite authors; Reginald Hill. So I now own a copy of Under World the tenth novel in the wonderful Dalziel and Pascoe series.

Under World

Blurb

When young Tracey Pedley vanished in the woods around Burrthorpe, the close-knit community had their own ideas about what had happened, but Deputy Chief Constable Watmough has it down as the work of a child-killer who has since committed suicide – though others wondered about the last man to see her alive and his fatal plunge into the disused mine shaft.
Returning to a town he left in anger, Colin Farr’s homecoming is ready for trouble, and when a university course brings him into contact with Ellie Pascoe, trouble starts…
Meanwhile Andy Daziel mutters imprecations on the sidelines, until a murder in Burrthorpe mine forces him to take action that brings him up against a hostile and frightened community… Amazon

Please share your finds with me, there is always room on the TBR to squeeze just one more book in!

Posted in Books I want to Read

Book Sales are Dangerous for Addicts

Yesterday it was our local Guide Dogs For The Blind paperback book sale which is a charity which I support by going to each of their bi-annual events. This year was no different so off we went to St Ouens (pronounced Wans) Parish Hall to see what we could find.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Not forgetting that I made a pledge not so very long ago  to reduce those books I own on my TBR to a more manageable level, (actually this post was done less than a month ago), I only took one bag and was really there to browse and maybe pick up one or two books…. it didn’t work, I started off well but it soon descended into chaos as I picked the below stash…

Books GDFB
An absolute bargain!

Out of these The Chemistry of Death has been on my wishlist since I read the powerful Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett as has The Stranger House a standalone novel by the wonderful late Reginald Hill and then added another of his books, Pictures of Perfection which is part of the Dalziel and Pascoe series.

TCOD books

Another great find was The Missing One by Lucy Atkins, a story about secrets, which has also been on my wishlist since its release in January this year and the intriguing The Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock, a psychological story that has viewpoints from  a Moroccan maid Mona, and her employer Dora.

The Missing One

Then I picked up some classics, these are both favourite books which I have read and loved but lost during the twists and turns of life as well as a couple of new reads for me including a couple of new Graham Greene books after loving The End Of The Affair earlier this year.

Classics

Rounded off with a cup of tea at a café by the sea I went home before lunch-time with my bag overflowing. What out of my haul, if any, would you recommend I read?

Posted in Books I want to Read, Weekly Posts

Musing Mondays (April 7)

musingmondays51

Hosted by Should Be Reading
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.

• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!

• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My musing this week is about the dreaded TBR list.  Mainly as I have found myself commenting on other bloggers lists while being unsure how many books I have on mine.

This weekend has been spent collating kindle books, wishlists, To Be Read on Goodreads and my bookshelves to try to quantify more than anything, how many books I actually own and still want to read.

So the sums, books given for review purposes total 21, physical books yet to be read equals 22, and books on kindle (my downfall) amount to 40.  This makes a grand total of 83 books (plus the one I’m currently reading)! But readers this doesn’t tell the full story as I do have 141 books I want to read on my Goodreads and this isn’t quite cross-checked against the 80 books on my Amazon Wish List so I estimate the total amount comes close to 170 books.

As interesting as all that is, I decided today’s post would take a look at some of the books I own that I have rediscovered during this exercise.  This is an antidote to my Friday Finds as these are all books I have owned for some time and remembered (or found) during my cataloguing.

The Collaborators by the wonderful Reginald Hill, I’m not sure how I overlooked this one except it is a hardback book and tucked into a corner but I love Reginald Hill’s writing and this has to be read!

The Collaborators

Blurb

When Janine Simonian was dragged roughly from her cell to face trial as a collaborator in the days of reckoning that followed the liberation of France, she refused to conceal her shaven skull from the jeering crowds that greeted her.
Before the jury of former Resistance members pledged to extract vengeance on all who had connived in Nazi rule, Janine stood proudly in court – and pleaded guilty to the charges.
Why did so many French men and women collaborate with the Nazi occupation forces whilst others gave their lives in resistance? Were the motives of those who betrayed their country always selfish – and those of the Resistance always noble?
The Collaborators is a superb novel of conscience and betrayal that portrays the human dilemmas brought about by the Nazi occupation of France, and asks uncomfortable questions about the priorities of personal and national loyalty in time of war. Goodreads

Never Coming Back by Tim Weaver which is the fourth in the David Raker series. I gave the third in this series, Vanished, 5 stars so this is one that I must find time to read.

Never Coming Back
Blurb

It was supposed to be the start of a big night out. But when Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house, she finds the front door unlocked and no one inside. Dinner’s cooking, the TV’s on. Carrie, her husband and their two daughters are gone.
When the police draw a blank, Emily asks missing persons investigator David Raker to find them. It’s clear someone doesn’t want the family found.
But as he gets closer to the truth, Raker begins to uncover evidence of a sinister cover-up, spanning decades and costing countless lives. And worse, in trying to find Emily’s missing family, he might just have made himself the next target … Goodreads

The Field of Blood is the first in the in the Paddy Mehan Series by Denise Mina. I watched an episode of this drama on TV and I really enjoyed one of her stand-alone books, The End of The Wasp Season, so this is another one I’m glad I found which has been languishing on my kindle since 2011.

The Field of Blood
Blurb

In Glasgow, a child goes missing, taken from the front garden of his home – and the investigation leads the police to the doors of two young boys. Paddy Meehan has just started her new job working for a local newspaper, where she dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. She starts looking into the case of the missing child but, unlike everyone else, does not believe the boys acted on their own. Convinced there is more to it than this, she begins to ask some very awkward questions. But Paddy’s investigation has repercussions she never anticipated. Shunned by those closest to her, she finds herself dangerously alone… Amazon

As a child my favourite story of all time was Thursday’s Child by Noel Streatfeild which featured on one of my first Musing Monday’s back on 26 August 2013.  She was one of my favourite authors and I have a copy of The Whicharts by Noel Streatfeild that although not forgotten is still unread although this may be because I don’t want to taint my memories of Ballet Shoes.

The Whicharts
Blurb

She never doubted for one moment that once she had the necessary training she would find the work. She knew with her whole being that she was a born mechanic. In what way she would have a chance to prove this she didn’t know, but her prayers always finished: “And oh God, if possible, let me fly”.
1920s London: three adopted sisters train for the stage and support the household.
Maimie, Tania and Daisy Whichart have self-reliance thrust upon them. The Whicharts is the story of their dreams, friendships and loves. The drudgery of stage-work is set against their passion for family ties and realising their dreams.
Out of print since the 1930s, Noel Streatfeild’s rare first novel is an exuberant portrayal of London cultural life in the inter-war years.
Streatfeild used parts of this first novel to develop the classic ‘Ballet Shoes’ Goodreads

Last up is a book that sounds as if it is right up my street, Not Guilty by Christine Gardner

Not Guilty

Blurb

In 1910 in Bendigo, three children were found dead in their home, brutally murdered with an axe and a knife.
Their mother, Camellia McCluskey, was a de facto wife at a time when such a position was not socially acceptable. Her partner, George, was considerably older than her. The two lived together happily for a few years before the relationship deteriorated, putting in place a chain of events that finally resulted in the slaying of Dorothy, Eric and Ida.
‘Not Guilty’ tells the story of those events, and the court proceedings that followed them. A storm of newspaper coverage surrounded Camellia as the Australian media struggled to understand the motivations that led her down the path she took.
This story is based on Camellia’s letters, court records, newspaper coverage, and other historical documents. Goodreads

Have you read any of these?
Do you have a strategy for managing your TBR? I can’t commit to not adding new books because that just won’t happen but I do want to enjoy those books I already own too.