Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

One Bad Turn – Sinéad Crowley

Crime Fiction
4*s

I really do enjoy this series featuring DS Claire Boyle which is based in Dublin partly because her thrillers are bang up to date with elements that are familiar to us all.

In this, the third book in the series, DS Claire Boyle takes centre stage being right at the heart of an incident in a Doctor’s surgery. The story includes the back story, stretching back through the decades, of Dr Heather Gilmore and her childhood friend Eileen Delaney but Eileen has a grudge against the Doctor. So while a gun is being waved around in the surgery in the present the reader has the far happier memories of two girls who were once so close.

This is the fastest moving of the novels in this series but the author doesn’t neglect what I like so much about her books which is that they are realistic with people absolutely at their heart. Claire’s own personal life is ever-present as she juggles life with her husband and young daughter with her single-minded approach to solving cases within the force. Needless to say, as in many families, this can sometimes be a bumpy ride particularly as Mark’s own business is taking off and scheduling in time to look after their child isn’t always easy or possible when in the middle of a major investigation. There are times that Claire can come across as a bit unfeeling in this area but I do think it’s an incredibly realistic portrayal of the lives of so many couples who are building careers or businesses whilst also managing to bring up a child in a loving home.

We are not even over the sit on the edge of the seat read about the incident in the Doctor’s surgery when are then launched into the hunt for a kidnapper and the kidnapped girl, Leah, Heather Gilmore’s nineteen year old daughter. This needs the police to switch from diffusing a difficult situation to solid police-work, but fear not the pace doesn’t let up one iota Claire and her colleague Philip Flynn, along with the rest of the team set about searching for Leah. Phillip Flynn has been injured so can’t go racing about but that doesn’t stop him following up on hunches but there are no wild guesses that solve the crime, my pet hate, this crime will only ever be solved by following up on leads and finding the one with the perpetrator at the end.

I started this review by saying how much I love the very modern aspect of this series and one theme that runs through this book is the rise of the Celtic Tiger, and sadly its very rapid decline. Dublin has a whole host of people caught up in both the boom and bust and the catastrophes that followed are illustrated within this book with such a moving story which for me was by far the highlight of the book especially. This more reflective element was elegantly handled particularly as a back-drop to what is ultimately a fast-paced action paced read.

I received my copy of One Bad Turn from Amazon Vine and it is currently available for kindle readers, the paperback will be published in 2018.

First Published UK: 1 June 2017
Publisher: Quercus
No. of Pages: 352
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Previous Books in the Claire Boyle Series

Can Anyone Help Me? 
Are You Watching Me?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 22)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy 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

My current read is The Lying Game by Ruth Ware which was published back in the summer and chosen by me because I enjoyed the author’s previous books In a Dark Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10

Blurb

The text message arrives in the small hours of the night. It’s just three words: I need you.
Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her.

At school Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of secrets, something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three women she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten.

Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, not after what they did. It’s time for the women to get their story straight… Amazon

That was after finishing Sinéad Crowley’s third book in the DS Claire Boyle series; One Bad Turn.

Blurb

How could your good friend become your worst enemy?

Being held hostage at gunpoint by her childhood friend is not Dr Heather Gilmore’s idea of a good day at work. It only gets worse when she hears that her nineteen-year-old daughter Leah has been kidnapped.

Sergeant Claire Boyle wasn’t expecting to get caught up in a hostage situation during a doctor’s appointment. When it becomes apparent that the kidnapping is somehow linked to the hostage-taker, a woman called Eileen Delaney, she is put in charge of finding the missing girl.

What happened between Eileen and Heather to make Eileen so determined to ruin her old friend? Claire Boyle must dig up the secrets from their pasts to find out – and quickly, because Leah is still missing, and time is running out to save her. Amazon

Next I plan to read Good Friday by Linda La Plante which takes us back to 1974 and Tennison’s early days as a young Detective.

Blurb

Every legend has a beginning . . .

During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not.

Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.

‘Good Friday’ is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin’s Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It’s the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London’s entire detective force? Amazon

So it looks like November is ending on a crime filled note, what could be better?

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Are You Watching Me? – Sinéad Crowley

Crime Fiction
4*s

Tír na nÓg a drop in centre for men is right at the heart of this, the second book in the Sergeant Claire Boyle series. With the realistic Dublin setting as a backdrop the lonely men who visit the centre make for a refreshing change which more than justly follows up on the author’s debut novel Can Anybody Help Me?

The drop in centre is run by Tom who gave Liz Cafferky a job when she was down on her luck and so she is unable to refuse when he wants her to do a TV interview to raise the profile of the drop-in centre with the aim to garner donations. There’s a downside for Liz though, she has become a bit of a media star and now she’s getting unwanted attention.

Meanwhile Claire Boyle is back at work following her maternity leave and feeling that all too familiar feeling of guilt despite her husband Matt staying at home to mind the baby. That’s until one of the drop-in centre’s regulars is murdered then her mind is focussed on the investigation.

I love this author’s work, it should be classed as a police procedural, after all there is an investigation with a solid mystery with the obligatory red-herrings and devilish plotting but we are also treated to a far more in-depth view of those civilians caught up in the investigation. By that I don’t mean a cursory this is how a major crime investigation impacts my life but we are given full insight into Liz Cafferky’s life beforehand too. This gives the book a totally different feel to the more traditional police procedural, a welcome one that gives this book a feeling of weight. Of course this approach wouldn’t work if the other secondary characters weren’t also fully fleshed out and there is something appealing about the care and compassion shown towards the visitors to Tír na nÓg that had me feeling quite sentimental at times. These are real people, not cardboard cut-outs and the interactions between themselves is as equally heart-warming, on the whole, after all this isn’t a book populated by saints!

You could be forgiven for expecting that with so many character-led scenes that the tension dips as we join the men in a game of cards or a chat but it really doesn’t, the feeling of foreboding is lurking at the edges whilst Liz tries to put her dodgy letters to the back of her mind and wonder instead at her new media personality the reader is still pondering a murder and a stalker so there really is a lot going on! I am thoroughly impressed by the author’s skill at keeping the tension high whilst at times, particularly at the end allowing me the release of the odd tear as that is how much I cared about some of the people I met through this book.

If I had one minor criticism it’s that Claire seems a little bit harder and so a little less approachable than when she appeared in Can Anybody Help Me? but then she’s had a baby, and so her slightly more brusque style is understandable.

This was a brilliantly entertaining crime fiction read that I pulled off my bookshelf as I wanted to read something I fancied for a change, not a review copy and not a book to fit into a certain challenge and it proved to be the perfect ‘because I want to read it’ book.

First Published UK: 2 July 2015
Publisher: Quercus
No of Pages:  352
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (October 11)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy 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 Are You Watching Me? by Sinéad Crowley which I picked up purely because I wanted to, it’s not a review copy and nor does it count towards my Mount TBR, I just needed something to escape into and what better than a crazy stalker and a murder?



Blurb

Liz Cafferky is on the up. Rescued from her dark past by the owner of a drop-in centre for older men, Liz soon finds herself as the charity’s face – and the unwilling darling of the Dublin media.

Amidst her claustrophobic fame, Liz barely notices a letter from a new fan. But then one of the centre’s clients is brutally murdered, and Elizabeth receives another, more sinister note.

Running from her own ghosts, Liz is too scared to go to the police. And with no leads, there is little Sergeant Claire Boyle can do to protect her. Amazon

I have recently finished Death in the Stars by Frances Brody which stars Kate Shackleton as a sleuth in the 1920s, the ninth book in the series.

Blurb

Yorkshire, 1927. Eclipse fever grips the nation, and when beloved theatre star Selina Fellini approaches trusted sleuth Kate Shackleton to accompany her to a viewing party at Giggleswick School Chapel, Kate suspects an ulterior motive.

During the eclipse, Selina’s friend and co-star Billy Moffatt disappears and is later found dead in the chapel grounds. Kate can’t help but dig deeper and soon learns that two other members of the theatre troupe died in similarly mysterious circumstances in the past year. With the help of Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden, Kate sets about investigating the deaths – and whether there is a murderer in the company.

When Selina’s elusive husband Jarrod, injured in the war and subject to violent mood swings, comes back on the scene, Kate begins to imagine something far deadlier at play, and wonders just who will be next to pay the ultimate price for fame . . . Amazon

Next I plan on reading The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth by William Boyd

Blurb

A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs – seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute.
A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life.
A couple chart the journey of their five year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter.

And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-of-nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd’s powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (August 27)

Weekly Wrap Up

This Week on the Blog

The week started with a tale of an investigation into a fictional murderess in 1950s England as I reviewed Peter Robinson’s Before The Poison.

On Tuesday I followed this up with another tale set in the 1950s, also with a dual time-line in the modern day, – The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase – I hope my review conveyed just how much I loved this book.

This Week in Books saw me highlight books by the authors Santa Montefiore, Herman Koch and A.J. Waines

On Thursday I hosted a guest post by Simon Booker entitled ‘The Camaraderie of Crime’ as part of the blog tour for his latest book, Kill Me Twice, the second in the Morgan Vine series

My review of the stunning The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne came next, a book I fully admit I should have got around to reading many years ago.

Finally I reviewed Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood which was another book that had been on my ‘to read’ list for a while and one I chose as part of my 20 Books of Summer Challenge – this book was every bit as good as I’d been led to believe. The extra bonus is that I can now enjoy the adaption coming up on Netflix this autumn.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst, a psychological thriller based around female friendship. Jenny Blackhurst didn’t go for the more obvious new friendship that wasn’t quite what it seemed as a basis for this story, she chose to use three long-standing and mutually supportive friends with the ‘sensible’ role having been assigned, as might be expected, to Karen the psychiatrist. As you might expect something or someone is going to upset this mutually supportive group!

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

Blurb

Karen is meant to be the one who fixes problems.

It’s her job, as a psychiatrist – and it’s always been her role as a friend.

But Jessica is different. She should be the patient, the one that Karen helps.

But she knows things about Karen. Her friends, her personal life. Things no patient should know.

And Karen is starting to wonder if she should have let her in . . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well I’ll let you into a secret… I’ve been on a little bit of a book buying spree!

After loving The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde as much as I did, I simply had to buy a copy of Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

One golden family. One fateful summer. Four lives changed forever.

Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s country estate where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, one stormy evening in 1968, it does.
The idyllic world of the four Alton children is shattered. Fiercely bonded by the tragic events, they grow up fast. But when a glamorous stranger arrives, these loyalties are tested. Forbidden passions simmer. And another catastrophe looms . . .
Decades later, Lorna and her fiancé wind their way through the countryside searching for a wedding venue. Lorna is drawn to a beautiful crumbling old house she hazily remembers from her childhood, feels a bond she does not understand. When she finds a disturbing message carved into an old oak tree by one of the Alton children, she begins to realise that Black Rabbit Hall’s secret history is as dark and tangled as its woods, and that, much like her own past, it must be brought into the light.
A thrilling spiral into the hearts of two women separated by decades but inescapably linked by Black Rabbit Hall. A story of forgotten childhood and broken dreams, secrets and heartache, and the strength of a family’s love. Amazon

And because I’d read Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinéad Crowley the first in the Claire Doyle series and had a copy of the third book, One Bad Turn, I needed to read Are You Watching Me?

Blurb

strong>Dear Elizabeth, I’ve been watching you. I hope to see you . . . Soon.

Liz Cafferky is on the up. Rescued from her dark past by the owner of a drop-in centre for older men, Liz soon finds herself as the charity’s face – and the unwilling darling of the Dublin media.
Amidst her claustrophobic fame, Liz barely notices a letter from a new fan. But then one of the centre’s clients is brutally murdered, and Elizabeth receives another, more sinister note.
Running from her own ghosts, Liz is too scared to go to the police. And with no leads, there is little Sergeant Claire Boyle can do to protect her. Amazon

And just because I have realised quite how much I have missed reading non-fiction since choosing a few for my 20 Books of Summer Challenge, I have a copy of Wedlock: How Georgian Britain’s Worst Husband Met His Match by Wendy Moore

Blurb

WEDLOCK is the remarkable story of the Countess of Strathmore and her marriage to Andrew Robinson Stoney. Mary Eleanor Bowes was one of Britain’s richest young heiresses. She married the Count of Strathmore who died young, and pregnant with her lover’s child, Mary became engaged to George Gray. Then in swooped Andrew Robinson Stoney. Mary was bowled over and married him within the week.

But nothing was as it seemed. Stoney was broke, and his pursuit of the wealthy Countess a calculated ploy. Once married to Mary, he embarked on years of ill treatment, seizing her lands, beating her, terrorising servants, introducing prostitutes to the family home, kidnapping his own sister. But finally after many years, a servant helped Mary to escape. She began a high-profile divorce case that was the scandal of the day and was successful. But then Andrew kidnapped her and undertook a week-long rampage of terror and cruelty until the law finally caught up with him. Amazon

What have you added to your shelves this week? What do you think of my finds?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read just 2 books and gained 5!
Making a Grand Total of 182
Physical Books – 103
Kindle Books – 62
NetGalley Books – 18

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (August 20)

Weekly Wrap Up

A year on from my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding which has seen them become proud home-owners and cat guardians, they are off on holiday which means I am in charge of Bertie who truth be told has turned out to be a total scardey cat and needy to boot. Not that my daughter minds as she is totally besotted, she even forgave him when he didn’t like the latest in a long line of catty presents! This photo came with the message, “I don’t think Bertie likes his bow-tie”, but you’ll note as any self-respecting cat he understands that he must have his photo taken before it could be removed! Poor Bertie and poor me because I fear the enormous responsibility ahead!

It’s also meant that I had a hasty message saying she needed some books to read on holiday and then proceeded to quiz me on why I only have book number x in this series and why this book isn’t shelved over there by that one… she clearly takes after her mother though as she’s taken ten and is sacrificing clothes for book room in the suitcase. So by rights I currently don’t own a fair few that I will include in my TBR count at the end of this post!

This Week on the Blog

I’ve been finally writing some of the (very) outstanding reviews in my bid to have all my 20 books read and reviewed by the deadline for 20 Books of Summer Challenge, which is two weeks today, but I started the week with my review for Sophie Hannah’s latest book Did You See Melody? which will be published on Thursday 24 August 2017.

On Tuesday my excerpt post was from Each Little Lie by Tom Bale which I hope to get around to reading very soon.

This Week in Books saw me highlighting books that were all set, at least in part, in the past and included the authors; Eve Chase, Julie Summers and Ann O’Loughlin.

On Thursday I reviewed the first of two non-fiction true crime books, The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe. This book features a serial killer in prison who corresponds with a journalist and is part true-crime/part memoir.

Thursday was also the day I appeared on Christine’s blog, Northern Crime, with my choice of summer crime read – you can read all about my choice here.  This series of posts is wonderful as bloggers have come up with a wide variety of choices which goes some way in making up for the amount of rain that has poured from the sky lately! If you haven’t already done so do check out Top Crime Bloggers recommend summer #crime reads 2017

On Friday my review of The Ripper of Waterloo Road by Jan Bondeson took me further back in time to 1838 (fifty years before Jack the Ripper) featuring the murder of Eliza Grimwood which despite the New Police’s best efforts was never solved.

Yesterday I reviewed Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie, it now being a tradition to have a least one of  The Queen of Crime’s books in the challenge. To my delight I didn’t remember anything about this book at all so needless to say, I didn’t solve the puzzle.

This Time Last Year…

Well in truth I probably had no time to be reading but the spreadsheet tells me that the last book I finished before the wedding was You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz and it’s a book I’m even fonder of in retrospect, being a clever look at those people who think they know best! In short Grace Sachs is a marriage counsellor who thinks that women shouldn’t hook up with unsuitable men and so has written a book telling them how to spot them – far better than turning to her years down the line and complaining when the clues were already there. And then Grace finds out her husband Jonathan isn’t exactly who she thought he was… A book full of observations and frighteningly accurate characterisation.

You can read my full review here or alternatively click on the book cover

Blurb

Grace Sachs, a happily married therapist with a young son, thinks she knows everything about women, men and marriage. She is about to publish a book called You Should Have Known, based on her pet theory: women don’t value their intuition about what men are really like, leading to serious trouble later on.
But how well does Grace know her own husband? She is about to find out, and in the place of what she thought she knew, there will be a violent death, a missing husband, and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for herself and her child. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

 

I was hugely grateful to receive a copy of Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister having enjoyed Everything But the Truth by this author earlier this year. Anything You Do Say will be published on 25 January 2018.

Blurb

Gone Girl meets Sliding Doors in this edge-of-your-seat thriller.
Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly. But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home.
Is she being followed? She is sure it’s him; the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone.
Hearing the steps speed up, Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps to lie motionless on the floor. Now Joanna has to make a decision: Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong? NetGalley

Emma from damppebbles is a truly wonderful woman and she posted me a duplicate copy of The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère which was published back in July – this sounds brilliant and I can’t wait to read it.

Blurb

ON THE SATURDAY MORNING OF JANUARY 9, 1993, WHILE JEAN CLAUDE ROMAND WAS KILLING HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN, I WAS WITH MINE IN A PARENT-TEACHER MEETING…

With these chilling first words, acclaimed master of psychological suspense, Emmanuel Carrère, begins his exploration of the double life of a respectable doctor, eighteen years of lies, five murders, and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.

‘As a writer, Carrère is straight berserk; as a storyteller he is so freakishly talented, so unassuming in grace and power that you only realize the hold he’s got on you when you attempt to pull away… You say: True crime and literature? I don’t believe it. I say: Believe it’ Junot Díaz Amazon

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of One Bad Turn by Sinéad Crowley which is the third in the DS Claire Boyle series, having loved the first Can Anybody Help Me? I now really need to purchase the second book, Are You Watching Me?, so expect to see that here soon!


Blurb
girl.
What happened between Eileen and Heather to make Eileen so determined to ruin her old friend? Claire Boyle must dig up the secrets from their pasts to find out – and quickly, because Leah is still missing, and time is running out to save her. Amazon

I’m ending my stacking the shelves on a high this week with The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie by David Hastings which is courtesy of Ngaio Marsh Awards in New Zealand – they have asked little old me to be part of their blog tour to highlight the finalists. To say I was thrilled was an understatement and even better the book they matched me with is true crime (my current reading obsession) which is absolutely perfect. Craig Sisterson you made my week!!

Blurb

Dreadful murder at Opunake’, said the Taranaki Herald, ‘Shocking outrage’, cried the Evening Post in Wellington when they learned in November 1880 that a young woman called Mary Dobie had been found lying under a flax bush near Opunake on the Taranaki coast with her throat cut so deep her head was almost severed.

In the midst of tensions between Maori and Pakeha, the murder ignited questions: Pakeha feared it was an act of political terrorism in response to the state’s determination to take the land of the tribes in the region. Maori thought it would be the cue for the state to use force against them, especially the pacifist settlement at Parihaka.

Was it rape or robbery, was the killer Maori or Pakeha? In this book, David Hastings takes us back to that lonely road on the Taranaki coast in nineteenth-century New Zealand to unravels the many deaths of Mary Dobie – the murder, the social tensions in Taranaki, the hunt for the killer and the lessons that Maori and Pakeha learnt about the murder and about themselves. Amazon

What have you added to your shelves this week? What do you think of my finds?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 6!
The current total is therefore hurtling in an upwards direction to 182
Physical Books – 101
Kindle Books – 62
NetGalley Books – 19

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Can Anybody Help Me? – Sinéad Crowley

Psychological Thriller  5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

For a tale of our times you can’t do much better than this one. Yvonne, lonely and unsure after giving birth. Having recently moved to Ireland from London she is being urged by her husband and midwife to get out and meet more people, not really ready for that she does the next best thing and goes on-line and joins ‘NetMammy’ somewhere she can get advice and support. All too soon the on-line community has become something of a crutch as she logs on to check up on her new friend’s lives. One woman is of particular support so when her on-line presence disappears around the same time as a young single mother is reported missing, Yvonne rings the police to voice her concerns that the on-line moniker is in fact the single woman that is missing.

Some of the story contains the actual forum conversation most of these accurately reflect the types of exchange that are found on these sites but some contain clues – don’t be fooled, as well as a reflecting the modern world, this book is a thriller at heart! I enjoyed the exchanges, interaction between people that don’t really know each other is fascinating as you never quite know who is behaving just as they would anywhere, and who is hiding behind the anonymity of the screen. And Yvonne, how much of her life has she shared inadvertently while discussing her husband’s long working hours, nappies and formula milk? This is the part that made me pause for thought, after all I do have an on-line presence, it isn’t hard, should you be so minded, to find out my name, where I live etc and you would easily be able to find out where I work, who my friends are and what I do for relaxation – hopefully none of you want to hunt me down except in a friendly way!!

Along with Yvonne’s story we also see the story unfold from Sergeant Claire Boyle’s point of view. Claire is trying to carry on as normal but being pregnant and chasing criminals is taking its toll and her work colleagues as well as her friends and family telling her to take it easy is not helping her mood. She is investigating the death of the young woman found dead in a flat in Dublin leaving a young daughter, a woman who seemingly had few friends so the investigation hasn’t exactly got off to a flying start, the police aren’t even entirely sure who she had arranged to meet the night she died.

This is a fast-paced read and as the plot starts to unfold the tension mounted and had me turning the pages faster to find out exactly what had happened, and why. The subject matter is fascinating, after all social media is used by so many of us and it is part of everyday life, I am also fond of reading comments on news sites, predicting how many will come up with the more extreme views in any story is a hobby – and the NetMammy site is no different, some of the women’s comments were so predictable! I really liked Claire, her realistic persona made the book for me, a well-rounded and normal person who does her job with a healthy dose of instinct and to make the story work, a little disregarding of the rules when needed.

A book that firmly fits into the category of thriller but one with a fresh and modern feel to it this is one I will be recommending, but probably not to anyone who is a new mum!

I am enormously grateful to Quercus for my copy of Can Anybody Help Me? which was published on 29 January 2015, in return for my honest opinion.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (September 9)

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’ve just started reading Can Anyone Help Me? by Sinéad Crowley

Can Anyone Help me

Blurb

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin.
Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself.
When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman?
But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously? NetGalley

I have recently finished Deadly Divorces by Tammy Cohen which I found within my brother’s extensive true crime selection.

Deadly Divorces

Blurb

What makes a model father murder his estranged wife, then go on TV pleading for her to come home? How does a devoted wife and mother walk into a beauty salon and shoot her ex-husband’s pregnant lover in cold blood?
No one ever knows what really goes on behind the closed doors of a marriage in freefall. The people in this book weren’t born evil, but in the heat of a relationship break-up, all restraint melted and violent passions spiralled out of control.
The most basic of emotions are involved in these stories of spouses who have gone to extreme lengths to rid themselves of their partners. Goodreads

Next up I am planning on reading Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

Little Girl Gone

Blurb

A baby goes missing. But does her mother want her back?
When Estelle’s baby daughter is taken from her cot, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car, with a wound to her head and no memory.
Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night – but what she doesn’t know is whether she was responsible… Goodreads

What are you reading this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Find (March 6)

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).

Well I’m doing relatively well in resisting the lure of NetGalley, this week just one entry for a book that was published in January 2015 by Quercus, Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinéad Crowley.

Can Anyone Help me

Blurb

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin.
Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself.
When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman?
But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously? NetGalley

I also received a lovely email from Daniel Pemberey about his collection of books about Henk van der Pol who is a cop in Amsterdam, The Harbour Master and have received a signed copy from him so I can read the first three books in one collection. Like lots of other bloggers and reviewers I get lots of review requests most of which I decline on the principle that the author hasn’t looked at my reviews whereas the email from Daniel was personal, he referenced some authors I’d praised and was polite!

The Harbour Master

Blurb

AMSTERDAM NOIR IN THREE, ICE-COLD INSTALLMENTS …
Maverick cop Henk van der Pol is thinking about retirement when he finds a woman’s body in Amsterdam Harbour. His detective instincts take over, even though it’s not his case. But his bigger challenge is deciding who his friends are – not to mention a vicious street pimp who is threatening Henk’s own family…
Part two sees Henk rove further afield, to Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels – investigating a maze-like set of cases involving diamonds, fine art, drugs and high-class prostitution. What connects the cases, and what risks must Henk run to uncover the criminals? Impeding him is his rival and boss Joost, who has an equal but quite separate interest in the investigation’s outcome…
In the finale, a powerful Dutch politician is hijacked, bearing parallels with the 1983 kidnapping of Freddy Heineken. Henk, who worked on the Heineken case at the start of his career, is now operating outside of the official investigation. He becomes imprisoned himself, and, with rival cop Joost emerging as the winner, Henk must navigate dark currents at the highest level of Dutch society. Goodreads

And then… well I went to the charity shop looking for a chair and came away no chair but two books. In my defence these are adding to my collections.

First up is Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie featuring my favourite detective Hercule Poirot

Elephants Can Remember
Blurb

Hercule Poirot is determined to solve an old husband and wife double murder that is still an open verdict! Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. Here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies — a husband and wife — shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into the past and discovers that ‘old sin can leave long shadows’. Goodreads

…and lastly Almost The Truth by Margaret Yorke

Almost The Truth

Blurb

Bicklebury is a small village of some three hundred inhabitants, a church and a pub, but no shop, no school, and certainly no crime – until two ex-cons decide it is the ideal location to pull a robbery. Derek Jarvis and his daughter Hannah are home when the two armed men break in, and Derek, fearing for their safety, urges Hannah not to resist. The tactic backfires as one of the men brutally attacks her, leaving her broken and revolted. Derek’s marriage and his daughter are never the same again.
As his family falls apart, he finds his wife and daughter blame him for what happened, refusing to forgive him even after the men are caught. And so Derek Jarvis, a mild-mannered accountant, conceives a plan to avenge his family. But Derek has never truly looked at himself or anticipated the terrifying twist his quest for revenge may take, as it leads him down the darkest back alleys of the psyche, strips away his controls and confronts his soul with a shocking choice . . . Amazon

Have you found anything new to read this week?