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

They All Fall Down – Tammy Cohen

Psychological Thriller
5*s

For those of you who read my blog regularly you’ll already know that I am a huge Tammy Cohen fan and it is only due to unforeseen circumstances that this review wasn’t posted prior to publication of her latest psychological thriller They All Fall Down on 13 July 2017. The good news is that if you want to read this in eBook format it is currently at the exceptionally low price of 99p.

The setting of this latest novel is in a private psychiatric clinic and right from the off there is a feeling that Hannah isn’t there of her own volition, but quite why and what happened before is left in the shadows. This isn’t the only mystery though, two women have died at the small clinic and Hannah is worried that they weren’t the suicides that everyone presumes. The problem is Hannah clearly has problems and she’s not being taken seriously by anyone, least of all her husband Danny who is becoming increasingly frustrated with what he thinks is her continued paranoia.

Once again Tammy Cohen has the pace absolutely nailed down. Now I’m somewhat a connoisseur of psychological thrillers, I know the wily tricks authors play to keep the facts hidden in order to ensure their twists give the maximum punch to the guts, and I confess this knowledge has tarnished the more amateur examples, but in this instance, there were enough clues given so that any twist felt far less artificial. Our main narrator, Hannah, by the very fact of her setting can be considered to be unreliable but we have other narrators including her fabulous mother Corrine. Corrine is so desperate to help her daughter no matter what she has done but she is also a realist who isn’t going to blindly go charging in without testing some of her daughter’s theories, so she turns detective. As always with this author all of the characters are carefully drawn, one where each time we meet them we learn a little bit more, sometimes coming to a different conclusion. This is particularly difficult with some of the issues Hannah’s fellow patients suffer from and I have to confess while racing through the book, I was also just like Hannah trying to leave the confines of the claustrophobic clinic.

If twists and turns enhanced by the fabulous pace aren’t enough to tempt you to read this, I must also mention the dialogue which is absolutely pitch perfect. With so many of the interactions between the characters betraying something which is key to the storyline, particularly those between the doctors and patients – those group meetings rang so true and at times the words on the page cut deep and I winced as the subjects battled both internal and external demons.

One of my issues with some books in this genre is the reliance on twists which is now the selling point rather than the original notion which was to explore the psyche, to my delight They All Fall Down manages both, we have the time to reflect on actions of the characters, and how their emotions can lead to them acting in the way that they do, but we also have some brilliant twists which in this case weren’t the ones I was expecting at all.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers Black Swan who kindly sent me an ARC of They All Fall Down, and to Tammy Cohen for writing this brilliant novel.

First Published UK: 13 July 2017
Publisher: Black Swan
No of Pages: 384
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Books By Tammy Cohen – aka Tamar Cohen

The Mistress’s Revenge (2011)
The War of the Wives (2012)
Someone Else’s Wedding (2013)
The Broken (2014)
Dying For Christmas (2014)
First One Missing (2015)
When She Was Bad (2016)

Writing Historical Fiction as Rachel Rhys

A Dangerous Crossing (2017)

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (July 5)

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

A mixed bag from me this week as I try to keep up with the 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, review all those books I’ve requested from NetGalley and that have popped through my letterbox during my absence….

At the moment I am reading An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth, a gripping psychological thriller which was published on 29 June 2017.



Blurb

These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning

Linda Moscow loves her son; it’s her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she’s not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him?
She’s done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her. Amazon

The last book I finished was The Island by Victoria Hislop set on the beautiful island of Crete and focussed on the leper colony Spinalonga.

Blurb

On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother’s past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.

Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone’s throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip… Amazon

Next up is Tammy Cohen’s latest book, They All Fall Down which will be published on 13 July 2017 and a book I’ve been hotly anticipating ever since I heard about its existence.

Blurb

Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking.

Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.

The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying.

Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again? Amazon

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Do you want to?
What are you reading this week? Do share in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (April 2)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well one-quarter of 2017 over already and in that time I’ve had some brilliant books to read including the very special A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (aka Tammy Cohen) and this week I came home to the final version complete with a lovely personal inscription from Tammy and in the acknowledgements a thank you to all book bloggers and a special mention for me. If you haven’t read A Dangerous Crossing yet, I highly recommend it

This Week on the Blog

After a somewhat unscheduled break last week when I realised I simply couldn’t fit anything else into my days I was back  this week raring to go!

I started the week with my review of Louise Walters A Life Between Us which tells the story across the decades of one family. There were many layers to this story told across decades but Louise Walters knows her craft and has written a belter of a book

My excerpt post was from The Restless Dead by Simon Beckett and this was one opener that you don’t want to read while you’re eating…

On Wednesday I featured books from Suellen Dainty, David Jackson and Thorne Moore who all featured in my reading week.

Next up my review of A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup in which I unreservedly recommend for fans of the Queen of Crime, and I got to learn even more about poisoners and their poisons.

On Friday I took part in the blog tour by posting my review for The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty (yes I had to read and review in record time this week) which wasn’t what I expected but I thoroughly enjoyed this slow peeling back of the layers of a household and the woman who was their housekeeper.

Yesterday was the fifth Put a Book on the Map feature and this time we visited Peterborough with Eva Dolan’s series featuring DI Zigic and DS Ferreira with help from A Crime Reader’s Blog and the unstinting support of The Book Trail

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary, which had two seemingly disparate plots for DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jakes to solve. The whole series is incredibly strong with bang up to date storylines; Tastes Like Fear was no different.

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

Blurb

The fragile young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene. A runaway who doesn’t want to be found, she only wants to return to the man who understands her and offers her warmth, comfort, a home. He gives her gives her shelter. Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.
He’s the head of her new family.
D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl’s disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she’s about to face. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I’m getting the feeling that the publishers are trying to undermine my exceptional self-control for buying new books and requesting from NetGalley as I have had loads of great books through the post – here is a small selection

Blood Tide by Claire McGowan, the fifth in the Paula McGuire series set in Ireland was a welcome addition to the household.

Blurb

Called in to investigate the disappearance of a young couple during a violent storm, Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist, has mixed feelings about going back to Bone Island. Her last family holiday as a child was spent on its beautiful, remote beaches and returning brings back haunting memories of her long-lost mother.

It soon becomes clear that outsiders aren’t welcome on the island, and with no choice but to investigate the local community, Paula soon suspects foul play, realising that the islanders are hiding secrets from her, and each other.
With another storm fast approaching, Paula is faced with a choice. Leave alive or risk being trapped with a killer on an inescapable island, as the blood tide rushes in… Amazon

I was ecstatic to be sent a copy of the latest Peter James book, Need You Dead which is the thirteenth in the Roy Grace series set in Brighton. I am a huge fan of this series and will be part of the blog tour in May to celebrate its publication.

Blurb

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined. Amazon

I was also delighted to receive an advance copy of They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen which will be published on 13 July 2017.

Blurb

She knows there’s a killer on the loose.
But no-one believes her.
Will she be next?

Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking.

Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.

The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying.

Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again? Amazon

I also have a copy of a new to me author Maile Meloy with Do Not Become Alarmed which will be published on 6 July 2017 and came with a fetching boarding pass.

Blurb

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety.
One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives. Amazon

I also have one book from NetGalley, an exception had to be made because Steve Robinson gave me a link to request his latest genealogical mystery Dying Games, the sixth in the Jefferson Tate series. Dying Games will be published on 4 May 2017.

Blurb

Washington, DC: Twin brothers are found drowned in a Perspex box, one gagged and strapped to a chair. It’s the latest in a series of cruel and elaborate murders with two things in common: the killer has left a family history chart at each crime scene, and the victims all have a connection to genealogical sleuth Jefferson Tayte.

Hoping his insight and expertise will help solve the case, the FBI summon Tayte back to the capital. But as he struggles to crack the clues, the killer strikes again—and again. Tayte is known as the best in the business, but this time he’s up against a genealogical mastermind who always seems to be one step ahead.

With the clock ticking and the body count rising, Tayte finds himself racked with guilt, his reputation and career in tatters. The killer is running rings around him; is it only a matter of time before he comes for the ultimate target?

This is the sixth book in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story. NetGalley

What have you found to read this week? Do share, as you can see I’m always on the lookout for a good book!

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 6 books and gained 7 so the grand total is slowly inching upwards to 192
Physical Books – 114
Kindle Books – 61
NetGalley Books – 17

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The War of the Wives – Tamar Cohen

Contemporary Fiction 4*s
Contemporary Fiction
4*s

The book starts with all the required elements of a farce but whilst it is hugely entertaining, the author’s keen eye gives us something a little more complex than humour.

When Selina Busfield is woken in the middle of the night she is as much confused as worried. All that rapidly changes when the policeman outside asks to come in and when he makes his way into her beautiful London house he delivers the news that her husband Simon has been found dead in the Thames. Selina is mystified as to how this could possibly be; as far as she knew he was due home the next day from working in Dubai.

On the day of the funeral Selina is still trying to piece together the sequence of events with her three children but what she didn’t expect was to meet another Mrs Busfield. Mrs Lottie Busfield who has been married to Simon for 17 years is in attendance complete with her teenage daughter!

If a bigamous marriage, a dead husband and devastated children weren’t enough, this is a book chock-a-block with shocks which Tamar Cohen bounces through the pages with aplomb. With Simon dead and buried the two women examine how they could possibly not have known about each other. They also reflect on their differences. Lottie is the opposite to Selina, being far more of a free-spirit, and skint to boot. As the inevitable legal matters arise following Simon’s death the pair need to reach some sort of dialogue.

This story really does rattle along at a fair old pace helped along by a hand-off of narratives between Selina and Lottie as they take stock of their lives. Each part of the book is named after the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance and our characters are made to work through these stages in exceptionally unusual circumstances. This author never fails to amaze me, because this is a perceptive book about loss that will resonate with many readers although hopefully not so many will have found themselves in quite such a predicament as this lot. Because Selina and Lottie, whilst being the main protagonists have their own relationships to maintain, principally with their children who are grieving their perhaps not so dearly departed father now unpleasant truths have come to light.

Incredibly the author has managed to squeeze some action in between the fabulous character studies and the complex emotional journey that Simon’s death has caused the two families; there is danger hiding around the corner, one that means precaution and action is required to keep both families safe!

Very few books can pack so many contradictory emotions into one book without it feeling as if it is a novel that doesn’t know what it is supposed to be, somehow the author avoided any such doubt in a book that had me gasping in sympathy at one moment while sniggering at some sharp humour the next. Quite simply the writing is incredibly perceptive yet sprinkled with humorous observations about life, love and loss.

I have followed Tammy as she is now known, from the Mistress’s Revenge through to her latest dark novel If She Was Bad but somehow I had missed this, her second book despite the fact that I kept reminding myself to read it. I’m so glad I did, if you haven’t sampled this author’s work, you really should.

Other Books by Tamar (aka Tammy Cohen)

The Mistress’s Revenge
Someone Else’s Wedding
The Broken
Dying for Christmas
First One Missing
When She Was Bad

Posted in Uncategorized

Books I Picked Up On A Whim

lyThe Top Ten Tuesday list chosen by the wonderful The Broke and the Bookish this week was for the ten books that bloggers had picked up on a whim, this led me to ponder not only those books but how the way I chose books has changed over the years.

As a child it was easy, I had the school library, the local library and kind relations who supplied books that they’d enjoyed as children and so I probably have the full quotient of children’s classics under my belt. Aside from that I was lucky in that many kindly teachers recommended books and to be honest, I was the sort of child that would read anything, cornflake packets included!

It was as I graduated from the children’s section of the library that things became more complicated. Our local library at the time simply shelved all fiction alphabetically and so my reading became dictated by my whims. In those days before the internet there were precious few places to find out about books which did not dominate the best-seller list, and if I’m honest I miss those days of wandering around the library or bookshop shelves looking for something appealing.  And this continued pretty much to the millennium although the library in Jersey used a variety of ways to point eager readers in the right direction, including a one week loan for new releases – something that always caused great anxiety – would I get through the book in time, there would be nothing worse than getting within reach of the ending only to have to return the precious book for others to read!

Library image

These days, I rarely chose a book without it being recommended to me, either by a fiercely knowing search engine on Amazon or Goodreads, or by one of the hugely knowledgeable book bloggers out there who suggest all sorts of hidden treasures to me!

And of course I now have reviews at my fingertips to ensure I am making a wise choice, never forgetting that even the less glowing reviews can point towards something that will please me. In those far flung times there were professional reviews in the newspapers which I did look at but many of these seemed a bit rarefied for my tastes, I just wanted a jolly good story. So I’d look at the shelves, read the book jackets and decide if this might be the book for me… and this way I found many writers who have remained firm favourites to this day.

Shadow Baby by Margaret Forster

Shadow Baby

Blurb

Born in Carlisle in 1887, brought up in a children’s home and by reluctant relatives, Evie, with her wild hair and unassuming ways, seems a quiet, undemanding child.
Shona, born almost seventy years later, is headstrong and striking. She grows up in comfort and security in Scotland, the only child of doting parents. But there are, as she discovers, unanswered questions about her past.
The two girls have only one thing in common: both were abandoned as babies by their mothers. Different times, different circumstances, but these two girls grow up sharing the same obsession. Each sets out to stalk and then haunt her natural mother. Both mothers dread disclosure; both daughters seek emotional compensation and, ultimately, revenge.

Not only did I love this book but rattled my way through her entire back-catalogue, my most recent read being The Unknown Bridesmaid. Sadly Margaret Forster passed away earlier this year but I still have her a large collection of her books on my shelf.

My crime fiction reads at this time were led by whatever was showing on TV at the time and in this way I was introduced to all the greats; Morse, Wexford, Dalziel and Pascoe and Frost. All of these men grace my shelves to this day. However it was after reading Wexford that I discovered the more psychological reads provided in the books written by Ruth Rendell under the name Barbara Vine. This in turn led to me reading so much in this genre before it gained its current popularity. Asta’s Book remains one of my favourite reads of all time combining my love of history with a study of the psyche.

Astas Book

Blurb

1905. Asta and her husband Rasmus have come to east London from Denmark with their two sons. With Rasmus constantly away on business, Asta keeps loneliness and isolation at bay by writing her diary. These diaries, published over seventy years later, reveal themselves to be more than a mere journal, for they seem to hold the key to an unsolved murder, to the quest for a missing child and to the enigma surrounding Asta’s daughter, Swanny. It falls to Asta’s granddaughter Ann to unearth the buried secrets of nearly a century before. Amazon

Barbara Vine’s most recent book The Child’s Child was reviewed by Cleopatra Loves Books back in 2014

More recently I picked up The Mistress’s Revenge by Tamar Cohen on a whim as it was unlike the book choices I usually made at that time, and I’m so glad I did. This book had me howl with laughter and gasp in surprise as the book took a slightly darker turn.

The Mistresses Revenge

Blurb

Never have an affair with anyone who has less to lose than you. And – never underestimate the wrath of a woman scorned.
For five years, Sally and Clive have been lost in a passionate affair. Now he has dumped her, to devote himself to his wife and family, and Sally is left in freefall. It starts with a casual stroll past his house, and popping into the brasserie where his son works. Then Sally starts following Clive’s wife and daughter on Facebook. But that’s alright isn’t it? I mean they are perfectly normal things to do. Aren’t they? Not since Fatal Attraction has the fallout from an illicit affair been exposed in such a sharp, darkly funny and disturbing way.
The Mistress’s Revenge is a truly exciting fiction debut. After all, who doesn’t know a normal, perfectly sane woman who has gone a little crazy when her heart was broken?

Tamar now writes under the name Tammy, but the quality of her books hasn’t diminished, rather it has just got even better, her latest offering When She Was Bad is sure to resonate to all office workers!

Now this may sound planned but I had already written this post when I found out yesterday that Transworld Books have signed a six figure book deal with Tammy for three books, the first due out in Spring 2017; All Fall Down is set in an asylum! Even better TV rights for When She Was Bad are currently at auction. That is one whim that sounds as though it will be providing me with good books to read for some time to come!

 

I think with these three books alone, I have proved that picking up a book on a whim can lead to a whole treasure trove of books.

What book have you picked up on a whim that you are eternally grateful for?

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

When She Was Bad – Tammy Cohen

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

I have long been a fan of Tammy Cohen’s writing, laced with humour as it always is makes a refreshing change from the reminders of how miserable everyone is in many a psychological thriller. This book is no different and even better it is set in an office, somewhere a good proportion of us spend our days and the author’s sharp eye (and pen) hasn’t missed a single detail to twist into something quite sinister.

‘I thought it would be good today to go round the table and for each of us to say one thing you think could improve the performance of this department.’
What was this, circle time?

The problem is that Gill the Manager of the department where Paula, Ewan, Amira, Sarah & Chloe work at Mark Hamilton Recruitment, has been ‘let go’ and a new boss Rachel Masters has been employed in her place to turn things around. It’s clear right from the start that she means business.

‘I just wanted to welcome you…’
‘Is it normal for the entire staff to take a two-hour lunch break?’
Rachel didn’t look up and Paula was conscious of her smile shrivelling on her lips.
‘No. We were just…’
‘Can you call everyone together, please? I’d like to have a few words.’
‘Of course. Out on the main floor?’
Finally Rachel glanced up at Paula from eyes of the palest blue offset by spiky black lashes. Paula felt her cheeks burning.
‘Well, unless we sit on each other’s laps, we’re hardly about to squeeze seven people in here, are we?’

Unless you have been incredibly lucky in your working life, some of the scenes set in the office will be only too familiar as Rachel Master’s plan to divide and conquer are put into force with relative ease.

But, this isn’t simply a story about office life, there is another, darker, strand to the tale set in America where Dr Anne Cater (book bloggers will probably recognise this name as a member of our community) is looking back at a distressing case early in her career as a psychologist. The narration by Anne is chilling because the subject is that of two young children and a different kind of office politics in the world of US academia.

With the narration in the recruitment agency being given by the different members of the team, in the hands of a lesser author the characters could easily have merged into one, but Tammy Cohen cleverly keeps them distinct and as in any team there are definite winners and losers, with Rachel’s appearance easily breaking the superficial bonds that previously existed between them all. Suddenly there is an ‘I’ in team! So it only takes a team bonding weekend for the cracks to widen into a chasm, and prove what I’ve always known, in that these sessions should be avoided like the plague! With everyone suspicious of each others motives the action ramps up to a whole different level, and the purpose of the two separate strands we are being told is revealed.

I raced through the book, the short chapters urging me on to read just a little bit more, to find out exactly when the tension that had been built was going to snap, all the while I was entertained by characters that were instantly recognisable and discovering the truths that those of us who work in offices deny.  I loved this book, the setting was inspired, the two stories fascinating and the characters well-defined and entirely believable – Tammy Cohen has done it again!

But that wasn’t all my disappointment that the book was done was turned around when I got to the end and read the acknowledgements and saw this – thank you Tammy!!

IMG_0697 (3)

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Random House UK who allowed me to read a proof copy of When She Was Bad; this review is my unbiased thank you to them and to Tammy Cohen who kept me hooked to each and every word. When She Was Bad will be published on 21 April 2016.

If you haven’t read any of Tammy Cohen’s previous books (she used to write as Tamar Cohen) here is a list – I am making a mental note to read The War of the Wives, without further delay – but I unreservedly vouch for each and every one of the rest in this list!

The Mistress’s Revenge
The War of the Wives
Someone Else’s Wedding
The Broken
Dying for Christmas
First One Missing

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Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (April 13)

This Week In Books

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

At the moment I am reading The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh, the author of both Falling and Hidden, both of which I awarded five stars, can she make it a hat-trick? You’ll have to wait for my review to find out!

The Missing Hours

A woman disappears
One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace.
A woman returns
Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been.
What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder? NetGalley

The Missing Hours will be published by Random House UK on 21 April 2016.

I have just finished When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

When She Was Bad

To read the synopsis and a short excerpt please see yesterday’s post

Next up is one of my kindle purchases, this time something a little different; The Closet of Savage Memories by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

The Closet of Savage Memories

Blurb

Lillis takes a summer job working at a lodge in a small lochside village in the Scottish Highlands. Leaving home is a way to escape her sorrow and despair following the death of her boyfriend and a testy relationship with her mother, Verity.
In Scotland she encounters love and excitement but when a series of unexpected events turn her new found life on its head, she is forced to make a life-changing decision, one that will stay with her for her whole life.
The Closet of Savage Mementos is drawn directly from the author’s own experiences and explores heartbreak, loss, motherhood and adoption in a gripping narrative and the same expressive, emotive and exciting prose we have come to expect of Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Amazon

What are you reading this week? Do share your thoughts in the comments below

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 12)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My chosen book for this week is When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen, an author who hasn’t let me down yet, so I can’t wait to read this one, especially as it is set around office life!

When She Was Bad

Blurb

Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years – they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in ….
Now, there’s something chilling in the air.
Who secretly hates everyone?
Who is tortured by their past?
Who is capable of murder? NetGalley

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Anne

Imagine we could see the damage inside ourselves. Imagine it showed through us like contraband in an airport scanner. What would it be like, to walk around the city with it all on view – al the crushed dreams and the broken hearts? What would it be like to see the people our lives made us The people we are, under our skin.
I thought about that when I saw you on the news just now. I recognised you right away. ‘Such an ordinary person,’ those people said. ‘I can’t believe someone like that could do something so terrible.’

Please note that this excerpt comes from a proof copy

When She Was Bad will be published on 21 April 2016 by Random House UK.

Do you want to know more? – do you want to know what the ‘ordinary person’ has done? – I know I do! Please leave your thoughts and/or links in the comment box below!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (January 23)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

Well I’ve had a run on NetGalley approvals this week all of which I’m hugely pleased about!

The Ex by Alafair Burke was one book I wished for as it wasn’t available to request, and the NG fairy granted my wish!

The Ex

Blurb

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene since the shooting of his wife by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman who eerily but thrillingly echoes his past. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a “Missed Moment” item online and days later, a woman responds…
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she gets the phone call informing her that her former fiancée, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him? NetGalley

The Ex will be published on 4 February 2016

March sees the publication of two authors who are on my ‘must-read’ list. Firstly Claire McGowan’s fourth in the Paula McGuire series, A Savage Hunger

A Savage Hunger

Blurb

Victim: Female. Twenty-two years of age.
Reason for investigation: Missing person.
ID: Alice Morgan. Student. Last seen at a remote religious shrine in Ballyterrin.
Alice Morgan’s disappearance raises immediate questions for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. Alice, the daughter of a life peer in the Home Office, has vanished along with a holy relic – the bones of a saint – and the only trace is the bloodstains on the altar.
With no body to confirm death, the pressure in this high-profile case is all-consuming, and Paula knows that she will have to put her own life, including her imminent marriage, on hold, if they are to find the truth.
A connection to a decades-old murder immediately indicates that all may not be as it seems; as the summer heat rises and tempers fray, can Alice be found or will they learn that those that are hungry for vengeance may be the most savage of all? NetGalley

… and Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf, writer of the brilliant Little Mercies.

Missing Pieces

Blurb

Everyone has secrets…
Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the town where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalised in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realises that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the rabbit hole of Jack’s past, but the farther she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a hard reality she may not be prepared for. NetGalley

Finally I also have a copy of Tammy Cohen’s When She Was Bad which will be published on 21 April 2016. There hasn’t been one of this author’s books that I haven’t massively enjoyed so was super thrilled to receive a copy of this one which is looking at working lives – could this be the start of a new type of noir – graft noir perhaps?

When She Was Bad

Blurb

YOU SEE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH EVERY DAY.
BUT WHAT CAN’T YOU SEE?
Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years – they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in ….
Now, there’s something chilling in the air.
Who secretly hates everyone?
Who is tortured by their past?
Who is capable of murder?

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last count I have read 4 books, and gained 4 so I’m running fast to stand still with a total of 174 books!
85 physical books
73 e-books
16 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Deadly Divorces – Tammy Cohen

True Crime 3*s
True Crime
3*s

This non-fiction true crime book contains twelve stories of what can happen when a marriage breaks down. As such I don’t recommend it to anyone going through divorce, or contemplating it! For everyone else this is a fascinating look at the worst case scenario.

I am a big fan of Tammy Cohen’s fictional books, especially the element of humour that laces the pages, this aspect is necessarily missing from this book, which was penned before these were published. The twelve stories within this book which was published in 2007, come from the late 90s early 2000s from both sides of the Atlantic and with both sexes being the perpetrator.

To give you a flavour the first crime in the book is that of an English woman who murdered her ex-husband’s lover, to be specific she shot her at the salon she ran in a quiet English town. With the information gleaned from the trial and reporting at the time Tammy seeks to give the reasons behind the killing, looking at the state of mind of the murderer in the weeks and months leading up to the shooting. It is a sad tale, as are all the stories in this book, it is hard to contemplate that two people, who once swore to love each other forever, can be driven to a state of outright hate which leads to the ultimate act of revenge.

This isn’t a terribly in-depth book, to really understand the motives of each and everyone of the crimes would have meant that this book was far too long, it does however give an insight into this type of crime. You may, as I did, remember some of the horrific acts committed in the name of love! Unfortunately as I worked through the book (in the space of a day) it did feel a little repetitive purely because this type of crime is typically committed by a person who feels that they have been wronged and they want to destroy the person that they feel has destroyed their life.

I have to admit some of the tales recounted, will stay with me for some time, as the perpetrators will have learned as they live with their actions for the rest of their lives.

Fiction Books by Tammy Cohen (aka Tamara Cohen) Highly recommended by cleopatralovesbooks

Previous books by Tammy Cohen (some written under her given name of Tamara Cohen)
The Mistress’s Revenge
The War of the Wives (note to self I NEED a copy of this one)
Someone Else’s Wedding
The Broken
Dying for Christmas
First One Missing