Posted in Books I have read

The Daughter’s Secret – Eva Holland

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller
4*s

How do you think you’d react to knowing that the teacher who abducted your fifteen year old daughter six years ago was about to be released from prison? Rosalind was an anxious mother before Stephanie went missing and her fears have only escalated in the intervening period, but Stephanie is no longer a child and she never really talked about what happened in the days the police were searching for her.

The Daughter’s Secret is told in part in the present, counting down to the release of Nathan Temperley and in part from the past when Stephanie was missing. This could easily have been confusing but the author handles this aspect is extremely well with the switches in viewpoint being carefully considered. We see the damage that has been done over the longer term to this seemingly perfect family with their beautiful house, high disposable income and the requisite two children. In the immediate aftermath the parents are concentrating on hoping that she will return and although there are minor disagreements between Ros and her husband Dan at the time, it is their inability to move past the event after she returns that causes the most damage. We see the contrast in their behaviour to Stephanie and each other that lead to the point where we meet them six years later.

Stephanie has moved away from St Albans to London to live with Sarah, her best friend from school but when she turns to alcohol Sarah becomes alarmed and Ros and Dan intervene. With both Ros and Dan keeping secrets and their reluctance to discuss the missing time with Stephanie, or she with them, the reader has to wonder if this is the best… The tension resulting from the  impasse between the parents and daughter is broken by some touching scenes with Steph’s brother giving the reader another point of view.

Of course what we all want to know is does Steph meet up with Nate on his release from prison. Was this in fact a case of true love as he proclaimed at the time?  This alone had me turning the pages faster as the release date came closer and those secrets start tumbling out and demanding their consequences.

I wasn’t particularly enamoured by any of the characters in this book, all have flaws and on the whole they were believable, even Dan whose behaviour in wanting someone else to deal with his daughter had a strong resonating truth about it.  The fact is in real life people don’t always think before they speak and in the midst of a difficult time the path that is easiest at the moment can be awfully appealing, perhaps even more so to a family that appears to have the perfect life.

This storyline isn’t a million miles away from a fairly recent big news story in the UK but the author hasn’t simply rehashed the facts from this known news story, the feeling I got is that she used it as a starting point and explored the possible cause and effect for her characters.

I am usually reluctant to talk about endings to books as I hate giving even minor spoilers to the story but this tale had a completely satisfactory dénouement; the ending is complete but the author has wisely not tried too hard to tie up everything in a neat bow and it is left to our imagination to determine what the future may hold for the characters.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the publishers Orion ahead of the publication date of 13 August 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (May 2)

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!

A huge haul this week from me starting with some fantastic books from NetGalley:

Listening to Killers by James Garbarino, a non-fiction book detailing the conclusions the author has come to having spoken to men incarcerated in the US for murder.

Listening To Killers

Blurb

Listening to Killers offers an inside look at twenty years’ worth of murder files from Dr. James Garbarino, a leading expert psychological witness who listens to killers so that he can testify in court. The author offers detailed accounts of how killers travel a path that leads from childhood innocence to lethal violence in adolescence or adulthood. He places the emotional and moral damage of each individual killer within a larger scientific framework of social, psychological, anthropological, and biological research on human development. By linking individual cases to broad social and cultural issues and illustrating the social toxicity and unresolved trauma that drive some people to kill, Dr. Garbarino highlights the humanity we share with killers and the role of understanding and empathy in breaking the cycle of violence. NetGalley

Listening to Killers was published on 12 March 2015

Marnie Riches, the author of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die contacted me off the back of reading some reviews and suggested I’d enjoy this one.

The Girl Who Wouldn't Die

Blurb

HE’S WATCHING HER. SHE DOESN’T KNOW IT…YET
When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer.
But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear.
And the killer has a very special part for George to play…
A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night! NetGalley


The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die
was published on 2 April 2015

I have a copy of The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson because I simply can’t resist these hidden identity books this year.

The Other Me

Blurb

Eliza Bennet has the life she’s always dreamed of. She’s who she wants to be, and she’s with the man she loves.
But Eliza is living a lie. Her real name is Klaudia Myer. And Klaudia is on the run. She’s escaping her old life, and a terrible secret buried at the heart of her family.
This is the story of Eliza and Klaudia – one girl, two lives and a lie they cannot hide from. NetGalley

The Other Me is due to be published on 13 August 2015 by Little Brown Book Group UK although it is already available on kindle.

Lastly I have a copy of The Daughter’s Secret by Eva Holland

The Daughter's Secret
Blurb

Eleven days in the life of a mother as she tries to navigate herself and her family through the aftershocks of a scandal.
Six years ago, aged fifteen, Rosalind’s daughter Stephanie ran away with teacher Nathan Temperley, triggering a media frenzy and resulting in Temperley’s arrest and imprisonment. Although the family – Rosalind, her husband Dan, Stephanie and son Freddy – don’t talk about what happened, their lives have been shaped by it and everything that came after.
When Rosalind discovers that Temperley is about to be released from prison, she’s forced to re-examine the events of six years ago. NetGalley

The Daughter’s Secret will be published on 13 August 2015 by Orion

Following my review of The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish I had a little chat with the author who said that she thought I would enjoy The Disappearance of Emily Marr, and to ignore the cover, which doesn’t reflect the contents.

The Disappearance of Emily Marr

Blurb

A stunning story of secrets and scandal, identity and infidelity
When Tabby Dewhurst arrives heartbroken and penniless on a picturesque, windswept island off the coast of France, her luck appears to change when she overhears a villager repeating aloud the access code to her front door. Hardly believing her own actions, Tabby waits for the woman to leave and then lets herself into the house. And so she enters the strange, hidden world of Emily Marr—or so her new friend introduces herself. Soon, however, Tabby forms suspicions about her new friend, suspicions that lead her back to England, and to revelations that will have explosive consequences for both of them. Goodreads

So I went on-line and found I could get a used copy for a bargain price and even better if I spent £10 postage was free. Well I went through my wishlist and found three other books to make the total that qualified. So… I also have a copy of Buried Angels by Camilla Läckberg which is the latest in the Patrik Hedstrom series.

Buried Angels

Blurb

Easter, 1974. A family vanishes without a trace from the island of Valö outside of Fjällbacka. The dinner table has been exquisitely set, but everyone except the one year-old daughter Ebba is gone. Are they victims of a crime or have they voluntarily disappeared?
Years later Ebba returns to the island and the old summer camp where her father ruled a boarding school with an iron hand. She and her husband Tobias have recently lost their three year-old son, and in an attempt to overcome their grief they have decided to renovate the house and open a B&B.
Erica Falck’s interest is piqued – she has researched the tragic and mysterious history of the family, and looks forward to meeting Ebba.
But the couple have barely settled in before they are subjected to an attempt of arson. And when they begin to remove the floor boards in the dining room, they find dried blood underneath… Goodreads

and.. after being amazed and delighted by The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson I have a copy of The Girl With a Clock For a Heart

The Girl With a Clock for a Heart

Blurb

George Foss never thought he’d see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack’s Tavern.
When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl’s grieving parents, he realized the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece – the one who had committed suicide – was not his girlfriend. Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved – and of the things she may have done to escape her past.
Now, twenty years later, she’s back, and she’s telling George that he’s the only one who can help her… Goodreads

and lastly I have a copy of Go To Sleep by Helen Walsh that got added to my wishlist way back in June after reading a fabulous review here

Go To Sleep

Blurb

As she drinks in the view in front of her, Rachel Massey stands on the cusp of the biggest journey of her life. For Rachel is about to become a mother. Mere hours from now, her first baby will be here and she can’t wait to meet it. Terrified and excited, there is nothing she wants more, yet she senses things will never be the same again. This is the story of Rachel’s voyage into motherhood. Full of the same hopes and dreams as any parent-to-be, she soon realises that nothing about this new world is as she imagined. As the raw shock of sleep deprivation takes its toll on her and the truth begins to blur with the unreal, Rachel becomes consumed by one sole desire – to sleep. But how far will she go to get her baby to sleep? Devastatingly honest and shockingly painful at times, Go To Sleep is a heart-wrenching story about one woman and her newborn child. It strips motherhood bare in the most unforgettable of ways. Goodreads

Any of these take your fancy or perhaps you’ve already read them?
What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below