Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Drowned Boy – Karin Fossum

Crime Fiction 3*s
Psychological Thriller
3*s

This is my second read in the Inspector Sejer series of which this is the eleventh in the series and after reading The Murder of Harriet Krohn last year, I had high hopes.

The story starts strongly with Inspector Sejer visiting a young couple whose sixteen month old son Tommy has drowned in a pond at the bottom of their garden. Tommy had been sat naked, one hot August day. His nineteen year old mother Carmen was busy preparing lunch and attending to household chores while his twenty year old father Nikolai was in the basement fixing bicycle. While Carmen was rinsing socks in the bathroom Tommy used his new-found walking skill and toddled to the water’s edge, by the time Carman located him he was in the water and despite the couple’s best efforts to revive him, he was dead.

Inspector Sejer relies on his intuition and although the mother, Carmen, weeps copiously and her husband Nikolai is in shock, much quieter, but clearly devastated, he suspects there is more to the accident than Carmen is letting on and is determined to find the truth.

I’m not sure whether it was the translation or the original writing but this story felt a bit flat to me with the limited outcomes to the story being obvious from the start and the characterisation simply didn’t shine through as they had in her previous novel (the translator’s for each book were different.) This wouldn’t have been a problem, as I think this author’s style is far more of the ‘slow burn’ variety but with no real depth to the characters, I felt that the powerful nature of the story didn’t come through as strongly as it could have.

The underlying premise of the book examines the ripple effect of a tragic incident. Not only for the parents, Carmen’s devoted father Marian, the police and to some extent everyone who crossed the path of this family were touched by the tragedy. It also examines our expectation of parenthood. Tommy had been born with Down’s syndrome and part of Sejer’s investigation led him to question himself and his Christian colleague Skarre on whether they would want a pregnancy to continue if tests indicated this before birth. These are huge questions and uncomfortable ones. The discomfort only gets worse when we witness through the words of her diary Carmen’s own reaction to her son’s disability, making this a difficult read.

The book is set over a number of months following the incident with the focus being on a court case where Carmen’s account will be judged to see if she was negligent or perhaps worse that day or will the outcome be as she expects and she is exonerated of any wrong-doing on that bright sunny August morning.

For those of you like me that haven’t followed this series from the beginning, don’t worry, this book can be enjoyed in its own right as a stand-alone read.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Random House Vintage imprint for allowing me to read a copy of this book for review purposes ahead of publication on 4 June 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (May 27)

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 The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum

The Drowned Boy

You can read the blurb and opening paragraph in yesterday’s post

I have recently finished Falling by Emma Kavanagh, a wonderful multi-viewpoint book written following a plane crash.

Falling

Blurb

A moody, intense debut psychological thriller by a former police psychologist, this debut novel explores four lives that fall apart in the tense aftermath of a plane crash, perfect for fans of Tana French, S. J. Watson, and Alice LaPlante. Unravelling what holds these four together is a tense, taut tale about good people who make bad decisions that ultimately threaten to destroy them. Debut author Emma Kavanagh deftly weaves together the stories of those who lost someone or something of themselves in one tragic incident, exploring how swiftly everything we know can come crashing down. NetGalley

my review will follow soon

Next I plan to read The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson

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

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What have you found to read this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (May 26)

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 current read is The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum which will be published on 4 June 2015 by Random House UK

The Drowned Boy

Blurb

He’d just learnt to walk,’ she said. ‘He was sitting playing on his blanket, then all of a sudden he was gone.’
A 16-month-old boy is found drowned in a pond right by his home. Chief Inspector Sejer is called to the scene as there is something troubling about the mother’s story. As even her own family turns against her, Sejer is determined to get to the truth.

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Chapter 1
The dizziness hit him in short, sharp bursts that overwhelmed him, and even though he fought against it, he lost his balance. This is not good he thought, in desperation, this is it. He tried as best he could to stay on his feet, managed somehow to get over to the mirror on the wall and studied his face with keen eyes. No, I can’t ignore it any more, it must be a tumour, why should I get away with it, I’m no better than anyone else, not in the slightest. Of course it was cancer. That’s what we die of these days, one in three, he thought, even one in two, if we live to be old enough. And soon I’ll be an old man, I’m halfway to a hundred. But I’m probably going to die now.

This is the eleventh in the Inspector Sejer series and a new one to me. This opening doesn’t have any direct correlation to the synopsis but would you keep reading?

Do you want to know more?

Please leave your thoughts and links in the comment box below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (April 25)

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!

Oh dear, I feel that I ought to stand up and say ‘My name is Cleopatra and I am a bookaholic’ because for some reason I seem to have been on a NetGalley binge and all those lovely publishers out there enable me by approving my requests! Well here goes:

I have a copy of The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum, an author I first ‘met’ last year by reading The Murder of Harriet Krohn, a quietly brilliant book. This is the eleventh in the Inspector Sejer series so I hope that it works as a stand-alone and isn’t so good that I feel I have to purchase the previous ten!

The Drowned Boy
Blurb

He’d just learnt to walk,’ she said. ‘He was sitting playing on his blanket, then all of a sudden he was gone.’
A 16-month-old boy is found drowned in a pond right by his home. Chief Inspector Sejer is called to the scene as there is something troubling about the mother’s story. As even her own family turns against her, Sejer is determined to get to the truth. NetGalley

The Drowned Boy will be published on 4 June 2015

I also have a copy of In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, a book that is due to be published on 30 July 2015.

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….
NetGalley

… and I have a copy of If She Did It by Jessica Treadway which was published on 10 March 2015

If She Did It

Blurb

What if you began to suspect your child of an unspeakable crime?
When Dawn introduces her family to her new boyfriend, Rud, they hide their unsettled feelings because they’re glad that Dawn, always an awkward child, seems to have finally blossomed.
Then Dawn’s parents are savagely beaten in their own bed, and though Hanna survives, Rud stands trial for Joe’s murder. Claiming her boyfriend’s innocence, Dawn initially estranges herself from everyone she knows, but when Rud wins an appeal, Dawn returns home saying she wants to support her mother.
Hanna knows that if she could only remember the details of that traumatic night, she could ensure her husband’s murderer remains in jail. But Hanna hadn’t realised that those memories may cause her to question everything she thought she knew about her daughter… NetGalley

I lay the blame for requesting this next book firmly at Lady Fancifull’s door as she wrote such a brilliant review of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald and mentioned two other favourite books of mine; 84 Charing Cross Road and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, that I simply couldn’t resist requesting a copy for myself!

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Blurb

Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden – except in the (many) books she reads. When her elderly penfriend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it’s time. But when she arrives, there’s a twist waiting for her – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.
But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it’s almost beyond repair are all the people she’s come to know through Amy’s letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy’s guarded nephew Tom.
Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop. NetGalley

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is due to be published on 18 June 2015

Finally Mel Sherratt contacted me to see if I wanted a copy of Only The Brave, well there was only one answer to that question! This is the third in the Allie Shenton series and I certainly can’t stop now.

Only The Brave

Blurb

When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion.
DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies.
As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.
Set over forty-eight tension-filled hours, Only the Brave is the latest gut-churning police procedural from acclaimed author Mel Sherratt. NetGalley

Only The Brave is due to be published 26 May 2015

Any of these take your fancy? What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below