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

The Girl With No Past – Kathryn Croft

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

Leah lives on her own, surrounded by books, with a job in a library and no social life it is clear to the reader from page one that she is troubled by her past, but why is a mystery. Longing to make a connection with someone she begins lurking on a dating website where she meets moderator Julian and she starts to feel braver and for a while she believes she can leave the past behind her but everything changes on the fourteenth anniversary of the event she is running from when she receives an anniversary card. It is obvious someone isn’t going to let her forget.

I hadn’t heard of Kathryn Croft before I started reading this book, although I’ve since discovered this is in fact the third psychological thriller novel that she’s written, and the web of intrigue that she has invented for Leah certainly had me convinced. Right from the beginning of the book I could visualise Leah sat in her dismal flat, could picture her losing herself amongst the pages Of Mice and Men, her solitary dinners and then her lifeline to a more normal world, mere fingertips away on her laptop. As she begins to bond with Maria at the library I was urging her on, sure that whatever had happened couldn’t really justify a life half lived.

As well as seeing how Leah is living her life now, we also meet her as she starts secondary school, a new teacher, new friends, first Imogen and then Corey and then as they reach year ten, a new boy joins the school, Adam and Leah loses her fears that she will never be interested in boys. School life is notoriously hard to recreate in novels possibly because we look back with adult eyes, but Kathryn Croft pulls it off these sections convincingly so that these occasional chapters detailing Leah’s teenage years not only add substance to the novel, they also transported me back to my school days.

One of the problems with books that are marketed as ‘for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train’ is that it invites readers to make the comparison, and usually the book comes up wanting. This book is nothing like those two except that it is in the same genre, although unlike many with this tag-line, it is utterly gripping, well-written and engaging. By opening with a description of a car crash, it is likely that something awful will happen and with the structure of short chapters I was eager to find out what! With Leah understandable scared by the events that unfold in the present with the background of her past, the tension levels merely switched between taut and tauter until finally as taut as an elastic band that is going to ping you in the face at any moment. I don’t usually talk about endings but again, due to the weakness or sheer unbelievable elements that litter this genre, this one is convincing and I’m proud to say that for once I did have my suspicions, will you?

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Bookouture for allowing me to read a copy of this book, in return for my review and to wish Kathryn Croft every success with this excellent read. The Girl With No Past was published on 15 October 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (October 7)

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

This week I am currently reading The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

The Girl With No Past

Please see yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book which is due to be published on 15 October 2015.

I have recently finished reading Nowhere Child by Rachel Abbott, the sequel to Stranger Child giving loyal readers an explanation of what happened to Tasha after the end of the book.

Nowhere Child

Blurb

Eight months ago Tasha Joseph ran away, and her stepmother, Emma, has been searching for her ever since. She is desperate to give Tasha the home and security she deserves. The problem is, Emma isn’t the only one looking for Tasha. The police are keen to find her too. She could be a vital witness in a criminal trial, and DCI Tom Douglas has a team constantly on the lookout for her. But Tasha remains hidden, and nobody appears to have seen her. Suddenly, the stakes are raised. Somebody is offering money – a lot of money – for information about Tasha’s whereabouts. Tom and Emma know they have never been closer to finding the young girl. But they also recognise that she has never been closer to danger. Can they find her first?

Next I am planning to read Thursday’s Child by Nicci French, the fourth in this duo’s wonderful series featuring clinical psychotherapist Frieda Klein.

Thursday's Child

Blurb

Two crimes, generations apart . . .
Twenty years ago teenager Frieda Klein was brutally attacked in her own home. No one believed her – not the police, not her mother, not her friends. She left town, trained as a psychologist and never went back.
Now an old classmate has shown up. She wants help with her daughter, who claims to have been attacked at home. An attack eerily similar to the one on Frieda. No one else believes the girl’s story.
Now – with a school reunion in the offing – Frieda returns to the darkness she fled. To the small town which refused to help her and which hides a terrible secret. Because someone at the reunion knows what happened.And they’ll stop at nothing to prevent Frieda discovering the truth . . .Amazon

What are you reading this week? Please share!

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (October 6)

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 opening this week comes from The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

The Girl With No Past

Blurb

Twenty years running from your past. Today it catches up.
Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.
Then, on the twentieth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.
But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?
Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly. NetGalley

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

PROLOGUE

Everything is silent and for a second I think I must be dead. But then I hear a deafening screech and I don’t know who or where it’s come from I only know that I haven’t made the noise because somehow I am okay. I want to turn my head to check what’s left of the wreckage, but I can’t move because pain is shooting through my neck, warm blood trickling down my face.

ONE

Walking home that evening, something felt wrong. It was nothing I could identify, because everything appeared normal. I was just one of many people heading home from work or heading somewhere at least. It was bitterly cold and I’d left my scarf hanging over my banister that morning, but the chill was nothing of the ordinary. It was to be expected in November.

Please note that this excerpt is taken from a proof copy

Do you want to know more? Or perhaps you’ve already read this book?

Posted in Uncategorized

Stacking The Shelves (August 29)

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!

I have a modest list to share with my fellow bookworms this week:

Firstly from NetGalley I have a copy of The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft, the latest name to be signed to Bookouture, a publisher whose crime fiction hasn’t let me down yet.
The Girl With No Past

Blurb

Twenty years running from your past. Today it catches up.
Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.
Then, on the twentieth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.
But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?
Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly

I also have a copy of Boxes by Pascal Garnier which I chose after reading a review by fellow blogger Guy Savage of His Futile Preoccupations of another book by this author, The Islanders and put him on my to-read list.

Boxes

Blurb

He was the sole survivor of the natural disaster that at one time or another strikes us all, known as ‘moving house’.
Brice and Emma had bought their new home in the countryside together. And then Emma disappeared. Now, as he awaits her return, Brice busies himself with DIY and walks around the village.
He gradually comes to know his new neighbours including Blanche, an enigmatic woman in white, who has lived on her own in the big house by the graveyard since the death of her father, to whom Brice bears a curious resemblance… NetGalley

From Amazon Vine I have another psychological thriller, also unsurprisingly and annoyingly with the tag line Gone Girl Meets The Girl on the Train, called 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… Amazon

Lastly I purchased a book based upon a recommendation to one of my trusted book advisors, Margot Kinsberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist who featured What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn in one of her informative blog posts; Pushing The Town Away

What Was Lost

Blurb

The 1980s: Ten-year-old Kate Meaney – with her ‘Top Secret’ notebook and Mickey her toy monkey – is busy being a junior detective. She observes goings-on and follows ‘suspects’ at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping centre and in her street, where she is friends with the newsagent’s son, Adrian. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press.
Then, in 2004, Lisa is working as a deputy manager at Your Music, a cut-price record store. Every day, under the watchful eye of the CCTV, she tears her hair out at the behaviour of her customers and colleagues. But when she meets security guard Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl he keeps glimpsing on the centre’s CCTV. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, they investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks. Amazon

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