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

The Lies We Told – Camilla Way

Psychological Thriller
5*s

Having somewhat overdosed on psychological thrillers during the last few years I vowed to cut down during 2018 and it’s one of the few bookish resolutions that I’ve kept, but… and there is always a but; I started to miss the rollercoaster ride that this sub-genre produces so well and I so I treated myself to a copy of a book by an author who’d previously wowed me with her book Watching Edie.

If anything The Lies We Told was even better!

The opening scene is that of a young mother who finds the corpse of the family budgie – the killer is her young daughter Hannah. But that is all in the past and the dangerous daughter is left behind while we move to Clara’s story in the present.

Clara lives a ‘normal’ life. She’s happy, a working woman with a lovely boyfriend who she’s planning to move in with when he suddenly disappears. Clara does all the normal things: checks with his friends, drives down to see his family and looks in pockets & drawers to try to find clues, but there are none. What Clara does find, of course she does, that Luke wasn’t quite the man she thought he was.
Some things are excusable though, Luke’s sister Emily had disappeared without a trace some twenty years ago. From the little Clara knows this caused untold anguish certainly to Luke’s parents, Oliver and Rose Lawson, and to a lesser extent to Luke and his brother Tom who were all left to wonder what had happened to Emily.

This is a classic psychological thriller. We have a mixture of characters, all nicely distinct and most with a little bit of good, and a little bit of bad inside them – half the fun of this genre is to work out as you are reading how the stresses of the story, and this one has enough tension to make you feel like you are walking on a high wire, are influencing your view of their actions. After all if your boyfriend went missing and then you found out that he wasn’t quite the Mr Perfect you thought he was would you cut your losses there and then, or would you feel that you had to help in any way possible to help his family find out what has happened – even if that means keeping the biggest secret of all, that Emily has returned?

The story rattles along, the psychopathic child inserting herself into the story line at regular intervals even though there is no obvious place for her – has she completely transformed? Surely not, this is a psychological thriller after all and that means that scary bad personality traits only go in one direction, yes to even more dark and scary places!

Camilla Way is the absolute best at pulling all the seemingly disparate strands together and although I confess I had worked out some elements given some well-placed clues, I was still a mile from the whole truth. The ending was perfect, not quite the resolution the reader might expect but satisfying enough to allow this one to close the book with a smile.

First Published UK: 3 May 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins
No of Pages: 385
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 7)

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 The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes which is due to be published on 22 November 2018. This psychological story has drawn me in so far although needless to say I’m still waiting for some pertinent questions to be answered.

Blurb

When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit and run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon.

But Ella has never been married… Amazon

The last book I finished was also a psychological thriller which just goes to show after months of cutting down on this sub-genre it still holds plenty of appeal. Camilla Way had wowed me with her previous novel Watching Edie so I was keen to read her latest novel The Lies We Told.

Blurb

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late? Amazon

Next I am planning to read another of my own books A Fractured Winter by Alison Baillie after so enjoying her previous novel Sewing the Shadows Together.




Blurb

A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.

Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart. She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her. Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago? What is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?

A story of the shadows of the past, the uncertainties of the present and how you can never really know anybody. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these books take your fancy this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (October 30)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Vicky from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who 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.

This week my first chapter comes from a book I hope to read very soon; The Lies We Told by Camilla Way a book I purchased after previously enjoying another of the author’s novels, Watching Edie.

Blurb

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the
lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

Cambridgeshire, 1986

At first I mistook the severed head for something else. It wasn’t until I was very close that I realised it was Lucy. To begin with I thought the splash of yellow against the white of my pillow was a discarded sock, a balled-up handkerchief perhaps. It was only when I drew nearer and saw the delicate crest of feathers, the tiny, silent beak, that I fully understood. And suddenly I understood so much more: everything in that moment became absolutely clear.

Well what do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (September 30)

My blogging (and reading) has become erratic over the last few weeks and so it is a little while since I did a weekly wrap up post, but there is a reason… I have been engaged for nearly eight years but last month we decided we’d actually do the deed, and we are getting married in April 2019. I’m especially happy this weekend because my best friend is visiting from her native Gloucester and so yesterday, along with my daughter, we went wedding dress shopping and had far more fun than I expected.

This Week on the Blog

This week started with my excerpt post which was for Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, a book that will be published on 4 October 2018.

This Week in Books featured the authors Wendy James, Babs Horton and Ronnie Turner.

I then posted my review for The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton which was published 20 September 2018.

On Friday I posted my review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark which is another book ticked of The Classics Club reads.

The week finished with my review of Mae West’s account of her childhood with Fred and Rose West followed with how she came to terms with the awful crimes her parents committed in Love As Always Mum xxx

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Last Thread by Ray Britain a crime fiction novel written by a man who had a varied and lengthy career in the Police Force acting as Senior Investigating Officer in many investigations.

I was worried that Ray’s eagerness to reflect real life policing would slow the story line right down with detail but it didn’t. In fact The Last Thread is one of those books that has remained distinct from the heap of crime fiction I’ve read in the last year.

With an opening of a boy standing on a bridge about to commit suicide with the chief protagonist DCI Doug Stirling that had my heart pounding and the tension remained high throughout the rest of the novel.

The Last Thread is an outstanding debut with an exceptional plot which is complex yet not so much so that I ever lost any of the threads, let alone the last one!

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



Blurb

Accused of pushing a boy to his death, DCI Doug Stirling is suspended from duty. Attacked in the media and haunted by the boy’s eyes as he let go of Stirling’s hand, he must watch helplessly as an incompetent colleague bent on destroying him investigates the boy’s death.

Weeks later, a burnt-out car containing a savagely murdered, unidentified man leads ACC Steph Tanner to take a professional risk in appointing Stirling to lead the investigation. But with no witnesses, no forensic evidence and more theories than investigators, Stirling’s investigation has too many ‘loose threads’ as a complex, interwoven history of deception, betrayal and sadistic relationships is revealed.

Is the investigation as complex as it appears, or is there a simpler explanation? With time the enemy, and still traumatised by the boy’s death, can Stirling bring the killer, or killers, to justice before his career is ruined?

Things are difficult enough when DC Helen Williams joins the investigation, a determined woman intent on rekindling their past relationship. And could Ayesha, the beautiful lawyer Stirling has grown fond of, be connected to the murder? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I might have been so busy my reading has slowed down but I have still managed to acquire some new books.

I have a new audible book Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea which will be over in no time as I march around the island to make sure the wedding dress fits!

Blurb

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.

As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.

Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life. Amazon

From NetGalley I have a copy of the latest in the Detective Kim Stone series, Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons which will be published on 19 October.

Blurb

Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet. Amazon

As well as a copy of Murder by the Book by Claire Harman which will be published on 25 October 2018.

Blurb

Early in the morning of 6 May 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a footman answered the door to a panic-stricken maid from a nearby house. Her elderly master, Lord William Russell, was lying in bed with his throat cut so deeply that the head was almost severed.

The whole of London, from monarch to street urchins, was gripped by the gory details of the Russell murder, but behind it was another story, a work of fiction, and a fierce debate about censorship and morality. Several of the key literary figures of the day, including Dickens and Thackeray, were drawn into the controversy, and when Lord William’s murderer claimed to having been inspired by the season’s most sensational novel, it seemed that a great deal more was on trial than anyone could have guessed.

Bringing together much previously unpublished material from a wide range of sources, Claire Harman reveals the story of the notorious Russell murder case and its fascinating connections with the writers and literary culture of the day. Gripping and eye-opening, Murder by the Book is the untold true story of a surprisingly literary crime. Amazon

I have also purchased a copy of The Lies We Told by Camilla Way because I’d enjoyed the author’s previous novel Watching Evie so much.


Blurb

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late? Amazon

tbr-watch

Since I last reported my figures I’ve read 7 books and somehow in the same time I’ve acquired 4! The total is therefore down to the record low of 163!
Physical Books – 109
Kindle Books – 40
NetGalley Books –13
Audio Books –1

 

I have also added 4 reviews of my own books and I spent 2 tokens so the complicated maths gives me 3 1/3 book tokens to spend.