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

The Mistake I Made – Paula Daly

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

Having really enjoyed Paula Daly’s previous two books, Just What Kind of Mother are You? And Keep Your Friends Close I didn’t even read the synopsis of The Mistake I Made before requesting a copy so I have to admit I didn’t expect to find myself in a twisted version of ‘An Indecent Proposal’, but once there, despite a couple of early misgivings about how realistic this storyline was, I soon found myself hooked.

Briefly Roz Toovey has found herself in a financial mess, she works hard as a physiotherapist (which was Paula Daly’s career before she provided far more of us with a way to relax) but due to unforeseeable events and her ex-husband Winston’s poor money management, now finds herself with debts coming out of her earholes. The answer is then handed to her, a reasonably attractive wealthy man offers her a large enough sum of money to spend the night with him.  Roz weighs up the fact that he is married, and to someone she has met, but that needs to be balanced against the fact that the money could help her and her nine-year old son George get back on their feet

There are many reasons why I love Paula Daly’s writing which is laced with humour and despite the issues which unfold you are never far from a character you’ve met in real life – here is an example from Roz’s practice manager, Wayne when she is in the middle of a session with a patient:

‘Did you call that insurance guy?’ Wayne asked.
‘What? No sorry. Slipped my mind again.’
Wayne sighed dramatically, rolled his eyes and spoke in the way one would when reprimanding a small child. ‘Get it sorted, Roz. Everyone else has had their assessments.’ He lowered his voice. ‘Without that assessment, you’re not fully protected. The clinic is not fully protected, unless –‘
I’ll do it. Promise. As soon as I’ve got a free minute.

One of the other reasons is the setting; all three of Paula Daly’s books have been set in the Lake District, this time in Hawkshead where Roz boards the ferry to travel backwards and forwards across Lake Windemere, we get a real feel of the place, not only the standard picturesque part but a feeling of community that such a setting engenders and for Roz her lifeline is her neighbours the fantastic Celia and Dennis who help her in the little ways that mean so much, especially with George who is running into trouble at school as Roz’s precarious money situation become too difficult to keep under wraps.

So even though I heaved a sigh at Roz’s naiveté and felt exasperated for her not having taken the most basic steps to right a situation that had been brewing (like a good northern cup of mashed tea) for some time, I soon bought into the storyline and as close to the edge of my seat as possible without falling off, as the drama unfolded in the most spectacular way. This book really does have a bit of everything with the balance of good and bad perfect, the timing of the next revelation impeccable keeping the tension maintained whilst being thoroughly entertained by the mundane on the very page:

I pulled a daisy from the grass and passed it to George. He rolled his eyes. Too girly.
‘What did you do at school today?’
‘Science,’ he said.
‘Did you do an experiment?’
‘We put white blocks into different bottles to see what would happen.’
‘Different bottles of what?’
He shrugged. ‘Milk and Coke and stuff.’
I remembered the experiment. It was used to demonstrate the rates of decay o teeth, the idea being kids would make wise choices when deciding what to drink. The thrust of it appeared to be lost on George.

If you haven’t tried this author you really should!

I’m delighted to have received my copy of this book from the publishers Random House UK ahead of the publication date of 27 August 2015 in return for my honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (August 19)

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 Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan and I’m still engrossed in the public’s reaction to Rachel Jenner, mother to missing Benedict, who is judged on her performance on the televised appeal for his return.

Burnt Paper Sky

See yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book

I have recently finished Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin – my review will follow shortly

Black-Eyed Susans
Blurb

In a grave under a patch of Black-eyed Susans, in a Texas field, a serial killer buries four girls. Three die. One survives. Sixteen-year-old Tessa, after several days with the three corpses, is traumatised. Her evidence in court results in a man being sentenced to death for murder. Tessa achieves a measure of normality and becomes a single mother and an artist.
Now, nearly 20 years later, Black-eyed Susans are freshly planted outside her window and she’s approached by lawyers trying to stop the imminent execution of the convicted man who is still on death row, claiming his innocence.
The story is narrated in alternate chapters by the Tessa of 1995, soon to be a witness at the man’s trial, and today’s Tessa, tormented by the thought that if the wrong man has been convicted, the real killer is free and a danger to her and her daughter. But, we learn gradually, that Tessa has been keeping secrets too. Amazon

Next I am planning on reading is The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly, I have loved her previous two books so I’m really looking forward to seeing what this one has in store.

The Mistake I Made

We all think we know who we are.
What we’re capable of.

Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. She’s also desperate.
Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by debt and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away.
But now a stranger has made her an offer. For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring her back from the edge.
Roz has a choice to make. NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (June 27)

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 haven’t shown you the recent additions to my shelves for the last couple of week and once again, seeing as I’ve been being good there seems to be quite a few!

From NetGalley I am delighted to have a copy of The Girls by Lisa Jewell, I really love this authors writing style and The House We  Grew Up In is a great example of her work.
The Girls

Blurb

You live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses.
You’ve known your neighbours for years and you trust them. Implicitly.
You think your children are safe.
But are they really?
Midsummer night: a thirteen-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible? NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Insanity of Murder by Felicity Young which features Doctor Dody McCleland. I have the first of this series, An Anatomy of Death on my 20 Books of Summer challenge which I will need to read first.

The Insanity of Murder

Blurb

To Doctor Dody McCleland, the gruesome job of dealing with the results of an explosion at the Necropolis Railway Station is testing enough. But when her suffragette sister Florence is implicated in the crime, matters worsen and Dody finds her loyalty cruelly divided. Can she choose between love for her sister and her secret love for Chief Inspector Matthew Pike, the investigating officer on the case?
Dody and Pike’s investigations lead them to a women’s rest home where patients are not encouraged to read or think and where clandestine treatments and operations are conducted in an unethical and inhumane manner. Together Dody and Pike must uncover such foul play before their secret liaisons become public knowledge – and before Florence becomes the rest home’s next victim. NetGalley

I am also lucky enough to have a copy of The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly who wrote the stunning Just What Kind of Mother Are You? and Keep Your Friends Close.

The Mistake I Made

Blurb

We all think we know who we are.
What we’re capable of.

Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. She’s also desperate.
Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by debt and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away.
But now a stranger has made her an offer. For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring her back from the edge.
Roz has a choice to make.

Lastly I have a copy of Preserve The Dead by Brian McGilloway

Preserve The Dead

Blurb

Detective Sergeant Lucy Black is visiting her father, a patient in a secure unit in Gransha Hospital on the banks of the River Foyle. He’s been hurt badly in an altercation with another patient, and Lucy is shocked to discover him chained to the bed for safety. But she barely has time to take it all in, before an orderly raises the alarm – a body has been spotted floating in the river below…
The body of an elderly man in a grey suit is hauled ashore: he is cold dead. He has been dead for several days. In fact a closer examination reveals that he has already been embalmed. A full scale investigation is launched – could this really be the suicide they at first assumed, or is this some kind of sick joke?
Troubled and exhausted, Lucy goes back to her father’s shell of a house to get some sleep; but there’ll be no rest for her tonight. She’s barely in the front door when a neighbour knocks, in total distress – his wife’s sister has turned up badly beaten. Can she help? NetGalley

I also have added a few books to my own physical bookshelf starting with Capital Crimes: London Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards following this enticing review from Fiction Fan

Capital Crimes London Mysteries

Blurb

With its fascinating mix of people – rich and poor, British and foreign, worthy and suspicious – London is a city where anything can happen. The possibilities for criminals and for the crime writer are endless. London has been home to many of fiction’s finest detectives, and the setting for mystery novels and short stories of the highest quality. Capital Crimes is an eclectic collection of London-based crime stories, blending the familiar with the unexpected in a way that reflects the personality of the city.
Alongside classics by Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley and Thomas Burke are excellent and unusual stories by authors who are far less well known. The stories give a flavour of how writers have tackled crime in London over the span of more than half a century. Their contributions range from an early serial-killer thriller set on the London Underground and horrific vignettes to cerebral whodunits.
What they have in common is an atmospheric London setting, and enduring value as entertainment. Each story is introduced by the editor, Martin Edwards, who sheds light on the authors’ lives and the background to their writing. Amazon

Following my post looking at the books on my shelves that look at Women’s Lives I received many great recommendations and chose to start with this one from twitter buddy Poppy @poppypeacock; Nobody’s Child by Kate Adie

Nobody's Child

Blurb

What’s your name? Where were you born? What is your date of birth?
Simple questions that we are asked throughout our life – but what if you didn’t know the answers? Kate Adie uncovers the extraordinary, moving and inspiring stories of just such children – without mother or father, any knowledge of who they might be, or even a name to call their own.
With a curiosity inspired by her own circumstances as an adopted child, Kate shows how the most remarkable adults have survived the experience of abandonment.
From every perspective Kate Adie brings us a personal, moving and fascinating insight into the very toughest of childhood experiences – and shows what makes us who we really are. Amazon

My final addition has been on my radar for a while from a number of mentions around the blogosphere but this brilliant review by Guy Savage meant that I simply had to add This House of Grief by Helen Garner to my bookshelf.

This House of Grief

Blurb

On the evening of 4 September 2005, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother when his car plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven, and two, drowned. Was this an act of deliberate revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner’s obsession. She was in the courtroom every day of Farquharson’s trial and subsequent retrial, along with countless journalists and the families of both the accused and his former wife.
In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. At its core is a search for truth that takes author and reader through complex psychological terrain. Garner exposes, with great compassion, that truth and justice are as complex as human frailty and morality. 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