Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Never List – Koethi Zan

Psychological Thriller 4*'s
Psychological Thriller
4*’s

Sarah lives in her pristine apartment rarely venturing beyond the safety of the front door.  Why?  Well ten years before the story begins she was one of four girls who were kept and tortured by Jack Derber in the cellar of his house. Having escaped from three years of hell Sarah now has a problem, Jack Derber is up for parole and together with the two other survivors from the time in the cellar, Sarah needs to engage with the board to keep him in prison where he belongs.  Do the letters that Jack has been sending from prison hold clues as to what his motive for keeping them really were?

This book has a fantastic opening, Sarah and her best friend Jennifer devise The Never List as children, a way to keep them safe from the vagaries of the world but by the time the two go to college it has become something of an obsession.  What is shocking after all the edicts on how to keep them safe is that they are captured by the Psychology Professor at their college.

This is a book full of suspense but what I enjoyed most was the psychological effects, not only after the girls are released, but how they behaved towards each other in captivity.  This is one dark book that illustrates the survivor mechanism in action.  As Sarah investigates she seeks out those who knew Jack and her trail leads her into a wide variety of characters, none of whom seem to be particularly pleasant. Some of these secondary characters seemed a little clichéd and two-dimensional but all had something to add to Sarah’s determined investigation.

I found the story slowed somewhat in the middle section, but the ending gets top marks from me as Sarah is determined to find out what happened to her friend Jennifer who has not been since she was captured….

A thrilling book with loads of action which has had the honour of being on Richard & Judy Book Club spring list.  I received this book from the publisher Random House UK in return for this honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (January 29)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading The Book of You by Claire Kendal, if this book continues the way it has started it may well be my favourite fiction read of 2014 (so far)  I’m enjoying the two stories in one approach which Claire Kendal has employed for this book.

The Book of You


Blurb

His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go.
Clarissa’s only escape from this harrowing nightmare is inside a courtroom–where she is a juror on a trial involving a victim whose experiences eerily parallel her own. There she finds some peace and even makes new friends, including an attractive widower named Robert, whose caring attentions make her feel desired and safe. But as a disturbingly violent crime unfolds in the courtroom, Clarissa realizes that to survive she must expose Rafe herself. Conceiving a plan, she begins collecting the evidence of Rafe’s madness to use against him–a record of terror that will force her to relive every excruciating moment she desperately wants to forget. Proof that will reveal the twisted, macabre fairy tale that Rafe has spun around them . . . with an ending more horrifying than her darkest fears. Goodreads

I have just finished The Never List by Koethi Zan

theneverlist koethizan

This is one of those books that could scare you stupid if you aren’t careful. Two friends find themselves trapped in a cellar despite having a list of things to keep them safe, The Never List. My review will follow later this week.

My next read is going to be The Child’s Child by Barbara Vine

The Child's Child


Blurb

What sort of betrayal would drive a brother and sister apart?
When Grace and her brother Andrew inherit their grandmother’s house, they surprise few people by deciding to move in together. But they’ve always got on well and the London house is large enough to split down the middle.
There’s just one thing they’ve not taken into account though. What if one of them wants to bring a lover to the house? When Andrew’s partner James moves in, and immediately picks a fight about the treatment of gay men, the balance is altered – with almost fatal consequences. Amazon

I’m approaching this one with a degree of trepidation as I have a feeling it will disappoint, but I can’t not read this one as I have such affection for Barbara Vine, the author who first introduced me to psychological thrillers; Asta’s Book, The Brimstone Wedding and the Dark Adapted Eye, comfort reads that have served me well over the years!

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (January 22)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett

Stone Bruises

Blurb

Sean is on the run. We don’t know why and we don’t know from whom, but we do know he’s abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated, lonely part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women – daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it’s then that Sean’s problems really start…NetGalley

I have just finished a really enjoyable read The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing
Review to be posted later this week!

Blurb

Twenty years ago, college student Dani Lancing was kidnapped and brutally murdered. The killer was never found, and the case has long gone cold. Her parents, Patty and Jim, were utterly devastated, their marriage destroyed. While Jim fell apart, Patty was consumed by the unsolved case. She abandoned her journalism career and her marriage to spend every waking hour searching and plotting. She keeps contact with Tom, Dani’s childhood sweetheart, who has become a detective intent on solving murders like Dani’s. When he finds a lead that seems ironclad, he brings Patty in on it. After years of dead ends, her obsession is rekindled, and she will do anything for revenge, even become a killer herself-dragging her whole family into the nightmare once again, as lies and secrets are uncovered..Goodreads

Next I will be reading The Never List by Koethi Zan which I have on good authority is an excellent read, published by Random House on 1 January 2014

theneverlist koethizan

Blurb

NEVER GO OUT ALONE AFTER DARK
For years, Sarah and Jennifer kept the Never List: a list of things to be avoided at all costs.
NEVER GET IN THE CAR
But one night, they broke their own rules – with horrifying consequences.
NEVER TAKE RISKS
Sarah has spent ten years trying to forget her terrifying ordeal. But it seems the killer has not forgotten her…
NEVER TRUST ANYONE NetGalley

Posted in Books I have read, Books I want to Read

Richard and Judy Spring Books 2014

RandJ

I’m always interested to see what Richard and Judy pick for their reads and here is the spring list

click on the picture above to view the original announcement!

I have already read three of the offerings for this season, Apple Tree Yard made my top 10 choices for 2013

click on the book covers for my review

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Happily-married, middle-aged Yvonne has a random encounter with a complete stranger while she is on a formal visit to the Houses of Parliament. Within minutes of meeting him in the cafeteria there, she is having raw, passionate sex in a secluded corner of the ancient building WHSmith

and the other two were very close contenders

A Commonplace Killing by Sian Busby

Historical Crime 5*'s
Historical Crime
5*’s

A Commonplace Killing is exactly that – a grubby, tawdry sex murder committed in immediate post-war London. The author wonderfully re-creates the shabbiness, bombed-out, rationed-to-the-hilt atmosphere of the shattered capital and the grey, pinched lives of those who had survived Hitler’s war WHSmith

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Laugh-out-loud funny, this brilliant, witty, and beguiling story. Don Tillman, a scientist and geneticist, has rampant Asperger’s Syndrome – but he doesn’t know it WHSmith

Two of Richard and Judy’s choices had already made it to my TBR

Longbourn by Jo Baker

longbourn jobaker

Jo Baker writes utterly convincingly about the lives of servants labouring in the Longbourn of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice WHSmith

and Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield which has received some good reviews from fellow bloggers

sisterland curtissittenfeld

It’s an eerie tale of identical twin sisters who share a hidden gift. They are psychic, but one has chosen to bury her powers to lead a normal family life. The other is single and works as a medium. One day she predicts a violent earthquake in Missouri, where they live. Is she right? What does this mean for their lives? WHSmith

I’m off to take a closer look at The Never List by Koethi Zan

theneverlist koethizan

Two young women are kidnapped and imprisoned in a cellar for years by a psychopathic psychiatrist who uses them, and his other victims, for sadistic experiments…WHSmith

What are your thoughts on these choices for spring 2014?