Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Shut Eye – Belinda Bauer

Crime Fiction 4*'s
Crime Fiction
3*s

Five footprints made before the concrete had set in the garage forecourt are all that is left of Daniel Buck. Daniel’s mother Anna has made it her mission to keep the footprints clean while simultaneously blaming her husband, Daniel’s father, James for leaving the door open on the morning of his disappearance.
The Shut Eye in the title refers to the psychic, Richard Latham that Anna visits hoping for a lead to find Daniel who holds his meetings in a church hall where is throws out random names to his audience sat on the edge of their plastic chairs.

As always Belinda Bauer’s writing is an absolute delight, even in such a tragic tale involving two missing children she manages to inject some wry humour, much needed when Anna’s grief is so raw and so perfectly depicted. With the shut eye busy trying to track down a missing dog he is unwilling to help Anna, something happened on a previous case which he is unwilling to revisit. Jack Marvel is the detective in charge in another missing child young Edie Evans. He is a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t believe in psychics and the detective who we first met in Dark Side, haunted by Edie Evans, a twelve-year-old girl who he has been trying to find for a year, the only clue being her bicycle. With Jack’s superior officer stalling the investigation into Richard Latham more difficult than need be, having engaged the psychic to find his wife’s lost dog it is only a matter of time before relations between the two come to a head.

The story is well-constructed with plenty of great observations but I found the psychic element off-putting because I simply didn’t believe the visions that drove much of the plot forward. Where Belinda Bauer’s excels is in depicting people and there were many varied characters populating this book, from the hysterical garage owner who ‘fired’ his hapless mechanic over and over again to appease his clients to the brilliantly self-effacing Emily Aguda the black policewoman who keeps her sexuality hidden to avoid any further reasons for her bosses to keep her on the desk rather than out catching criminals as she wants to.

If unlike me you aren’t put off by the psychic element you will find this to be another excellent novel by a talented writer whose plots are ingenious, the everyday details meticulously yet not clumsily inserted into the prose and a pace that kept even this disbeliever turning the pages at a rate to find out what really happened the day Daniel left his footprints in the cement. This isn’t an easy book to read, grief-stricken Anna is only too realistic which are cleverly depicted by her actions rather than her words and all the more distressing because of that.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the publishers Random House UK who allowed me to read a copy of this book ahead of its publication on 12 March 2015.

Previous Books by Belinda Bauer

Blacklands
Darkside
Finders Keepers
Rubbernecker
The Facts of Life and Death

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (March 3)

 

Kindle,jpg

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

The Shut Eye

Blurb

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
And now they are all his mother has left.
Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse? Amazon


My Teaser

The man who’d been seen on TV was a big disappointment. Richard Latham was stocky and middle-aged, wearing thick glasses and beige slacks, and when he walked on to the small raised plinth that was supposed to be a stage, he bounced along on his tiptoes with the exaggerated gait of a puppet on strings. Anna thought there must be something wrong with his feet or legs.
It was comical, but it was also a little bit disturbing.

What do you think? Would you like to know more?

Please share your thoughts and/or links to your teasers in the comments box below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Musing Mondays (March 2)

Musing Mondays

Hosted by Should Be Reading
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

I am currently reading The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer. I’m a big fan of this author but I have to confess I’m not entirely sure of this book just yet so I need to read more because she hasn’t let me down yet!

The Shut Eye

Blurb

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
And now they are all his mother has left.
Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse? Goodreads

I have just finished the compelling non-fiction book The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath by Jane Robbins which cleverly wove the period background into the investigation of Spilsbury’s prowess and the investigation into the crime.

My review will be published later this week

The Magnificent Spilsbury

Blurb

Bessie Mundy, Alice Burnham and Margaret Lofty are three women with one thing in common. They are spinsters and are desperate to marry. Each woman meets a smooth-talking stranger who promises her a better life. She falls under his spell, and becomes his wife. But marriage soon turns into a terrifying experience.
In the dark opening months of the First World War, Britain became engrossed by ‘The Brides in the Bath’ trial. The horror of the killing fields of the Western Front was the backdrop to a murder story whose elements were of a different sort. This was evil of an everyday, insidious kind, played out in lodging houses in seaside towns, in the confines of married life, and brought to a horrendous climax in that most intimate of settings – the bathroom.
The nation turned to a young forensic pathologist, Bernard Spilsbury, to explain how it was that young women were suddenly expiring in their baths. This was the age of science. In fiction, Sherlock Holmes applied a scientific mind to solving crimes. In real-life, would Spilsbury be as infallible as the ‘great detective’ Amazon

Next on the list, although I have been going off-piste recently, is You Belong To Me by Samantha Hayes, another psychological suspense novel featuring DI Lorraine Fisher from Until You’re Mine and Before You Die

You Belong To Me

Blurb

Fleeing the terrors of her former life, Isabel has left England, and at last is beginning to feel safe.
Then a letter shatters her world, and she returns home determined not to let fear rule her life any more.
But she’s unable to shake off the feeling that someone who knows her better than she knows herself may be following her.
Watching. Waiting.
Ready to step back into her life and take control all over again. NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments box below.

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (January 9)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

It’s been a while since my last Friday Finds and I have some great additions to share with you. Through NetGalley I have been lucky enough to receive copies from three authors whose previous books I’ve enjoyed.

Firstly, Second Life by S J Watson, the author of Before I Go To Sleep which I awarded 4 stars to back in 2011 and has recently been made into a film.

Second Life

Blurb

She loves her husband. She’s obsessed by a stranger.
She’s a devoted mother. She’s prepared to lose everything.
She knows what she’s doing. She’s out of control.
She’s innocent. She’s guilty as sin.
She’s living two lives. She might lose both . . NetGalley

Second Life is being published by Random House UK on 12 February 2015

Secondly, Follow The Leader by Mel Sherratt is being published by Amazon on 10 February 2015 and is the second in the DS Allie Shenton series, a shame because I haven’t read the first one, Taunting the Dead although I did enjoy Watching Over You last year

So I purchased Taunting The Dead Taunting The Dead

Blurb

Nine out of ten murders are committed by someone the victim knows. So when Steph Ryder has her head bashed in within earshot of her family and friends, D.S. Allie Shenton begins her investigation close to home.
Soon the lies, backtracking, and secrets multiply as each of the suspects tries to cover up their actions on that fateful night. Before long, Allie homes in on Steph’s ambitious and powerful husband, Terry. Convinced he’s hiding something, she interviews him again and again—only to find that she is falling, despite herself, for his smooth charms.
As the trail grows hotter, along with Allie’s feelings, the web of deceit pulls tighter and more bodies begin to pile up. Allie must race against time to uncover the shocking truth before she becomes the killer’s next victim. Goodreads

… to enjoy Follow The Leader

Follow The Leader

Blurb

A man’s body is found on a canal towpath. In his pocket, a magnetic letter in the shape of an E.
Days later, a second victim is found, this time with the letter V tucked into her clothing.
As the body count rises, the eerie, childlike clues point to a pattern that sends DS Allie Shenton and her colleagues into full alert.
The race is on. Allie and the team must work quickly to determine where the killer will strike next. The rules are simple but deadly—to catch the killer, they must follow the leader. NetGalley

And lastly The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer. Amazon kindly informs me that I purchased Blacklands by Belinda Bauer back in August 2010, I then read all of her subsequent novels including the fantastic Rubbernecker although I haven’t yet read The Facts of Life and Death which was published in 2014.

The Shut Eye

Blurb

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
And now they are all his mother has left.
Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse? NetGalley

The Shut Eye will be published by Random House UK on 12 March 2015

I also have a copy of I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh which is due to be published by Little Brown Book Group UK on 23 April 2015.

I Let You Go
Blurb

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world is shattered. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape her past, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of the cruel November night that changed her life for ever.
DI Ray Stevens is tasked with seeking justice for a mother who is living every parent’s worst nightmare. Determined to get to the bottom of the case, it begins to consume him as he puts both his professional and personal life on the line.
As Ray and his team seek to uncover the truth, Jenna, slowly, begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . . Goodreads

I have also been lucky enough to receive a proof copy of Sarah Hilary’s second book No Other Darkness after her wonderful debut Someone Else’s Skin, the first in the Marnie Rome series (and one of the top ten reviews most read by you guys)

No Other Darkness

Blurb

No Other Darkness finds Marnie on a case that hauntingly echoes her own family tragedy. Detective Inspector Marnie Rome and her partner Detective Sergeant Noah Jake are investigating the recent discovery of two dead boys in a bunker beneath a London garden. Terry and Beth, under whose garden the bodies were discovered, have two children of their own, and are also fostering a difficult boy named Clancy. Clancy reminds Marnie of her foster brother Stephen, who murdered her parents. Is Marnie’s past blinding her to the truth? Only one thing is certain: when Terry and Beth’s biological children vanish, Marnie can’t waste a moment finding them. Goodreads

So that concludes my finds for this week!

What have you found to read? Please share in the comments box below.