Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

This Is The Water – Yannick Murphy

Contemporary Fiction 4*'s
Contemporary Fiction
4*’s

This is a book about swimming, suicide, an unhappy marriage, rape and a killer so quite a bit to pack into one book! Yannick Murphy writes in a stylistic way, with the words ‘This is…’ framing the time, place and emotions. It took me a while to get used to the repetition. The use of the second person in the present tense added to the unusual reading experience and at first I feared this was a novel that concentrated more on the style than the substance, I soon changed my mind.

Told mainly from the perspective of Annie, one of the ‘swim moms’ at the local competitive team a lot of the action takes place in the swimming facility. Annie is the mother to two daughters, in a marriage where she doesn’t feel valued and the sister of Thomas a man who committed suicide two years previously. Her thoughts are highly introspective as she reflects on Thomas and her marriage as she drives backwards and forwards to swimming practice or to away swimming meets where the highly competitive atmosphere seems far more important to the parents than most of the young swimmers. There are some truly awful characters and some less awful ones. This book has lots of layers which almost force you to slow down and savour, To learn about Chris, who is beautiful but worried that her husband Paul is having an affair, to find out what Mandy the pool facility cleaner who sweeps around with her mop, observing the parents is thinking, and to be appalled at what the strange man who watches the young swimmers might be planning to do.

When a young woman is found with her throat slit at local rest-stop, the atmosphere becomes tense and claustrophobic with the parents desperate to keep their daughters safe. Their characters become more exaggerated as they struggle to contain their fears, but although there is a mystery and a murderer to be found this book is so much more than a murder mystery.

There were parts of this book that felt very repetitive, I for one got that the specially designed ‘go-faster swimsuits’ were difficult to put on and endless descriptions of heaving these torturous outfits over young girls rears added little to the story. However the descriptions of Annie’s daughters sitting in the car after swimming, eating their snacks, reading their books and ignoring their mother and then out of the blue asking something startling is something that I expect will resonate with many parents.

So despite struggling through the first couple of chapters I soon became hooked. I wanted to know more about the killer but I also wanted to know how Annie was coping? Whether Chris’s husband Paul was having an affair? Who horrible Dinah was going to upset next, and how? The reason I cared was because they were characters that were recognisable but not turned into caricatures.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who would like to read something a little unusual with the warning that I think this may well be one of those books that you either love or hate. I for one will be looking out for more by this author.

I received my copy of this unique book from Amazon Vine in return for my honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (June 11)

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 a debut novel, This Is The Water by Yannick Murphy. This is a very stylistic book which if I’m honest I wasn’t sure whether there was substance to back up the writing at first but it has me hooked at the moment.

This Is The Water

Blurb

In a quiet New England community members of swim team and their dedicated parents are preparing for a home meet. The most that Annie, a swim-mom of two girls, has to worry about is whether or not she fed her daughters enough carbs the night before; why her husband, Thomas, hasn’t kissed her in ages; and why she can’t get over the loss of her brother who shot himself a few years ago. But Annie’s world is about to change. From the bleachers, looking down at the swimmers, a dark haired man watches a girl. No one notices him. Annie is busy getting to know Paul, who flirts with Annie despite the fact that he’s married to her friend Chris, and despite Annie’s greying hair and crow’s feet. Chris is busy trying to discover whether or not Paul is really having an affair, and the swimmers are trying to shave milliseconds off their race times by squeezing themselves into skin-tight bathing suits and visualizing themselves winning their races.
But when a girl on the team is murdered at a nearby highway rest stop-the same rest stop where Paul made a gruesome discovery years ago-the parents suddenly find themselves adrift. Paul turns to Annie for comfort. Annie finds herself falling in love. Chris becomes obsessed with unmasking the killer.
With a serial killer now too close for comfort, Annie and her fellow swim-parents must make choices about where their loyalties lie. As a series of startling events unfold, Annie discovers what it means to follow your intuition, even if love, as well as lives, could be lost. Goodreads

I have just finished Someone Else’s Wedding by Tamar Cohen. You can read my review by clicking on the cover.

someone else's wedding

Next I am going to read Little Mercies by Heather Gundenkauf. I”ve enjoyed this author’s previous books so I’m keen to see what this one has to offer.

Little Mercies

Blurb

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity;the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together. Goodreads

Please share your reads with me in the comments section below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (June 10)

Teasing Tuesday CB

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

their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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

My Teaser this week is from This Is The Water by Yannick Murphy

This Is The Water

Blurb

This is a novel about a woman. About a mother. About a marriage.
About a murder.
In the brightly lit public pool the killer swims and watches. Amongst the mothers cheering on their swim team daughters is Annie. Watching her two girls race, she’s thinking of other things. Her husband’s emotional distance. Her lost brother. The man she’s drawn to.
Then she learns a terrible secret. Now her everyday cares and concerns seem meaningless. Annie knows she has to act. Above all, she must protect her children.
Compulsively readable, it takes readers on a journey where none could guess the final outcome. Amazon

My Teaser

He has lines in his forehead so deep they could serve as stairs for a small doll. He has a washer and dryer in his kitchen, and when he eats meals he usually starts a load to wash or dry so that he has the sound of one of the machine’s drums turning to keep him company. As a killer, he has pride, he thinks, and does not want to be caught, the way so many experts think serial killers want to be.

Please share your link in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (May 2)

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).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Firstly I was delighted to be approved by Hodder & Stoughton to read a copy of The Ties That Bind by Erin Kelly after her last novel The Burning Air was one of my Top Ten Reads of 2013.

The Ties That Bind

Blurb

Could a soul, once sold, truly be redeemed?
Luke is a true crime writer in search of a story. When he flees to Brighton after an explosive break-up, the perfect subject lands in his lap: reformed gangster Joss Grand. Now in his eighties, Grand once ruled the Brighton underworld with his sadistic sidekick Jacky Nye – until Jacky washed up by the West Pier in 1968, strangled and thrown into the sea. Though Grand’s alibi seems cast-iron, Luke is sure there’s more to the story than meets the eye, and he convinces the criminal-turned-philanthropist to be interviewed for a book about his life.
Luke is drawn deeper into the mystery of Jacky Nye’s murder. Was Grand there that night? Is he really as reformed a character as he claims? And who was the girl in the red coat seen fleeing the murder scene? Soon Luke realises that in stirring up secrets from the past, he may have placed himself in terrible danger. Amazon

I have also got a copy of Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf, an author who has always provided me with a good tale…

Little Mercies

Blurb

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together. NetGalley

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of This Is The Water by Yannick Murphy

This Is The Water

Blurb

This is a novel about a woman. About a mother. About a marriage.
About a murder.
In the brightly lit public pool the killer swims and watches. Amongst the mothers cheering on their swim team daughters is Annie. Watching her two girls race, she’s thinking of other things. Her husband’s emotional distance. Her lost brother. The man she’s drawn to.
Then she learns a terrible secret.
Now her everyday cares and concerns seem meaningless. Annie knows she has to act. Above all, she must protect her children. Amazon

After reading FictionFan’s Book Reviews blog last week, which is always dangerous, there was a link to Bibliopotamus’ Book Reviews who had written an intriguing review of So Brilliantly Clever by Peter Graham click on the book cover to read the review

So Brilliantly Clever
Blurb

On June 22, 1954, teenage friends Juliet Hulme—better known as bestselling mystery writer Anne Perry—and Pauline Parker went for a walk in a New Zealand park with Pauline’s mother, Honora. Half an hour later, the girls returned alone, claiming that Pauline’s mother had had an accident. But when Honora Parker was found in a pool of blood with the brick used to bludgeon her to death close at hand, Juliet and Pauline were quickly arrested, and later confessed to the killing. Their motive? A plan to escape to the United States to become writers, and Honora’s determination to keep them apart. Their incredible story made shocking headlines around the world and would provide the subject for Peter Jackson’s Academy Award–nominated film, Heavenly Creatures.
A sensational trial followed, with speculations about the nature of the girls’ relationship and possible insanity playing a key role. Among other things, Parker and Hulme were suspected of lesbianism, which was widely considered to be a mental illness at the time. This mesmerizing book offers a brilliant account of the crime and ensuing trial and shares dramatic revelations about the fates of the young women after their release from prison. With penetrating insight, this thorough analysis applies modern psychology to analyze the shocking murder that remains one of the most interesting cases of all time. Amazon

So what have you found this week?