Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Contemporary Fiction 4*s
Contemporary Fiction
4*s

I have loved in varying degrees the five other books I’ve read by this author with last year’s offering, Little Lies being one of my favourite reads of the year, so I was a little surprised that I didn’t instantly warm to this book but happily I soon became engrossed about this tale of middle-class life in Sydney Australia.

Truly Madly Guilty charts the life of three couples; quiet Erika and Oliver are neighbours to the more flamboyant Vid and Tiffany so when Vid in a party spirit invites them to a barbeque on a day Erika’s best, and childhood friend, Clementine and her husband Sam are visiting they feel they should accept. Part of what makes the opening to this book so slow is the use of Liane Moriaty’s favoured device, we all know something huge happened at the barbeque but what the event was is shrouded in mystery, a very heavily signposted mystery at that.

Having got over the frustration of wanting to know what on earth happened in Vid and Tiffany’s back garden I concentrated on the smaller secrets that are revealed. Sam and Clementine have an enviable lifestyle, especially now that Sam has a new job. Their two daughters Holly and Ruby are beautiful and healthy although come with the associated niggles that children bring with them. Clementine is a cellist and about to audition for her dream job. Erika and Oliver are the besotted god-parents to the two girls and have both come from more troubled backgrounds than their friends. But all is not as it seems, Erika and Clementine don’t have a simply breezy friendship, rather these childhood playmates have a complex relationship. Of course Tiffany and Vid are oblivious to this fact and are enjoying the barbeque with gusto.

So once more we have a novel with a psychological bent concentrated at least in part on female friendship. The author, as always has a sharp eye (and pen) which details the everyday events that reveal something far deeper than is initially expected. Sadly, I didn’t find the humour, which is, for me, part of the pull of this author’s books but you really can’t fault her on her observations. The characters, their squabbles, their passions and their secret fears are all absolutely spot on. I felt I knew them all, I felt their guilt (yes this isn’t a title with no relation to the book!) as well as the more mundane emotions such as ambivalence, the author accurately writing about not only those things that are opposite ends of the spectrum of emotion but those middling ones which adds a real edge of realism which helps bring these people to life. And you should also be prepared for a whole heap of issues to keep you enthralled including IVF, hoarding, alcoholism, lap-dancing to name a few! Liane Moriarty’s dialogue was as sharp as ever, the exchanges between Erika and Clementine particularly really lift the book to another level.

The event when it is revealed is a good one, with all the characters behaving and displaying the whole range of emotions imaginable. So whilst this may not be my favourite book by this author I was left satisfied at the end of the book, with it making far more of an impression on me than I suspected it would.

I’d like to thank the publishers Michael Joseph for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book. This unbiased review is my thank you to them.

Published UK: 28 July 2016
Publisher: Michael Joseph
No of Pages 480
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

Other books by Liane Moriarty

Little Lies (2014)
The Husband’s Secret (2013)
The Hypnotist’s Love Story (2011)
What Alice Forgot (2010)
The Last Anniversary (2006)
Three Wishes (2004)

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (July 27)

This Week In Books

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

Still struggling with reading hence the missing This Week in Books for last Wednesday, which was identical to that of the week before!

At the moment I’m reading Liane Moriarty’s latest novel Truly, Madly, Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

Blurb

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think.
For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again. But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them. Which is how it all spirals out of control… NetGalley

I have recently finished The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells, a deep and chilling psychological thriller which was published on 26 July 2016

The Beauty of the End

Blurb

“I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .”
So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose–and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.
While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April’s name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.
Or so everyone believes. . .
Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love. NetGalley

Next I am planning on reading I See You by Claire Mackintosh

I See You

Blurb

You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you’re going.
You’re not alone.
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . . NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Any of these catch your eye?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (May 29)

Weekly Wrap Up

 

Last Week on the Blog

I started the week with a review for one a contemporary fiction story with a dark edge; The Accidental Life of Greg Millar written by Aimee Alexander

On Tuesday I was part of the blog tour for Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica, an excellent read in this, her third book. You can tell I like this author as her second book, Pretty Baby is sitting in my header picture!

And on Wednesday I kept you updated on my reading choices for the week which include two big names; Mark Billingham and Sharon Bolton.

My review of My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry went up on publication day 26 May 2016

Friday saw me deciding what books I am going to read for Cathy 746 #20 Books of Summer – there is still time for you all to join in – Part 1 of my list is here

And I finished the week with what is probably my favourite crime fiction read of the year; Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton received the full five stars from yours truly in this review.

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News

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed my reading has slowed to a snail-like pace, this week’s excuse is I took a trip to London with my darling daughter, a birthday present to her and to get wedding accoutrements, including the dreaded hat for me. Thanks to a wonderful woman in Debenhams on Oxford Street the hat has now arrived in Jersey. The weekend saw us walk over 20,000 steps both days so exercise targets were met too.

Charlie and the Chocolate factory

In the evening we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. It was a wonderful production with the starring role(s) definitely going to the Oompa Loompas!

Sadly the Muffin Man wasn’t in sight…
Do you know the muffin man?
The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man
Who lives in Drury Lane?

On Tuesday I was thrilled to spot a tweet from Catherine Ryan Howard advertising Distress Signals with a quote from my review!

#DistressSignals

I also spotted this on Amazon for Little Bones by Sam Blake so I’m feeling just a little bit famous this week.

Product Description

Incredibly engrossing with many twists & turns along the way…I would happily recommend Little Bones to anyone looking for a fast paced crime thriller Swirl and Thread Blog The start of an exciting new crime series introducing fearless Detective Cat Connolly… one of the year’s most thrilling reads. Easons Little Bones is a fascinating story about old sins and family secrets. I found the book engrossing from the start, thanks to both the interesting story and its characters. — Magdalena Johansson A Bookaholic Swede Blog I was incredibly impressed by Little Bones. If you like your crime fiction to involve the more traditional police procedural, one that has a little more complexity to the generic, this may well be a book that you will really enjoy. Cleopatra Loves Books Blog Little Bones has suspense, mystery, suspicious death, festering families, a brilliantly executed plot, PLUS characters with plenty of flavour Little Bookness Lane Blog

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Stacking the Shelves

I’ve had a few additions to the TBR this week – with some great approvals from NetGalley

First up Truly Madly Guilty by the outstanding Liane Moriarty which will be published by Penguin UK on 28 July 2016.

Truly Madly Guilty

Blurb

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think.
For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.
But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.
Which is how it all spirals out of control… NetGalley

Another one from Twenty7 Books is Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan which isn’t out until 3 November 2016.

Cut to the Bone

Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. And she’s missing. She’s an adult – nothing to worry about, surely? Until the video’s uploaded. Ruby, in the dirt and pleading for her life.
Who better to head up the investigation than the Met’s rising star, Detective Inspector Kate Riley? She’s leading a shiny new team, high-powered, mostly female and with the best resources money can buy. It’s time for them to prove what they can do. Alongside her, Detective Superintendent Zain Harris – poster boy for multiracial policing and the team’s newest member – has his own unique contribution to make. But can Kate wholly trust him and when he’s around, can she trust herself?
Ruby’s millions of fans are hysterical about what may have happened to her. The press is having a field day and as the investigation hurtles out of control in the glare of publicity, it becomes clear that the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much, much darker than anyone could have imagined in their worst nightmares. And the videos keep coming . . . NetGalley

And… drum roll… I have a copy of Gilly Macmillan’s second book; The Perfect Girl which has already been published in eBook format but will be out in paperback on 25 August 2016 by Little Brown Book Group.

The Perfect Girl

Blurb

To everyone who knows her now, Zoe Maisey – child genius, musical sensation – is perfect. Yet several years ago Zoe caused the death of three teenagers. She served her time, and now she’s free.
Her story begins with her giving the performance of her life.
By midnight, her mother is dead.
The Perfect Girl is an intricate exploration into the mind of a teenager burdened by brilliance, and a past that she cannot leave behind. NetGalley

In the post I have a copy of Intrusion by Mary McCluskey a psychological thriller that is being published on 1 July 2016 by Little A. Intrusion

Blurb

Kat and Scott Hamilton are dealing with the hardest of losses: the death of their only child. While Scott throws himself back into his law practice in Los Angeles, Kat is hesitant to rejoin the workplace and instead spends her days shell-shocked and confused, unable to focus.
When an unwelcome face from Kat’s past in England emerges—the beautiful and imposing Sarah Cherrington—Kat’s marriage is thrown into a tailspin. Now wealthy beyond anything she could have imagined as a girl, Sarah appears to have everything she could need or want. But Sarah has an agenda and she wants one more thing. Soon Kat and Scott are caught up in her devious games and power plays.
Against the backdrops of Southern California and Sussex, in spare and haunting prose, Mary McCluskey propels this domestic drama to its chilling conclusion. Goodreads

I also have a copy of Sabine Durrant’s latest book, Lie With Me which came unbidden ahead of publication on 5 July 2016 by Mulholland Books. I strongly suspect I was sent this ARC because I enjoyed the author’s previous books Under Your Skin and Remember Me This Way, both books that I awarded five stars.

Lie With Me

Blurb

It starts with a lie. The kind we’ve all told – to a former acquaintance we can’t quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home.
And the next thing you know, you’re having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday – swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of…
Which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you’re trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you – by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be, it’s the lies that cause the real damage…
… well, by then, it could just be too late. Amazon

And if that wasn’t enough for someone who isn’t acquiring new books… I have also bought a kindle copy of The Mistake by Wendy James. This book was originally bought to my attention by the marvellous Margot Kinberg at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, if you haven’t done so I highly recommend visiting her blog!

The Mistake

Blurb

We all have secrets . . . Jodie Garrow is a teenager from the wrong side of the tracks when she falls pregnant. Scared, alone and desperate to make something of her life, she adopts out the baby illegally and tells nobody. Twenty-five years on, Jodie has built a new life and a new family. But when a chance meeting brings the adoption to the notice of the authorities, Jodie becomes caught in a nationwide police investigation, and the centre of a media witch hunt. What happened to Jodie’s baby? And where is she now? The fallout from Jodie’s past puts her whole family under the microscope, and her husband and daughter must re-examine everything they believed to be true. Potent, provocative and compulsively readable, The Mistake is the story of a mother and the media’s powerful role in shaping our opinions. With astonishing insight, it cuts to the heart of what makes a family, and asks us whether we can ever truly know another person. ‘The kind of novel that will have you second-guessing your own reactions and skilfully exposes the troubling expectations we resort to in the absence of hard evidence. Amazon

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Oh dear oh dear! Since my last count I have read 3 books,  – I have however gained 6 books – the total this week is now standing at a shocking 181 books!
95 physical books
69 e-books
17 books on NetGalley

 

What have you found to read this week?