Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

While You Were Sleeping – Kathryn Croft

Psychological Fiction 4*s
Psychological Fiction
4*s

One of my chief pleasures in reading a ‘grip-lit’ novel is imagining what I would do in the same scenario posed, however the author had me stumped with this one, my imagination simply doesn’t allow me to believe that I would wake up in bed with the murdered body of a neighbour. That said, even though I wasn’t able to play the ‘what would I do?’ game, this book certainly had me reverting to the whodunit game with no problem at all!

Tara Logan wakes up next to her neighbour who has been stabbed, she remembered visiting the night before, her intent being to see his wife, she also remembered drinking some wine, but after that nothing. How she happened to be in the marital bed, naked, but fortunately with no blood on her she can’t imagine. She makes a choice, and runs home pretending that whatever it was that happened, never had.

Luckily for Tara, she is alone in the house, her husband away on a work trip, her daughter staying with a friend and her son is with his grandparents. This rare empty house was so that Tara could submit a work of art for a national prize but she can’t paint she’s too busy worrying what Lee’s wife will say when she returns from her hen-do and hoping that no-one saw her sprinting across the close to the safety of her own home – but wait, it might not be safe, after all, if she didn’t murder Lee someone else definitely knows she was at the scene.

Of course before too long Lee’s body is found and the police begin their investigation and Tara has to stay one step ahead. She no longer just has to lie to her husband, her children and by omission to her parents and her sister, she has to come up with a plausible account of her evening, one that didn’t involve downing a bottle of red wine or two with Lee while his wife was out of town.

To be a successful read in this genre, by necessity most of the characters need flaws, and not little bitty ones either, you need to be far too gullible, or obviously have a loose association with the truth or better still have some form of guilty secret that surfaces at inappropriate moments. While You Were Sleeping is no different, if I were living on this close, particularly with the organisers of the local neighbourhood watch, I might struggle, but Kathryn Croft keeps them all just the right side of outright nuts to keep the number of suspects pegged at practically every character whilst allowing the story to have one foot in a twisted sort of reality. To this end we have the busybodies, the media frenzy, some sibling rivalry, some stalking and some adultery – enough to keep even the most ardent issue junkie sated.

So in brief, I loved this book, the story is certainly compelling and I was invested in every aspect; I wanted to know not only who killed Lee, but why, how when and how on earth did they expect to get away with it? This is a book to set aside time for, because although you want to ask the major questions, you probably don’t want to dwell too much on some of the other aspects of the book, particularly those surrounding the police investigation. But that’s a minor quibble and as a fiction reader as long as the plot rattles along and doesn’t introduce outright implausible happenings, I’m prepared to enjoy the ride, and what a ride this book was.

I’d like to thank the publishers Bookouture for providing me with a copy of While You Were Sleeping. This review is my thank you to them, and of course the author Kathryn Croft

First Published UK: 16 November 2016
Publisher: Bookouture
No of Pages: 324
Genre: Psychological Thriller – Grip Lit
Amazon UK
Amazon US

This is the third book I’ve read by this author

Kathryn Croft – Books I’ve Reviewed

The Girl With No Past
The Girl You Lost

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (November 2)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy 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’ve just started reading While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft which is one of those psychological thrillers that promises to make compelling reading.

while-you-were-sleeping

You can read an excerpt and the synopsis in yesterday’s post

I have just finished Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel which is a collection of five novellas examining the lives of those touched by manipulators extraordinaire!

manipulated-lives

Blurb

Five stories – Five Lives. Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance? Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim. In this collection of short novellas you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth. Amazon

Next up is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. It’s a while since I’ve read anything by this author and the subject matter of this one has me greatly intrigued.

Small Great Things

Blurb

When a new-born baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.
What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.
Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.
It is about opening your eyes. Amazon

So that’s my week sorted – What are you reading this week? Do share your links and thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 1)

First Chapter
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

This week my opening paragraph comes from While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft, an author who wowed me with The Girl With No Past

while-you-were-sleeping

Blurb

You wake up to find the man beside you is dead.
He is not your husband. This is not your bed.
What do you do?

Tara Logan lives a quiet life with her husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.

But her peace is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them.
And worse – he has been stabbed to death.

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara stays silent, fearing the truth will rip her family apart.

But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara soon realises that someone in her life knows what really happened to Lee. She must get to the truth before they do.

Tara made a mistake … but will one night cost her everything? NetGalley

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

PROLOGUE

I open my eyes and know immediately something is wrong. Nothing is familiar. The dark blinds, shutting out al but a tiny sliver of sunlight, are not mine, and neither is the black silk sheet covering my body, nor the too-soft pillow beneath my head.
This is not my bedroom.

PART 1
CHAPTER ONE
24 HOURS EARLIER

I lie in bed and watch Noah pack. He is methodical and precise, ticking off items on the ‘To Pack’ list he created days ago on his phone. Everything is placed neatly inside his immaculate suitcase, every inch of space utilised to its full potential. I smile to myself. This is Noah all over. The complete contrast to me.

This extract is taken from an uncorrected proof copy

I like the symmetry between the lying in bed 24 hours previous to what we know from the synopsis is a shocking opener.

What do you think? Have you read it? Would you like to? Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below.