Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

You Belong To Me – Samantha Hayes

Psychological Thriller 2*'s
Psychological Thriller
2*’s

This is the third book in the series featuring DI Lorraine Fisher, the first the excellent Until You’re Mine which was followed by Before You Die.

In this outing the DI is stressed out, self-medicating with codeine and not coping, so much so that her husband Andy is bought in to give direction on her latest case of a suspected serial killer after women who have recently complained of being stalked found dead. Lorraine Fisher’s sense of failing is compounded by the fact that she had advised the first victim that there was nothing she could do without more details.

In another strand of the story Isabel is in India when she receives word that her parents have been killed in a car crash, despite her obvious reluctance she is forced to return to England to deal with matters. We know Isobel is scared of something but we are not sure what…. But it’s all ok there is a friendly face in the form of Ben who helps her to arrange her flight home, and then offers her a place to stay. Some might say that if you were that scared that you’d disappeared to another continent that you might not be so willing to trust a stranger but not Isobel, she’s wary but feels she has no options open to her.

To be honest I found this book verging on the ridiculous in terms of plot, I couldn’t invest in either the DI or Isobel as both made crashingly stupid decisions time and time again which just served to aggravate me. I understand that this is fiction and some suspension of belief is required but this plot stretched my credulity to extremes not warranted, especially in view of the fact that this book had a great premise. However as the book progressed, the credulity snapped! There seems to be a trend to put massive twists into each and every psychological thriller and where I am full of praise for those who insert these seamlessly; badly done it leaves this reader feeling at best cheated and at worst intensely irritated by a total change of direction which doesn’t seem to connect to what has been written before, sadly any twists in this book fell into the latter category.

The realism aside there weren’t any characters I really believed in, DI Fisher was morose and had morphed from the competent officer we first met in Until You’re Mine to a scatty mess which was a shame, if she could have carried out the investigation she did within the team setting I think it would have balanced out some of the unrealistic elements, instead everyone in this book is full of angst of some description or another.

I’ve been a fan of Samantha Hayes for years however I was doubtful about the plot in Before You Die and even more so with this one. If you haven’t read some of her earlier works I’d suggest you start there where she let her writing stand up for itself without trying to add too many bells and whistles which in my opinion are out of tune.
I’d like to thank the publishers Random House UK for allowing me to read this book which will be published today, 12 March 2015.

Previous Books by Samantha Hayes

Blood Ties – January 1992. A baby girl is left alone for a moment. Long enough for a mother to dash into a shop. Long enough for a child to be taken.

Unspoken – Mary has a past Julia knows nothing about, and it’s come back to haunt her.

Someone Else’s Son – What would you do if your teenage son was stabbed to death in the school playground?

Tell-Tale – story of three women bound together by a shocking secret…

Until You’re Mine – You’re alone. You’re vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost …

Before You Die – It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.

Read a synopsis of the first five books here

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 16)

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).

I’m still getting books from NetGalley and this week has bought a few interesting looking books, first up is The Exit by Helen FitzGerald . Helen FitzGerald is the author of The Cry which was possibly one of the most disturbing book I read in 2013, so when I realised there was a new book out….. well!

The Exit

Blurb

23-year-old Catherine is mainly interested in Facebook and flirting, but she reluctantly takes a job at a local care home after her mother puts her foot down – and soon discovers that her new workplace contains many secrets.
One of the residents at the home, 82-year-old Rose, is convinced that something sinister is going on in Room 7 and that her own life is under threat. But Rose has dementia – so what does she actually know, and who would believe her anyway?
As Catherine starts investigating Rose’s allegations, terrible revelations surface about everyone involved. Can Catherine find out what’s really going on before it’s too late? NetGalley

I requested the next book based upon some wonderful reviews in the blogosphere and as St Malo is one of our favourite places to go for a weekend visit, this book had too much going for it to resist a click of that request button. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See

Blurb

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work. NetGalley

I have a copy of You Belong To Me by Samantha Hayes whose last two books are 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

Lastly from Amazon Vine I have a beautiful book, the picture really doesn’t do it justice and the story sounds just right to read on a cold and windy day: The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley

The Book of Lost and Found

Blurb

In many ways, my life has been rather like a record of the lost and found. Perhaps all lives are like that.
It’s when life started in earnest
HERTFORDSHIRE, 1928
The paths of Tom and Alice collide against a haze of youthful, carefree exuberance. And so begins a love story that finds its feet by a lake one silvery moonlit evening . . .
It’s when there were no happy endings
PARIS, 1939
Alice is living in the City of Light, but the pain of the last decade has already left its mark. There’s a shadow creeping across Europe when she and Thomas Stafford – now a world famous artist – find each other once more . . .
It’s when the story begins
LONDON, 1986
Bequeathed an old portrait from her grandmother, Kate Darling uncovers a legacy that takes her to Corsica, Paris and beyond. And as the secrets of time fall away, a love story as epic as it is life-changing slowly reveals itself . . . Amazon

So there are my finds! What have you found to read this week?