This section features books coming soon to a bookshop near you.
Publication Date: 27th July from Randomhouse UK Cornerstone
She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?
Then She Was Gone was a quality read as I’ve come to expect from Lisa Jewell – a beautifully twisted plot and entirely engaging characters with an emotional core that always leaves you slightly reeling
In this novel, a teenager goes missing – her parents fall apart but eventually things move on. Then a new man enters the picture with a daughter who looks incredibly like the missing girl – and things are turned upside down.
I like the way the author digs deep into the lives of her cast of characters, creating intricate relationships, many nuances and a healthy dose of reality. Laurel was a particularly sympathetic person to follow along with, she is so very human dealing with such a horrific loss and determined to find some way to come to terms with it. Lisa Jewell throws everything and the kitchen sink at her and all the way through you are rooting for her to discover the truth and some kind of peace.
Keeping things mostly unpredictable, the story flows outwards and back on itself, cleverly allowing certain things to come to light at well placed moments. It is both psychological thriller and family drama, a gorgeous mash up of the two which makes for a highly addictive read.
Overall excellent as ever and I have no hesitation recommending it.
You can Purchase “Then She Was Gone” HERE.
Publication Date: 13th July 2017 from Macmillan Childrens
It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, the same man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later she wakes up in a clearing just outside her hometown – alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the crime erased.
Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him too, though he does his best to hide the signs.
And as the world around them begins to spiral towards panic and destruction, the two troubled teens discover that people have been lying to them their whole lives . . .
I thoroughly enjoyed Nemesis – really fast read, thrilling and engaging, if with somewhat of a convoluted plot – but for me in a good way.
So poor Min gets murdered every other year on her birthday. Then POPS awake again, unharmed as if nothing has happened. An asteroid is hurtling towards the earth and strange weather is everywhere, the locals are acting strangely and well, that town is just plain weird! Then Brendan Reichs takes you on a journey towards certain understanding (although as this is part one its really just a set up for what promises to be a great part two) and as a reader you barely get to draw breath.
There are elements of everything I enjoy in a good YA tale here in Nemesis – the author kind of mashes things up, the romance is low level which frankly I prefer, too much gazing into each others eyes rather than dealing with the issues can get wearing – and Nemesis starts off as one thing and ends up as quite another.
I loved main protagonist Min who dealt with things reasonably logically, we have a few bad guys lurking around of various types, Min’s friend who just can’t keep his mouth shut and made me laugh, then Noah. Well ok Noah drove me crazy – good Lord man get a grip – his constant insular whining was perhaps the only thing that brought this down a notch, but you can’t love everyone.
I liked the premise which was layered well – the reasons behind all the shenanigans well imagined again in a kind of mash up type way that works really well, I imagine that book 2 will have a different level to it and I’m looking forward to finding out.
Overall a high octane, high energy, rush of a read that I fully immersed into.
Publication Date: 4th May from Penguin Michael Joseph
A killer with a secret to tell . . .
Little Susan Verity went missing during the heatwave of 1976. An unprecedented amount of police resources went into finding her, but to no avail. Until now.
Serial killer Adrian Wicklow was always the prime suspect. He’s lied to the police about Susan’s whereabouts repeatedly but this time, he says, he’ll tell the truth. Because Wicklow is dying.
As the case re-opens DS Ian Bradshaw works with investigative journalists Tom Carney and Helen Norton to find Susan. But this is Wicklow’s life’s work. Would a killer on death’s door give up his last secret so easily…?
Look this is another series I’m coming into late – my book halo is seriously slipping PLUS another load to add to the teetering to be read pile because this one was rather terribly good.
I say terribly because there are some deeply haunting themes in this, dealing as it does with child murder and the like, but it is utterly compelling and so gripping, one of those proper page turners that manage to make you growl whenever you have to put them down to do mundane stuff like feed the kids.
I very much enjoyed the past/present vibe, as the story goes between 1976 and the disappearance of Susan and modern day where DS Ian Bradshaw and his sidekicks for this story (and possibly other stories seeing as how I’m very late to this particular party) Tom and Helen, try to unravel the seemingly useless clues offered by serial killer Wicklow – a man who likes to play games.
Howard Linskey writes with such a brilliantly decisive style that you are just shoved straight into the story, I was fascinated by the character dynamics – both with the children as they were back then and how they are now – and with the investigative team and their history. Plotting perfection keeps you completely engaged with all of them and as a twisty tale with those wonderful unexpected moments it worked really really well. Both the main story and the personal stories melded together in excellent fashion, I got to the end and immediately wanted more. I like it when that happens.
Overall a terrific character driven crime thriller with some memorable moments and a really atmospheric twist – I’m also vaguely in love with Ian Bradshaw so another book crush for me. Bodes well I’d say. Well maybe not for my book pile but certainly for my future reading pleasure. Another author for the “must read” list.
Recommended. That little birdy in the pub the other night was right when he said I should read this.
You can Purchase The Search HERE
Publication Date: 1st August 2017 from Gallery Threshold
The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.
Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.
The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.
When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.
I loved “Are you Sleeping” which again has two very different sisters at the heart of it and reminded me just a little of the brilliant “Six Stories” which I also loved recently – but I think that was just the podcast aspects which really do work well in telling the wider story.
In “Are you Sleeping” a new podcast re-examining an old murder opens up old wounds for an already fractured family. Taking in themes of memory, sibling relationships and traumatic past events, Kathleen Barber weaves a tense, atmospheric and genuinely fascinating tale of a family dynamic gone horribly wrong and the possible miscarriage of justice this has caused. The mystery elements are well woven and clever, the story twists its way to a rather heartbreaking ultimate solution and it is utterly gripping from first page to last.
I was completely engaged with the ebb and flow of the relationship between twins Laine and Jo -both of whom had very different reactions to events around them – estranged but trying to find a way to come back together under extraordinarily trying circumstances, I loved how the author managed the dynamic between them both in their similar and dissimilar qualities. Added to that the ever changing path to the final truth of the matter encompassing loss, parental influence and how our perceptions change with life experience, this was a completely wonderful read featuring some very memorable characters.
You can Purchase “Are you Sleeping” HERE
Publication Date: 1st June 2017 from Penguin UK (Viking)
Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve to ever feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?
All The Good Things by Clare Fisher is a highly charged emotional read that just grabs you right in the heart.
Loved the character voice in this one – Beth is an adult, a young one but an adult none the less, she pulls you into her life with her simplistic but utterly immersive telling of her life story. She has done a very bad thing – the thing that she has done is not at all difficult to work out, that is not the point of this at all – the point of it is to try and come to some understanding of why.
Told using therapy – trying to find the good things about her life – Beth’s story starts to emerge. Her mother, from whom she is estranged, plays a huge part in her perceptions, her life in the foster care system is challenging and she herself is a challenging character – I edged between loving her and wishing she would just get a grip, she is damaged yet sympathetic.
Her attempts to make her own life better, her love of reading, her obvious intelligence tempered by a difficult upbringing and an even more difficult emergence into having to take care of herself, all add grist to the mill on the journey that leads her to the very bad thing. There is an eclectic cast of external characters, some who help, some who hurt that inform her behaviour and as the tale unfolds it is actually quite stunning in its impact. Beautifully done.
What if you did a very bad thing but that wasn’t the end of the story? In All The Good Things Clare Fisher explores a subject that is emotionally traumatic and shows us that not everything is black and white. Indeed the shades of grey are where you will find most of the answers.
Loved it. It made me cry. Highly Recommended.
You can purchase All The Good Things HERE
Publication Date: April 2017 from HQ
Source: Review copy
Have you met them yet, the new couple?’
When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.
When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.
And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them…
This one is not out for a while so this is a small review I shall talk about it more nearer the time.
The People at Number 9 surprised me – I was expecting another of your usual psychological thriller reads – not that this would be a bad thing but The People At Number 9 has a different vibe to it. The tale of an intense friendship that turns toxic, it was compelling and hugely character driven with Sara at the helm telling the story.
So Gav and Lou move in next door to Sara and Neil – Sara is dazzled by their bohemian and loose arty lifestyle and basically inserts herself into their lives to the detriment of her other friendships and relationships. But are the two couples really that well suited? What follows is the rise and fall of that friendship and it is really well written, insightful and gripping.
The proof I am reading asks “Whose side are you on?” – Well I think with due consideration I came down on the side of Gav and Lou – I can’t tell you why for reasons of spoilers but when a lot of people have read this it will make for interesting discussions. It is a PERFECT book club read and one of those books you sink into.
I maybe would have liked a less abrupt ending but that is a tiny tiny bugbear in what was a really terrific and thought provoking read – How much can you forgive, where do you draw a line in the sand, can expectations be too high, all of that comes into play here and it was fascinating, highly readable stuff with truly divisive and captivating characters.
You can Purchase The People At Number 9 HERE