I have really enjoyed my reading this week, with some great print and ebooks borrowed from our public library service. By the way, I deliberately mention our library system as often as I can – it is being systematically demolished by our present government, to their shame.
The first book of the week was Karen Perry’s Only We Know. Oh, just one thing first. There are inaccuracies in this blurb and also the cover is completely wrong! This playground image does not fit with the story at all. Here is the book’s blurb:
In 1982, an idyllic summer is shattered when three children play a game that ends in tragedy.
Now, thirty years later, Nick, Luke and Katie remain bound together by the truth of what happened that day.
But some secrets won’t stay buried.
And when Luke vanishes and the threatening messages begin, it becomes clear someone else knows the truth – and is intent on justice, no matter what the cost…
I awarded the book three stars on Goodreads and wrote this review:
I am struggling to articulate what I think about this book. Told from varying points of view and in different timelines, it was interesting, gripping in parts, intriguing but also it lost my attention occasionally. About halfway through I guessed some of the outcomes, and was correct up to a point, but not totally, which was good. Not so sure about the ending, though.
It also had a very mixed reception from others on Goodreads, with some people giving it the full five stars. I do love the fact that books can appeal, or not, to different readers. We each respond in our own way. That’s one of the reasons why I check books out on places like Goodreads and also LibraryThing, rather than relying on professional reviewers. I like to read the varying responses.
My second read of the week was a first novel: Rebound by Aga Lesiewicz. Once again, the blurb:
Rebound is a dark and gripping psychological thriller from debut author Aga Lesiewicz.
I’m not a bad person, but maybe I did a bad thing . . .
Life is good for Anna Wright. She’s a successful media executive working for one of the UK’s largest TV corporations. She’s got a great boyfriend, some close friends and a lovely home. She adores her dog, Wispa, and she loves to run to help her de-stress.
But Anna’s perfect life starts to crumble from the moment when, out jogging on the Heath one day, she meets a handsome stranger. She takes a route into unfamiliar territory, and then she has to face the consequences.
There’s a dark, growing creepiness as the atmosphere becomes unsettled and, as Anna’s professional life becomes increasingly pressured and poisonous, her obsession with the intriguing stranger intensifies.
Now, I have a slightly odd and unsettling story to go with this book. When I was in the library choosing my current book pile, an elderly man passed me this book telling me that I would really enjoy it. I thought that this was a kind gesture and liked the ensuing conversation that we then had about books and reading. When I actually read the book, however, I realised that there is a great deal of sexual activity in it, mainly rough, very explicit and sometimes not exactly consensual. Then I started wondering if the elderly man had read the book that he recommended to me! I hope he was merely judging the book by its cover 😱😲😮!
Anyway, here is my review (three stars):
I read this all in one day, so must have enjoyed it! A very good first novel with a gripping plot. It could have been cut a bit though. I don’t think we needed to know the details of each meal! A few scenes were, perhaps, unnecessary. Well worth reading, despite a few caveats.
My caveats are that I cannot imagine any woman taking the totally stupid risks that the main character does in the book. But then, there wouldn’t be any story if she had been sensible!
My third read was an ebook translated from Italian: Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri. This deserved a solid four stars and was a great book:
In this fascinatingly complex thriller, two people, each shattered by their past, team to solve a series of killings and abductions…
When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman’s husband and await his confession. But the Chief of Rome’s Major Crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy’s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed through the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself “The Father,” Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyper-observant capacities.
All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left tell-tale signs that signal he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Columba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what’s really going on is darker than they ever imagined.
This is is the first book in a series and I cannot wait for the next one! Here is my review:
A complex, long and very exciting thriller set in Italy and translated from Italian. Well drawn main characters who are out of the ordinary and layers of plot twists. I downloaded this as an ebook from the public library catalogue as an afterthought and, instead, came upon a nugget of gold. I can’t wait to read the sequel which will be available in February 2018!
I had such a great time with my reads this week that I also finished a fourth book. This was an ebook which I had reserved ages ago. I love Stuart MacBride’s dark sense of humour and his great characters so this was immense fun to read: Now We Are Dead. This is number 10.5 in MacBride’s Logan McRae series and centres on the Roberta Steele character:
Sergeant Roberta Steel has recently been demoted after being caught fitting up a suspect. The trouble is, the man she got sent down has had his sentence quashed now he’s back on the streets. And women are being attacked again. But if DS Steel goes anywhere near him his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good.
The Powers That Be won’t listen to her not after what happened last time. Besides, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy perhaps she should focus on solving them instead of harassing an innocent man?
But Steel knows he’s guilty and the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer. The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?
This is my review:
It is not often that I give a book the full five stars, but this one really deserves that accolade. How MacBride manages to marry such dreadful scenes and events with dark humour, I will never know, but the book had me almost in tears at one moment and then laughing out loud at the next. Steele is a fabulous character and the small touches of police life (the daft names used for positive and negative happenings, for example) are simply brilliant. Love this series so much. Please don’t stop writing about these characters, Stuart!
By the way, please read the other books in the Logan McRae series before tackling this one as you would not really get the best out of this book if you don’t.
My next two books have a feminist twist. I am about to start Mary Beard’s Women and Power: a Manifesto and will the probably skim through Girl Up by Laura Bates. I will let you know what I think of these two next week.
Happy Reading to you all,