I have finished two books this week and am really pleased that I now have a pile of eight books borrowed from the Library. I somehow feel very secure when I can see a lovely selection of print and ebooks waiting for me!
My first read of the week was The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown, her debut novel which has been awarded several prizes. Here is the blurb:
‘The number of women my brother Matthew killed is one hundred and six…’
1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.
To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
I read this pretty quickly as I was so interested in the story, having seen so many films and TV programmes about the character of Matthew Hopkins. This book deserved four stars and here is the review I wrote on Goodreads:
A very chilling tale told from the point of view of the sister of the famous witch finder Matthew Hopkins. I couldn’t get the image of Vincent Price out of my head whilst reading this book! This is very well written and builds up from the time the sister arrives back in her home village, through to the terror unleashed by Hopkins and his cronies across the east of England. Hundreds of women, and some men, were killed and the author gives us hints as to Hopkins’ motives for such levels of evil misogyny.
The historical events raise all kinds of questions about the role of women in the society of the time and how such terror can take hold of people’s minds and overrule reason and logic.
I finished my second book, Lucky Charm edited by Karin Slaughter, only yesterday. It is a collection of short stories by many of my favourite authors: Slaughter herself, John Connolly, Lynda La Plante, Lee Child and others. This is the blurb:
Desire leaves a man destroyed – a young girl’s curiosity reveals secrets better left hidden – an accidental encounter on a train ends violently – ambition leads to a curious exchange – an uncanny likeness changes two lives forever.
A novel in sixteen chilling parts, linked by a glittering charm bracelet which brings misfortune to everyone who handles it. In Like A Charm, the cream of British and American crime writers combine for a must-have collection. From nineteenth-century Georgia, where the bracelet is forged in fire, to wartime Leeds, a steam train across Europe, the violent backstreets of 1980s Scotland, present-day London, a Manhattan taxi, the Mojave desert and back to Georgia, each writer weaves a gripping story of murder, betrayal and intrigue.
I felt that the collection deserved four stars. This is my review:
An excellent collection of short stories written by some of my favourite authors in the crime and thriller genres. They are all based around a charm bracelet and follow in chronological order. Some are very gory, others have elements of the supernatural or are more simple tales of crime and ill-doing. Worth a go.
I haven’t yet started my next book, Two Evils by P J Tracy, but will pick it up as soon as as have finished this post and will give you my response next time.
Happy Reading to you all!