I have really enjoyed my reading this week, with a mixture of print and ebooks, and I will write about my choices further down this blog post.
When I last visited our local library, I was perturbed to see that it will be closed for three weeks from the Bank Holiday weekend onwards so that they can install some kind of automated admission system. As a retired librarian who passionately believes in the power of libraries to support communities, I am horrified to realise that this means fewer trained staff, fewer opportunities for visitors to interact with staff, shorter opening hours and also the prevention of younger children from visiting libraries without their parents or guardians. As a child, I regularly entered the library in Canterbury on my own and enjoyed browsing and reading for an afternoon. I didn’t need parental supervision and found the library a magical place to be. This massive dismantling of what Libraries mean to me is tragic for us all and, on a personal level, is having a terrible effect on my mental health. I think I am in a kind of mourning for all of the people who will never know the benefits of this wonderful community service.
Back to my books, after that short rant!
My first book of the week was The Wolf by Alex Grecian, in ebook format. Here is the blurb:
When State Trooper Skottie Foster moves back home to rural Kansas with her daughter, she’s hoping for a new start. But then a chance encounter on a snowy highway changes everything.
Travis Roan is a Nazi hunter, and he needs her help. Roan suspects this isolated region is home to one of the second world war’s most infamous killers, Rudolph Bormann – and he knows that if it’s true, Bormann isn’t one to give in without a fight.
As Roan encounters immediate resistance from the deeply suspicious community, it quickly becomes clear that Bormann’s new life in America is every bit as sinister as his awful past.
Neither Roan nor Foster imagines how dangerous – and how personal – their task will become…
I gave this book three stars on Goodreads and wrote the following review:
An interesting plot with well drawn characters. Dark, with touches of humour. Some parts were a little confusing, but, on the whole, I enjoyed this and would read more novels with Travis and Skottie and definitely Bear!
As as someone who has never owned a dog and is, in fact, quite frightened of them, it is possibly surprising that my favourite character in the book was the dog, Bear!
I am beginning to really dislike seeing books publicised as “perfect for fans of Gone Girl” or, indeed, perfect for fans of just about anything. This invariably ends up leading to disappointment and I tend to ignore such statements. I couldn’t see any echoes of Gone Girl in my next read: The Book Of You by Claire Kendal, apart from the fact that there were a number of twists in the plot. But then most books have plot twists. They add to the excitement! Anyway, this is the blurb:
Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won’t leave her alone, and he refuses to take no for an answer. He is always there.
Being selected for jury service is a relief. The courtroom is a safe haven, a place where Rafe can’t be. But as a violent tale of kidnap and abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the young woman on the witness stand.
Realizing that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted, macabre fairytale that Rafe has spun around them – and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying than she could have imagined.
And this is my review for four stars:
A very creepy psychological thriller. Two stories are woven together here: a courtroom battle and the tale of a highly unpleasant man stalking one of the jurors. One is told in the third person and the other in the first person. I thought that this was well done, when I got used to it. I also enjoyed the twists in the story, although not some of the more explicit scenes. I think that many women fear being the victim of stalking and wonder how this scenario should be handled. Whether Clarissa handles it well or not is debatable. In fact, there is a lot to think about in this book and it lingered in my mind long after I put it down.
My third read of the week was Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin. I also awarded this book four stars. This is the blurb:
‘Dear Tommie . . . I’ve spent most of my life searching for you. I believe you are my daughter.’
Just after her father’s death, Tommie receives a letter from a stranger. The woman claims that Tommie is her biological daughter, kidnapped as a baby over thirty years ago.
Then she is approached by a journalist who claims to know about her past. But can she trust him?
Unsure what to believe, Tommie sets out to discover the truth about her identity. As explosive secrets emerge, she realises it’s not just her life that’s in danger . . .
This was another gripping book and I read it in one sitting. Here is my review:
If you read the other reviews on here, this seems to be either loved or hated – a real marmite book. Those who dislike the book seem to criticise the author’s handling of the setting. As I don’t know anything about Texas, I can’t possibly argue with those who know more than me!
I read it in one sitting as I was gripped by the plot and found the characters interesting. Some parts were complex and I had to check back to earlier chapters, but that is the beauty of a print book as it is so easy to do this! All in all, an enjoyable read for me.
So, my reading choices were much more successful this week than recently, I am happy to say. I have almost finished a fourth book, an ebook called Skin Deep by Liz Nugent, but I will postpone writing about it until next week.
Happy Reading to you all!