So we have arrived at the last Reading Roundup of the month – how the year is flying by! I have finished three books this week (76 in the year so far) and am about halfway through a fourth. Our local Library is now closed for three weeks, but I have a massive pile of print books waiting for me, plus a number of downloaded ebooks. Enough to keep me going for a long time, I hope.
My first book of the week was Skin Deep by Liz Nugent. Here is the blurb:
‘Once I had cleared the bottles away and washed the blood off the floor, I needed to get out of the flat.’
Cordelia Russell has been living on the Côte d’Azur for ten years, posing as a posh English woman fallen on hard times. But her luck is running out. Desperate to escape her grotty flat and grim reality, Cordelia spends a night at a glittering party. Surrounded by the young, beautiful and privileged she feels her age and her poverty. As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. It hasn’t taken long for the corpse in her bedroom to commence decomposing …
Liz Nugent’s novel is the dark, twisted and shocking story of what takes Cordelia from an island childhood in Ireland to ruins in Nice.
I gave this book book four stars on Goodreads and wrote the following review:
This books is so very difficult to review. It is basically the story of an unpleasant, narcissistic and very damaged woman from her beginnings on a remote Irish island through her life in London and more exotic locations. She is a character that we can love to hate and her actions, whilst often nasty and horrible, become almost understood if the reader can twist themselves to see events from her point of view. The book is brilliant, though, and I found it impossible to put down until I had finished it. Highly recommended, if you like dark thrillers.
I will reserve more books by this author as soon as I have finished writing this post – thank goodness that I can do this so easily online 😀.
My second read of the week was also worth four stars: The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh. The blurb is a bit sparse:
A woman disappears
One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace.
A woman returns
Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been.
What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?
‘Is it a forgetting or a deception?’
I hope that my review review is a little more helpful:
I have immediately reserved some more books by this author at our local library. This was a very intriguing read, with a plot narrated by numerous different characters interspersed with chapters about kidnapping. I found the book exciting and gripping, and didn’t work out “who-done-it” until everything was revealed – very unusual for me! An excellent read.
The third book was Love You Dead by Peter James, #12 in his Roy Grace series. This is the blurb:
An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.
As I read this, I was rather shocked to realise that I hadn’t read any of this series before, as this example was so good! So I will rectify this straight away. Here is my review, for four stars:
An excellent read. I liked how the author weaves several plot strands together into one coherent whole. Although I have never read any other books from this series, I could enjoy the main story of the “Black Widow”, but also not feel put off by the obviously longer term story arcs from previous books. These arcs will also be carried forward into later books too and I became so intrigued that I have already ordered more books from the Library. A very well-written and gripping read. Recommended.
As I wrote in the review, I am now reading the next book in the series, Need You Dead by Peter James, and will eventually start at the beginning, as soon as I can get my hands on either the print or ebook versions.
Happy Reading to you all!