For various reasons I have been burying my head in a lot of books this week – almost four!
Karin Slaughter is one of my most favourite authors, so I was really pleased when my library reservation of her latest book became available. Here is the blurb for Pieces of Her:
What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?
Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?
But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.
The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . .
I gave the book four stars on Goodreads and wrote this review:
I love reading Karin Slaughter’s books and this one was no exception, although quite different in tone from the ones I have read before. It was interesting to see how the main character developed from a dull person with a boring life, over-dependent on her parents, into a more decisive and stronger woman. The shock at finding out that her mother is not as she appears disorientates her and she is then forced by dangerous circumstances into making choices and taking action. The chapters set in the past are intriguing and I enjoyed watching the two strands of the plot meet. The ending is also gratifying. I can’t wait for Slaughter’s next book!
I need to look through the list of Slaughter’s books on Goodreads and make sure that I reserve anything that I haven’t yet read! I don’t think that there will be many.
I had been in the queue for the ebook of my next read, Christina Dalcher’s Vox, for quite a while when it popped into my download list. This is the blurb:
Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
This is just the beginning.
Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.
But this is not the end.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
This book had a strong effect on me for an important reason, as you can see from my four star review:
Oh wow! Should I write this review in less than 100 words? But that would leave me with nothing for the rest of the day!
A few years ago, I suffered from a condition where I couldn’t speak above a whisper and sometimes lost my voice altogether for days at a time. This went on for months. I had no authority at work, without my voice. I couldn’t socialise. I couldn’t chat to colleagues in the staff room. I couldn’t answer the phone or ask for anything in a shop. Even my family spoke over me and I began to feel isolated and belittled by even the kindest people. The sheer frustration drove me mad.
Then I recovered a bit for a short time.
But, I was very ill and lost my voice again and it was even worse this time. Eventually, with expert help, I regained some vocal strength and today I am almost at full pitch again. But that taste of being literally speechless came back to me with a shout as I read this amazing book.
What really bothered me was the apparent non-reaction of the ordinary family men to females’ enforced silence. I was so angry as I read the first part of the book. The parallels with The Handmaid’s Tale were very interesting too, especially how a right-wing religious cult could take power.
Anyway, I don’t want to give away the ending. So I will simply recommend the book and stop speaking…
I finished a third book this week: Lost Girls by Angela Marsons, #03 in her DI Kim Stone series. Here is the blurb:
Two girls go missing. Only one will return.
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.
When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.
And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.
Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…
Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?
This was a really enjoyable read:
This is an excellent crime/thriller novel. After reading this I will definitely look for more books by the author as she is obviously able to craft a great book with a gripping plot and fascinating characters. Kim Stone is a terrific “heroine” and Marsons let’s the reader inside her character’s thought processes as she investigates the crime. Plot twists abound (I love plot twists) and, for once, I was surprised by the ending. Really worth seeking out.
I am about halfway through a fourth book and will tell you all about it next week: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly.
So, until next week’s Reading Roundup, Happy Reading to you all!