I finished two books this week; one was more successful than the other as you will discover in this post.
My first book was Ghost Girl by Lesley Thomson, #02 in her The Detective’s Daughter series. This is the blurb:
It is a year since her father’s death, but Stella Darnell has not moved on. She still cleans his house every day, leaving it spotless as if he might return.
Terry Darnell was Detective Chief Superintendent at Hammersmith police station, and now Stella has discovered an unsolved case in his darkroom: a folder of unlabelled photographs of deserted streets.
The oldest photograph dates back to 1966. To a day when Mary Thornton, just ten years old, is taking her little brother home from school in time for tea. That afternoon, as the Moors Murderers are sent to prison for life, Mary witnesses something that will haunt her forever.
As Stella inches closer to the truth, the events of that day begin to haunt her too…
I had a real problem with this book and only gave it two stars on Goodreads when I wrote the following review:
I am asking myself why I felt obliged to read to the end of this book? There are so many other, better and more engaging books available, so I really cannot answer my own question. The characters are so quirky, the scenarios are odd and the writing is really off at times. I struggled to make sense of the first half of the book then somehow battled my way to the end. Apparently, the first book in the series is better, so perhaps other people should hold off this one and read that one first! Still puzzled…
The second book has a bittersweet feel for me as it is Ann Cleeves’ 8th and final book in her wonderful Shetland series: Wild Fire. I was almost sad to finish it as I have really loved these visits to the islands, Cleeves’ fantastic depictions of the scenery and culture, and her great characters. This is the blurb:
When the Flemings—designer Helena and architect Daniel—move into a remote community in the north of Shetland, they think it’s a fresh start for themselves and their children.
But their arrival triggers resentment, and Helena begins to receive small drawings of a gallows and a hanged man. Gossip spreads like wildfire.
A story of dysfunctional families and fractured relationships, Inspector Jimmy Perez’s eighth case will intrigue series fans and Shetland Island newcomers alike.
This is is my review:
This was an excellent ending to a fabulous series. Although I am sad that there will not be any more Shetland books, I am kind of glad that the author quit this at the top and didn’t continue into mediocrity, as has happened with series by other writers. Jimmy Perez is a great creation and the supporting characters have also been well drawn so that we feel, as readers, that we know them. The plot, as ever, kept me reading and the setting was written with an almost painterly quality. I have also learned a lot about the people and culture of Shetland through the series and would love to visit a house and have tea and biscuits (or cake) brought out by the host as is the tradition. Wonderful!
I had to award the book the full five stars.
When I have finished writing this post, I will pick up Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman for the first time. The verdict will be in next week’s Reading Roundup post.
Happy Reading to you all.