I am apologising for the late Reading Roundup post this week. Lovely Husband’s operation was successful yesterday, but I spent the whole afternoon waiting anxiously for him to come home and ended up being far too tired to write anything for this blog.
Mind you, I did read a whole book during the afternoon!
So, my first book of the week was Becky Masterman’s A Twist of the Knife, #03 in her Brigid Quinn series. Here is the blurb:
Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn, “the most original female character to anchor a crime series in years,” (The New York Times) is back—on a case staking family, friendship, and a man on death row.
Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn, now happily settled in Tucson, doesn’t go back to visit her family in Florida much. But her former partner Laura Coleman, whose life she has saved and who saved her life, is living there now. When Laura calls about a case that is not going well, Brigid doesn’t hesitate to get on a plane.
On leave from the Bureau, Laura has been volunteering for a legal group that is trying to prove the innocence of a man who is on death row for killing his family. Laura is firmly convinced that he didn’t do it, while Brigid isn’t so sure—but the date for his execution is coming up so quickly that she shares Laura’s fear that any evidence absolving him from the crime may come too late.
I read this pretty quickly, awarded it four stars on Goodreads and wrote the following review:
Another great book in the series. I really hope that there will be more. Our “heroine” continues to develop as a character, as we are shown more ambivalent details about her family and her past career. I like the fact that she is not a perfect person – that makes her seem more real. After all, how many people get to 60 or so without doing something dodgy, or more than dodgy in Brigid’s case?
I must admit that I kind of missed the Arizona landscape in this book, but was then intrigued by the author’s depiction of Florida. The scene setting is a vital part of this series and almost another character. There was a little confusion for me in all of the travelling about, but, overall, the plot was another amazing and gripping tale.
Yes, I really, really hope that Masterman continues with this series as I love her writing and the character of Brigid.
My second read of the week was not so successful, unfortunately. Here is the blurb for Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill:
In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.
For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.
Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.
But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.
Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known…
I haven’t read many Young Adult books since I retired as a school librarian and, perhaps, I am out of the habit, but I really didn’t get on with this book as you can see from the single star! This is what I wrote on Goodreads:
This has rarely happened to me before. Usually, when I struggle with a book I stop reading it and turn to something else. I am not sure why, but I carried on with this book until the end. I simply hated this book. I would never ask or recommend a teen to read it as it is so totally, unrelentingly depressing. Yes, I can see the point the author was trying to make. The statement about our society and how an extreme version might come out of it. But, the book was far, far too long with absolutely nothing to relieve the horror. No humour, no light touch, just constant hammering of the message until I feel beaten down. Awful.
I am so pleased that my third book of the week was so gripping that I read it in one sitting. Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent has this blurb:
My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.
On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.
I gave this one four stars, although it deserves four and a half at least, and wrote the following review:
I have read a Liz Nugent before and she certainly is the mistress of dark, compelling and unlikeable characters! I simply could not put this book down until I had finished it all. There are three main points of view narrating the story and it is fascinating how the reader is thrown off course as each “voice” takes up the plot from where it was left at the end of the previous chapter. I don’t think that I have ever read anything quite like this where the reader tries to work out what might be coming next, but is then baffled by a new turn. Fantastic book and I am about to read another one by the same author very soon.
Yes, I have another Liz Nugent in my book pile, but I am going to have a change first. My next book will be The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer, which I will write about next week.
Until then, Happy Reading to you all!