This is What Happened by Mick Herron

 

This is what happened mick herron

When twenty-something Maggie Barnes moved to London, it was for a fresh start, to get away from a bad relationship and make something of herself – just like her oh-so-perfect sister.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as she planned.  Instead, she found herself in a small, grotty, flat with a minimum-wage job and no friends (bar seven twitter followers she doesn’t even know).

It’s no wonder then, that she jumps at the chance of doing something just a bit different – working with the security services to spy on her employer.  She has, they say, the perfect cover – no one will look at her twice.

If it all sounds a bit far-fetched, it just might be.  It’s hard for me to say more, however, without spoilers – making it a hard review to write too.  What I can say is what’s in the blurb – after what is described as a life-or-death mission, Maggie goes missing…and no one seems to notice.

The problem with the blurb is it doesn’t really describe the book, and I have a feeling from some of the reviews on Goodreads, that people haven’t – therefore – gotten what they expected, especially his fans.  Which is a shame.  Because this is a highly enjoyable novel.  You don’t have to waste much brain power on it, I will admit, but that’s not always the type of book I want to read.

I’ve never read any books by Herron before and I think he has a good writing style and, in This is What Happened, he’s created three interesting and somewhat baffling characters, all of whom are just a little bit lost – which explains how what seems like a simple situation at the beginning, can get so messy so quickly. Apparently it’s based on a true situation and is an apology of sorts to the real Maggie.  I hope she has forgiven him.

Emma x

About the book…

Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in the huge city of London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend or partner, and not much in the way of friends, Maggie is just the kind of person who could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone taking notice

Or just the kind of person MI5 needs to infiltrate the establishment and thwart an international plot that puts all of Britain at risk

Now one young woman has the chance to be a hero—if she can think quickly enough to stay alive.

Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication Date: 7th June, 2018
Genre: Crime fiction, suspense, thriller
Number of pages: 256
Rating: 4 out of 5

Find on: Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

 BIRCHBOX UK

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

 

genuine fraud

E. Lockhart is one of those authors I’ve always meant to read more of, having been blown away by the one and only book of hers that I’ve read, We Were Liars.  It’s taken me nearly two years to get to that next book and I really don’t know why I’ve waited so long.

Genuine Fraud is told in a rather disjointed way, with the narrative moving back and forth across the life of Jules, a young woman who is either trying to live a carefree life thanks to an unexpected inheritance or is on the run after her best friend goes missing.

It’s all quite complicated and it’s all very simple at the same time, meaning I never knew where I was in the story and found myself putting everything together as if it was a jigsaw.  Then, as each piece fell into place, I wanted to say “of course”, even though I had been nowhere near guessing the truth.

Unofficial Guide To Ancestry.com by Nancy Hendrickson

 

Unofficial Guide to Ancestry

A few years ago, I got the ‘ancestry bug’, an overwhelming desire to find out more about my family tree.  Not knowing where to start, and too impatient to do much reading into the best ways to start a family tree, I signed up to Ancestry.com.

I’m still on there – though my initial energy for finding out more has died down a bit, mainly because there are so many records and so many hints being flagged for me, I feel overwhelmed.

The Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com promises to help people like me find their way around the site and get the most out of their searches, something I think I need if I’m every to finish my family tree. 

Suffragette by David Roberts

 

suffragette david roberts

While I don’t talk about it much on the blog, I am most definitely a feminist and quite politically minded.  This year, the UK celebrates 90 years since the Representation of the People Act 1928 which gave all men and women 21 and over equal right to vote.

For women, it was a long time coming.  Many put their lives on the line and, for that, I am eternally grateful.  It’s why I will never not vote, not when the battle was so hard won.  And it’s why it’s important to me my daughter understands just who has come before her and what they achieved. 

Fire on the Fens by Joy Ellis

 

Fire on the Fens Joy Ellis

By the time I get to book nine in a series, I am usually starting to flag.  Characters have become too familiar, storylines too predictable, and the “wow” factor I had when I picked up the first book has long since gone.

It’s why I’m always slightly anxious when I pick up a new book by a favourite author featuring a character I love.  I’m never sure if this will be a book that leaves me wanting more or leaves me cold.

I am pleased to say that the former applies when it comes to Fire on the Fens.  Once again, Joy Ellis has left me with a feeling of total satisfaction.  This is a great story, one with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing but not enough to stretch my credulity.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

 

The Water Cure Sophie Mackintosh

On a small island, three daughters come to terms with the death of their father, known as The King, and the future where none of them – including their mother – can go to the mainland for supplies in case they become infected.

In this dystopian future, disease is everywhere and men are the carriers.  It is all the three girls – Lia, Grace and Sky – know and it means when two men and a boy wash up on the beach by their home they are full of fear, but also – for one of them – wonder.

To say the three are unhappy doesn’t really describe their situation.  They have known nothing else.  But they are unsatisfied.  Their life is a series of rituals to keep the sickness at bay and, as an outsider, it is strange to read and harder still to understand because Mackintosh doesn’t tell you what went before, how Lia, Grace and Sky ended up living in this remote place, and what they really remember of their life before.

The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto

The Skincare BibleI love beauty products.  I can’t help it.  I have a Birchbox subscription and excitedly wait each month to see what samples I’m being sent to change my life, to turn me into the soft, wrinkle-free and glowing beauty I know I am inside.  They never work but it doesn’t stop me trying.

Dr. Anjali Mahto, tries to do just that in The Skincare Bible, or at least make me more aware of what I’m putting on my skin and what is likely to work and what isn’t.  Starting with an introduction to just what the skin is and how it works, it then takes me through all I need to know to deal with a range of skin issues including acne, rosacea, enlarged pores, freckles and liver spots.  

Eating Well Everyday by Peter Gordon

 

Eating Well Every Day

This seems to be a bit of a foodie week on the blog, with my second recipe book review in a row.  It wasn’t intended but a result of my desperately looking for new things to eat as my diet can be a little bit boring at times.

Unfortunately for me, there weren’t a lot of recipes outside of the soups, salads and breakfast I can eat as a veggie who occasionally eats fish when she’s run down.  There are some, like the Red Curried Butter, Mushrooms and Spinach on the cover, but not as many as I might have liked. 

The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness by David & Stephen Flynn

Pear HappinessAs a vegetarian I am always looking for new recipe books that let me cook tasty meals that appeal not only to me but to the non-veggies in my life (aka my husband and daughter).  They are quite will to go non-meat for a meal or more but they need it to be substantial enough for them to feel like they aren’t just eating sides.

I haven’t come across the Happy Pear recipe books before (Recipes for Happiness is the third) but I have to say I’m a convert and so is my family.  It is chock full of recipes that don’t just feel like an add on to a main course. 

Tuesday Intro: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Once again this week, I’m linking up again with Vicky at I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter/paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. This week I’m reading The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, a book which has sat on my shelf for what seems like forever and which I have heard such good things about I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to pick it up.