Finn’s life seems pretty perfect. He has money, a house in the country and a beautiful and caring fiancé. Things probably couldn’t get much better, especially when you think that ten years previously he had been suspected of murdering his then-girlfriend, Layla, while they on vacation.
No body was found though and the evidence there was, was circumstantial. Slowly, he rebuilt his life till he found himself where he was now – happy, or as happy as he thinks he can be, and waiting to get married.
Then he comes home to find his fiancé, Ellen, in a strange mood. She’s found a small Russian doll on the wall outside their house. A doll that looks remarkably like the one she always thought her sister, Layla, stole from her when they were children. Yes, the same Layla that Finn was dating. Do you get the feeling that things might be about to get complicated?
When Sophia gets a late-night call from her mom asking her to come home, she does what she always does – puts it down to her mom’s usual erratic behaviour. Putting her mom off, she tells her she’s had too much to drink and will drive over the next day, which she duly does only to find her mom (Nina) dead and her dad seriously injured, with knife wounds to the stomach.
While her dad lies in a coma, unable to tell them what happened, the police rule Nina’s death a suicide – something Sophia can’t get her head around and can’t bring herself to believe. Her mom may have been many things, but suicidal is not one of them.
Things become even more confusing – and interesting – when a letter arrives from a publisher, confirming they will be publishing Nina’s book and asking when they’ll be sent the final chapters. Nina, Sophia discovers, has been writing her memoir and it’s much more interesting than anyone could have imagined. The question Sophia needs to answer though is was it interesting enough to kill Nina for?
James Sallis is one of my favourite authors. I came to his work late and, over the last few years, have been slowly working my way through his back catalogue. He is also the most-reviewed author on my blog – with nine reviews where I basically tell you he is brilliant.
It probably had to happen, then, at some point, that I would come across a book that wasn’t and – unfortunately – that day has come. I’ve just finished The Killer Is Dying and – very much like my last review (The Last of the Greenwoods by Clare Morrall), I’ve been left more than a little flat.
I am not sure why – the writing style is the same – sparse and to the point in that noir way I love. The characters are just as damaged as in other books, unsure how to live their lives without messing them up but doing the best they can. And the dark setting is there too – this time Pheonix, with the harsh, hot weather almost becoming a character in and off itself at times. Yet, for me – this time – it just didn’t work.
Once again 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 sharing a book I picked up at the library for no other reason that the cover was pink – very pink. I know that’s terribly superficial but sometimes I just can’t help judging books by their covers, which is exactly what I’ve done here. Once home, I checked it out on Goodreads and was relieved to see good reviews – not so relieved to see it’s a young adult horror story but you can’t have everything right? Anyway, I’m giving it a go. Here’s what it’s about…
When Zohra, a postwoman with a past that has derailed her life, is asked to deliver a letter to two brothers who time seems to have forgotten, she can’t help but be intrigued – especially when she finds out they live in a railway carriage (also lost in time).
Zohra has an interest in trains, is helping to restore a local station and train line, and an interest – it seems – in people who, just like her, have secrets. And the Greenwoods, Johnny and Nick, have secrets, a whole lifetime of them.
Johnny and Nick bury everything in a shield of anger at each other, they always have, but it got worse when – forty odd years ago – their sister died and their mom fell apart. Still only young, they were left to their own devices and to pick up the pieces. They didn’t pick them up very well.
Morning all and Happy Sunday – I hope you have all been having a wonderful weekend. Ours has been rather quiet so far, though we do have a children’s charity party to go to this afternoon so that will be fun I think, especially followed up by a late Sunday lunch. The week was quite quiet for me too, with only a bit of work on and one day of excitement where I went to a professional development day and got to meet new people – all of whom were very nice, which made it a good day.
It was quiet on the blog and reading wise as well. I just couldn’t find any energy after posting the first few days of the week. I think it’s because I was reading a book that I wasn’t completely enjoying and that always makes me a bit flat. I’ve finished it now though, so hopefully, this week will be a bit more energised. Here’s what I did post:
When an early morning Amber Alert disrupts Detective D. D. Warren’s plans for the day, she knows it’s bad. Turning up at the scene of a horrible crime, she thinks it couldn’t be worse. Four members of a family of five are dead, the last member – a sixteen year old girl named Roxy – is missing.
The first question any officer would ask – is Roxy in danger or is she on the run, having killed her family. Now it’s one D. D. must answer. Helping her, as well as her team, is Flora Dane, a young woman we first met in Find Her and who was kidnapped and held hostage for 472 days.
Now, she spends her time helping other survivors, though not always in a way D. D. would like, at the same time as tracking down potential predators and inflicting her own type of justice (which D. D. definitely doesn’t like). Roxy is one of the survivors she has been trying to help out and, with the girl having seemingly disappeared into thin air, D. D. and Flora agree to work together to track her down.