Tuesday intro: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea 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. Diane is currently on a summer break but I have decided to carry on regardless because these are some of my favourite posts. I see others are doing the same – if you are, please leave a link to your post in the comments so that I don’t miss checking out your reads.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share two teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

So, after a very long intro, this is what I’m reading this week…Read More »

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The Binding Song by Elodie Harper

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Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. At first, she was excited by the promotion. Then she starts to see how many secrets are hiding behind the high walls.

A string of inmates have committed suicide, leaving no reasons why, and her predecessor has disappeared – along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins.

Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels.

Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts…

First off, and shallow as it may sound, I have to say that I think the cover of The Binding Song is one of my favourites this year.  It is so simple yet says all it needs to about a book that is spooky and scary and right up my alley.  It’s what drew me to it (see I said I was shallow) so thank you to whoever designed it because what was inside the pages was a great read and an excellent debut.

It starts as it means to go on, with a man on the run, making his way through the woods in the dead of night and scared of his own shadow…as well as the shadow of someone else, the woman who has been haunting his dreams, urging him to kill himself – which he kindly obliges her by doing.  It’s a great opening, one that had me hooked. Read More »

The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan

She can forgive. They can’t forget.

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.

Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door.

I am not 100% sure what I expected when I picked up my copy of The Last Days of Summer because it’s setting isn’t one that I normally go for but the story appealed and I wanted to take a bit of a step outside of my comfort zone.  What I ended up with was a beautifully written story that had me caring about the central characters, including Jasper, a man I shouldn’t have liked at all given his past.Read More »

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

For many years, I didn’t read Lisa Jewell books because I had in my head she wrote romance novels. I am not sure where I got that from but, thankfully, a review on one of her books finally showed me the light and I have been working my way through her back catalogue ever since, loving each one. Seeing a new release on Netgalley then I couldn’t resist requesting a copy.

On the surface, Then She Was Gone sounds like a story I have read more than once over the last few years. A young girl goes missing, her family falls apart in the aftermath, whilst all the while there are questions to answer – where did she go, why did she go, will she ever come back? The difference here is how well Lisa Jewell writes, how she builds up the story piece by piece, revealing just enough to keep you interested but not quite enough for you guess what is coming next…each time I thought I had the answer, I was wrong (until the end, when I have a feeling Jewell wanted me to figure it out!).Read More »

Perfect Prey by Helen Fields

In the midst of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker. The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.

DI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach have no motive and no leads – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.

It’s only when they realise the words are appearing before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.

I’ve made no secret about being excited to read Perfect Prey in recent weeks, the second in the series featuring Luc Callanach and Ava Turner as detectives in the Scottish Police Force. Field’s debut last year (with the first in the series, Perfect Remains) had fast become one of my favourite books and I was dying to read more about Luc and Ava, both of whom are fired detectives with lots of baggage to keep me interested.  I am pleased to say my anticipation was much rewarded with another excellent story that had great pace, great characterisation, and great villains.Read More »

California reading

imageAnyone who spends any time on my blog will know that I am more than a little excited about my upcoming holidays, half of which will be spent in California, one of my favourite holiday destinations.  Slowly but surely, my hubbie and I are working our way around the state and, this time, I get to visit San Francisco for the first time which I am really looking forward to.

In honour of our upcoming trip, I thought it might be fun to share my five favourite books set in California…Read More »

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

34604719Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners—including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.

I am a big fan of ghost stories, where things go bump in the night and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and that is what The Upstairs Room promises with it’s tale of a young family and their lodger who move into a house that fills all but one of the adults with dread the moment they walk in the door.  Read More »

Tuesday intro: Perfect Prey by Helen Fields

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea 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. Diane is currently on a summer break but I have decided to carry on regardless because these are some of my favourite posts. I see others are doing the same – if you are, please leave a link to your post in the comments so that I don’t miss checking out your reads.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share two teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

So, after a very long intro, this is what I’m reading this week…Read More »

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin

33654421Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.

Alice thinks Claire is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac. Two sisters. One truth.

Alice and Clare were separated when they were young children, Alice going with her father to America and Clare staying in the UK with her mom.  It’s a family split neither Clare nor her mother have ever really recovered from and Clare has tried more than once to find her sister to no avail.  Then, one day, a letter arrives; Clare and Alice’s father has died and Alice is finally free to come home.

Initially excited, the fact that suddenly a grown woman who might be related by blood but is basically a stranger is visiting their home, makes Clare start to feel worried.  Then Alice arrives and she starts to feel even worse.  She doesn’t feel a connection with her long-lost sister.  In fact, it’s the opposite – questioning everything Alice does and says to the point where it starts to drive a wedge between her, her mother, her husband and her daughters (who all think Alice is great).

As a reader, it was hard to know where the truth lies at first…but easy to imagine Clare is feeling put out by the attention her sister is getting.  Told through her voice, which you can imagine getting increasingly “high pitched” as she tries to get people to see her point of view, I have to say it didn’t take long to figure out what is going on – though there were some twists at the end which I hadn’t seen coming in quite the way they did.

However, despite things not necessarily being a surprise, I enjoyed this book and found myself turning the pages pretty quickly.  I thought it was well written and there were more than enough twists to keep me interested.  Clare was a likeable central character, which always helps, so I was rooting for her all the way through.  I just wish her family hadn’t been quite so clueless.

There were times when I wanted to leap through the pages and shake one or more of them because things seemed pretty obvious to me but I think the fact that I was that involved is a good thing.  And the fact that I was able to forgive these things and a couple of leaps in logic shows that, at it’s core, this was a good book, one I like a lot and would definitely recommend.

Emma x

liked-it-a-lot

Source: Library
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Publication Date: 6th January, 2017
Format: ebook
Pages: 364
Genre: mystery / crime
Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads