One Bad Thing by M. K. Hill #bookreview

She thought she’d got away with it. She was wrong.

Hannah Godley is an agony aunt on a London radio show Queen of Hearts. She’s warm and empathetic; a good listener. Her catchphrase is: Be kind, always. But when a stranger phones in to tell a tragic story about her brother who killed himself after he was the victim of a terrible prank by two people, Hannah goes cold. Because she remembers Diane’s brother well. In fact, all these years later, he still haunts her dreams. All because of that one bad thing she did when she was young…

Is Diane just a sad, lonely woman looking for a friend, or does she know what Hannah did, and is looking for revenge? Because as Diane insinuates herself into her life and family, Hannah is going to discover that you can never truly escape that One Bad Thing you did – sooner or later, you’re going to have to pay the price…

My thoughts on One Bad Thing…

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My Week In Reviews: 27th February 2022

Happy Sunday and welcome to another weekly update where I share a little about what’s happened to me this week and the books I’ve reviewed.

I haven’t posted for a few weeks – firstly there was work, then there was half-term (which was mainly spent painting my daughter’s bedroom vs. reading or blogging)

Thankfully, this week, I managed to get back to both. I’ve finished two books and three reviews – all for books I really enjoyed.

First up was More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran. How much did I love this book? Sooooo much! I’m a bit of a Moran Fan Girl so possibly not a surprise. There aren’t many books that make me laugh out loud – repeatedly – but she does it every time. And it’s even less likely that a book will make me cry. She managed that too. I know this one won’t be for everyone as it is edgy and rude and sad. But it feels perfect for women like me – 40+ Gen Xer’s who still want to rock doc martins and too much eyeliner.

I followed this up with two solid domestic thrillers – The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill and When They Find Her. Both of them are different from what I expected, with twists in the tale that make you sit up and realise you’ve been very much led astray by the authors. What was most impressive about When They Find Her is that it’s a debut, which I wouldn’t have guessed.

Other than that, there isn’t much to report this week – not sure if that’s a good thing or not? How about you? How was your week, reading and otherwise? Emma x

Joining in with the Sunday Post and Kimberly, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

When They Find Her by Lia Middleton #BookReview

‘PLEASE HELP ME . . . MY DAUGHTER HAS GONE’

Naomi is desperate to prove to her ex-husband that she can be trusted with their only child.

So when an overnight stay goes terribly wrong, Naomi panics – and tells a desperate lie.

SHE REPORTS HER DAUGHTER MISSING.

Within hours, police begin searching her home.

Soon the whole country will be looking for her daughter. And Naomi knows her lie has gone too far.

BUT CAN SHE EVER TAKE IT BACK?

My Thoughts on When They Find Her…

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The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by C. S. Robertson #BookReview

DEATH IS NOT THE END. FOR GRACE McGILL IT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.

When people die alone and undiscovered, it’s her job to clean up what’s left behind – whether it’s clutter, bodily remains or dark secrets.

When an old man lies undetected in his flat for months, it seems an unremarkable life and an unnoticed death. But Grace knows that everyone has a story and that all deaths mean something more.

My thoughts on The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill

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More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran #bookreview

A decade ago, Caitlin Moran thought she had it all figured out. Her instant best seller How to Be a Woman was a game-changing take on feminism, the patriarchy and the general ‘hoo-ha’ of becoming a woman. Back then, she firmly believed ‘the difficult bit’ was over and her 40s were going to be a doddle.

If only she had known: when middle age arrives, a whole new bunch of tough questions need answering. Why isn’t there such a thing as a ‘Mum Bod’? How did sex get boring? What are men really thinking? Where did all that stuff in the kitchen drawers come from? Can feminists have Botox? Why has wine turned against you? How can you tell the difference between a teenage micro-breakdown and the real thing? Has feminism gone too far? And, as always, who’s looking after the children?

Now with ageing parents, teenage daughters, a bigger bum and a to-do list without end, Caitlin Moran is back with More Than a Woman: a guide to growing older, a manifesto for change and a celebration of all those middle-aged women who keep the world turning.

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The Night of the Party by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Two Couples. Three Secrets. One Murder.

In a beautiful house surrounded by woodland, the Drayton family and their dearest friends are enjoying dinner together. The wine is flowing, the meal has been lovingly prepared, and it’s going to be an evening none of them will ever forget…

A doting mother

with a manipulative daughter.

A loving husband

lying to his family.

A close friend

keeping a shocking secret.

A beautiful girl

who will be dead by the end of the night.

My thoughts on The Night of the Party

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Left for Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview

The detective stared at the young woman lying on the bed. She almost looked peaceful, her face like porcelain. Despite everything she had been through, she was still beautiful.

When DI Bernie Noel hurries to Keira Howard’s hospital bedside, she knows that Keira has been lucky. Barely conscious and badly injured, at least she is alive. Convinced that Keira’s attack is the latest in a string of increasingly violent assaults on young women in the area, the next victim might not be so fortunate. So she vows to find the man who did this, and to stop him before anyone else gets hurt.

Spurring her team into action, she quickly hones in on a prime suspect. But then he suddenly dies while on police watch, and Bernie’s investigation goes into freefall. When Bernie’s superiors won’t let her take the case any further, her gut instinct tells her there’s much more to his death than meets the eye. If it was murder, who would want him dead, and why? So she determines to set out on her own to find out what happened.

But the closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her own life in danger. And with Keira finally strong enough to talk her about her attack, Bernie worries she may be at risk yet again. There’s someone out there who has killed to stay safe in the shadows; can Bernie stop another senseless death, and save Keira, before it’s too late?

My thoughts on Left for Dead…

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My Week In Reviews: 6th February 2022

Happy Sunday and welcome to another weekly update where I share a little about what’s happened to me this week and the books I’ve reviewed.

Although I posted three times this week, I only shared one review, Come Closer by Sara Gran, a novella that can be read as a simple horror, or as more of a social commentary on how women sometimes try so hard to fit a mould, they lose themselves.

My other two posts were my January Reads and a Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names (which I though would be hard till I started looking at the books I’ve read). January was a good month for reading, with mainly four and two five-star reviews – Girl A and The Raptures.

Beyond that, it’s been a bit of a busy week, though we did get some cookies baked as planned last Sunday (thank you Nigella for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe). Today, we have more windy weather forecast so not sure what’s on the agenda!

I also checked a New Years resolution box and posted on TikTok. Not sure if I will post anymore but I became quite a fan of some booktokkers last year and wanted to stop ‘lurking’. Anyone out there reading this enjoy booktok too?

And that’s it. How was your week, reading and otherwise?

Emma x

Joining in with the Sunday Post and Kimberly, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Come Closer by Sara Gran #BookReview

There was no reason to assume anything out of the ordinary was going on.

Strange noises in the apartment. Impulsive behaviour. Intense dreams.

It wasn’t like everything went wrong all at once. Shoplifting. Fighting. Blackouts. There must be a reasonable explanation for all this.

My thoughts on Come Closer

Come Closer is a re-release of a novella published in 2003. I love Sara Gran’s Claire DeWitt series but this one had passed me by until late last year. I asked for it for Christmas without looking at it in too much detail, only to realise it was a horror when I took off the wrapping paper! After romance, horror is probably my least favourite genre.

Thankfully this wasn’t the type of horror I try to avoid. Yes, there was a bit of gore but the horror here was more psychological, which works for me. And even then, there is a question about whether what is happening is real or whether it is really about the societal ‘horror’ when a young woman doesn’t play by the rules.

This is especially true when you think about when it was written, before mobiles were common, and long before anyone had even thought of the phrase #metoo. In 2003, there was an expectation that we would ‘lean in’ and to not do so was somehow to fail (has a lot really changed?)

And so maybe the voice Amanda is hearing is her own – telling her that there is more to life than staying home and waiting for her husband to turn up late for the perfectly cooked meal she prepared (after a hard day at work, of course – because the chores were still her responsibility).

It would make sense, and I can completely sympathise. In fact, I did. I felt for Amanda and her need to ‘fix’ herself. But I also wanted her to find the joy her demon was bringing her. That I felt so much in such a short time is testament to Gran and her ability to squeeze everything out of every word.

Highly recommend. 5/5 stars.

Emma

Find on Amazon UK

Find on Amazon US

Other review of books by Sarah Gran

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway

The Infinite Blacktop