Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

All she knows for sure: He’s back.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

It’s been a while since I have spend any time with Rainie and Quincy, the two Lisa Gardner characters I feel the most connected too as they were in the first of her books I read. Starting Right Behind You felt like meeting up with old friends. I had missed them and needed to know what they had been up to, which includes making a family with their soon to be adopted foster daughter, Sharlah.

Sharlah is a teenager and a difficult one at times. Not just because of her age but because of her past. Raised by parents who were alcoholics and drug addicts until she was four, she has been in the foster system ever since, moving from home to home. The same is true of her brother Telly, who she hasn’t seen since they were taken into care. For him, life was probably more difficult still. He was five years older. And he had killed his dad after his dad had stabbed his mom. Or at least that is his and Sharlah’s story and it’s one they have both stuck to.

Things seemed to have been turning round for seventeen year old Telly though. He was living with a caring foster family who were determined to give him the skills to enter adulthood. So it seemed to make no sense when his foster parents turned up dead, as well as two other seemingly innocent people, all shot by Telly before he went on the run. What also didn’t make sense was why he had photos of Sharlah and whether she was in danger.

It is left for Rainie, Quincy and the local sheriff to figure out because they may not know where Telly is or where he’ll be ongoing next but they do know things don’t seem to make sense. This becomes more obvious to the reader as Telly tells his story, staring with his early life and how he tried to keep his sister safe through to how he began to care for his foster parents. These chapters are interspersed with ones focusing on the search for him, including ones told by Sharlah.

Hearing from Telly and Sharlah is one of the things that sets this book apart. It humanises a potential killer and shines a light on just how hard life can be for kids that grow up in care, especially when their early life makes it hard for them to trust. It also show how love can make a real difference in the lives of such kids.  This might seem an odd thing to be saying in a review of a piece of crime fiction but it is an important part of the story and gives it a depth you don’t find in a lot of books in this genre. It means you care for the characters, and want things to work out for them.

The other thing that makes this book great is the story itself. It’s a complicated plot with lots of twists and turns. Yet it doesn’t feel far fetched or unbelievable. Each secret revealed or mystery uncovered seems right, makes perfect sense, and helps develop your understanding of the characters and their behaviours or provides you with a vital piece of the puzzle  to just what is going on. It also builds the tension right through to the final scenes, meaning I couldn’t stop turning the pages and I can’t say more about this book other than I loved it – a highly recommended read.

Enjoy!

Emma

loved-it

 

Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 31st January, 2017
Pages: 368
Format: ebook (Kindle)
Genre: crime fiction

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

The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

25079833‘Mummy dead.’ The child’s pure treble was uncomfortably clear. It was the last thing Brynjar – and doubtless the others – wanted to hear at that moment. ‘Daddy dead.’ It got worse. ‘Adda dead. Bygga dead.’ The child sighed and clutched her grandmother’s leg. ‘All dead.’

A luxury yacht arrives in Reykjavik harbour with nobody on board. What has happened to the crew, and to the family who were on board when it left Lisbon?

Thora Gudmundsdottir is hired by the young father’s parents to investigate, and is soon drawn deeper into the mystery. What should she make of the rumours saying that the vessel was cursed, especially given that when she boards the yacht she thinks she sees one of the missing twins? Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht’s former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore?

The Silence of the Sea was my first read of 2017 (though obviously not my first review, I’m not that efficient) and I have to say I’m really glad that I chose it.  It was a good start to my reading year and has convinced me I need to read more books by an author who writes chilling tales but has a name I will never be able to pronounce.

Much like the first book I read by Sigurdardottir, Why Did You Lie? there is a slightly spooky element to The Silence of the Sea which sets it apart from other books of the genre and leaves you with plenty to figure out and make best guesses at.  And how much spookier could a ship with new crew and passengers running aground be, especially on a dark, cold and rainy night in Iceland.  Add to that the ships reputation as being cursed and bringing those who own it nothing but bad luck and you have a real page turner.

The bad luck in this case starts with a rich man and his beautiful wife who end up not so rich and unable to pay for their luxury yacht, leaving it stranded in Lisbon. It’s the job of Aegir to make sure it makes it back to it’s new owners (and also the bank he works for) safely.  Unfortunately, things don’t quite go to plan when a member of the crew breaks their leg.  To make sure they can set off on time, he volunteers to take the crew members place, setting off with his family on what will be a fatal voyage.

In Iceland, Thora is a lawyer hired by Aegir’s parents to help them keep their granddaughter and make claim on any insurance money.  Slowly, she begins to try to unpick just what happened to Aegir, his family and – as a result – the rest of the crew, convinced it isn’t possible for everyone to be lost at sea but also not sure she wants to think of the consequences – including that Aegir is on the run for reasons unknown.

I say slowly because that’s the pace of this book.  It doesn’t throw things at you but reveals them bit by bit, lulling you into a false sense of security at times before throwing a curve ball and making you sit up and take notice.  The pace might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I didn’t mind it.  It made me feel like I was getting to think through what was happening and come to my own (wrong) conclusions.

As Thora works in the present to find answers, revealing secrets and unearthing red herrings, the past is revealed in alternating chapters, telling just what happened to everyone on board.  Again, there are twists, turns and plenty of suspects.  Nothing is as it seems, which for a reader is great.  Every time I thought I’d figured it out, I found I hadn’t.  Plus the setting was good, lots to make it seem creepy and you feel that danger lurked around every corner and behind every wave.

Thora is a great character, tenacious and caring and I liked her and her slightly annoying but still interesting secretary Bella who helped her in her investigation.  It was hard to say with Aegir and his family, though the captain of the ship I did think was really well written. I could picture him, hardened by years at sea and experienced enough to take on most things. Aegir I was up and down with, liking him one minute, not the next and finding him quite weak and frustrating in others – but then he is at sea with a bunch of strangers, potentially murderous ones, and has a family to protect so maybe I’m being a bit picky here.

This uncertainty about Aegir certainly didn’t stop me enjoying the book, which I most certainly did.  I thought it was a clever idea, well executed and well written.  I found I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t stop turning pages and – as a result – have to say I liked it a lot.

Enjoy!

Emma

liked-it-a-lot

Source: Library
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 26th March, 2015 (first published 2011)
Pages: 388
Format: paperback

 

Wedlock by Wendy Moore

6022200

When Mary Eleanor Bowes, the Countess of Strathmore, was abducted in Oxford Street in broad daylight in 1786, the whole country was riveted to news of the pursuit.

The only daughter of a wealthy coal magnate, Mary Eleanor had led a charmed youth. Precocious and intelligent, she enjoyed a level of education usually reserved for the sons of the aristocracy. Mary was only eleven when her beloved father died, making her the richest heiress in Britain, and she was soon beset by eager suitors. Her marriage, at eighteen, to the beautiful but aloof Earl of Strathmore, was one of the society weddings of the year. With the death of the earl some eight years later, Mary re-entered society with relish and her salons became magnets for leading Enlightenment thinkers – as well as a host of new suitors keen to court her fortune.

Mary soon fell under the spell of a handsome Irish soldier, Andrew Robinson Stoney, but scandalous rumours were quick to spread. Swearing to defend her honor, Mary’s gallant hero was mortally wounded in a duel – his dying wish that he might marry Mary. Within hours of the ceremony, he seemed to be in the grip of a miraculous recovery …

Wedlock tells the story of one eighteenth-century woman’s experience of a brutal marriage, and her fight to regain her liberty and justice. Subjected to appalling violence, deception, kidnap and betrayal, the life of Mary Eleanor Bowes is a remarkable tale of triumph in the face of overwhelming odds.

I read a lot of books where vulnerable young women fall in love with men that seem too good to be true, only to find themselves trapped in loveless marriages with husbands who have ulterior motives and mean them harm. It’s up to the woman to find an inner strength and fight her way back to freedom. Often after reading these books, I make comments that basically say I find it hard to believe that the men could appear so perfect and the women so gullible (and, yes, I know I keep reading them but I also still enjoy them)

“Convinced of her new husband’s imminent demise, the countess felt no need to reveal to him two quite devasting secrets. and for her part, Mary Eleanor was about to discover some surpring facts about “Captain” Stoney”.

Now I’ve read Wedlock I may never say that again because it’s exactly what happened with Mary Eleanor Bowes, the richest heiress in Georgian England. If anything, her story is more unbelievable, something she even admitted in the story she wrote of her own life, saying that what happened to her was “so uncommon as to stagger the belief of Posterity“.

This is a fascinating story of a woman who seems like she could of achieved great things, despite her sex,  because – unlike most Georgian woman – she had a good education, speaking several languages and being an excellent botanist. Unfortunately, the first man she married set out a stop to her ambition and the second nearly killed her. Her relationship with the second, Andrew Stoney, is the focus of this book and her efforts to escape him.

I am not sure how to describe Stoney. Sly, sneaky, manipulative, vicious and plain old evil all spring to mind but not seem to fully describe just how awful he was and how much he plotted and connived to marry Mary and get his hands on her fortune. It started before Mary had even met him, when her first husband died, and he set out to London determined to get her to fall in love with him.

Unfortunately, she had another suitor, one she had already agreed to marry – considered legally binding in Georgian England. Undeterred, Stoney plotted with a newspaper to publish letters that alternately besmirched and defended Mary’s reputation before fighting a fake duel in her honour. After his fake duel he lay on his fake deathbed and asked Mary to grant his dying wish and marry him. Thinking he had days to live, she agreed…only to find him miraculously recovered the next day.

Like I said, if it wasn’t true you wouldn’t believe it. But it is and, because of the court documents and newspaper accounts of the day which detailed every element of their relationship from first meeting (because Georgian papers loved celebrity gossip as much as our red tops do today) through to Mary’s brave attempts to leave and divorce Stoney. And she was brave. This was a period when men owned their wives for all intents and purposes, with all their wives money becoming theirs when they married and with their being allowed to “discipline” their wives as long as it was reasonable and confine them “for their own good”.

All this made for a fascinating book about a fascinating woman. It was well written and I learnt so much about the period and the rights of women (plus some random facts like the term Stoney broke comes from Andrew Stoney, who never had any money but his wives). I also have amazing respect for women like Mary Eleanor for standing up for themselves and to society. What Mary Eleanor did “represented another step in the slow march towards the outlying of domestic abuse, wrongful confinement…and rights to retain property”. Without them I wouldn’t have the freedoms I have today and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful to Wendy Moore for writing this book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Loved it’s!

Enjoy!

Emma

loved-it

Source: Library
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publication Date: 10th March, 2009
Pages: 502
Format: paperback

Tuesday Intro: Liar, Liar

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. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week I’m reading Liar, Liar by M. J. Arlidge, an author whose books I’m coming to love. This is the fourth in the Helen Grace series and is looking like a corker.  here’s what it’s about…

image

Detective Helen Grace has never seen such destruction. Six fires in twenty-four hours. Two people dead. Several more injured. It’s as if someone wants to burn the city to the ground…

With the whole town on high alert, Helen and her team must sift through the rubble to find the arsonist, someone whose thirst for fire—and control—is reducing entire lives to ashes.

One misstep could mean Helen’s career—and more lives lost. And as the pressure mounts and more buildings burn, Helen’s own dark impulses threaten to consume her…

And here how it starts…

Luke scrambled through the open window and on to the narrow ledge outside. Grasping the plastic guttering above his head, he pulled himself upright. The guttering creaked ominously, threatening to give way at any moment, but Luke couldn’t risk letting go. He was dizzy, breathless and very, very scared.

A blast of icy wind roared over him, flapping his thin cotton pyjamas like a manic kite. He was already losing the feeling in his feet –the chill from the rough stone creeping up his body –and the sixteen-year-old knew he would have to act quickly, if he was to save his life. Slowly he inched his way forward, peering over the lip of the ledge. The cars, the people below seemed so small –the hard, unforgiving road so far away.

He’d always had a thing about heights and, looking down from this top-floor vantage point, his first instinct was to recoil. To turn back into the house. But he stood firm. He couldn’t believe what he was contemplating, but he didn’t have a choice, so releasing his grip, he hung his toes over the edge and prepared to jump. He counted down in his head. Three, two, one …

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

 

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

25365530‘NEW N A M E .
NEW F A M I L Y.
S H I N Y.
NEW.
ME . ‘

Annie’s mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…

Good Me, Bad Me is one of those books that seems to have gotten a lot of hype.  They’re the type of books I normally stay away from – at least when they are first released, frightened I’ll be disappointed.  In this case, though, I couldn’t resist.  The description sounded right up my street and also a little different from my usual reads.  I have to say I’m glad I took the plunge because it was different and just what I needed after a string of not so hot books.

It starts with Milly (or Annie as she was) turning her mother into the police for child abuse and murder.  It’s a shocking opening and grabs you immediately, presenting you with an image that isn’t graphic in any way but still stays with you throughout the book.  You are left in no doubt Milly’s mom is guilty and a monster, someone who should go to prison for a very long time.

What you aren’t so sure about is Milly, who is the only voice you hear in the book, as she tries to settle with her new foster family and prepare for the court case where she will be the “star” witness.  Starting a new life isn’t easy and her foster sister, Phoebe, isn’t happy to have her around, especially as Milly takes up too much of her parents’ time.  Phoebe goes out of her way to make life difficult for Milly, who only seems to want to be friends – well, just make friends in general, she is a lonely girl.

Or at least that’s what it seems like at first because there is a darker side to Milly and, after being drawn in by her story and feeling a lot of sympathy for her, I started to feel unsure.  Slowly, secrets from her past are revealed and she does things that maybe aren’t as nice as she would want you to believe. I couldn’t tell if I was being played, if Milly was maybe a chip of the old block, or if her behaviour was a result of her wanting to fit in and be loved.

It made for a compelling read and I found Milly a compelling character, one I wanted to understand but was also maybe a little afraid of, very much like the people around her.  They wanted to be sympathetic, wanted to believe she was an innocent victim, but wondered – was she really?  Or at least I think that’s what they thought because the only voice you hear is Milly’s so you only get her take on what is said and done.  It’s her version – and the question is whether it’s the true one.

I thought Ali Land did a really good job with Milly, of creating someone you didn’t know if you liked but felt you should give a chance to because of what had happened to her.  By making her 15, going on 16, it did feel like there was a grey area there – that nagging question of why Milly maybe hadn’t done something sooner to speak out.  Some of these things are answered in the book but I won’t say because of spoilers but there are a few times when I had “lightbulb” moments, where Milly would reveal something or do something that completely changed my opinion of her.

Of course, because this is Milly’s story, you don’t get to know the other characters that well and the foster family are somewhat two dimensional as a result.  Then again, as Milly’s character starts to emerge, maybe this was on purpose, because in a way they weren’t necessarily real to her but people to be manipulated to reach an end.  Her mother was much more real, or at least a very real monster.

Seen through the eyes of Milly you see confusion, this is a woman who she loved but also hated.  You never meet her or hear from her directly but she dominates a lot of the pages.  And you see through Milly’s memories and nightmares of her just what type of woman her daughter might become.  I liked this about the book, that I kept second guessing myself about Milly.

In fact, there wasn’t much I didn’t like if I’m honest, other than maybe the final twist.  I am not sure I needed that.  I felt I had a good ending, a slightly ambiguous one that seemed to go with the Milly I knew.  So, although I was proved right in the final chapter, I would have liked to have been left with a bit of a question mark.  It’s a small thing and didn’t stop me liking the book though, which I did – a lot (if you can like a book about a child murderer, which I guess is another post entirely!).

Enjoy!

Emma

liked-it-a-lot

Source: Net Galley
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 12th January, 2017
Pages: 400
Format: eBook (Kindle)

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

Weekly update: 8th January, 2017

Hi all and welcome to my first weekly update of 2017. I hope everyone had a good Christmas and new year and, for me, that this year doesn’t go by quite as quickly as 2016, though I’m not holding put too much hope. This first week of the year was a short one for me as we had a bank holiday on Monday so was a nice way to start back at work. Unfortunately it was also a week of travelling and I was away two days, not my favourite thing but part of my job. Still, with a bit of pre-planning over the holidays I managed to post each day…

On Sunday I joined in with Sheila at book journey and a ton of other bloggers to share my First book of the year, The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðardótti which I really enjoyed and will be reviewing this week.

On Monday I reviewed my last read of 2016, Duplicity by Sibel Hodge, which I also really enjoyed and was a great way to finish off the year.

On Tuesday I introduced my next read, which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow, Good Me Bad Me.

On Wednesday my reading luck changed with my review of The Missing by Caroline Eriksson which I didn’t enjoy nearly as much as I thought I would thanks to a confusing story and frustrating characters.

On Thursday my next review felt like much of the same with a book I thought would be right up my street. Unfortunately Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis just couldn’t keep me engaged and, like The Missing, had characters I couldn’t click with.

On Friday I joined in with Feature and Follow to share  Most Anticipated Read of 2017, only I couldn’t pick just one so settled on my most looked forward to read of January.

On Saturday I didn’t post anything but did pick up three books (links to goodreads)…

The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language Liar Liar (Helen Grace, #4) Injured Parties: Solving the Murder of Dr Helen Davidson

And that’s it for me this week. What about you, has it been a good one, reading and otherwise?

Emma x

This week, I’m linking in with Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post and with (a little early) Katherine at Book Date for It’s Monday, What Are you Reading? Head over to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.

The Sunday Post

#FF: Most Anticipated Read of 2017 (well, January 2017)

feature-and-follow

After a month off I’m joining in again with  Feature & Follow hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week they post a prompt, which you respond to, and then spend some time visiting and following other blogs (the following is an important part).  This week, the prompt is…

Most anticipated read of 2017?

At first I thought this was going to be too hard because there are lots of books I am already looking forward to reading this year, with some of my favourite authors brining out new books. Plus, as I’m not very good at looking ahead, there are probably lots of books coming out I am completely unaware of but will no doubt buy as soon as I do become aware of them.

So, to make my life easier, I decided to highlight a book I will definitely be buying and reading when it comes out next…

imageGrowing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves–until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing was one of my favourite reads last year so I’m excited by this, which sounds really good.  Fingers crossed I’m not disappointed.

What about you – what ae you looking forward to reading this year?

Emma

 

 

Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis

30014133Thomas Huston, a beloved professor and bestselling author, is something of a local hero in the small Pennsylvania college town where he lives and teaches. So when Huston’s wife and children are found brutally murdered in their home, the community reacts with shock and anger. Huston has also mysteriously disappeared, and suddenly, the town celebrity is suspect number one.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco has secrets of his own, but he can’t believe that a man he admired, a man he had considered a friend, could be capable of such a crime. Hoping to glean clues about Huston’s mind-set, DeMarco delves into the professor’s notes on his novel-in-progress. Soon, DeMarco doesn’t know who to trust—and the more he uncovers about Huston’s secret life, the more treacherous his search becomes.

Two Days Gone is one of those books that looks like it would be perfect for me on paper.  It starts with a brutal murder – always a good sign – and then goes straight onto the manhunt for the supposed perpetrator, the husband and father of the murder victims.  I say supposed because it isn’t clear he (Thomas Huston) is the killer and those who know him well say it isn’t in his character to have behaved in such a way.

Tracking him down is a detective that both knows and admires him, considers him as close to a friend as he has.  And that is saying something because DeMarco doesn’t have any friends, or family for that matter.  He is a man who lives alone and works alone and seems to do everything in his power to make people dislike him.  In Thomas though he had seen a kindred spirit, someone who maybe wasn’t as happy on the outside as he appeared.

This feeling seems to make it easy for DeMarco to decide Huston has killed his family, at least until the evidence stops adding up and he starts finding people lying to him everywhere he turns.  Determined to find the truth, he digs deeper into Huston’s life than he might otherwise, discovering secrets about his friend and author and also truths about himself.  It isn’t always pretty and I found both DeMarco and Huston hard to like as a result.

This dislike meant that I couldn’t root for either of them.  I do struggle when I can’t connect to characters and this was definitely the case here.  Their fates, which as a reader I should have been invested in, didn’t really mean much to me and,  as a result, I found I didn’t much care for the outcome of the story.  This is a shame and it wasn’t the case all the way through.  Initially, I was drawn in.  Both men have tragedy in their pasts and this made them vulnerable, characters I should feel for.

However, as the book went on I became frustrated with their behaviour.  I understood Thomas’ confusion at the beginning but not his actions at the end.  Silvas does his best to explain it but for me it didn’t fit with the picture of Thomas he had drawn.  I also didn’t understand DeMarco.  I got why he was angry, why he was a loner, but I didn’t understand why he didn’t act at certain points in the investigation, other than to keep the plot moving forward.

For me, it was the final third that left me disengaged.  Up until then, the story had alternated between DeMarco and Huston, with chapters focusing on Huston’s state of mind as he tried to make sense of what had happened.  It meant the plot slowly unfolded and there were twists and turns to keep me interested and turning pages.  Then Huston disappeared apart from as part of DeMarco’s story and the detective’s story was the only one I was reading.

I kept expecting to hear from Huston again and when I didn’t I felt disappointed.  The same was true of the ending which, for me, didn’t ring true.  Like I said earlier, this was a shame but for me this was a book that started well, showed promise but didn’t deliver.  I liked it but only a little – sorry!

Emma

liked-it-a-little

Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: 10th January, 2017
Pages: 400
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Format: eBook (Kindle)

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

 

The Missing by Caroline Eriksson

32875064An ordinary outing takes Greta, Alex, and four-year-old Smilla across Sweden’s mythical Lake Malice to a tiny, isolated island. While father and daughter tramp into the trees, Greta stays behind in the boat, lulled into a reverie by the misty, moody lake…only later to discover that the two haven’t returned. Her frantic search proves futile. They’ve disappeared without a trace.

Greta struggles to understand their eerie vanishing. She desperately needs to call Alex, to be reassured that Smilla is safe, or contact the police. But now her cell phone is missing too. Back at her cottage, she finds it hidden away under the bedsheets. Had she done that? Or had someone else been in the cottage? But who, and why?

As Greta struggles to put the pieces together, she fears that her past has come back to torment her, or she’s finally lost her grip on reality…

The Missing is one of those books that seems to have been written just for me with the mysterious disappearance of a father and daughter and the woman who loves them desperately trying to figure out what has happened to them, at the same time as holding onto her sanity.  Because she has secrets, lots of them it turns out, which mean going to the police or calling anyone else for help doesn’t feel like an option.

It starts innocently enough, a trip across the lake to an island that locals call Malice because legend has it people disappear from it never to be seen again.  Just like Alex and Smilla.  Greta, though, isn’t from the area.  She doesn’t take it seriously.  Until she wakes up from a nap and knows instantly that they aren’t there.  Days of frantic searching lead to nothing but a run in with a gang of youths who are more than a little threatening and who seem to think Greta has stolen from them.

Left on her own in a remote cabin, Greta starts to see things in the water, in reflections in mirrors and windows, and in the eyes of the few people she comes across.  She loses track of time and what is real and what isn’t.  The past, the things she has lived through, the secrets she has kept, all seem to come flooding in.  As they do, tensions build and Greta’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic.

Along the way, I found I had great sympathy for Greta, though I didn’t necessarily warm to her.  She has had a hard life and one that seemed almost destined for her to end up where and how she was.  There was just something missing for me.  I wanted to feel more strongly about her.  Instead, I felt like an outsider looking in. It meant that, even though the book was well written and well translated with lots of twists and turns I found myself easily distracted from it. For me, it wasn’t a page-turner. Though I didn’t dislike it, I just wasn’t connected. A shame but this one is a like not a love review.

Emma

liked-it-a-little

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Publication Date: 1st January, 2017
Pages: 201
Format: eBook (Kindle)

 

Tuesday intro: Good Me Bad Me

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. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

Right now I’m reading Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land, which is apparently set to be one of the books of 2017.  This makes me excited to read it but also nervous if it isn’t as good as I hope.

This is what it’s about…

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‘NEW N A M E .
NEW F A M I L Y.
S H I N Y.
NEW.
ME . ‘

Annie’s mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…

Here’s how it starts…

Forgive me when I tell you it was me.

It was me that told.

The detective. A kindly man, belly full and round. Disbelief at first.  Then, the stained dungarees I pulled from my bag. Tiny.

The teddy bear on the front peppered red with blood. I could have brought more, so many to choose from. She never knew I kept them.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma