The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

Infinite Blacktop Sara GranWhen she comes too, in pain and with someone’s screams ringing in her ear, Claire DeWitt can’t remember where she is or how she got there.  Opening her eyes, she sees an ambulance and knows she’s on a stretcher about to be taken to hospital.  She also knows that, if she goes, she might not make it through the day alive.  So she attacks a police officer, steals a car and heads out to figure out just who was trying to kill her and why.

It’s a journey that takes her from her base in San Francisco to Las Vegas as she tracks down a man with white hair she isn’t sure exists.  Along the way she reflects on how she ended up as a private investigator, flashing back to her teenage years where she was obsessed with the Cynthia Silverton Detective series, as were her friends, who formed an unlikely trio of investigators through to how she got her private investigators license by figuring out who was dead and who wasn’t as part of a cold case.  

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.

My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England

My Husband's Lies by Caroline England

Where to start with My Husband’s Lies without giving anything away?  I’m not sure I can.  This book is so full of secrets and twists and turns spoilers are hard to avoid.  I’m going to try by just talking broad brushstrokes and seeing how that works.

It starts with a wedding, one which introduces you to four childhood friends – Nick (who’s wedding day it is), Will, Dan and Jen, all of whom, I think it’s fair to say, are slightly messed up.  Not one of them is completely happy and not one of them seems capable of being honest, with themselves or others.

So far, so like a lot of books out there.  What made this one stand out for me was how painful all their stories were and how heart-breaking.  I also liked how none went where I expected them to go.  For any of the four to be happy, people they loved would need to get hurt.  It was all very messy, just like life.

Having read England’s previous book, Beneath The Skin, the way the story was told (alternating chapters for each character) and the way it unfolded (it’s a slow build) was probably what I expected.  And this made me happy.  I had really enjoyed Beneath the Skin and I wasn’t disappointed here.  Liked it a lot!

About the book

Do you really know your friends?

On the afternoon of Nick and Lisa’s wedding, their close friend is found poised on a hotel window ledge, ready to jump.

As the shock hits their friendship group, they soon realise that none of them are being as honest with themselves – or with each other – as they think.

And there are secrets lurking that could destroy everything.
Tense, disturbing and clever, My Husband’s Lies is a breath-taking read, perfect for fans of Lucy Clarke and Erin Kelly.

Publisher: Avon
Publication date: 17th May 2018
Number of pages: 384
Rating: 5 out of 5
Genre: Genre fiction

Add to: 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.  

Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley

plants taste better richard buckleyPlants Taste Better offers 70 vegan recipes that look at using as much – if not all – of the plant you can and, whilst not a vegan myself (I’m a vegetarian), I have to say I am intrigued by the idea of cutting more animal-based products out of my diet.  My main problem when it comes to this is, though, how dull a lot of the recipes I look up online seem.  Not any more.

Not only is Plants Taste Better one of the most gorgeous cookbooks I have come across in a while, with pictures of food that made my mouth water, it is also one of the most interesting, from Buckley’s philosophy that put vegetables front and centre, to the range of recipes on offer.  I feel like if I did decide to become a vegan, I wouldn’t be bored with the range of options available.

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

The extraordinary life of sam hellWhen I occasionally daydream about writing a book, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is the type of book I dream about writing.  A book that creates incredibly memorable characters, that paints a picture of a life lived and a person I would like to get to know.

I probably will never get round to writing such a book but, thankfully, Robert Dugoni – better known to me for his Detective Tracy Crosswhite series – has so I don’t have to worry.

I apologies if I’m waxing a little lyrical here but I just really enjoyed this book.  There wasn’t a thing about it I didn’t (meaning you can probably guess the rating if you don’t have time to read the rest of my review).

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

Skin Deep Liz NugentSkin Deep is one of those books with a killer opening, literally.  Cordelia wakes up hungover, wondering what to do with the dead body in her flat.  To try and give herself time to think, she heads out, looking for food, company and alcohol.  As her evening spirals, she starts to realise she has nowhere to turn, nowhere to go and she is out of options.

Where Liz Nugent goes from here is back to the beginning, to the small island off the coast of Ireland that Cordelia (not that she was Cordelia then) grew up on, to a family tragedy that changed her life, and then on through mistake after mistake and bad decision after bad decision till she ends up in a room on the French Riviera and a dead body.  

The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

The Good LiarWhere to start with this review.  It’s been over a week since I finished The Good Liar and I am still thinking about it and still feeling in awe of Catherine McKenzie and her ability to take me outside of myself when I’m reading her books.

This is now the fifth book of hers I’ve read and the fifth one I’ve fallen in love with.  Why?  Her characters mainly.  They are so well written – so messily real – that I can’t help getting completely caught up in their lives.

Here, there is Cecily, a grieving widow the world has fallen in love with; Kate, a wife and a mother who is trying to outrun her past; and Franny, Kate’s given-up-for-adoption daughter, who has found her mother only to lose her again.

The Fear by C. L . Taylor

The Fear

When Lou’s father dies, and after a bad break-up with her boyfriend, she decides to up sticks, leaving London and returning to her childhood home, one she hasn’t been back to for 18 years.

Given what happened when she was last there, it’s possibly not the smartest idea, but she feels she needs to to confront her demons and start living her life again.

The what happened is she ran away with her teacher, a much older man.  Or at least that’s the cliff notes version.  As The Fear unfolds, so does Lou’s story, which is much more frightening than it first appears and explains a lot about why she is who she is.

Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary

come and find meDI Marnie Rome is back and, for me, it couldn’t come a moment too soon as I was in need of a book in my favourite genre that left me feeling completely satisfied and a lot less grumpy that I been with recent reads.

I love Marnie because, whilst she’s go baggage, she’s also normal.  Her past bothers her, colours her present, but isn’t all consuming.  She still manages to have normal relationships with her partner and her team and she doesn’t go running off on her own every two seconds to prove something to herself.  

Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris

Bring me backFinn’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?