Happy Sunday! I hope everyone’s had a good first week to the New Year. I’m back blogging after a much needed break from day-to-day life. I had time off work, slept late, read more, and ate way too much chocolate. It was hard getting back into the swing of things this week, though I have sort-of managed (it helps it was a three-day week for me).
And, while I’m not much of a one for new years resolutions, I am going to try and find a better balance between work and life in 2022 – I don’t think I realised how much I had been working until I stopped but my brain didn’t for at least the first few days after my holidays started.
One family. Two missing children. A lifetime of secrets.
Ten-year-old Ethan Clarke’s disappearance gripped the nation. Just as his parents are starting to piece together a life ‘after Ethan’, their world is ripped apart once more when their daughter, Robin, disappears in almost identical circumstances. They’ve lost two children within a decade…and now doubts about their innocence are setting in.
Detective Sam Maguire’s obsession with the first case cost him his own family, but he has unfinished business with the Clarkes. He is convinced that discovering what happened to Ethan holds the key to finding Robin. But what if the Clarkes know more than they’re letting on?
With the world watching eagerly, the clock is ticking for Sam as he embarks on an investigation that forces him to confront his own demons. To uncover the truth, he must follow a trail of devastating deception—but the truth always comes at a cost…
Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.
Happy Sunday! I hope everyone’s had a good week. Work wise, mine was much better than the week before – for the most part. I got my tender submitted Wednesday and promptly crashed, a mix of physical and mental exhaustion. I shut down my computer and expected to catch up on sleep. I was too wired though I think and ended up lying down but binge watching Maid instead, which was excellent, if a bit grim in places (and a reminder, once again, about how lucky I have been in life).
Because I had a better work/life balance this week, I managed to get two reviews up, though no other posts. Unfortunately, neither book were what I hoped. I struggled with the characters (didn’t ‘bond’ with any of them), and the plots (not enough complexity).
Elodie Fray wants to be more like her perfect sister, Ada, the one her parents are actually proud of. When she decided to quit her job and pursue her dream of becoming an author, she thought it would be her time to shine, but a year on nothing has happened. And she’s getting desperate.
When Elodie makes one small mistake on a drunken night with a friend, things quickly spiral and suddenly everyone believes she has a book deal. Unable to find a way back from her little lie, her perfect dream becomes a perfect nightmare – and desperate times call for desperate measures.
Meanwhile, everything is not as it seems in Ada Archer’s perfect life. When her sister suddenly disappears, she questions everything – from her marriage, to the man who’s been charged with Elodie’s abduction. The papers say it’s him, but the more she digs into her sister’s life the less convinced she is. Ada will do anything to discover the truth, even if it kills her.
No one knows what happened to Elodie Fray, and now her only chance of survival is her sister.
American journalist Rose Kynaston has just relocated to the childhood home of her husband, Dylan, in the English village of his youth. There’s a lot for Rose to get used to in Hurtwood. Like the family’s crumbling mansion, inhabited by Dylan’s reclusive mother, and the treacherous hill it sits upon, a place of both sinister folklore and present dangers.
Then there are the unwelcoming villagers, who only whisper the name Kynaston—like some dreadful secret, a curse. Everyone knows what happened at Hurtwood House twenty years ago. Everyone except Rose. And now that Dylan is back, so are rumors about his past.
When an archaeological dig unearths human remains on the hill, local police sergeant Ellie Trevelyan vows to solve a cold case that has cast a chill over Hurtwood for decades.
As Ellie works to separate rumour from fact, Rose must fight to clear the name of the man she loves. But how can Rose keep her family safe if she is the last to know the truth?
She thought she was the perfect mother—until the new neighbours moved in.
Emma and Dele’s dreams came true nine years ago when they adopted their daughter, Isla. It felt like fate, like they were meant to find each other, and now they’re living the life they always wanted. But then one day a new family moves into Forest Grove—and Emma can’t shake the chilling feeling that the wife looks just like Isla’s birth mother.
Emma tells herself that this sophisticated stranger can’t possibly be the troubled woman she remembers from the adoption. But as they get to know each other and it becomes clear that Tatjana has a special interest in Isla, her suspicions grow.
When small things start to go wrong and her parenting abilities are brought into question, Emma feels undermined, turning to her sister Harriet for support. But things only spiral further when secrets from her past suddenly resurface.
With rumours swirling, Emma begins to doubt herself. Could Tatjana be Isla’s birth mother? And, with everything that’s happening, is Emma the right person to be raising her daughter at all?
From the Man Booker Prize longlisted author of The Water Cure – discover this chilling new novel about motherhood, free will and fate, human longing and animal instinct
‘The cool intensity and strange beauty of Blue Ticket is a wonder – be sure to read everything Sophie Mackintosh writes’ Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk
‘A gripping, sinister fable’ Margaret Atwood on The Water Cure
Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you children. A blue ticket grants you freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And, once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back.
But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one?
Blue Ticket is a devastating enquiry into free will and the fraught space of motherhood. Bold and chilling, it pushes beneath the skin of female identity and patriarchal violence, to the point where human longing meets our animal bodies.