Tuesday intro: Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

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, after a few weeks of review copies, I’m back at the library with Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts, which I know nothing about but which caught my eye because of the title. Here’s what it’s about…

31129137The death of a local sex offender places the police officers at East Rise incident room under immense pressure – they must treat this case like any other murder, but they know what Albie Woodville did and can feel little sympathy. Except, as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear this isn’t just a one-off killing – someone is out for revenge …

Not much to go on is there?  Here’s how it starts…

Few things made Dean Stillbrook happy any more but the one part of the day he really enjoyed, relished, adored, was his early morning walk through the woods from his flat to work.

The hideous experience of the last six months was only now starting to blur into the past where it belonged.  He hadn’t for one moment believed that he would ever look forward to the rest of his life. One stupid mistake had cost him so much but he was learning to adapt and be glad for the small things in his day to day existence.

As he made his way deeper into the trees, he paused for a second to tilt his face up towards the sky, the May sunshine breaking through the branches and warming his face. He stood still, eyes shut, and listened to the birds, a slight breeze rustling the leaves, and then he heard the sound of movement behind him.

A bit of a longer intro to make up for the blurb. What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

 

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Tuesday intro: The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan

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 the oldest book on my Kindle (part of a personal challenge I wrote about here). I’m a little way in and not sure how I feel. I normally love Nordic Noir, which this is, but it’s also very long and very wordy…we’ll see I guess. Here’s what it’s about…

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How could one man inspire such hatred?

Professor Lars Helland is found at his desk with his tongue lying in his lap. A violent fit has caused him to bite through it in his death throes. A sad but simple end. Until the autopsy results come through.

The true cause of his death – the slow, systematic and terrible destruction of a man – leaves the police at a loss. And when a second member of Helland’s department disappears, their attention turns to a postgraduate student named Anna. She’s a single mother, angry with the world, desperate to finish her degree. Would she really jeopardise everything by killing her supervisor?

As the police investigate the most brutal and calculated case they’ve ever known, Anna must fight her own demons, prove her innocence and avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.

And here’s how it starts…

Solnhofen, Southern Germany, 5 April 1877

Anna Bella Nor was dreaming she had unearthed Archaeopteryx, the earliest and most primitive bird known. The excavation was in its sixth week, a fine layer of soil had long since embedded itself into everyone’s faces and the mood had hit rock bottom. Friedemann von Molsen, the leader of the excavation, was the only one still in high spirits. Every morning when Anna staggered out of her tent, sleepy and shivering in the cold, von Molsen would be sitting by the fire, drinking coffee; the congealed porridge in the pot proving he had cooked and eaten his breakfast long ago. Anna was fed up with porridge, fed up with dirt, fed up with kneeling on the ground that only revealed bones that were, of course, interesting in their own right, but were too young to be the reason she studied biology, and most definitely not the reason she was spending six weeks of her precious summer holiday living in such miserable conditions. The year was 1877 and, at this point in her dream, Anna got the distinct feeling that something didn’t add up. She was wearing her quilted army jacket and thick furry boots with rubber soles, but Friedemann von Molsen didn’t seem the least surprised, even though he was wearing a three-piece corduroy suit with a pocket watch, a woolly cap, which rested on his ears, and had a pipe in his mouth.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

 

Tuesday intro: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

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 non-fiction, which I never read enough of, in the form of The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.  This is what it’s about…

31409135The incredible true story of the young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium and their brave struggle for justice…

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive—until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.

And here’s how it starts…

Prologue

Paris, France
1901

The scientist had forgotten all about the radium.  It was tucked discreetly within the folds of his waistcoat pocket, enclosed in a slim glass tube in such a small quantity that he could not feel its weight.  He had a lecture to deliver in London, England, and the vial of radium stayed within that shadowy pocket for the entirety of his journey across the sea.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

Tuesday intro: Driven by James Sallis

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 am reading Driven by one of my favourite authors, James Sallis.  It’s a follow up to Drive, which I loved so I have high hopes for this.  Here’s what it’s about…

14623750Seven years have passed since Driver ended his campaign against those who double-crossed him. He has left the old life, become Paul West and founded a successful business back in Phoenix. But walking down the street one day, he and his fiancee are attacked by two men and, while Driver dispatches both, his fiancee is killed. Sinking back into anonymity, aided by his friend Felix, an ex-gangbanger and Desert Storm vet, Driver realises that his past stalks him – and will not stop. He has to turn and face it

And here’s how it starts

Chapter 1

They came for him just after 11: 00 on a Saturday morning, two of them. It was hot going hotter; sunlight caught in the fine sheen of sweat on Elsa’s forehead. A hint of movement in the side of his eye as they passed a short side street—and the first one was there. He spun, slamming his foot and the whole of his body weight against the outside of the man’s right knee, and heard it give. By the time the man was down, that same foot hit his throat. He shuddered twice, trying to pull in air through the shattered windpipe, and was still. The second had come up behind by then, but Driver was down, rolling, and behind him, left arm clamped around his neck, right elbow locked over the wrist.

It was all over in minutes. He understood then what had delayed the second man’s attack. Elsa lay against the wall of an abandoned café, blood pumping from the wound beneath her breast.

She had been trying to smile up at him as the light went out of her eyes.

And that’s the whole chapter – he is not a man of many words.  What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Regards

Emma

Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

 

 

 

 

Tuesday intro: The Lauras by Sara Taylor

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 The Lauras by Sara Taylor, which I’ve heard great things about and have had on my kindle for weeks so am excited to read.  Here’s what it’s about…

32969152I didn’t realise my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all that she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong.As we made our way from Virginia to California, returning to the places where she d lived as a child in foster care and as a teenager on the run, repaying debts and keeping promises, I learned who she was in her life-before-me and the secrets she had kept even from herself. But when life on the road began to feel normal I couldn’t forget the home we d left behind, couldn’t deny that, just like my mother, I too had unfinished business.

This enigmatic pilgrimage takes them back to various stages of Alex s mother s life, each new state prompting stories and secrets. Together they trace back through a life of struggle and adventure to put to rest unfinished business, to heal old wounds and to search out lost friends. This is an extraordinary story of a life; a stunning exploration of identity and an authentic study of the relationship between a mother and her child.

And here’s how it starts…

I could here them arguing, the way they argued nearly every night now, their voices pitched low and rasping in that way that meant they thought they were being too quiet to wake me up.  They were right in that their fights never did wake me up – but that was because I always stayed awake until they started.  I could feel one coming like the promise of a storm thickening the air.  When the rain’s on the way I can’t sleep either. Even though I always heard them, when morning rolled around I pretended that I’d slept through it all, because I didn’t know what else to do.

What do you think…would you keep reading?

Emma

Tuesday intro: Fell by Jenn Ashworth

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 Fell by Jenn Ashworth, which The Guardian tells me is “dark, compelling, and beautifully written” – I hope they are right.  Here’s what it’s about…

imageWhen Annette Clifford returns to her childhood home on the edge of Morecambe Bay, she despairs: the long empty house is crumbling, undermined by two voracious sycamores. What she doesn’t realise is that she’s not alone: her arrival has woken the spirits of her parents, who anxiously watch over her, longing to make amends. Because as the past comes back to Jack and Netty, they begin to see the summer of 1963 clearly, when Netty was desperately ill and a stranger moved in. Charismatic, mercurial Timothy Richardson, with his seemingly miraculous powers of healing, who drew all their attention away from Annette… Now, they must try to draw another stranger towards her, one who can rescue her.

 

And here’s how it starts…

Her key in the lock wakes us.  It wakes the starlings too: they rise chattering out of the tress in the front garden and hurl themselves into the sky.  They don’t fly far; before the door is open they have landed, disgruntled, on the roof ridge. We flutter at each other like leaves, find the words for things, laughing, stiff as bark, too wooden to grab and hold on tight.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Tuesday Intro: The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson

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 The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson, which I got a review copy of last week and needs reviewing by next week (it’s due out 23rd March if memory serves).  I have only read one other book by Sarginson, Without You but I really enjoyed it so am looking forward to this one.  Here’s what it’s about…

Wimagee all have our secrets. Eleanor Rathmell has kept one her whole life. But when her husband dies and a stranger arrives at her door, her safe life in the idyllic English village she’s chosen as her home begins to topple.

Everyone is suspicious of this stranger, except for Eleanor. But her trust in him will put her life in danger, because nothing is as it seems; not her dead husband, the man who claims to love her, or the inscrutable outsider to whom she’s opened her home and her heart.

And here’s how it starts…

Prologue

You were born just before Christmas. After all that hate, there you were. Being you. Staking your claim.  I thought I’d see him inside you. But there was no trace of his features in your small face. You were a stranger to me, a terrifying wonder. We cried all the time. You howling in earnest, and me seeping water silently without really knowing why. It was while you slept that I dared to marvel at you: your spiky lashes wet with tears, the way your toes curled in the palm of my hand, and the smell of your flaky scalp under the surprise of your thick, dark hair.  As I pressed my lips to your neck, I felt the tug of my womb contracting, a pain that connected us, a reminder that you were still a part of me.

What do you think – I have to say I like it but do you, and would you keep reading?

Emma

Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Tuesday Intro: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

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 The Legacy  by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, an Icelandic author I discovered last year and am slowly reading my way through. The Legacy is her latest offering. Here’s what it’s about…

The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?

The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

And here’s how it starts…

1987

Prologue

They sat on the bench as if arranged in order of size; the girl, who was the youngest, at one end, her two brothers next to her. One, three and four years old. Their thin legs dangled from the hard seat, but unlike normal children they didn’t swing them or wriggle about, and their new shoes hung motionless over the shiny linoleum. There was no curiosity, boredom or impatience in their faces. All three stared at the blank white wall in front of them as if watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Viewed through the glass, the scene resembled a photograph –a study of three children on a bench.

What do you think. Would you keep reading?

Emma

Tuesday Intro: Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey

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 Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey, an author I’ve read a fair few books from, though not all – and not all in this series.  Here’s what it’s about….

51F315SsdqL.jpgA murder without a body
Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.

A girl too scared to talk
Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is holding something back, but best friend Bethany Norris won’t let Maeve get close. What exactly is Bethany protecting Chloe from?

A detective with everything to prove
As the team dig deeper into the residents of Valerian Road, no one is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share…

And here’s how it starts…

It had been raining for fifty-six hours when Chloe Emery came home. The forecast had said to expect a heatwave; it wasn’t supposed to be raining.

And Chloe wasn’t supposed to be home.

Not much of a teaser I admit but is it enough to keep you reading?

Emma

Pre-order on Amazon UK

Tuesday Intro: Human Acts by Han Kang

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 Human Acts by Han Kang, whose book The Vegetarian was one of my favourite books of last year and still haunts me now.  Here’s what Human Acts is about…

30091914In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed.

The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho’s best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho’s own grief-stricken mother; and through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope is the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.

And here’s how it starts

The Boy, 1980

Looks like rain,” you mutter to yourself.

What’ll we do if it really chucks it down?

You open your eyes so that only a slender chink of light seeps in, and peer at the gingko trees in front of the Provincial Office. As though there, between those branches, the wind is about to take on visible form. As though the raindrops suspended in the air, held breath before the plunge, are on the cusp of trembling down, glittering like jewels.

When you open your eyes properly, the trees’ outlines dim and blur. You’re going to need glasses before long. This thought gets briefly disturbed by the whooping and applause that breaks out from the direction of the fountain. Perhaps your sight’s as bad now as it’s going to get, and you’ll be able to get away without glasses after all?

What do you think – I appreciate this book might not be for everyone but would you keep on reading?

Emma