Tuesday 26 February 2019

Dying Truth

I'm working my way up the numbers in Angie Marsons' brilliant Kim Stone series. This
is number 8.

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Book description How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead. 

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable - whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim. 

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

My review - 

A child at an exclusive public school dies in tragic circumstances. Kim’s team start turning some stones and find nasty things under them. The case begins to tie up old and new deaths at the school but everyone there is in denial. I found the book exciting and scary with its almost conspiracy-theory story about those with wealth and power. Kim’s team have come from very different backgrounds to those at the school but there’s no end to what they will do for the people who need their help. Emotional, exciting, another cracking book in the Kim Stone series.

About the author

Angela lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read "Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people's".

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.


Just a thought - I love the way that each book—any book—is its own journey. You open it, and off you go….  ― Sharon Creech

Monday 25 February 2019

Curious Men

Short stories on a theme! These are most unusual, some sad, some funny - and one or two comments from women sneak in.

Amazon UK link

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About the book 

The curious men now have their say...or at least they try to, between invasive female comments. 
A collection of unusual short stories, sober, bizarre or cunningly funny, featuring men of different ages and stages and eras. Each story reveals a differently curious man. Who doesn't have curious habits, weaknesses, features, beliefs—even feelings? Men tend to keep these to themselves, or not to be aware of them. These stories delve into their secrets. One or two are bleak. More are blissfully weird.
The first man is passionate about the inanimate. The next takes his curiosity to the farthest geographic extremes. Brian can't choke out essential news everyone is hanging on for. Sidney wends his desolate way towards a secret retribution.
If Hugh had kept his parts secret he might appeal more to women. The therapist has a serial secret-keeper on his hands. 
These are some of the stories you'll read in Curious Men but then the stories are invaded by the mature women! Men know how this feels.

My review -

This book of short stories follows on from Me-Time Tales, stories told from the point of view of women. I haven’t read Me-Time but you can read Curious Men as a stand-alone collection. This one, as the title suggests, deals with men – their foibles, their points of view. It’s full of fantastically quirky tales, from the sad one of the damaged soldier returning from war, to funny ones, like the man obsessed with mowers. They’re all different, all great reads. I heartily recommend this book.

About the author

Rosalind trained as a dancer, but grew to love acting more. She gained a place at RADA, but took parental advice and let academic life take over. She gained a B.A. Cert. Ed and Ph.D then became a psychologist working with both children and adults. If she hadn’t, she would have spent her life interpreting characters that dramatists and scriptwriters had created instead of working with real people. Now, later, she very happily creates them herself especially their quirks. In her career, she met and worked with a wealth of characters whose characteristics she can draw upon. However, she does not write biographically, much preferring to work from imagination. 

Not surprisingly, it is the inner life of her characters that determines their fate in her stories, whether humorous, historical or criminal. Whatever the genre, Rosalind's stories always have a keen touch of humour and a dark edge. This is evident in her first short story collection "Me-time Tales: tea breaks for mature women and curious men", quirky and satirical. 


Just a thought - When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.
― Jean Fritz

Saturday 23 February 2019

The Shape of Lies

I'll buy a Rachel Abbott book without reading the blurb! There are just a few authors in whom I have so much confidence.

Amazon UK link

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Book description

Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free, but today Scott is on the radio, threatening to spill her secrets.

Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school.
And she’s a good liar.

She made one mistake, and now she is having to pay for it. Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past, but how can he be alive?

Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she loved; the man she watched die; the man who has come back to life.

She has one week to find him. One week to stop him. 

My review - 

Another ‘nose to the book’ novel by Rachel Abbott. It deals with the snowballing of one lie that Anna told to help someone she loved. Her current, happy and successful life is all built on this lie. There are present day scenes in which people are murdered and Anna feels under severe threat. There are past scenes in which we see her student days unfolding. The finale is terrific – exciting and shocking, but credible, in the circumstances. Rachel Abbott is one of the few authors whose books I will buy without reading the blurb. I know I’m in for a great read.

About the author

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney - a beautiful island off the coast of France - and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel's website, or follow her on Twitter.


Just a thought - 
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.― Anna Quindlen

Thursday 21 February 2019

The Secret Mother

Shalini Boland always writes a good psychological thriller and this is no exception.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Book description -

'Are you my mummy?’

Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. 

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there. 

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises? 

My review - 

Shalini Boland gets deep into the mind of Tessa, a woman who seems to have lost everything. Both her children, her husband and her self-belief. She finds a child in her kitchen when she arrives home. He says she is his mummy and an angel brought him there. She’s accused of child abduction and is hounded by the press. This story is in parts poignant, exciting and frustrating. I wanted to shake a couple of the characters! It’s a really good psychological thriller from a writer who excels in the genre. Thoroughly recommended.

About the author -
Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).


Just a thought - If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads. Ralph Waldo Emerson