Here's what I've been reading in July:
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley* (copy from NetGalley) - the story is about a group of devout Catholics who make a yearly pilgrimage from London to rural Lancashire. The old house where they stay is called the Moorings and is situated on a stretch of rural coastline called The Loney. The sands here are treacherous when the tides come in too fast and many a life has been lost here...
The story is narrated by "Tonto" a nickname their new Priest, Father Bernard has given the younger Smith boy. His brother Hanny is mute with learning difficulties and they come to the shrine every year to pray for him and hope for a miracle cure.
Also in the party is mummer and farther, the new Priest having recently taken over from Father Wilfred after he passed away, Father Wilfred's brother and his wife, Miss Bunce the church housekeeper and her fiance David.
The old house with it's odd history creaks and groans, the weather is wild, the locals unfriendly and the woods a scary place to be after dark. The boys meet a young heavily pregnant girl and Hanny is drawn to her. Things happen that week which have repercussions years later when the boys are adults. A great suspense read. Would recommend.
The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jamson* (copy from Netgalley published 13 August) - A coming of age story which is set in 1983 with a couple of chapters in the present day. Sixteen year old Helen is spending summer alone and confused. Her mum has left her dad and she's finding life hard.
The Bohemian Dover family move into the cottage at the end of the lane by the canal and Helen & Victoria begin a tentative friendship which lasts all summer long until something happens which will change their lives forever..
Thirty years on and Helen has been unable to move on from that summer evening. She meets Victoria by chance and finds out what really happened that day. A great debut and memorable story.
The Prodigal by Nicky Black - This story was initially written for TV and Nicky transformed it into a novel. I have to say I simply loved it.
Frank dies and leaves Lee and his mum homeless. Lee eventually gets himself out of Newcastle and comes back 20 years as a DS. He's the man that they hope will turn around crime on the tough Valley Estate. He also forges a relationship with the daughter he never knew he had who is a funny typical teen. He meets Nicola Kelly, wife of local hard man Micky and is drawn to her. We also meet Nicola's friend Margy who supports Nicola through thick and thin. Fast paced and exciting, a gritty true to life story which is full of hardship, love, saddness and humour.
Swerve by Vicki Pettersson* (copy from Netgalley published 7 July). An absolute edge of the seat nail bitter! I loved this fast paced and sometimes gruesome novel. Kristine Rush and her fiance Daniel are en-route to visit his mother for the annual 4th July party at Lake Arrowhead, California. They stop so Kristine can change her clothes after her scrubs had coffee spilt on them. They stop by an unmanned rest stop and a faceless man attacks Kristine in the toilets.
When she is able to make her way back outside she find Daniel has been abducted.. What follows is a chase over the desert to find him with a killer tracking her every move...this book has a huge twist which I didn't see coming..Fast paced, scary and exciting. Would recommend.
Left for Dead - A Maeve Kerrigan Story by Jane Casey - this is a short story about Maeve's early days as a rookie Police Woman.
A violent rapist is attacking women and leaving them for dead on South London streets. Maeve responds to a domestic disturbance and finds the latest victim. As a new recruit she battles sexism and fights to be taken seriously. I've since downloaded some of the earlier books to read.
Digging Deep in the Garden - Book One by John Walker* - John very kindly sent me an e-copy of his first book. It is super informative and takes the form of articles which he wrote for Organic Gardening magazine. You will find some thoughts on climate change, genetically modified crops, impact on the environment of pesticides etc, composting to reduce landfill and producing rich compost and general organic growing among others. A great read which I'd recommend. Very informative.
What have you been reading this month?