Here's my February reads:
The Girl with No Past by Kathryn Croft - Leah has spent 20 years running away from something which happened in her past. She lives a quiet life, goes to her job at the library, comes home and doesn't have any friends. She meets Julian online and she finds she really wants to meet him and maybe even have a relationship.
On the 20th Anniversary of that day she receives a card - someone knows her and what happened and are out to destroy her piece of mind. The story flips between the present day and when she was at school and friends with Adam, Imogen and Corey. I spent most of the story wondering what she'd done that was so terrible. It is quite slow although it speeds up in the last 30% of the book. I didn't guess who her tormentor was.
The Girl you Lost by Kathryn Croft* - Eighteen years ago Simone & Matt Porter's six month old baby daughter was snatched from a nearby park. They've slowly rebuilt their lives never fully getting over their loss.
A young woman called Grace approaches Simone and tells her she has information about her missing child. She also has Helena's blue bunny.
This is a total rollercoaster of a read as Simone and her colleague Abbott race to find the truth about who Grace is. Fast paced with lots of twists, turns and some stomach churning moments. There is a huge twist I didn't see coming. A gripping read. Would highly recommend.
The Life Negroni by Leigh and Nargess Banks - a fascinating read into the history of the negroni, recipes along with beautiful photos. The perfect book for any negroni lover.
The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza* - The body of a beautiful young socialite is found beneath the ice in a park in London. DCI Foster is called in to lead the investigation. Foster finds out that the murder is linked to those of young prostitutes all who were strangled, bound and dumped in water.
This is Fosters first case after her husband was killed during an investigation she was leading. She's fiesty and will go out on a limb if she thinks it will solve a case doing "whatever it takes". The story is fast paced and I didn't guess who the killer was. The book was un-put-downable and I'm looking forward to meeting with Erika and her colleague in the second book.
City of Strangers by Louise Millar - Grace Scott returns from honeymoon with her husband Mac to find a man lying dead in their new Edinburgh flat.
They ring the police who don't seem to be able to discover who the man is. Grace finds a note tucked into one of her wedding presents. This sends her on an investigative journey to Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen. She also finds out more about who she is and realises she can have a different life. I enjoyed this book and I'd seek out more by the author.
Starting Over by Sue Moorcroft - Tess is starting afresh after her fiance Olly dumping her just before the wedding. She sets up home in sleepy Middledip.
She meets Miles Rattenbury when she crashes into his breakdown truck. Not wanting to think yet about meeting anybody new she's happy to be friends with him and his friends Angel and Pete and their children Jenna and Toby.
Miles and her start seeing each other. Olly appears on the scene seemingly wanting Tess back. A fairly predictable but enjoyable easy read.
Dark Suits & Sad Songs DCI Daley #3 by Denzil Meyrick - A senior Civil Servant takes his own life at Kinloch Harbour and two local drug dealers are found murdered. DS Scott has just returned to work and is finding it hard to get back into it. Daley needs him onboard to help him solve the cases. I didn't really find the political element of the story very true to life in parts but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.
Two One Three by Denzil Meyrick - set in Glasgow in 1986 when Jim Daley was a few months into his job as Constable and is on the beat. He's called to investigate a break in and discovers a woman dead in her flat. He's seconded to work in CID under the guidance of his friend DC Brian Scott.
I found it interesting to get background information on all the main characters including how Jim met his wife Liz. Some memorable moments remembering Paris Nightclub in Paisley, Smash Hits magazine and music by The Blue Nile (which was one of my favourite groups). A good wee read. Would recommend.
The Silk Merchant's Daughter by Dinah Jefferies* - Nicole Duval is eighteen and half French, half Vietnamese and lives with her father, her sister Sylvie, who has their father's French looks and Lisa, the cook in Hanoi in 1952 in French Indochina.
Her sister is handed the reigns of the business and Nicole a small silk shop in the Vietnamese quarter. She feels her father has favourited Sylvie over her. Nicole throws herself into the business, loving working with the silks, bonding with the Vietnamese and being her own boss.
Things are happening in the City militants want to end French rule and she is shown her own family's involvement in things that see unbelievable which shock and disturb her.
Tran, a Vietnamese insurgent offers her an escape and all the while she can't stop thinking about Mark, a trader from America. She manages to get away and finds Mark again. Beautifully written and a captivating read.
The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan* - It's 1922 and Grace is governess at Fenix House. Her grandmother was governess there for a year in 1878 and has urged Grace to return. Grace can't wait to meet the people she's heard her grandmother talk about and we find the past and present are intertwined. An enjoyable read.
Little Boy Blue DI Helen Grace #5 by M J Arlidge* - A body is found in an S&M club in Southampton. DI Helen Grace is shocked to find she knows the victim and decides to cover up that she knows him. The team is doing everything they can and are chasing every lead.
The killer strikes again and Helen finds she also has a connection to the victim. She's about to find her secrets and private life have every likelihood of being made public. A third victim is found who also has links to Helen.
I couldn't put the book down, I had to read just one more chapter. Fast paced and un-put-downable with an ending which shocked me. This book will stay with me for a very long time. In fact, I'm still thinking about it. Relieved to know there will be a book #6.
The Silent Room by Mari Hannah - a security van headed for Durham Prison is intercepted and the prisoner, Special Branch Officer Jack Fenwick is hijacked by armed men. The race is on to find him. DS Matthew Ryan, Jack's friend is suspended after being suspected of helping Jack escape. He sets off to investigate Jack's disappearance with Grace an ex Cop and her friend an ex-spook. Fast paced with interesting characters it's a really great read.
What have you been reading this month?
*copies from Netgalley