Wednesday, 31 August 2016

August Books

Here's what I've been reading in August:

Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas* - Twenty years ago 21 year old Sophie Collier vanishes leaving behind a sole trainer at the old pier and her best friend Francesca heartbroken. 

A body has just been found and Frankie returns to Oldcliffe-on-Sea. She'd moved on and has a successful career believing she'd never be back. 

Daniel, Sophie's brother arranges a flat for her to stay in and it's here that she starts to receive anonymous letters, hear a baby cry and even stranger still sees Sophie..

A fast paced read with a twist I didn't see coming. Would recommend.

The Butterfly Storm by Kate Frost - Sophie Keech moves to Greece to be with holiday fling Alekos. Her mum thinks she's making a mistake and their relationship becomes strained. Four years on she now engaged and and her overbearing Greek mother-in-law to be gets on her nerves at times and she finds life is not as idyllic as when she and Alekos first met.

When her mum is involved in an accident she returns to the UK where she evaluates her life and all she holds dear. A great read.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena* - Anne and Marco Conti are invited to their neighbour's house for dinner but are asked to leave their baby at home!

They take the baby monitor with them and check on Cora every half hour. When the party breaks up and they arrive home they find that the baby has been taken.

What follows is a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller which in turn involves the neighbours, the babysitter and Anne's parent. Strangely the kidnapper is revealed half way through but it takes longer to tie all the pieces together. A great read with lots of twists and turns.

Blast Radius by R L McKinney - the story follows Sean McNicol, who has returned from Afghanistan with PTSD. He believes he can hear his dead friend Mitch who saved his life talking to him, whether it's offering advice or criticizing what he does.

He's back home living with his sister and on the dole until he gets a job moving furniture at a second-hand shop. He enjoys the work but finds his colleagues a bunch of misfits and people he wouldn't normally hang about with.  A former school friend asks him to clear her late father's house and it's here he begins the process of healing and moving on. A brilliant debut novel. Highly recommend.

Let me Tell you about a Man I know by Susan Fletcher* - the story is set in Provence in 1889 at the hospital of Saint-Paul-de Mausole, home to the mentally ill.

A new patient piques the Warden's wife's interest and she is drawn to Vincent. She knows he's a talented artist, quite wild and has unusual copper-red hair. Jeanne has been forbidden by her husband to speak with the patients but she can't help but seek him out.

Jeanne's lonely as her sons now live in Paris and her friend Laure has gone away. She's nostalgic about her childhood, her boys, her marriage and her needs as a woman.  An absolutely stunning but gentle novel about longing, loneliness, passion and love and how they all alter over time. Loved it.

The Fire Child by S K Tremayne - Rachel has a whirlwind romance with the handsome and charming widower David. They marry and she moves to the family home Carnhallow House in rural Cornwall. Her stepson Jamie starts to make scary predictions like "you'll be dead by Christmas" and claims to be able to see his dead mother.  A creepy and atmospheric read with many twists and turns. Her new husband is not all he seems and it has a twist I didn't see coming. An edge of the seat read!

Rat Stone Serenade (A DCI Daley Thriller #4) by Denzil Meyrick - the story opens with Jim contemplating retirement (as if!) and the discovery of a child's skeleton at the Rat Stone which has links to druids. The first thought is that it could be Archie Shannon, who disappeared as a child. The Shannons were cursed over a century ago after Archibald Shannon stole land which didn't belong to him and his descendants were cursed.

Another two bodies are discovered and the police are called in to protect the wealthy Shannon family who are at the mansion for their annual AGM. Snow has left Kinloch completely unreachable. DI Scott is off the booze and has been hallucinating. He's also quite stressed and plagued with anxiety and not really himself. DCI Daley has rekindled his romance with Mary Dunn and has a new boss, fearless Mary Symington.  A really great read and one of my favourites in the series. I just couldn't put it down. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger - roll on the next one!

A Fine House in Trinity by Lesley Kelly - Joseph Staines (or Stainsie) is a loveable rogue who has arrived back in Edinburgh after finding out he's the sole beneficiary of his friend Lachie's estate. He'd left six weeks ago with the tallybook of late Debt Collector and Lachie's mum, Isa Stoddart. Old school pal DS Jamieson has been tipped off that Stainsie is somehow involved in her death. 

Stainsie is determined to find out what happened to Lachie despite being warned off. The story is set in Trinity and Leith with brilliant characters like his drinking buddy Wheezy and his on/off girlfriend Marianne.  It's a fantastic debut novel which made me chuckle at times and I loved that it was set in a City I know so well.

Little Egypt by Lesley Glaister - this has been on hubby's kindle like for an age! I had a book on mine he wanted to read so we swapped and I'm so glad I did as this is a brilliant read.

It follows the life of twins Isis and Osiris who lived at Little Egypt with their parents Evelyn and Arthur who were obsessive Egyptologists and think nothing of upping sticks and leaving their children in the care of Mary, the housekeeper.

The twins now in their 90s have lived all their lives at Little Egypt apart from a trip to Egypt with their Uncle to see their parents. The land surrounding the mansion has been sold to pay for them to be able to live their lives at home while guarding a secret. Beside them is a dual carriage way, a superstore and a railway station which is a quite unusual way to live. It's a quirky read with characters who drew me in to their unusual lives. 

What have you been reading this month?

*copies from Netgalley

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