Tuesday, 30 June 2020

June Book Round-Up

Here's what I've been reading in June (books marked with * I've been kindly given by the publisher direct or via Netgalley).

*The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson - I loved this richly drawn tale set in Cornwall. I took part in the Blog Tour - see my review HERE.

The Curator by M W Craven - this was a long awaited read and thankfully, worth the wait! 

DI Stephanie Flynn is having a baby shower hosted by her sister. Poe didn't want to go but Tilly dragged him along anyhow. At the end of the party they are rushing back to Cumbria to assist DSI Jo Nightingale and her team. Three pairs of fingers have been discovered in different locations with #BSC6 beside them. They've got to quickly find out what that means.

The race is on to find the bodies and the reasons why these people died. It's a fast paced and edge of the seat read, it was always just one more chapter. As they piece together the case they find things that just don't make any sense...

What a page turner, my heart was truly in my mouth throughout and that ending. Just WOW. So very highly recommend this. Roll on book #4 is all I can say.

*From Venice with Love by Rosanna Ley - I took part in the blog tour for this magical read. See my review HERE.

*How to Disappear by Gillian McAllister - omg I was on the edge of my seat throughout this novel which drew my attention from the very first page. I absolutely loved it and it's my favourite read so far this year. Absolutely brilliant. I'm taking part in the blog tour next month so I'll share my review then (this is the one to pick up as it's truly gripping).

*The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff - A bittersweet coming of age tale set at the family's beautiful summer home by the sea where they indulge in the sunshine and summer traditions. We are not told if the narrator is male or female so the reader is let to come to their own conclusions. The author cleverly makes you feel as if you are there watching the summer unfold...

The same people are there year after year and this year they will be celebrating Hope and Mal's marriage. Distant relatives arrive from LA - the glorious Godden boys. Kit just mesmerises the narrator and so it seems a few of the others. He's just drop dead gorgeous while his brother Hugo seems angry and sullen. Kit changes everyone's lives that summer...

The narrator silently watches Kit, who toys will all of their emotions including that of his loved up sister, Mattie. It feels afterwards that Kit thought he could take whatever he wanted regardless of who he hurt along the way. I really enjoyed the story, which flowed easily. Would recommend.

*They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell This short novel is set in 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic and we learn how it disturbs and changes the lives of the Morison family. It's told in three parts - from eight year old Bunny's perspective, to his older brother, Robert and his stern father, James.

I really warmed to Bunny during his chapters - he needs his mother's love and presence to make him feel safe. He absolutely adores her and this comes through in his part. Robert his brother had an accident and lost part of his leg - they quarrel as siblings do. The third part is told through the eyes of James, Elizabeth's husband.

The story is beautifully told with family, love, friendship, unhappiness, sadness, illness and grief. I really recommend it.

*When we Fall by Carolyn KirbyOnce I picked this book up I couldn't put it down. I was instantly drawn to the two brave and plucky women in the story. England 1943 and Pilot Vee Katchatourian is lost in the fog. She makes an emergency landing and meets RAF airman Stefan Bergel, who is gorgeous. Vee's smitten from that very first meeting.

Meanwhile in occupied Poland, Ewa Hartman serves German Officers in her father's guest house while secretly working for the Polish resistance on the side. She misses her lover, Stefan who is a POW or so she believes.

The story is based around the little known Katyn massacre and Stefan uses both women to his own ends and to help to enable the world to know the truth. Later in the book we find out the connection to the German Officer Beck. I loved the story although I found it bittersweet in places. It's a really good read.

*The Harpy by Megan Hunter - this isn't published until September so I'll share my review then. I read it in two sittings and I found it a compelling if slightly disturbing read. 

From last month (awaiting publication):

*Breakfast At Bronzefield by Sophie Campbell - Sophie very kindly gifted me a copy via netgalley. 

Sophie, a young black woman is remanded in custody after being charged with GBH involving Police Officers (she doesn't go into details of her crime) and is remanded in custody at HMP Bronzefield, the UK's largest women's prison.

The book is her story of her experiences of her time inside two women's prisons. She also shares facts and figures as well as her own thoughts on why prisons are failing on so many levels.

She's a fighter and due to poor family life she organised her own education including attending a fee paying school on a scholarship. She's desperate to take her education further although has to put it on hold inside as education for women falls short during her time in both prisons.

Like other real life prison books I've read you could really feel the tensions bubbling between the inmates and with the prison officers. I was slightly surprised at some of the things she did to get attention although she states she'd never do these things on the outside. On leaving prison she rebuilds her life by starting to study for a degree and buying her own house. Would recommend as it's an interesting read.

*Highland Fling by Sara Sheridan - Oh how I love this series! In this tale Mirabelle Bevan is on holiday with her fiance Superintendent Alan McGregor at his family home in the Scottish Highlands. It's 1958 and Britain is awash with Cold War anxiety. A break is just the thing they need. The Robertson's welcome them with open arms and are very hospitable.

When a body is found in the Orangery, Mirabelle is unable to stop herself getting involved in the case and what follows is a fast paced mystery which she's determined to solve. When another body turns up thoughts turn to an inside job making all the residents in the house very anxious.

She learns some things about Alan's past, meets an old friend from her previous working life and finally lays to rest anxious feelings about getting married. It was nice to see a more personal side to them both in this episode. As ever, I highly recommend. 

What have you been reading this month?

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