Here's what I've been reading in August. If a book is marked * I've kindly received it via the publisher or author directly or via Netgalley.
The Source by Sarah Sultoon - the story is told over two time lines and are cleverly interwoven, even if the story is at times hard to read. We meet Carly, who is 13 and lives at home with her alcoholic mother and little sister, Kayleigh. Her brother is a squaddie at the local army base and he suggests that she and her pal Rach come over to the barracks and hang out.
In the future we meet Marie, an adult who works in London as a TV reporter. When the Met reopen a historic case on a sex trafficking ring she finds she has to confront things from her past. A gritty debut which is difficult to read.
*The Killing Tide - Rhona MacLeod #16 by Lin Anderson - I took part in the blog tour for this fast paced read. See my review HERE.
*Finding Suzy by David Videcette - huge thanks to the author for the ARC. We all remember estate agent Suzy Lamplugh going missing after supposedly showing a house to a Mr Kipper in July '86.
David Videcette, a former police officer and Caroline, his fellow investigator have meticulously investigated and researched what happened to Suzy that fateful day and have come up with a conclusion.
I found the book well written and was quickly caught up in the "true crime" investigation as to things the police could have done but didn't, interviewing as many people as possible who were involved in the case originally as well as coming to conclusions of their own over a number of issues.
Totally fascinating and thought provoking, it's a must read.
*Rough by Rachel Thompson - I found myself nodding at a lot of the scenarios the author explores in the book. She conducted research and shares the stories of 50 woman and non binary people. The book covers the sexual violence we don't speak about that happens in nearly all our lives "the grey area".
Although not easy reading it's informative and thought provoking and there are chapters which I may go back to read again.
*The Box Hill Murders by B L Pearce (A DCI Rob Miller Mystery #4) - having loved books #1 and #2 I found I didn't connect to the 3rd book in the series. I was however willing to give the fourth book a try and wasn't disappointed - it's twisty and keeps the reader interested throughout. I wish Rob wouldn't constantly "bark" orders though!
A cold case of the murder of 4 men who were left with the same 5 pointed star carved into their chests is re-opened when a young girl is caught up in a robbery's DNA is a partial match to saliva found on one of the victims. The race is on to find the killer. The story is twisty and kept me on the edge of my seat! It was also nice to catch up with Rob's pregnant girlfriend Jo and Trigger the dog. Would highly recommend & looking forward to book #5.
*The Cottage by Lisa Stone - Jan Hamlin looses her job and her boyfriend finishes with her. She answers an ad to live in a secluded cottage backing onto woods for a low rent on the proviso of looking after the owner's dog while she's away. The cottage is lovely.... in the daylight but when the very dark nights creep in Jan gets scared. It's so quiet for a city girl and she when hears the slightest noise like the tapping on the window and the strange noises from the garden and forest send her imagination into overdrive.
Running alongside is a story about a couple called Ian and Emma who have tragically lost two children during childbirth. Ian plans to find out all he can about their DNA and why their children are stillborn. The stories are loosely interweaved and things become clearer as the story progresses.I found it a creepy read and it's got a twist at the end I didn't see coming. Would recommend.
*The Man on Hackpen Hill by J S Monroe - I'm taking part in the blog tour in early September for this unputdownable & twisty read so catch my review then.
*The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan - I fell head-over-heels for this book & Belle! It's the summer of 1822 in Edinburgh and King George IV might come for a visit in late summer. His right hand man, Johann is already there to oversee the possible programme of events which might take place. Also arriving is newly widowed Elizabeth Rocheid who has been invited to stay with her late husband's ageing Aunt Clementina at her home in Inverleith which borders the new Botanical Garden.
Much excitement is to be had with the move of the trees from the former gardens at Leith as well as the fact that the century plant - an Agave Americana is set to flower. The seeds have been promised to many and Head Gardener, Mr McNab is getting anxious. Elizabeth introduces herself and having drawn for Kew offers her services. She's over the moon about her new start and exciting adventures in Edinburgh.
Belle Brodie, is a beautiful young woman in charge of her own life, who apart from being a courtesan, has a keen interest in botany and creates and formulates perfumes and potions with the help of a promising young lad, Edzel, whom she's helping to get into medical school. She's also extremely interested in the blooms from the plant. I totally fell in love with fiery and determined Belle who knows exactly what she wants.Belle and Elizabeth meet and form a firm friendship which has its good and bad times. Belle invites Elizabeth on a trip to Ratho (one which takes 2hrs there and back!) Blind Mhairi MacDonald also assists Belle with her big life changing project as she's got an uncanny sense of smell. I also liked how Elizabeth grows into her own as the story progresses.It's a beautiful read with characters I grew to love, historical content I found interesting and I loved the real life characters whose lives are interwoven into the story. I absolutely loved this richly drawn and meticulously researched story and highly recommend it (I could actually quite honestly say it's my favourite book this year so far).
What have you been reading this month?