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I have always loved books ever since I learnt to read. The sort of person who would look at an instruction manual if there were nothing else available. Not that that has happened too often - I have tottering piles of books not to mention e books. I will read almost anything as l long as it holds my interest. Besides books. I love music, photography, cryptic crosswords and playing Fitz 1 & 2 games.
The Coffin Path: 'The perfect ghost story' - Katherine Clements

Gothic 17th century ghost story set high up on the Yorkshire moors. Mercy Booth is content with her life, mistress of Scarcross Hall, assisting her father, and being a shepherdess but all that changes when she suddenly senses great danger, that something is watching and chasing her as she rushes home one evening. Shortly after an enigmatic stranger turns up - who is he and what does he want? A chilly, atmospheric story, best read when the light is fading and then the imagination can run riot! I loved the very descriptive scenes and could see how hard life must have been in those days - not just the hard work but they were living in superstitious times. Some very creepy moments but wish there had been more of those and less about sheep and all their doings!

The Art of Hiding - Amanda Prowse

Three and a half star rating.
On the day Aimee is meant to be getting married, she is at a funeral - her fiancés. Various things happen to make her wonder what really happened but instead of reacting instantly, she sits and ponders, starts a new cafe, meets other people. This makes her quite annoying and so are her interfering friends. There’s a lot of pathos and loss especially at the start when the funeral is being held in the church she should have been married in. Loved the idea of this story which was engaging and also loved the ending too. It’s an appetite whetter for other books by this author.

[Claire Douglas] Last Seen Alive (Paperback)【2017】by Claire Douglas (Author) [1837] - Claire Douglas

Three and a half rating.
A dodgy house swap, slightly problematic marriage, strange goings on and plenty of twists and turns along the way. Someone has got it in for Libby and Jaime, but who and why? This pair are meant to be intelligent but are so naive. It’s as if they shared the same one brain cell the way they carried on most of the time! There’s a lot of nasty, selfish characters in this book and only the dog is truly likeable. The ending comes as a bit of an anticlimax. There are some edge of your seat moments, it’s fast moving and there are some great descriptions of Bath, Cornwall and Thailand. I did like the writing style and the cover.

The Postcard: Escape to Cornwall with the Perfect Summer Holiday Read - Fern Britton

Two and a half star rating.
Secrets, sisters and Cornwall - what's not to like, but sadly it was a bit of a disappointment and didn't live up to its promise. The characters were either awful or sickly sweet and I didn't warm or care what happened to them plus apart from the use of mobile phones you would think this story was set decades ago. The Cornish descriptions were good and you could almost smell the ozone, so this might be a good book to read if you are lounging on a beach somewhere.

I Am Missing: David Raker, Book 8 - Joe Coen, Tim Weaver, Louise Brealey, Penguin Books

David Raker, a Private Investigator, is intrigued when a personable young man approaches him for help - he is the "Lost Man" who,was found on a beach with a head injury and now has no idea of who or what he is. Enter our hero who gets himself involved in quite a few "how's he going to get out of that" situations with the villains always on the hunt for him. I did enjoy this book but felt it could have been a bit shorter. There was plenty going on to keep the reader gripped and interested as the mystery is solved. This is my first experience with David Raker and liked him enough to read his other exploits with different adversaries.

The Marriage Pact: A Novel - Michelle Richmond

Two and a half star rating.
Alice and Jake, a couple of newly weds sign “The Pact” as they thought it would be a bit of harmless fun. It turns out to be a mysterious, sinister group with rules, regulations and punishment if anyone transgresses. The description and start drew me in initially but there were too many details about irrelevant things which interrupted the flow and spoilt what would have been a cracking story. It was an excellent idea and normally this is exactly what I like to read, but sadly I’m just a bit ambivalent about it.

The Woman in the Wood - Lesley Pearse

Maisy and Duncan are teenage twins brought up by a cold father and are sent to live with their even colder, aloof grandmother who lives in the New Forest. Their own mother is unable to look after them as she isn’t well and has also been sent away. During their explorations they come across Grace, the woman in the wood, who is treated like an outcast and she does not welcome visitors, preferring her own company - until someone goes missing. This is a lovely, heartwarming story of friendship, loyalty, deceit, romance and menace with a great feel for the 1960’s period it is set in. A wonderful “warm the cockles of your heart” book which leaves the reader wanting more!

The Pool House: Someone Lied. Someone Died. - Tasmina Perry

Nat and Jem move to New York when he is offered his dream job - sounds perfect, but is it? They become friends with a group of very rich people who spend their weekends in the exclusive, upmarket Hamptons where there is a mystery concerning Alice, one of the previous weekenders. Jem makes it her mission to find out what happened. This was a very easy to read story which flowed along nicely as the reader discovers the murky doings of the jet set. Although it was easy to see how it would all pan out, it didn't detract at all from the book. Loved the New York/Hamptons descriptions and the cover too. Exactly the type of book to accompany a holiday!

The Lying Game: A Novel - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

Three and a half star rating.
Four well to do girls meet at a coastal boarding school immediately forming a clique but they weren't very nice to anyone else - why tell the truth when you can lie? This friendship continues over the next 15 or so years when any can call on the others for help despite the fact they don't actually see each other very much. Out of the blue Kate contacts Thea, Fatima and Isa to cover up the biggest lie of all. Isa is the one telling the story so everything is from her point of view. I liked the descriptions of school life and the locations plus the slow build up with the tension gradually being racketed up but the girls/women's characters hadn't improved much. Easy to read, flowed along nicely and quite gripping in parts.

The Darkness Within - Lisa Stone

A nice young man is very ill and urgently needs a new heart which he is “lucky” enough to get but the trouble is that the donor is a nasty piece of work and it’s not long before the formerly well behaved Jacob becomes a carbon copy of bad boy Shane. A little bit on the unbelievable side with some of the coincidences and the way some of the characters behaved considering they were a religious family. Rosie was annoying too the way she just allowed things to happen. I didn’t think the style of writing “flowed” and came across as stilted sometimes nor were there any real shocks but it’s food for thought about how some recipients can take on the characteristics or likes/dislikes of the donor.

The Serial Killer's Daughter: A totally gripping thriller full of shocking twists - Lesley Welsh

Imagine the shock when you realise your almost invisible father isn't the loveable rogue you thought he was, but someone quite evil who kills on the spur of the moment - just because. This is what Suzanne had to face when she is given her "loving" father's journals. This is a fantastic read with plenty of action and certainly kept me entertained the whole way through. I liked the way it was written, the cover and the characters, well maybe not all of them! I was eager to see what this selfish villain would do next and what nasty end he would bring to some poor unsuspecting person - maybe even a follow up!

The Recipient - Dean Mayes

A heart stopper in more ways than one! Casey is an adventurous girl but comes home from a trip to discover she's picked up something nasty that has badly damaged her heart. After a transplant she has some dreadful nightmares and literally cannot rest, nor will do so, until she finds out why. She doesn't seem to be terribly nice, especially to members of her own family and comes across as being really self-centred, so it's hard to feel any sympathy for her. The first half of the book is a bit on the slow side and only springs to life as she begins to solve the mystery when there is action aplenty. Good style of writing but maybe some bits of it could've been shortened. Loved the cover and I would definitely pick it up for a closer look if it was on a bookshop shelf.

Lecretia's Choice: A Story of Love, Death and the Law - Matt Vickers

Books such as this are neither good, nor bad, just varying degrees of horribleness. This is Matt's account of his beautiful wife, Lecretia's battle against a virulent brain tumour plus a fight with the New Zealand government to change the law so that people in similar situations can choose how and when to die. She was a successful high flying lawyer when she started getting the first worrying symptoms of this merciless illness. Brutally honest about what happened, how they coped, his feelings and the shortcomings of the New Zealand health service. Very sad, but uplifting at the same time.

The Other Girl - Erica Spindler

Miranda or Randi previously, is a bad girl turned good according to the small town where she lives. Now a cop, she is called to investigate a particularly gruesome murder of a well respected college Professor. But it seems she might have had something to do with it. This was a speedy paced book, things going on all the time but it was all a bit too predictable and I expect most people will work it all out long before the end! Never mind it didn't detract from reading it. Great writing style which is easy to read plus an interesting cover with an enticing storyline. Always enjoy this author's books, but some more than others!

Then She Was Gone - LISA JEWELL

A story of loss, angst and obsession. A happy family, mum, dad and three children, living the good life, until the day 15 year old Ellie doesn't come home. Ten years later and Laurel meets the handsome Floyd and his daughter Poppy who looks familiar. Told from the points of view of the main characters the reader discovers exactly what happened and why. Another fantastic book from this author, which kept me engrossed the whole way through - without any skimming! Descriptions of loss intermingled with happier moments as we go through Laurel's ups and downs as she tries to find out what happened to her beautiful daughter. Loved this story and didn't want it to end!

Reported Missing: A gripping psychological thriller with a breath-taking twist - Sarah Wray

A northern seaside town, not the liveliest of places until a man disappears on the same day as a local teenager. Immediately people start assuming the worst and a witch hunt begins. Rebecca who has to bear the brunt of the ill will is shocked that her husband Chris could just walk out and leave her. She doesn't handle the situation well, takes herself off to a ramshackle caravan and drinks far too much. It was hard to feel much sympathy for her or the way she behaved. The sort of person that you would say "get a grip" to. It took me a long time to get into this book as it was a very slow burner and only really sprang to life after the half way mark. It was an interesting idea with great descriptions of living in a caravan out of season - the lack of facilities, the cold, being almost the only resident. A credible first book!