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boudicca

alwaysbooks

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.
Ghosted - Rosie Walsh

Sarah and Eddy spend one week together, but despite all his promises doesn’t call her. She is bewildered and upset by this and refuses to let matters be. From that point on she becomes a bit of a pest, acting more like a woman half her age. In fact neither of the main characters behaved in an adult way! Also there were too many characters who could have quite easily have been omitted - the story didn’t need extra padding. I very much enjoyed the book despite the above niggles and didn’t want to put it down. Lovely descriptions of the Cotswolds and the palpable misery of Eddie and Sarah just oozed from the pages. The cover was enchanting and the novel beautifully written.

The First Mistake - Sandie Jones

Alice appears to have it all but she loses her first husband in mysterious circumstances and then her second one starts to act strangely. The first part was a bit dull and I wondered if it was going to be a DNF but it certainly sprang to life when Beth (Alice’s best friend) tells her story and from then on I was hooked and had to keep reading with mouth agape at all the antics on the pages! Well worth the time invested in it and thoroughly enjoyable.

The Woman in the Lake - Nicola Cornick

The story of a couple of women hundreds of years apart and a strange yellow gown binding them together. Naturally there’s a few cads and a hero! Set in Swindon and environs which turned out to be a surprising place and far more interesting than I would’ve imagined. Glimpses into the Georgian lifestyle when it’s Lady Isabella’s turn to give her point of view plus every now and again, her maid, Constance gets to say her piece. I preferred them to Fen (Fenella) who I didn’t find very appealing which isn’t to say the other two women were perfect. This is the sort of book to while away a few hours either on a winter’s eve or basking on a beach.

Between the Lies - Michelle Adams

Two and a half star rating.
Chloé is rescued from an accident but the trouble is, she now has amnesia and everyone is lying to her! The start of this book was gripping but that didn’t last and the pace slowed down and never really got going again. It was obvious who the villain of the piece was and it was just a case of reading on till the “lovely” Chloé remembered enough. What a family and as for the professionals, well they weren’t! I loved the description and cover but sadly the story sort of fizzled out after the great start.

My Lovely Wife - Samantha Downing

Two and a half star rating.
Normal, everyday family? Don’t you believe it after the things this lot get up to! What could have been an exceptional story was ruined by so many mundane descriptions, so in some respects was more of a kitchen sink drama than a thriller. The start was ok, the last part was too, but the middle was where it got stuck in a rut. Needless to say hardly anyone was nice, no one to cheer for. The cover was very enticing and would grab anyone’s attention. So just like the old curate’s egg, this book was good in parts!

Her Closest Friend - Clare Boyd

Sophie and Naomi meet at Exeter University and something awful happens, but they are still friends 20 years later. This sounded like a book I’d really love to read, but instead it was the opposite. Don’t know who was worse out of the pair of them as they were both irritating beyond endurance. There was also far too much itching and scratching going on! If this was a library book I wouldn’t even have finished it. Wish I hadn’t as I have a dog exactly like Harley. I think this is one of those books you either love or hate and I sadly fall into the second category.

The Taken Girls - Lawrence Sanders

D I Ed Ogborne is sidelined from the Met to the fairly small town of Canterbury in Kent where she immediately finds herself in charge of the team charged with locating the person kidnapping young girls only to release them shortly afterwards with a little something extra. This is a story with a difference, a bit strange, no violence and the one doing it is kind hearted, which is more than can be said for Ed and her team!. Most of them were a bit odd, with no flesh to their bones, so to speak. Some of this book is repetitive and in places a bit clunky but it was easy enough to read even if it was obvious who did it. I prefer to find it much harder to work out who is the criminal. Not really gripping, but intriguing enough to keep reading.

The Couple - Sarah Mitchell

One of those books which are good in some parts, but not so good in others. Claire and Angus are newly engaged after meeting 4 months ago buy a house from Mark who reminds her of her university romance which didn’t end well. It veers from now to five years ago. It’s only after getting most of the way through this novel that the relevance of Claire’s job becomes apparent, but that didn’t make it less boring sadly and I skimmed those sections. Anyone wanting to know more about these things could read non fiction, search the web or simply watch or listen to news bulletins. Claire?? What can be said about her? Infuriating, weird and self absorbed spring to mind and you begin to wonder how on earth she got a job like this. None of the other characters were likeable in any way. I did enjoy the way the book was written and it was certainly a story with a difference, even if I didn’t wholly love it!

An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

When Jessica foisted herself on to a study/experiment, after seeing its details on a client’s phone, she got a lot more than she bargained for! There then follows a very bizarre tale of obsession and manipulation where nothing is to get in the way of the desired end - nothing. It took a while to get into how this book works, not helped by the stilted narrative by the other main character, who manages to make the speaking clock sound lively! A thrill a page it isn’t, but does have one or two moments, especially towards the end. None of the three main characters have much going for them, being devious and unlikeable. Loved the idea of this story and read it with eyes agog at the goings on from supposed professionals.

The Temp - Susan Lyons, Michelle Francis

What happens when you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant and you decide to keep it despite your partner’s lack of enthusiasm? Even worse when you work with him in the fickle world of TV. Emma is much younger and talented but always seems to be there, much to Carrie’s dismay. Very much a slow burner, with much too much about the seemingly shallow environment of TV scriptwriting/producing which I found dull. None of the characters, even the hard done by one, came out well in this book. I did enjoy the Broadstairs parts which were interesting. I did expect this story to have a few creepy undertones judging by the description. It was better when the pace picked up later on as the reader discovers the true mettle of the characters and why they behaved as they did.

Our Little Lies - Sue Watson

Marianne thought she was so lucky and blessed when she not only caught the attention of the skilled, handsome surgeon, Simon but got to marry him too. There she was, living a wonderful like with the man she adored, his young daughter and later on their twins. Able to buy the best of everything. But delve deeper and it wasn’t the heaven she expected when Simon showed his true colours. It was very easy to read, but the trouble was it went on and on a bit too much with Marianne’s thoughts and actions trying to preserve the “perfect” life (a word which was definitely overused in this book!). A once strong woman turned into a whining mess by her “loving” husband. She was so annoying, so much so that it was hard to feel anything for her plus the other characters were also awful. I did read it all, so was invested that much in the story. Would describe it as a domestic, kitchen sink drama, rather than psychological.

A House of Ghosts - w. c. Ryan

Loved the cover! The book itself, not quite as much mainly because it couldn’t seem to decide what it was. Supernatural? Espionage? Romance? Not enough of the first, too much of the second and the third only just touched on. The house on the island was interesting, so would have liked that to have been gone into in much more depth than it was. This novel had the makings of being really creepy but wasn’t and I felt it could’ve been reduced by a quarter as it was too long and repetitive.

The Wife's Secret - Kerry Wilkinson

Where’s the bride? Has anyone seen her? This is Seth’s dilemma on his wedding day. His new wife Charley has gone, disappeared. A great start, but then it slowed down a bit, until the end, where all is revealed and why. Seth was very calm and collected, a bit too calm, came across as a cold fish really. Told from several viewpoints, from then and now. Despite it wasn’t a racy, fly through the pages book I still enjoyed it and was intrigued enough with the plot to stay with it, to see how it all panned out.

Not a Proper Child: A True Story of Abuse, Violence, and Survival Against the Odds - Elizabeth Shepard, Nicky Nicholls

This is Nicky’s story of how she was abused and betrayed by the people who should’ve protected and loved her the most. It is distressing to witness just how cruel and horrible some people can be. Anyone not moved by this memoir must have a heart of stone.

The Teacher - Katerina Diamond

Anyone who likes particularly gory murders will enjoy this, especially as there are so many! The title of this is “The Teacher” but could just as easily be another profession because that doesn’t really feature much. Obvious who is doing it and everyone in the book is flawed in some way. The Museum is creepy with its exhibits and I liked that, also the role reversal. It was certainly an interesting read!

Portraits of the Dead - John  Nicholl

Emma, an attractive university student is kidnapped and tortured by someone wearing a clown’s mask. The cover was fantastic, really creepy and I loved it. I quite liked the book, despite the over descriptive bits but that ending lost it some stars. I hated it, so rushed, unsatisfying with questions left unanswered and made me wish I’d chosen something else to read - sorry!  Two star rating.