Book review: The Whispers by Heidi Perks

Sunday, July 18, 2021 Permalink

The Whispers by Heidi Perks is an intriguing read. It’s one of those books featuring a narrator who may – or may not – be reliable. On one hand they appear entirely normal and only worried about a missing friend, but on the other their behaviour seems excessive. Bordering on obsessive and increasingly worrying.

But then it seems that others are keeping secrets so we’re not entirely sure who to trust.

three-half-stars

Book review: When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

Friday, July 2, 2021 Permalink

One of Michael Robotham’s very popular standalone books The Secrets She Keeps, examines an unlikely friendship between two women. His latest release When You Are Mine is similarly themed, featuring a toxic friendship that shifts into obsession.

It occurs to me some of Robotham’s best work seem to be less about the solving of crimes and more about people; human nature – the best of it and the worst – and it’s this insight into our behaviour, that make his books addictive reads.

five-stars

Book review: Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Sunday, June 27, 2021 Permalink

It’s very weird to read two similar books in close succession. Obviously it’s not the fault of either author, both of whom have invested significant time and energy in their story ideas.

Falling by TJ Newman is an excellent thriller featuring a pilot whose family (back home) is held hostage; the captors threatening to kill them if he doesn’t purposely crash his plane, killing everyone onboard.

Clare Mackintosh’s latest book Hostage is similarly themed, though focussed on a flight attendant whose young daughter is threatened unless she (the mother, not the 5 year old!) takes down the plane.

four-stars

Book review: Dream Girl by Laura Lippman

Friday, June 25, 2021 Permalink

In her latest novel, Dream Girl, Laura Lippman is able to draw on her knowledge and experience of writing and the publishing industry to offer up a fairly blunt insight into the life of an author.

Through her lead character Gerry, she also offers some commentary on ‘cancel culture’. I couldn’t quite decide if she was supportive of society’s current penchant for calling out bad or inappropriate behaviour and prejudices, or slightly cynical about how easily some to use (the notion of) ‘cancel culture’ to dismiss stuff that annoys us or with which we disagree. Either way, Gerry finds himself constantly wondering if he’s able to say something or think something lest he be berated for its inappropriateness. It’s interesting because, as we gain more insight into his character and his background there’s a sense that the ‘he doth protest too much’ thing is actually rather warranted.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Saturday, June 19, 2021 Permalink

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides was released in 2019 and I very much enjoyed the British-Cypriot’s debut novel. In my review I talk about Michaelides’s background in psychology which allowed him to offer readers insight into therapeutic relationships. I also commented that I was very surprised by a twist at the end and – it has to be said – the same things are true of his new novel, The Maidens.

There’s less of a focus on psychotherapy here – though our lead character is a group counsellor – but it’s still very much a psychological thriller and I really did not pick whodunnit as Michaelides crafts a brilliantly complex web of intricate threads that could take us any number of places.

four-stars

Book review: Legacy by Nora Roberts

Friday, May 28, 2021 Permalink

I was a tad worried Legacy by Nora Roberts would be a bit saga-ish. I love her romantic suspense novels and ADORE her JD Robb series, but the blurb here sounded a bit more Barbara Taylor Bradford circa 1990ish.

Thankfully it wasn’t. We do meet our lead Adrian at various stages of her childhood then on a few occasions during her adult life but it’s less about generations of women or families and their legacies and more about Adrian herself.

It takes a little while to get to the ‘suspense’ part of this book but I liked Adrian and the fact her ambition is balanced with a sense of humanity, so was happy to be along for the ride.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain

Monday, May 10, 2021 Permalink

The most intriguing thing about this book is that it opens with the death of Erin’s husband. (And I hadn’t read the blurb so that came as a surprise to me but it IS in the blurb so this isn’t a spoiler.) And then we leap forward in time and she’s on trial for murdering her husband months AFTER he (very obviously) suicided.

The options are obvious aren’t they? He faked his death for some reason… and we’re given plenty. Or Erin moves on and married someone else quickly in the interim. Jo Spain sets The Perfect Lie up really well so I didn’t expect the direction this book took. I mean, I’d considered the baddie could be the baddie but discounted it because, well… Spain convinced me otherwise.

four-stars

Book review: Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Saturday, May 1, 2021 Permalink

Although I’m really REALLY tired of books about mothers and children: those going missing, squabbling between couples, parenting issues and the like, this book is very much in my wheelhouse. I hadn’t planned to read the entire thing when I got into the bath with my copy but – for the first time in a long time – I deferred cooking dinner to keep reading.

I read Jackson’s previous book Never Have I Ever and it was similarly themed around motherhood, relationships, secrets and revenge.  For most of this novel I was riveted and and it was really only the direction this book takes that left me disappointed, which (I guess) means Jackson sucked me in big-time.

four-stars