A Bird in Winter by Louise Doughty is a difficult book to describe. Ostensibly it’s a slow burning thriller – about a woman who goes on the run, slowly sharing with us the ‘why’. What elevated it for me was the (almost) syncopated way in which Doughty doles out details, as well as her beautiful writing. Sentences and phrases leapt out at me. It’s also most definitely not the book I was expecting it to be, and it unfolds in a way that’s weirdly unsettling.
Missing memories or amnesiac episodes are always good fodder for crime fiction and thrillers. Particularly when it’s indicated that one of the central characters everyone knows and loves may in fact NOT have always been quite as loveable.
It’s certainly the case in Alafair Burke’s latest book, The Girl She Was. Although it features her popular detective, Ellie Hatcher and references a pivotal point in her life, it’s not actually part of that series; rather it’s a standalone novel so perfect for both fans and newcomers.
I’d seen this book on a few blogs before my copy arrived and had an unfortunate case of book envy. It’s exactly the sort of novel I adore and I was starting to worry it was out overseas but not here.
Thankfully, fate, luck and the gods were all on my side as the book arrived and – despite some other commitments – I was able to polish it off in a couple of days.
I suspect this novel by Chris Ewan will form part of a series. In fact, I kept wondering if I’d come in part-way through as some of the characters and their relationships were quite established. It was a tad confusing but all was eventually revealed and I think – if this does become a series, which I suspect it will – it will be a good one.
I know I’ve mentioned this before… but I’m a huge fan of US author Alafair Burke.
I love her Ellie Hatcher and Samantha Kincaid series’ and adored her standalone novels and enjoyed her recent collaborations with Mary Higgins Clark.