House of Correction by Nicci French is the latest standalone by the married couple Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. It’s an interesting book. I initially engaged with our lead Tabitha though was a little baffled by her naiveté about her predicament (ie. in jail on remand but assuming ‘the truth will set her free’). Then we see a side of her that had me realising she was perhaps not entirely a nice person. And – though I can cope with unreliable or unlikeable narrators if they’re psychopaths or sociopaths, I wasn’t sure I’d cope with one who was just a bitch.
The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish is the type of book that throws in an extra twist, just as you think you have things worked out.
In many ways it felt as if the narrative was ‘finished’ a number of times before it was. I kept looking at how many more pages remained wondering how on earth Candlish would eke the book out further. But… it’s because she takes the story in several directions we don’t expect… though wonder later how we didn’t predict their occurrence.
I really loved Anstey Harris’s The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton, released in early 2019. It is an understated book. If I wanted to sound wanky I’d say it’s about the human condition. Or perhaps it’s about all of those things that happen in our lives that make us the people we are. That make us ‘why’ we are.
The Museum of Forgotten Memories offers something quite different. Again though there’s some quirk, past secrets and a focus on relationships.
I keep vowing to stop reading books about parenting. I realise actual parents probably enjoy them and can definitely relate; but the mummy (mommy) wars and good vs bad parenting dilemma aren’t really high on my relevance agenda. Having said that, I do read a lot of books about sociopaths damaged by bad parenting, so…. I guess there’s that.
As it happens, I decided to read Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan however because I’d read and enjoyed a previous novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, by the former political reporter.
There was so much I loved about Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen. Her writing is stunning. We alternate between three individual narrators and move to third person plural at times – which is something you don’t come across often. Those sections of the book…. the voices of the women in the marsh, are desperately tragic but also poignant. Not bitter, but strangely hopeful.
There is a sisterhood among them, these women in the marsh. Each time he brings another one, they understand what she has seen. p 160
I received an early copy of Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs. The Temperance Brennan series was one I once didn’t miss, though haven’t read many in recent years. My mother loved the TV series (Bones) and has read some of the books so I offered it to her first as I wanted to read it closer to its release date.
When she returned it she was a bit ‘meh’. I wondered if Reichs was starting to ‘phone it in’… I’ve talked about other long-running series and authors perhaps becoming too complacent or running out of ideas. However, instead I reminded how different my mother’s taste is to mine. Because I really loved it.
I’ve been reading so many twisty books lately. I mean, I know I read a lot of novels of suspense and psychological thrillers so it’s what you expect, but authors are obviously working a lot harder to keep we readers guessing.
I’m usually pretty good with the whodunit stuff, but I’ve floundered a bit lately and Catherine Steadman’s Mr Nobody was very much like that.
This is the second book of Steadman’s I’ve read and her 2018 novel Something in the Water was chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s popular book club.
Interestingly I read Pip Drysdale’s The Sunday Girl, while travelling home from Italy last October. It’s typical of me, but I’ve included reference to my Emirates meal in the review, which in retrospect is kinda weird. Happily however, I enjoyed the book (far more than the meal) and it seems, though I thought I knew what was going to happen, it didn’t quite play out like that.
When ticking the ‘genre’ of this book for this post I added romantic suspense because – though not generally a fan of ‘romance’ as such – I was completely taken with the burgeoning romance that underpinned much of this novel.
The book opens as our two leads, Alice and Noah meet, and I adored their relationship and the way it grew. It felt… well, um romantic. Of course it’s hampered by a backstory of long-kept secrets, guilt and death, so it’s not all rainbows and kittens.