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How To Find Love In A Bookshop
How To Find Love In A Bookshop

How To Find Love In A Bookshop by Veronica Henry

Nightingale Books is every book lover’s dream shop; but owner Emilia is struggling to keep it open after her father’s death. She is tempted to sell it but her loyal customers have come to rely on the staff and books. I haven’t read anything by this author before but that will soon change! Anyone who loves reading will appreciate the plight of Nightingale Books and the loyal customers who find solace there. I only wish I could visit Peasebrook myself and browse the shelves! The cast of characters was well rounded; each interweaving story helped build a picture of their community and I was said when I came to the final pages. A touching, cosy, escapist read, perfect for lazy sunny days or cold winter nights. A joy to read!


The Dry
The Dry
A Boy Made of Blocks
A Boy Made of Blocks

The Dry by Jane Harper

Amidst the worst drought in years, the isolated Australian town of Kiewarra experiences a terrible tragedy - Luke Hadler, his wife, Karen and young son, Billy are brutally murdered. The official investigation determines that Luke killed his family before taking his own life. Luke’s childhood friend, Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for their funeral and finds himself reluctantly drawn into investigating the case further at the request of Luke’s parents. This is a compelling read, leaving you guessing to the end as secrets from the past are unearthed and the true nature of relationships revealed, all set against a backdrop of stifling heat and the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town. A very promising debut indeed.

Published 12th January 2017

 

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

Inspired by the author’s experiences with his son, this is a heart-warming tale that left me in tears. Alex has lost his job and finds it hard to connect with his autistic son, Sam, despite having his best interests at heart. When Sam discovers Minecraft, Alex sees a different side to his son and finds that it helps bridge the gap between them. Easy to read, well plotted and just so compelling. I loved this book! I laughed, cried, cringed and hoped that Alex would get his family back together. It’s a book that has stayed with me long after the final page.

The Constant Soldier
The Constant Soldier
Dead Man's Blues
Dead Man's Blues

The Constant Soldier by William Ryan

Having heard William Ryan talk about this book at Gateshead Libraries, I was keen to read it and I was not disappointed. It’s 1944 and German soldier, Paul Brandt has returned home from the Front, wounded and desperate to atone for the atrocities committed by the German army. His home village is close to the camps at Auschwitz and within the village itself is an SS rest hut - a retreat for SS officers working in the concentration camp. One day, when out walking, he spots a female prisoner and recognises her as the woman who was arrested at the same time as him several years earlier. Consequently, he makes it his mission to ensure her safety and manages to get a job at the hut. However, tensions are running high amongst the SS officers as the war is coming to an end and they are fully aware of the Russians rapidly advancing. William Ryan gives a real insight into the turmoil within the army, the tense and menacing atmosphere within the hut and the fear among the prisoners. A wonderful book!

 

Dead Man’s Blues by Ray Celestin

I loved the Axeman’s Jazz (Ray Celestin’s debut novel) so was so excited to read this, following the fortunes of Michael Talbot, Ida Davis and Louis Armstrong - all now relocated to Chicago. It’s 1928 and Chicago is a city ruled by gangsters, namely Al Capone, it’s the height of prohibition but illicit liquor is readily available, it’s a violent city with a corrupt police force and disputes routinely end in murder. Michael and Ida are now working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency and are approached by the wealthy Mrs Van Haren whose daughter, Gwendolyn has gone missing - as has her fiancé, Charles Coulton Jnr. However, they soon discover their investigation will not be straightforward as the Chicago police do all they can to hinder them. Meanwhile, Jacob, a police photographer begins an investigation into the death of a gangster found brutally murdered in an alleyway. The final strand to the story is the arrival in the city of Dante Sanfelippo, recalled to Chicago from New York by Al Capone himself to investigate a liquor poisoning at a political party. Gradually, the 3 investigations find themselves intertwined. This is a superb novel - expertly plotted with wonderful historical detail. Ray Celeestin does an excellent job of transporting us to 1920s Chicago. On completing the book, I was delighted to discover that this is the second in a series of 4 books that will feature the same characters but each book will be set in a different city. I can’t wait for the next one!

Miss You
Miss You
Little Deaths
Little Deaths

Miss You by Kate Eberlen

I loved this book! It’s inevitable that people will compare it to One Day but I actually preferred this. Tess and Gus meet briefly as teens in Italy the summer before they start university. We then follow their separate paths through life as they cope with loss, disappointment, parenthood and love, all the while coming tantalisingly close to each other’s orbits, only to spin away again. Heartfelt, funny and captivating. A great read!

 

Little Deaths by Emma Flint

New York, summer 1965 and single mother, Ruth Malone wakes to find her 2 children, Cindy and Frankie have gone missing during the night. The police mount a search for them and eventually, both are found - murdered. The detectives, in particular, Devlin, are convinced of her guilt despite a lack of evidence. They disapprove of Ruth’s lifestyle - her job as a cocktail waitress, her affairs with other men, her unkempt apartment with its empty alcohol bottles. Meanwhile, we also see Ruth from the point of view of Pete Wonicke, a journalist who becomes obsessed with the case and ultimately, with Ruth’s innocence. This is a compelling debut novel, but it’s also quite shocking as we see the blinkered attitude of the police, determined to arrest Ruth for the murder of her children regardless of the evidence and simply because she failed to conform to the norms of 1960s society.

Published 12th January 2017







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