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The Early Birds.png
The Early Birds.png

The Early Birds by Laurie Graham

 

I always enjoy Laurie Graham’s books and this is no exception. In Early Birds, we are reunited with the characters from The Future Homemakers of America – Texan, Peggy Dewey, Kath from Norfolk, Gayle, now supposedly a faith healer, the very proper Audrey and loudmouth Lois. We’ve moved on 50 years and with the events of 9/11 as a backdrop, the ladies are now experiencing the problems and difficulties of old age. Reading this book is to be reacquainted with old friends, their highs and lows, their loves and losses and their precious memories of friendship and family.


Gone Astray 250 .jpg
Gone Astray 250 .jpg
The Summer Before the War.jpg
The Summer Before the War.jpg

Gone Astray by Michelle Davies

 

Lesley and Mack Kinnock won £15 million in the EuroMillions lottery, moved to an exclusive gated community in Buckinghamshire, leaving behind their old lives and friends. However, money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness and when the Kinnocks’ daughter, Rosie is abducted, their nightmare begins as secrets surface and the media becomes hostile. DC Maggie Neville is assigned to the case as their Family Liaison Officer, trying to both support the family and gather evidence that will lead them to Rosie. Maggie is a strong and determined character with an interesting back story and this is an excellently plotted and very accomplished debut novel. Really looking forward to meeting Maggie again in Wrong Place.

 

 

 

 

 The Summer Before The War

 

1914, Rye, East Sussex and it’s a glorious summer although the world is on the brink of war. Beatrice Nash arrives in town to take up a teaching post at the start of the new academic year. She is taken under the wing of Agatha Kent and her nephews, Hugh and Daniel. This section of the book, describing the golden summer of 1914, Beatrice’s struggles to be accepted in her own right despite being a woman and the lives of the middle classes, while interesting, is, at times, slow. However, the book picks up pace with the arrival of Belgian refugees and the declaration of war. The final section of the novel is outstanding and moving as it takes us to the Front with Hugh and Daniel and the reality of war becomes all too evident.

 

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HeSaidSheSaid.jpg
A Tree.jpg
A Tree.jpg

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

 

1999, Kit and Laura are attending an eclipse festival in Cornwall when Laura witnesses a rape. Both are called to give evidence at the trial but, determined to see the attacker brought to justice, Laura tells a lie on the witness stand. It’s a decision that will haunt her for years. Now, in the present day, Laura and Kit seem to live in fear for their lives, they’ve changed their surname and have made sure they have left no trace of their lives on the internet and the person they fear is Beth, the woman who was raped in Cornwall. This novel started slowly, gradually revealing secrets, finally leading us at breakneck speed to a dramatic conclusion. Absolutely gripping, you can never be sure who is telling the truth and who is lying and a book I had to stay up late to finish. Excellent!

 

A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker

 

This is a fictional account of Samuel Beckett’s life in France during World War II. When Britain declares war on Germany, he is visiting his mother in Ireland but returns to Paris and his girlfriend, Suzanne. We experience the war years through them – fleeing Paris at news of the Germans’ invasion, returning to Paris, becoming involved in the Resistance, fleeing once again to the South and seeing out the end of the war there. I’ve read many books set during this period of history but this novel, more than others, seemed to slow the mental and physical strain of war on ordinary citizens, especially those constantly looking over their shoulder and waiting for a knock on the door from the Gestapo because of their activities. Beautifully written, Jo Baker brilliantly describes life in occupied France.

 

 

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Blood Tide.jpg
Her Perfect Life.png
Her Perfect Life.png

Blood Tide by Claire McGowan

 

Blood Tide is the fifth book in the Paula Maguire series, a series that goes from strength to strength. Paula is a forensic psychologist with an expertise in missing person cases. From her work with PSNI in Ballyterrin, Northern Ireland, she is called in to consult with the Gardai in the case of a missing English couple who have vanished from a remote island off Co. Kerry. Entwined with this is a sequence of flashbacks to an ongoing story arc concerning Paula’s missing mother, who vanished at the height of the Troubles. The highlight of this book for me was the overwhelmingly menacing atmosphere created on Bone Island. The tension was palpable all the way through and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to unfold next.

 

Her Perfect Life by Sam Hepburn

 

Gracie Dwyer has the perfect life – a celebrity chef, a beautiful home, a successful husband and a gorgeous daughter. At least, that’s what Juliet thinks. She’s a single mother, struggling to make ends meet, always looking for work and is less than amicably separated from her husband. Juliet becomes friends with Gracie, inveigling her way into Gracie’s home and life, bitter about Gracie’s success, she’s determined to uncover any deep dark secrets that she may be harbouring. Ultimately, this is Juliet’s downfall as the book concludes with a dramatic revelation. A compelling read!

 

 







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