Truly Madly Guilty Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly GuiltyTruly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think. For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.
But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them. Which is how it all spirals out of control…
I must confess it took me a couple of goes to get into this book, but I’m glad a persevered as it did get better as it went along. Not one of those page turning reads, due to the frustrating lack of plot reveals after being teased numerous times and getting absolutely nowhere, but a clever ending nevertheless.
I received a review copy of the book via Netgalley.

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Holding Graham Norton

HoldingHolding by Graham Norton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste. So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.
I must confess to picking this book purely because it was written by Graham Norton and I was very much hoping his personality and dry wit would come through. And it does. In spades. This is a beautifully crafted book. The realism is extraordinary. You live in the village. You know each and every one of the characters and sympathise with them and cheer them on during adversity. An impressive debut novel. I do hope there’s going to be more adventures for Sgt Collins!
I received a review copy of this book via Netgalley.

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All is Not Forgotten Wendy Walker

All Is Not ForgottenAll Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jenny’s wounds have healed. An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack. She is moving on with her life. That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
This is a fascinating psychological novel, that deals with memories, almost a different take on repressed memories. Jenny’s memories have been erased, but they won’t go away. I loved the way the story was told and was riveted by the subject matter. A very thought proving and mesmerising story, particularly well told.
I received a review copy of the book via Netgalley.

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Rush of Blood Mark Billingham

Rush of BloodRush of Blood by Mark Billingham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect strangers. A perfect holiday. The perfect murder…
Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, their perfect holiday takes a tragic twist: the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves.
When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find: buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices…
More known for his police procedural crime novels featuring Tom Thorne, this is a stand alone novel. I loved the different take, with the book focusing far more on the main characters – three couples who meet on holiday. They have nothing in common apart from that, but keep in touch mainly because the tragedy that occurred. The story twists and turns, teasing out the secrets and lies to an ending that I didn’t see coming. Excellent!
I received a review copy of the novel via Netgalley.

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The Malice of Waves Mark Douglas-Home

The Malice of Waves (Cal McGill, Sea Detective, #3)The Malice of Waves by Mark Douglas-Home

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five years ago, fourteen-year-old Max Wheeler disappeared from Priest’s Island, an isolated but bleakly beautiful place on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. In the close knit local community, there are no secrets, except what happened to Max. None of the police or private investigations since have shed any light on what happened the night he went missing, presumed dead. But there is one man who is yet to take on the case: The Sea Detective. Cal McGill is an oceanographer and unique investigator who uses his knowledge of tides, winds and currents to solve mysteries no-one else can.
This book as an unusual take on the detective story. Not knowing it was the third in a series, I read it as a standalone book and really enjoyed it. I loved the different setting of the Outer Hebrides and the slightly quirky Cal McGill. But this book is about the island and the inhabitants, as much as it is about the Wheeler family and Max’s disappearance. The whole book is character driven, which I found to be fascinating. The twist at the end caught me by surprise, which is always a good thing!
I received a review copy of the book via Netgalley.

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The Keeper Alastair Gunn

The Keeper (DCI Antonia Hawkins, #3)The Keeper by Alastair Gunn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is something hiding in the forest. A man is found dead near an isolated forest outside of London. When another body is discovered a few days later, DCI Antonia Hawkins knows that she must move fast. The hunt is on. With each passing day, Hawkins struggles to find a pattern in this seemingly random scattering of murders. But who is the hunter?
This is the first book I’ve read by Alastair Gunn and even though it is the third in the series, I didn’t feel this detracted from the read. It was well written, and DCI Antonia Hawkins is struggling with demons from a previous case and with family problems that have fallen fairly and squarely in her lap. Her partner in life as well as work, DI Mike Maguire, I felt could have been more involved in the story. We saw him looking after Hawkins the best he could, but I didn’t get any feel for him as a person.
The plot was good, but I felt the last 10% of the book was a rehash of what had happened earlier in the book, but this time told through the eyes of the killer, which didn’t bring much to the party, and the book was pretty predictable from there on in.
Overall, a good read with a disappointing ending.
I received a review copy via Netgalley

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Progeny Lea O’Harra

ProgenyProgeny by Lea O’Harra

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One winter’s evening three-year-old Makiko Kohara goes missing from a mall in western Japan while shopping with her family. When Chief Inspector Kenji Inoue of the Fujikawa police gets the call, he is playing with his own small son, Yuichi. Disturbed by the news, he mounts a search for the little girl, convinced she simply wandered off and all will be well as little girls are not abducted let alone killed in Japan. But once he gets to Seatopia, the new, western-style shopping complex, Inoue discovers the girl’s disappearance is very real indeed.
Once again Ms O’Harra weaves a complex tale, set in the equally complex world of Japanese society. There are many examples of parents both good and bad in this clever novel. The role of women is another theme which is threaded throughout the story. The novel follows the conventions of a mystery, with a myriad of suspects which are gradually whittled down.
But for me the strength of this book is the light the author shines on Japanese society and its conventions, which are shown through her character’s failings. Add to that beautiful prose and you don’t get a much better read than this!
I received a review copy from the publishers, Endeavour Press.

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