Little Disasters – Sarah Vaughan

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This is my first read of Susan Vaughan and it was brilliant. I will definitely be seeking out any previous novels.

‘Little Disasters’ centres around a group of friends who met at a pre-birth class and continue the friendship afterwards.  It delves into the complexities of parenthood and all that entails with particular reference to the struggles a mother goes through.

Liz is a paediatric doctor and one evening on her shift one of her friends from the group, Jess, brings in her daughter who has a bad concussion with little or no explanation as to how it has happened.  Within a short period of time the situation snowballs with Jess being blamed and the life of her family being turned upside down.

The storyline reverts back to the initial meeting and many of the encounters along the way.  It addresses a difficult subject with care and emotion without allowing for unnecessary sentimentality.  An absolutely astoundingly well written analysis of the fickle side of human nature.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster UK and Susan Vaughan for my ARC in return for my hones review.

Excellent Read. Recommended.

 

 

 

 

Strangers – C L Taylor

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I have read all of C L Taylor’s previous novels and love reading her carefully crafted stories.  This one is no exception.

Ursula, Alice and Gareth are the three main characters and there is no clear connection between them at the beginning of the story.  The story is told from each of their viewpoints.

Alice is manager of a clothes store in the fictional shopping centre known as Meads in Bristol.  She goes on a date which turns nasty and bumps into Simon who assists her at the time.  Ursula is a delivery driver who has a compulsion for shoplifting from stores and flatmates which needless to say gets her into trouble.  Gareth is a security guard at the Meads shopping centre and is caring for his mother who is suffering from dementia.

In addition to the turmoil of the three main characters, men keep going missing along the riverbank.  Well-rounded individuals with differing lives find that their worlds collide in an intricately plotted story which kept me turning those kindle pages at a fast pace.

This is a deep, dark novel addressing some serious issues in society and a brilliant ending which I absolutely loved.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and C. L. Taylor for my ARC in return for my hones review.

Excellent Read. Recommended.

 

 

 

 

Cruel Acts – Jane Casey

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DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent team up for the eighth book in this series by Jane Casey and ‘Cruel Acts’ is a storming read.  Maeve and Josh work well together and their ‘relationship’ and characters add to the dynamics of the writing and storyline.

This time they are both assigned to the case of Leo Stone who has already been convicted of killing two women and sent to prison for life.  However, a juror reveals that the rules were broken in the jury room so a retrial is needed.  The case needs to be investigated from the beginning and Maeve and Josh set about the task, finind that another woman had disappeared around the same time but never been found.

As soon as Stone is released from prison a woman disappears and he immediately becomes a suspect but all is not as it seems.  As the story is told through Maeve it becomes clear who she feels is guilty and the fast-paced nature of the novel kept me on the edge of my seat.

I love the min characters and Maeve’s complicated personal life as well as the intricacies of plot and possible murderers. Another five-star read from this author.

Many thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction and Jane Casey for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Great read and highly recommended.

The Guest List – Lucy Foley

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‘The Guest List’ is the second crime novel by Lucy Foley and I was delighted to receive an ARC from NetGalley to review after reading ‘The Hunting Party’.  If possible, this is even better and I couldn’t put it down.  My kindle pages were fizzing by.

Will, an actor from a star television series ‘Survival’ is marrying Julie, a high flyer with her own magazine.  The beautiful couple choose a desolate island off the Irish coast for their wedding, which is has just been bought by Aoile and Freddie who are determined to make a success of their purchase despite the reputation of the island.  This is their first wedding.

The story is told from different viewpoints and, as the story progresses, it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems with Will and his past, although there are several not very likeable characters.  A case in point are his ushers and best man who all went to school together at a ‘posh’ boarding school (the headmaster being Will’s father) which used to play a game called ‘survival’.

This is a true ‘whodunnit’ along the lines of Agatha Christie with many twists, turns, dark characters and deep hatred.

Many thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction and Lucy Foley for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Superb read and highly recommended.

When You See Me – Lisa Gardner

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This is my first read of Lisa Gardner and what a great read.  I can see that I have been missing out so will have to put that right.  This did not, however, diminish my enjoyment of this novel at all.

Human bones are found by two hikers and these are determined to be the remains of Lilah Abenito, who has been missing for some fifteen years.  Jacob Ness is believed to be responsible for the murder even though he is now dead.

Detective Sergeant DD Warren joins forces with the FBI task force to investigate, drawing in a previous victim and computer analyst in an exceptionally well-researched storyline.

The town of Niche becomes embroiled in the horrors as other bodies are discovered.  As a reader I am introduced to Bonita, who is mute and manages to portray the horrific scenes she has witnessed to the FBI task force.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone Century and Lisa Gardner for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Excellent read and highly recommended.