Book Round Up

It seems like a substantial amount of time has passed since I last blogged about the books I have been reading but I don’t feel like I have read a great deal over the Easter period, however, according to my book-o-meter on I have read 6 books since my last book review blog.

The Storyteller by Jodie Picoult


Sage Singer befriends an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all – if Sage even considers his request – is it murder, or justice?


As always Picoult asks the questions that make you see the grey areas.

In this soul searching book about the Jewish holocaust and the survivors left, you are taken on a journey where you see life changing for Minka and her family in Poland as the Germans invade. The impact on her family and of those around her are written with clarity. The harder to read parts about when Minka is in a concentration camp are emotionally charged and very moving.

Well written and engaging beyond just words on the page, I cannot recommend this book enough. This one will stay with me for a long time.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


An unusually narrated hook told from the point of view of death.

Liesel is left with foster parents during the Second World War and her experiences and life during this time in Molching, Germany forms the basis of this book. Well written but brace yourself as the narrative seems to meander somewhat, I thought the book was compelling and tragic.

Not suspenseful nor fast paced or thrilling but definitely a book that draws you to the characters and makes you care about what happens to them.


Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott


How far would you go to hold on to the people you love?

When Olivia Brookes calls the police to report that her husband and children are missing, she believes she will never see them again. She has reason to fear the worst; this isn’t the first tragedy that Olivia has experienced.

Now, two years later, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas is called in to investigate this family again, but this time it’s Olivia who has disappeared. All the evidence suggests that she was here, in the family home, that morning. But her car is in the garage, and her purse is in her handbag – on the kitchen table.

The police want to issue a national appeal, but for some reason every single picture of this family has been removed from albums, from phones, from computers.

And then they find the blood…

Has the past caught up with Olivia?

Sleep Tight – if you can. You never know who’s watching.


A disturbing thriller about family dysfunction lurking just underneath a marriage.

Obsessed husband Robert comes home from business to find his wife and children gone but he seems barely co-operative to the police. This taut thriller will have you guessing all the way through it. Although not as suspenseful as The Back Road, I still found this hard to put down once I started reading it.

Not her best but still a very respectable mystery thriller.


The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormorant Strike book 1) by Robert Galbraith


A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


A crime thriller full of characters that grow on you.

When supermodel Lula Landry plummets to her death was she pushed or did she fall? Her adoptive brother hires private detective the loveable Cormorant Strike to investigate her death but he finds a puzzle which he unravels with the help of his temp.

I enjoyed reading this crime thriller and I think it got better as you read on. It’s not particularly fast-paced or scintillating but a very readable mystery.


The Hidden by Jo Chumas


Egypt, 1940 and young university professor Azi Ibrahim is brutally murdered in the Sinai desert, leaving behind his new bride, 20-year-old Egyptian-born teacher Aimee Ibrahim. The motive for the popular and much-loved professor’s murder appear incomprehensible to Aimee until she is given a mysterious package containing a diary, written in Arabic, twenty-two years previously. The diary belonged to Aimee’s mother, the Egyptian Sultan’s scandalous daughter Hezba, a radical revolutionary, who documented a year in the life of the 1919 Egyptian Nationalist revolution. As the narrative moves dramatically forward, Aimee discovers why the scandal of her mother Hezba’s life was always kept hidden from her. Hezba Al Shezira lived by just one rule; to be true to her own desires, even if it meant shaming her father, her culture and everything it stood for, but her ultimate aim was to unshackle her country from the tyranny of British rule. In 1919, 17-year-old Hezba writes that she has taken a lover and has joined a secret terrorist organization – the Rebel Corp – who are working to oust the British from her beloved Egypt. Hezba also documents the violence she’s subjected to in the harem. As the Second World War closes in around her, Aimee is plunged into an evil world of terrorism, rebel factions and the unspoken horrors, secrets and repressions of her mother’s life in 1919. In her attempt to find her husband’s killers and bring them to justice, Aimee experiences not only the love, desire and passion she has always craved, but the darker forces of a disintegrating political situation, and realizes to her horror that there are disturbing and terrifying parallels between her own life and that of her mother’s. The Hidden is a fast-paced story of a two worlds colliding and the devastating fall-out that ensues.


A mercerising tale told from two points of view, one from the point of view of the Sultan of Egypt’s daughter Hezba through her diary left for her daughter and secondly from the point of view of her daughter Aimee some 30 years later.

When newly we’d Aimee loses her husband she is determine to find out who killed him but in this quest she comes across her mothers diary and is caught up in the political struggle of the time. Aimee unearths more than she was expecting and the conclusion of this book is very thrilling indeed.

I’m not sure how much of this book is based in fiction and whether the political agendas or struggles bear any resemblance to real time issues but as a novel I thought this was very readable and it definitely kept me hooked.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s