#BookReview Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent #psychological #thriller

​A remarkable thriller set in Southern Ireland, which opens with the murder of Annie Doyle who is eventually reported missing by her family but due to lack of leads and the assumption she was a heroin addict and prostitute, was not investigated thoroughly. Years later her sister, Karen still hopes to find out what happened to Annie, but at the heart of this crime is a family with a number of hurried secrets. 

This book opens at a point in the story you cannot help but get absorbed in, and the pace keeps up until the chilling end. This is not my first book from this author but I think this is the best one I have read from her so far. Lying In Wait is a suspenseful mystery thriller and will keep you up all night. 

Links To Book:

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#BookReview A Mother’s Reckoning Living in the Aftermath of the Columbine Tragedy by Sue Klebold #Tuesdaybookblog #truecrime 

​This true crime account of the Columbine High School shooting by mother of one of the shooters, Sue Klebold is probably the most difficult book I will read this year. It was hard reading how life as they had known it changed irreparably for the Klebold family whilst they came to terms with the loss of their youngest son, Dylan. 

Whatever preconceptions and judgments emerged over this horrific event nothing can even begin to rival what this family went through and despite finding this hard to read because of the true life aspect of the subject matter I also came away with hope and felt inspired by the strength Sue shows through the worst nightmare a parent could have.

As well as sharing entries from her diary, Sue educates by giving us a lot of information about teen mental health and suicide prevention. As horrific as the Columbine High School shooting was, it led to a deeper understanding of bullying in schools and was a gateway to many school policies we take for granted today, eighteen years later. 

A moving and inspirational book about a tragedy that shook parents everywhere.

Links To Book: 

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Honouring My Biggest Commitment: Keeping Myself Well


Even though I limit myself there’s still a lot of competition for my time and never has it been as busy as it’s going to be this month. March will see trips to The Royal Hallamshire PVDU and an endoscopy, at my local hospital as well as diabetes outpatients and the usual routine appointments. Never have I felt less motivated to attend appointments or take long journeys, as in all honesty, I am tired. Not just physically but mentally too. 

I rouse myself from sleep with a bone deep fatigue that I cannot imagine ever being free from. I could happily sleep fourteen hours a day but don’t remember what it’s like to feel refreshed. I suppose I really do need these hospital appointments as clearly this isn’t me at my best and my ability to do the things I enjoy is severely restricted yet again. 

I make no apologies for prioritising my well-being and my outpatient appointments. Thankfully those with a modicum of understanding agree with my need to attend outpatients and are not demanding anything of me that would make matters worse. Those who aren’t so generous are not so deserving of my time. 

#BookReview Chasing Chaos (Entanglement Book 3) by Katie Rose Guest Pryal #contemporaryromance #FridayReads

​As things become more complex in Daphne Saito’s life with Greta getting married and having to face the reality of her relationship with Dan, she is thrown into further turmoil when she starts a friendship with Marlon, Sandy’s handyman and friend. However, is is usually the case with Miss Saito trouble isn’t far behind.

I read the second book in this series some months back and became absorbed by the characters in this contemporary romance. Be warned, the characters are major my flawed, but that’s what I found appealing about the story and was glad to catch the final book in this series.

Easy to read and light-hearted fiction in comparison to many of the heavy thrillers I’ve read recently, Chasing Chaos was a leisurely read and a welcome break on my reading list. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Links To Book: 

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#BookReview The Paradise Trees by Linda Huber #thriller #

​Alicia returns to her childhood home after many years to help her Aunt take care of her estranged father after his debilitating strokes. Weary about returning to look after a parent who had disowned her at sixteen, she’s even more troubled about returning there with her eight year old daughter. However, her return piques the interest of someone locally who is harbouring a number of deadly secrets and has both Alicia and her daughter, Jennie in his crosshairs.

Well written characters make this thriller an intriguing read as the story is told from the point of view of Alicia and the malevolent stranger stalking her and her daughter. As we are told the slowly unfolding and disturbing back story of a killer, Alicia battles with a sense of foreboding awakened in her by her familial home. So we are intrigued further by Alicia’s past and what had happened between her and her parents for her to leave as soon as she was able.

The identity of the stranger kept me turning pages until the end and proved to make this a satisfying psychological thriller to read.

Links To Book:

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#BookReview Kindred by Octavia E. Butler #Tuesdaybookblog #scifi

​Dana finds herself inexplicably able to time travel on her twenty-sixth birthday, however, early eighteen hundreds Maryland is not a safe place for an African American woman from nineteen seventy-six to suddenly appear. It soon becomes apparent to Dana that she seems to be summoned to the past whenever a young boy called Rufus is in mortal danger, but time runs differently for Dana in the past than in her present and as Rufus grows up, as the young master on a plantation, he is a man of his time and cannot understand the world Dana comes from any more than she can understand her bond to Rufus.

A remarkable novel and one that allowed me to enjoy the sci-fi genre, one I don’t find myself reading and enjoying, but providing the most original take on African-American historical fiction I have ever read. This is my first book from this author and hopefully not my last. Highly recommended. 

Links To Book:

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#BookReview The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan #histfic #mystery #weekendbloghop

​This historical mystery thriller set in the nineteen thirties is about Alice, a young woman who finds herself pregnant after a short affair. Her mother devises a plan for her to be sent away to the Gloucestershire countryside to a childhood friend to have the baby without scandal, but whilst Alice is at Fiercombe Manor, a stately home with much history, she finds herself intrigued with the Manor’s ill-fated history and in particular with Lady Elizabeth Stanton the wife of the previous owner, whose story set a generation before runs somewhat parallel to Alice’s own.

I loved this imposing gothic mystery that had me enthralled from the start. Alice’s story was very readable and was a pale introduction to what was to follow once she reached Fiercombe Abbey and Elizabeth’s story started to unravel. With the blurring of the line between the supernatural and reality, which was well written. The story does contain a romance I wasn’t expecting and even though I’m not a huge romance reader I found it fitted well into the story and added another dimension to the novel without detracting from the underlying feel of the mystery.

A standout historical read for me from an author I have not read before.

Links To Book: 

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#BookReview The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry #Fridayreads #literaryfiction

​This Victorian literary novel set between London and Essex follows the life of widowed Cora Seaborne, her young son and companion, Martha. Freed from the bondage of marriage to a cruel man Cora rediscover her passions and interest whilst side-stepping the quicksand that may lead her back to the tilted cage of marriage. When she moves to Colchester she is regaled by tales of a huge sea creature with wings rumoured to be haunting a small village. She decides to make her own investigations out of her avid interest in natural history and finds much to unsettle her, as well as friendship and acceptance.

Beyond any doubt this is probably one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read and although I found it a little difficult to get into in the first fifth of the book, I was engrossed by the time I got to halfway through. I loved the characters in the book and their complex intersection I was totally blown away with the science verses religion argument of the day and the hypothesising that science and faith need not be mutually exclusive.

This is not a work of fiction that can be easily pulled off by many authors and I am in awe of the author’s understanding of human nature and the fears of the time, which may not be all that different to our fears of today. A worthwhile read that I wholeheartedly recommend.

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

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#BookReview The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

​I absolutely loved this literary thriller which starts with an unsolved murder from 1987 of eminent professor or psychology, Joseph Wieder, who was found murdered in his home on the outskirts of Princeton. When one of the suspect’s questioned, Richard Flynn, sends the first part of a manuscript recalling what he remembers of events leading up to the murder, literary agent, Peter Katz, he is enthralled and wants to get on board with the rest of the manuscript, however before he can do so tragedy strikes leading to him engaging investigative journalist, John Keller. Keller’s investigation leads him to a previous detective, who worked on the case and others who knew the professor. As he tries to unravel the story of this murder, he also ruffles a few feathers.

The story is told in three parts, the first from the point of view of Peter Katz who receives part of the manuscript written by Richard Flynn, the second is from the point of view of journalist, John Keller and the third from retired police detective, Roy Freeman point of view as he is informed of a breakthrough years after the murder and soon after John Keller’s investigation. I loved the way the story unravelled as a series of recollections from the various characters involved.

At every turn when you think the answers will never be forthcoming the story progresses despite the flawed memories of witnesses and the reluctance to divulge by those who were there. The pages turned very quickly for me in this thriller and I was sorry when I’d finished it.

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

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Emotional Bait and Switch #weekendblogshare

Whilst undertaking a couple of days of mindfulness, I battled away a few thoughts that persistently came to mind. The ones that stick out the most and stayed with me though were the fleeting memories I have of emotional bait and switch. 

Let me explain; as most of us know bait and switch is a term used to describe the situation where a merchant/seller gets your interest with a product but then when you purchase you get something of inferior quality or one which is more expensive. 

What I consider emotional bait and switch is when a group of trusted loved ones say, “if you want to smoke go ahead, we’re really relaxed about it.” However, after you take your first puff they tell you off for being disrespectful and smoking in front of your elders. So you were lured in with the promise of understanding and acceptance and then humiliated for faith and trust in what those you’ve known all your life were saying, rather than deciphering what they were thinking. Believe me it ruins the memory of your first ever puff irreparably.

Bait and switch is ultimate emotional betrayal. You think you’re getting acceptance, unconditional understanding/love/support, but the cold reality hits when you realise the ropes attached and perceived underlying love, understanding or whatever it is, was an illusion. 

Of course I didn’t see these situations at the time for what they were, I thought and was allowed to believe the fault lay with me for being unacceptably imperfect in the way I trust people, understand the world around me, was curious about smoking and my shocking inability to have children. 

Yes, even my endometriosis/infertility wasn’t spared the bait and switch but I don’t want to lower my mood further by going into the specifics of that exchange. 

There’s a huge gulf between what those I have trusted in my formative years have led me to believe and what I actually got, but I think most of us have complaints of this nature. I’m just glad I understand it for the cold emotional betrayal it was and maybe in a decade or so I will understand why anyone would bait and switch those they allegedly love.