Friend of the Family Tasmina Perry

51+iLr0rUeL._AC_US218_.jpgPub: Review

 

She thinks your life is perfect. She thinks you don’t deserve it.

Your job
Amy is more than happy to offer the daughter of an old friend work experience at her London magazine. Josie is young and ambitious. She just needs a foot in the door.

Your home
When Josie arrives, she swiftly makes herself indispensable at work and at home. And when childcare falls through before a long-awaited university reunion in Provence, it begins to look as if Josie may be staying longer than Amy had bargained for.

Your husband
In the heat of Provence, Josie’s presence starts to unsettle Amy, especially around her husband. As cracks begin to appear in Amy’s perfect life, she cannot shake the feeling that the family friend may not be a friend at all…

 

All I can say is WOW!!

Tasmina Perry has written a stylish, gripping and creepy read that I highly recommend.

Amy has the perfect life, a wonderful handsome husband, a fabulous glamourous job in the world magazine editing and trusty friends. She has long left behind her humble roots and has made a success of her life.

Revenge, obsession and accusations arise when Amy meets up with an old best friend Karen, and offers to give Karen’s daughter a chance to work at the magazine in the form of unpaid work experience.

This is a chilling novel.

As Amy’s life starts to unravel, the tension mounts and the suspense is thrilling.

Each page gives a insight into the magazine world and I absolutely loved it. It is a novel of pure escapism, but all the while, it is a stomach churning twisty read. It is a little predictable and I did guess correctly along the way, but the story sneaks up on the reader, and I for one truly enjoyed it.

4*/5

 

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The Winter Ghosts Kate Mosse

51u7JqfhlDL._AC_US218_Pub: Orion

The Great War took much more than lives. It robbed a generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, it took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind. Unable to cope with his grief, Freddie has spent much of the time since in a sanatorium.

In the winter of 1928, still seeking resolution, Freddie is travelling through the French Pyrenees – another region that has seen too much bloodshed over the years. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Shaken, he stumbles into the woods, emerging by a tiny village. There he meets Fabrissa, a beautiful local woman, also mourning a lost generation. Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories of remembrance and loss. By the time dawn breaks, he will have stumbled across a tragic mystery that goes back through the centuries.

 

This is truly an amazing and heartfelt ghost story.

Freddie’s story is superbly told, and oh so haunting.

Along with the story of Fabrissa, a beautiful lady he meets while travelling in France, he discovers that her life is just as tragic and as sad as his own. he falls in love.

This short novel, is such a joy to read and Is one that I have had on my bookshelf for such a long time. I honestly do not know why I haven’t read it before and why it has not been recommended to me.

It is a story that I expected to go a different way than it did, and the reveal of the story was quite shocking. To think that it might have actually happened is both horrifying and shameful.

The Winter Ghosts is a novel that I will be keeping on my bookshelf, and is one to be re read time and time again.

4*/5

Thirteen Steve Cavanagh

51oM-66B3zL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_ Pub: Orion

To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

 

This is a amazing read.

Steve Cavanagh is one of those authors that gets it right with every book he writes.

 

Th1rt3en, is filled with intrigue, tense and absolutely gripping.

Eddie Flynn is a con man turned defence lawyer, and if  you’ve been following his career through the three previous novels, book four is a masterpiece that will more than please his avid fanbase.

Joshua Kane is a killer who is controlled, clever and absolutely insane. I LOVED HIM.. I actually fell ‘IN’ love with him.. Serial killers are my obsession and he is without doubt in my top 3, of fictional deviants. He is a superb character, full of self importance, and utterly utterly brilliant.

This courtroom drama is a pacy and well plotted read.  A character driven novel that I had no idea where it would end. The Police are rogue, the evidence is planted, the defendant has secrets, there’s a voice on the end of the phone, and a killer is on the jury….. ANYTHING can happen!!

On the critical side there is a couple of cringey sentences, but Cavanagh writes a fantastic and believable tale, and of course artistic creativity is definitely allowed. When you get an author THIS good, where every novel is something to look forward to, and a one sit reading session is full of drama, suspense and tension, I just have to wonder what is next?? I know it’s going to be more than good.

This has to be  must read on a book lovers list, it has all the trappings of a highly absorbing tale.

Exciting and enthralling, it really is one of this years most thrilling crime novels

5*/5

 

 

 

 

 

This House is Haunted John Boyne

51WXaTJeF1L._AC_US218_Pub: Black Swan

1867. On a dark and chilling night Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor.

It is the start of a journey into a world of abandoned children, unexplained occurrences and terrifying experiences which Eliza will have to overcome if she is to survive the secrets that lie within Gaudlin’s walls…

 

This is a fabulously told ghost tale.

Eliza Caine is the 6th Governess in the past year to enter Gaudlin Hall to care for two children. She is a plain woman, and after the death of her father, she is looking for a new home and a new opportunity.

Her previous teaching experience of young girls, and the loss of her own mother at a very young age, gives Eliza a sympathetic and caring edge. However she soon finds out she has taken on more than the post detailed.

The setting is superbly atmospheric, and this is one of the most incredible ghost stories I have ever read.  I finished it in 5 hours and I loved it.

This House is Haunted is a book that will appeal to all fiction fans, even ones that do not usually read ghost stories. It is a novel with a few predictable twist, but it is a fabulous entertaining read.

4*/5

 

 

The Bookshop Penelope Fitzgerald

51vH8geCVhL._AC_US218_Pub: Fourth Estate

In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.

 

It’s 1959, and Florence Green’s dream of opening a bookshop has become a reality..

Although not all the residents of Hardborough are happy about.

The Old House has been run down for many years and now it is where Florence lives and works… it even has it’s own poltergeist.

This is a wonderful short read, and the times are very well documented with it’s staid attitudes and prejudices, and is such a fun read. Florence is a woman with sass, she knows what she wants and somehow gets it too.

This is an unassuming read that I really loved.  Soon to be made into a film, I wanted to read the book before I saw it on the big screen, and I can only hope that it will capture the spirit of Florence of the locals she shares her life with.

I loved it.

4*/5

Buy the book..

Why Mummy Swears Gill Sims

61UqWqX9WyL._AC_US218_Pub: HarperCollins

Why Mummy Swears is the much anticipated new novel from Gill Sims, author of the hilarious Why Mummy Drinks and online sensation Peter and Jane.

It’s every parents’ nightmare – the start of the school holidays – and instead of sitting in the sun, reading a book over a cold, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, Mummy has two bored moppets to attend to. After frantically booking sports camps, child minder slots, not to mention time off work, Mummy is exhausted. But this is only the beginning…

After being dragged to join the school’s PTA in the new term by an annoyingly kind-spirited neighbour, Mummy is stuck with organising the Christmas Fayre and pleasing all the overly disapproving parents. In combination with getting to know her father’s surprise new glamorous (and much younger) wife, and being forced to spend more time with her narcissistic mother, life isn’t cutting her much of a break. What more could possibly happen?

 

Ellen’s diary is hilarious..

Covering a year from July, and the start of the school holidays, to the following July this hilarious look at motherhood, career adventures and family had me rolling with laughter.

I could write a novel with just my review and include all the times I giggled, snorted and wet myself laughing at life in this dysfunctional but very realistic household.

It is totally relatable and what I loved the most was ‘Ellen’s voice’  it’s like hearing a tale from your best friend like you do over a glass of wine.. it’s brilliant, genius and fun. Some of it was just priceless.

Gill’s humour pours from every page, word and life snippet and I couldn’t help but wonder how much of this book is down to personal experience.. I know I have encountered some of Ellen’s happenings while trying to bring up two children.

I loved the 27th December entry, I think it has to be my favourite. I chuckled and chuckled.. and will never look at a gravy jug in quite the same way again.

The swearing is mega, but you know, the warning is in the title, but this has to be one of the best books I have ever read. It reigns supreme and I highly recommend it, I think it’s going to be one of the most talked about books of the year and will be on everyone’s reading list.

It’s a complete riot.

5*/5

 

The Butcher’s Daughter Victoria Glendinning

51RgIlZEuEL._AC_US218_Pub:  Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd

My name is Agnes Peppin and I am a stranger here…In this stirring, critically acclaimed and affecting novel, award-winning author Victoria Glendinning intricately depicts the lives of women during the Tudor era. The Butcher’s Daughter is the atmospheric story of a young woman’s struggle to define herself in a world of uncertainty, intrigue, and danger.

It is 1535 and Agnes Peppin, daughter of a West-country butcher, leaves her family home in disgrace to live out the rest of her life cloistered behind the walls of the Shaftesbury Abbey. Blessed with a sharp mind, she quickly rises through the ranks of the sisterhood to become the Abbess’s assistant. While Agnes grapples with the complex rules and hierarchies of her new world, King Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Head of the Church of England. Religious houses are being formally subjugated, monasteries dissolved, and the great Abbey is no exception to the purge.

With her place of refuge razed and the sisterhood disbanded, she is free at last to be the master of her own fate. But freedom comes at a price as Agnes descends into a world she knows little about, using her wits and testing her moral convictions against her need to survive by any means necessary..

 

What an amazing novel.

Agnes Peppin is a fabulous character and she really is woman with a heart and lots of personality.

A mix of Historical fact and brilliant fiction The Butchers Daughter is set in 1535 and the reign of King Henry VIII.

Agnes is a woman who has shamed her family, she enters into the care of the nuns and her story, her life and most of all her musings are just spectacular to read about. I loved getting to know her.

This is action packed and pacy and at times quite sad.  The Reformation means the dissolution of the monasteries and the ladies face unsurety.  I smiled in places and was shocked by some of the actions of those who make the decisions. I especially loved the ‘Go boil your head’ history and while these all added flavour to what is a brilliant read, what makes this book so good is the writing. It is sublime and a complete joy to read.

I would highly recommend this book, even if you are not a fan of Historical fiction, this is book with many facets. I was hooked and completed it in a morning as I just could not put it down.

It is truly amazing and one of the best reads this year so far.

5*/5