Is it time? It should be, the beginning of a new month. It must be time (or nearly) for book club. So if you're here, you may be wondering what to read before the end of the year. I have some ideas...
This is the page where you'll find a short recommendation. Click on the cover for my full review, if you'd like more details.
Happy shopping and even happier reading. I'm enjoying reliving them all.
Kate Atkinson's latest, Transcription is a treat. Less time traveling and more spy/adventure/intrigue. Featuring Juliet Armstrong in London in 1940, the MI5, typewriters and listening devices, a dog, umbrellas, tea and raincoats - it's all so well set up. Ten years later, and Juliet is at the BBC, but the story is still not over. I loved it.
The Killing Lessons was one of the best thrillers I read this year. I loved this one too. The opening scene is a shooting in a home on the edge of a forest. This is where ten year old Nell runs, not knowing if she is escaping or facing more danger. The action is intense and relentless, and the tension mounts, with the police valiantly following every clue.
If you're a Sharon Bolton fan, like me - The Craftsman is different to her others. So much so, that she changed her publisher for this one. It's darker (I know - hardly seems possible, right?) and more personal. Sharon grew up in Lancashire, and on the legend (true story) of the Pendle witch trials. She uses that inspiration to full effect in this clever story of Florence Lovelace returning with her son to the funeral of a murderer. Only the mystery - that she helped solve all those years ago, may not be over yet.
I thoroughly enjoyed Val McDermid's latest Karen Pirie thriller. There's a body in peat - well-preserved, some highland games, a highlander and ties to spies from the war. Whilst investigating, Karen must also deal with a new boss who seems out to get her, and the boss's boy, who has definitely been sent to keep tabs on Karen.
The Burning Chambers starts a new series for Kate Mosse, and it opens in Franschhoek - the Cape sun beating on the gravestones and a woman remembering. The rest of the story is all in France though - Minou Joubert, of Île de la Cité who helps run her father's bookshop travels to the refuge of her aunt in Toulouse, where violence between the Protestants and Catholics erupts. She can't escape her history, however, and I suspect the books to come may bring her to the Cape where her story may continue.
If you loved Beartown, you'll love this - and you have probably got it already,and are in no need of my recommendation. Us Against You continues the ongoing drama-saga of a small town dependent on the ice hockey played at the ice rink to survive. Nearly all the boys (and girls) are back, loving and fighting, working and playing. A new coach will stir things up a lot, and maybe they won't lose more to their rivals in Hed - the next town over. I loved it.
Karin Slaughter is another of my favourites, and Pieces of Her did not disappoint. There's a violent scene at a mall, and Andy notices her mom, Laura react in a way that is initially believable, yet upon reflection totally surprising and unexpected. But now, both must keep running to stay alive, and as Andy works out why, she realises Laura has been holding out. A lot. It's a great story, tense and action-packed.
Did all my favourite authors publish recently? In time for festive season, I suppose. Joe O'Loughlin is one of my all-time best characters too. Here he discovers that Dad, who is lying in a hospital bed after being viciously attacked has a lady visiting him who neither Joe nor his sisters nor his mother have met. Turns out she may be "The Other Wife". And then there's also the small matter of who attacked Dad to figure out...
The last two are next to my bed - I've finished A Spark of Light, but the review's not up yet - tomorrow perhaps. And The Clockmaker's Daughter which I've read exactly one paragraph of. You'll want to read both of these before I do my next round of recommendations, which'll probably only be in the new year. I'll link the reviews when I've done them. The covers link to the Goodreads blurbs for now.
A Spark of Light tackles the issue of abortion and women's rights by telling the story of a shooting at an abortion clinic. In true Jodi style, she takes both points of view and explores them thoroughly and exhaustively and tells the story backwards in time, which makes for an interesting read.
And as far as The Clockmaker's Daughter is concerned, there isn't a Kate Morton that I haven't enjoyed yet, so I'm taking my chances and recommending this straight away.
Enjoy your book club - don't forget to talk about the books, people.
Book Club Books #2 2018