Monday, November 19, 2018

Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks

Paperback: 296 pages                                                                                                 
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Penguin, Random House 6th September 2018
Source: LoveReading Consumer Reader Review Panel Member
First Sentence: I was taking a pee in the bathroom when I caught sight of myself in the mirror.
Favourite Quote: I believed in the impact of previous existences on every day I was alive; in more excited moments I came to think that the membrane of death was semi-permeable.
Review Quote: The most impressive novelist of his generation’ Sunday Telegraph
Main Characters: Hannah and Tariq
Setting: Paris and Tangier
My Opinion: There is no doubt that Sebastian Faulks is a talented writer of literary fiction and I have at different levels enjoyed all the novels I have read by him. This one as the title Paris Echo hints at is full of the echoes of the history of Paris. The two main characters that meet quite by chance are from very different backgrounds, Hannah is an educated historian and aware young lady, whereas Tariq is her opposite a rather naive young man who knows nothing of the history of Paris. Immersing myself in their parallel stories was easy as through their voices and those of the people that Hannah was researching we learn how the dilemmas we live through reflect on our life choices. Recommended to anyone that is a fan of Sebastian Faulks writing or interested in history of the period as both people and place come alive as one reads.

I have read the majority of his novels, six of which I have previously reviewed, I am including the links to them for those of you that might be interested.

Devil May Care  Engleby   Human Traces  A Week in December  A Possible Life 

Where My Heart Used To Beat

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Here is Paris as you have never seen it before – a city in which every building seems to hold the echo of an unacknowledged past, the shadows of Vichy and Algeria.

American postdoctoral researcher Hannah and runaway Moroccan teenager Tariq have little in common, yet both are susceptible to the daylight ghosts of Paris. Hannah listens to the extraordinary witness of women who were present under the German Occupation; in her desire to understand their lives and through them her own, she finds a city bursting with clues and connections. Out in the migrant suburbs, Tariq is searching for a mother he barely knew. For him, in his innocence, each boulevard, Métro station and street corner is a source of surprise.

In this urgent and deeply moving novel, Faulks deals with questions of empire, grievance, and identity. With great originality and a dark humour, Paris Echo asks how much we really need to know if we are to live a valuable life.

Video Trailer for 'Paris Echo' Courtesy of YouTube/Waterstones

Author Profile:

Sebastian Charles Faulks CBE was born in Donnington, England on April 20th 1953  He is a novelist, journalist, and broadcaster who is best known for his historical novels set in France — The Girl at the Lion D'Or, Birdsong, and Charlotte Grey. He comes from an interesting family background as can be read in this biographical profile.
He is the son of Pamela (Lawless) and Peter Ronald Faulks, a Berkshire solicitor who later became a judge. He grew up in Newbury. His mother was both cultured and highly strung. She introduced him to reading and music at a young age. Her own mother, from whom she was estranged, had been an actress in repertory. His father was a company commander in the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, in which he served from 1939 to 1946. He saw action in Holland, France, Tunisia, Italy (at the Anzio landings), Syria and Palestine. He was wounded three times and awarded an immediate MC after an action against the Hermann Goering Parachute Troops in North Africa in 1942.
His maternal grandfather, Philip Henry Lawless, enlisted in the 1st Battalion, 28th county of London Regiment, otherwise known as The Artists' Rifles in 1914, and served in trench warfare on the Western Front until 1917, when he moved to the 26th Battalion Middlesex Regiment and finished the war in Salonika. He was decorated several times and received the Military Cross in 1918, the standard Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the 1914 Star. He eventually left the Army and returned to work as a wine merchant - his father's original occupation.
His paternal grandfather, Major James Faulks (Major was his name, not a military rank) was an accountant who had previously worked as a schoolmaster at a private boarding school in Tunbridge Wells, while Major's provisions merchant father, William Robert Faulks, supplied dairy products in late Victorian Paddington.
Faulks' father wanted him to become a diplomat. He claims his first ambition was to be a taxi driver until at the age of fifteen, while reading George Orwell, he decided to become a novelist instead. In fact, he is the only member of his paternal family not to be a lawyer; his father and uncle were judges and his brother Edward is a QC specialising in medical negligence.
Faulks was educated at the fee-charging Wellington College and studied English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he won an open exhibition and to which he was elected an honorary fellow in 2007. He took a teaching job at the Dwight-Franklin International School after university while also moving into journalism, becoming a features writer for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, and was recruited by the Independent as Literary Editor in 1986. He became the Deputy Editor of the Independent on Sunday before leaving in 1991 to concentrate on writing. He has been a columnist for The Guardian (1992-8) and The Evening Standard (1997-9).
He continues to contribute articles and reviews to a number of newspapers and magazines and to broadcast regularly. He wrote and presented the Channel 4 series Churchill's Secret Army, about the wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE), screened in 1999. Faulks is a team captain on BBC Radio 4's literary quiz The Write Stuff.
Faulks lives with his wife, Veronica (formerly his assistant at The Independent), and their three children William, Holly and Arthur . He works from his study in a top floor flat of a house near Holland Park Avenue, ten minutes from his home, starting work at 10am and finishing at 6pm, regardless of whether he is writing a book or not.
He was appointed a CBE in the Birthday Honours List 2002 for "services to Literature" and he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1994.
Faulks supports West Ham United. He writes about this in "Upton and Other Parks," a contribution to the 1990 football book Saturday's Boys.

An update of this Biography can be found on his Official Author Website

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Amazon Author Page   Official Author Website    Sebastian Faulks - Facebook Profile

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Paperback: 407 pages                                                                                              
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Windmill Books 2017
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: Prelude: If my friends hadn't decided that I should have a dog I would never have opened the gate and gone into the graveyard.
Favourite Quote: “Only a very few people leave traces in history, or even bequeath family documents to their descendants. Most have no money to memorialise themselves, and lack even a gravestone to mark their existence. Women's lives, in particular, remain largely unrecorded. But even so, did they not shape the future?”
Review Quote: 'This is the finest novel Helen Dunmore has written...From the start, Birdcage Walk has the command of a thriller...The novel's cast is marvellous and vivid...A novel that deserves to be cherished and to last'. Observer
Main Characters: Lizzie Fawkes, John Diner Tredevant
Setting: Bristol, England
Literary Awards: Walter Scott Prize Nominee for Longlist (2018)
My Opinion: A pleasant read with a very interesting sense of time and place. After reading the 'blurb' on the cover, I was at first confused as to why the 'prelude' was set in the modern day as a narrator introduces us to the background of the novel when they by chance find the grave of Julia Fawkes, in St Andrews Cemetery near Birdcage Walk. Reading on, one quickly realises that this was a stratagem to introduce us to the background behind the storyline. Although Julia Fawkes is fictional, in 1792 the period of the novel, Europe was in political upheaval and there would have been such women. The protagonist, Lizzie Fawkes marriage to a property developer is it seems full of impending doom, as she struggles to cope with her husbands dark side. This title has by some been considered as Helen Dunmore's finest novel, it was sadly her last as she herself explains in the afterword. ''The question of what is left behind by a life haunts the novel. While I finished and edited it I was already seriously ill, but not yet aware of this'' I cannot comment as I have only read one other novel by her and that was in 2008. This final novel as she died last year is loved by her many fans, she was known as an inspirational voice to others in the field of literature. A talented writer taken far too young. 

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence.

Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism.

But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol’s housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat.

Diner believes that Lizzie’s independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants.

In a tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror, Diner’s passion for Lizzie darkens until she finds herself dangerously alone.

Author Profile:

                                                   Photo Courtesy of  Caroline Forbes from 
                                                         British Council Literature

Helen Dunmore was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, on the 12th of December 1952, the second of four children of Betty (née Smith) and Maurice Dunmore. She studied English at York University, and lived in Finland for two years (1973–75) and worked as a teacher. She lived after that in Bristol. Dunmore was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL). Some of Dunmore's children's books are included in reading schemes for use in schools.

In March 2017, she published her last novel, Birdcage Walk, as well as an article about mortality for The Guardian written after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died on 5 June 2017. Her final poetry collection Inside the Wave, published in April 2017 shortly before her death, posthumously won the Poetry and overall Book of the Year awards in the 2017 Costa Book Awards.

She is survived by her spouse Francis Charnley and children, Patrick, Tess and Ollie.

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Helen Dunmore - Website   Helen Dunmore - Wikipedia     Amazon Author Profile

Helen Dunmore - British Council Literature     Goodreads Author Profile

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Gloriana by Oliver Richbell

Paperback:  90 pages                                                                                                
Genre: Novella Nostalgia Series, Thriller,
Publisher: City Fiction, September 2018
Source: The Publishers and author, in return for an honest and unbiased review.
First Sentence: The morning mist rose from the Thames like swirls of white candyfloss and as his jet-black chauffeur-driven car glided over Westminster Bridge, Sebastian Pennington was idly peering through the tinted windows watching the great unwashed shuffling along on the pavement.
Main Characters: Sir William Bretherinby, Clive Ferringsly QC, Brigadier General Xavier Llewellyn-Jones, Katherine MacStones, Philip Nicholson, Sebastian Pennington and Samantha Wyde.
Setting: London, England
My Opinion:Gloriana is the fifth title in the Novella Nostalgia series, the first four titles in the series were written by the author Tony Drury but 'Gloriana' which is inspired by the film 'Valkyrie' is a debut publication for Oliver Richbell.
I am not a fan of short stories or novellas and therefore rarely read or review any. However as Tony Drury and his colleagues have kindly sent the series to me for honest and unbiased reviews, I have read them! The series links iconic cinema classics with modern stories, though to be honest the former is rather wasted on me as though a fan of modern cinema I am not well up on the classics.

It may be coincidental that this title was published recently, but the timing is perfect as it is indeed very topical!

My opinion on novellas remains the same and although I enjoyed reading Gloriana I would have preferred it to be a full length novel. It just seemed to have got interesting to me when it ended! Still a worthwhile read, well written with good characterisation and despite only being ninety pages long it is an action packed roller coaster that feels dangerously realistic.

For those looking for quick reads, then of course I recommend not just this title but the entire series, Novella Nostalgia is certainly a name to look out for as more titles are added to the collection.

My reviews of the earlier titles in the series can be read here

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

A change must be made
Permanently removing The PM is the only way

This was the conclusion drawn by a band of conspirators intent on reversing what they saw to be the devastating result of the Brexit Referendum.
With the Middle Eastern Trade Agreement being signed that night the time for decisive action had arrived.
The plan had been calculated with military precision and when its leader declared “we go tonight” the accomplices were prepared to activate the Gloriana paper and to wrestle back the United Kingdom’s place in the European Union by assassinating The Prime Minister.

Author Profile:

Oliver was born in 1977 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2007. He worked in London for a litigation and sports law practice before a brief stint in two regional firms. In 2010 he married in his sweetheart and in 2014 he became a father. in 2015 Oliver took a leap of faith and formed his own dispute resolution consultancy. Oliver loves to write and has now achieved one of his many ambitions in life in becoming a published author. His first work, Gloriana, was published in September 2018 and inspired by the movie Valkyrie, Gloriana tells a story of a band of conspirators intent on assassinating The Prime Minister in the aftermath of the Brexit Referendum. Oliver's next work will be out in early 2019 and his first novel will be out soon thereafter.

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following site.

Amazon Author Page - Oliver Richbell

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Year at Hotel Gondola by Nicky Pellegrino

Paperback: 305 pages                                                                                                
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Publisher: Orion 2018
Source: Won in a Prize Draw I entered via Twitter, courtesy of  @thebooktrailer @orionbooks @nickypellegrino
First Sentence: There is no sadder feeling than being jealous of your own life.
Review Quote: 'Warm, engaging and truly delicious' Rosanna Ley, author.
Main Character: Kat Black
Setting: Venice, Italy
My Opinions: Having lived the Italian dream myself for a number of years, it is always a pleasure to lose myself in a story written by an author whose passion for Italy is obvious. From the delightful way she writes about the sights and smells to the detail of including some authentic recipes in her storyline. This is the fourth novel I have read by Nicky Pellegrino, surely a good recommendation in itself. She writes in such a way that I feel myself drifting off to the world she writes about, so far always set in my beloved Italy, but each novel portrays a different Italian world. This time she transports us to the magical city of Venice.
A novel recommended for those Italophiles that cannot resist another story set in Italy, fans of the author's writing, or indeed anyone interested in travelling via the pages of novels.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Kat has never wanted to live a small life. She's an adventurer, a food writer who travels the world visiting far-flung places and eating unusual things. Now she is about to embark on her biggest adventure yet - a relationship.

She has fallen in love with an Italian man and is moving to live with him in Venice where she will help him run his small guest house, Hotel Gondola. Kat has lined up a book deal and will write about the first year of her new adventure, the food she eats, the recipes she collects, the people she meets, the man she doesn't really know all that well but is going to make a life with.

But as Kat ought to know by now, the thing about adventures is that they never go exactly the way you expect them to...

Video Trailer for 'A Year at Hotel Gondola' Courtesy of YouTube

My earlier reviews for Nicky Pellegrino Novels:

Recipe For Life    The Italian Wedding    When in Rome

Author Profile:

Nicky Pellegrino's Italian father came to England and fell in love with a Liverpool girl which is where Nicky was born on the first of January 1964. She grew up in Liverpool, then as an adult she worked in London as a magazine journalist.  Twenty one years ago she went on holiday to New Zealand and met her now husband, Carne Bidwell at a wedding.

When Nicky first started writing fiction it was her memories of childhood summers in Italy that came flooding back and flavoured her stories: the passions, the feuds but most of all the food. It is her father's Italian mantra that you 'live to eat not eat to live' that is one of the inspirations behind Nicky's delicious novels.

She works as a freelance journalist, has weekly columns in the Herald on Sunday newspaper and the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and her novels are distributed in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and have been translated into 12 languages.

She now lives near a beach in Auckland with her husband and their dogs Charlie the standard poodle and Lucy the pointer. Nicky spends her time writing novels, working as a freelance journalist, riding her two horses, growing vegetables, cooking, trying to get other people to cook for her, eating and reading. There isn't much time for anything else except a little light housework.
Her all-time favourite book is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and my book of 2013 was Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Nicky Pellegrino - Goodreads Profile     Twitter Profile    Author Facebook Profile

 Nicky Pellegrino - Official Author Website     Nicky Pellegrino - Instagram

Amazon Author Page   YouTube

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Witch Finder's Sister by Beth Underdown


Paperback: 347 pages                                                                                                 
Genre: Fiction, Historical Thriller.
Publisher: Penguin Books 2017
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: Once, I scarcely believed in the devil.
Favourite Quote: “I will lay it out in black and white, and my tale will contain more truth than the great dead histories on my father's bookshelves. For they say what happened, but not what it was like. They say what happened, but they do not say why.”
Review Quote: Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia... Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster (Kate Riordan, author of The Girl in the Photograph)
Main Characters: Matthew Hopkins, Alice Hopkins
Setting: Essex and East Anglia
Literary Awards: Historical Writers Association Debut Crown Award 2017
My Opinion: Graphic and horrifying, the only reason I found this novel interesting was the fact that although fiction it is loosely based on the life of the renowned witch hunter Matthew Hopkins. He was active in the 1640's during the English Civil War, mainly in East Anglia where the author has set her story. The protagonists are Matthew and his sister Alice. She is fictional, but it is feasible that he may well have had a sister as he was one of six siblings. Matthew is an obnoxious character, obsessed with what he believes is his vocation. Women were accused of being witches for the most contrived reasons and confessions were obtained by torture. Certainly not one of this year’s favourites and not one I would have bothered to read had it not been this month’s Book club choice. If you are looking for a Halloween read this might be for you

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

'The number of women my brother Matthew killed is one hundred and six...'

1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.

To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Winner of the Historical Writers Association Debut Crown Award 2017, and a Spring 2018 Richard and Judy Book Club pick, this beautiful and haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Sarah Waters, The Miniaturist and Burial Rites.

Video Trailer for 'The Witch Finder's Sister ' Courtesy of YouTube

Author Profile:

                                                Beth Underdown

Beth Underdown was born in Rochdale in 1987. She studied at the University of York and then the University of Manchester, where she is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is her debut novel, and is based on the life of the 1640s witch finder Matthew Hopkins.

She first came across him while reading a book about seventeenth-century midwifery. As you do.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Copy Cat by Alex Lake


Paperback: 404 pages                                                                                              
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins 2017
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: The first time someone said that Karen was gone for good was during the week she disappeared.
Favourite Quote: “There’s no point worrying about work, he’d say, adding his favourite quote: ‘worry is a dividend paid to disaster before it’s due’. You spend your time thinking about things that might never happen. It’s pointless. If it happens, figure it out. If it doesn’t, don’t worry about it.”
Review Quote: ‘Fabulous stuff!’ Northern Crime
Main Characters: Sarah Havenant
Setting: Maine, USA
My Opinion: Another thriller, surprising as I claim not to be fond of this genre that I have read quite a few recently. I picked this one up from the library as it seemed very plausible with all the current news going around with regard to the dangers of social media that someone could have their Facebook Profile cloned. This psychological novel is a good read and kept my interest, it is thought provoking how someone can if they want turn your life upside down, by stalking you both online and in the real world. Unnerving as the protagonist Sarah Havenant finds her happy life slipping away from her.  Although I am sure most readers will guess who the stalker is way before it is revealed , for me it was the way this happens that makes it worth reading. Recommended to fans of The Gone Girl and Girl On The Train.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Your stalker is everywhere.
Your stalker knows everything.
But the real problem is that your stalker is you.
Sarah Havenant discovers–when an old friend points it out–that there are two Facebook profiles in her name.

One, she recognizes: it is hers. The other, she has never seen. But everything in it is accurate. Recent photos of her and her friends, her and her husband, her and her kids. Even of her new kitchen. A photo taken inside her house.

She is bemused, angry, and worried. Who was able to do this? Any why?

But this, it soon turns out, is just the beginning. It is only now–almost as though someone has been watching, waiting for her to find the profile–that her problems really start…

Author Profile:

The name Alex Lake is a pseudonym, so no photo to be found. 

Alex Lake is a British novelist who was born in the North West of England. After Anna, the author’s first novel written under this pseudonym, was a No.1 bestselling eBook sensation and a top-ten Sunday Times bestseller. The author now lives in the North East of the US.

 Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Just For the Holidays by Sue Moorcroft


Paperback: 369 pages                                                                                               
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins 2017
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: Michele: Re holiday...Alister wants to come!
Review Quote: ‘Effortlessly engaging…a magical must!’ Heat
Main Characters: Leah Beaumont and her sister and family.
Setting: France
My Opinion: Strangely this is only the second novel I have read by this author and that was Uphill All The Way  back in 2007, somehow I have missed out on the many she has published in the intervening years. A month long holiday in a gite in rural France sounded like a perfect break to Leah the protagonist, but unfortunately it turned out to be very different from her expectations. It is a humorous relaxing read with engaging characters that I would recommend to those looking for the perfect read to whisk you back to summer and or France.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

The #1 bestselling author returns for summer! Grab your sun hat, a cool glass of wine, and the only book you need on holiday…

In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.

Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.

But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…

A glorious summer read, for you to devour in one sitting - perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

Author Profile:  

Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has held the coveted #1 spot in the Amazon Kindle chart. She's also a bestseller in Germany. She writes women's contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes.

Sue has won the Best Romantic Read Award, been nominated for a RoNA and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing 'how to'.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She's worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a typesetter, but is pleased to have wriggled out of all 'proper jobs'.

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Payback by Kimberley Chambers


EBook:  Kindle Edition 400 pages                                                                                               
Genre: Crime, Contemporary Thriller,
Publisher: Harper Collins January 2014
Source: Amazon Free Offer in 2016.
First Sentence: Whistling 'Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah' Trevor Thomas felt as happy as pig in shit as he walked the mile long journey from the pub to his mother's house.
Review Quote:  'a fast-paced tale with gritty authenticity’ The Guardian
Main Characters: The Butler Family
Setting: London
My Opinion: Why an earth did I ever put this title on My Kindle? I started reading it on a recent flight and I persevered but I do wonder why I bothered. The genre is not my favourite but there are many I have enjoyed. Apologies, as I hate criticising authors, but there was absolutely nothing I appreciated in this novel, from the weak storyline, to the dreadful characters.
If you like cliched East-End characters and most of them are particularly nasty ones at that, then by all means read. You have been warned though, only do so if you appreciate predictable thrillers.

Maybe I picked the wrong title as an introduction to this author, what do you think?

Please Note Book Two of The Butlers Series.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

The Butlers are not a family to be messed with. Top dogs in the East End, they trample on anybody who gets in their way.

Vinny Butler has upset many people on his rise up the criminal ladder. His best pal, mum, brother, dad, aunt, son and his girlfriend's father all hold grudges against him. Will it be one of those who plots Vinny's demise ? Or, will it be somebody else ?

Caught up in the crossfire are two innocent young women. Joanna and Nancy's only crime was to fall in love with the wrong men. Do they and their children escape unharmed ? Or, does getting involved with Vinny and Michael Butler prove to be the costliest decision Joanna and Nancy ever made?

Please Note Book Two of The Butlers Series.

Author Profile:

Bestselling author Kimberley Chambers lives in Romford and has been, at various times, a disc jockey and a street trader. She is now a full-time writer.

Kimberley Chambers is the Sunday Times Number One Best-Selling author of eleven novels, including the hugely successful ‘Butlers Series’ and ‘The Mitchell/O’Hara Saga’.

Her novels are set in the gritty underworld of the East End/Essex. Her distinctive style, full of humour, warmth and violence has developed a loyal and growing fan base. She has been hailed as ‘the next Martina Cole’.

Kimberley had not written a word until the age of thirty-eight when she decided to change her life and write her first novel, ‘Billie Jo’. She’d previously worked as a market trader on East-End markets, a pub DJ and a mini-cab driver. She was born in Romford, grew up in Dagenham and now lives in Hornchurch.

Her latest novel ‘Life of Crime’, shot straight into the Sunday Times Bestsellers chart at number one and spent weeks in the Top 10 in the month after its release.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Author -Official Website    Instagram Profile    Kimberley Chambers on Facebook

Twitter Profile

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson


415 pages                                                                                             
Genre: Crime, Mystery Thriller
Publisher: Faber and Faber 2015
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: "Hello, there," she said.
Review Quote: The Kind Worth Killing is a tightly plotted novel of betrayal set in London and Boston. (Irish Times)
Setting: Maine, USA
My Opinion: An evil and coldblooded story that was not at all to my taste and had it not been a book club choice I would not have read. I did not like any of the characters, Lily in particular was a nasty piece of work in my opinion. Just hope I never meet any one like her in the real world! Although thrillers are not my favourite genre I have read many more relatable and enjoyable ones than this title. A somewhat tedious read where the four protagonists seem to spend  the entire story trying to kill each other. I cannot really recommend it unless of course this sort of ridiculous story appeals, then go ahead as it appears I might be in the minority. In fact one of my book club friends says it is the  best thriller she has read in a long time.

Precis Courtesy of Goodreads:

'Hello there.'
I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger's face.
'Do I know you?'

Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched - but are either of them being serious, could they actually go through with it and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?

Back in Boston, Ted's wife Miranda is busy site managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline. But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?

A sublimely plotted novel of trust and betrayal, The Kind Worth Killing will keep you gripped and guessing late into the night.

Video Trailer for 'The Kind Worth Killing' Courtesy of YouTube

Author Profile:

Peter  Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of four novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, All the Beautiful Lies. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.