Source: Publishers Group Canada

#BookReview I Follow You by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IFollowYou #PeterJames #PGCBooks

#BookReview I Follow You by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IFollowYou #PeterJames #PGCBooks Title: I Follow You

Author: Peter James

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 17, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 386

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the number one bestselling author, Peter James, comes I Follow You, a nerve-shredding standalone thriller.

To the outside world, suave, charming and confident doctor Marcus Valentine has it all. A loving wife, three kids, a great job. But there’s something missing, there always has been. . . . or rather, someone . . .

Driving to work one morning, his mind elsewhere and not on the road, he almost mows down a female jogger on a crossing. As she runs on, Marcus is transfixed. Infatuated. She is the spitting image of a girl he was crazy about in his teens. A girl he has never been able to get out of his mind.

Lynette had dumped him harshly. For years he has fantasized about seeing her again and rekindling their flame. Might that jogger possibly be her all these years later? Could this be the most incredible coincidence?

Despite all his attempts to resist, he is consumed by cravings for this woman. And when events take a tragically unexpected turn, his obsession threatens to destroy both their worlds. But still he won’t stop. Can’t stop.


Review:

Addictive, unnerving, and suspenseful!

I Follow You is a fast-paced, sinister thriller that takes you into the life of Georgie MacLean, an avid runner whose use of social media and an online running app makes it extremely easy for the man who seems harmless and like he has it all, a beautiful wife, three darling children, and a successful career to always know when and where she will be.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are secretive, obsessive, and impulsive. And the plot is a disturbingly eerie tale of control, obsession, deception, jealousy, betrayal, depravity, senseless violence, and murder.

Overall, I Follow You is a dark, twisty, creepy page-turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and is a wonderful reminder of just how vulnerable and susceptible our dependence on technology and social media truly makes us.

 

This book is available now.

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Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Peter James

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him eleven consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include Perfect People and The House on Cold Hill. He has also co-written a non-fiction account of Brighton’s toughest cases with former detective Graham Bartlett entitled Death Comes Knocking. The Perfect Murder, Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough have all been turned into smash-hit stage plays. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex.

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor Title: The Winter Secret

Author: Lulu Taylor

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 2, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 544

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Winter Secret is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose and Her Frozen Heart.

‘My dear boy, the place is cursed. It always has been and it always will be . . .’

Buttercup Redmain has a life of pampered luxury, living in beautiful Charcombe Park. Her older husband, Charles Redmain, is wealthy and successful and proud of the house he has painstakingly restored, once owned by a famous ancestor. Buttercup is surrounded by people who make her life delightfully easy. But the one thing she really wants seems impossible.

There are other discomforting realities: her husband’s ex-wife Ingrid still lives nearby although Buttercup has never met her. And it soon becomes clear that all the people who make Buttercup’s life so carefree are also watching her every move. Does she actually live in a comfortable but inescapable cage? And what is the real story of her husband’s previous marriage?

In the late 1940s, Xenia Arkadyoff lived in Charcombe Park with her father, a Russian prince, and her mother, a famous film star. Life seemed charmed, full of glamour and beauty. But behind the glittering facade lay pain, betrayal, and the truth about the woman Xenia spent her life protecting.

Now Charcombe Park is calling back people who were once part of its story, and the secrets that have stayed long hidden are bubbling inexorably to the surface . . .


Review:

Gripping, menacing, and addictive!

The Winter Secret is an unsettling, pacey, atmospheric novel about love, life, loss, secrets, power, control, friendship, family, jealousy, and tragedy.

There are two main memorable characters, Xenia, a young girl in the late 1940s whose life is anything but glamourous when her mother’s starlet lifestyle leads to a neverending rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows. And Buttercup, the present-day Mrs. Redmain whose life is pristine and wonderful until the cracks begin to appear and everything is not quite as perfect as it originally seemed.

The writing is eloquent and descriptive. The characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are distressed, vulnerable, and sympathetic, and a setting, Charcombe Park, that is a character itself with its history, grandeur, isolation, and multitude of secrets. And the plot uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create tension and suspense as it quickly unravels all the personalities, relationships, behaviours, and motivations within it.

Overall, The Winter Secret is a clever, haunting, absorbing novel that swept me away to a country estate marred by both cruelty and love and immersed me in a story rife with deception and obsession.

 

This novel is available now.

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Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers' Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

#BookReview Together by Christmas by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TogetherbyChristmas #KarenSwan

#BookReview Together by Christmas by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks #TogetherbyChristmas #KarenSwan Title: Together by Christmas

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 3, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Canadian bestseller Karen Swan returns with another moving, surprising and heartwarming novel for the holiday season.

When Lee first came to Amsterdam, it was with a newborn baby and a secret. Five years later, her life is approaching normal: her career as a celebrity photographer is flourishing, her son Jasper is growing up, and they are enjoying the run-up to Christmas with their tight circle of close friends.

But all this changes one morning when Lee finds a book in the basket of her bicycle – and scrawled inside it, a desperate message. Who left it for her, and why? Lee feels compelled to help and tracks down the book’s author, Sam. With an instant, undeniable connection it seems they might have a shot at a real future together.

Until her past comes calling. As the snow falls and ice thickens on the city’s canals, the secret Lee has never told resurfaces. Suddenly everything she holds dear hangs in the balance. Christmas is a time for being together – but what if the truth means she ends up alone?

Escape to the snow-covered streets of Amsterdam in this deeply romantic read, featuring twists, turns and characters you’ll fall in love with.


Review:

Atmospheric, festive, and powerful!

Together by Christmas is an absorbing, poignant, sensitive tale that takes you into the life of professional photographer Lee Fitch, a young, single mother whose main focus is on raising her son after years of shooting graphic photos in countries ravaged by atrocities and war has left her wounded by the nightmares and horrors she witnessed and endured there.

The writing is rich and emotive. The characters are troubled, scarred, supportive, endearing, and kind. And the plot is a bittersweet, at times heartwrenching tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, perseverance, parenthood, guilt, courage, selflessness, war, new beginnings and the delightful history, culture, landscape, traditions, and unique holiday celebrations found in the Netherlands.

As most of you know I am a huge fan of Karen Swan and have read almost every novel she has ever written, and Together by Christmas is without a doubt another compelling, romantic, emotional tale by Swan but one with perhaps a little more grit, depth, layers and hard-hitting themes than we’ve possibly ever read by her before.

This novel is available now.

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Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview Still Life by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooks #StillLife #InspectorKarenPirie #ValMcDermid

#BookReview Still Life by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooks #StillLife #InspectorKarenPirie #ValMcDermid Title: Still Life

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Inspector Karen Pirie #6

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Oct. 16, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 436

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

From internationally bestselling author Val McDermid comes a propulsive new Karen Pirie thriller that delves into a historic missing persons case, fake identities, and art forgery.

Val McDermid is the award-winning, international bestselling author of more than thirty novels and has been hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime. In Still Life, McDermid returns to her propulsive series featuring DCI Karen Pirie, who finds herself investigating the shadowy world of forgery, where things are never what they seem.

When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, Karen is called into investigate. She quickly discovers that the case will require untangling a complicated web—including a historic disappearance, art forgery, and secret identities—that seems to orbit around a painting copyist who can mimic anyone from Holbein to Hockney. Meanwhile, a traffic crash leads to the discovery of a skeleton in a suburban garage. Needless to say, Karen has her plate full. Meanwhile, the man responsible for the death of the love of her life is being released from prison, reopening old wounds just as she was getting back on her feet.

Tightly plotted and intensely gripping, Still Life is Val McDermid at her best, and new and longtime readers alike will delight in the latest addition to this superior series.


Review:

Complex, intriguing, and sophisticated!

In this impressive sixth instalment in the Inspector Karen Pirie series, Still Life, McDermid has written a fast-paced, sinuous, police procedural that has DCI Pirie and her team from the Historic Cases Unit immersed in two investigations, one involving skeletal remains found inside a camper van parked in a residential garage, and the other concerning a newly deceased middle-aged male found floating in the water who seems to have an extremely mysterious, complicated past.

The prose is sharp and tight. The characters are impulsive, secretive, and greedy. And the plot, including all the subplots, seamlessly intertwine and unravel into a gripping tale full of deception, manipulation, misdirection, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Still Life is another engrossing, pacey, action-packed thriller by McDermid that once again has just the right amount of suspense, well-drawn characterization, and creative storyline to make it a satisfying, highly entertaining read for lovers of this genre.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

#BookReview Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #Shadowplay #JosephOConnor

#BookReview Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #Shadowplay #JosephOConnor Title: Shadowplay

Author: Joseph O'Connor

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 26, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 310

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Shadowplay by New York Times best-selling author, Joseph O’Connor, is set during the golden age of West End theater in a London shaken by the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

Henry Irving is Victorian London’s most celebrated actor and theater impresario. He has introduced groundbreaking ideas to the theater, bringing to the stage performances that are spectacular, shocking, and always entertaining. When Irving decides to open his own London theater with the goal of making it the greatest playhouse on earth, he hires a young Dublin clerk harboring literary ambitions by the name of Bram Stoker to manage it. As Irving’s theater grows in reputation and financial solvency, he lures to his company of mummers the century’s most beloved actress, the dazzlingly talented leading lady Ellen Terry, who nightly casts a spell not only on her audiences but also on Stoker and Irving both.

Bram Stoker’s extraordinary experiences at the Lyceum Theatre, his early morning walks on the streets of a London terrorized by a serial killer, his long, tempestuous relationship with Irving, and the closeness he finds with Ellen Terry, inspire him to write DRACULA, the most iconic and best-selling supernatural tale ever published.

A magnificent portrait both of lamp-lit London and of lives and loves enacted on the stage, Shadowplay’s rich prose, incomparable storytelling, and vivid characters will linger in readers’ hearts and minds for many years.


Review:

Immersive, evocative, and colourful!

Shadowplay is a beautiful, powerful, alluring interpretation that sweeps you away to London in the late 1800s and into the life of Bram Stroker, from his employment as manager of the Lyceum Theatre, his tumultuous relationships with both his employer, Henry Irving and the celebrated actress Ellen Terry, to his ultimately writing the infamous Dracula.

The prose is expressive and eloquent. The characters are exceptionally drawn, complex, and authentic. And the plot set to the backdrop of a city terrorized by Jack the Ripper and using an intriguing mixture of narration, letters, diary entries, and transcripts is an exceptionally absorbing tale of life, loss, loneliness, loyalty, friendship, desires, aspirations, heartache, drama, and love in all its different forms.

Overall, Shadowplay is a vivid, pensive, compelling story by O’Connor that does a remarkable job of highlighting his considerable knowledge and impressive research into these renowned historical figures whose lives and contribution to the dramatic and literary worlds are often unknown or unfortunately long forgotten.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joseph O'Connor

Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of the novels Cowboys and Indians (short-listed for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes , The Salesman , Inishowen , Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls , as well as a number of bestselling works of non-fiction.

He was recently voted ‘Irish Writer of the Decade’ by the readers of Hot Press magazine. He broadcasts a popular weekly radio diary on RTE’s Drivetime With Mary Wilson and writes regularly for The Guardian Review and The Sunday Independent. In 2009 he was the Harman Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Baruch College, the City University of New York.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #TheInnocentDead

#BookReview The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #TheInnocentDead Title: The Innocent Dead

Author: Lin Anderson

Series: Rhona MacLeod #15

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 22, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A gripping new crime novel by Lin Anderson featuring forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod, who is tasked with solving the case of a young girl who went missing forty-five years ago.

Mary McIntyre’s disappearance tore the local community apart, inflicting wounds that still prove raw for those who knew her. So when the present-day discovery of a child’s remains are found in a peat bog south of Glasgow, it seems the decades-old mystery may finally be solved.

Called in to excavate the body, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod uses the advances made in forensic science since Mary’s vanishing to determine what really happened all those years ago – and who was responsible.

One key person had been Karen Marshall who was devastated by her best friend’s abduction. Questioned by the police at the time had led to a dead end and the case soon went cold.

Now the news of the discovered body brings the nightmares back. But added to that, memories long-buried by Karen are returning, memories that begin to reveal her role in her friend’s disappearance and perhaps even the identity of the killer…

The Innocent Dead is the fifteenth novel in Lin Anderson’s Rhona MacLeod crime series.


Review:

Shrewd, gripping, and meticulous!

In this latest novel by Anderson, The Innocent Dead, we head back to Glasgow where forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod and her team at Police Scotland find themselves investigating and unravelling the 1975 cold case of a missing eleven-year-old girl after a child’s body is accidentally discovered in a nearby peat bog.

The prose is seamless and crisp. The characterization is stellar with all the usual gang back including the meticulous, intuitive Dr Rhona MacLeod who’s still grappling with the psychological and emotional toll left by the sin-eater case. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unwind seamlessly into an engrossing tale full of abuse, deception, secrets, familial drama, red herrings, manipulation, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Innocent Dead is a gripping, atmospheric, highly entertaining tale by Anderson that is another fine example of her exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have catchy storylines and fully-developed characters.

 

This book is available now.

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Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is a Scottish author and screenwriter known for her bestselling crime series featuring forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod. Four of her novels have been longlisted for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year, with Follow the Dead being a 2018 finalist. Her short film River Child won both a Scottish BAFTA for Best Fiction and the Celtic Film Festival’s Best Drama award and has now been viewed more than one million times on YouTube. Lin is also the co-founder of the international crime writing festival Bloody Scotland, which takes place annually in Stirling.

#BookReview If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin @tinycharlotte72 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IfICantHaveYou #CharlotteLevin

#BookReview If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin @tinycharlotte72 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #IfICantHaveYou #CharlotteLevin Title: If I Can't Have You

Author: Charlotte Levin

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Aug. 25, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin is an all-consuming novel about loneliness, obsession and how far we go for the ones we love.

What if the problem with your love life is you?

Samuel, the day we met I knew I’d finally found what I’ve been waiting for. You.Happiness, at last.

Then you left me.

And now I am alone.

Everyone I love leaves in the end.

But not this time.

I’m not giving up on us.

I’m not giving up on you.

When you love someone, you never let them go. That’s why for me, this is just beginning.


Review:

Cunning, compulsive, and unsettling!

If I Can’t Have You is an addictive, sinister, character-driven tale that takes you into the life of Constance Little, a lonely, fragile, young woman whose life quickly spins out of control after the tragic loss of her mother causes her to seek attention, affection and love from all the wrong places.

The prose is tight and tense. The characters are impulsive, vulnerable, and troubled. And the plot told through retrospective first-person narration is a slow-burning, creepy yet heartbreaking tale of life, loss, love, desperation, deception, jealousy, manipulation, anger, hatred, obsession, and emotional volatility.

Overall, If I Can’t Have You is a gripping, nuanced, fantastic debut by Levin that does a remarkable job of reminding us that love is not just lightness and joy but also sometimes extremely dark and dangerous.

 

This book is available now.

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Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Charlotte Levin

Charlotte Levin has been shortlisted for the Andrea Badenoch Award, part of the New Writers North Awards, and for the Mslexia Short Story Competition. Charlotte lives in Manchester and If I Can't Have You is her first novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks #TheDarkestEvening #VeraStanhope #AnnCleeves

#BookReview The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks #TheDarkestEvening #VeraStanhope #AnnCleeves Title: The Darkest Evening

Author: Ann Cleeves

Series: Vera Stanhope #9

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 8, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

From Ann CleevesNew York Times bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV showscomes the stunning new Vera Stanhope novel.

On the first snowy night of winter, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope sets off for her home in the hills. Though the road is familiar, she misses a turning and soon becomes lost and disorientated. A car has skidded off the narrow road in front of her, its door left open, and she stops to help. There is no driver to be seen, so Vera assumes that the owner has gone to find help. But a cry calls her back: a toddler is strapped in the back seat.

Vera takes the child and, driving on, she arrives at a place she knows well. Brockburn is a large, grand house in the wilds of Northumberland, now a little shabby and run down. It’s also where her father, Hector, grew up. Inside, there’s a party in full swing: music, Christmas lights and laughter. Outside, unbeknownst to the revelers, a woman lies dead in the snow.

As the blizzard traps the group deep in the freezing Northumberland countryside, Brockburn begins to give up its secrets, and as Vera digs deeper into her investigation, she also begins to uncover her family’s complicated past.


Review:

Intricate, clever and engrossing!

In this splendid ninth installment in the Vera Stanhope series, The Darkest Evening, Cleeves has written an unpredictable, pacey, police procedural that sees quirky Det. Insp. Vera Stanhope immersed in a new murder investigation close to her estranged family home, Brockburn, when during a cold blustery evening she unexpectedly happens upon an abandoned car on the side of the road with a door left wide open and a toddler crying inside.

The writing is polished and precise. The characters are eccentric, secretive, and methodical. And the plot is a compelling tale full of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, obsession, deduction, duplicity, manipulation, familial drama, and murder. 

Overall, The Darkest Evening has an intriguing, well-developed storyline with exceptional character development, and is another fantastic addition to this shrewd, compulsive, well-loved series.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is the author behind PBS’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print. Her books have now sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before becoming a crime writer. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black, the first book in her Shetland series, and in 2012 she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame. Ann lives in North Tyneside, England.

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante Title: The Lying Life of Adults

Author: Elena Ferrante

Published by: Europa Editions on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.


Review:

Astute, honest, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults, she transports us to the streets of Naples, Italy and into the life of Giovanna, a young girl who after overhearing a harsh comment made by her father embarks on a journey to discover the extended family she has previously been sheltered and protected from resulting in unexpectedly enlightening consequences.

The prose is emotive and precise. The characters are complex, guileless, and impulsive. And the plot is a compelling, coming-of-age tale of life, love, deception, friendship, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, emerging sexuality, abuse, and self-reflection.

Overall, The Lying Life of Adults is a raw, perceptive, heartfelt, domestic drama that does an exceptional job of reminding us that reality is often a disillusioned version of the life we conjure with the fantasies and lies we choose to believe, especially in young adulthood.

 

This novel is available now.

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Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), which was made into a film directed by Roberto Faenza, Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), adapted by Mario Martone, and The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), soon to be a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Oscar Award-winner Olivia Colman. She is also the author of Incidental Inventions (Europa, 2019), illustrated by Andrea Ucini, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey (Europa, 2016) and The Beach at Night (Europa, 2016), illustrated by Mara Cerri. The four volumes known as the “Neapolitan quartet” (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) were published by Europa Editions in English between 2012 and 2015. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018. Her most recent novel is The Lying Life of Adults (Europa, 2020).

#BookReview Wedding Bells for Woolworths by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #Woolworths

#BookReview Wedding Bells for Woolworths by Elaine Everest @ElaineEverest @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #Woolworths Title: Wedding Bells for Woolworths

Author: Elaine Everest

Series: Woolworths #5

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jun. 22, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Wedding Bells for Woolworths is the latest installment in Elaine Everest”s much-loved series, following A Gift from Woolworths.

July 1947. Britain is still gripped by rationing, even as the excitement of Princess Elizabeth”s engagement sweeps the nation. In the Woolworths” canteen, Freda is still dreaming of meeting her own Prince Charming. So far she”s been unlucky in love. When she has an accident on her motorbike, knocking a cyclist off his bicycle, it seems bad luck is still following her around. Anthony is not only a fellow Woolworths employee but has been an Olympic hopeful. Will his broken leg heal in time for him to compete? Can he ever forgive Freda?

Sarah”s idyllic family life is shattered when her seven-year-old daughter, Georgina, contracts polio and her time is spent at the hospital willing her child to recover. Freda steps in to help Sarah”s husband care for the home and their younger child, Buster.

The friends must rally round to face some of the toughest challenges of their lives together. And although they experience loss, hardship and shocks along the way, love is on the horizon for the Woolworths girls…


Review:

Quaint, sentimental, and cosy!

Wedding Bells for Woolworths is a sentimental, uplifting tale that takes us back to the small town of Crayford, England post-WWII and into the lives of all the characters we’ve come to know and love over the previous four novels as they once again tackle sticky situations, celebrate special moments, pull together to handle mayhem makers with sinister intent, welcome new arrivals, and say goodbye to a hero.

The writing is sweet and tender. The characters are multilayered, kind, and helpful. And the plot is a delightful mix of life, loss, love, family, heartbreak, gossip, community, and friendship.

Overall, Wedding Bells for Woolworths is a heartwarming, charming, nostalgic addition to the Woolworths series by Everest that does a wonderful job of reminding us of the importance and impact of one of the most iconic mass-market retailers of the twentieth century.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elaine Everest

Elaine was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her Sunday Times bestselling historical sagas are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty-three years and has written widely for women's magazines and national newspapers, with short stories, serials and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four-legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio including her Kent based novels, canine subjects, and living with a husband under her feet! She was BBC Radio Kent’s short story writer of the year, a runner up for The Harry Bowling Prize, and winner of Myrmidon Books novel writing competition.

When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place, her successful creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She hopes one day soon to have another old English Sheepdog and still keeps in touch with many of her dear friends from her days in the show ring.

Elaine lives in Swanley, Kent with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

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