Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Review: The Marriage

The Marriage The Marriage by K.L. Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ten years ago he killed my son. Today I married him.

Ten years ago my darling son Jesse was murdered and our perfect family was destroyed. My strong, handsome boy, so full of life, became a memory, a photo I carried with me everywhere.

But today I’m finally close to finding happiness again. My ash-blonde hair has been curled into ringlets. Carefully placed white flowers frame my delicate features. The small, drab chapel has been prettied up with white satin, and there are tiny red hearts scattered on the small table where I will soon sign the register with my new husband.

The man who killed my son.

My friends and family can’t understand it. My neighbours whisper in the street whenever I walk past. How can I love a man like Tom?

They don’t really know me at all.


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Review: Every Vow You Break

Every Vow You Break Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A bride’s dream honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a man with whom she’s had a regrettable one-night stand shows up in this psychological thriller from the author of Eight Perfect Murders.

Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life.

Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something special and he’s tracked her down to prove it.

Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.




Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Review: The Man by the Sea

The Man by the Sea The Man by the Sea by Jack Benton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

John "Slim" Hardy, heavy drinker and disgraced soldier turned bumbling private detective, is hired to investigate Ted Douglas, an investment banker who slips out of work every Friday to visit a desolate cove on the Lancashire coast. There, he walks to the shore, opens an old book, and begins to read aloud.

His wife thinks he's having an affair. Slim thinks he's insane.

The truth is more incredible than either could imagine.



Saturday, December 18, 2021

Review: Lucky

Lucky Lucky by Marissa Stapley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose dark past is catching up with her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest...before her luck runs out.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Review: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?



Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Review: Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. The whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.
 

A good read. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Review: Sooley

Sooley Sooley by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basket­ball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.
Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quick­ness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.
During the tournament, Samuel receives dev­astating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ran­sacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.
Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it's just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholar­ship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn't immediately needed.
But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he's dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team los­ing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.
But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?
Gripping and moving, Sooley showcases John Grisham's unparalleled storytelling powers in a whole new light. This is Grisham at the top of his game.
 

I loved this book, as I have loved every book that I have read from John Grisham. If there was any criticism at all it was that there was a bit more "basketball talk" than a Canadian lady could handle, but all in all I loved the book. A John Grisham book makes you feel like he is talking to you personally.

An excellent read. 


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Review: Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the description of the book:

If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?

This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?

The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.

One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.

Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.

**I gave the book three stars because its Liane Moriarty. But I found that the story could have been told and still been witty in so much less time. In every chapter you kept thinking "ok, now something will happen", but it never did as long as I was reading. When it became unbearable I just decided to stop reading it and that is something that I try to never do. But I finally decided that life is too short.

I know that a lot of people love the book and I am happy for them because I really wanted to love the book as well.**






Friday, December 3, 2021

Review: A Curve in the Road

A Curve in the Road A Curve in the Road by Julianne MacLean
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean comes a suspenseful, emotionally charged novel that explores the secrets and hidden truths within a seemingly perfect marriage.

Abbie MacIntyre is living the dream in the picturesque Nova Scotia town she calls home. She is a successful surgeon, is married to a handsome cardiologist, and has a model teenage son who is only months away from going off to college.

But then one fateful night, everything changes. When a drunk driver hits her car, Abbie is rushed to the hospital. She survives, but the accident forces unimaginable secrets out into the open and plagues Abbie with nightmares so vivid that she starts to question her grip on reality. Her perfect life begins to crack, and those cracks threaten to shatter her world completely.

The search for answers will test her strength in every way—as a wife, a career woman, and a mother—but it may also open the door for Abbie to move forward, beyond anger and heartbreak, to find out what she is truly made of. In learning to heal and trust again, she may just find new hope in the spaces left behind.
 


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Review: The Therapist

The Therapist The Therapist by B.A. Paris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem.

ABOVE is the description of the book. In reality Alice and Leo are going to move in together and Leo finds a house that he really likes in London. He knows the history of the house but decides to keep from Alice the fact that a horrific murder had occurred in the house. He also kept other important information from her such as his real identity and that he had spent time in prison leaving her vulnerable.

Also, unbelievable is that as soon as Alice moved into the new house she made friends with all her neighbours, having coffee and visiting as though they had known each other forever.

Alice "feels" that someone is in her house, or has been in her house constantly and things are being moved and other items added.

I just don't believe that any woman would be that naive to carry on in a house that had danger written all over it and had a partner that was completely untrustworthy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Review: Oh William!

Oh William! Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Through her careful words and reverberating silences (The New York Times), Elizabeth Strout has long captured readers' hearts with her spare, exquisite insights on family, relationships, and loss. And never has her perfect attunement to the human condition (Hilary Mantel) been so evident as in these pages, as Strout's iconic heroine Lucy Barton, of My Name Is Lucy Barton, recounts her complex, tender relationship with William, her first husband--and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidant. Recalling their college years, through the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Strout weaves a portrait, stunning in its subtlety, of a decades-long partnership.

A masterful exploration of human empathy, Oh William! captures the joy and pain of watching children grow up and start families of their own; of discovering family secrets, late in life, that rearrange everything we think we know about those closest to us; and the way people live and love, despite the variety of obstacles we face in doing so. And at the heart of this story is the unforgettable, indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who once again offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. This is the way of life, Lucy says. The many things we do not know until it is too late.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Review: Hostage

Hostage Hostage by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A claustrophobic thriller set over twenty hours on one airplane flight, with the heart-stopping tension of The Last Flight and the wrenching emotional intensity of RoomHostage takes us on board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.

Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina's assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.

It's twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.

Terrific read with a shocker ending.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Review: The Searcher

The Searcher The Searcher by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Retired detective Cal Hooper moves to a remote village in rural Ireland. His plans are to fix up the dilapidated cottage he's bought, to walk the mountains, to put his old police instincts to bed forever.

Then a local boy appeals to him for help. His brother is missing, and no one in the village, least of all the police, seems to care. And once again, Cal feels that restless itch.

Something is wrong in this community, and he must find out what, even if it brings trouble to his door.

I loved the setting of this book especially. The descriptions made me feel that I was in Ireland and truly getting to know the Irish people. 

An excellent read.


Monday, November 15, 2021

Review: The One

The One The One by John Marrs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner the one you are genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.

An excellent read.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Review: 'Til Morning Light

'Til Morning Light 'Til Morning Light by Ann Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


With her two children, Gracelin O’Malley travels to post–Gold Rush San Francisco to meet the sea captain who has proposed marriage to her. But when she arrives, he is nowhere to be found. Destitute in a city filled with gangs, disillusioned soldiers, and professional gamblers, Grace takes a position as a cook for one of the city’s most prominent doctors—only to become caught up in a tangled web of blackmail and betrayal. Determined to make a secure life for her children and find her brother, Sean, Gracelin sets in motion a series of events that change the future of everyone around her, never dreaming that the man she thought she’d lost forever is still alive and determined to find his way back to her.

Dickensian in scope, with a full cast of riveting characters, Ann Moore’s ’Til Morning Light is the stunning conclusion to the enthralling story of Gracelin O’Malley, a heroine for the ages.

An excellent read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Review: The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II

The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II by Madeline Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inspired by the true World War II history of the few bookshops to survive the Blitz, The Last Bookshop in London is a timeless story of wartime loss, love and the enduring power of literature.

August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and blackout curtains that she finds on her arrival were not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.

Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.

A great story.


Friday, November 5, 2021

Review: The Wife Upstairs

The Wife Upstairs The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie­ Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?
 


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Review: The Judge's List

The Judge's List The Judge's List by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In The Whistler, Lacy Stoltz investigated a corrupt judge who was taking millions in bribes from a crime syndicate. She put the criminals away, but only after being attacked and nearly killed. Three years later, and approaching forty, she is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change.

Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses a number of aliases. Jeri Crosby’s father was murdered twenty years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. Along the way, she has discovered other victims.

Suspicions are easy enough, but proof seems impossible. The man is brilliant, patient, and always one step ahead of law enforcement. He is the most cunning of all serial killers. He knows forensics, police procedure, and most important: he knows the law.

He is a judge, in Florida—under Lacy’s jurisdiction.

He has a list, with the names of his victims and targets, all unsuspecting people unlucky enough to have crossed his path and wronged him in some way. How can Lacy pursue him, without becoming the next name on his list?

Love everything Grisham.


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Review: The Law of Innocence

The Law of Innocence The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Defense attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, who find the body of a client in the trunk of his Lincoln. Haller is charged with murder and can't make the exorbitant $5 million bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge.

Mickey elects to defend himself and must strategize and build his defense from his jail cell in the Twin Towers Correctional Center in downtown Los Angeles, all the while looking over his shoulder--as an officer of the court he is an instant target.

Mickey knows he's been framed. Now, with the help of his trusted team, he has to figure out who has plotted to destroy his life and why. Then he has to go before a judge and jury and prove his innocence.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

Review: Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Think you know the person you married? Think again…

Things have been wrong with Mr and Mrs Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.

Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts – paper, cotton, pottery, tin – and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after.

Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget.

Rock Paper Scissors is the latest exciting domestic thriller from the queen of the killer twist, New York Times bestselling author Alice Feeney.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Review: The Night She Disappeared

The Night She Disappeared The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah's friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

'DIG HERE' . . .

This was an excellent story. My only complaint has been with the style of writing; jumping back and for in dates and it was felt that the story was dragged out more than was necessary.


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Review: The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the major league draft of 1971, the first player chosen from the State of Oklahoma was Ron Williamson. When he signed with the Oakland A's, he said goodbye to his hometown of Ada and left to pursue his dreams of big league glory.

Six years later he was back, his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits—drinking, drugs, and women. He began to show signs of mental illness. Unable to keep a job, he moved in with his mother and slept twenty hours a day on her sofa.

In 1982, a 21-year-old cocktail waitress in Ada named Debra Sue Carter was raped and murdered, and for five years the police could not solve the crime. For reasons that were never clear, they suspected Ron Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz. The two were finally arrested in 1987 and charged with capital murder.

With no physical evidence, the prosecution's case was built on junk science and the testimony of jailhouse snitches and convicts. Dennis Fritz was found guilty and given a life sentence. Ron Williamson was sent to death row.

If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty, this book will shock you. If you believe in the death penalty, this book will disturb you. If you believe the criminal justice system is fair, this book will infuriate you.

A very detailed account of the life of Ron Williamson. You will be very angry with how people are treated and how far the law enforcement will go in order to have an arrest.


Saturday, October 9, 2021

Review: Leaving Ireland

Leaving Ireland Leaving Ireland by Ann Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forced to flee Ireland, Gracelin O’Malley boards a coffin ship bound for America, taking her young daughter with her on the arduous transatlantic voyage. In New York, Gracelin struggles to adapt to a strange new world and to the harsh realities of immigrant life in a city teeming with crime, corruption, and anti-Irish prejudice. As she tries to make a life for herself and her daughter, she reunites with her brother, Sean . . . and a man she thought she’d never see again. When her friendship with a runaway slave sweeps her into the volatile abolitionist movement, Gracelin gains entrée to the drawing rooms of the wealthy and powerful. Still, the injustice all around her threatens the future of those she loves, and once again, she must do the unthinkable.

Excellent read.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Review: The Family Next Door

The Family Next Door The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It's the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn't fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange's compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won't let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park - and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread - and they'll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

Excellent Read.


Sunday, October 3, 2021

Review: The Good Sister

The Good Sister The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fraternal twins Rose and Fern were exceptionally close. Rose had always cared for Fern because of her sensory difficulties and when their mother overdosed and was placed in a home because of brain injury, Rose was more caring of Fern. Rose had always been ridiculed by their mother, while Fern always saw their mother as perfect. But of course, Rose was right. When the girls were twelve years old, something dreadful happened which no one ever talked about. It was buried deeply in the girls’ memories where it would stay.

When Fern discovered Rose was desperate for a baby, and was having difficulty falling pregnant, Fern decided to be a surrogate for her sister. She knew she would never be a good mother, and Rose would be perfect. Fern saw no problems – other than finding a man who would help her get pregnant! Fern’s daytime hours were consumed with her job as a librarian – she loved it and had been there for as long as she could remember. But slowly, Fern became uneasy about certain things Rose was doing. What was happening with her beloved sister? Had her whole life been a lie?

An excellent read.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Review: Double Jeopardy

Double Jeopardy Double Jeopardy by William Bernhardt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An intriguing new character inhabits this book. A former cop who is now a defense attorney puts a completely different spin on what it means to defend clients, even when you strongly detest them. This book builds through multiple unexpected turns to a very rewarding conclusion. The only reason I can't give it five stars is that I think this character has more in store for us and I want to be able to reward his growth and development. Please give us another book starring this intriguing character. 

A very good read.

Review: Dreams of Joy

Dreams of Joy Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just had to read this book, the second in the Shanghi Girls series. What a read this was! If there is even an ounce of truth in this story, it is just so shocking.

Joy discovers that the woman she thought was her mother is actually her aunt. She has been attending meetings relating to The Chinese government and believe that communism is the way to go. In her thinking she decides to run away to China to "help" with the revolution.

An excellent read.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Review: Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book that I have read by this author and Lisa See is becoming one of my favourite authors. It is always a joy to learn about other cultures, their differences and how we are all connected.

This is the story of two sisters, born and raised in Shanghi and both very beautiful. When the communists came, their lives became hardships. This is their story of how their father arranged marriages for them to a man with two sons, who lived in the US. 

An excellent read and I am looking forward to the second book in the series.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Review: Operation Angus

Operation Angus Operation Angus by Terry Fallis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Angus is back with his side kick Daniel Addison and all their whacky friends. This time Angus and Daniel become involved in a plot to kill the Russian president on his trip to Ottawa. The problem is that nobody in the security department takes Angus and Daniel seriously and if anything they completely ignore them, won't answer their calls and just hang up on them.  

A terrific story and so nice to meet up with Angus again. I am hoping that Mr. Fallis will give us more. 
An excellent read.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Review: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, put simply, was the best and most honest memoir that I have read. This lovely girl/woman lays bare her life, in all the honesty that you will ever experience. I am so glad that I just happened upon this memoir and also looking forward to reading everything else that Ms. Gay has written.

Roxane Gay says....."writing this book is the most difficult thing I've ever done. Too lay myself so vulnerable has not been an easy thing. To face myself and what living in my body has been like has not been an easy thing, but I wrote this book because it felt necessary. In writing this memoir of my body, and telling you these truths about my body, I am sharing my truth and mine alone. I understand if that truth is not something you want to hear. The truth makes me uncomfortable too. But I am also saying, here is my heart, what's left of it. Here I am showing you the ferocity of my hunger. Here I am, finally freeing myself to be vulnerable and terribly human. Here I am, revealing and that freedom. Here. See what I hunger for and with my truth has allowed me to create".

An excellent read worth many more than five stars.


Friday, September 10, 2021

Review: His & Hers

His & Hers His & Hers by Alice Feeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

This story kept me guessing right up to the end. 


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Review: Gracelin O'Malley

Gracelin O'Malley Gracelin O'Malley by Ann Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderfully written historical fiction. Ireland during the 1840's potato famine and uprising.

Gracelin O'Malley is a young girl who has lost her mother but has two brothers, her father and her grandmother. Her father strikes up a marriage bargain for her with a rich English landowner. All is ok for awhile but soon Grace learns that she is only there to supply a male heir and when that falls flat, her husband, Bram becomes violent.

Life is a tremendous struggle for the Irish people during these times. You become very attached to all the characters in the book and look forward to the continuation of the story.

A thoroughly enjoyable and educational read.  


Friday, September 3, 2021

Review: The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adored this book. It was/is a bit hard to actually explain. Two women, one 17 and the other 83 are in the hospital in what is termed as the terminal ward. They come together to tell the stories of their lives and to help each other. This description that defines the book says it all:

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT Marianne Cronin
This debut novel from a young British writer is a delight, and not just for its non-linear structure and unconventional chapter lengths, some as short as five sentences. Lenni Pettersson, the 17-year-old protagonist, may be in hospital dying from an undisclosed illness, but her sass and wicked sense of humour – particularly when she devises a scheme to fill the empty pews in the hospital chapel – will have the reader laughing out loud. She is always devising new ways to get sprung from her hospital room, which is how she ends up meeting, befriending and exasperating the chaplain, Father Arthur. She also manages to enrol in an art therapy program for seniors, over the objections of a kind staffer she calls New Nurse. When she meets Margot Macrae, 83, and realizes their ages add up to 100, Lenni dreams up an art project that launches a deep friendship and offers a framework for the book, which unfolds as the unlikely pair reveal themselves to each other.

The beauty of the book lays in its depiction of Margot as a fully drawn character, not a doddering old woman, who is a bit of a rebel herself and has lived a full life. Then there is Lenni, who may be dying, but is trying her damndest to live to the max.

This book poses the central question of our lives: What does it all mean? How can we make our mark? It will have you confronting your mortality with a smile on your face, not to mention the existence of God.


Monday, August 30, 2021

Review: Billy Summers

Billy Summers Billy Summers by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a long book, the type of book that you just give yourself over to and let it go at its own pace.

Billy Summers is a hit man. But he prides himself that he only kills bad people. He is offered a job with a very big payout that he promises himself will be his last. The job includes quite a long wait until just the right time. During the  wait time Billy takes on a project of writing his story.

As the story unfolds bit by bit you become very fond of Billy.

Excellent.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Review: Open House

Open House Open House by Elizabeth Berg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Samantha's husband has left her, and after a spree of overcharging at Tiffany's, she settles down to reconstruct a life for herself and her eleven-year-old son. Her eccentric mother tries to help by fixing her up with dates, but a more pressing problem is money. To meet her mortgage payments, Sam decides to take in boarders. The first is an older woman who offers sage advice and sorely needed comfort; the second, a maladjusted student, is not quite so helpful. A new friend, King, an untraditional man, suggests that Samantha get out, get going, get work. But her real work is this: In order to emerge from grief and the past, she has to learn how to make her own happiness. In order to really see people, she has to look within her heart. And in order to know who she is, she has to remember--and reclaim--the person she used to be, long before she became someone else in an effort to save her marriage. Open House is a love story about what can blossom between a man and a woman, and within a woman herself.

An excellent read. Love stories are not my usual genre but this one was very good and meaningful.


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Review: Not a Happy Family

Not a Happy Family Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On Easter Sunday the family of three children, the parents and their nanny gather at the family home for dinner. During the dinner the father, who has terminal cancer, makes an announcement regarding the change that he is about to make to his will.

A few days later, both the parents are found murdered in their home and the suspicion falls on each of the children, plus the nanny.

Its a good "who done it" story with the suspects all seeming guilty at different times. It was the type of book that your opinion kept changing as to the identity of the killer.

A good read.


Friday, August 20, 2021

Review: When the Guilty Cry

When the Guilty Cry When the Guilty Cry by M.J. Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely great series. In this episode a backpack with three human hands is discovered by a filming crew. This leads Ridpath on a thoroughly engrossing investigation involving a home for orphan children and of course the horrible policeman Turnbull.

Wonderful series, I am sorry that I have finished it.


Monday, August 16, 2021

Review: All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me

All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me by Jessica Vogelsang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If a book brings me to tears, I know that its a good story and that it has hit a soft spot in me. I am also on my third (grown up) dog and have pined for each one that I have lost. In my younger years I lost two dogs and I still think of them and wish I could have done more.

Above all, this book reminds us, with gentle humor and honesty, why we put up with the pee on the carpet, the chewed-up shoes, and the late-night trips to the vet: because the animals we love so much can, in fact, change our lives.

An excellent read.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Review: When the Evil Waits

When the Evil Waits When the Evil Waits by M.J. Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another winning story from M. J. Lee. This time a young boy has been found murdered and left in a wooded area beside the river. Ridpath has to get working fast before any more children are tortured.

An excellent read for people who like mystery, legal and police procedural stories.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Review: When the Past Kills

When the Past Kills When the Past Kills by M.J. Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ridpath is still attached to the coroner's office and linked to MIT. Just as DI Ridpath is getting his life back together, the Beast of Manchester rears its ugly head again. An execution is being broadcast live on the internet. The police are being targeted and graves are being desecrated. An old case has come back to haunt Thomas Ridpath.

This is a gripping story that's hard to put down. There's lots of twists in this gripping story. My attention was held throughout. We gave 2 new characters: DS Claire Trent and DSI Turnbull who are now in charge of things at the police station. I wasn't keen on Turnbull, he came across as a bit of a bully. This is a really good police procedural series.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Review: Play Dirty

Play Dirty Play Dirty by Sandra Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After five years in a federal prison, Griff Burkett is free. He was a Cowboys quarterback and was caught cheating. No one forgives a football cheater.

Foster Speakman, owner and CEO of SunSouth Airlines, and his wife Laura,
are a golden couple. They say that money can't buy everything, but it can buy a disgraced football player fresh out of prison and out of prospects.

I love Sandra Brown, except of course for the blistering sex scenes, which I generally skip over. But her stories are excellent.


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Review: Later

Later Later by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine - as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

An excellent read.


Friday, July 30, 2021

Review: Where the Silence Calls

Where the Silence Calls Where the Silence Calls by M.J. Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great story featuring D.I. Ridpath. This time people are getting set on fire. But it is discovered that the victims were murdered prior to the burning. And they are starting to happen daily.

Ridpath and his associates are in a rush to solve this mystery before more people are incinerated.




Sunday, July 25, 2021

Review: Where The Dead Fall

Where The Dead Fall Where The Dead Fall by M.J. Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just love this series. D.I. Ridpath is recovering from bone cancer and he really doesn't want to have to give up his job as Detective Inspector on the Manchester Police Force. However, for various reasons, mainly to let him ease back into the job, he is seconded to work in the coroner's office. At first he seems to think that this job is a big come down for him, but it seems he is mistaken with that.

An excellent read. Gets right down to the story.


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Review: Where The Truth Lies

Where The Truth Lies Where The Truth Lies by M.J. Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just started this terrific (new to me) series and love it. DI Thomas Ridpath has just been through nine months of treatment for bone cancer and feels ready to return to work. However the force wants him to take three months of working with the coroner's office, probably to ease him back into work. He is in remission now but has been gravely ill.

The first job he is charged with involves a young girl that was murdered ten years before and the brother of the girl wants the case to be reopened. He believes they have the wrong man in prison for her murder.

An excellent read.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Review: White Chrysanthemum

White Chrysanthemum White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Look for your sister after each dive. Never forget. If you see her, you are safe.'

Hana and her little sister Emi are part of an island community of haenyo, women who make their living from diving deep into the sea off the southernmost tip of Korea.

One day Hana sees a Japanese soldier heading for where Emi is guarding the day’s catch on the beach. Her mother has told her again and again never to be caught alone with one. Terrified for her sister, Hana swims as hard as she can for the shore.

So begins the story of two sisters suddenly and violently separated by war. Moving between Hana in 1943 and Emi as an old woman today, White Chrysanthemum takes us into a dark and devastating corner of history — and two women whose love for one another is strong enough to triumph over the evils of war.

Very hard to read, but very interesting and well written.


Review: The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn My rating: 5 of 5 stars In an enthralling new historical novel from nati...