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Ann Troup

Monthly Roundup: February 2018

I can’t believe that we are in March already. Where does the time go? February has brought books by some authors new to me and also some of my ‘old’ favourites!

Books I have Read

My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup

The Porter family have more secrets than most and when the bodies of a man and a baby are discovered at the family home, a can of worms is opened that will change the lives of them all for ever.

 

Orchard View by Deborah J Miles

A fascinating tale of a house through history and its various residents. After bodies are discovered in the garden, the present owner’s actions set in motion an intriguing chain of events.

 

The Wicked Trade by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

The seventh book in the Morton Farrier series sees the forensic genealogist researching the shadowy world of Georgian smuggling as he tries to uncover the story of his client’s ancestor, Ann Fothergill. A series that just keeps getting better!

 

Taken by Monty Marsden

Has the infamous serial killer Riondino struck again? Dr. Claps is determined that, this time, he will not get away and so he heads to Ecuador on his trail. A gruesome tale of murder that had me on the edge of my seat. Full review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer

Another serial killer book, this time set in Liverpool. For months, The Thorn Killer has been terrorizing their victims, tattooing them using thorns before finally killing them. With a suspicious-looking police team behind the investigation, this made for a brilliant read and one I hope will form part of a series.

 

An Unquiet Ghost by Linda Stratmann

The third book in the Mina Scarletti series, set in Brighton in 1871,  sees her engaged by a betrothed couple to find a genuine psychic who can help them discover which of their family murdered their grandfather several years before.  A great read for anyone interested in Victorian crime fiction.

Books I have Acquired

Beneath the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small village where the children run in and out of one another’s houses and play unafraid in the streets. But when a naked body is found by the lake at the top of the mountain, its seeming tranquillity is disturbed forever.

Inspector Sejer, a tough, no-nonsense policeman whose own life is tinged by sadness, is called in to investigate. As the suspense builds, and the list of suspects grows, Sejer’s determination to discover the truth leads him to peel away layer upon layer of distrust and lies in this tiny community where apparently normal family ties hide dark secrets.

 

Following the recent death of Charles Manson – the leader of the sinister 60s cult – Dianne Lake reveals the true story of life with Manson and his ‘family’, who became notorious for a series of shocking murders during the summer of 1969.

In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century’s most notorious criminals and life as one of his “girls.”

At age fourteen, Dianne Lake―with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them―became one of “Charlie’s girls,” a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse as the harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson’s true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and the group acid trips, to the Beatles’ White Album and Manson’s dangerous messiah-complex, Dianne tells the riveting story of the group’s descent into madness as she lived it.

Though she never participated in any of the group’s gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Dianne was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family, and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution’s case against them. With the help of good Samaritans, including the cop who first arrested her and later adopted her, the courageous young woman eventually found redemption and grew up to lead an ordinary life.

While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying and fascinating chapters in modern American history.

 

Jack the Ripper is stalking the streets of London. Can anyone stop the serial killer before more women are murdered? 

London, 1888

Whitechapel is full of the noise of August Bank Holiday celebrations. Everyone is in high spirits until a woman – Martha Turner – is discovered brutally murdered.

Her friend, Esther, a lowly seamstress turned female sleuth, is determined to find the killer.

A young police officer, Jack Enright, takes the lead on the case, and he and Esther soon embark on a professional – and personal – relationship.

When another murder is committed and whispers of a slasher calling himself Jack the Ripper start flowing through the London streets, the search becomes even more desperate.

The police are on the wrong track and the young couple take matters into their own hands, and soon find themselves navigating through London’s dark underbelly.

Can they find the murderer before he kills again? Will anyone listen to their suspicions?
Or will this dark presence continue to haunt Whitechapel…?

 

I’ve tried to be a bit more selective with my Net Galley books although there is one I’m desperate to get, currently awaiting confirmation…

Happy reading!

 

 

 

My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup

After the death of her mother, Rachel Porter reluctantly returns to the family home to assist in sorting out her belongings. After years of avoiding her family, Rachel’s worst fears are realised when two bodies are found hidden at the house. As a police investigation is launched, it soon becomes apparent that the deaths are not the only secrets to lurk at the house and soon the lives of all those involved are at risk.

My Mother the Liar is the fourth Ann Troup book that I have read (The Lost Child, The Silent Girls and The Forgotten Room are the others) and this one, again, deals with a dysfunctional family of the highest order. It is apparent from quite early on that there is no love lost between Rachel and her sisters and also their recently-deceased mother. In fact, it was hard to find two people in the family who actually seemed to like each other! It is no wonder, therefore, that Rachel felt the need to get away as soon as she could and why she was so reluctant to return. Because of the complicated nature of the family, I did find it, at times, hard to keep up with who was who in the early stages of the story. As it progressed, though, things became much clearer and I got more of a handle of the family tree.

The book may be called My Mother the Liar but this is a family where there are very few people actually telling the truth! Although many of the characters expressed a dislike of Rachel, I found myself warming to her and had complete sympathy for the situation she found herself in. Without revealing any spoilers, I could fully understand why she did what she did with regards to her family and was willing everything to turn out right for her in the end.

As the death toll rose, I did work out who the culprit was as there seemed to be only one person who it could be. By the end, I felt that all motives were fully explained and that the plot was tied up neatly.

With thanks to Net Galley and HQ Digital for the ARC.

2018 AtoZ Reading Challenge

 

Monthly Round Up: October 2017

It’s been a busy and tiring month so I haven’t read as many books as I was expecting to. I did, however, manage to read a couple of books I’d been looking forward to, including the new Dan Brown novel so all was not lost!

Books I’ve Read

Trust Me by Zosia Wand

Lizzie enjoys her life in the Lake District but when she meets a stranger, all is about to change. Soon, things are happening that are out of her control but no one else can see what is happening.

 

Blood’s Game by Angus Donald

The first in a series featuring Holcroft Blood tells the story of the circumstances behind the theft of the crown jewels during the reign of King Charles II. A great introduction to a new character.

 

The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney

The third in the Lottie Parker series sees the detective dealing with her most complex case to date where the death count just keeps on rising! Patricia Gibney’s series is fast becoming one of my favourites.

 

Origin by Dan Brown

Another outing for the symbologist Robert Langdon sees him, this time, in Spain, trying to discover exactly what his former student, Edmond Kirsch, had discovered before being brutally stopped in his tracks.

 

The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup

An atmospheric, slightly macabre tale of buried secrets which are beginning to come to light. Ann Troup has, again, written an entertaining, mysterious book dealing with the dark side of humanity.

 

The Malice of Angels by Wendy Percival

The third full-length novel to feature the genealogist Esme Quentin sees her coming to terms with an incident from her past whilst investigating the case of a nurse that disappeared during the Second World War.

 

Books I’ve Acquired

51nvG9lTR6LWarm your heart this Christmas with this wonderful festive tale from bestselling author P.J. Tracy – perfect for fans of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street

Emil Rice’s heart is in the right place – it’s just his hands that always seem to end up in someone else’s wallet. Facing yet another Christmas behind bars, he’s surprised when he’s offered a way out – community service at a mental health facility. Emil thinks it will be a piece of cake – but he hasn’t reckoned on two elderly inmates, who need Emil for a very special plan…

Warm and wise, funny and festive, this wonderful Christmas tale from Sunday Times bestselling author P.J. Tracy is perfect for the cold winter nights!

 

51xLXqtfgrLFrom the bestselling author of MUMMY’S FAVOURITE and THE TROPHY TAKER.

DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford returns with a superb new, brutally gripping serial killer thriller, where the hunter becomes the hunted. Perfect for the fans of Angela Marsons.

A faithful dog lies wounded beside the mutilated body of its owner.
A woman is discovered bound and gagged, dead in her own bed.
Both are police officers.
Both have a red rose at their side… worryingly more will follow…

Lies and accusations abound but who is behind the murders and why are the victims being targeted?

Charlie, Hunter and the team must find the killer targeting their own before another body is found.

 

51G29ghJMvL._SY346_They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.

A gripping new crime thriller from the Number One bestseller – you will be hooked until the final jaw-dropping twist.

 

41cxnbhoYTLFor fans of Nicci French and Sophie Hannah, Corrie Jackson’s explosive new thriller will leave you questioning how far you would go for friendship.

Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart.

Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life.

Then Charlie flees.

Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unravelling marriage, she realises that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts.

As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart.

Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.

 

41J9gKE9XDLShe lost her sight, but she can still see the truth…

Jenny Aaron was once part of an elite police unit tracking Germany’s most dangerous criminals. She was the best. Until it all went wrong. A disastrous mission saw her abandon a wounded colleague and then lose her sight forever.

Now, five years later, she has learnt to navigate a darkened world. But she’s still haunted by her betrayal. Why did she run?

Then she receives a call from the unit. They need her back. A prison psychologist has been brutally murdered. And the killer will only speak to one person…

 

I hope you’ve managed to read some great books this month!

The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup

51C90-oXxsL._SY346_Nurse Maura Lyle has been having a hard time of it lately so when she is personally requested to work at Essen Grange to care for its owner, Gordon Henderson, she sees it as a good opportunity to get her life back on track. On arriving at the house, however, she soon senses that all is not right and that there seem to be secrets lurking around every corner. She should have trusted her instincts…

I loved Ann Troup’s previous books so had been looking forward to reading this one and I am pleased to say that it did not disappoint. From the first chapter, the author draws you in and you fear for Maura’s safety in the old, mysterious house she has found herself in. Although Maura knew something was amiss, due to her circumstances, it is easy to understand why she stayed even though her head was telling her to get out of there!

If you are looking for a book with multiple deaths and a psychopathic killer then this is the book for you, although it must be said that not all of the deaths are at the hand of the said killer. The amount of characters and how they interconnected did, at times, get slightly confusing and I wished I’d drawn up a family tree to help me understand exactly who was who! Once I’d established the relationships, however, what followed was a tangled web of deceit and intrigue with more than a touch of the macabre.

Although the story starts from the perspective of Maura, there’s is a shift part way through when we get to see more of the police investigation into the goings-on at Essen Grange. I felt that this enabled the story to move along nicely and allowed us an insight into the minds of some of the other characters.

Ann Troup has, once again, written a page-turner, full of twists and turns, that I could not put down. A great read!

Thank you to NetGalley and HQ Digital for my ARC.

Monthly Round Up: September 2017

September is always a busy month for me so I don’t get time for much reading. I have managed to read a few good books, though, including one which is probably going to make my top 10 of the year!

Books I’ve Read

91YZv6g5fHLNothing Stays Buried by P J Tracy

The eighth book in the series sees the Monkeewrench team, along with the detectives Gino and Magozzi, investigating the disappearance of a young woman and a serial killer that is leaving playing cards on his victims.

 

51m7HvpItPLThe American Candidate by M J Lee

The third in the Jayne Sinclair series has the genealogical investigator researching the family history of a potential candidate for the US presidency. Her most dangerous and thrilling case to date.

 

51zX2mZDnyL._SY346_Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza

Another fantastic book featuring detective Erika Foster sees her trying to apprehend callous and vicious killers who are dismembering bodies and leaving them in suitcases.

 

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

After returning from a war zone to sort out her late mother’s estate, Kate begins to realise that all is not right in Herne Bay. Is the medication she is taking to blame for the unexplained occurrences or is there something more malevolent at play? One of my favourite books of the year so far.

 

The Good Mother by Karen Osman

Three women are all keeping secrets but what links them to each other and what is their connection to the soon-to-be-released prisoner Michael? Read my review when it is published as part of the blog tour on October 6th.

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Can the past ever be forgotten?

As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.

Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…

Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

 

They placed me in here and threw away the key. I look down at the gown they’ve put on me. I want my own clothes. I don’t know how long I’ve been here.

An elderly woman is found murdered in her own home, and Detective Lottie Parker and her partner Detective Boyd are called in to investigate. When they discover that the victim’s daughter is missing as well, they start to fear for the safety of the whole family…

Two days later as a nearby house is set on fire and with the body count rising, Lottie and her team begin to unpick a web of secrets and lies, as the murders seem to link back to a case investigated by Lottie’s father before he took his own life.

With little knowledge of what really happened to her father, Lottie knows this is a case that could give her some answers. But how much does she want to know? And how far is Lottie prepared to dig to uncover the truth?

 

Here’s to a great October!

 

My Eagerly Anticipated Books!

It’s been a great year for books and 2017 promises to be just as good! Here are some of the books I’m looking forward to seeing published:

img_0987The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

2016 has seen me binge-reading all of Elly Griffiths’ Dr. Ruth Galloway books and the publication of The Chalk Pit can’t come soon enough! Over the past year, Ruth has become one of my favourite fictional characters and I can’t wait to see what happens to her next.

Published on February 23rd 2017

 

Origin by Dan Brown

519g6di52dl-_sy346_I know that Dan Brown’s books aren’t to everyone’s liking but I’m a firm believer that any book that gets people reading is a good idea! After finding The Lost Symbol a bit of a disappointment, Brown was back on track with Inferno (despite the dodgy ending in the film adaptation…). As with all of Brown’s books, the plot is, so far, shrouded in secrecy, but I’m hoping that it’s set in Europe and not America!

Published on September 26th 2017

 

51vc6ddce-lThe Somme Legacy by M J Lee

I enjoyed M J Lee’s first foray into genealogical mystery (The Irish Inheritance) and was pleased to see that a second book in the Jayne Sinclair series is imminent! As someone with an interest in the Somme, I am looking forward to this book immensely and can’t wait to see what secrets are hidden in the trenches of the First World War.

Published on February 9th 2017

 

downloadDying Games by Steve Robinson

After the revelations in Steve Robinson’s previous book, Kindred, this book is highly anticipated! The Amazon blurb has done more than whet my appetite!

Washington, DC: Twin brothers are found drowned in a Perspex box, one gagged and strapped to a chair. It’s the latest in a series of cruel and elaborate murders with two things in common: the killer has left a family history chart at each crime scene, and the victims all have a connection to genealogical sleuth Jefferson Tayte.

Published on 4th May 2017

2017 will also, hopefully, see new books from Kathleen McGurl, Lynda la Plante, Ann Troup, Nathan Dylan Goodwin, Luca Veste and Alex Grecian amongst others – I can’t wait!

My Books of 2016

2016 has been a great year for books, especially for crime and thriller fans! With so many to choose from, it has been difficult to choose my ten favourites, but I think I’ve just about managed it!

The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe

By far, my favourite book of the year, and one whose plot will stay with me for a long time. Telling the story of a suicide bomber onboard a train bound for London, Cath Staincliffe’s novel is emotional and fast-paced and is one that makes you ask the question, “What would I do in that situation?”

Follow Me / Watch Me by Angela Clarke

51g8rpiawvlA slight cheat, as this is actually two books, but I couldn’t separate them! The first books in Angela Clarke’s ‘Social Media Murders’ series show how the likes of Twitter and Snapchat can help to bring out the worst in people and they certainly make you question your own social media usage. Having just finished Watch Me, I do hope that there’s a third book on the horizon!

Kindred by Steve Robinson

I do love a good genealogical mystery and, for me, Steve Robinson is the master of them! Told in two timeframes – the present and World War Two – this is, at times, an incredibly emotive book as genealogist, Jefferson Tayte, uncovers the truth about his own family. Dealing with The Holocaust  and the events of Kristallnacht, this is not a light-hearted read, but one that truly shows what millions of people endured at that time.

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

I could have included any of Robert Bryndza’s three ‘DCI Erika Foster’ books as they are all as brilliant as each other but decided to go with the one that started off the series. In Erika, we have a feisty, no-nonsense police officer who will stop at nothing to secure a conviction. Of course, like a lot of fictional detectives, she has a traumatic backstory, and this has helped her to become as determined as she is. Robert Bryndza’s foray into crime fiction has been a very welcome addition to the genre.

The Daughters of Red Hill Hall by Kathleen McGurl

It’s always  good sign when, after reading a book, you immediately download other books by the same author. This was what happened after reading The Daughters of Red Hill Hall. This is really two stories within a book, one set in the present day and one set during the Victorian era. In 1838, two sisters have been found shot but who was the culprit and how is the story linked to the present day? The book is billed as, ‘A gripping novel of family, secrets and murder’ and this is indeed true!

Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste

For me, Luca Veste is fast becoming one of the crime writers. Set in Liverpool, the books follow the work of DI David Murphy, a born and bred Scouser, and DS Laura Rossi, a Liverpudlian of Italian descent. One of the main strengths in this series is the relationship between the two main characters. What I really enjoyed about this book was that I had no idea who the culprit was and was left guessing until the very end.

Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian

51ZBjJC54-L._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Victorian crime is a big interest of mine and, for the past few years, I have eagerly anticipated the next of Alex Grecian’s Murder Squad books. After the shocking end to the previous book, The Harvest Man, I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to Detective Walter Day. Lost and Gone Forever really shows the depraved side of Victorian society whilst also showing the growing importance of females. A great read!

The Disappearance by Annabel Kantaria

When I started to read this, I thought it was going to be a straightforward whodunnit: a woman disappears from a ship; how and why? It was so much more, though, telling the life story of Audrey Templeton and the consequences of her actions and those of other people. Heart-warming and distressing in equal measures.

The Silent Girls by Ann Troup

Edie inherits a house in the same square where five women were killed years before and soon finds herself drawn into the events of the past. This is a very dark story but one which is well-written and contains wonderful description. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing up until the end.

Hidden Killers by Lynda La Plante

51dispit6tl-_sx320_bo1204203200_I’ve always been a massive Prime Suspect fan so was ecstatic when Lynda La Plant started to write prequels to the original story. Hidden Kilers, like the first book, Tennison, helps to explain the character of Jane Tennison that we all know so well. Providing an insight into how difficult it was for the first group of female detectives, hopefully this series will go on and on!

The Silent Girls by Ann Troup

The Silent Girls, the second novel from Ann Troup, tells the story of Edie who has the unenviable task of clearing out her recently deceased aunt’s house. Coronation Square, where the house is situated, has a macabre history due to it being the site of five murders many years before and Edie soon finds herself drawn into the past where secrets refuse to stay hidden. It seems that everyone in Coronation Square has a link to the murders but who is telling the truth and who is more involved than they dare to mention?

One of the strengths of this book is the author’s descriptions. It is easy to imagine the contrast between the homely abode of Lena Campion compared to the damp, dark house of Edie’s Aunt Dolly. Indeed, each new scene in the book brought vivid images and aromas to mind. The character development is also well-written – the relationship between Edie and Sophie, in particular, is a joy to read.

The Silent Girls is a beautifully-written yet dark story with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. Although I did work out who had committed the murders, the book is filled with enough red herrings and sub-plots to keep you interested.

This is a really good read – I look forward to Ann Troup’s next offering!

This book was received from Net Galley and Carina in return for an honest review.

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