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The Silent Girls

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

 

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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