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The Sterling Affair

My Books of 2020

What a year it was, and not in a good sense. I was disappointed not to attend many book events during 2020 but have loved some of the online events that authors have managed to do. Despite book shops being closed for much of the year, I was so pleased to see that there have still been some amazing books published so, in no particular order, here is a slideshow of my favourite 10 books of 2020, the links taking you to my reviews.

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

When the Past Kills by M J Lee

The Resident by David Jackson

The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond

The Glass House by Eve Chase

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh

Strangers by C L Taylor

The Sterling Affair by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

Killing Mind by Angela Marsons

Did any of these feature on your list?

Monthly Round Up – February 2020

The only up side to the numerous storms we’re currently enduring in Britain is that people are probably finding a bit more time to read! This month I’ve read a few cracking books.

 

Books I’ve Read

The Body in the Snow by Nick Louth

The fourth book in the DCI Craig Gillard series has a complex plot where you just can’t make up your mind who is the killer of celebrity cook, Tanvi Roy. This is a great police procedural series and is highly recommended.

 

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

This is a series that just keeps getting better and better! The twelfth in the series sees Ruth Galloway assisting in the case of a convicted murderer – can she assist in finding the bodies of victims that haven’t yet been found? Elly Griffiths has written another superb book with plenty of heart-stopping moments.

 

The Sterling Affair by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

This is the most complex plot to date for Nathan Dylan Goodwin and sees forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier, investigating a particularly baffling case involving assumed identities. A superb read for those who enjoy genealogical mysteries. 

 

17 Church Row by James Carol

An unnerving look into the not-so-distant future sees a family moving into a state-of-the-art home, their lives being controlled by a souped-up version of Alexa! This is one of those books that really makes you think about the direction in which technology is going. 

 

The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood

When a woman flees an abusive relationship with her young son, she doesn’t expect to find herself in a dilapidated cottage in the middle of nowhere, a cottage with a very traumatic history. This is another fantastic read from Nuala Ellwood, an author whose books I always enjoy. 

 

The Prized Girl by Amy K Green

When a teenager is brutally murdered, there are no shortage of suspects, but are the police looking in the right place? Her older sister decides to take matters into her own hands, uncovering a wealth of family secrets in the process. A tense, thrilling read – my review will form part of the blog tour.

 

Little Doubt by Rachel Lynch

This topical tale of knife crime is my favourite in this series to date. Rachel Lynch has written a fast-paced, exciting read that I could definitely see on the small screen. Review to follow.

 

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Nowhere is safe. No one can be trusted.

A bloodied body is found in a Manchester Immigrant Removal Centre. The investigating officer and the pathologist seem certain: a suicide. But for DI Ridpath something doesn’t add up.

As the evidence starts to unravel, and with few leads, the pressure is on to find answers before the Inquest is closed. Caught between the police, the coroner and a system that doesn’t care, Ridpath isn’t making any friends.

And at the centre of the case Ridpath will find a heart of darkness. Innocent people are suffering. How many more will die before Ridpath discovers the truth?

 

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.
 
Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

 

 

Megan has to climb round and step across the body to get a proper view. What’s left is like a chalk white mask in the rough shape of a face. The innocence is still there, and a hint of the cheekiness. But perhaps she is imagining that.

Detective Megan Thomas spent years undercover. It cost her marriage and her peace of mind, but she got the job done. Now she has to decide if she can go back to her life before, to a regular crime unit alongside other cops who have no idea about the fear that haunts her dreams. She’s still running from her memories. She doesn’t know how to stop.

Moving to Devon was meant to be a fresh start. She’s staying with her sister and swimming in the sea daily, battling the tides and letting the waves wash her past away. But she can’t outrun everything. First, the discovery of a body in a claustrophobic crime scene triggers a panic attack. And then, when she gets too emotionally involved in an attack on a local teenager, her boss pulls her off the case entirely.

When a body is found on the stretch of beach where she swims every day, Megan remembers why she joined the force, and what she’s fighting for… But how can she find justice for others, when she’s no longer sure of herself?

 

Some places make their own laws…

When Ella Watson, a woman of wealth and status, is brutally stabbed to death in broad daylight it sends a shockwave through the Lake District community. Later that day, Keira Bradley meets the same fate. But whereas Ella’s murder is a tragedy, Keira’s death on the notorious Beacon Estate is just another statistic in a dangerous place.

DI Kelly Porter has the unenviable job of running simultaneous investigations. Her efforts aren’t helped by a boss driven by protecting his reputation and a housing estate where fear rules and no one dare speak out. Kelly knows the answers can only be found by winning the trust of the residents at Beacon Estate. A task so hard it may be impossible.

Kelly puts everything she has into finding justice for both victims. The only thing she hadn’t anticipated was a traitor in the ranks. When the evidence points to someone in her team, Kelly has to put feelings aside and work the case – no matter where it leads. By the time it is over, nothing in her world will ever be the same…

 

Sometimes helping a stranger is the last thing you should do . . .

The Cornish village of St Petroc is the sort of place where people come to hide. Tom Killgannon is one such person. An ex-undercover cop, Tom is in the Witness Protection Programme hiding from some very violent people and St Petroc’s offers him a chance to live a safe and quiet life.

Until he meets Lila.

Lila is a seventeen-year-old runaway. When she breaks into Tom’s house she takes more than just his money. His wallet holds everything about his new identity. He also knows that Lila is in danger from the travellers’ commune she’s been living at. Something sinister has been going on there and Lila knows more than she realises.

But to find her he risks not only giving away his location to the gangs he’s in hiding from, but also becoming a target for whoever is hunting Lila.

 

Have you read any of these? I’d love to read your opinions!

 

 

The Sterling Affair by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

The death of a 92-year-old man wouldn’t ordinarily make the newspapers, but this was no ordinary elderly gentleman. Notwithstanding the fact that he appears to have committed suicide, there is another major problem: this man actually died in the 1940s. Tasked by a woman to investigate the real identity of the man who has been living under the name of her long-dead brother, forensic genealogist Morton Farrier finds himself involved in the shady world of 1950s espionage. Meanwhile, he has a problem of his own to solve when a close DNA match poses problems for the Farrier family.

As a family historian and a fan of genealogical fiction, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s previous books centred around Morton Farrier. Farrier is a likeable character and it has been great fun to go with him on his professional and personal journey as he researches the family history of his clients whilst also trying to untangle his own complicated genealogy. The Sterling Affair, however, is a step up from the author’s previous offerings, mixing mystery, genealogy and espionage with ease and creating a genuinely enthralling story.

It is plain to see how much research has gone into this book as the author mixes fact with fiction making it impossible to see where one ends and the other begins. The Suez crisis is not a period of history that I profess to know a lot about and so I enjoyed learning about the events in the middle east and the involvement of Britain in its development. Told in two time frames, it allowed us to see events as they were unfolding in the 1940s/1950s and also Morton’s research in the present day. As always, Morton’s research was thorough and I liked reading about different sources that I (as yet) have not had the opportunity to use.

As well as the fascinating main plot, I was also drawn in by the plot regarding Morton’s own family. Just when you thought he couldn’t have any more skeletons in his closet, his DNA throws up an amazing twist, with a story line worthy of a book of its own. I hope that this is a case that the genealogist takes on as I would love to read the outcome in the next book.

The Sterling Affair is a gripping read, thrilling and educational at the same time. Highly recommended.

Take a look at my reviews of other books in this series:

The America Ground

The Spyglass File

The Missing Man

The Wicked Trade

 

 

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