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The Stranger’s Wife

Monthly Round Up: January 2020

And so a new year begins! Thanks to Net Galley, I’ve been able to get hold of advance copies of some of the books I’ve been looking forward to, so February promises to contain some good books!

Books I’ve Read

The Penmaker’s Wife by Steve Robinson

A woman escapes her life in London, starting a new life in Victorian Birmingham with her young son. Despite managing to move up the social ladder, she soon realises that a past can never stay hidden, leading to some very disturbing circumstances.

 

The Stranger’s Wife by Anna Lou Weatherley

Two women, both in very different abusive relationships, each find a way to bring their suffering to an end. This is a great story featuring the very likeable detective Dan Riley.

 

The Other People by CJ Tudor

A man is informed that his wife and daughter have been killed, but how can this be when he’s just seen his daughter being driven down a motorway? His determination to find the truth leads him into a shadowy underworld and some very shady characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

 

The Sinner by Martyn Waites

Ex-undercover police officer, Tom Killgannon, finds himself drawn back into his former role when he is asked to find the whereabouts of the undiscovered bodies of a convicted killer. The only problem is, this means him going inside the prison, posing as a prisoner, and soon he comes across a face from the past. This is a great thriller; my review will feature as part of the blog tour.

 

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****! by Gill Sims

The third in the series sees Ellen dealing with a potential divorce, teenage children, a dog who isn’t exactly Instagrammable and chatty chickens who clearly dislike her! Some very funny scenarios which had me laughing out loud!

 

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Cold Case Jury presents its most confounding crime yet: Poisoned at the Priory.

1876. When the newlywed barrister Charles Bravo ingests a rare poison, all evidence suggests suicide. But in one of the most infamous inquests of all time, a coroner finds it to be an unlawful murder. So, we must ask, what is the truth?

The fourth book in Antony M. Brown’s popular Cold Case Jury series picks apart this notorious case that gripped Victorian Britain – and continues to spark debate to this day. Why did Bravo refuse any help, even when going through agonising pain? Was his wife, with her scandalous past, to blame? Or perhaps it was her former lover, eager to remove his usurper for good… or another sinister hand, moving silently?

In Poisoned at the Priory, Brown compiles the evidence and creates dramatic reconstructions of four main theories of how Charles Bravo may have died – including Agatha Christie’s solution, in her own words, for the very first time.

But was Christie correct? What’s your verdict in this spellbinding case?

 

If someone was in your house, you’d know … Wouldn’t you?

But the Hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare: the murder of their daughter.

The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something.

One by one, people from Paige’s community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl?

Was it an intruder?

Or was the murderer closer to home?

 

DC Jack Warr and his girlfriend Maggie have just moved to London to start a new life together. Though charming, Jack can’t seem to find his place in the world – until he’s drawn into an investigation that turns his life upside down.

In the aftermath of a fire at an isolated cottage, a badly charred body is discovered, along with the burnt remains of millions of stolen, untraceable bank notes.

Jack’s search leads him deep into a murky criminal underworld – a world he finds himself surprisingly good at navigating. But as the line of the law becomes blurred, how far will Jack go to find the answers – and what will it cost him?

In BURIED, it’s time to meet DC Jack Warr as he digs up the deadly secrets of the past . . .

 

Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway.

She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Ivor March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried – but only if Ruth will do the digging.

Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths.

Is Ivor March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?

 

It was always going to end in trouble. But how did it end in murder?

A murdered beauty queen. A town full of secrets. Who killed Jenny?

Jenny Kennedy appears to have it all. She’s the perfect daughter, the popular girl at school and a successful beauty queen. But then Jenny is found dead in a murder that rocks the small town she grew up in to the core.

Her estranged half-sister Virginia finds herself thrust into the spotlight as the case dominates the news and is desperate to uncover who killed Jenny. But she soon realises that maybe Jenny’s life wasn’t so perfect after all.

The truth is that Jenny has more than a few secrets of her own, and so do her neighbours… What really happened that night?

 

I can’t wait to read the Lynda la Plante book – she’s been one of my favourite authors for some years. My next read is The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths – I can’t wait to see what happens to Ruth Galloway next!

The Stranger’s Wife by Anna-Lou Weatherley

To the outside world, Beth has the perfect life: a wealthy husband, a beautiful daughter and everything money can buy. Looks can be deceiving, though, as the marriage is a far from happy one, and when she finally makes the break and leaves him, she realises just how manipulative Evan can be. Cath, on the other hand, has the complete opposite: a grotty bedsit with a violent drug addict partner who she is too scared to leave. Then one day, the two women meet, and things will never be the same again…

I wasn’t aware, before reading, that this was the third book in the Detective Dan Riley series, but please don’t be put off by this if you haven’t read the previous two. Although I have read the first, Black Heart (formerly known as Last Cry), I have not read the second, but did not feel that this hindered me in any way – if anything, I will now be going back and reading this one (The Couple on Cedar Close) as soon as possible!

I really liked the format of The Stranger’s Wife, merging police procedural with psychological thriller. Most of the book focuses on Beth and Cath, two unconnected women who have something in common due to the abuse they are experiencing at the hands of their respective partners. My heart immediately went out to Cath who is on the receiving end of horrific physical abuse and, although she is desperate to escape, fears for her life should she ever manage to do so.

Beth has found herself in a different sort of abusive relationship, and we soon discover the extent her husband, Evan, will go to to preserve the life he wants to lead. Despite the series of awful events to happen to her, I found Beth an incredibly strong and resilient woman and willed things to go right for her by the end of the book. Evan, on the other hand, had no redeeming qualities whatsoever – a truly despicable character!

Although it was obvious what was going to happen with these women, the inclusion of the police procedural element of the book made this a bit different to other books of this genre. Dan is a great character and I admired his ‘straight down the line’ stance. It’s not often that we meet a fictional detective with so much integrity and this definitely added to the tension as I wondered how he was going to wrestle with his conscience to get the result he wanted. I also liked how, although we find out some information about Dan’s personal life, it does not take over the plot which is something that can happen in similar books.

The Stranger’s Wife has a great plot and I will definitely be looking forward to seeing what Dan investigates next!

With thanks to Net Galley and Bookouture for my copy.

Monthly Round Up: December 2019

The end of the year has arrived already! Here’s a roundup of what I’ve been reading this month.

Books I’ve Read

Death at Eden’s End by Jo Allen

The death of a 100-year-old woman at a nursing home shouldn’t cause suspicion, but what ensues is a mystery dating back to World War Two and a cold, callous killer. This, the second in the Jude Satterthwaite series, is even better than the first.

What She Saw Last Night by Mason Cross

When a woman is murdered on a sleeper train and her daughter seemingly vanishes into thin air, fellow passenger Jenny Bowen finds herself embroiled in a dangerous cat and mouse game with a hardened killer. A fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller that I really enjoyed.

Gone by Leona Deakin

When a woman goes missing after receiving a card inviting her to play a game, it becomes apparent that she is not the first and that there are an unknown number of people out in the wild, wreaking their own personal havoc. A brilliant twist on a missing person story, with some timely reminders of how we should always be careful what information we share online.

The Merchant’s Daughter by M J Lee

The seventh in the Jayne Sinclair series sees the genealogist investigating the mysterious African ancestor of a well-known TV star. With a plot revolving around slavery, this is probably one of my favourite books of this series so far.

First Blood by Angela Marsons

This Kim Stone a prequel was a fantastic surprise to all fans of Angela Marsons. Set at the time when the team were coming together for the first time, we not only get a wonderful and informative insight into the pasts of the characters we have come to know and love, but also an exciting and emotive serial killer plot to boot! This author never lets us down!

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

This beautifully twisted tale of love and deception really grabbed my imagination. When a woman who is experiencing marriage problems meets a younger, handsome man, this sets off a chain of events that threaten to alter the course of all of their lives forever. This review will be published as part of the blog tour.

 

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

I’ve been a huge fan of Rosamund Lupton ever since reading Sister  and have heard nothing but praise for Three Hours. This book, detailing the three hours when a school is in the midst of a potential terrorist attack, genuinely blew me away and deserves to be a huge success. My review will be featured as part of the blog tour.

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Beth and Cath are leaving their husbands.
This is a story about two very different women.
One is wealthy and having an affair with a man who gives her the kind of love that her cold, detached husband does not.
One is living hand to mouth, suffering at the hands of a violent partner who would rather see her dead than leave him.

You may think you know these women already and how their lives will unfold.
Beth will live happily ever after with her little girl and her soulmate.
Cath will go back to her abusive husband.

And these two women will never cross paths.
But you will be wrong.

On the 3.15pm train from London to Bristol, Beth and Cath are about to meet and discover they share one shocking thing in common.

 

Family begins with a capital eff.

I’m wondering how many more f*cking ‘phases’ I have to endure before my children become civilised and functioning members of society? It seems like people have been telling me ‘it’s just a phase!’ for the last fifteen bloody years. Not sleeping through the night is ‘just a phase.’ Potty training and the associated accidents ‘is just a phase’. The tantrums of the terrible twos are ‘just a phase’. The picky eating, the back chat, the obsessions. The toddler refusals to nap, the teenage inability to leave their beds before 1pm without a rocket being put up their arse. The endless singing of Frozen songs, the dabbing, the weeks where apparently making them wear pants was akin to child torture. All ‘just phases!’ When do the ‘phases’ end though? WHEN?

Mummy dreams of a quirky rural cottage with roses around the door and chatty chickens in the garden. Life, as ever, is not going quite as she planned. Paxo, Oxo and Bisto turn out to be highly rambunctious, rather than merely chatty, and the roses have jaggy thorns. Her precious moppets are now giant teenagers, and instead of wittering at her about who would win in a fight – a dragon badger or a ninja horse – they are Snapchatting the night away, stropping around the tiny cottage and communicating mainly in grunts – except when they are demanding Ellen provides taxi services in the small hours. And there is never, but never, any milk in the house. At least the one thing they can all agree on is that rescued Barry the Wolfdog may indeed be The Ugliest Dog in the World, but he is also the loveliest.

 

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are on the trail of Wang Li a Chinese criminal gang leader in London who is involved in the importation of opium, and Chinese girls who are forced into prostitution in the many brothels under his control in London. On a dark fog bound night, on a back street in old London town a direct confrontation between Holmes and Watson, with this arch criminal and his gang would bring home the reality and danger they both constantly faced in taking on one of the most dangerous investigations they had ever undertaken, against an adversary who was both cunning, and dangerous. Surrounded and outnumbered by Wang Li and his gang, would Holmes and Watson prevail? “Sherlock Holmes-The Final Chapter” is a must read to find the answer.

 

Between August and November 1888 the residents of Whitechapel a cosmopolitan suburb located in The East End of London would find themselves in the grip of fear as to what was to become known as The Autumn of Terror. A fearsome killer who became known as Jack the Ripper was stalking the dimly lit fog bound streets hiding in the shadows, before slaughtering and butchering the helpless street women. The police were failing in their attempt to apprehend this killer, and public condemnation of the murders was running high.An offer of help would come from an unlikely source in Emma Holmes daughter of the legendary Sherlock Holmes. Using all the knowledge and expertise gained from her father would she be able to prevent further murders and lure this killer to his ultimate and final date with the hangman?A compelling, Victorian crime mystery based on the original Whitechapel Murders of 1888. A mystery which contains many twists and turns leading to an unexpected and surreal thought provoking final conclusion.

 

Here’s to a great January!

 

 

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