Dark Angel by Helen Durrant

Dark Angel by Helen H. Durrant
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Suddenly she fell quiet. Something was floating in the water only inches away from her. She must have dislodged whatever it was from the bottom. Megan strained to see in the dark. It was weird. At first it looked like a bin bag full of festival rubbish. Moving closer, she thought it might be a piece of old wood. In the weak moonlight, its surface looked like bark.

‘What on earth is it?’ she looked up at Leon,who had taken several steps backwards.

‘Don’t go near, babe. Look. There.’ He pointed.

Megan peered closer and recoiled, horrified. The dim light reflected off whitish bones. The remains of an arm and a hand were visible. Tendrils of dark hair floated like weed from what had once been a human head.

THE BLURB: Love gripping crime fiction? Discover Detective Stephen Greco, a meticulous policeman with a messy personal life.

Two young men break into an expensive house in Cheshire. They take money and jewellery — and a large amount of heroin. Within twenty-four hours they are found brutally murdered.

The killings have the hallmarks of a local drug baron. The two victims were also “angels” helping in a community project which seems to have been lowering the crime rate in the area.

Meanwhile, Detective Stephen Greco’s colleague and on-off girlfriend Grace is pregnant. He isn’t sure how he feels, and they haven’t told the boss.

This gripping and fast-paced crime mystery ends with a series of shocking twists.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.

THE DETECTIVES
DCI Stephen Greco is a meticulous policeman with a touch of O.C.D. Easy to admire, but difficult to like. He has created a new team after a personal tragedy threatened to end his career, and is struggling to care for his daughter.
DS Grace Harper is an ambitious young policewoman with excellent people skills. Like Greco, she is a single parent and tries to balance work and childcare.

THE SETTING
The Northern city of Manchester is a place of great diversity, from high-end restaurants and clubs for the moneyed classes to grim housing estates riven by crime and drugs.

MY THOUGHTS: This is the fourth book by Helen Durrant that I have read, the second in the DI Greco series. My very favorite was Dark Murder, the first of this series.

I like Greco, mostly. He is OCD, has trouble relating to other people, but has this clinical ability to analyze situations and see things others miss. He doesn’t really understand emotions. He knows how he should feel/react, but it just doesn’t happen, which tends to cause havoc in his personal life. His team members see him as ‘a bit of a cold fish’.

Durrant strikes a good balance between the police procedural and the private lives of the main characters. She writes consistently good books that won’t disappoint. This, in particular, has a very clever twist that, despite the clues, I didn’t see coming. And I have the feeling that we haven’t seen the last of femme fatale Ava.

This is a series that it is preferable to read in order so that you get the full benefit of the character development and backgrounds.

Thank you to Joffe Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Dark Angel by Helen Durrant for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2266744546

Friday Favorite – The Burning Man by Solange Ritchie

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

It is almost three years since I first had the pleasure of reading The Burning Man by Solange Ritchie, and it is just as clear in my mind now as it was the day I finished reading it.

The Burning Man by Solange Ritchie
The Burning Man 
by Solange Ritchie (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: All day long, Stone thought of Consuelo Vargas, wishing he would find her, now reluctant he had. His men had searched for two days, plastering her face all over the county.

‘Connie’, as she was known to her family and friends, had been a person, with kids and a future. In this August heat, no one seemed to notice or care. Stone wiped the sweat from his brow. His search had turned up nothing but more questions, leading to pent up frustration and explosive nerves. At least now that frustration would be over.

People in this community of million dollar homes had faith in the system, a false sense of security. Consuelo Vargas would shatter that. People here wouldn’t sleep for weeks.

Stone’s gut wrenched. He wasn’t sure it was a woman.

His flashlight raced across the body, the acrid smell of acid eating at his lungs. It was awful. Stone longed for a blanket of clean air, sunlight, freshness.

Pete continued speechless, backing away from the corpse, as if putting distance between him and the body would make a bit of difference.

Stone knew it wouldn’t. Like the two women before. He thought how Consuelo Vargas’s face would become a nightly, non-mortal visitor, its dark features constantly shifting, changing. Like all the others, her mouth would open in the dream, but nothing would emerge except the screams of a woman being eaten alive by acid. Just like the others.

THE BLURB: It is a summer night in upscale Orange County, California. When young beautiful Consuelo Vargas turns up horribly mutilated and left for dead in a strawberry field, the Irvine Police Department call in top FBI Forensic pathologist/agent, Dr. Catherine (“Cat”) Powers solve a string of murders.

Charged with hunting down a twisted serial killer dubbed the “The Burning Man” as more bodies turn up, Cat embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Her actions will destroy the people she holds most dear. Her decisions will forever change the lives of those she loves.

Little does she know, The Burning Man waits for her, drawing her closer into his web of death, lies and deceit, so that he can take from her the ultimate prize. He waits for her in plain sight forcing her to make a choice no mother should ever have to make.

Suspenseful from the first page, this novel traces the painfully real struggles of a driven woman torn between her career demands and single motherhood, a family saga involving Cat’s young son and his loss of innocence at the hands of a madman and explores the bond shared by a mother and child as they combat pure evil. Cat knows only that she will do anything to catch this killer and keep those she loves alive. But will it be enough?

MY THOUGHTS: ********** If I could award this book 10 stars – I would!

It is exciting to find a debut work by a new author of this calibre.

The writing is clear, concise yet incredibly suspenseful. Solange Ritchie takes us on an exhilarating journey in this compulsive and chilling novel where both characters and plot are complex without being confusing.

Dr. Catherine (“Cat”) Powers is called in to solve a string of grisly murders perpetrated by a twisted serial killer dubbed “the Burning Man’. Little does she realise that her endeavours to identify and apprehend this killer will place everything she values at risk – including her young son – as the killer watches and manipulates her.

The Burning Man should come with a warning to clear your schedule before starting to read…….I paused only to go to work – and then I took the book with me. I resented every moment I was unable to spend immersed in The Burning Man.

A definite 5 stars from me, and a note to the author –“More please!”

Thank you to author Solange Ritchie for providing a digital copy of The Burning Man for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1282183304

The Daughter by Lucy Dawson

Firstly I need to apologize for the lack of a post yesterday, and the lateness of today’s post. I have had a pretty hectic couple of days with both family and work crises! They never come in ones, do they? I may also be a little late tomorrow as I will be putting in a few extra hours at work in order to play catch up.

But on to the real business. . .  The Daughter by Lucy Dawson

The Daughter by Lucy Dawson
The Daughter 
by Lucy Dawson (Goodreads Author)

30817744


EXCERPT: ‘If I had told you about Simon, you would never have kept Beth at that school and she would be alive now.’

The confession burned silently in my mind. I closed my eyes; I was unable to look at him.

“We’ve lost our daughter – ”

‘She’s almost certainly not your child.’

THE BLURB: You lost your daughter. You will never forgive yourself. And now someone’s determined to make you pay…

Seventeen years ago, something happened to Jess’s daughter Beth. The memory of it still makes her blood run cold. Jess has tried everything to make peace with that day, and the part she played in what happened. It was only a brief moment of desire… but she’ll pay for it with a lifetime of guilt.

To distance herself from the mistakes of the past, Jess has moved away and started over with her family. But when terrifying things begin happening in her new home, seemingly connected to what happened to Beth, Jess knows that her past has finally caught up with her. Somebody feels Jess hasn’t paid enough, and is determined to make her suffer for the secrets she’s kept all these years.

MY THOUGHTS: The Daughter by Lucy Dawson is a well written psychological-thriller that moves along at a good pace. It is written over two timelines, firstly when Jess is twenty-four and then almost twenty years later.

I have to admit that I didn’t like Jess, the main character, and in the early part of the book I had to keep reminding myself that she was very young and that, at that age, we don’t always think things through. But even twenty years later, she doesn’t seem to have matured much. She has a lovely husband and child, but remains obsessed by her dead first child. Her obsession and the accompanying paranoia are central to the success of the story.

Dawson had me really wondering just who was behind all the misfortunes that were befalling Jess and her family, and my suspicious mind was leaping from person to person – always the sign of a good read when I suspect everyone!

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Daughter by Lucy Dawson for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2265719391

Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt

Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt
Best Friends Forever 
by Margot Hunt (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Suddenly it all became clear. Kat wasn’t just wealthy. She came from capital M money. The sort of money that doesn’t just last a lifetime, but through multiple generations thereafter. It would be nothing to a multimillionaire to set up his daughter in a Palm Beach art gallery. Just a carrot to tempt his headstrong daughter to return home to South Florida.

I had never thought of myself as a covetous person and firmly believed jealousy was wasted energy. There would always be someone with more than you, any way you chose to measure it – intelligence, beauty, wealth, happiness. Even so, it was hard not to look around the beautiful home of the woman who was quickly becoming one of my closest confidantes, remember the pile of unpaid bills on my desk at home and not whine silently, ‘It’s not fair.’ Of course, life wasn’t fair. But sometimes the sheer magnitude of the unfairness could stick in your throat like a bitter pill.

THE BLURB: How well do you really know your best friend?

Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.

Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.

MY THOUGHTS: There are a lot of books currently out there claiming to be psychological thrillers, but don’t even come close. Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt is the real deal. It is a superb read. Don’t be fooled, as I was, by the chick-lit like start to the book. This book has depth and character.

The story is told from Alice’s point of view, over two converging time lines – the current time from when Alice is first interviewed about Howard’s murder, and from three years earlier when Kat and Alice first meet.

Best Friends Forever is based on two premises-

‘Everyone lies about something.’ The trick being to pick out the truth from the lies; and

‘Everything looks better from a distance.’ Especially other people’s lives. Unless you are living it, you only know what they want you to know.

I read this overnight because I simply could not bear to stop reading. 4.5 very bright stars

Thank you to Harlequin Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2263716268

The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman

The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman
The Drowning Season 
by Alice Hoffman (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744

Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones

Jan 21, 2018  
liked it

bookshelves: 2018audio3-star4-starfamily-dramahistorical-fiction

Read 2 times. Last read January 16, 2018 to January 21, 2018.


EXCERPT: Once, when Esther the Black was eighteen, she sat on the porch of her grandmother’s house and dragged her feet in the dust until her toes were coated and dark. She had lived within the walls of the Compound of houses owned by her grandparents all of her life, but she promised herself that this year would be different. Esther struck the head of a blue-tipped kitchen match along the railing; she lit a cigarette and tilted her denim cap back on her dark hair. Although she was the same age her grandmother was when she gave birth to her first and only child, Phillip, Esther the Black looked young, she looked like any orphan scowling in the sun. The cap protected Esther’s eyes, but the light was still white hot across her skin; it was the time of year they called Drowning Season, and the day would soon be too hot to sit outdoors; already the heat rose from the grass and the dust in maniac waves.

THE BLURB: The matriarch of a Long Island clan with a stubbornly suicidal son and a defiant, restless granddaughter, Esther has hired a Russian landscaper to watch over the family as well as the grounds of their secluded waterfront estate. But he has been watching Esther, too. And his love for her is growing wild enough to uproot them all.

MY THOUGHTS: While this is not my favorite book by Alice Hoffman, you can’t dispute Hoffman’s talent for making her characters come alive. Hoffman has written a tragic story of a truly dysfunctional family. It is a tale of selfishness, greed, and guilt. It is also the coming of age story of a young woman who has basically raised herself, with the aid of the gardener, and her need to escape; just as her grandmother had done many years earlier.

In no way could this book be considered ‘enjoyable’. But at the same time, there was no way I could have abandoned The Drowning Season. The characters pulled at my heartstrings, and I could not help but think how different their lives could have been if only they had communicated honestly with one another.

3.5 stars.

I listened to the audiobook of The Drowning Season by Alice Hoffman, narrated by Bernadette Dunne and published by Blackstone Audio, via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2260872030

The Sunday Summary

I have decided to move taking a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the next week and what ARCS I have been approved for from NetGalley to Sunday instead of Wednesday.

So here we go –

I’m going to start reading as soon as I finish this post.

The Daughter

You lost your daughter. You will never forgive yourself. And now someone’s determined to make you pay…
Seventeen years ago, something happened to Jess’s daughter Beth. The memory of it still makes her blood run cold. Jess has tried everything to make peace with that day, and the part she played in what happened. It was only a brief moment of desire… but she’ll pay for it with a lifetime of guilt.

To distance herself from the mistakes of the past, Jess has moved away and started over with her family. But when terrifying things begin happening in her new home, seemingly connected to what happened to Beth, Jess knows that her past has finally caught up with her. Somebody feels Jess hasn’t paid enough, and is determined to make her suffer for the secrets she’s kept all these years.

And while I was mowing the lawns earlier,  I started listening to

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs, #3)

In the third novel of this bestselling series, London investigator Maisie Dobbs faces grave danger as she returns to the site of her most painful WWI memories to resolve the mystery of a pilot’s death

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe. Every once in a while, a detective bursts on the scene who captures readers’ hearts — and imaginations — and doesn’t let go. And so it was with Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs, who made her debut just two years ago in the eponymously titled first book of the series, and is already on her way to becoming a household name.

A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world.

In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war — one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.

Following on the heels of the triumphant Birds of a Feather, Pardonable Lies is the most compelling installment yet in the chronicles of Maisie Dobbs, “a heroine to cherish (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review).

WHAT I AM PLANNING ON READING THIS WEEK-

This is How it Ends

There’s plenty of intrigue, sex, and drugs in this fast-paced mystery, set against a backdrop of gentrifying London.

Ella Riordan is a community activist who became famous when she was beaten by police during a social protest. Now Ella is a squatter in a building where the owners are evicting tenants so they can convert it into luxury condos, and she’s determined to stay and defend the few holdout tenants, despite death threats.

One night after a rooftop party with her fellow holdouts, Ella finds a horrible scene awaiting her in her apartment. In a panic, she calls her neighbor Molly, who convinces her that the police won’t believe she’s innocent. Together the two women concoct a gruesome plan to hide the body down the building’s elevator shaft.

But the secret won’t stay buried for long. As truth hangs in the balance, a neighbor tells Molly he had heard Ella arguing with a man in the hallway and mistrust grows between Ella and Molly, as repercussions of that night threaten to change both women’s lives forever.

And, sorry but I can’t bring up a cover image, Dark Angel by Helen Durrant

DARK ANGEL by HELEN H. DURRANT

Love gripping crime fiction? Discover Detective Stephen Greco, a meticulous policeman with a messy personal life.

Two young men break into an expensive house in Cheshire. They take money and jewellery — and a large amount of heroin. Within twenty-four hours they are found brutally murdered.

The killings have the hallmarks of a local drug baron. The two victims were also “angels” helping in a community project which seems to have been lowering the crime rate in the area.

Meanwhile, Detective Stephen Greco’s colleague and on-off girlfriend Grace is pregnant. He isn’t sure how he feels, and they haven’t told the boss.

This gripping and fast-paced crime mystery ends with a series of shocking twists.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.

THE DETECTIVES
DCI Stephen Greco is a meticulous policeman with a touch of O.C.D. Easy to admire, but difficult to like. He has created a new team after a personal tragedy threatened to end his career, and is struggling to care for his daughter.
DS Grace Harper is an ambitious young policewoman with excellent people skills. Like Greco, she is a single parent and tries to balance work and childcare.

THE SETTING
The Northern city of Manchester is a place of great diversity, from high-end restaurants and clubs for the moneyed classes to grim housing estates riven by crime and drugs.

AND FINALLY, THE ARCs I HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR FROM NETGALLEY THIS WEEK-

The Friend      The Girlfriend

and one that was sitting on my request shelf for months that I had given up on ever being approved for

Anything For Her

That is the reading plan for my week. I look forward to you sharing your plans with me. I love to see what everyone else is reading.

Happy reading!

 

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger
The Red Hunter 
by Lisa Unger (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Claudia stood beside Raven’s locker while the girl stuffed her belongings – i-pad, binder, dirty gym clothes – into her knapsack. Claudia had hated school – the ugly lights, the cafeteria smells, the gym class, the pathetic social hierarchy where looks and athleticism trumped brains and character (not that that ever changed). The scent of the hallway – what was that smell? – brought it back vividly.

‘It’s not my fault,’ said Raven, slamming shut the locker door.

‘It never is, is it?’ said Claudia.

That glare, those dark eyes in that ivory skin. That full, pink mouth and those ridiculously long eyelashes. Raven’s beauty was shocking, frightening in its intensity, in her utter obliviousness to it. ‘We need to get a burka on that kid,’ Martha had joked. ‘A body like that? On a fifteen year old? It should be illegal.’

Luckily, Raven’s gorgeousness was tempered by the boyish way she carried herself. She loped. If Claudia didn’t insist on showers and hair brushing, the girl would look most of the time like she had been dragged through a bush. And still, the way they stared. Men, boys, the same stunned goofy expression, eyes wide, the same wolfish expression on faces young and old. Raven didn’t even see. Claudia took to taking pepper spray in her bag. ‘She’s a baby’, Claudia had to keep herself from screaming. ‘Don’t you look at her like that!’

THE BLURB: What is the difference between justice and revenge?

Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house–one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets.

For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific murder of her parents. Years later, she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past–and within.

Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course–because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the terrifying monsters at the door.

MY THOUGHTS: I am a sucker for stories about old houses, and for old houses themselves. Throw in a bit of menace, and I am one happy puppy. Lisa Unger didn’t disappoint. The plot is intricately woven, her characters beautifully drawn and all too human, characters that come alive for the reader, characters we can relate to.

The Red Hunter is written from multiple points of view, and over different time lines. Sound confusing? Don’t worry, in this case it isn’t. Unger’s writing flows seamlessly and the suspense she creates will have you turning the pages well into the night. I would never have guessed the ending!

I listened to the audiobook of The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger, narrated by Julia Whelan and published by Simon and Schuster. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2143976963

I’ve been tagged!

(Image credit: Amazon.com)

My friend Carla @carlalovestoread tagged me for this “Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” Tag 🙂 This meme was created by Perfectly Tolerable. Go check out this blog.

I haven’t been or participated in a tag before so I hope that I’m doing this right.  I love to read and have been a reader all my life so I thought this one would be fun to do. Thanks for tagging me Carla. 

If you haven’t already, go check out Noriko’s blog! She is an amazing blogger with a variety of content that I enjoy! 😉

 

  1. Include the link to Amazon’s List
  2. Tag the creator of the meme (Perfectly Tolerable)
  3. Tag and thank the Person that tagged you
  4. Copy the list below and indicate which ones you have read
  5. Tally up your total
  6. Comment on the post you were tagged in and let them know how many you read
  7. Tag 5 new people! (And comment on one of their posts to let them know you tagged them)

 

All right, now let’s take a look;

100 Books To Read In a Lifetime List

Title Author Read?
1984 George Orwell  Yes
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah
The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
Selected Stories, 1968-1994 Alice Munro
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll  Yes
All the President’s Men Bob Woodward
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Frank McCourt  Yes
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume
Bel Canto Ann Patchett
Beloved Toni Morrison
Born to Run Christopher McDougall
Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat
Catch-22 Joseph Heller  Yes
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl  Yes
Charlotte’s Web E. B White  Yes
Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese
Daring Greatly Brené Brown
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
Dune Frank Herbert
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury  Yes
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn  Yes
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brow
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Ph.D.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling  Yes
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware
Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain
Life After Life Kate Atkinson  Yes
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov  Yes
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love Medicine Louise Erdrich
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris  Yes
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
On the Road Jack Kerouac
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Marjane Satrapi
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen  Yes
Silent Spring Rachel Carson
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut  Yes
Team of Rivals Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X
The Book Thief Markus Zusak  Yes
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger  Yes
The Color of Water James McBride
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Devil in the White City Erik Larson
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank
The Fault in Our Stars John Green
The Giver Lois Lowry
The Golden Compass Philip Pullman
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald  Yes
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
The House at Pooh Corner A. Milne  Yes
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot
The Liars’ Club Mary Karr
The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Lawrence Wright
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien  I tried
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat Oliver Sacks
The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
The Power Broker Robert A. Caro
The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
The Road Cormac McCarthy
The Secret History Donna Tartt
The Shining Stephen King  Yes
The Stranger Albert Camus
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle  Yes
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame  Yes
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
The World According to Garp John Irving
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susanne  Yes
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak  Yes

So, I have read 24 of the 100. Some of them are books I read to my children and grandchildren, some as a student. There are 3 on my TBR and 1 that I started and did not finish.

I think this is a very interesting tag, so I if you have not been nominated but would like to do it please do. It will be fun to see what everyone had read and whether we agree with this list. I will nominate some of my friends, but if you don’t want to do it that is fine.

carriesbookreviews

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Friday Favorite- The Devil’s Claw by Lara Dearman

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

This is a debut novel by a new author that just blew me away!

The Devil's Claw by Lara Dearman
Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Naked, her breasts and hips were heavier than he thought they would be and he wondered if he should feel disappointed, but he forced himself to concentrate on her slim waist and her skin. Her skin was perfect. White, like moonlight. He thought how wonderful they must look together, two beautiful people, happy and free, and how important this was, that he saved her. From the filth and the alcohol and the little people and the loathsome, repellent men, whose hands would never touch her again. She ran to the water. He followed. Their bodies clothed in darkness, their footsteps silent on the soft sand, their splashing obscured by the breaking of the waves, he pulled her towards him. Stroked her arms, from her wrists, over smooth skin, soft hairs tickling his fingers, to her elbows, which were bony and rough, and then up to her shoulders. She shook. Laughed. He pushed her under. She was smiling as her head dipped below the water, her hair fanning out on the surface, spun gold, like in a fairy tale, rippling and flowing, a life of its own. She didn’t struggle, not at first. It took her a moment, he supposed to understand. And then he felt her, bucking and thrashing, her screams silent, carried away with the tide. Gently, but firmly, he held on. And then she was still. So, so still. He held her limp body against his in the water. Absorbed the heat as it left her. Stayed there for as long as he could, until he was sure he had taken as much of her warmth as he could.

THE BLURB: Jennifer Dorey thinks she is safe.

Following a traumatic incident in London, Jennifer has returned to her childhood home in Guernsey, taking a job as a reporter at the local newspaper.

After the discovery of a drowned woman on a beach, she uncovers a pattern of similar deaths that have taken place over the past fifty years.

Together with DCI Michael Gilbert, an officer on the verge of retirement, they follow a dark trail of island myths and folklore to ‘Fritz’, the illegitimate son of a Nazi soldier. His work, painstakingly executed, has so far gone undetected.

But with his identity about to be uncovered, the killer now has Jennifer in his sights.

And home is the last place she should be.

MY THOUGHTS: The Devil’s Claw is a debut novel by Lara Dearman. And it is good. Amazingly good. I knew that after the first five minutes of reading. It just felt so right. Don’t mind me, I have a book hangover. Hours after finishing, the plot and the characters are still buzzing around in my brain. Not even a trip to the supermarket for the weekly shop has dampened my enthusiasm.

I felt like I was there, in the novel, living alongside the characters, experiencing what they were. The story is mainly told from Jenny’s point of view, and that of DCI Michael Gilbert, with occasional flashbacks from the unknown killer starting in 1959, and moving forward a decade with each kill.

I had three suspects in mind for the killer, and I am pleased to say was right with one of them, though he wasn’t my first pick. Dearman has crafted an intricate plot, full of misleading clues, that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

Along the way, we learn quite a bit about the history of Guernsey, its legends and folklore, all of which adds to the atmosphere Dearman has so cleverly created.

There was nothing I didn’t like about The Devil’s Claw. A very enthusiastic ☆☆☆☆☆ from me for this slow burning book that develops into a raging bonfire. I sincerely hope Lara is busy writing #2 in the series.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Devil’s Claw by Lara Dearman for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2259600121

Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan

Vanishing Girls by Lisa  Regan
Vanishing Girls (Detective Josie Quinn #1) 
by Lisa Regan (Goodreads Author)

30817744


EXCERPT: She only went outside if her mother, father or sister were out there. For a long time he disappeared. She stopped sensing him, stopped hearing him. She almost believed that he had gone back to wherever it was he came from. Maybe she had conjured him after all.

Then one day her sister was hanging clothes on the line while she flitted to the other side of the yard, chasing the yellow monarch butterflies that proliferated on top of the mountain. A white sheet fluttered on the clothesline, blocking her from her sister’s view. She got too close to the treeline. A hand shot out and clamped down over her mouth, silencing her screams. An arm wrapped around her waist, lifting her off the ground. Holding her tightly against his chest, he dragged her through the forest that used to be her friend. One thought rose above her panic. ‘He was real.’

THE BLURB: She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

MY THOUGHTS: This is a series that I am going to follow with great interest! Reminiscent of, but definitely not a copycat of, Angela Marsons DI Kim Stone series, Lisa Regan has laid the groundwork for a riveting and compelling series.

The plot kept my attention, and while I didn’t always understand why the author was writing what she was writing, it mostly all became clear. I had one or two minor issues, which was enough to drop one star from the rating, which I won’t go into because of issues with spoiling the plot for those who have not yet read Vanishing Girls.

The pace is reasonably fast and the quality of writing excellent.

While I frequently didn’t like Josie, this did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. It will be interesting to see how young Noah Farley develops in the coming books. He has great potential. And I just loved Josie’s grandma. I defy anyone not to!

4 very expectant stars for Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan. I am eagerly awaiting Josie Quinn #2.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2254362948