The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

The Masterpiece by Fiona  Davis

EXCERPT: New York City, April 1928

Clara Darden’s illustration class at the Grand Central School of Art, tucked under the copper eaves of the terminal, was unaffected by the trains that rumbled through ancient layers of Manhattan schist hundreds of feet below. But somehow, a surprise visit from Mr Lorette, the school’s director, had the disruptive power of a locomotive weighing in at thousands of tons.

Even before Mr Lorette was a factor, Clara had been anxious about the annual faculty exhibition set to open at six o’clock that evening. Her first show in New York City, and everyone important in the art and editorial worlds would be there. She’d been working on her illustrations for months now, knowing this might be her only chance.

She asked her class to begin work on an alternate cover design for Virginia Woolf’s latest book, and the four ladies dove in eagerly, while Wilbur, the only male and something of a rake to boot, sighed loudly and rolled his eyes. Gertrude, the most studious of the five members, was so offended by Wilbur’s lack of respect that she threatened to toss a jar of turpentine at him. They were still arguing vociferously when Mr Lorette waltzed in.

Never mind that these were all adults, not children. Whenever Wilbur made a ruckus, it had the unfortunate effect of lowering the entire class’s maturity level by a decade. More often than not, Clara was strong enough to restore order before things went too far. But Mr Lorette seemed possessed of a miraculous talent for sensing the rare occasions during which Clara lost control of the room, and he could usually be counted upon to choose such times to wander by and assess her skills as an educator.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded–even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter–Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay’s life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece–an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

MY THOUGHTS: I was excited to begin listening to The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis. I have listened to both The Dollhouse and The Address, and loved them both.

But immediately, I found the narrator’s voice and delivery to be annoying. Smug is the word that comes to mind. Why, oh why did they change narrators? I far preferred Saskia Maarleveld.

And then as I got into the story, I had the thought that this was just like the other two books – exactly the same format, just change names and locations. Kind of like writing by numbers.

I had trouble warming to either of the main characters, Clara in the late 1920’s, and Virginia in the 70’s. There seemed to be a lot of extraneous material in the plot that could have been done without and not harmed the storyline. I did enjoy the twist at the end.

In retrospect, I may have enjoyed The Masterpiece more had I read it rather than listened to it. I think my dislike of the narrator may have soured the whole experience for me. I am not ruling out reading the book at some point in the future, to see if I enjoy it more, and I will definitely read more by this author. But the operative word here is ‘read’, not listen.

😑😑.5

THE AUTHOR: Fiona Davis is the nationally bestselling author of THE MASTERPIECE, THE DOLLHOUSE and THE ADDRESS. She began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook version of The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, published by Penguin 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/2310913461

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A Taste of. . . Tuesday – My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope

My Daughter's Secret

This week, I would like to tempt your reading tastebuds with a little tidbit from My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope. Nicole is an Australian author whom I admire greatly, and I am looking forward to reading her latest book, which is being released today. So happy publication day Nicole and Bookouture!🎉🎊

<i>Mia listens to the sound of her heels on the pavement. If she keeps her mouth closed and takes very small steps she’ll get to Callie’s house without throwing up, she thinks. She focuses on each house they pass, studying grotesque smiles on pumpkins and spotting skeletons hanging from trees and lounging in gardens. Fake spider webs have turned all the post boxes white, and plastic bats dangle from branches. A witch on a broom cackles and moves her head from side to side, flashing her red eyes, startling Mia. She jumps to the side then looks at the house across the road, where Death sits on a swing.

“Wow, look at that. That wasn’t here when we left, ” says Callie.

Mia looks over to where Callie is pointing. A life-size doll swings from a covered front porch. There isn’t a hint of a breeze but the dummy sways anyway, making the chain around its neck squeak eerily in the quiet suburban street. </i>

ABOUT THIS BOOK: My baby girl, I’ll never forget you – your smile, your laugh, the way your hair sparkles in the sun. I cannot comprehend this pain. I cannot breathe through it.

In the middle of the night, Claire wakes up to discover that her beloved daughter, Julia, is dead – and life, as she knows it, is over.

Searching for answers, Claire stumbles upon a pile of letters, hidden under Julia’s bed in an old, battered shoebox, and feels closer to her daughter than ever before. They tell her that Julia was happy, that she was thriving at university, that she was in love.

But as the letters go on, Claire starts to feel uneasy at something hidden between the lines. Even as she grieves, she must prepare to face a shocking discovery. Because Julia was hiding a terrible secret – and when it’s uncovered, it will devastate a family already torn apart by tragedy.

I hope that you enjoyed this tidbit from My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope, and that you might be tempted to read along with me. 💕📚

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

EXCERPT: ‘And we ask your abundant blessing, Lord, on these, the outcast dead. . . ‘

There is a murmured response from the group gathered on the bank below the castle walls. But Ruth Galloway, standing at the back, says nothing. She is wearing the expression of polite neutrality she assumes whenever God is mentioned. This mask has stood her in good stead over the years and she sees no reason to drop it now. But she approves of the Prayers for the Outcast Dead. This brief ecumenical service is held every year for the unknown dead of Norwich: the bodies thrown into unmarked graves, the paupers, the plague victims, forgotten, unmourned, except by this motley collection of archeologists, historians, and sundry hangers on.

‘Lord, you told us that not a sparrow falls without our Father in Heaven knowing. We know that these people were known to you, and loved by you. . .’

The Vicar has a reedy, hesitant voice that gets lost before it reaches Ruth. Now she can only hear Ted, one of the field archeologists, giving the responses in a booming baritone.

‘We will remember them.’

She doesn’t know if Ted has any religious beliefs. All she knows is that he was brought up in Bolton and may or may not be Irish. If he’s Irish, he’s probably a Catholic, like DCI Harry Nelson who, however hard he denies it, has a residual belief in heaven, hell, and all points in between. Thinking of Nelson makes Ruth uncomfortable. She moves away, further up the hill, and one of the people gathered around the vicar, a tall woman in a red jacket, turns and smiles at her. Janet Meadows, local historian and expert on the unnamed dead. Ruth first encountered Janet over a year ago when examining the bones of a medieval bishop believed to have miraculous powers. It was Cathbad who put Ruth in touch with Janet and, even now, Ruth can’t believe that her Druid friend won’t suddenly appear in the shadow of the castle, purple cloak fluttering, sixth sense on red alert. But Cathbad is miles away and magical powers have their limitations, as she knows only too well.

Words float towards Ruth, borne on the light summer breeze.

‘Remember. . . lost. . . gone before. . . Heavenly Father. . . grace. . . forgiveness.’

So many words, thinks Ruth – as she has thought many times before – to say so little. The dead are dead and no words, however resonant, can bring them back.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of what might be a notorious Victorian child murdress and a baby snatcher known as “The Childminder” threatens modern-day Norfolk in the latest irresistible mystery from Elly Griffiths.

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of a Victorian murderess while a baby snatcher threatens modern-day Norfolk in this exciting new entry in a beloved series.
Every year a ceremony is held in Norwich for the bodies in the paupers’ graves: the Service for the Outcast Dead. Ruth has a particular interest in this year’s proceedings. Her recent dig at Norwich Castle turned up the body of the notorious Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children. Now Ruth is the reluctant star of the TV series Women Who Kill, working alongside the program’s alluring history expert, Professor Frank Barker.

DCI Harry Nelson is immersed in the case of three children found dead in their home. He is sure that the mother is responsible. Then another child is abducted and a kidnapper dubbed the Childminder claims responsibility. Are there two murderers afoot, or is the Childminder behind all the deaths? The team must race to find out-and the stakes couldn’t be any higher when another child goes missing.

MY THOUGHTS: I loved The Outcast Dead, sixth book in the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths. Because I have been reading the series out of order and so have read many of the later books before this one, I already knew the outcome. But instead of diminishing my pleasure, I think it was actually enhanced. I was able to concentrate more on the characters, their relationships, their foibles. I loved the way their beliefs are challenged, and the different ways that they all dealt with this.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the mystery, because I did, immensely. For although I knew the outcome, I didn’t know the who, the how, or the why. And I really had no idea until all was revealed. There is not just one mystery, but several, several centuries apart. So while DCI Harry Nelson is busy working the cases of the dead children, and the abductions, Ruth is involved in solving a centuries old mystery.

Classic Elly Griffiths. And worth every one of the 💖💖💖💖💖 I have awarded it.

THE AUTHOR: Elly Griffiths is the pen name of Domenica de Rosa (born 17 August 1963, in London), a British crime novelist. She has written two series as Griffiths to date, one featuring Ruth Galloway, the other featuring Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens and Max Mephisto. She has also recently published her first standalone novel, The Stranger Diaries.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths, beautifully narrated by Clare Corbett, and published by Quercus, 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/1260153601

Watching What I’m Reading

It is late Sunday afternoon here in New Zealand and I have just gotten home after a busy weekend of fundraising for Te Reina Worsley. We had a brilliant day yesterday that continued late into the night, and then today our Euchre section hosted a tournament and the Club in general celebrated St Patrick’s Day. It was an enjoyable and, although I haven’t finished tallying everything up, successful weekend putting Te Reina several thousand dollars closer to the surgery she needs. If you haven’t done so yet, please check out her page at givealittle.co.nz

Of course, everything has been overshadowed by the terrible shootings at the Christchurch mosques. I simply do not understand the hatred. My sympathy and condolences to all those affected by this atrocity. I never thought we would have anything like this happen in New Zealand.

I have just started reading

Only Daughter
Kat experiences every mother’s worst nightmare when her only child’s body is found lifeless in an overgrown, abandoned quarry.

Desperate to find out what happened, Kat questions those closest to her as she tries to piece together the last days of Grace’s life. But as a darker side to her little girl begins to unravel, Kat wonders if she ever really knew Grace.

As Kat is drawn into a twisted game of lies, is she also in terrible danger? And will she be able to unlock her daughter’s final shocking secret?

Even if the truth is unthinkable

and just started listening to

The Dead Tracks (David Raker, #2)

The Dead Tracks” is the second in the David Raker series from Tim Weaver. A serial killer more terrifying than you could ever imagine…Seventeen-year-old Megan Carver was an unlikely runaway. A straight – a student from a happy home, she studied hard and rarely got into trouble. Six months on, she’s never been found. Missing persons investigator David Raker knows what it’s like to grieve. He knows the shadowy world of the lost too. So, when he’s hired by Megan’s parents to find out what happened, he recognizes their pain – but knows that the darkest secrets can be buried deep. And Megan’s secrets could cost him his life. Because as Raker investigates her disappearance, he realizes everything is a lie. People close to her are dead. Others are too terrified to talk. And soon the conspiracy of silence leads Raker towards a forest on the edge of the city. A place with a horrifying history – which was once the hunting ground for a brutal, twisted serial killer. A place known as the Dead Tracks…Hot on the heels of “Chasing the Dead”, “The Dead Tracks” by Tim Weaver revisits David Raker and his complex missing persons cases. Fans of Mo Hayder’s “Gone” and Michael Marshall Smith’s “The Straw Men” should look this way. Praise for Tim Weaver: “Impressive debut…Fans of Mo Hayder will be in seventh hell”. (“Guardian”). “Perfect plotting, great characterisation, and the kind of payoff that a thriller of this calibre deserves”. (Bookgeeks). “A taut thriller”. (Barry Forshaw). Tim Weaver was born in 1977. At eighteen, he left school and started working in magazine journalism, and has since gone on to develop a successful career writing about films, TV, sport, games and technology. He is married with a young daughter, and lives near Bath. “Vanished” is Tim’s third David Raker novel, which follow his highly acclaimed debut “Chasing the Dead” and its sequel, “The Dead Tracks”. Tortured by his wife’s early death, David Raker is one of the most charismatic, sensitive and unique missing persons investigators in current crime fiction.

This week I am planning on reading

In the Blink of an Eye

Originally titled Sixty Seconds

A deeply emotional drama that explores a family’s path to forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of a tragedy.

The Brennans — parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby — have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah — his innocence lost — faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

And I hope to start

My Daughter's Secret

My baby girl, I’ll never forget you – your smile, your laugh, the way your hair sparkles in the sun. I cannot comprehend this pain. I cannot breathe through it.

In the middle of the night, Claire wakes up to discover that her beloved daughter, Julia, is dead – and life, as she knows it, is over.

Searching for answers, Claire stumbles upon a pile of letters, hidden under Julia’s bed in an old, battered shoebox, and feels closer to her daughter than ever before. They tell her that Julia was happy, that she was thriving at university, that she was in love.

But as the letters go on, Claire starts to feel uneasy at something hidden between the lines. Even as she grieves, she must prepare to face a shocking discovery. Because Julia was hiding a terrible secret – and when it’s uncovered, it will devastate a family already torn apart by tragedy.

Two very similar covers there !

Three approvals this week from NetGalley

The Family Lie

What She Saw

Black Light

And one publisher’s request

The Return of Mister Campion

I wish you all a wonderful week’s reading. Please, pick up a book, not a gun.

💕📚

 

The Last Thing She Told Me by Linda Green

The Last Thing She Told Me by Linda Green

EXCERPT: ‘She said something just before she died. Something I didn’t understand.’

‘What?’

She said there were babies at the bottom of the garden. She asked me to look after her babies. ‘

For the first time I saw Mum’s face crack. Her eyes widened, and her bottom lip trembled. ‘I wouldn’t take any notice of her. She were probably losing her mind by then.’

‘She wasn’t, though. I asked her if she meant her fairy statues, but she was adamant they were babies.’

‘She were probably thinking about angels. She used to believe in angels, you know. She told me once her angels would be waiting for her at the end.’

I stepped outside. Maybe Mum was right. It made more sense than anything I could come up with. It was only after I’d shut the door behind me and heard the anguished sob from the other side that I wondered if she might not be able to tell me the truth, even if she wanted to.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Even the deepest buried secrets can find their way to the surface…

Moments before she dies, Nicola’s grandmother Betty whispers to her that there are babies at the bottom of the garden.

Nicola’s mother claims she was talking nonsense. However, when Nicola’s daughter finds a bone while playing in Betty’s garden, it’s clear that something sinister has taken place.

But will unearthing painful family secrets end up tearing Nicola’s family apart?

MY THOUGHTS: By the time I got to the end of this book, I was blubbering and had burned a tray of biscuits I was making for the bake sale. I am still feeling rather emotional, and have no idea how to put my feelings about The Last Thing She Told Me onto (virtual) paper.

Teenage pregnancy. Date rape. Illegitimacy. Blended families. Family rifts. Generational relationships. All these topics are part of the book, but definitely not the sum. We learn the story of Nicola’s family mainly from her point of view, interspersed with letters from William, a Canadian airman stationed in England during WWII, to Nicola’s grandma, Betty. There is also historical input from two other people involved in the story, whose identities are not revealed until almost the end.

I have long had a fascination with graveyards and love to wander the older sections, trying to decipher the inscriptions on the long neglected stones, and wondering about the lives of the people buried there. Now I will also be wondering about the secrets that have been buried with them.

WARNINGS: Tissues mandatory. Do not read and bake without fire extinguisher at hand.

💕💖💕💖

THE AUTHOR: I was born in North London in 1970 and brought up in Hertfordshire. I wrote my first novella, the Time Machine, aged eight, shortly after which I declared that my ambition was to have a novel published (I could have been easy on myself and just said ‘to write a novel’ but no, I had to consign myself to years of torture and rejections). I was frequently asked to copy out my stories for the classroom wall (probably because my handwriting was so awful no one could read my first draft), and received lots of encouragement from my teachers Mr Roberts, Mrs Chandler (who added yet more pressure by writing in my autograph book when I left primary school that she looked forward to reading my first published novel!) and Mr Bird.

My first publication came when I was thirteen and my Ode to Gary Mabbutt won second prize in the Tottenham Weekly Herald ‘My Favourite Player’ competition. At fifteen I won the Junior Spurs Football Reporter of the Year Competition and got to report on a first division football match from the press box at White Hart Lane (I got lots of funny looks and none of the journalists spoke to me.)

At sixteen I embarked on ‘A’ levels and a journalism course at De Havilland College, Hertfordshire, and my college magazine interview about football hooliganism with local MP and football club chairman David Evans made a double page spread in Shoot! magazine (they never paid me) and back page headlines in several national newspapers (only a nice man at the Daily Star bothered to check the story with me).

I joined my local newspaper, the Enfield Gazette, as a trainee reporter at eighteen. During a ten year career in regional journalism I worked as a reporter on the Birmingham Daily News, news editor on the Birmingham Metro News and Chief Feature Writer on the Coventry Evening Telegraph, winning Highly Commended in the Feature Writer of the Year category of the 1997 Press Gazette Regional Press Awards.

I loved working on regional newspapers but by 1998 my features were getting too long and the urge to write a novel had become too great so I left my staff job to write my first novel and work as a freelance journalist. I have written for The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Times Educational Supplement, The Big Issue, Wanderlust and Community Care Magazine. I’ve also had a short story published in Best magazine

I found the writing and working from home a very solitary process so also worked as co-ordinator of the Birmingham Bureau of Children’s Express, a national charity which runs a learning through journalism programme for young people and taught journalism to schoolchildren for the National Academy of Writing. After I moved north in 2001 I qualified as an adult education tutor and taught creative writing classes to students aged between 18 and 82 for the Workers Educational Association across Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

After more than a hundred rejections from agents for my first novel (and more rewrites than I care to remember) I finally got an agent but still couldn’t get a publisher. I started work on my second novel I DID A BAD THING in 2003, finished the first draft and gave birth to my son Rohan in 2004, rewrote the novel and got a new agent in 2005, obtained a two-book deal with Headline Review in 2006.

I Did a Bad Thing was published in paperback in October 2007, made the top thirty official fiction bestsellers list (and number 3 in Tesco!) and has so far sold more than 77,000 copies. 10 Reasons Not to Fall in Love was published in paperback in March 2009, reached no 22 in the official fiction bestseller charts (and no 4 in Tesco) and has so far sold more than 80,000 copies. Both novels were also long-listed for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Following the success of my first two novels I got another two-book deal from Headline Review, with Things I Wish I’d Known being the first of these. I am currently working on my fourth novel.

I enjoy travelling.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Quercus Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Last Thing She Told Me by Linda Green 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/2718399363

A Taste of . . . Tuesday – The Town With No Roads by Joe Siple

The Town with No Roads

Today I would like to tempt your reading tastebuds with a little tidbit from The Town With No Roads by Joe Siple, published by Black Rose Writing.

<i>Everyone has a story to tell.

That truth has bound humanity together for ages. From the caveman who discovered fire to the toddler who fell off the monkey bars, every person who has lived could say those magical words: “Guess what happened ?”

And that was where Jamison Hightower fit in. He told people’s stories.

Some people said his stories didn’t matter. Actually, most people said his stories didn’t matter. They thought the important part of the news was at the top of the show. The latest cheaters on Wall Street or the murder on the corner of 7th and Fairfax. Or even the weather  –  as if the chance of rain was somehow more important than stories of humanity.

They mocked his assignments. Called them ‘fluff’ and ‘kickers’. Half the time Chance Browner went over his allotted four minutes just so he could point out yet again that people care more about the Twins-Yankees game than about Mrs Hutchinson’s fundraiser over at St Francis Elementary.

“People thank me every day for cutting into your time,” Browner had said last week. “No one cares what you have to say.”

And it was probably true. But it didn’t change the fact that someone needed to say it. At least that’s the way Jamison Hightower saw things.</i>

ABOUT THIS BOOK:  A miracle has come to Sparkling Pond, Minnesota.

Memorable objects from Aspen Collins’ childhood are appearing in the town square, accompanied by notes in her father’s handwriting. The notes relate to things happening in her life now. But that’s impossible —Aspen’s father is in a coma.

The miracle brings chaos in the form of a ghost hunter, three different factions of people with conflicting beliefs about the miracle, and a television reporter who Aspen finds herself falling for. But when everything comes to a head, an impossible choice must be made. And the consequences of either decision could be too much to bear.

I hope that I have tempted you to dip into The Town With No Roads by Joe Siple. I will be reading it soon, so watch for my review. And if you read it before I do, I look forward to hearing how you enjoyed it.

Happy reading my friends. 💕📚

Between the Lies by Michelle Adams

Between the Lies by Michelle    Adams

EXCERPT: My father tells me that once we have finished the therapy sessions everything will be as it once was, nothing more than a faint, well-healed scar left behind to connect my past to my present. But no matter what he does, no matter how hard he tries, I’m not going to be able to slip back into my old life. The person I used to be is dead, taken away from us in the crash. And even though I’m confused about most things, there is one thing I do know: you can’t bring the dead back to life. The old Chloe is gone, and I’m afraid I might never get her back.

I’m more afraid that my family don’t want me to.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life.
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?

MY THOUGHTS: I am at that age where I sometimes forget things. I swear I put something somewhere, and find it somewhere totally different. I leave the room to do something and, halfway to wherever I am going, forget what it was I was going to do. Frustrating and annoying as this may be, it palls in comparison to forgetting your whole life, at having to rely on what people, whom you don’t remember, tell you is the truth. But then, why would they lie?

I felt that I was being swept along by an avalanche as I read Between the Lies by Michelle Adams. I started it when I went to bed last night, and finished it before bed tonight. It has all the ingredients of a great read: secrets, lies, memory loss, manipulative people, death and deceit.

Told mainly from Chloe’s point of view, with occasional input from an unknown character, the pace is relentless, the plot full of surprises. Trying to unravel the identity of the unknown character had me accusing character after character of being ‘the one’. Yes, I did get it right, eventually. . .

This is a really good read, not a perfect read, but a really good one. Good enough to have me chasing up other books by this author. It is not always entirely plausible, there are a couple of smallish holes in the technicalities, but overall I really enjoyed Between the Lies.

💕💖💕💖

THE AUTHOR: I was born in 1981, the youngest of five and the only girl. For a short period of time after that I might have been my mum’s long awaited princess, but it became obvious that I was the kind of child who was more into mud pies and catching insects than I was pretty dresses. I loved my purple Doc Marten’s, hated my floral wallpaper, and was never allowed to paint my bedroom black. No, not even the ceiling.

I went to school in Warwick, UK, and throughout my school years I loved art, music, and English, yet somehow managed to end up studying clinical science at university. Despite my graduation and subsequent employment as a physiologist in cardiology, my creative tendencies were never far away. And the one aspiration I could never let go of was that of being a writer, so on a wet new year’s eve sometime around the turn of the millennium, I announced to a friend that I was going to write a book. It took another five years of note taking and day dreaming, but eventually I sat down to complete my first manuscript. It didn’t get picked up, but it drove me into writing the second, and third, and so on and so forth. By early 2015 I had finished writing MY SISTER, and I was offered representation by the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV, and Film Agency. MY SISTER became my debut, and it is hotly followed by BETWEEN THE LIES in July 2018.

Now I write almost every day, starting at nine, finishing at some point in the afternoon. Sometimes people ask me where I get my idea’s from, and it’s a hard question to answer. Lot’s of things inspire me, but if I had to sum it up in one word the answer would probably be people; the things we do, say, and the different ways in which we behave towards one another. When I’m not writing I love to read. The first book that I didn’t want to end was Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and the first book that broke my heart was Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Gerald’s Game by Stephen King was the spark that made me want to write in the first place. I think I was probably about nine when I read that.

I like people who don’t give up on their dreams, and those who show compassion for other people. I am crazy about my cat, and fortunate that the other people in my house tolerate him. I love travelling, and am lucky enough to live close to Greece which has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. I’m currently training for the London marathon, so if you’ve got training tips, or ideas on how to avoid shin splints, I want to hear them. Finally, if you love Game of Thrones you can count me as a friend, but if you shared my theory regarding the Tower of Joy before you watched THAT episode, or have access to a pre-release copy of The Winds of Winter, you can count yourself part of the family.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Between the Lies by Michelle Adams 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/2628426009