Watching what I’m reading . . .

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there. May you all have a wonderful day. Mine is being a very lazy one. It’s cool and raining steadily so I haven’t moved far from the fire. The cat and I are very happy at our respective ends of the sofa.

I have spent a great deal of the week in Ireland, mainly Counties Kerry and Mayo, with the occasional foray back to Entry Island, and now I am in Decatur, Georgia. Where have you been this week, and where are you now?

Currently I am reading Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson. I started it this morning and am already a little over halfway through. She sure knows how to ramp up the tension! I have to admit that when I was approved for this I let out a whoop of joy and did a victory dance around the coffee table.

I am not currently listening to an audiobook, having had two dnfs in a row, but I will log into my library site this afternoon and pick something up.

I am still reading Entry Island by Peter May – yes, I know this is week 3, but I am reading a physical copy and only pick it up when my Kindle is on the charger. It is a good read, and I am enjoying it greatly.

This week I am planning on reading The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain.

He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder.

Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning, it’s the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death.

Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect.

But it was all built on the perfect lie. 

And Twisted Lies by Angela Marsons

Her stomach lurches as she sits in the windowless room. He throws her phone to the ground, grinds it against the floor with the heel of his shoe and brings his face closer to hers. There was no turning back now, her life as she knew it was gone.

When the lifeless body of a man is found on an industrial estate, Detective Kim Stone arrives on the scene and discovers he’s been tortured in the worst way imaginable.

But as she breaks the devastating news to the victim’s wife, Diane Phipps, Kim can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right about the woman’s reaction.

Twenty-four hours later, the victim’s family disappears into thin air.

Then a second body is found staked to the ground in a local nature reserve.

Desperate to crack the case open quickly, Kim and her team unravel a vital clue – a fiercely guarded secret that links both victims and could cost even more lives.

A secret that some police officers are also protecting.

Faced with deceit from those she should be able to trust, family members who won’t talk, and local reporter, Tracy Frost, opening a can of worms on the case of a woman murdered by her husband a year ago – Kim is in deep water like never before.

Kim must find the motive if she is to find the killer who is systematically targeting and torturing his victims. But can she unlock the shocking truth and stop him before he strikes again?

My requesting finger has been working overtime again with seven new ARCs on my shelf this week 😬😂❤📚

The Beach House by Jenny Hale – don’t you just love that cover!

Still by Matt Nable – a new Australian author for me.

A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

Cabin Fever by Alex Dahl – an invitation!

A Body at the Tearooms by Dee MacDonald

Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham

And Legacy by Nora Roberts (audiobook)

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a wonderful week.

The Coffin Maker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride

EXCERPT: There were shackles fixed to the bricks opposite, the chains furry with rust. A mattress on the floor, filthy with brown stains. Heavy-duty stainless-steel hooks, screwed into the beams of the floor above. More brown stains on the concrete floor beneath them.

Another line of Polaroids hung on either side of the shackles. Only in these ones, the people weren’t smiling. In these ones, the colours were mostly reds and blacks.

Alice crept forwards, pulling a reluctant Henry with her.

‘What the hell is this place?’

I cleared my throat.

Wasn’t easy.

All those small, square photographs in their rectangular white ‘frames’, the greying plastic stained with the dark swirls of bloody fingerprints.

Just like the ones that used to turn up on the birthday cards for Rebecca . . .

‘Ash?’

I swallowed something bitter. ‘It’s a kill room.’

ABOUT ‘THE COFFIN MAKER’S GARDEN’: A village on the edge…
As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the North Sea. But the crumbling headland has revealed what he’s got buried in his garden: human remains.

A house full of secrets…
With the storm still raging, it’s too dangerous to retrieve the bodies and waves are devouring the evidence. Which means no one knows how many people Smith’s already killed and how many more he’ll kill if he can’t be found and stopped.

An investigator with nothing to lose…
The media are baying for blood, the top brass are after a scapegoat, and ex-Detective Inspector Ash Henderson is done playing nice. He’s got a killer to catch, and God help anyone who gets in his way.

MY THOUGHTS: I don’t know how Stuart MacBride does it. Innovative plotting, the most complete characters, and black humor. MacBride is one of those few authors whose books play out like a movie in my head as I read. I can see what he writes. I can hear his characters. I can feel their emotions.

No one would ever want to cross this author. Death would be painful and drawn out, the body never recovered. He’s so good, he’s scary!!! Oldcastle is a fictional town in the northeast of Scotland, home to ‘Mother’s Misfits’, the dumping ground for Police Scotland’s disgraced and undesirables. It’s also a place where terrible things happen.

The Coffin Maker’s Garden is deliciously creepy and oh so twisty. A tale that starts out on a dark and stormy night and just keeps getting better and better. My interest never flagged for a second.

If you like dark, gruesome reads with great characters and a good dollop of black humour, you can’t beat a Stuart MacBride novel.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

P.s. I would listen to narrator Ian Hanmore read the telephone book.

#TheCoffinMakersGarden

I: @stuart.macbride @harpercollins

T: @StuartMacBride @HarperCollins

#fivestarread #contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #murdermystery #scottishnoir #serialkillerthriller #suspense #thriller

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of The Coffin Maker’s Garden written by Stuart MacBride and narrated by Ian Hanmore.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.com

The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson

Due to be published Tuesday 4th May 2021

EXCERPT: I place the laptop on the side table, stand, and walk into the kitchen.

Slowly. Up the hardwood stairs, sixteen steps I’ve climbed thousands of times.

Second floor. The hallway stretches before me, shorter than I remember as a child, but long enough to still swallow all my courage in the middle of the night.

It was here.

This hallway.

The hallway, and then the stairs. It ended on the stairs.

I close my eyes, as if inviting the memories back, and they come.

That night.

His face.

His fear.

ABOUT ‘THE DEAD HUSBAND’: Twenty years ago an unspeakable tragedy rocked Rose Yates’s small, affluent hometown… and only Rose and her family know the truth about what happened.

Haunted by guilt, Rose escaped into a new life. Now she seems to have it all: a marriage, a son, a career. And then her husband is found dead.

As far as Detective Colin Pearson is concerned, Rose is guilty. Her marriage wasn’t as happy as she’d led everyone to believe, and worse, she’s connected to a twenty-year-old cold case. She can play the part of the victim, but he won’t let her or her family escape justice this time around.

Grieving her husband and struggling to make ends meet, Rose returns home, hoping to finally confront her domineering father and unstable sister. But memories of a horrific crime echo through the house, and Rose soon learns that she can’t trust anyone, especially not the people closest to her.

MY THOUGHTS: I swear, it took a full twenty-four hours for my breathing to return to normal and my head to stop spinning after I finished The Dead Husband.

Tense, intense, suspenseful, gripping, addictive. Right up there with Mr Tender’s Girl.

And that’s all you’re going to get from me. Just get a copy, clear the day (because, trust me, once you pick it up…), and read it.

⭐❤⭐❤⭐❤⭐❤⭐❤

#TheDeadHusband #NetGalley

I: @carterwilsonauthor @poisonedpenpress

T: @PPPress

#fivestarread #crime #familydrama #mystery #suspense #thriller

THE AUTHOR: USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Carter Wilson was born in New Mexico and grew up in Los Angeles before attending Cornell University. As a consultant and frequent lecturer, has journeyed the globe both for work and pleasure, and as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
Carter lives in Erie, Colorado in a Victorian house that is spooky but isn’t haunted…yet.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter

EXCERPT: I wonder what she would have said if she knew the truth.

Gavin Parrie isn’t stupid, she’s right about that. And he’d have a hell of a lot to lose, she’s right about that too. But he does have a reason. A reason that might – perhaps – be worth the risk.

Revenge.

Because he wasn’t just venting, that day, in court.

He was guilty. He knows that and I know that. But there’s something else we both know.

Gavin Parrie was convicted on a lie.

ABOUT ‘THE WHOLE TRUTH’: An attractive student. An older professor.

Think you know the story? Think again.

She has everything at stake; he has everything to lose. But one of them is lying, all the same.

When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.

Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.

Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching.

And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good.

MY THOUGHTS: The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter has two storylines involving DI Adam Fawley. There’s a distinctly different and muddied case of sexual assault, and an old case of Adam’s, which actively involves his very pregnant wife Alex, looks like it is coming back to haunt them.

This is a heart-in-the-mouth addition to an excellent series. I have become quite fond of Adam and his team, most of whom are loyal to their boss. But there’s always one, isn’t there, who wants to take him down.

There are plenty of twists and turns in both storylines and at times I felt like I was in a tumble dryer and didn’t know which way was up. Cara Hunter has done a wonderful job of making this work. At no point was I in any way confused, just incredibly excited and invested in the outcome.

Hunter has seamlessly blended two intriguing storylines with a progression in the characters personal lives. Adam and Alex’s is fraught with tension on several fronts, and we learn a bit more about Asante.

Another thing I really appreciated was the refresher on the series characters at the beginning of the book. Other authors, please take note.

The one fly in the ointment for me was the reproduction of Alex’s notes. It was totally unreadable on the Kindle. 🤷‍♀️

The narration on the audiobook was excellent. It was provided by Lee Ingleby, Emma Cunnliffe and Roy McMillan.

⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

#TheWholeTruth #NetGalley #carahunterauthor #penguinukbooks #penguinrandomhouse

@CaraHunterBooks @PenguinUKBooks @PenguinRandom

#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #murdermystery #series

THE AUTHOR: Cara Hunter is a writer who lives in Oxford, in a street not unlike those featured in her series of crime books.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Penguin Random House UK audio and Penguin General UK via Netgalley for providing both a digital and audio ARC for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

Watching what I’m reading . . .

I have had a busy week dashing from dashing back and forth from the remote Entry Island in the Gulf of St Lawrence 850 miles from the Canadian mainland with Peter May, to Scotland with Stuart MacBride, to Gozo, a Maltese Island, and Snowdonia with C.L. Taylor, to Alexandria, Cairo and London with Carol Cooper! I feel quite exhausted 😂🤣

Where have you been this week? Leave me a message and tell me about your travels.

Currently I am reading the amazing and addictive The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson. I started it this morning and haven’t been able to put it down! I adored Mr Tender’s Girl back in 2017, and The Dead Husband is on track to be another five star read.

I am also reading Entry Island by Peter May.

And am almost finished listening to The Coffin Maker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride. This has taken somewhat longer than usual as I am training new staff, so can’t listen to my audiobooks as I am working. Definitely no reflection on the plot, author or narrator. All are excellent.

This week I am planning on reading The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan

When Elizabeth’s husband dies, leaving her with crippling debt, she must turn to her friend, Jo for help, who calls in her daughter, Lucy to run the village surgery. Leaving her city life, and past demons, behind, Lucy is determined to make the most of her fresh start.

As life slowly begins to resemble something normal for the three women, Jo’s world is turned upside down when she receives some shocking news.

In search of some solace, Jo and Elizabeth find themselves enjoying midnight dips in the freezing Irish sea. Here they can laugh, cry and wash away all their fears. As well as conjure a fundraising plan for the local hospice; to take a dip in the nip. 

And The Lost Girls of Ireland by Susanne O’Leary

The picturesque beach of Wild Rose Bay is the last place Lydia Butler thought she’d be. But having just lost everything, the run-down cottage she inherited from her Great Aunt Nellie is the only place she can take her daughter, Sunny. Hidden away in a tiny Irish village, she can protect Sunny from the gossip in Dublin, and the real reason they have nowhere else to live…

The cottage is part of the old coastguard station and other eccentric residents are quick to introduce themselves when Lydia arrives. Lydia instantly feels less alone, fascinated by the stories they have about Nellie, and she’s charmed by American artist, Jason O’Callaghan, the mysterious man who lives next door.

But the longer Lydia relaxes under the moonlit sky, the more the secret she’s keeping from Sunny threatens to come out. And as she finds herself running into Jason’s arms, she knows she must be honest and face up to the past she has tried to forget. Has she finally found people who will truly accept her, or will the truth force her to leave the cottage for good?

I also plan on listening to The Silent Suspect by Nell Pattison

A FIRE. A MURDER. A SILENT SUSPECT…

On a quiet street, one house is burning to the ground…

By the time sign language interpreter Paige Northwood arrives, flames have engulfed her client’s home. Though Lukas is safe, his wife is still inside. But she was dead before the fire started…

Lukas signs to Paige that he knows who killed his wife. But then he goes silent – even when the police charge him with murder.

Is he guilty, or afraid? Only Paige can help him now…

I have seven new ARCs this week . . .

An Ambush of Widows by Jeff Abbott, an author I used to read regularly but whom has somehow dropped off my reading radar for no particular reason that I can recall. Though I have just noticed that this is an excerpt only, which is a bit disappointing.

The Marriage Mender by Linda Green

Boy Underground by Catherine Ryan-Hyde

Dream Girl in Laura Lippman

The Stalker by Sarah Alderson

Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

And 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

So that’s it from me for today. I need to get back to The Dead Husband . . . I am going to have to finish this before I go to sleep tonight.

Please do tell me where your reading travels have taken you this week. Happy reading!❤📚 Sandy

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

EXCERPT: On her bedside table, the clock clicks forward another minute. Each tiny hair on her arm rises until her skin is stippled with goosebumps.

4.07 am

Even now, that combination of digits has the power to root her in place.

Twenty-one years ago, in another bedroom and another life, a different clock stopped forever at precisely the same time, a web of hairline cracks across its face.

(She) never speaks about that night. The past is put away now. It will not define her. She tries her best not to think about it, but every now and then it shoves its way in, ugly and unwelcome. The devil’s clock, her mother called it, those hollow hours before dawn when the darkness is full of horrors and sleep will not come.

ABOUT ‘WHEN I WAS TEN’: Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little blonde haired sisters. Their Dad was the local GP and they lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their best friend, Brinley Booth, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shifted on that fateful day when Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were stabbed fourteen times with a pair of scissors in what has become the most talked about double murder of the modern age.

The girls were aged ten and twelve at the time. One, nicknamed the Angel of Death, spent eight years in a children’s secure unit accused of the brutal killings. The other lived in foster care out of the limelight and prying questions. Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down one of the sisters, persuading her to speak about the events of that night for the first time.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and Brinley Booth, now a journalist, is tasked with covering the news story which brings to light fresh evidence and triggers a chain of events which will have devastating consequences.

MY THOUGHTS: Fiona Cummins does this to me every time. No matter how prepared I think I am, I end up breath held, heart in my mouth, my whole body tensed and poised to take flight.

When I Was Ten is not a comfortable, nor a comforting read. But it was one that I couldn’t put down, or stop thinking about. Nature vs Nurture, and what goes on behind closed doors …. this book is like Pandora’s box. You open the cover and there are things contained within that will forever be on your mind. The subject matter is very dark – parricide, and child abuse to start with. As well as the more mundane and ordinary topics of loss, grief, infidelity, grooming, secrets, lies, betrayals, manipulation and . . . . well, you name it, and Cummins has it covered. But it works – brilliantly.

The characters are well crafted and believable, not to mention interesting. Very interesting.

When I Was Ten also examines the powerful influence of social media and the press, and the ways in which the users of social media can and do flout the law.

There is a lot of food for thought in this novel. But it’s not going to demand that you acknowledge it. If you are simply looking for a read that will leave your heart pounding – this is it. The rest is window dressing. Chilling and thrilling.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#WhenIWasTen #NetGalley

I: @fionacumminsauthor @panmacmillan

T:

THE AUTHOR: Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course. She lives in Essex with her family.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Pan Macmillan via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my Goodreads.com

Watching what I’m reading . . .

I was so looking forward to Luke coming to stay for a three day weekend, but he has been unwell since the trip home with an upset stomach that started when we broke our journey to take advantage of the wonderful playground in the next town north of here. It’s a lovely playground but we had only been there a little over five minutes and we had to dash for the toilets. 🤦‍♀️

So we’ve done none of the things I had planned. He’s been quite content to lay on the couch with his cuddlies and have me read him books. He will probably come right just in time for me to take him home. 🤷‍♀️

Currently I am reading When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins.

There’s more to this than immediately obvious and I have my suspicions. Time will tell if I am right.

And I am listening to The Coffin Maker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride

This week I am planning on reading Her Last Holiday by C.L. Taylor.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?

And The Girls From Alexandria by Carol Cooper

Memories are fragile when you are seventy years old. I can’t afford to lose any more of them, not when remembering the past might help with the here and now.

Nadia needs help. Help getting out of her hospital bed. Help taking her pills. One thing she doesn’t need help with is remembering her sister. But she does need help finding her.

Alone and abandoned in a London hospital, 70-year-old Nadia is facing the rest of her life spent in a care home unless she can contact her sister Simone… who’s been missing for 50 years.

Despite being told she’s ‘confused’ and not quite understanding how wi-fi works, Nadia is determined to find Simone. So with only cryptic postcards and her own jumbled memories to go on, Nadia must race against her own fading faculties and find her sister before she herself is forgotten.

I also plan on starting Entry Island by Peter May for the Goodreads.com Mystery, Crime and Thriller group read for April. I am a bit behind everyone else in starting this, but really enjoy Peter May and haven’t previously read this title.

When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal’s St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime’s destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants – the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim’s wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

Haunted by this certainty his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away. Dreams in which the widow plays a leading role. Sime’s conviction becomes an obsession. And in spite of mounting evidence of her guilt he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professonal duty he must fulfil, and the personal destiny that awaits him.

I have five new ARCs from Netgalley again this week and one audiobook ARC.

The audiobook is The Day She Died by S.M. Freeman and narrated by Lauren Ezzo.

The Kindle ARCs are The Hope Chest by Carolyn Brown

The Vacation by M.M. Chouinard

The Forever Home by Sue Watson

You Need to Know by Nicola Moriarty

And The Heights by Louise Candlish

And that’s a lot more than I intended requesting!

Happy reading my friends ❤📚

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Is it my imagination, or are Sundays, and therefore Mondays, coming around more quickly than they did earlier in the year? Or is it just because I am still working 7 days….? Not quite true as I had yesterday off for Luke’s 4th birthday. It was a lovely day, the children were all very well behaved and had lots of fun. The birthday cake was a lovely rich moist chocolate cake in the shape of two volcanoes with lava flows and roaming dinosaurs.

The smaller volcano was Dustin’s gluten free cake. We had a dehumidifier under the larger volcano but the kids were so excited and wanting to help Luke blow out his candles that we didn’t have a chance to plug it in and let it blow steam. I wish I had taken a photo when we did the very brief test run as it was quite spectacular! Luke got lots of dinosaur themed gifts and had a great time with his friends.

I am just about to start Robert Dugoni’s In Her Tracks, Tracy Crosswhite #8.

Returning from an extended leave in her hometown of Cedar Grove, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself reassigned to the Seattle PD’s cold case unit. As the protective mother of an infant daughter, Tracy is immediately drawn to her first file: the abduction of a five-year-old girl whose parents, embattled in a poisonous divorce, were once prime suspects.

While reconstructing the days leading up to the girl’s disappearance, Tracy is brought into an active investigation with former partner Kinsington Rowe. A young woman has vanished on an isolated jogging trail in North Seattle. Divided between two critical cases, Tracy has little to go on except the treacherous deceptions behind a broken marriage—and now, the secrets hiding behind the closed doors of a deceptively quiet middle-class neighborhood.

To find two missing persons, Tracy will have to follow more than clues, which are both long cold and unsettlingly fresh. Given her own traumatic past, Tracy must also follow her instincts—to whatever dark and dangerous places they may lead. 

I also intend to read When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins.

She had lived a lie for thirteen years, and the perfect life as she had known it was about to change forever.

Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little blonde haired sisters. Their Dad was the local GP and they lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their best friend, Brinley Booth, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shifted on that fateful day when Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were stabbed fourteen times with a pair of scissors in what has become the most talked about double murder of the modern age.

The girls were aged ten and twelve at the time. One, nicknamed the Angel of Death, spent eight years in a children’s secure unit accused of the brutal killings. The other lived in foster care out of the limelight and prying questions. Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down one of the sisters, persuading her to speak about the events of that night for the first time.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and Brinley Booth, now a journalist, is tasked with covering the news story which brings to light fresh evidence and triggers a chain of events which will have devastating consequences.

I have just started listening to The Coffin Maker’s Garden, #3 in Stuart MacBride’s Ash Henderson series.

A village on the edge…
As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the North Sea. But the crumbling headland has revealed what he’s got buried in his garden: human remains.

A house full of secrets…
With the storm still raging, it’s too dangerous to retrieve the bodies and waves are devouring the evidence. Which means no one knows how many people Smith’s already killed and how many more he’ll kill if he can’t be found and stopped.

An investigator with nothing to lose…
The media are baying for blood, the top brass are after a scapegoat, and ex-Detective Inspector Ash Henderson is done playing nice. He’s got a killer to catch, and God help anyone who gets in his way.

I am also reading The Women Who Ran Away by Sheila O’Flanagan. Don’t you just love this cover!

Deira is setting out on the holiday she’d planned with her long-term partner Gavin… only she’s on her own. Gavin will not be amused when he finds out she’s ‘borrowed’ his car, but since their brutal break-up Deira’s not been acting rationally. Maybe a drive through beautiful France will help her see things differently…Grace is also travelling alone, each stage of her journey outlined in advance by her late husband. Ken was head of the household when he was alive, and it seems he’s still in charge. His last decision was a surprise – could there be more surprises to come? There’s only one way to find out, galling though it is to dance again to Ken’s tune…Thrown together by chance, Deira and Grace are soon motoring down the French highways, sharing intriguing stories of their pasts, as they each consider the future.

I will be lucky to finish all these this week, but I will give it my best shot.

I was excited to receive a publisher’s widget for Stolen by Tess Stimson this week. One in Three by the same author was one of the best books that I read last year.

I also received four ARCs from Netgalley – All Her Fault by Andrea Mara

The Car Share by Zoe Brisby

The Marriage by K.L. Slater

Finding Tessa by Jaime Lynn Hendricks

Is that better, Susan? I did it for you, my friend! 🤣😂

Have a wonderful week of reading and please do pop in and tell me what you currently turning the pages of. ❤📚

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Happy Sunday. Luke has just gone home with his Dad and I have done a quick sweep around the house. I found a pair of his socks halfway down the hall, and his raptor in the dining room after we had been playing dinosaur hide and seek.

We have also baked cookies, caught up with all the laundry, and read lots of stories. He is starting to make up stories of his own now. I should write them down for him and illustrate them. Something to keep in mind for his next visit. Luke turns 4 next week and we’re having a birthday party for him next Saturday.

But, on to books….. I am currently reading Sally Hepworth’s The Good Sister.

Die of Shame by Mark Billingham

And listening to Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo, #2 in the Kate Burkholder series that I had somehow missed reading.

This week I am planning on reading The Whispers by Heidi Perks.

A MISSING WIFE. FOUR FRIENDS. WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?

Anna Robinson hasn’t been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.

She has a loving husband and a son she adores. Surely she wouldn’t abandon them and her perfect life. . .

But what has happened to her?

At the school gates, it’s not long before the rumours start. Anna’s oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry – desperately searching for answers, and certain that someone is hiding the truth.

With each day that passes, Anna’s life is under increasing threat. And a the pressure mounts, it won’t be long before something cracks. . .

I am keeping my reading load deliberately light because of my workload, but if I can, I will add a title from my backlist.

Only two new ARCs this week: Twisted Lies by Angela Marsons

And A Family Affair by Julie Houston

What are you planning on reading this week? Have a great one.

Cheers

Sandy ❤📚

Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

EXCERPT: I haven’t looked at this music since the day I bought it in Rome. Now, as I clip the page to the stand, I think of that gloomy antiques shop, and the proprietor, lurking like some cave creature in the alcove. Goose bumps suddenly stipple my skin, as if the chill of the shop still clings to this music.

I pick up my violin and begin to play.

On this humid afternoon, my instrument sounds deeper, richer than ever, the tone mellow and warm. The first thirty-two bars of the waltz are as beautiful as I’d imagined, a lament in a mournful baritone. But at measure forty, the notes accelerate. The melody twists and turns, jarred by the accidentals, and soars into the seventh position on the E-string. Sweat breaks out on my face as I struggle to stay in tune and maintain the tempo. I feel as if my bow takes off on its own, that it’s moving as though bewitched and I’m just struggling to hold onto it. Oh, what glorious music this is! What a performance piece, if I can master it. The notes skitter up the scale. Suddenly I lose all control and everything goes off-pitch, my left hand cramping as the music builds to a frenzy.

A small hand grasps my leg. Something warm and wet smears my skin.

I stop playing and look down. Lily stares up at me, her eyes as clear as turquoise water. Even as I jump up in dismay and wrench the garden tool from her bloody hand, not a ripple disturbs her calm blue eyes. Her bare feet have tracked footprints across the patio flagstone. With growing horror, I follow those footprints back to the source of the blood.

Then I start screaming.

ABOUT ‘PLAYING WITH FIRE’: What if your child wanted you dead?

Julia doesn’t understand what is happening to her daughter, but she thinks she knows what’s causing it. She is terrified for Lily, and for herself, but what scares her more is that no one believes her.

If she is going to help Lily, she will have to find the answers alone, embarking on a search that will take her to the shadowy back streets of Venice.

There, Julia uncovers a heartbreaking, long-buried tale of tragedy and devastation – a discovery that puts her in serious danger. Some people will do anything in their power to keep the truth silent…

MY THOUGHTS: Wow! I picked this up and didn’t put it down until I had finished. Playing With Fire is an extremely cleverly crafted novel. The melody in ‘Incendio’ is not the only thing that twists and turns.

We switch between present day Brookline, Massachusetts with violinist Julia Ansdell, and the late 1930’s in Venice, Italy with violinist Lorenzo Todesco, composer of Incendio.

Interspersed with Julia’s battles to master this complex composition, and the atrocities perpetrated by her three year old daughter Lily, is Lorenzo’s story which takes place as the rights of the Italian Jews are being eroded, and eventually as they are rounded up and sent north to ‘labour camps.’ But as we all know, they were no labour camps. The reality was far more grim.

Playing With Fire gripped me from the first page to the last. There is a palpable sense of menace emanating from both storylines. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to fear that your angelic looking three year old daughter is trying to kill you. Nor what it must be like to be torn from your home in the middle of the night with only the clothes on your back, herded away from everything that is familiar and dear to you, and then forcibly separated from your loved ones.

Playing With Fire was nothing like I expected. It was even better.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#PlayingWithFire #NetGalley #tess.gerritsen #bantampress

@tessgerritsen @BantamPress

#fivestarread #contemporaryfiction #crime #familydrama #historicalfaction #mystery #thriller

THE AUTHOR: Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishing, Bantam Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen for review. I unreservedly apologise for taking so long to read this. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

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