Watching what I’m reading . . .

Good afternoon all. Currently I am reading The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan. This is very different to her Cormac Reilly series, but is definitely gripping.

I am also reading Beneath Cruel Waters by Jon Bassoff.

and am almost finished listening to The Bletchley Women by Patricia Adrian. Although it’s not what I was expecting, I am enjoying it.

I’ve had a good reading week and will finish all four books I had scheduled either tonight or early tomorrow, although I am again a bit behind with writing reviews.

This week I am reading The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

Six Graves by Angela Marsons

It’s a typical teenage bedroom with posters covering the walls and clothes littering the floor. But the girl lying on her bed, wearing a delicate chain around her neck, is lifeless. A circle of red stains her white vest top and Kim feels a sharp stab of sadness. How had the girl’s mother looked down at her sleeping child and pulled the trigger?

When Detective Kim Stone rushes to the scene of a house fire, she’s shocked to discover it’s claimed the lives of two teenage children and their parents. But this tragedy is not quite as it seems. Each body is marked by a gunshot wound and the mother, Helen Daynes, is holding the gun.

The case sparks painful childhood memories for Kim who suffered at the hands of her own abusive mother. As she begins to untangle the dark web of secrets within the Daynes family, Kim and her team discover Helen had a history of clinical depression. But could it have driven her to murder her loved ones?

Then Kim uncovers a tiny, vital clue in Helen’s bedroom that throws the investigation wide open. Could someone else have killed the Daynes family?

With the case only just underway, a deadly threat is made to Kim’s own life. Years ago, she rescued two little girls from the clutches of a dangerous psychopath who has just escaped prison and is coming for her.

A witness protection officer glued to her side, Kim must bite back her fear, as she keeps digging into the Daynes’s background and soon hits upon a shocking secret from Helen’s past that could crack the case. With the remaining family members in danger, Kim is under pressure like never before.

The monster circling Kim raises the stakes when he threatens the life of another innocent victim. He’s leading Kim straight to him. Forced to go against direct instructions from her superiors, will that one fateful decision cost her more than her job?

Blood Sugar by Sacha Rothchild

“I could just kill you right now!” It’s something we’ve all thought at one time or another. But Ruby has actually acted on it. Three times, to be exact.

Though she may be a murderer, Ruby is not a sociopath. She is an animal-loving therapist with a thriving practice. She’s felt empathy and sympathy. She’s had long-lasting friendships and relationships, and has a husband, Jason, whom she adores. But the homicide detectives at Miami Beach PD are not convinced of her happy marriage. When we meet Ruby, she is in a police interrogation room, being accused of Jason’s murder. Which, ironically, is one murder that she did not commit, though her vicious mother-in-law and a scandal-obsessed public believe differently. As she undergoes questioning, Ruby’s mind races back to all the details of her life that led her to this exact moment, and to the three dead bodies in her wake. Because though she may not have killed her husband, Ruby certainly isn’t innocent.

And The Last to Disappear by Jo Spain

A small town. A frozen lake. Three missing women. One body.

When young London professional Alex Evans is informed that his sister’s body has been pulled from an icy lake in Northern Lapland, he assumes his irresponsible sister accidentally drowned. He travels to the wealthy winter resort where Vicky worked as a tour-guide and meets Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge. Agatha is a no-nonsense single mother of three who already thinks there’s more to Vicky’s case than meets the eye.

As the two form an unlikely alliance, Alex also begins to suspect the small town where his sister lived and died is harbouring secrets. It’s not long before he learns that three other women have gone missing from the area in the past and that his sister may have left him a message.

On the surface, Koppe, Lapland is a winter wonderland. But in this remote, frozen place, death seems only ever a heartbeat away. 

I will be listening to After Happily Ever After by Leslie A. Rasmussen

Maggie Dolan finds herself at forty-five at a crossroads in her life. Once a high-level executive, she’s chosen to be a stay-at-home mom for the last seventeen years. But now with her daughter, Gia, soon leaving for college, and her husband, disconnected and with secrets he hasn’t shared, Maggie decides it’s time to figure out what she wants for the rest of her life. As she begins her journey, she has to deal with a narcissistic mother, a brother who doesn’t like her and most damaging of all, the news that her father, her rock, has medical issues that may take him from her. Overwhelmed by all these issues, she’s led in a direction that could destroy what she’s built and make her question the choices she’s made. She’s torn between the life she’s always known and something more exciting that she never expected.

Five new ARCs this week: An Island Summer by Jenny Hale

The Seamstress of New Orleans by Diane C. McPhail

When We Had Wings by Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, and Susan Meissner

The Guilty Couple by C.L. Taylor

and The Saint of Lost Things by Tish Delaney

The fire is blazing and a roast of lamb is cooking in the oven. We are forecast rain tomorrow. Will it arrive? The clouds look promising, but we’ve been here before . . . To all my friends in Queensland please stay safe. It looks like you have another week of heavy rain on the way. Keep calm and read on.

❤📚

Sandy’s April Roundup

A chance to see what I managed achieve and what I didn’t manage to read over April, which was a scary month to begin with.

I started off with twenty-four books to read/listen for review, but with last minute approvals this blew out to twenty nine 🤯 I managed to read/listen to and review twenty books in April, which is a record for me. I was assisted by taking part in the April extended readathon with the All About Books group on Goodreads.com My April completion rate for a paltry 69% compared with 80% last month and 75% for each of the preceding two months.

Of the books that I read, one was a debut novel – The Echo Man by Sam Holland, and four were authors that I haven’t previously read. I didn’t manage to read any books from my backlist in April, but I did read three books purely for pleasure (in addition to the reads for review), two of them belonged to series I am trying to catch up on. I had Luke for the first week of the school holidays, and although we read a lot, it was all his books 🤣🤣❤

I am relieved see that my Netgalley feedback rate is still sitting on 69%. I felt sure it would have dropped.

So, to the books I never got to read during the month and which are joining my backlist:

The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Seigal

Paris, 2015. A crowd gathers outside the Chauvet home in the affluent suburban community of Maisons-Larue, watching as the family’s American au pair is led away in handcuffs after the sudden death of her young charge. The grieving mother believes the caretaker is to blame, and the neighborhood is thrown into chaos, unsure who is at fault–the enigmatic, young foreigner or the mother herself, who has never seemed an active participant in the lives of her children.

The truth lies with six women: Geraldine, a heartbroken French teacher struggling to support her vulnerable young students; Lou, an incompetent au pair who was recently fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother’s attention; Holly, a socially anxious au pair yearning to belong in her adopted country; and finally, Alena, the one accused of the crime, who has gone to great lengths to avoid emotional connection, and now finds herself caught in the turbulent power dynamics of her host family’s household.

Set during the weeks leading up to the event, The Caretakers is a poignant and suspenseful drama featuring complicated women. It’s a sensitive exploration of the weight of secrets, the pressures of country, community, and family–and miscommunications and misunderstandings that can have fatal consequences.

The Girls by Bella Osborne

Four old friends. Thrown back together after fifty years apart. What could possibly go wrong?

In the 1970s, The Girls were best friends sharing a flat and good times: Zara the famous diva actor, Val the uptight solicitor, Jackie the wild child and Pauline the quirky introvert. Now they’re in their twilight years, and Zara suggests that they live with her to support each other through old age.

Initially, being housemates again is just as much fun as in their heyday. But then Zara reveals the real reason she asked them to move in with her, and suddenly things take a sinister turn.

As the women confront their demons they come under the spotlight of the press, the police and an angry parrot. With their lives spiralling out of control can they save their friendships and each other?

The Best of Me by Sharon Sala

An orphaned little girl who desperately needs a new home
A couple ready to welcome her with open arms
Friendly neighbors who are always there for each other
A Southern small town where great things happen to good people

Ruby Butterman and her husband, Peanut, cannot have children, but they’re given a second chance at a family when eight-year-old orphan Carlie is left in their care. It’s a challenge for Carlie to adapt to a new town, a new school, and a new family, and when she gets bullied at school, Ruby and Peanut discover how to step up as parents, and how to make a forever family for their beloved little girl. 

Other People’s Lives by J.E. Rowney

Let me ask you. Are you worried that someone is watching you, or are you worried that you think someone is watching you?”

Sophie Portman has lost her husband, and she thinks she may be losing her mind.

She seeks the help of psychiatrist Andrew Thacker, but as she starts to open up, the truth begins to unravel and nothing is quite as it seems.

The Patient by Jane Shemilt

She is his doctor. He will be her downfall.

The bestselling phenomenon returns…

When Rachel meets Luc, the attraction is instant.
But she is a doctor, and he is her patient.
She gives him the drugs he needs – but in doing so, risks everything.
And when a secret is exposed, they’re both in the firing line.
Not all patients are telling the truth.

The Removal Man by R.J. Parker

Rose is moving. For her and her son, Noah, this is going to be a fresh start.

She’s almost finished packing but Noah is determined to spend one last night camping out in the garden like he used to. Rose agrees as long as he wraps up warm inside their small tent.

Four hours later she’s woken by a frantic banging on the window.

It’s Noah.

There’s someone in the garden.

That’s when Rose picks up the kitchen knife. 

A Body on the Beach by Dee MacDonald

It’s Tinworthy village’s summer fete: a brass band, cream teas, gentle gossip… and a body on the beach? The party’s just getting started for super sleuth Kate Palmer!

Kate Palmer thought spending the day at Tinworthy’s annual summer party would involve sea air, sunshine and Cornish cream cake – how very wrong she was! When Kate goes for a cliff-top walk she is shocked to spot the body of Sienna Stone – Cornwall’s biggest gossip – on the sandy beach below.

Rumours swirl around the close-knit community and all eyes are on Kate. Half the village saw her arguing with Sienna at the party earlier that day. It was the usual bickering between neighbours, but when Kate finds herself in the frame can she – and her new husband Woody Forrest – solve the puzzling death and clear her name?

There’s a long list of people who might have wanted to push Sienna – her long-suffering husband Irvin, her jealous younger sister Sally and Timmy Thomson, the man who idolised her, not to mention all the villagers who felt the sharp end of her tongue. Finding out the truth isn’t going to be easy…

Just as Kate thinks she’s getting closer to an answer, an unexpected afternoon visitor shares some curious information over tea and scones that sets her on an entirely different path. And soon she starts to wonder if she might be in real danger too…

Can Kate solve the curious case before the murderer declares the party over? Or have her days of sleuthing come to an end? 

Plus the audiobook The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim by Jules Wake

Ettie is trying to figure out her future.

Dominic’s just trying to forget his past.

But with the help of some unlikely friends, young and old, a secret lake hidden in the grounds of a beautiful estate and a scruffy dog, a new community is formed – right when they all need each other the most.

And I have started listening to The Bletchley Women by Patricia Adrian today

From debutante to farmer’s daughter all roads lead to Bletchley…

In a different world, Evie Milton would have accepted her fate, married an aristocrat, and become the doyenne of one of England’s finest estates, just like her mother.

In a different world, Rose Wiley would have married her fiancé, David, established a modest homestead, and brought up a brood of babies, just like her mother.

But this isn’t a different world and these women are not their mothers. Rose dreams of a life filled with more than family and duty to her husband – a life of purpose – and Evie dreams of a life far away from her rarefied existence. Now, as they perform vital work at Bletchley Park decoding intercepted Luftwaffe messages, their role in turning the tide of war in the Allies favour shows Evie and Rose they don’t have to settle for the life once laid out before them. 

Looking at May I have twenty Netgalley ARCs to read/listen for review, so hopefully that is achievable, as long as there are no late approvals for May published books. I am going back to work one or two days a week, and my youngest son is coming home from Australia for ten days so my reading time may take a bit of a hit.

I am currently reading one of my backtitles from 2017!😇

Have you read any of the titles I didn’t get to this month. Let me know what you thought of them.

Happy reading for May!❤📚

Watching what I’m reading…

Tomorrow, Monday 25 April, is a national day of remembrance observed in both Australia and New Zealand. Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918). Now it commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “acknowledges the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. My father served in the peace-keeping J-Force in Hiroshima. He loved his time in Japan and always wanted to return.

Autumn is definitely making its presence felt now. Our temperatures are down in single digits overnight and there is a very cool and gusty south-westerly blowing today. The trees are beginning to change colour and the grass growth has slowed down significantly. We’ve collected firewood this weekend and trimmed all the hedges.

Luke has been with us during the week and we took him home this morning. He starts school when it goes back in May. He seems to have grown up all of a sudden.

currently I am reading The Widow’s Husband by Lesley Sanderson

Forgotten by Nicole Trope, a title from my backlist.

and listening to One of Us is Dead by Geneva Rose

This week I have, again, overcommitted myself. My reads for review due are: In Bloom, a spring themed anthology by Fern Michaels, Carolyn Brown and Lori Foster

AMAZING GRACIE * Fern Michaels

After years spent traveling the world as a flight attendant, Gracie Walden is ready to stay a little closer to her roots, starting with two weeks at home in Amarillo, Texas. But there’s unexpected turbulence between her mother, Ella, and her older sister, Hope—and it will lead to a revelation that changes Gracie’s life in amazing ways . . .

THE MOTHER’S DAY CROWN * Carolyn Brown

Monica Allen still hasn’t forgiven Tyler Magee for breaking her heart when they were teenagers. Ten years on, they’re back in Luella, Texas, visiting their respective grandmothers. and there’s just a white picket fence and a whole lot of awkwardness between them. Will two weeks be long enough for Monica to learn to stop holding a grudge—and hold on to love?

MEANT TO BE * Lori Foster

When Cory Creed was just a little girl, she knew she’d grow up to marry Austin Winston—and she made the mistake of telling him so. Tired of watching him avoid her ever since, Cory has decided it’s time to leave Visitation, North Carolina, and Austin, behind. But Austin has finally realized what Cory was once so sure of, and now it’s his turn to prove they belong together . . . with a little help from their mothers.

No Less the Devil by Stuart MacBride

‘We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.’

It’s been seventeen months since the Bloodsmith butchered his first victim and Operation Maypole is still no nearer to catching him. The media is whipping up a storm, the top brass are demanding results, but the investigation is sinking fast.

Now isn’t the time to get distracted with other cases, but Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh doesn’t have much choice. When Benedict Strachan was just eleven, he hunted down and killed a homeless man. No one’s ever figured out why Benedict did it, but now, after sixteen years, he’s back on the streets again – battered, frightened, convinced a shadowy ‘They’ are out to get him, and begging Lucy for help.

It sounds like paranoia, but what if he’s right? What if he really is caught up in something bigger and darker than Lucy’s ever dealt with before? What if the Bloodsmith isn’t the only monster out there? And what’s going to happen when Lucy goes after them?

A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon

Linda has lived in a quiet neighborhood since fleeing the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is: pushing the vacuum around and cooking fish sticks for dinner, a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy magazines coming through the mail slot addressed to the previous occupant, Rebecca.

Linda’s husband Terry isn’t perfect—he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house, and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard—until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women in the town start to go missing.

If only Linda could track down and befriend Rebecca, maybe some of that enviable lifestyle would rub off on her and she wouldn’t have to worry about what Terry is up to. But the grass isn’t always greener and you can’t change who you really are. And some secrets can’t stay buried forever… 

A Body on the Beach (Kate Palmer #5) by Dee MacDonald

it’s

Tinworthy village’s summer fete: a brass band, cream teas, gentle gossip… and a body on the beach? The party’s just getting started for super sleuth Kate Palmer!

Kate Palmer thought spending the day at Tinworthy’s annual summer party would involve sea air, sunshine and Cornish cream cake – how very wrong she was! When Kate goes for a cliff-top walk she is shocked to spot the body of Sienna Stone – Cornwall’s biggest gossip – on the sandy beach below.

Rumours swirl around the close-knit community and all eyes are on Kate. Half the village saw her arguing with Sienna at the party earlier that day. It was the usual bickering between neighbours, but when Kate finds herself in the frame can she – and her new husband Woody Forrest – solve the puzzling death and clear her name?

There’s a long list of people who might have wanted to push Sienna – her long-suffering husband Irvin, her jealous younger sister Sally and Timmy Thomson, the man who idolised her, not to mention all the villagers who felt the sharp end of her tongue. Finding out the truth isn’t going to be easy…

Just as Kate thinks she’s getting closer to an answer, an unexpected afternoon visitor shares some curious information over tea and scones that sets her on an entirely different path. And soon she starts to wonder if she might be in real danger too…

Can Kate solve the curious case before the murderer declares the party over? Or have her days of sleuthing come to an end?

The Patient by Jane Shemitt

When Rachel meets Luc, the attraction is instant.
But she is a doctor, and he is her patient.
She gives him the drugs he needs – but in doing so, risks everything.
And when a secret is exposed, they’re both in the firing line.
Not all patients are telling the truth.

The Removal Man by R.J. Parker

Rose is moving. For her and her son, Noah, this is going to be a fresh start.

She’s almost finished packing but Noah is determined to spend one last night camping out in the garden like he used to. Rose agrees as long as he wraps up warm inside their small tent.

Four hours later she’s woken by a frantic banging on the window.

It’s Noah.

There’s someone in the garden.

That’s when Rose picks up the kitchen knife. 

And the audios Every Little Secret by Sarah Clarke

From the outside, it seems Grace has it all. Only she knows about the cracks in her picture-perfect life… and the huge secret behind them. After all, who can she trust?

Her brother Josh is thousands of miles away, and he and Grace have never been close – he was always their parents’ favourite.

Her best friend Coco walked away from her years ago, their friendship irreparably fractured by the choices they’ve made.

And her husband Marcus seems like a different man lately. Grace can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something.

But when her seven-year-old daughter makes a troubling accusation, Grace must choose between protecting her child and protecting her secret… before she loses everything. 

The Bletchley Women written by Patricia Adrian, narrated by Imogen Wilde and Antonia Whillans

In a different world, Evie Milton would have accepted her fate, married an aristocrat, and become the doyenne of one of England’s finest estates, just like her mother.

In a different world, Rose Wiley would have married her fiancé, David, established a modest homestead, and brought up a brood of babies, just like her mother.

But this isn’t a different world and these women are not their mothers. Rose dreams of a life filled with more than family and duty to her husband – a life of purpose – and Evie dreams of a life far away from her rarefied existence. Now, as they perform vital work at Bletchley Park decoding intercepted Luftwaffe messages, their role in turning the tide of war in the Allies favour shows Evie and Rose they don’t have to settle for the life once laid out before them. 

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim (Yorkshire Escape #2) written by Jules Wake and narrated by Laura Brydon

Ettie is trying to figure out her future.

Dominic’s just trying to forget his past.

But with the help of some unlikely friends, young and old, a secret lake hidden in the grounds of a beautiful estate and a scruffy dog, a new community is formed – right when they all need each other the most.

I received eight new ARCs for review this week. They are: The Murder Book by Mark Billingham

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd

A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett

A Wedding at Sandy Cove by Bella Osborne

Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi

Good Neighbours by Mary Grand

Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham

and the audio ARC of The Island written by Adrian McKinty and narrated by Mela Lee

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Happy Easter to you all.

Currently I am reading The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith. I adore Isabel Dalhousie and had a sudden urge to visit with her despite not having finished all my reads for review for the week.

I am almost finished listening to Treasure and Dirt by Chris Hammer which is set in a mining community in the west of New South Wales, Australia.

This week I have four titles to read for review. They are A Rose Petal Summer by Katie Fforde

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO FALL IN LOVE…

Caro Swanson has taken a job in a remote part of Scotland.

She’s answered an ad in The Lady: being a companion to an elderly gentleman who lives in a country estate could be perfect! Surely it’s time to make a change and do something different for a while?

The fact that she may also see Alec, the young man who she met some years previously and who she has always thought of as her ‘one who got away’, is of course purely incidental.

Soon Caro is falling in love – not only with Alec but with the stunning country house she’s now living in. But the estate is in financial difficulties, and Caro soon realises there’s only one way to rescue it.

So begins a magical romantic summer, one that will take Caro from Scotland to London and the south of France, in search of a classic lost perfume that might just restore all their fortunes.

The Beach House by Beverley Jones

When Grace Jensen returns to her home in the ocean-front town of Lookout Beach one day, she finds a body in a pool of blood and a menacing gift left for her: a knife, a coil of rope and handcuffs.

The community of Lookout Beach are shocked by such a brutal intrusion in their safe, close-knit community – particularly to a family as successful and well-liked as the Jensens – and a police investigation begins to find the trespasser.

But Grace knows who’s after her. She might have changed her name and moved across the world, deciding to hide on the Oregon coast, but she’s been waiting seventeen years for what happened in the small Welsh town where she grew up to catch-up with her.

Grace might seem like the model neighbour and mother, but nobody in Lookout Beach – not even her devoted husband Elias – knows the real her. Or how much blood is on her hands.

The Widow’s Husband by Lesley Sanderson

For seven years I believed my husband was dead – until the note arrived this morning…

The day her husband Tom disappeared, Rachel’s life fell apart. Childhood sweethearts with two young children, they’d done everything together. And then, suddenly, Tom was gone. Without a word, without a note, without a single sign of where he might be, leaving Rachel to survive alone.

Now, nearly seven years later, Rachel has come to terms with life as a single mother, caring for their children who still secretly long for their father’s miraculous return.

But in his absence, Tom’s hidden life started to emerge, and Rachel has discovered things a wife should never have to. A secret life that betrayed everything Rachel thought she knew. Not knowing where he’d gone was no longer the main worry keeping her awake at night – it seemed much more likely he’d been silenced. Forever.

Until today, when – with just one month until Tom is to be declared legally dead – Rachel receives a note in handwriting she recognises with dread:

My darling, I’ve missed you so much. Give me a chance to explain. I’m coming home.

The husband she’d lost is alive.

And so are all his secrets… 

And Other People’s Lives by J.E. Rowney

“Let me ask you. Are you worried that someone is watching you, or are you worried that you think someone is watching you?”

Sophie Portman has lost her husband, and she thinks she may be losing her mind.

She seeks the help of psychiatrist Andrew Thacker, but as she starts to open up, the truth begins to unravel and nothing is quite as it seems.

I have received eleven new reads for review this week 😱🤯

Six Graves (DI Kim Stone #16) by Angela Marsons

Beneath Cruel Waters by John Bassoff

Auld Acquaintance by Sofia Slater

The Last to Disappear by Jo Spain

A Familiar Stranger by A.R. Torre

The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone

Murder Through the English Post by Jessica Ellicott

And four audio ARCs. After Happily Ever After by Leslie A. Rasmussen and narrated by Tiffany Phillips

The Bletchley Women by Patricia Adrian, narrated by Imogen Wilde and Antonia Whillans

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim by Jules Wake narrated by Laura Brydon

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hildebrand narrated by Erin Bennett

I think that I have had some older requests from my pending list approved at the last moment as a couple of these are published next week. I now have nine books to read for review in the last week of April. I still have 28 titles on my pending list despite using that wonderful new button that removes your request.

Have a happy Easter everyone and I hope the Easter Bunny has been kind to you. He seems to have lost my address . . . .

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Greetings from the house of Covid. I tested positive Thursday, and Pete yesterday. Other than feeling tired, I’m fine. Pete has the flu like symptoms.

Currently I am reading and loving Other People Manage by Ellen Hawley.

The Scholar, #2 in Cormac Reilly series, by Dervla McTiernan

And I am listening to Treasure & Dirt by Chris Hammer

I’ve got another full week of reading ahead of me with the following titles due to be read and reviewed:

The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Siegel

Paris, 2015. A crowd gathers outside the Chauvet home in the affluent suburban community of Maisons-Larue, watching as the family’s American au pair is led away in handcuffs after the sudden death of her young charge. The grieving mother believes the caretaker is to blame, and the neighborhood is thrown into chaos, unsure who is at fault–the enigmatic, young foreigner or the mother herself, who has never seemed an active participant in the lives of her children.

The truth lies with six women: Geraldine, a heartbroken French teacher struggling to support her vulnerable young students; Lou, an incompetent au pair who was recently fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother’s attention; Holly, a socially anxious au pair yearning to belong in her adopted country; and finally, Alena, the one accused of the crime, who has gone to great lengths to avoid emotional connection, and now finds herself caught in the turbulent power dynamics of her host family’s household.

Set during the weeks leading up to the event, The Caretakers is a poignant and suspenseful drama featuring complicated women. It’s a sensitive exploration of the weight of secrets, the pressures of country, community, and family–and miscommunications and misunderstandings that can have fatal consequences.

The New Neighbor by Carter Wilson

Aidan holds the winning Powerball numbers.

Is today the best day of his life… or the worst?

Aidan Marlowe is the superstitious type—he’s been playing the same lottery numbers for fifteen years, never hitting the jackpot. Until now. On the day of his wife’s funeral.

Aidan struggles to cope with these two sudden extremes: instant wealth beyond his imagination, and the loss of the only woman he’s ever loved, the mother of his twin children. But the money gives him and his kids options they didn’t have before. They can leave everything behind. They can start a new life in a new town. So they do.

But a huge new house and all the money in the world can’t replace what they’ve lost, and it’s not long before Aidan realizes he’s merely trading old demons for new ones. Because someone is watching him and his family very closely. Someone who knows exactly who they are, where they’ve come from, and what they’re trying to hide. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want…

Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins

THE PLACE: Seawings, a beautiful Art Deco home overlooking the sweep of the bay in Midtown-on-Sea.

THE CRIME: The gilded Holden family – Piper and Gray and their two teenage children, Riva and Artie – has vanished from the house without a trace.

THE DETECTIVE: DS Saul Anguish, brilliant but with a dark past, treads the narrow line between light and shade.

One late autumn morning, Piper’s best friend arrives at Seawings to discover an eerie scene – the kettle is still warm, all the family’s phones are charging on the worktop, the cars are in the garage. But the house is deserted.

In fifteen-year-old Riva Holden’s bedroom, scrawled across the mirror in blood, are three words:

Make
Them
Stop.

What happens next?

A Village Secret by Julie Houston

When Jennifer goes up to Cambridge University with her head full of the Romantic Poets, she never dreams that she will find her very own Byron. But then she meets gorgeous actor Laurie Lewis, and finds herself living a real-life love poem.

Fifteen years and two children later, Jennifer and Laurie’s relationship is starting to feel more like an epic tragedy. After a series of revelations turn her world upside down, Jennifer will do anything to keep her family together – even if it means moving hundreds of miles away to Laurie’s childhood home in Westenbury, Yorkshire.

As she reluctantly enters into village life – complete with interfering in-laws, new friends and a surprise delivery of alpacas – Jennifer is amazed to find herself feeling happy for the first time in years. But the village holds one last, devastating secret and Jennifer must decide once and for all what she wants her future to hold.

First Born by Will Dean

Sisters. Soulmates. Strangers.

Molly Raven lives a quiet, structured life in London, finding comfort in security and routine. Her identical twin Katie, living in New York, is the exact opposite: outgoing, spontaneous, and adventurous.

But when Molly hears that Katie has died, possibly murdered, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. As terrifying as it is, she knows she must travel across the ocean and find out what happened. But as she tracks her twin’s final movements, cracks begin to emerge, and she slowly realizes her sister was not who she thought she was and there’s a dangerous web of deceit surrounding the two of them.

The Girls by Bella Osborne

Four old friends. Thrown back together after fifty years apart. What could possibly go wrong?

In the 1970s, The Girls were best friends sharing a flat and good times: Zara the famous diva actor, Val the uptight solicitor, Jackie the wild child and Pauline the quirky introvert. Now they’re in their twilight years, and Zara suggests that they live with her to support each other through old age.

Initially, being housemates again is just as much fun as in their heyday. But then Zara reveals the real reason she asked them to move in with her, and suddenly things take a sinister turn.

As the women confront their demons they come under the spotlight of the press, the police and an angry parrot. With their lives spiralling out of control can they save their friendships and each other? 

I have only added two new titles to my ARC mountain this week:

Long Lost Child by Jill Childs

And an audiobook Every Little Secret by Sarah Clarke and narrated by Katy Federman

I hope you’re all having a great weekend and that you’ve had great week’s reading. I’m off to Facetime Luke. He had his fifth birthday party yesterday, a week before actual birthday, and we had miss it. I did ask him to save me a piece of birthday cake, so I need to check that he did. We’ll be out of isolation Saturday (his actual birthday) so hopefully we will be able to deliver his gifts and the Easter egg.

Have wonderful week. I’m going to put my feet up and finish Other People Manage. Homemade Tomato Chili Soup with garlic bread for dinner tonight.

Watching what I’m reading . . .

After all wet, cold and windy weather during the week, it’s a relief to have nice warm sunny weather over the weekend, although I’m noticing it is taking longer in mornings for the heat to kick in and we’re lighting the fire in the evenings. Some of trees are starting colour up, so winter is definitely on the way.

I’m sitting watching supercars being streamed live out of Tasmania as I write this. The only good thing about winter? – the car racing: F1, Supercars, Indy and Nascar.

I’m 3/4 of the way through The Wych Elm by Tana French. I love her writing style. I know this book hasn’t received rave reviews, but I am enjoying it.

I am listening to Mirrorland by Carole Johnson and it has me intrigued.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues in almost every room: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…

This week I have four read for review due, including Mirrorland. The other three are: Bride For a Day by Carolyn Brown, which I will start tonight.

Cassie O’Malley is a woman on the run when she when gets tangled up with a suspicious local sheriff and, on the spur of the moment, turns to a handsome stranger to get herself out of a tight spot.

Ted Wellman didn’t go to town to get hitched but that sweet girl with her big green eyes looked desperate. Suddenly he finds himself married to a stranger. No problem, his uncle’s a lawyer and everybody knows he’s in no emotional condition to settle down, not since the death of his brother put him on emotional lock down.

Much to his surprise, instead of helping get out of it, Ted’s crazy family seemed determined to keep him and Cassie together. What could they be thinking? That there is a chance of finally thawing Ted’s frozen heart? 

Sister Stardust by Jane Green

From afar Talitha’s life seemed perfect. In her twenties, and already a famous model and actress, she moved from London to a palace in Marrakesh, with her husband Paul Getty, the famous oil heir. There she presided over a swirling ex-pat scene filled with music, art, free love and a counterculture taking root across the world.
 
When Claire arrives in London from her small town, she never expects to cross paths with a woman as magnetic as Talitha Getty. Yearning for the adventure and independence, she’s swept off to Marrakesh, where the two become kindred spirits. But beneath Talitha’s glamourous facade lurks a darkness few can understand. As their friendship blossoms and the two grow closer, the realities of Talitha’s precarious existence set off a chain of dangerous events that could alter Claire’s life forever.
 

And The Library by Bella Osborne

Two different generations. Two unusual people. Thrown together to save their local library.
Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie.

Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that’s what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don’t have to define her future.

They each set out to prove that the library isn’t just about books – it’s the heart of their community.

Together they discover some things are worth fighting for.

and, oh dear, eight new ARCs dropped into my inbox during the week. Absolutely not my fault! I’m blaming Carla and Susan 🤣🤣 They are:

The Secret World of Connie Starr by Robbi Neal, a new author to me.

A Body on the Beach (A Kate Palmer mystery #5) by Dee MacDonald. This is an excellent series that I am following.

The Gin Sisters’ Promise by Faith Hogan

Riverbend Reunion by Carolyn Brown

Death in a Blackout by Jessica Ellicott, another new author to me.

The Apartment Upstairs by Lesley Kara, an author I enjoy.

Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothschild, yet another new author.

And one audiobook, 214 Palmer Street by Karen McQuestion, yes, another new author to me.

while there’s a break in the racing I will go get the clothes off the line and close all the doors and windows. The heat has gone from the sun, and the cat is sitting expectantly in front of the fire.

Have a wonderful week.

Watching what I’m reading . . .

We’ve just been out for a lovely lunch with friends and I really feel like curling up for a nap now. But we’re heading out again shortly to meet other friends to watch the Australian supercars racing in Sydney and have dinner. So I must get on with this post.

Currently I am reading The Tea Ladies of St. Jude’s Hospital by Joanna Nell. I have read over half overnight. Poignant and funny.

i am also reading Still Life (Inspector Karen Pirie #6) by Val McDermid, my March backlist read. I love McDermid’s humour. I have laughed out loud in several places already.

I am halfway through a listen/read of The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. I have a nagging suspicion of where Ben is, but am I right?

Books I am scheduled to read for review in the coming week are: The Bluebonnet Battle by Carolyn Brown

In Bonnet, Texas, Liddy Latham, the queen of funeral dinners, keeps a southern comfort-food tradition alive—until fancy-schmancy Matilda Monroe moves back to town. She wants room at the table for her own style of consolation and closure: healthy, modern, and vegan. But this is about more than fried chicken versus tofu turkey. Matilda’s return is also stirring up their volatile, unresolved history. And just when they thought it couldn’t get more personal…

Matilda’s son, Nick, and Liddy’s niece, Amelia, have met and the sparks are flying. For Matilda and Liddy, their precious kin’s romance is their worst nightmare. Now, it’s all Nick and Amelia can do to survive a family feud that has the whole town talking.

The battle for the funeral dinner crown is on. As two strong-willed women wrestle for control, making peace with the past may be the only way to serve the star-crossed lovers a happy ending. 

The Summer we Buried by Jody Gehrman, the first book I have read by this author.

Twenty years ago, Tansy was drawn to Selene’s hard edges, her grit, and her knack for survival. Since then, the confused tangle of guilt about covering up a murder shattered their friendship, and even now, at thirty-eight, Tansy has never come to terms with what happened that night.

But now, Selene is back, demanding her old friend repay her. Selene’s daughter, Jupiter, attends the college where Tansy works as a guidance counselor. Selene is convinced that Jupiter’s boyfriend, Colton, is abusive, and wants Tansy to intervene. As she is drawn back into the intensity of Selene’s world, Tansy discovers the ugly truth about Colton. But Tansy suspects there’s far more to the story, and now she’ll finally have to confront Selene once and for all. 

Ocean State by Stewart O’Nan, another new author to me.

In the first line of Ocean State, we learn that a high school student was murdered, and we find out who did it. The story that unfolds from there with incredible momentum is thus one of the build-up to and fall-out from the murder, told through the alternating perspectives of the four women at its heart. Angel, the murderer, Carol, her mother, and Birdy, the victim, all come alive on the page as they converge in a climax both tragic and inevitable. Watching over it all is the retrospective testimony of Angel’s younger sister Marie, who reflects on that doomed autumn of 2009 with all the wisdom of hindsight. Angel and Birdy love the same teenage boy, frantically and single mindedly, and are compelled by the intensity of their feelings to extremes neither could have anticipated. O’Nan’s expert hand paints a fully realized portrait of these women, but also weaves a compelling and heartbreaking story of working-class life in Ashaway, Rhode Island.

Sundial by Catriona Ward

You can’t escape what’s in your blood…

All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.

She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future. 

This week I received five new ARCs for review. They are:

Other People Manage by Ellen Hawley

The Widow’s Husband by Lesley Sanderson

The Stepchild by Nicole Trope

First Victim by Debbie Babitt

And A Summer Love Affair by Holly Chamberlin

So that’s my lot for today. I hope that you too have received some wonderful new books this week. Have a great weeks reading. ❤📚

February Fallout . . .

I know February is a short month, but it’s been and gone and left me choking in its dust.

I started February with 15 books to read for review, but due to a couple of late approvals and some last minute FOMO requests, I ended up with 20 again. I read/listened to 15. So I had a 75% success rate, the same as January.

Plus I read one book purely for pleasure and read one title from my backlist.

The five books still sitting on my shelf from February are:

The Child I Never Had by Kate Hewitt

If you had to make an impossible choice to save your long-lost daughter, you would… wouldn’t you?

It’s a warm early summer’s evening when Mia’s doorbell rings. She opens the door to see a teenage girl standing in the shadow beyond the porch light—and in an instant she knows who it is. Daisy, the daughter she gave up as a baby. Daisy steps forward, as she says tearfully “I’m sorry I didn’t call first. But something happened. And I really needed… you.”

Seventeen years before, knowing she couldn’t possibly give her beautiful little girl Daisy the future she deserved, Mia made the hardest decision of her life—to give her up. And Suzanne seemed the perfect adoptive mother: calm, stable, and full of love for the daughter she’d always dreamed of having.

The two mothers promised to keep communication open, so Daisy could have Mia’s love and support along with Suzanne’s. But as the years passed, Mia moved away, and their visits happened less. Now Daisy is almost a stranger to Mia—angry, closed and broken—nothing like the tiny girl she once couldn’t bear to say goodbye to.

But now Daisy has arrived on Mia’s doorstep, and she says she has a terrible secret. One she can never tell Suzanne. And she believes the only person who can help her is Mia. Her birth mother.

Mia, however, has secrets of her own. Ones she is afraid to let Daisy or anyone else know. And while Suzanne desperately seeks a way to bring her child home, can Mia overcome her past to help the girl they both call their daughter in her darkest hour before it’s too late?

The Wedding Murders by Sarah Linley

You are invited to the wedding of the season…

It’s the stuff of fairytales. A celebrity wedding in a grand manor house in the beautiful English countryside.

But then one guest goes missing.

And another almost dies.

Someone at this wedding will do anything to stop their dark secrets from being exposed.

You might not live to tell the tale…

The Secret in the Wall by Ann Parker

San Francisco music store owner Inez Stannert agrees to provide financial assistance to boardinghouse proprietor Moira Krause. When the common wall of the abandoned house adjoining Moira’s is breached to expand her business, the corpse of a murdered man tumbles out, along with a worn canvas bag holding a fortune in gold coins.

Then the locksmith who made the house’s unbreakable locks is brutally slain, and the keys vanish. Inez and private detective Wolter Roeland de Bruijn set out to uncover the truth behind the killings..

The Sapphire Cove by Sophie Anderson

In

a freezing isolated farmhouse with ice on its windows, Flora is looking after her sick mother. Since she was a little girl, Flora has been frightened of her mother and now, as she pulls the heavy curtains shut and lights fires, she can sense her mother’s disappointment that it is Flora who is at her bedside. Determined to help, Flora begins to organise her mother’s things. But when she discovers a photo of a smiling baby girl she doesn’t recognise, hidden at the bottom of a drawer, her mother grows even more remote and refuses to talk about it.

As Flora delves into the story behind her mother’s secret photograph, she unearths the story of a hidden teenage love affair, a dark betrayal and two sisters tragically split apart. So, when a visitor arrives from a paradise island of sapphire coves and white sand beaches and confirms that the baby in the picture is her sister, she should feel joy. But he also brings the news that Flora’s sister is dying.

With the clock ticking, Flora boards a plane, desperate to meet her long-lost sister, the only person who might understand her. Together, they may find answers at last – for why were two innocent little girls forced to live separate lives on opposite sides of the world?

and finally, Midnight Lies by Chris Collett

Secrets, lies, bodies. Nothing stays buried forever . . .

An abandoned campsite in Norfolk. Developers unearth a human skeleton. The remains of an eighteen-year-old girl.

Robina Scanlon. A blast from the past that shocks Detective Tom Mariner to his core.

She was his holiday romance in the sweltering summer of 1976.

He thought she was the one who got away. Now he realizes she never even left.

All these years, she’s been buried back at their campsite. Who left her there to rot?

Mariner heads to Norfolk, driven by an obsessive need to uncover the truth. But the trail went cold years ago, with just one lead left to cling to.

Robina was last seen out on the campsite, with a mystery man at her side.

Was he her friend? Her killer? Or what?

The closer Mariner gets to the twisted truth, the more he fears the answers lie buried in his own dark past.

Can he face up to his demons before the killer strikes again?

I have eighteen read/listen for review scheduled for March and I am going to do my best not to add any more. You can check to see how successful or otherwise I have been on 1 April.

How was your month of reading? Have you read any of the books that I have (temporarily?) shelved?

The Drowned Village by Norma Curtis

EXCERPT: He imagined crossing the stone bridge over the clear river and seeing the chapel, and the school, and then catching Elin in the village as she left the post office, just by chance. He imagined it as vividly as if he was praying for it, as if he could influence her into appearing in that doorway through the intensity of his hopes. He imagined her doing a double take, stopping still in disbelief, and then running to him, into his arms. Maybe not running. She’ll be in her eighties, don’t forget, he reminded himself.

The incline was leveling out, and he could hear the rumble of a truck. Rounding the bend and coming out of the lane, he found himself by the edge of a main road that he had no memory of. Across the road, through a dense line of trees, where the village should have been, a startling brightness drew him to it like a vision.

He squeezed the bridge of his nose to blink it away, but it persisted, shimmering, a mirage. He crossed the road, feeling the heat of the asphalt, and entered the line of trees. He found himself at the top of a grassy bank studded with rocks, staring at the glittering lake that filled the valley.

ABOUT ‘THE DROWNED VILLAGE: She’s guarded her secret for a lifetime. He’s not ready to let go.

Sixty-five years ago. Pushing aside drooping hollyhocks, Elin Jenkins tosses back her dark hair and runs up the familiar path to the tiny village of Capel Celyn, past the mossy graveyard with its crumbling stones, towards the farm that’s been in her family for generations. Laughing, Al catches her around the waist, squeezing her tight. ‘Marry me,’ he whispers. ‘I’ll use my Navy liberty leave, we’ll go ask your parents. I don’t want this to end.’ Tears prick her eyes as she smiles up at him.

Three days later, Al is on his ship back to Pennsylvania. And in the months that follow, Elin’s frantic telegrams to him go unanswered. Then she receives the wedding invitation. Scribbled on the back are three words: No hard feelings.

Present day. Al Locke, retired Navy Captain, smooths his silver hair and finishes up with a spritz of aftershave. With a spring in his step he hasn’t had for decades, he sets off up the well-worn track through the valley. As he rounds the last bend, his heart begins to race. He has no doubt he will meet her in the village today. He will at last hear the horrible truth of what happened to Elin after he left, and he’ll confess why he couldn’t face coming back… until now.

As Al crests the final, familiar hill, a startling brightness draws him in like a vision. Before him, a glittering lake fills the entire valley. The pretty stone village of Capel Celyn, and all trace of Elin, are gone…

MY THOUGHTS: There were so many interesting things in this book that I really don’t know where to start. The story itself is lovely, bittersweet but lovely. It’s a story of lost love, family secrets, betrayal, forgiveness, and making the best of things when life, inevitably, goes wrong.

All the time I was reading this I was thinking, ‘Why does X have to stick his/her oar in?’, because everything that went wrong for Al and Elin is the result of outside interference.

The story itself unfolds slowly, in dual timelines, now and post WWII. The plot is evenly paced but unpredictable. I thought I knew what would happen, but I was wrong, and I’m glad I was wrong. The ending was unexpected but perfect.

There are all sorts of wonderful historical tidbits woven into the storyline, from the Welsh connection in Abraham Lincoln’s ancestry to the Welshman who discovered America before Christopher Columbus, and plenty more.

This was a lovely quiet and gentle read with a great range of well depicted characters. Narrator Josh Wichard had me thinking I was listening to a whole cast of narrators.

⭐⭐⭐.9

#TheDrownedVillage #NetGalley

I: @bookouture

T: @TheNormaCurtis @Bookouture

#audiobook #contemporaryfiction #historicalfiction #mystery #sliceoflife #womensfiction

THE AUTHOR: Norma Curtis was born near Wrexham, North Wales, where her family still resides, and now lives in London, England, with her husband and a son. She writes with a unique blend of dry humour, warmth, wisdom and originality.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture Audio via Netgalley for providing an audio ARC of The Drowned Village by Norma Curtis 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 is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Currently I am reading The Life You Left Behind by Debbie Howells which, to be totally honest, I am not enamoured with. It started out well, but then it was like it was trying too hard to be mysterious. I began to feel like I was being lectured to on watching for suicidal tendencies and environmental problems, of which I am perfectly aware and doing my personal best. This is not what I expecting from this author. I applaud her intent, but this is really not working out for me.

I am also reading another book from my backlist, Coast to Coast Murders by James Patterson and J.D. Barker. I am loving this and unsure why it has taken me so long to get to this.

I am listening to Do You Follow by J.C. Bidonde. I’ve only just started this but already it’s interesting and keeping my attention.

This week I have four titles to read for review. They are:

Put Out to Pasture (Farm to Table Mysteries) by Amanda Flowers

There’s fowl play afoot on the farm

Shiloh Bellamy has saved her family’s farm from financial ruin—but now what? She’s barely scraping by on the farm’s new organic business model and the fall festival she organized to drum up business comes to a screeching halt when the body of a prominent townswoman is discovered underneath a scarecrow in a nearby field. Worst of all, the evidence points to Shiloh’s childhood best friend, Kristy, as the prime suspect.

Between cooking up delicious treats made with her farm’s produce, convincing her cantankerous father to let her do things her own way, and dealing with a newcomer in town who could be serious competition for her customers, Shiloh doesn’t have time to wade into a murder investigation. But with a killer on the loose and suspicious activity circling closer and closer to Shiloh and the people she loves, she realizes there’s nothing to do but roll up her sleeves and get down to the dirty work of finding the killer and clearing Kristy’s name once and for all.

Afraid by Alexandra Ivy and Lisa Jackson

Dark secrets and revenge converge as former students from an elite boarding school, which is also a haven for the daughters of the rich and famous, come face to face with the crimes of the past…

LUCY
Lucy Champagne was sent to St. Cecilia’s after her movie-star mother was brutally attacked by her sleazy boyfriend, Ray Watkins. Lucy’s damning testimony landed Ray a twenty-five-year sentence. But now, Ray is free. And he’s going to find Lucy and make her pay, no matter how far and how fast she runs . . .

RAYNE
Rayne Taylor found unexpected happiness at St. Cecilia’s, until her roommate, Natalie, committed suicide. Only when Rayne finds a box of mementoes from that time does she realize how wrong she may have been about Natalie’s death—and how far someone will go to keep the truth hidden . . .

ERIN
Erin MacDonald remembers little about the long-ago night she and her sister, Anna Beth, were kidnapped. While Erin was found safe, Anna Beth vanished forever. Now Erin has reluctantly come back to the family estate, where Detective Rafe Montego hopes to finally crack the case. But as flashes of Erin’s memory reemerge, she learns how deep the danger goes . . .

Blood Tide by Neil Lancaster

You get away with murder.
In a remote sea loch on the west coast of Scotland, a fisherman disappears without trace. His remains are never found.

You make people disappear.
A young man jumps from a bridge in Glasgow and falls to his death in the water below. D. S. Max Craigie uncovers evidence that links both victims. But if he can’t find out what cost them their lives, it won’t be long before more bodies turn up at the morgue…

You come back for revenge.
Soon cracks start to appear in the investigation, and Max’s past hurtles back to haunt him. When his loved ones are threatened, he faces a terrifying choice: let the only man he ever feared walk free, or watch his closest friend die…

Midnight Lies by Chris Collett

Secrets, lies, bodies. Nothing stays buried forever . . .

An abandoned campsite in Norfolk. Developers unearth a human skeleton. The remains of an eighteen-year-old girl.

Robina Scanlon. A blast from the past that shocks Detective Tom Mariner to his core.

She was his holiday romance in the sweltering summer of 1976.

He thought she was the one who got away. Now he realizes she never even left.

All these years, she’s been buried back at their campsite. Who left her there to rot?

Mariner heads to Norfolk, driven by an obsessive need to uncover the truth. But the trail went cold years ago, with just one lead left to cling to.

Robina was last seen out on the campsite, with a mystery man at her side.

Was he her friend? Her killer? Or what?

The closer Mariner gets to the twisted truth, the more he fears the answers lie buried in his own dark past.

Can he face up to his demons before the killer strikes again?

I only read three of the five books I had scheduled for last week, so what do you think I should start with this week?

This week I got five new Netgalley ARCs, and I thought I was cutting back! They are:

My Mother’s Gift by Steffanie Edward

The Girls by Bella Osborne

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Tea Ladies of St. Jude’s Hospital by Joanna Nell

and Unmissing by Minka Kent

Well, that’s my lot for the week. I’ve been at work and am tired so it’s sandwich, shower and bed for me. Have a wonderful reading week.