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Genuine Fraud By E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud‘Genuine Fraud’ is the latest book by E. Lockhart.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

When I started reading ‘Genuine Fraud’, I was initially a little bit confused because in the very beginning the story started in the present but then every chapter after, is a time previous to each chapter.

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Jules, a reclusive young woman who lives in awe of her best friend and heiress Imogen. But when Imogen goes missing one day leaving her estate to Jules, we begin to see a different side to the quiet woman.

The story travels backwards which can make for interesting but occasionally difficult reading. As each day is the day or week before instead of the day or week after but then once I got past that, I found myself gripped by the book.

Jules is an interesting character, with a troubled childhood, she portrays herself as a simple and honest woman but really she is calculating and manipulative. She appears sweet and wholesome, when in reality she’s working on an international master plan that could potentially free her of all her problems.

Her obsession with Imogen, is quite fascinating in parts also, childhood school friends, Jules is fixated with Imogen after Imogen helped her. She’s the only real person that has ever helped Jules and Jules is obsessed with this, wanting to be with her friend again, even though they were only friends for a short time. Meanwhile Imogen, isn’t the nicest of characters, she’s quite superficial even though she pretends not to be whilst using her friends around her.

A dark and twisted tale about obsession, that’s set against the backdrop of exotic locations, ‘Genuine Fraud’ is a cleverly written story that will have the reader sitting on the edge of their seat.

You can buy Genuine Fraud

Beta By Rebecca Holman

Beta‘Beta’ is the first book by ‘The Debrief’ editor, Rebecca Holman.

‘Beta’ celebrates the collaborators, the pragmatists, and the people who believe that being nice works and getting your own way isn’t always the most important thing. It is a call-to-arms that explores the unsung workforce of Beta women who are being great bosses, great leaders and are still living their own lives: having relationships, making time for friends, having families.

When I initially started to read ‘Beta’, I was in a bit of a strange place. I was trying to figure out my place in my life, particularly my career.

I had just been in a job where I was surrounded by alphas and my voice and myself had become lost and I was unsure as to where to travel next.

But, in this brightly coloured book, I found an reassuring solace, that I wasn’t alone and just because I didn’t always shout the loudest, there are other ways that I can be heard.

In ‘Beta’, Rebecca Holman, writes about being successful in her career as a beta pretending to be an alpha. She’s speaks frankly off her success without being overpowering and domineering and puts her success down to the right leadership and team.

I genuinely loved this book and found it to be quite an insightful and fascinating book that I stumbled upon at just the right point in life. I found myself to have a kinship with Rebecca. Like her, I’m reluctant to give orders and voice opinions, incase this causes people to dislike me, but in ‘Beta’ Rebecca has addressed these issues with solutions, that have not only helped me but also helped improve my confidence and self worth.

A life affirming, well written and thoroughly researched book, ‘Beta’ is a fun and entertaining book, packed with anecdotes and interviews, that really delves into women’s roles in the workplace and helps us find our voices without having to raise them.

You can Beta: Quiet Girls Can Run the World: There is more than one way to be the boss from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Blind By A.F. Brady

The Blind‘The Blind’ is A.F. Brady’s debut novel.

Every morning, psychiatrist Sam James gets up at six forty-five. She has a shower, drinks a cup of coffee, then puts on her make-up. She ignores the empty bottles piling up by her door. On this particular morning, Sam is informed of a new patient’s arrival at Manhattan’s most notorious institution. Reputed to be deranged and dangerous, Richard is just the kind of impossible case Sam has built her reputation on. She is certain that she is the right doctor to treat such a difficult patient. But then Sam meets Richard. And Richard seems totally sane. Let the mind games begin.
The Blind is the first book by A.F. Brady and it’s a gripping story that made for a fascinating story.

Solely written in the first person, we meet psychologist, Sam. She works in a mental institution where she tries to get people to face their demons and struggles, but it seems that she has far more than she lets on. On the outside, she’s polished to perfection, reliable in her work but inside, she’s battling a drink addiction, an abusive boyfriend and a new patient that refuses to speak.

As she tries to get the new patient, Richard to face his problems, his issues are making her address her own and realise that she needs to get her life in order.

Sam, is an interesting character, she’s complicated, impulsive, troubled and addicted to troubled people. She’s also apologetic for them and constantly making excuses for their behaviour. Her fascination with Richard is really fascinating reading as she tries to piece together his life.

This story made for compulsive reading that really held my attention. Riddled with tension and suspense, this atmospheric book is cleverly written with a complex lead and an even darker plot, ‘The Blind’, is a chillingly good book that will make you look at people in a different light.

You can buy The Blind from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Smile By Roddy Doyle

Smile‘Smile’ is the latest book by bestselling Irish author, Roddy Doyle.

Just moved in to a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly’s pub for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and pink shirt brings over his pint and sits down. He seems to know Victor’s name and to remember him from school. Says his name is Fitzpatrick. Victor dislikes him on sight, dislikes too the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories too – of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor’s own small claim to fame, as the man who says the unsayable on the radio. But it’s the memories of school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.

For years, I’ve been a fan of Roddy Doyle’s books, I remember sitting in the local library reading language and situations that were most definitely far more advanced than me. But, for me that was the joy of Roddy Doyle, coarse language and characters that constantly shocked the reader.

But if you’re looking for something like that in his latest book, then you’re in for a surprise as this book is quite different from his previous novels.

In this story we meet Victor Forde, recently moved to a new area in Dublin, he goes to his new local where he meets a man called Fitzpatrick who claims they went to school together. Fitzpatrick stirs up old memories and feelings that Victor had hidden away and makes him confront the childhood that he would rather forget, a childhood of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers Catholic School.

The story travels between the past and present tense and is seen through Victor’s narrative. The story reflects on the prominent moments in his life, where he meets his partner Rachel, their life as a successful celebrity couple and his battle with writing a novel about Ireland as well being respected as an author.

Throughout the story there is a sense of foreboding and an underlying despair that truly comes to light at the end, as Victor finally confronts his ghosts.

Victor is a desperate character, who longs to be successful but his childhood is holding him back from ever moving forward. The scenes where Victor is remembering his childhood are quite unsettling and can make for moving reading at times.

The story flows at a gentle and slow pace but at every moment, the reader is engaged with this likeable and troubled character. Dealing with the dark issue of child abuse that was quite prominent in Catholic Church and still something that the country has to deal with, ‘Smile’ is a bittersweet story that is filled with sharp wit and a troubled lead, this cleverly written tale of life’s journey and observation made for moving and sad reading.

You can buy Smile from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Angel By Katerina Diamond

The Angel’The Angel’ is the latest book by Katerina Diamond.

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison? DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons. When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

I spent my weekend with my head buried in this book, as I do love this detective duo but as much I love Adrian and Imogen I did feel there was a sense of finality to the couple.

In this book, we meet Gabriel, a young man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time when a man is found dead and he’s the prime suspect. Only at 19, he finds himself in prison and fearing for his life when he becomes the unlikely object of a fellow inmate’s attention. But being in prison has hardened Gabriel and he’s not going to let himself be bullied.

On the outside, Adrian and Imogen are investigating the case that Gabriel is arrested for as well as the gruesome murder of an elderly couple which has gone viral. As the pair of them investigate the horrendous case, they find themselves delving into something a lot more deeper, darker and a lot more closer to home than they ever expected. This story investigates the deep and twisted worlds of children’s homes and the detrimental effects these homes can have on people and how they mould people for life.

Grim and gruesome from the very beginning, this book is a gripping story that really pulls the reader in. It’s unsettling in parts and can make for uncomfortable reading as it’s primarily about child abuse. But, for every dark moment in the book, Katerina occasionally adds an element of humour between Adrian and Imogen.

A thrilling rollercoaster of a story that keeps the reader on their toes, ‘The Angel’ is a well paced and twisted story was impossible to put down until I got to the final page.

You can buy The Angel from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.