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The Choice By Penny Hancock

The Choice‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Penny Hancock.

An estranged daughter. A missing grandson. A mother faced with an impossible choice. Renee Gulliver appears to have it all: a beautiful house overlooking a scenic estuary on England’s East Coast, a successful career as a relationship therapist, three grown-up children and a beloved grandson, Xavier. But things aren’t always as they seem on the surface, as Renee is all too aware. And when Xavier vanishes after she fails to pick him up from school one day, the repercussions are manifold. Renee is wracked with remorse; her daughter Mia can’t forgive her, the local community question her priorities and her clients abandon her. But as long-held family secrets threaten to tear her world apart once and for all, those same secrets might also hold hope for the future—because it’s not always the secret itself that has the power to destroy, sometimes it’s the act of keeping of it.

You can buy ‘The Choice’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

So Happy For You By Celia Laskey

So Happy For Yo‘So Happy For You’ is the latest book by Celia Laskey.

Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. They’ve been through everything together, from Robin coming out to the death of Ellie’s dad. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honour, Robin is reluctant. It’s not that Robin isn’t happy for Ellie; she just hates everything about weddings and marriage—plus the guy Ellie’s engaged to. There’s also the matter of the crazy (not to mention dangerous) wedding rituals that couples are resorting to in the hope of securing a lifetime of happiness. Despite her misgivings, Robin finally says yes. But as the wedding day approaches, she gets the feeling that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. And it seems Ellie is willing to do anything for the perfect day. After all, marriage is about sacrifice.

Nothing could have prepared me for the twists and drama in this book, which I thought was initially a quirky spin on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, but it really was quite the comedic and dark story.

Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood living in each other’s pockets but as they become older. They become polar opposites, Ellie becomes obsessed with finding the one and getting married whilst Robin, an outspoken feminist hates the concept of marriage and sees it as an antiquated tradition and is content living with her girlfriend Aimee.

But despite their differences, when Ellie finally becomes engaged, she asks Robin to become her maid of honour and under Ellie’s pressure and guilt, Robin reluctantly agrees. As the big day gets closer, Ellie becomes more unhinged and manic determined to have the perfect day, no matter the cost.

I loved this story, it’s witty, it’s dark and really focuses on societal pressures to settle down but giving it a bit of spin with the clever storyline. I initially didn’t like Robin, I found her brash and outspoken but as the story progressed, I loved her.

She was fun, committed and even though she doesn’t believe in marriage, she supported Ellie. Ellie was an astonishing character, taking the term ‘bridezilla’ to a whole new level, she was manipulative and manic with her behaviour and quite regularly through the story, her actions shocked me!

This story is a great book that I highly recommend. It’s dark, witty and really delves into the incredible pressure that women are put under to have the perfect wedding and marriage.

From strange traditions and charms, ‘So Happy For You’ is a story of
friendship, drama and forgiveness and I loved every second of it!

You can buy ‘So Happy For You’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Cold Cold Bones By Kathy Reichs

Cold Cold Bones‘Cold Cold Bones’ is the latest book in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs.

In a profession like this, you’re bound to make enemies. It all starts when Dr Temperance Brennan finds a box on her porch. Inside is a fresh human eyeball with GPS coordinates etched into it. They lead her to a macabre discovery in a Benedictine Monastery, and soon after she discovers a mummified corpse in a state park. There seems to be no pattern to these killings, except that each mimics a killing connected to something a younger Tempe experienced, or barely escaped. Someone is targeting her, and she needs to figure out why before they strike again. And then her daughter Katy disappears.

This is the first book in the Temperance Brennan series that I’ve read and I really loved the witty and gruesome book.

When an eye appears on the doorstep of forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, her life changes drastically when the bodies mount up and it looks like a copycat killer is killing people the same way as Terence’s previous cases.

Seen from Temperance’s narrative, I immediately sunk into this story from the gripping first line. Temperance is a great protagonist, she’s witty, smart and is always one step ahead of people. Her interactions with supporting characters make for interesting reading. Her relationship with her only child Katy is turbulent, an army soldier who’s finding it hard to adjust to civilian life and Erskine Slidell aka Skinny, a private detective who’s meant to have retired but can’t seem to give up the chase. Their engagements made for really entertaining reading as they batted off each other.

The story is a gruesome one and not for the faint hearted with police procedures as well as the horrific deaths that the innocent people have met.

Dark, gripping and packed with suspense, ‘Cold Cold Bones’ is an excellent thriller, fast paced and filled with suspicious characters that made for intense reading.

You can buy ‘Cold Cold Bones’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lies At Her Door By AA Abbott

Lies At Her Door‘Lies At Her Door’ is the latest book by AA Abbott.

Lucy Freeman struggles to find satisfaction in life. Trapped in the shadow of her rock star brother, the thirty-two-year-old craves more than her days at home caring for her terminally ill mother. But her routine takes a turn for the horrifying when a giant sinkhole collapses the earth outside their house and reveals a skeleton. Shocked to discover the bones belong to a former member of her sibling’s band, Lucy’s worst nightmare comes alive when police suspect her of the killing. And as she turns to her dying parent’s diaries in a desperate search for vindication, she’s entangled in a dark and complicated truth. Will unearthing long-buried wrongs prove lethal?

‘Lies At Her Door’ is an intriguing story with a fascinating protagonist that kept me on my toes with her mystery and innocence.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Lucy, a woman who lives with her parents and cares for her mother. One day, a sink hole appears at their house and a body is discovered. The detectives Neil Slater and Sheridan Duffy are investigating the case and Neil knows Lucy from a former life.

Lucy is a complex character, she’s lived in older brother’s shadow for years, a member of a successful boy band called Dr. Sweet. She has a naivety about her, a simple sweetness that makes you warm to her. There is also the perspective from Neil and this give the police procedural slant to the story, as himself and Sheridan played good cop/bad cop whilst interesting the residents of Jackson Crescent. An influential area that is shocked by the discovery of a dead body.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s really relatively short with quick chapters so could easily be consumed in one sitting. I think the main reason I really enjoyed the story, was the complexity of Lucy and how unpredictable of a character she was. ‘Lies At Her Door’ is a cleverly crafted story with underlying suspense and tension threaded throughout.

You can buy ‘Lies At Her Door’ from Amazon.

Good Husbands By Cate Ray

Good Husbands‘Good Husbands’ is the latest book by Cate Ray.

Jess, Priyanka and Stephanie are all happily married to men they think they know inside out. Then each woman receives a letter accusing her husband of involvement in a sexual assault that took place 20 years ago. Who do they believe, what should they do and can they come together as their lives are upended?

I never like giving negative reviews but I did find myself struggling a bit with this book. I found it lengthy with three female characters that I occasionally found it hard to distinguish between.

The story is seen through the narrative of three women who have all been sent a note saying that their husbands raped a woman. Through this note they reach out to each other and set out about finding the truth and whether they really known the men that they have children with.

The three women are Priyanka, Jess and Stephanie and the chapters alternate as the women form a reluctant but necessary bond to find out the truth. The women are quite similar, all married with children with comfortable lives so often I found it hard to distinguish which character I was reading.

This book had the potential to be a gripping story, but sadly it failed to grip my attention. I found the characters lacklustre and their reaction to such earth shattering news as quite tame. The story flowed along at a pace that should have engaged me, but it didn’t hook me in. Granted, there were a few twists that surprised me but not enough and even though the main storyline was about a rape, I just didn’t feel that the book was as hard hitting as it could be.

Regrettably, ‘Good Husbands’ wasn’t quite the book for me, but read it for yourself as not everyone has the same opinion.

You can buy ‘Good Husbands’ from Amazon.