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One Moonlit Night By Rachel Hore

One Moonlit Night‘One Moonlit Night’ is the latest book by Rachel Hore.

Forced to leave their family home in London after it is bombed, Maddie and her two young daughters take refuge at Knyghton, the beautiful country house in Norfolk where Maddie’s husband Philip spent the summers of his childhood. But Philip is gone, believed to have been killed in action in northern France. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Maddie refuses to give up hope that she and Philip will some day be reunited. Arriving at Knyghton, Maddie feels closer to her missing husband, but she soon realises that there’s a reason Philip has never spoken to her about his past. Something happened at Knyghton one summer years before. Something that involved Philip, his cousin Lyle and a mysterious young woman named Flora. Maddie’s curiosity turns to desperation as she tries to discover the truth, but no one will speak about what happened all those years ago, and no one will reassure her that Philip will ever return to Knyghton.

I’ve spent this morning with my head in this beautifully written story about new beginnings and loss.

Unknown of whether her husband Philip is dead or alive whilst fighting in the war. Maddie’s family home is bombed, with nowhere to turn, she finds refuge in the Knyghton, the childhood home of Philip.

Along with her two little girls Sarah and Grace,Maddie is trying to adjust to a quieter pace of life in Norfolk living with Lyle, Philip’s cousin Lyle, a contrary man and Gussie, Philip eccentric aunt along with her four dogs. Maddie has never given up hope that Philip will return to her and throws herself into providing a good life for her little girls, focusing on her illustration work whilst learning the history of Philip’s family and the mystery that’s surrounds the Anderson family.

When it comes to historical fiction, it’s a genre that I don’t read much of it but I thoroughly enjoyed spending my morning with my head in this historical journey.

Beautifully written, this book was a joy to read. Maddie is a great character, she’s a kind and resilient woman determined to provide a better life for her little girls and is not afraid of hard work. It makes for fascinating reading as she learns about Philip’s complex family history and meets the family that’s all ever heard about. There’s an array of colourful characters in this story, particularly Gussie who had a childlike wonder about the world as well as whilst being mysterious about the Anderson family. The descriptions of Knyghton are wonderfully descriptive, as well as the turmoil of the Second World War and how lives were torn apart.

A compelling story packed with secrets, hope and mystery, ‘One Moonlit Night’ is a touching and poignant story about never giving up and family.

You can buy ‘One Moonlit Night’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Twelve Days In May By Niamh Hargan

Twelve Days In May‘Twelve Days In May’ is the latest book by Niamh Hargan.

Lizzy Munro is working at the Cannes Film Festival, in a job that involves a lot more admin than red-carpet glamour. There, Ciaran Flynn is the man everyone is talking about: heartthrob of the moment and director of the most romantic movie of the year. What nobody knows is that twelve years ago, they were best friends . . . and they haven’t spoken since. But when Ciaran’s film runs into trouble, there’s only one person he can turn to. Is twelve days enough to save not only Ciaran’s film, but also the spark he and Lizzy once shared?

The first novel by fellow Northern Ireland lady Niamh was an escapist’s dream.

Set against the glistening and exciting backdrop of the Cannes Film Festival, this deliciously fun romantic comedy was not only a joy to read but also gave an insight into behind the scenes of the famous event.

The story is about Lizzy Munro and Ciaran Flynn, who met 12 years ago in Bordeaux and begin a friendship that becomes a special relationship. But fast forward, 12 years later and Ciaran is now an established director and Lizzy loves her job with the Scottish Film Board and she hates Ciaran. So much that when Ciaran reaches out for her help, Lizzy finds herself struggling to help him due to how much he hurt her. As Ciaran’s professional life hangs in the balance, the couple have to reopen old wounds and reminisce on better times.

I loved this story, it’s sweet, it’s fun and it’s packed with character. This book was a real breath of fresh air to read, set in an industry that has genuinely interested for me. The story flows in the past and present tense and it makes for lovely reading as we see Lizzy and Ciaran interact for the first time and how the relationship blossoms.

Both the settings of this story make for glamorous reading, the bustling streets of Bordeaux as well as the glitz and glamour of the Cannes Film Festival.

Fun with a capital F and hot with a capital H, ‘Twelve Days in May’ is a delicious debut that’s brimming with chemistry and filled with heart. If you’re looking for poolside read this summer, then LIGHTS, CAMERA. BUY IT!

You can buy ‘Twelve Days In May’ from Amazon and is also available from good bookshops.

The Last To Disappear By Jo Spain

The Last To Disappear‘The Last To Disappear’ is the latest book by Jo Spain.

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.

The latest book by Jo Spain is a dark and intense story set against the backdrop of the snowy slopes of Koppe, Lapland and this makes for atmospheric and chilling reading.

The story begins with the tragic death of Vicky Evans, a young woman who was found drowned. Detective Agatha Koskinen has been called in to solve the case. When Alex Evans finds out the sudden death of his sister, he lives England and finds himself becoming Agatha’s sidekick as he’s determined to find his sister’s killer. In doing this, Alex has to delve into his sister’s life and learn a side to her that as a brother, he never wanted to know. Whilst Agatha is trying to find Vicky’s killer, there’s still the unsolved disappearances of the three women who disappeared over the years.

The story is written in the past and present tense, the present tense is the investigation of Vicky’s death whilst the past tense is set in 1998, at the time of the first disappearance.

For fans of Nordic-Noir, this book ticks all the boxes. It’s gritty, claustrophobic and filled with suspicious characters. The story is beautifully descriptive from the chilling and eerie landscape that sets the tone perfectly in this thriller. What’s interesting about the story is the location which is Lapland, the homeland connected to Santa Claus and even though it’s described as a winter wonderland, this book is a far from a wonderland!

Agatha is an interesting detective determined to find the killer all whilst dealing with her own personal problems. Alex feels guilty about having an estranged relationship with Vicky and hopes finding the killer and bringing them to justice will ease his conscience.

Intense from the first page and wonderfully atmospheric, Jo has delivered a chilling thriller that made for gripping reading. Packed with drama, twists and turns ‘The Last To Disappear’ made for exciting reading.

You can buy ‘The Last To Disappear’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Agathas By Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Dawson

The Agathas‘The Agathas’ is the latest book by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson.

After falling from grace last summer, Agatha Christie-obsessed Alice Ogilvie needs to stay out of trouble. While smart and reclusive Iris Adams just wants to get the hell out of Castle Cove. But now they have a murder to solve. There are clues the police are ignoring, a list of suspects a mile long and some very dangerous cliffs. Amateur detectives Alice and Iris are about to uncover just how many secrets their sleepy seaside town is hiding.

If you enjoy Young Adults novels with a side of mystery, then look no further as the wittily named ‘The Agathas’ is for you!

The story is seen through the narrative of Alice and Iris, who attend the same school in Castle Cove but are complete opposites. Alice Ogilvie was once part of the popular school gang called ‘the mains’ whilst Iris Adams sits on the outside with the other nerds. She and her mother struggle for money and making ends meet, so when the opportunity arises for Iris to get extra funds by tutoring Alice, she jumps at the chance. But their tutoring are put to one side when one of Alice’s former best friends, Brooke is found dead and Alice’s ex-boyfriend is accused of her murder.

The story then flows between the characters as the pair of them embark on finding Brooke’s killer as well as finding out somethings about themselves along the way. I really enjoyed this story, it’s dark, relatable and reads like a traditional whodunnit but from the fresh approach of teenage girls.

Both Alice and Iris are great characters, although polar opposites in life, they have a respect for each other’s lives. Where Iris has poverty, she has a mother who loves her dearly and where Alice has an absent family, she has an abundance of wealth at her fingertips. Their determination to solve the crime much to the local police’s despair along with the Alice’s love of Agatha Christie novels really made for entertaining reading. Alice has had some issues in her past life and because of this has lost her status at the high school and this makes for sad reading when former best friends turn on her.

As well as some great lines from and tips from Agatha Christie novels, there were also the inclusion of text messages and communications from students at the the high school. This insight gave the bitchy, gossipy side from teenage girls, cliques and how malicious rumours can harm lives.

This story is the first book written by writing duo Kathleen Glasgow and Elizabeth Lawson and it was written wonderfully, I’d love to know more about the writing process of the book, whether they each played a character or simply wrote alternating chapters.

A story filled with murder, good old fashioned mystery and packed with hormonal teenagers and gossip, ‘The Agathas’ was a tremendous book and I look forward to reading more from this writing duo.

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

A Tidy Ending By Joanna Cannon

A Tidy Ending‘A Tidy Ending’ is the latest book by Joanna Cannon.

Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant. 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 start to go missing in the neighbourhood. If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue…

I’ve spent my evening absorbed in the latest book by Joanna Cannon and I can tell you, it’s addictive!

The story is seen through the narrative of Linda Hammet, a fascinating woman with simple needs who leads a simple life. She’s married to Terry, likes her house to be in order and works in a charity shop sorting out the donations. But when local women are murdered in the estate that herself and Terry have just moved into and she finds herself obsessing over the case like everyone including her opinionated mother. But as well as obsessing over the murders, Linda finds wondering about the previous resident of her new home when her post is delivered to her house.

Can I just say that this book is unreal and Linda is one of the most interesting protagonists that I’ve had the joy to read. To the outside world, she appears as simple and not clued in, people are sympathetic towards and humour her, but infact Linda is cunningly clever and this is the absolute magic in this story that made it impossible to put down. She pays more attention than people give her credit for.

Linda lives her life through rose tainted glasses and people regularly take advantage of her kind heart and when she commits to something, she’s in it 100%! She enjoys nothing more than tidiness and order and spends her time cleaning up other people’s lives.

Her interactions with her mother also made for engaging reading as her mother was quick to voice her opinion and her outlook on the world did make me chuckle at times.

Joanna has crafted an amazing story with an intricate storyline that flows at a fast pace and flows between past and present tense. The story is thrilling, compelling with such dark moments of wit and innocence that was fantastic reading.

The whole time I was reading this book, I totally imagined it as a screen adaptation with someone like Carey Mulligan playing the innocent role of Linda.

Gripping, macabre with relatable characters and a stunning leading lady, ‘A Tidy Ending’ is one of my favourite books of 2022 and if you like dark stories of revenge, then you’re in for a treat.

You can buy ‘A Tidy Ending’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.