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The Split By Laura Kay

The Split‘The Split’ is the latest book by Laura Kay.

Brutally dumped by her girlfriend, Ally is homeless, friendless and jobless… but at least she has Malcolm. Wounded and betrayed, Ally has made off with the one thing she thinks might soothe the pain: Emily’s cat. After a long train journey she arrives home to her dad in Sheffield, ready to fold herself up in her duvet and remain on the sofa for the foreseeable. Her dad has other ideas. A phone call later, and Ally is reunited with her first ever beard and friend of old, Jeremy. He too is broken-hearted and living at home again.

I started this book last night and I reluctantly had to put when I had to go to bed.

This debut even though it’s about heartbreak is fun, uplifting and incredibly warm-hearted.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Al and begins at the moment that her girlfriend Emily breaks up with her. Heartbroken, Al returns home to Sheffield with Malcolm the cat for company, even though he’s technically Emily’s cat.

Back under her dad’s roof, Al is at a loss at what to do next with her life, disinterested in a career, her passion is for baking and is delighted when an opportunity to work in a bakery arises. Her childhood friend Jeremy is also recovering from heartbreak after his boyfriend broke up with him. Together, they find solace in each others pain and decide the best way to get over heartbreak is to do a 13 mile marathon even though they’ve never ran a day in their lives. It’s through running that Al, meets Jo and thinks that she might help with the heartbreak and distract her from emailing Emily.

I adored this book with all my heart, it’s a genuine love story and life affirming book all rolled into one. I loved Al, she’s kind, witty and has a lovely nature. I loved her interaction with Jeremy, their banter and support for each other when things got tough. I enjoyed their nostalgia journeys as they reminisced their school years and struggling with their sexuality.

Laura has written a wonderful story, flowing at a lovely pace with relatable characters and scenarios and eager dogs and moody cats. I loved this book from start to finish, wonderfully written ‘The Split’ is a fantastic debut about recovering from heartbreak and finding yourself along the way. I thoroughly recommend this book and fully understand why it’s one of Quercus’ lead debuts of 2021.

You can pre-order ‘The Split’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 18th March 2021.

An Inconvenient Woman By Stéphanie Buelens

An Inconvenient Woman‘An Inconvenient Woman’ is the latest book by Stéphanie Buelens.

When Claire Fontaine learns that her ex-husband Simon is marrying again, to a woman with a teenage daughter, her blood runs cold. She is sure that years ago Simon molested her own daughter and was responsible for her mysterious death. She can’t let him get away with it a second time. Vandalism, harassment; whatever it takes, Claire will expose him. Simon doesn’t know where Claire got this delusion from; her daughter’s death was ruled a suicide, but she has always blamed herself – is she just lashing out? Wanting to protect his new fiancee, he hires Sloane Wilson, an ex-cop turned ‘sin-eater’, whose job it is to handle delicate cases without getting the police involved, to get Claire off his back.Sloane must navigate the wreckage of Claire and Simon’s marriage to discover the truth. Two people with conflicting stories and a whole lot of reasons to want to hurt each other. Is she crazy or is he manipulative? And can Sloane stay clear-headed enough to figure it out?

Claire Fontaine has never gotten over the death of her teenage daughter and blames her ex husband Simon for her death. Now that Simon has moved on and is getting married again, Claire is determined not to let history repeat itself. As Claire is making Simon’s life miserable, he hires Sloan Wilson, who is a sin eater to stop Claire from ruining his life.

This book is a really interesting concept and I found Sloan Wilson’s job to be quite fascinating. A sin eater, is someone you call to take care of problems and make them go away. A famous sin eater is Mr White from ‘Reservoir Dogs’. But as Sloan delves into Claire’s life and befriends her, she realises that the women have more in common than she would have ever expected with both of them having dominant fathers in their lives.

The characters in this story are fascinating, Claire is a French tutor and through her jobs meets loads of different people of all ages, all wanting to learn French for different reasons. Sloan is also interesting with her career choice, initially a policewoman, she followed in her fathers shoes but she changed her career when the force became corrupt. She’s honest and wants to help Claire, but the more she delves into Claire’s life that she begins to sympathise with her.

The story is quite cultured in parts with the French language as well as Claire love and knowledge with art especially when she starts tutoring an art dealer called Ray. When Claire is with Ray, we see a happier version of a normally stressed and unhappy woman.

This book evoked a lot of emotions in me, there was sadness for a Claire who was grieving for her daughter and is everyday reminded of her loss. But primarily I was angry for the majority of time with the way that women were treated in this book. When Claire fails to reciprocate her feelings for one of her students, he then harasses her, forcing himself upon and turning up at her house, his behaviour towards me riled me, even more so than Simon. Simon is a smarmy character, who has gaslighting down to a tee, one minute charming and immediately using his authority as a lawyer to undermine Claire.

With an unique plot, a gripping hook with flawed characters that kept me engaged throughout. ‘An Inconvenient Woman’ is a cleverly crafted story with strong female characters and suspense that keeps the reader guessing throughout.

You can buy ‘An Inconvenient Woman’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

A Body In The Bookshop by Helen Cox

A Body In The Bookshop‘A Body In The Bookshop’ is the second book in ‘The Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries’ by Helen Cox.

When DS Charlotte Banks is suspended from the police on suspicion of assaulting a suspect in the burglary of a local bookshop, librarian Kitt Harley and her friend Evie Bowes refuse to believe she is guilty. But why is she being framed? With Charlotte’s boss DI Malcolm Halloran unable to help, Evie decides to take matters into her own hands. Kitt takes little persuading to get involved too – after all, as well as Charlotte’s career to save, there are missing books to be found! From the tightknit community of York’s booksellers, to the most gossipy bus route in the country, Kitt and Evie leave no stone unturned to get at the truth behind the burglary. Then the discovery of a body raises the stakes even higher. For Evie, and now Kitt, this case is as personal as it gets. Can they catch the murderer in time to turn a bleak midwinter into something merry and bright?

Kitt and Evie are back with another dramatic story as the investigative duo look into the burglary of a local bookshop. With their inquisitive nature and knowledge of books, the pair delve into the case of murder and burglary whilst putting their lives in danger for a second time.

I really enjoy the Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mystery books, they’re not terribly gruesome like other books and they are the type of story that the reader can just sink into. They’re filled with charm and warmth, set in a small bustling village against the backdrop of books, so it’s hard not to be carried away by the story.

Kitt and her best friend Evie are two great characters, they’re a bit like the Cagney and Lacey of the book world, unable to stop at something unless they’ve solved. Their friendship and banter with each other makes for lighthearted and entertaining reading. Kitt’s boyfriend DI Halloran adds an injection of charisma into the story as he battles with being professional with his job as well as helping Kitt with her own unofficial investigation.

A captivating story from start to finish, ‘A Body in the Bookshop’ is a fantastic follow up book to the debut in the series. Atmospheric and suspenseful, this murder mystery book is a must for Agatha Christie fans.

You can buy ‘A Body In The Bookshop’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Scandal By Mari Hannah

The Scandal‘The Scandal’ is the latest book by Mari Hannah in the Stone and Oliver series.

When an young man is found stabbed to death in a side street in Newcastle city centre in the run up to Christmas, it looks like a botched robbery to DCI David Stone. But when DS Frankie Oliver arrives at the crime scene, she gets more than she bargained for. She IDs the victim as Herald court reporter, thirty-two-year old Chris Adams she’s known since they were kids. With no eyewitnesses, the MIT are stumped. They discover that when Adams went out, never to return, he was working on a scoop that would make his name. But what was the story he was investigating? And who was trying to cover it up? As detectives battle to solve the case, they uncover a link to a missing woman that turns the investigation on its head. The exposé has put more than Adams’ life in danger. And it’s not over yet.

The story is a bleak and miserable tale that makes for strangely entertaining reading as both Detectives work together to solve crimes, as well as have a banter together. As, this is my first book from the series, it wasn’t quite clear their background stories and sometimes, I did get a bit lost.

Saying that, I really enjoyed the story, the vivid descriptions as well as the witty narrative and the intricate police procedure detail. The characters were interesting, particularly Frankie Oliver, I loved her outspoken and tough cop attitude.

A fast paced thriller that really gripped my attention, ‘The Scandal’ is definitely the start of a new series that I’m going to look into.

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

Cover Reveal – After I’ve Gone By Linda Green

After I've GoneThe cover has been revealed for Linda Green’s new book ‘After I’ve Gone’ and it’s quite an eerie one with a haunting synopsis.

The story of ‘After I’ve Gone’ is –

STATUS UPDATE: You have 18 months left to live…

On a wet Monday in January, Jess Mount receives the devastating news that she hasn’t got long left to live. She doesn’t hear it from a doctor, though. She discovers it when her Facebook timeline skips forward eighteen months and family and friends start posting tributes to her, following her death in an accident.

As she reads the future posts from her loved ones, who are struggling to come to terms with her loss, Jess tries to piece together the final months of her life. But by the time she realises her death may not have been an accident after all, it might already be too late to prevent it…

After the success of her 2016 novel, ‘While My Eyes Were Closed’, Linda’s latest book sounds like a cracking read!

You can pre-order After I’ve Gone from Amazon and will be available to buy from 27th July 2017.