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The Perfect Father By Charlotte Duckworth

The Perfect Father‘The Perfect Father’ is the latest book by Charlotte Duckworth.

After a difficult pregnancy, Esther is grateful that her husband Robin offers to put his career on hold so that she can return to the job she loves. But Esther finds leaving her daughter Riley behind more challenging than she’d thought. And soon the new imbalance in her relationship with Robin brings old tensions to the surface.Then one day Esther arrives home from work to find Robin and Riley are missing. As the police investigate their disappearance, it becomes clear that nothing about this modern-day family is what it seems. Is Robin the perfect father everyone thinks he is? Or was it all a perfect lie?

Although I’ve read three books by Charlotte, I’m disappointed that this is the first book that I’ve reviewed.

I spent Saturday, not moving far from my bed with this book firmly in my grip.

The story is seen through the narrative of married couple Robin and Esther and is written in past and present sequences leading up to the pivotal moment that it all hits the fan when Robin and their daughter Riley disappears.

Robin is struggling comedian hoping to make it big whilst Esther is primary earner with her high earning job as communications director for a diabetes charity. After years of being together, Esther has decided that she’s ready for a child and becomes pregnant. Both are elated about the upcoming arrival but Esther is terribly sick during the pregnancy and her heart is broken when she catches Robin kissing another woman. Although, the couple try to move on from Robin’s encounter, it’s always there in the background coming between their perfect family. But as the story flows and Esther continues to progress in her career, Robin adapts to his life as a stay at home father, the pair drift apart and begin to see a different side to each other.

I loved this book, it’s so cleverly crafted with so many twists and turns that really keeps the reader on their toes. Every time I thought I’d figure out the story, Charlotte would throw in another curveball that was completely unexpected. The characters are a fascinating bunch with Esther, a dedicated wife and mother who is convinced that her husband is not the same man that she married and is determined to keep her and her little girl safe. Whilst Robin is the perfect man but behind closed doors, he’s manipulative, controlling and very much content to spend Esther’s hard earned money. To be honest, Robin is one of the most shocking characters that I’ve read in a while and he does make for obsessive reading!

Fast paced with an introduction that pulls you in right from the start. Riddled with drama, suspense and deceit’ ‘The Perfect Father’ explores the dynamics of family relationships and is a compulsive read, with dishonest characters and so many twists your head will spin.

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

The Postscript Murders By Elly Griffiths

The Postscript Murders‘The Postscript Murders’ is the latest book by Elly Griffiths.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death. But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her. And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to. And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure.Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Elly Griffiths and it was an absolute joy from start to finish.

The story begins when elderly woman Peggy Smith is found dead in her care home accommodation. No one thinks her death is suspicious as she’s 95 but when friends of hers are robbed at gun point for a book, the amateur sleuths and DS Harbinder Kaur begin to think otherwise.

Peggy’s carer Natalka, a straight talking Ukrainian, an ex monk called Benedict and a retired radio presenter called Edwin begin their own investigation into Peggy’s death and they soon discover that Peggy was more than just a fan of crime novels. Peggy actually assisted with the books, helping authors with the plot line and creating interesting ways for a character to die. Her official title was a “murder consultant” and this awarded her to be created in some of the most successfully crime novels and as soon as she has died, so also has some of the authors she helped along the way.

Whilst her friends are investigating the deaths in their spare time, DS Harbinder is busy trying to stay one step ahead of the friends much to her frustration as they discover evidence and information before her. I loved Harbinder, an Indian woman who’s family were wondering if she’d ever settle down with a nice man when Harbinder would prefer to settle down with a nice woman. Her interactions with her partner Neil also made for entertaining reading, he’s a simple man and she often compared his interactions and behaviours as to that of a woodlands creature and adds an element of wit to the story.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s cleverly written with a collection of characters that made for fun and suspenseful reading. The trio of friends are an interesting mix of characters, Benedict is a quiet man adjusting to life outside the priesthood and having feelings towards Nathalka. Nathalka is sharp and observant and having left the Ukraine to attend university in England, fears that her past is following her and Edwin is gentle, old soul who’s enjoying the adventure and the opportunity to be out and about.

The cosy crime thriller to enjoy on the these cold Autumn evenings, ‘The Postscript Murders’ is a gripping and fascinating book that is perfect for fans of Agatha Christie.

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

The Switch By Beth O’Leary

The Switch‘The Switch’ is the latest book by Beth O’Leary.

Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

‘The Switch’ is the welcome return to Beth O’Leary who after the success of her debut called ‘The Flatshare’ has become one of my favourite authors.

Like ‘The Flatshare’, her latest book is another dual narrative and this time it’s from grandmother and grand daughter duo, Eileen and Leena who both are at turning points in their lives and need a change of scenery, so they decide to switch homes and take a break from their lives.

Leena has to take a break from the busy streets from London and her grandmother is tired of the countryside and wants the opportunity to kick up her heels. A young woman at heart, age is but a number for Eileen and enjoys spending her days between the sheets with her dapper lover called Jackson, whilst getting to enjoy Leena’s friends. Leena has enjoyed the slower pace of life in Yorkshire, blending in with the community and getting to know Ethan, a handsome and kind man that the elderly ladies are fiercely protective off.

Beth is genuinely a lovely writer, a fresh voice in fiction. Her books pull the readers in with their charm, unique plots with relatable characters that makes for addictive reading.

This book is a lovely coming of age story about 2 people trying to find their place in life and sometimes to do that, you need to mix things up a bit to get on the right path. I loved Leena, a relatable woman who’s trying to find the right career for her and establish herself into a successful relationship. In London, we seen a struggling young woman who blossoms and glows in the slower pace of life in the Yorkshire village, helping with events and making new friends along the way. I adored Eileen, her passion for life and voracity to have fun radiated from the pages with her sharp tongue and creativity.

A heartwarming and charming story, that tackles the hardships of mental health and grief with sensitivity, ‘The Switch’ is another uplifting and slice of feel good fiction from Beth O’Leary. With drama, humour and poignancy throughout, Beth has successfully mastered the second novel with an outstanding triumph.

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

The Wardrobe Mistress By Natalie Meg Evans

The Wardrobe Mistress‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is the latest book by Natalie Meg Evans.

London 1945. A young war widow steps aboard a train in search of a new life. Clutching the key to a mysterious inheritance, Vanessa Kingcourt can no longer resist the pull of the old Farren Theatre – an enchanted place seeped in memories of her actor father. Now owned by troubled former captain Alistair Redenhall, The Farren is in need of a Wardrobe Mistress and a new lease of life. With no experience and no budget for supplies, Vanessa must use her intuition to create beautiful costumes from whatever scraps of silk and thread survived the blitz. It’s a seemingly impossible task, but a welcome distraction as she struggles to resist her blossoming feelings for Alistair. What Vanessa discovers could unravel family secrets sewn deep into the very fabric of the London theatre scene . . . but will she repeat the same terrible mistakes her father made? And can she dare to love a man who will never be hers?

Natalie is back with another gripping read set in the aftermath of the Second World War.

In this story, we meet Alistair and Vanessa, an unlikely pair who forge a professional friendship when they work at The Farren, a popular theatre.

After her father left when she was child, Vanessa was consumed with wondering what became of him. She knew he had an acting career at The Farren, so she returns to the old theatre after his death and takes on the old of wardrobe mistress even though she has absolutely no experience in the trade. Meanwhile, Alaistair is the husband of Vanessa’s best friend whose marriage is falling apart, having left the navy after the war, Alaistair takes over the The Farren and prepares for their first performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the background of war ridden London trying to recover itself made for atmospheric reading. The characters are engaging and complimentary with each other, with Vanessa’s humour and outspoken nature and Alaistair’s charisma, they made an entertaining couple, even though they both tried to deny their attraction to each other. There are two parts to the story, as Vanessa delves into her father’s past and tries to solve the mystery of the tiny key that she was given as a child and as she tries to find her place in life.

Filled with flamboyant and dramatic characters, beautiful fashion and riddled with suspense and mystery throughout ‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is a romantic and luxurious tale that made for memorable reading

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

The Night Visitor By Lucy Atkins

The Night Visitor‘The Night Visitor’ is the latest book by Lucy Atkins.

Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.

Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia’s book is based. She has now become Olivia’s unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.

‘The Night Visitor’ is a gripping and sinister tale, that held me in its clutches over the last couple of nights as I delved into the twisted and complicated relationship of Olivia Sweethorn and Vivian Tester.

The story is written in a dual narrative seen from the perspective of both women in alternating chapters, travelling swiftly and neatly from past to present tense, bringing the reader up to speed about their status.

Olivia is a beloved historian who longs to share the compelling story of Annabel Burley, a renowned woman in British medicine and with the help of Vivian, a researcher the pair of them write a successful bestseller. But, just as the book hits the shelves, Olivia begins to realise that Vivian isn’t quite the person she was led to believe and regrets the woman’s involvement in the creation of the book.

The two women are polar opposites of each other, which makes their relationship and the drama surrounding them so intense and chilling. Olivia comes from a bustling family, mother of three children and married to fellow writer David, her life is a hive of activity whereas as Vivian has no one, other than her dog, Bertie for company. She leads a lonely life, an only child with no family and she sometimes finds it hard to deal with human relationships.

She’s a simple but guarded woman that I sometimes found myself sympathising with. Where, Olivia shines in all her glory, Vivian prefers to sit back and watch and what she observes certainly makes for haunting reading. As the story develops, secrets are revealed and tragic events occur that effect both women.

Suberbly researched, this book is cleverly and chillingly written. This intense story observes the somewhat twisted relationship between women, a story of obsession and jealously, ‘The Night Visitor’ is a menacing tale riddled with deceit and an intriguing plot line that made for creepily atmospheric reading.

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