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Nothing Else By Louise Beech

Nothing Else‘Nothing Else’ is the latest book by Louise Beech.

Heather Harris is a piano teacher and professional musician, whose quiet life revolves around music, whose memories centre on a single song that haunts her. A song she longs to perform again. A song she wrote as a child, to drown out the violence in their home. A song she played with her little sister, Harriet. But Harriet is gone … she disappeared when their parents died, and Heather never saw her again. When Heather is offered an opportunity to play piano on a cruise ship, she leaps at the chance. She’ll read her recently released childhood care records by day – searching for clues to her sister’s disappearance – and play piano by night … coming to terms with the truth about a past she’s done everything to forget.

Hands up if you like thrillers set at sea, as ‘Nothing Else’ is a turbulent one.

Seen from the narrative of Heather, with a rocky childhood she often wondered what happened to her little sister Harriet, after they were cruelly ripped apart. Now with an exciting new job at sea, Heather is determined to piece together her childhood and find her missing sister.

From the offset this book is a creepy and intense story, filled with flashbacks of an unhappy childhood with abusive parents tackling substance abuse and two sisters just hoping to get through each day and a mutual love of playing the piano gives them a strong bond.

Louise’s writing is wonderfully vivid with beautiful descriptions of the cruise ship as well as the accompanying soundtrack throughout the story. Heather is a fascinating character haunted by her past and guilted by not protecting her little sister and the song that Heather wrote for her little sister is particularly sad.

The flashbacks really set the scene and tone of the story superbly and really gripped me from the start.

Atmospheric and unsettling, ‘Nothing Else’ is a emotional and poignant story about the strength of a sister’s bond and the determination to reconnect.

You can buy ‘Nothing Else’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Brouhaha by Ardal O’Hanlon

Brouhahar‘Brouhaha’ is the latest book by Ardal O’Hanlon.

Dove Connolly is dead. That’s not good for anyone in Tullyanna, never mind Dove. Now his best friend Sharkey is home asking awkward questions about Dove’s death, about the strange graphic novel he left behind, and, most of all, about Sandra. Sandra Mohan. Missing now for over a decade, whereabouts unknown. This, however, is a town dead-set on keeping its secrets. And Sharkey is already drawing attention from all the wrong quarters.

The latest book by Ardal O’Hanlon is a dark and comical tale set in the fictional town of Tullyhanna on the cusp of the North and South of Ireland.

The town is fictional but could be set in any rural town in Ireland, small knit community where gossip is rife and everyone has a story to tell. And when a man called Dove takes his own life this causes the local townsfolk to launch their own investigation of what caused his death as well of the disappearance of teenage girl Sandra who disappeared after a night out many years. This new investigation raises questions and opens old wounds to the Tullyhanna community.

The characters are a fascinating bunch from Joanne the inspiring investigative journalist for the local newspaper ‘Howareya’ to Philip who was once Dove’s friend who received a graphic novel from the ill-fated man called ‘Brouhara’.

With a combination of Irish folklore, culture and history, ‘Brouhara’ is an intriguing and mysterious story. Packed with Irish colloquialisms and Ardal’s dark humour and charm, this book is a quirkily written story that was thoroughly enjoyable.

You can buy ‘Brouhara’ 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.

Book News – I Have Something To Tell You By Susan Lewis

I Have Something To Tell You‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author Susan Lewis has returned to our bookshelves with a new thriller called ‘I Have Something To Tell You’.

What the back cover says –

High-flying lawyer Jessica Wells has it all. A successful career, loving husband Tom and a family she adores. But one case – and one client – will put all that at risk.

Edward Blake. An ordinary life turned upside down – or a man who quietly watched television while his wife was murdered upstairs? With more questions than answers and a case too knotted to unravel, Jessica suspects he’s protecting someone.

Then she comes home one day and her husband utters the words no one ever wants to hear. Sit down … I have something to tell you

Now Jessica must fight not only for the man she defends, but for the man she thought she trusted with her life – her husband.

For fans of psychological thrillers, ‘I Have Something To Tell You’ is a must read!

You can buy ‘I Have Something To Tell You’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Dog Days By Erica Waller

Dog Days‘Dog Days’ is the latest book by Erica Waller.

Dog Days is a novel about those small but life-changing moments that only come when we pause to let the light in. It is about three people learning to make connections and find joy in living life off the leash.

I spent a lazy Sunday with my head in this book. A beautifully written story tackling sensitive subjects such as grief, mental health, domestic abuse as well as sexuality.

The story is seen through the perspective of three characters, George, Lizzie and Dan. Grumpy old man George, who throughout the story made me think of George from the Pixar film called ‘UP’. George has a gruff and ignorant nature and is at a loss when his wife Ellen dies suddenly. George is used to having Ellen, making his meals, washing his clothes and without Ellen there to do these things for him, George’s life stops at a standstill with only a beautiful little Dachshund puppy called Poppy to keep him company. Ellen thoughtfully bought Poppy as something for George to focus on as well as help him lose weight and get some exercise. It’s at his lowest that Betty comes into George’s after receiving complaints about Poppy’s barking and comes to George’s rescue much to his disgust. Betty is a warm-hearted and bubbly woman who loves to help others and the pair of bicker constantly with George protesting against Betty’s help and Betty fighting against with wonderfully sweet and creative language.

Lizzie has turned up at a women’s shelter with her little boy called Lenny, but has yet to reveal her story. She’s a quiet intense woman who misses her old life of being a primary school teacher and is at her most comfortable sharing facts and information with people. She’s not a dog lover but part of leaving at the shelter is to take elderly Jack Russell Terrier called Maud for walks. Maud knows that Lizzie isn’t used to dogs and does all she can to offer friendship and comfort to Lizzie.

Dan is at crossroads with his sexuality and when Atticus comes to his counselling sessions, Dan has to finally confront his thoughts much to his own fears. Dan is a wonderful character, he’s kind, shy and outspoken Atticus helps Dan finally feel comfortable with himself. Dan has a beautiful Golden Labrador called Fitz, a loyal companion who accepts Dan, no matter his sexual orientation.

All three people are facing real struggles in their lives and as they face them, there’s a four legged there to offer a hug or lick at their lowest ebbs. I absolutely adored this book and I found myself racing through it, purely for George’s perspective as he was the most amazing character. He’s a traditional man, with an old-fashioned mindset. Ellen did everything for him but he cared for Ellen in his own way, crafting pieces of furniture for her that made her delighted. His relationship with Betty was truly clever and fun reading as they battled with each other, but they brought some joy and company to their lives. Out of the three characters, George was the man with no interest in dog but as the story progresses, we see the shutters come down and he grows to love the tiny dog and the company she provides. Another beautiful element to the story, was the inclusion of letters to George from Ellen that she left for him after her death. These letters make for tender reading, as she’s offering guidance and support with gentle reminders of things that need sorted. These letters usually arrive when George is at his lowest.

As a dog lover myself, this book wholeheartedly proves the comfort and companionship that dogs provide, they offer no judgement and will love you unconditionally. This book was a joy to read from the start to finish. Filled with wit, tenderness and moments that will genuinely break your heart and give you hope, Ericka has written a book that handles hard hitting issues with grace and sensitivity, ‘Dog Walks’ is a book that stays with you long after you reached the final page.

You can pre-order ‘Dog Days’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 11th March 2021.