When you get lost

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde Book Cover The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde
Eve Chase
gothic, historical romance
Michael Joseph
2018-04
400

In the heatwave of 1959, four sisters arrive at Applecote Manor to relive their memories of hazy Cotswolds summers. They find their uncle and aunt still reeling from the disappearance of their only daughter, five years before. An undercurrent of dread runs through the house. Why did Audrey vanish? Who is keeping her fate secret? As the sisters are lured into the mystery of their missing cousin, the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. One which will leave blood on their hands, and put another girl in danger decades later . . .

A sad story of a family loss. and the on-going impact of just what happened five years before, and how the parents of Audrey coped.

I am not always a fan of literature set in the 1950s as it is some ways not far enough away to count as historical, but not near enough to be contemporary, yet this novel was so well written that it got over that reluctance. It described the Cotswolds well –  I have visited often and so am familiar with it, and even contemplated living in one of its villages, but far too expensive now!

I enjoyed the story and thought the style good. I am not sure though that I would read another novel set in this period.

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Who is to be believed? That’s what the trial is for….

No Further Questions Book Cover No Further Questions
Gillian McAllister
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
October 4, 2018
400

The police say she's guilty.

She insists she's innocent.

She's your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed your child.

 

Who do you believe?

This is a heart-rending tale of a small baby dying and the subsequent trial when the post-mortem shows that she could have been murdered.

Two sisters are divided here as one was baby-sitting for the other, and it was in her care that the baby died, and thus she is on trial.

Would you believe that your sister deliberately killed your baby?

This book tells the struggle of the mother as she sits through the trial and the evidence mounts against her sister.

The trial felt very real to me.

The questioning of the witnesses and the way small things were built up into an overwhelming case of guilty.

A book where you need to keep on reading to find out what the verdict was and does she admit what really happened? Or do we never find out?

I thought it well written, with the complex science of the pathology explained simply enough for the reader to understand and the conclusions that thus could be drawn.

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When the ghosts are tangible?

Paper Ghosts Book Cover Paper Ghosts
Julia Heaberlin
women sleuths, crime, mystery, psychological
Michael Joseph
2018-04
400

Having lived his life suspected of being a serial killer, Carl Louis Feldman begins his journey into old age at a nursing home in Texas. Though he was never charged with any crimes, the staff aren't sorry to see him go when his estranged daughter arrives to take her father on what could be his last road trip. When Carl protests that this is not his daughter at all, the nurses are all too ready to excuse it as a product of his deteriorating mind. Were those suspicions about him true? Does he know where the missing women are buried? And if he is an honest man, who has just driven him away from safety?

A disturbing but strangely compelling story.

I kept not wanting to read further, but yet I did, because I could not stop myself.

The narrator is seriously flawed/damaged from the disappearance of her older sister and her journey with the man she believed killed her sister is such a strange thing to do. she is truly paranoid – but who does she think is following her?

Yes, we do find out the truth – but which truth? And as for Carl, well he has a lot of truths doesn’t he?

 

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When your letter gets lost

The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Helen Cullen
Literary fiction, Contemporary
Michael Joseph
July 15, 2018
464

Lost letters have only one hope for survival . . . Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries- Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names - they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers. But when William discovers letters addressed simply to 'My Great Love', his work takes on new meaning. Written by a wistful woman to the soulmate she hasn't met yet, the missives capture William's heart in ways he didn't know possible, and soon he begins to wonder- Are these letters truly lost? Or might he be the intended recipient-could hebe her great love?

A slow burn story of the small (ish) lives we can allow ourselves to lead, where everything irritates and is no longer an amusing trait.

“was real romance just persevering when times were hard, hidden in the daily domestic rituals of a shared life.”

This element of the book was beautifully portrayed.

But.

Overall, I found the book to be slightly disappointing form the hype. I expected to love it and award it 5 stars, But I don’t and I haven’t.

A nice read but by the end I found the whole ‘Winter’ concept to be annoying especially after William ignored the big clue with the photographs. And I found the denouement unsatisfactory.

 

PS. 3 foot in size Grandfather clocks are known as Grandmother clocks! We have a beautiful one on our wall.

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Exhibiting Who?

Exhibit Alexandra Book Cover Exhibit Alexandra
Natasha Bell
literary fiction, relationships, psychological, thriller
Michael Joseph
Mar 2018

This story I have to tell is more than a collection of facts. I have no reason to paint a better or worse picture than what really happened. I've already lost everything.'

Alexandra Southwood is missing. Her husband is beside himself, or at least he appears to be. She has vanished into thin air; the only traces left are her bloodied clothes by the riverside. It isn't long before the police are searching for a body.

But we know that she is alive. That she is being kept somewhere far from her family. That perhaps this wife and mother wasn't quite what she seemed . . .

Be warned: this isn't another missing-woman thriller. This is something far more shocking . . .

I’ve been trying to read this book for several days now and keep getting side tracked into reading something else. The style is pleasant but the storyline is not gripping. In some ways it is too familiar – someone goes missing. They are being held by an unknown person in a basement/locked room. The food is bad. The family are worried especially the young children and the husband finds it difficult to cope.

Can I be bothered to read further? I got as far as 23% and still not gripped.

They say it isn’t like any other missing woman thriller but I was not convinced enough to carry on.

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