That which lasts..

Durable Goods Book Cover Durable Goods
Cole and Callahan Thriller
Patricia Hale
Fiction, suspense, thriller, psychological
Intrigue Publishing, LLC
April 15, 2018
215

Detective John Stark approaches the PI team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan with a postcard he's sure is from his estranged daughter, Kira. She's been listed as a runaway for three years by Portland, Maine police but John isn't convinced that her continued absence is by choice. As Stark's long-time friends, Cole and Callahan agree to look into the postcard marked only with the letters OK. The postmark leads them to Oracles of the Kingdom, a farm where women sell fresh produce in return for a fresh start with God. But nothing seems right about the town or the farm and Britt goes undercover to look for Kira. Once inside, she realizes that Oracles of the Kingdom is not the refuge it appears.

And can be re-used…

This was a read that really tests your belief in pastors and religion and demonstrates how easily they can twisted to one person’s beliefs and self.

Here we see a so-called pastor preying on girls who had lost their self-esteem and thus believed that they were worthless and when they found a ‘saviour’ behaved according to his rules. Even when those rules were harmful to them. This is how cults work. They take those who are needy and work on their self-esteem until only the cult can fulfil those needs. They become grateful for what is supplied – food, shelter, and if it is abuse, then they believe that it is justified.

And often fathers are just as much to blame in a patriarchal society as they can idolise the sons and use and re-use the daughters with both mental and physical abuse until the girls are lost.

But isn’t courage doing what is right and good even when you are afraid? And we see this courage in action in this story.

I found the story disturbing and hard to read at times but somehow the writing didn’t quite flow as well as a 5 star book, so 4 it is.

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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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And Hygge is…

Hygge and Kisses Book Cover Hygge and Kisses
Clara Christenson
romance, women's fiction
Simon and Schuster
Nov 2017

The perfect feel-good novel to curl up with - light some candles, wrap yourself in a blanket and relax ...

Bo, 26, has always been careful, cautious. However, she's just been made redundant and her life plan is beginning to unravel. Before she starts immediately applying for other jobs in a panic, her friend Kirstenpersuades her to take a holiday, to visit Kirsten's mother's house in Aalborg, North Jutland, a part of Denmark Bo is ashamed to admit she has never heard of.

'What's the weather going to be like?' she asks Kirsten hopefully, scrolling her cursor over the budget airlines webpage. 'Terrible,' Kirsten replies, 'London is positively Mediterranean by comparison, and of course it's November so it'll be dark seventeen hours a day. But no one goes to Denmark to get a tan. You need a change of scene and to blow away the cobwebs, and trust me, Skagen will do that. Besides, the summerhouse is cosy whatever the weather, and you never know who else will be around.'

A few clicks later and there is no going back. And Bo's life plan is about to be entirely rewritten.

A nice book in this genre – but isn’t hygge becoming a trifle cliched – what with the cashmere throws (that no-one can afford) and the candles and the ‘real fires – which can’t be used because of pollution and the environment?

I recently read The Little Cafe in Copenhagen which reminded me that I had never finished this book. i had read the initial sampling offered and enjoyed it so received the full book from NetGalley for a final review.

I have to say, that I am very pleased that there was no cafe opening up in this book – not even a food stall in a market as again that is so a cliche. Why is it that all these women are portrayed as being good bakers of cakes? And can learn and reproduce recipes so quickly and easily? That is not really all we women can do – honest! Personally, if i had my life again, I might have become a gardener or garden designer – or owner of a garden nursery. How hygge are Dutch tulips I wonder?

And hyggeligt is a way of unity – and the derivation of hygge.

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Off to Copenhagen we go….

The Little Café in Copenhagen Book Cover The Little Café in Copenhagen
City Bakes #1
Julie Caplan
humour, women's fiction
HarperImpulse
November 16, 2017
272

Welcome to the little cafe in Copenhagen where the smell of cinnamon fills the air, the hot chocolate is as smooth as silk and romance is just around the corner…

Publicist Kate Sinclair’s life in London is everything she thought she wanted: success, glamour and a charming boyfriend. Until that boyfriend goes behind her back and snatches a much sought-after promotion from her.Heartbroken and questioning everything, Kate needs to escape.

From candles and cosy nights in to romantic late-night walks through the beautiful cobbled streets of Copenhagen, Kate discovers how to live life ‘the Danish way’. Can the secrets of hygge and happiness lead her to her own happily-ever-after?

'An irresistible combination of Danish happiness and hygge in one un-put-down-able story'Sunday Times bestseller Katie Fforde

If hygge is an adjective can you write in a hyggerly way? or is it hyggerich? If so, then this book does it.Gentle and warm style.

I loved the scene where Conrad gets locked in a wine cellar – could just imagine it happening…

The press tour concept really gives the reader a good tourist guide view of what to see and do in Copenhagen.

But I must say that if I ever stay in a 5 star hotel I would expect them to be able to loan me a phone charger…

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Go nowhere, read this!

Don't Let Go Book Cover Don't Let Go
Myron Bolitar
Harlan Coben
thrillers, suspense
Century
September 26, 2017
368

THE GLOBAL NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER The brilliant new thriller from the international bestselling author of Home and Fool Me Once. Mistaken identities, dark family secrets and a murderous conspiracy lie at the heart of this gripping new bestseller. 'The modern master of the hook and twist, luring you in on the first page only to shock you on the last,' Dan Brown 'Harlan Coben is a folk poet of the suburbs and his well-tuned new mystery, Don't Let Go shows why ... This kind of writing is what we call poetry.' New York Times A SMALL TOWN IS HIDING BIG SECRETS ... Fifteen years ago in New Jersey, a teenage boy and girl were found dead. Most people concluded it was a tragic suicide pact. The dead boy's brother, Nap Dumas, did not. Now Nap is a cop - but he's a cop who plays by his own rules, and who has never made peace with his past. And when the past comes back to haunt him, Nap discovers secrets can kill...

Harlan draws you in slowly to a story that initially seems very far-fetched. but the evidence accumulates.

And then the ending takes a wild twist and everything you thought you knew is unravelled. Twice. Or maybe more times.

It so didn’t happen as the reader – unless they are a lot more suspicious or canny or twisted or clever or.. than me could imagine. Clever Mr Coben.

Excellent understated writing as always. Almost conversational in tone and expression.

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