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Who lives downstairs?

The Neighbours Book Cover The Neighbours
Nicola Gill
Fiction
HarperCollins UK
February 6, 2020
400

To get up from rock bottom, you’ve got to take the stairs...

Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends.

Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour…

Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards?

Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that bad neighbours could become good friends…

This is an interesting book as it defies the commonly promulgated idea that we don't know, or care about, or neighbors in London. My personal experience is that this is not true. 
In hondon, we live in small communities, towns if you will, where, when you walk out the shop owners know you, the station staff recognise you, and you always bump into, and talk with, a neighbor. True, you need to smile and say 'Hello' first and maybe join in a community activity, of which there will be lots to choose from. 
Not so in  Commuter Land. 
I lived there for 19 years and barely knew nextdoor. 
Here in London I know lots of people & even have had drinks with
the people upstairs.
That said, this is a warm story, almost sentimental, with a young person befriending the grouchy neighbor below stairs, and as such helping her turn
her life around.

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When social ills abound

Little Boy Lost Book Cover Little Boy Lost
by J. P. Carter
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Avon Books UK
Pub Date 23 Jan 2020

Innocence is no protection against evil… One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it. Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi. As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son? And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks?

A very disturbing story. very well told and believable after previous London riots.
My husband has always pointed to the regular occurrence of riots in the UK's history, and the fact that social ills were addressed afterwards, as a reason, possibly, that unlike  most of Europe, we still have a monarchy. And have not had a real Revolution.
 I saw a play created from interviews with our last London rioters, and it is clear that a significant portion of our youth feel very disenfranchised. And the increase in knife crime in 2019 emphasises this.
So the social unrest that is the background to this story is a viable a believable extrapolation.
I am not sure if Chloe's back story added a great deal apart from muddling stories up. I would have left it out. Its riot experience was enough.
And the final twist was one I never saw coming. Excellent.

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Beware magazine articles

Sexpiry Book Cover Sexpiry
London Loving Book 3
by Tori Turnbull
Romance , Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 11 Oct 2019

Harriet “Hari” Rawlinson has an IQ that puts her in the genius category, she’s a computer coding phenomenon and karate gold medallist. But she doesn’t understand people or nuance and she personifies socially awkward.
From the moment he meets her, Cameron “Cam” Foster is captivated by Hari, with her plain speaking, mental fixations and head full of facts, she is like a human Siri. He sees her - All of her - And can’t imagine not having her in his life and can happily spend the rest of his life getting to know her.
Hari’s never had a real relationship. Sex, yes. But a man who wanted to get to know her or stick around after sex? No. She is in the middle of a personal crisis: She only has twelve days before her sexual expiry; it’s true, she read it in a magazine. She doesn’t have time to get to know Cam right now.
Somehow, whilst Hari is fixated on having a one-night stand, she finds herself with a real-life boyfriend. But what if she doesn’t have whatever it takes to make a relationship work in the long term?

Contemporary romance

While this book is amusingly written and well shows the folly of believing in articles written in the popular press and magazines, I have a major beef with it. It is following a trend which shows female computing/mathematical whizz kids to be on the spectrum. To be lacking in the ability to communicate successfully with other people, and to have difficulty with emotions. I realise that this was always the usual portrayal of male computer/mathematical males but why?  Music and maths for instance, are the 2 parts of the same ability? And why link what they can achieve intellectually with their human communicational abilities? It is too easy to use this for a story. Which means that despite my enjoyment and the humorous prose (btw the jokes were unnecessary) I am downgrading the book to a 3 star.

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Murder by deviousness

The Body in the Snow Book Cover The Body in the Snow
DCI Craig Gillard Crime Thrillers Book 4
Nick Louth
Fiction, crime, suspense,
Canelo
January 31, 2020

Money, success, family? All deadly... The new unputdownable DCI Gillard thriller. A young detective is out for a jog on a snowy winter morning. Then she sees something terrible: a murder in the park, sudden and inexplicable. A woman has been killed by a passing hooded cyclist. It’s just DCI Craig Gillard’s luck that he’s on duty. The body is that of Tanvi Roy, one of the richest women in Britain and matriarch of a food empire. With a tangled web of family and business contacts and jealousies, Gillard’s job just got even more complex. As he delves deeper into the Roy family, it’s clear that everything is not as it seems. As the investigation threatens to unravel, Gillard realises it's only the beginning of his problems. Trouble of a different sort is brewing close to home... Perfect for readers of D.K. Hood, Patricia Gibney and Mark Billingham, The Body in the Snow is a remarkable and gripping crime thriller.

This is good solid British crime writing from a reliable author who thinks up devious plots and believable characters.

Always a good read.

This book also brought up 2 very interesting snippets – the first in location 2619, which is 54% of the way through, is a conversation between a mother and her very precocious 11 year old daughter. The second is better and most women will love this one. Location 2911. A discussion on ‘wrinkled bits’ left over from universe building and what happened to them!

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Sailing in the Greek isles

The Greek's Surprise Christmas Bride Book Cover The Greek's Surprise Christmas Bride
(Sisters in the Spotlight, Book 1)
Lynne Graham
Fiction, Contemporary Romance
HarperCollins UK, (Mills & Boon Modern)
November 14, 2019
192

All the billionaire wants for Christmas is...a wife! Greek tycoon Leo is a businessman, not a family man. Yet becoming guardian to his orphaned nieces and nephews leads him to make the ultimate sacrifice—finding a wife! And kind-hearted Letty is the perfect bride for the job. Letty can’t let her family fall into financial ruin. A convenient Christmas wedding to Leo is the ideal solution! Until their paper-only arrangement is scorched by the heat of their unanticipated passion! Which awakens innocent Letty to the inescapable truth: she wants more from Leo than she signed up for…

Why are all Greeks Shipping Magnates? However, the description of the children is nice and overall the book was nicely written.

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