Too ‘mad’ for me!

Mad Book Cover Mad
Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know Trilogy #1
Chloe Esposito
psychological, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
June 15, 2017
400

**'Pure, unadulterated entertainment. There is nothing Chlo� Esposito's Alvie won't do. Strap in for a fun, fast and fresh read' Ali Land, author of Sunday Times bestseller Good Me Bad Me** Alvina Knightly: Uncensored. Unhinged. Unforgettable. 'There's something you should know before we go any further: my heart is in the wrong place. Now don't say I didn't warn you. . .' Perhaps that's why nothing in Alvie's life has ever gone right? Until now. She can finally abandon her credit card debt - and her fruitless three-way relationship with Tinder and Twitter - when fate gives her the chance to steal her identical twin's perfect life. It's just a shame Beth had to die to make Alvie's dreams come true. She may be an accidental murderess, but who can blame her for taking lemons and making lemonade? Well. . . Beth's husband might, and the police, but only if they can catch her. So begin seven days of sex, violence and unapologetic selfies - one wild week that sees Alvie break every rule in the book. She never did have much respect for boundaries. It might be madness, but rules are meant to be broken. Right? Mad is the first in the sexy, shocking and compulsively readable Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know trilogy, and the beginning of a rollercoaster ride that those still alive at the end will never forget.

I found this book depressing and could not engage.

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Is there Hygge?

Hygge and Kisses Book Cover Hygge and Kisses
Clara Christensen
#NG, #Romance, #contemporary, #womensfiction
Simon & Schuster UK
(30 Nov. 2017)

For readers everywhere who are embracing the Danish art of hygge – the first warm, wise and romantic hygge novel! 

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 Aslbrog, 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.

It was difficult to know how to judge this as I discovered when I had completed it, that I had not got the full book, just a sample.
As it went, it was fairly typical of the genre, but the reason for the title had not yet been made clear. when the sample ended.
I would probably give it a 3 star rating if it were complete, but feel that I can only give a sample 2 stars as I cannot be sure of where the story was going.

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What are memories made of?

I am Missing Book Cover I am Missing
David Raker #8
Tim Weaver
police procedurals, mystery, suspense
Penguin
July 27, 2017
416

When a young man wakes up bruised and beaten, with no memory of who he is or where he came from, the press immediately dub him 'The Lost Man'. 

Naming himself Richard Kite, he spends the next ten months desperately trying to find out who he is. But despite media appeals and the efforts of the police, no one knows him.

Richard's last hope may be private investigator David Raker - a seasoned locator of missing people. But Raker has more questions than answers.

Who is Richard Kite?

Why does no one know him?

And what links him to the body of a woman found beside a London railway line two years ago?

Could Richard be responsible for her death - or is he next?

Richard has disassociative disorder amnesia and has asked Raker, a PI who specialises in missing persons, to find out who he is.

Raker delves into what Richard knows – or believes that he knows – but starts to become suspicious about some of the people who have been helping Richard find his identity.

The story is slightly confusing at the beginning as there are sub-stories being told also which are inserted into the text, randomly it would appear, between the main chapters. But by half way through the book, if you persevere, which I did as I became fascinated by what was being discovered by Raker, the links become clear. Maybe if you had read previous books in the Raker series this is a typical method of storytelling by the author and it would not have impacted in the same way. But I haven’t.

Nonetheless, you did not need to know anything more about Raker other than he was very persistent even when threatened with violence and even when actual violence was performed upon him. He admitted to being scared but still he went on his voyage of discovery.

I really wanted to know how Richard came to be found on the shore and why his memory was missing and the story drew me in. Twists and turns and unexpected events trap you into reading yet more and not putting the book down.

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Am I really so very Good? or Bad?

Good Me, Bad Me Book Cover Good Me, Bad Me
Ali Land
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
January 12, 2017
352

ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, CONTROVERSIAL AND EXPLOSIVE DEBUTS OF 2017, Good Me Bad Me is for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction. 'NEW NAME . NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME.' Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother's daughter... Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent. Praise for Good Me Bad Me 'Original and compelling - what a sensational debut!' Clare Mackintosh, number one bestselling author of I See You and I Let You Go 'An astoundingly compelling thriller. Beyond tense. You hardly breathe. Best read in ages' Matt Haig 'I absolutely loved it and read it in less than a day. A proper page turner and brilliantly written' Edith Bowman 'Original, intense, and utterly compelling, Good Me Bad Me is not just a terrific thriller but a psychological dive into a young girl's soul' Julia Heaberlin, author of Sunday Times bestseller Black-Eyed Susans 'A triumph of tension. I doubt I'll ever sleep again' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of Richard & Judy Bookclub bestseller The Last Act of Love 'Intelligent and disturbing, Good Me Bad Me had me hooked from the first page' Debbie Howells, author of Richard & Judy book club bestseller The Bones of You

 

A novel that chills.

The mind of ‘Milly’ is cunning – as she has been taught to be by her mother. She shares what she thinks is needed and required, and that which will progress her objectives.  She seems to have 2 main objectives, one being to ensure that her mother goes to prison for as long as possible and thus she will not have to return to the house of horrors that she was brought up in; and 2 to remain with Mike as a foster child, whatever that takes.

Milly manipulates the situation and we learn just how far she will go as the story develops. She has a Good personality and a Bad personality and she is aware of each and feels no shame when she uses her Bad personality to undertake a behaviour that will bring her closer to one of her goals. She is aware of what is morally correct to do in situations but often behaves differently, justifying her behaviour from her own goals.

In the book her foster sister has a manipulative personality and she is unaware of just how far Milly understands her and can counteract her when necessary. Her mother did teach her a great many ways to manipulate others.

Yet Milly is lonely.  Her life with her mother did not permit her to have friends. She would like to be accepted as who she really is but the very heavy publicity about her mother, who is now on trial due to Milly, prevents this. Only a very few are permitted to know who she really is as she is the prime witness against her mother.

 The story is told by Milly so we see her thinking and rationales as the trial of her mother develops and as her relationship with her foster family is impacted by the trial.

You feel very sorry for Milly. Her mother twisted and warped her through abuse and yet her awareness of good and bad means that in the end, when the full extent of her behaviour is revealed, you realise that she is probably not fit to live in normal society.

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The Unwelcome Gift

Marriage Pact Book Cover Marriage Pact
Michelle Richmond
psychological, mystery, suspense, contemporary
Michael Joseph
July 27, 2017
432

Alice and Jake are the perfect couple - sort of. On the day of their wedding, a stranger offers them the chance to join a mysterious group, known as The Pact. With its promise of a lifelong marriage of happiness, Jake and Alice are persuaded to accept. The goals of the society seem sound - and the couple are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, sense of community and like-minded couples. But then one of them breaks the rules. Alice and Jake are about to discover that, like marriage, The Pact is for life. The members will go to any lengths to ensure nobody leaves - until the marriage of their dreams becomes their worst nightmare. Under The Pact, 'Til death do us part' has a whole new meaning. . .

A story that gets darker as it develops.

So here is the fairly typical West Coast USA couple. Well educated, good careers with some previous experimentation, living together in a bijou house in a nice neighbourhood. Marriage seems the next and logical step.

And a friend introduces them to this ‘organisation’ that started in Ireland, which aims to help people have better marriages and fewer divorces.

Strangely, to join the organisation you have sign a contract, and then are given a very large book of rules of behaviour. The rules are very precise and specify minutiae – as an example, if your spouse rings you, you must answer within 2 rings. Now you may ask, what happens if you answer in 3 rings? And how would the organisation know? Which is where the story starts getting creepy. Apparently they do know. And you will be ‘reported’ and ‘dealt’ with.

The story is told by Jake, who is a counsellor and therapist, and it is his marriage to Alice that is examined in the book.

If you are married, or about to be married, there are definitely some elements of this story that you might want to think about. How often do you talk to your partner properly? Not just about day to day chores and work. How often do you surprise them with a gift? For no reason other than that you want to?

The statistics about divorce are horrendous and also those about how often marriage counselling fails. So the idea of (self) help and how to make a successful marriage appeals. But, I suspect, that what works for some couples, works for them alone, just because they are who they are, and not someone else. So don’t copy their behaviour!

Which is why I don’t think that the concept of the Pact was useful as an idea from the cult leaders. Who clearly had the wrong sort of psychological training…..

I really like the story and got more and more horrified as the story went on. And the final chapter was completely unexpected.

 

 

 

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