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Where did she go?

The Vanished Bride Book Cover The Vanished Bride
Bella Ellis
Female sleuths, historical fiction, bisexual erotic fiction
Hodder & Stoughton
November 7, 2019
352

The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered. The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

The idea of this book is great, but somehow, for me, the execution didn’t work. I found the Bronte girls 2 dimensional and the gypsy too stereotypical.

I didn’t manage to finish the book.

There is one good statement however, one which many of these historical genre novels emphasise, that women were considered property and thus the authorities – who were all men, and of which there few enough, were not bothered to investigate fully, if at all. Detectives were just coming in in London at this time and not further afield.

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The Heat

The Burning Men Book Cover The Burning Men
DI ALEX FINN AND DC MATTIE PAULSEN. #1
Will Shindler
Noir Crime, Heist Crime, Serial Killers
Hodder and Stoughton
February 6, 2020
368

THE FIRST IN A PHENOMENAL NEW PROCEDURAL SERIES FEATURING DI ALEX FINN AND DC MATTIE PAULSEN. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Peter Robinson. When a high-rise development in South London catches fire mid-construction, a close-knit team of fire fighters tackle the blaze. The building should be empty, but they find a man, unconscious, next to several cases of money. The fire crew make a fateful decision; leave the man, take the money, quit the service and never speak of this again. But five years later one of them is set alight in the toilets at his own wedding. Soon after, a second is found in the burnt out remains of his Maserati, nothing but a smoking corpse. It appears that someone knows what they did. And there are still three firemen left to go. . . DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen are an unlikely pairing, but they need to discover who is behind these killings before the last man burns. This is first in Will Shindler's Finn and Paulsen series - a British detective series that ranks with Mark Billingham, M.J. Arlidge, Staurt Macbride.

A definite 5 star read. With a great twist on the final page.

A well written, well plotted story that makes you wonder what would you have done? If you were the firemen, in that fire, and you had personal problems? And how would you have rationalised it? We do take our firemen and first responders for granted and forget just how dangerous their work is and how little they are rewarded in the scheme of things.

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Brontes again? Why?

The Vanished Bride Book Cover The Vanished Bride
Bella Ellis
historical fiction, historical crime, women sleuths
Hodder and Stoughton
November 7, 2019
352

The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered. The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

The idea of this book is great, but somehow, for me, the execution didn;t work. I found the Bronte girls 2 dimensional and the gypsy too stereotypical.

I didn’t manage to finish the book. There is one good statement however, one which many of these historical genre novels emphasise, that women were considered property and thus the authorities – who were all men, and of which there few enough, were not bothered to investigate fully, if at all. Detectives were just coming in in London at this time and not further afield.

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Enter the AI and the Apocalypse

Emily Eternal Book Cover Emily Eternal
M. G. Wheaton
General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Hodder & Stoughton
23 Apr 2019

Meet Emily - she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind's deepest secrets and even fix your truck's air con, but unfortunately, she can't restart the Sun.

Emily is an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions - college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun's death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it's not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

So the Apocalypse actually happens and money is no longer of any value, just barter. And Emily, an artificial intelligence was designed to interface with, and de-code human minds. She was designed to become not a maths genius, but rather a non-human psychiatrist. It was reasoned that people would open up more to a program than a human and thus more would be learnt about the human mind and emotions that way. Of course, she needed a body to undertake her work but the sun’s failure somewhat interrupted everyone’s intentions. Emily can eat, wash, sleep and alter her appearance despite requiring a Caucasian female personality for the experiment.

So, if the human race can no longer live on Earth, what can be done to record their lives, their endeavours and hopes? And how can Emily help?

An interesting idea within a set of ‘books’ within the book as Emily and her protocols evolve, and as the Earth dies but…

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When you need a Miracle

Miracle Creek Book Cover Miracle Creek
Angie Kim
Mystery & Thrillers General Fiction (Adult) ,
Hodder & Stoughton
Pub Date 16 Apr 2019

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we'll go to protect our families - and our deepest secrets.

In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos' small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night: trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges, as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim's Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author's own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life "submarine" patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.

A disastrous event – deliberately caused – but by whom?

So there is a trial as the detectives think they know the answer to the question, and the story covers this trial as they try to establish the truth of the arson and thus murder.

But as the trial progresses, what started out as a small white innocuous lie seems to be just one lie among many, by many.

The untruths start spilling out and what seems obvious starts to become a lie too. And the little white lies become big and important.

I like the twist of using Korean immigrants and allowing their traditions to influence their behaviour in this story.

And note, all the treatments Elizabeth uses, including HBOT, seem to be at least partially recognised as potential ‘cures’ or assistance in alleviating autism. None of course have passed clinical trials so they are difficult to assess their outcomes, especially as many are used alongside each other.

Note that the author has used HBOT herself and is a trial lawyer and a Korean immigrant.

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