Saturday, 5 September 2015

Read, Read, Read

Advice given to aspiring writers is to read, read, read and for most writers that is not as problem as a love of writing tends to follow on from an initial love of reading.

I've been reading quite a bit over the summer, and although its too late for recommending summer reading, the nights are drawing in and so what better excuse that to sit by a fire with a good book.

So here are a couple of books I have read recently starting with some thriller / suspense novels.

This is a book which I first heard about on the Richard and Judy book club and was intrigued enough to download it onto my Kindle. 

The story centers on Yvonne; a geneticist in her early 50’s who is asked to give evidence at a parliamentary Select Committee in the House of Commons.  There she meets a man who is about to have a dramatic impact upon her life.  The novel starts with a prologue where Yvonne is standing in the dock at the Old Bailey as an accessory to murder and the novel charts the path from being at the height of her career to this.

This novel is explicit in some scenes of sexual content but it is all written within the context of the story and is not gratuitous.  At times I found it difficult to correlate how such an intelligent scientist could behave in such an erratic way, with a man whose character I found quite unlikeable.  Perhaps she’s having a mid-life crisis l but I think in Yvonne’s case she was driven to behave so completely irresponsibly because in her life she has always had to be the sensible one.  However, taking something entirely for herself led to dramatic consequences and it made me grateful for the relative safety of my own life. 

This was certainly an intriguing read even if I wasn’t always entirely comfortable with it and couldn’t really understand why Yvonne was behaving as she did.

I’ve read Cally Taylor’s two previous novels and thoroughly enjoyed them, but this one steps away from the romance in her earlier works and tackles the gritty subjects of both domestic abuse and how much parents really know of their teenagers lives.

At the beginning of the novel 15 year old Charlotte is in a coma.  It looks as though she has deliberately stepped under a bus.  Susan, her mother, can’t believe she would do this and begins a quest to find out what really happened to her daughter.  She finds her daughter’s diary but this actually throws up more questions than it answers.  Susan begins to question her daughter’s friends and becomes obsessed with trying to find out the truth – so much so that those around her begin to question her sanity.

But Susan has every reason to be worried with the answer to her daughter’s behaviour finally being revealed in a dramatic climax.

I must admit I did find elements of this story unbelievable but like Susan I was gripped to find out what had happened.  A page turning read.

I read Close My Eyes and reviewed it in September 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to reading this one.

When Julia finds her friend Liv dead in her flat she cannot believe she has taken her own life even though the police seem to be perfectly satisfied that this is what happened.

Julia sets out to uncover the truth and in doing so discovers that she didn’t know her friend as well as she thought.  She begins to wonder who she can trust.  Her husband had an affair several years ago and although on the surface she has forgiven him, this betrayal has never been far from her mind and now it looks as though he has started up the affair gain.

Unable to confide in him Julia searches for the murderer of her friend alone and in doing so jeopardises both her own safety and that of her family.

I did enjoy this book and was keen to find out what had happened but some elements of the plot just didn’t ring true for me and that did affect my enjoyment of it.  There were some good twists and turns though and it kept me guessing.

I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as Close My Eyes but it did keep me reading.

Well that's it for now, I will review some more of the books I have read recently throughout September.


  1. I read this recently and it's one of my favourite books - I've ended up recommending it to everyone. Much preferred it to Girl of a Train.

  2. Which one Wendy, I rather liked the Girl on the Train and will blog about it soon.