Added week ending 6 August 2016

Review Copies

What Remains of Me

What Remains of Me by A L Gaylin. Courtesy of NetGalley.

People don’t need to know you’re a murderer.
They just have to think you could be…

June 1980: 17-year-old Kelly Lund is jailed for killing Hollywood film director, John McFadden

Thirty years later, Kelly is a free woman. Yet speculation still swirls over what really happened that night.

And when her father-in law, and close friend of McFadden is found dead – shot through the head at point-blank range – there can only be one suspect.

But this time Kelly has some high-profile friends who believe she’s innocent of both crimes.

But is she?

Serious Sweet

Serious Sweet by A L Kennedy. Another ARC via NetGalley

A good man in a bad world, Jon Sigurdsson is 59 and divorced: a senior civil servant in Westminster who hates many of his colleagues and loathes his work for a government engaged in unmentionable acts. A man of conscience.

Meg Williams is ‘a bankrupt accountant – two words you don’t want in the same sentence, or anywhere near your CV’. She’s 45 and shakily sober, living on Telegraph Hill, where she can see London unfurl below her. Somewhere out there is safety.

Somewhere out there is Jon, pinballing around the city with a mobile phone and a letter-writing habit he can’t break. He’s a man on the brink, leaking government secrets and affection as he runs for his life.

Set in 2014, this is a novel of our times. Poignant, deeply funny, and beautifully written, Serious Sweet is about two decent, damaged people trying to make moral choices in an immoral world: ready to sacrifice what’s left of themselves for honesty, and for a chance at tenderness. As Jon and Meg navigate the sweet and serious heart of London – passing through 24 hours that will change them both for ever – they tell a very unusual, unbearably moving love story.

 Secret Diary of ...

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 831/4 Years Old courtesy of NetGalley

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn’t planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he had to visit his doctor more than he’d like. Technically speaking he is … elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?

Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs – not least his new endeavour the anarchic Old-But-Not Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in – the woman Hendrik has always longed for – he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what’s left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.


Kindle Purchases

Truth About the Harry Quibert Affair

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. 99p

August 30, 1975. The day of the disappearance. The day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence.

That summer, struggling author Harry Quebert fell in love with fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard, along with a manuscript copy of the novel that made him a household name. Quebert is the only suspect.

Marcus Goldman – Quebert’s most gifted protégé – throws off his writer’s block to clear his mentor’s name. Solving the case and penning a new bestseller soon merge into one. As his book begins to take on a life of its own, the nation is gripped by the mystery of ‘The Girl Who Touched the Heart of America’.

But with Nola, in death as in life, nothing is ever as it seems.

 North Water

North Water by Ian McGuire. 99p

1859. A man joins a whaling ship bound for the Arctic Circle. Having left the services, his reputation in tatters, Patrick Sumner has little option but to accept the position of ship’s surgeon on this ill-fated voyage.
But when, deep into the journey, a boy is discovered brutally killed, Sumner finds himself becoming a reluctant detective. Soon he will face an evil even greater than that he had encountered at the siege of Delhi, in the shape of Henry Drax: harpooner, murderer, monster.
As the true purpose of the ship’s expedition becomes clear and despair descends upon the crew, the confrontation between Sumner and Drax will play out in the terrible darkness of the Arctic winter . . .

Saving Sophie

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington. 99p

A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next?

Your daughter is in danger. But can you trust her?

When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.

Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.

Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.

As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.



Trophies by David Evans. 99p

When DI Colin Strong interviews a suspect on suspicion of handling stolen goods he’s convinced he’s heard their voice before. Nearly 25 years ago the tape of Wearside Jack taunted West Yorkshire Police and his suspect fits the profile.

Then the body of a known burglar shows up and a mysterious metal case is discovered at the scene.

Strong turns to his close friend, journalist Bob Souter, and embarks on an awkward alliance to probe areas he is unable to explore.

As the murder suspects start to disappear Strong must discover just who the shadowy figure inciting fear and panic amongst those he encounters is.

Strong wants to bring a murderer to justice and Souter is hungry for a story.

Who will get to the truth first and can their friendship remain intact?


Love under French Skies

Love Under French Skies by Gill Bryant. 99p

In a beautiful French valley, a woman discovers renewed hope and a message of love sent down the years

Fiona Grange feels her life is over.

In a career rut, abandoned by her husband, with a daughter who has left home and a best friend who has recently re-married, life seems to be passing her by.

Then a letter from a French lawyer shakes everything up: it seems she has inherited a house in France from an aunt she didn’t even know she had.

Fiona recognises that this might be just what she needs and, taking voluntary redundancy from her lecturing job, packs up and goes to see the house for herself.

The beautiful Lot valley and the people she meets in the village begin a much-needed healing process.

Fiona falls head over heels in love with France, and with the house — not to mention two very different but equally attractive men: sensible, solid Englishman Mike and wildly impulsive Frenchman Xavier.

And Aunt Bernice’s real legacy turns out to be something more deeply significant and life-changing than the house itself.

But Fiona has to find out exactly what that is for herself….

How To Be Brave

How To Be Brave by Louise Beech. 99p

This is a novel about how stories bring magic to our lives. Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat where an ancestor survived for fifty days. Natalie struggles when nine-year-old daughter Rose is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and refuses her life-saving injections and blood tests. When they begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar they realise he has something for them – his diary. Only by using her imagination, newspaper clippings, letters and this diary will Natalie share the true story of Grandad Colin’s survival at sea, and help her daughter cope with her illness and, indeed, survive. This is a haunting, beautifully written, tenderly told story that wonderfully weaves together a contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life through the medium storytelling with an extraordinary story of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War.

Daughter of Catalonia

Daughter of Catalonia by Jane MacKenzie. 99p

1935. Luis, a charismatic Spaniard, elopes with Elise and they move to a small village in Catalonia. But little do they know that war will soon rip them apart. Some twenty years later, stifled by her life in England, their daughter Madeleine sets off to learn the truth about her father’s death in the French Resistance – returning to the village she once called home. Under the heat of the Catalan sun, she soon finds herself confronting her past, facing the shocking secrets of war, and opening her heart to her own love story.


Truestory by Catherine Simpson. 99p

Alice’s life is dictated by her autistic son, Sam, who refuses to leave their remote Lancashire farm. Her only time ‘off’ is two hours in Lancaster on a Tuesday afternoon – and even that doesn’t always pan out to be the break she needs. Husband Duncan brings Larry, a rootless wanderer, to the farm to embark on a money making scheme they’ve dreamed up. Alice is hostile but Larry beguiles Sam with tales of travel in the outside world and, soon, Alice begins to fall for him, too. By turns blackly comic, heart-breaking and heart-warming, Truestory looks at what happens when sacrifice slithers towards martyrdom. By turns happy and sad, ultimately it is a tale of hope.


Competition Win

Cinema Lumiere

Cinema Lumiere by Hattie Holden Edmonds with thanks to Chat About Books, Hattie Holden Edmonds and Red Door Publishing.

Charity Shop Buys

Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris

The Lightkeeper’s Wife by Karen Viggers

Friday on my Mind by Niccie French


Kindle Freebies

The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes

Daydream Believer by Lizzie Fayke


  1. I see you got Behind Closed Doors this week. I’d love to know what you think of it. It’s not great literature and I didn’t think it was that plausible but I just couldn’t put it down. I don’t read many books that grab me quite like that one did whilst reading it.

    Here’s my list – can I tempt you with any?
    Don’t Stand So Close by Luana Lewis (£1.99)
    Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson (98p)
    Shtum by Jem Lester (£1.99)
    A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham (Netgalley)
    Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (Netgalley)
    Buried Sins by Vivien Jones (free)
    The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford (Netgalley)
    The Secret Wife by Gill Paul (Netgalley)
    The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor (Netgalley)
    Give Me Your Tomorrow by John Brassey (free)
    The Last Will And Testament Of Daphné Le Marche by Kate Forster (Netgalley)
    Diet of Doubt by Margaret Christopher (Netgalley)
    The Goodbye Gift by Amanda Brooke (Netgalley)
    Christmas at the Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant (Netgalley)
    Patchwork Man by D. B. Martin (99p)
    Serious Sweet by A. L. Kennedy (Netgalley)
    The Oddest Little Bookshop by Beth Good (99p)
    Someone Else’s Wedding by Tamar Cohen (£1.99)
    No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan (£1.99)
    The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood (Amazon Vine)
    The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells (Amazon Vine)
    The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes (free)
    I Hate That You Bloody Left Me by Heather Hill (free)

    Told you it was going to be a big one this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Damn, damn, damn and damn I was going to be good this week and I’m off the rails already. Thanks to this list I have just bought :-
      The Secret Wife (99p)
      No Turning Back (99p)(although I had posted that on the Book Cafe so not sure why I didn’t buy it then).

      Just downloaded from NetGalley :-
      The Woman on the Orient Express (read now)
      Christmas at the Little Village Bakery (auto-approved -fatal)

      Just requested on NetGalley
      The Last Will And Testament Of Daphné Le Marche

      and added Someone Else’s Wedding to my wishlist.
      When am I going to read them all?

      Re Behind Closed Doors, I’m not sure it’s really my kind of book, but wanted to see because of all the hype (I never learn!). As it only cost me 20p I won’t mind if I discover my initial thoughts were correct.

      I was going to attempt to next week’s total down to single figures, it’s not going to happen is it?


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