Book Haul – week ended 22 April 2017

Review Copies


CompanionThe Companion by Sarah Dunnakey (via NetGalley) due 27 July

How do you solve a mystery when the clues are hidden in the past?

Billy Shaw lives in a palace. Potter’s Pleasure Palace, the best entertainment venue in Yorkshire, complete with dancing and swing-boats and picnickers and a roller-skating rink.

Jasper Harper lives in the big house above the valley, with his eccentric mother Edie and Uncle Charles, brother and sister authors who have come from London to write in the seclusion of the moors.

When it is arranged for Billy to become Jasper’s companion, Billy arrives to find a wild, peculiar boy in a curiously haphazard household where nothing that’s meant is said and the air is thick with secrets. Later, when Charles and Edie are found dead, it is ruled a double suicide, but fictions have become tangled up in facts and it’s left to Anna Sallis, almost a century later, to unravel the knots and piece together the truth.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (via NetGalley) due 4 May

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

Kindle Purchases


Trust MeTrust Me by Gemma Metcalfe (99p)

One phone call. Two lives. Their darkest secrets.

Lana needs to sell a holiday, fast. Stuck in Tenerife, in a dead end job, she never expected a response quite like Liam’s.

Thousands of miles away a phone rings. Liam never intended to pick up, he’s too busy choosing the quickest way to die. But at least someone should know the truth before he goes, even if that someone is a stranger.

As time runs out both are drawn to the other, expressing thoughts they never imagined they would share.

When you’re about to die will your secrets even matter?

Bishop's RevengeThe Bishop’s Revenge by William F Love (FREE)

Would you help the man who shot you in the back?

If you were Bishop Regan, you just might.

David Goldman has been a P.I. ever since he left the force. The case that cost him his job and put Bishop Regan in a wheelchair involved one man: Eddie Goode.

Now Eddie has been accused of another crime, a murder, and he wants Goldman and Regan’s help proving his innocence.

Goldman wants no part in it, but the bishop is willing to give Goode the benefit of the doubt. Regan and Goldman must team up again: Goldman gathering evidence for the bishop to assemble.

Together the two of them will unearth the dark secrets of the victim’s family, uncovering financial troubles and secret meetings.

All this just to set Goode free: the man who shot and nearly killed the bishop himself eight years before and got away with it.

Influence 1Influence by Chris Parker (99p)

Influence kills…Influence is the greatest force on earth. Influence equals power, the power to affect people and events. The most powerful people alive have the greatest influence. And they can use it for good or bad. Marcus Kline is the world’s leading authority on communication and influence. He can tell what you are thinking. He can see inside you. He can step inside your mind. Yet when a series of murder victims bear the horrific hallmarks of an intelligent and remorseless serial killer, Detective Inspector Peter Jones turns to Marcus for help – and everything changes. As the killer sets a deadly pace, the invisible, irresistible and terrifying power of influence threatens friendships, reputations, and lives. When events appear to implicate the great Marcus Kline himself, everyone learns that the worst pain isn’t physical…

Cold GraveCold Grave by Craig Robertson (99p)

November 1993. Scotland is in the grip of an ice-cold winter and the Lake of Menteith is frozen over. A young man and woman walk across the ice to the historic island of Inchmahome which lies in the middle of the lake. Only the man returns. In the spring, as staff prepare the abbey ruins for summer visitors, they discover the body of a girl, her skull violently crushed.

Present day. Retired detective Alan Narey is still haunted by the unsolved crime. Desperate to relieve her ailing father’s conscience, DS Rachel Narey risks her job and reputation by returning to the Lake of Menteith and unofficially reopening the cold case.

With the help of police photographer Tony Winter, Rachel prepares a dangerous gambit to uncover the killer’s identity – little knowing who that truly is. Despite the freezing temperatures the ice cold case begins to thaw, and with it a tide of secrets long frozen in time are suddenly and shockingly unleashed.

Orphan's TaleThe Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff (£1.49)

In Nazi-occupied Holland, seventeen-year-old Noa snatches a baby from a train bound for the concentration camps, fleeing with him into the snowy wilderness surrounding the train tracks.

Passing through the woods is a German circus, led by the heroic Herr Neuhoff. They agree to take in Noa and the baby, on one condition: to earn her keep, Noa must master the flying trapeze – under the tutorage of mysterious aerialist, Astrid.

Soaring high above the crowds, Noa and Astrid must learn to trust one another…or plummet. But with the threat of war closing in, loyalty can become the most dangerous trait of all.

Mercury Travel ClubThe Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett (99p)

Meet Angie Shepherd who, after 24 years and 11 months of marriage, finds herself divorced and driven by friends and family to move on. From hangover to makeover, Angie steps firmly away from the sensible knitwear, and launches into every adventure on offer – from baking classes and book groups, to speed dating, and even ‘The Granny-Okes’, a 1980s tribute act and YouTube sensation.

But Angie needs more than a bar of galaxy and a night in with Murder She Wrote… what she dreams of is entrepreneurial success. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, the light bulb moment happens: it’s time to take the plunge and invest her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, an exciting new business venture. But as the Travel Club gets going, things never go according to plan, and in this digital age a little chaos brings the fame she’s been looking for.

Set in present-day Manchester, this classic mid-life journey features the 1980s soundtrack from Angie’s youth, and sees her travel the world whilst coping with life after the Ex.Angie’s journey is the catalyst her friends need to examine their own lives; as theystart to find their true callings, will Angie find hers? Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good debut novel shows it’s never too late for a second chance.


In the Shadow of the Judas TreeIn the Shadow of the Judas Tree by Norman Morrow (FREE)

Pull up a stool – yes, you.
I risked all, lost all, and now fear nothing in this world nor the next.
Barman, fill a pint of the finest Guinness for this curious reader.
Can you put a price on honour? Answer me this while the temper in your pint settles.
How much would you sacrifice to protect the innocent?

We cannot forget what happened to the innocents, what could happen to others if we forget.

My Grape VillageMy Grape Village by Laura Bradbury (FREE)

Five years after “My Grape Escape,” Laura and Franck are back in Burgundy to tackle their newest project, a derelict 16th century winemaker’s cottage located behind Franck’s family home. Not only is this a daunting rebuild from the ground up, Laura and Franck now have two preschoolers adjusting to the foreign customs of a French school.

Navigating the different rules for raising children and managing a family in a small French village prove every bit as challenging for Laura as learning to drive a stick shift through narrow streets, or arguing with the Architect of French Monuments over permissible paint colors (spoiler alert: any color as long as it’s gray). Come along on this evocative and honest journey where love, coupled with good French food and local wine, pave the way to la belle vie.


  1. I thought The Orphan’s Tale was beautiful Jill. Sad though, so keep a tissue handy. I’ve got Eleanor Oliphant to read too and I can’t wait to get to it. I’ve heard such fantastic things about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did anticipate that it wouldn’t be a stress free read. I often avoid holocaust books as I find them too traumatic but I’ve read many good reviews of this and sometimes you need to be challenged. Eleanor … does sound good I agree.


    • Probably longer than I will ever live!. In my defence, as I have said before I see these as being my library for the future. At the moment I can afford to buy them and I only buy them when on offer, going forward that might not be the case. When I retire I won’t have a large pension, I don’t envisage libraries being an option and I still want to have book choices. Books and reading are important to me.


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