Posted in Beach Read, Best Sellers, British, Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Suspense, suspense, Thrillers, Women's Fiction

Twenty-Nine Seconds by T.M. Logan

Publication Info: Expected publication date Sept 10, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press. Pre-pub Kindle edition courtesy of NetGalley. Previously published in the U.K.: other editions available.

Summary: Dr. Sarah Haywood works hard at her job at the University. She really needs a promotion to a permanent position, as she is currently single mother. Her husband ran off with another woman to “find himself”, leaving her with two young children. Sarah works hard, keeps on top of her busy teaching schedule and even comes up with an idea for additional funding.

But all of this is threatened by one man, Professor Alan Hawthorne. Alan won’t let her — or any woman — get ahead unless they agree to his terms. At the university, Alan is untouchable. He has an impeccable public reputation on his BBC show. If a woman complains about his sexual harassment, she is disgraced and dismissed. When he steals Sarah’s ideas, she feels completely overwhelmed.

One fateful day, Sarah inadvertently does a good deed for a stranger. That stranger offers to make one person, any person, in her life disappear forever. Sarah must decide if the risks outweigh the consequences.

Comments: I couldn’t put this book down. I read until late in the evening, fell asleep, woke up and finished it. It absolutely had me gripping my Kindle until the very last few pages.

This is a very timely story of one man’s abuse of power and the fear he instills in others to keep his secrets. I know there are women out there who will relate to the situation, if not the solution.

Highly recommended for readers of Psychological Suspense and Thrillers. It would also make a terrific Beach Read and I’d love to see it on the best seller lists.

My Goodreads rating is 5 stars.

Posted in British, Crime Fiction, Mystery, Police Procedural

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

Publication Info: Published January 8th 2019 by Random House. E-book pre-pub edition courtesy of NetGalley. Other editions available since publication including Kindle and Hardcover. This is the debut of a new mystery series, DCI Jonah Sheens #1.She Lies in Wait

Summary:  At the start of this book, a young girl exploring in the woods finds a finger bone in a hollowed out area by a beech tree. It turns out to be part of the skeleton of Aurora Jackson, a 14 year old girl who went missing thirty years ago.

When Aurora went missing, she was camping with a group of older teenagers, one of whom was her sister. The teens were questioned at the time of the disappearance, but they all stated they didn’t know anything. It was obvious that something went on in the woods that night, but with the teens all sticking to the same story and no body, the case went cold.

Although he didn’t know them well, Jonah went to school with all of the campers. He has momentary thoughts of taking himself off the case, but decides there isn’t any conflict of interest. However, as secrets start to emerge, Jonah finds himself hoping that some things never come to light.

Comments: I liked She Lies in Wait. I thought the main storyline was tightly plotted with a believable ending. There were enough clues dropped about Jonah’s past and present life to give some options for character development in future books in the series. There were some side plot-lines that I found distracting because they weren’t fully resolved and I wondered why they were even in the book, but all in all, this was a good start to a new mystery-detective series.

As a side note, I thought the author had some very astute observations about bullies and abusers.

 

Posted in British, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Uncategorized, Women's Fiction, World War I

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

Publication Info: Published February 12th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing . Hardcover. Other editions available. The Victory Garden

Summary: Emily Bryce chafes at the restrictions placed on her by her very proper British parents. She wants to work as a nurse like her best friend, Clarice. But with the WWI battlefield death of her brother, Freddie, her parents are now overly protective of their only daughter. Besides, her upwardly mobile mother feels it isn’t proper for a young lady to do anything to help the war effort besides visiting injured soldiers in the convalescent home next door. Nothing short of someone with a title or at the very least “one of their own kind”, is good enough for Emily.

On one of these sanctioned visits to the convalescent home, Emily meets Lieutenant Robbie Kerr, a member of the Australian Royal Flying Corps. Although from very different backgrounds, Emily and Robbie fall in love. After Emily turns 21, she is free to make her own choices. With Robbie back flying in the war, she decides to volunteer as a Land Girl, working the farms in Britain to help on the home front.

With a genteel upbringing, Emily is totally unprepared to be a Land Girl, but she is young, strong, healthy and willing to work. She soon befriends the girls she works with, women of completely different stations and backgrounds. After assignments picking potatoes and sowing hay, she ends up working for Lady Charleston, tending her large garden. She and two other women live in the tumble-down cottage on the estate.

After she learns that Robbie was killed in a plane crash, she discovers she is pregnant. Remembering her mother’s sharp criticism of another unwed mother, Emily decides to remain with Lady Charleston as companion, gardener and library organizer, rather than return home.  Emily blossoms as she continues to gain independence and learn skills in herbalism from an old book she found in the cottage.

But someone doesn’t like Emily and is determined to see her gone.

Comments: I’m a huge Rhys Bowen fan and I particularly like her stand-alone novels. I recently reviewed The Tuscan Child. I liked that book, but I like The Victory Garden better. Like her other historical fiction, the author uses the time period as a backdrop to the lives of her characters and doesn’t spend a lot of time on specific historical details. In The Victory Garden, the author does a credible job of describing English countryside life during WWI. But for me, it is the characters that shine, which is what I like most in her writing.

I absolutely devour Rhys Bowen’s books. She can’t write them fast enough for me to read them. I look forward to whatever she’s publishing next!

Highly recommended for fans of Historical Fiction, General Fiction or Women’s Fiction.

Posted in British, Psychological Suspense, Thrillers

Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly

Publication Info: Pre-pub ARC provided by Eidelweiss+ by Above the Treeline. Expected publication Date, Oct 9, 2018 by Grove Press. Other editions available.

Summary: Novelist Leon Campbell has several mid-list best selling novels to his name. To all appearances, he is happy and successful. His wife, Jane, is a creative writing teacher and aspiring author. They live in a middle-class neighborhood with their young son, Jack.Open your Eyes

The family just gotten in the car to go to Leon’s mother’s house for his birthday when their neighbor, Lawrence accosted them. Lawrence’s wife was upset once again about the Campbell’s cat getting into her flower beds. This was not the first time they’d had problems with their neighbors over minor things. As the argument between Lawrence and Leon heats up, Jane goes into the house to grab some beer for the birthday party and get away from the fracas. Jack, in the back seat with his iPad and headphones, seems oblivious to what the adults are doing.

When Jane comes back out a few minutes later, Lawrence is gone. She speaks to Leon, but he doesn’t answer. She soon realizes something is very wrong. Later at the hospital, they tell her that Leon was shot in the head with a nail gun.

Jane’s life begins to unravel. She discovers that her husband has been keeping huge secrets from her. Leon has lost his memories and may never get them back. The police suspect her of trying to murder him. For Jane to prove her innocence, she must try to figure out exactly why someone wanted Leon dead.

Comments: Open Your Eyes is a fast-paced thriller. From the unusual murder weapon to unexpected motives, this novel of revenge gone deadly wrong will keep you turning the pages to the very end.

Recommended for readers of psychological thrillers and crime novels.