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Pretty Girls

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.

 

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow;(September 29, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0062429051

    

Amazon Review

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.
The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Well now… I remember back a long time ago when I read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and have some people say they had to put the book down and couldn’t read it because it was to realistic in it’s descriptions of some pretty nasty things.  Moving on to Pretty Girls… holy cow! even I had a hard time with parts of the descriptions in this book.. and yet I had to know how it would turn out!  Happily I did!

I sometimes wonder where authors who write these books get their material from.  And of course a good writer  will make it seem all to real!  This Karin Slaughter managed to do very well indeed!

The Silent Sister

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (October 6, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250074355

Amazon Review:

"Chamberlain’s powerful story is a page-turner to the very end." -Library Journal

Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. It was a belief that helped shape her own childhood and that of her brother. It shaped her view of her family and their dynamics. It influenced her entire life. Now, more than twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina, cleaning out his house when she finds evidence that what she has always believed is not the truth. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why, exactly, was she on the run all those years ago? What secrets are being kept now, and what will happen if those secrets are revealed? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality. Told with Diane Chamberlain’s powerful prose and illumination into the human heart and soul, The Silent Sister is an evocative novel of love, loss, and the bonds among siblings.

"Enthralling and gripping…Chamberlain has a gift for telling stories about families whose good intentions go awry in difficult circumstances. Her characters are always portrayed with an understanding that sometimes life’s most tragic mistakes require heroic strength to survive."

Boy.. talk about getting sucked right into a story! lol.  Whenever it’s "family secrets" over years and then finding them out ..well.. needless to say,  I got sucked right into the story!

I must have needed this type of book because I read it awfully fast! I am not a speed reader.. not even close! But I read this in two days!  sheesh.. I guess I was being nosey!    Actually, I did enjoy the book very much.  Sometimes we need those "quick reads" to get us back on track with our reading.. although I expect May to be a very bad month for reading.

Tomorrow I get my friend from California visiting me for a few days and that thrills me. We haven’t seen each other since I left California..about 18 yrs.  After that I have another girlfriend coming by and we are discussing taking a little driving trip. So if all that comes about, there certainly won’t be time for reading.  Which is probably a nice break. 

This was an enjoyable quick reading book!  Try it you might like it!

House on an Irish Hillside by Felicity Hayes-McCoy.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Hodder;(June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1444730312

Amazon Review

‘From the moment I crossed the mountain I fell in love. With the place, which was more beautiful than any place I’d ever seen. With the people I met there. And with a way of looking at life that was deeper, richer and wiser than any I’d known before. When I left I dreamt of clouds on the mountain. I kept going back.’
We all lead very busy lives and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to be the people we want to be.
Twelve years ago Felicity Hayes-McCoy left the hectic pace of the city and returned to Ireland to make a new life in a remarkable house on the stunning Dingle peninsula.
Beautifully written, this is a life-affirming tale of rediscovering lost values and being reminded of the things that really matter.

This is not my usual type of book.  I’m not sure what it was about it that made me pick it up… well maybe because it was taking place in Ireland and England. (anyone who knows me KNOWS that would be the reason!)

Still,… it’s not a mystery or a murder for a fairy story.  But what it is… is following your dreams and doing what makes you happy.  One should not give up dreams, at least not all of them.  Many woman do when they get married and have children and redirect their life to the family.  Not a bad thing to do, but late in life you wonder what would have happened?  What would your life have been like?  … if you had managed to follow your dreams.

This little Irish house  in the Dingle peninsula was peaceful. All the neighbors knew each other.  Tales of old were always passed on by telling the stories over and over.  Music was part of all their lives, along with living most of their life like they would "in the old days".  Yet they still had television and computers… but they didn’t take over their life.

It was a feel good book.  Nothing exciting. Nothing devastating. Just a normal life and how a couple found a way to be happy and at peace with each other and the world.  When one thinks of that.. it’s actually pretty darn amazing!

Anatomy of Evil

Anatomy of Evil by Will Thomas.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books;(May 12, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250041058

 

 

Amazon Review

Cyrus Barker is undoubtedly England’s premiere private enquiry agent. With the help of his assistant Thomas Llewelyn, he’s developed an enviable reputation for discreetly solving some of the toughest, most consequential cases in recent history. But one evening in 1888, Robert Anderson, the head of Scotland Yard’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), appears at Barker’s office with an offer. A series of murders in the Whitechapel area of London are turning the city upside down, with tremendous pressure being brought to bear on Scotland Yard and the government itself.

Barker is to be named temporary envoy to the Royal Family with regard to the case while surreptitiously bringing his investigative skill to the case. With various elements of society, high and low, bringing their own agenda to increasingly shocking murders, Barker and Llewellyn must find and hunt down the century’s most notorious killer. The Whitechapel Killer has managed to elude the finest minds of Scotland Yard―and beyond―he’s never faced a mind as nimble and a man as skilled as Cyrus Barker. But even Barker’s prodigious skills may not be enough to track down a killer in time.

I believe this is the third book of this series that I have read.

The main characters are good enough to keep my interested in the story line.  This particular one, as you can read above, is based on Jack the Ripper.  It is always interesting to read the fictional parts of stories such as this, to see what the author’s take on it is, and how they manipulate their  characters to fit  the reality that has be written about so many times.  Of course anything written "back in the day" in any part of England is generally good reading for me!

I did enjoy this book and have his newest on my wish list.

Uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (March 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0804179050

 

BOOK 1 FOR ONCE UPON A TIME………….

Amazon review.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

 

I have been reading mysteries and biographies for so long now, that I forgot what a good Fantasy is like!

I remember now! I totally enjoyed this book!  Her world and Characters are really  good.  I absolutely loved the two main characters personalities!!  Agnieszka and the Dragon bounce off of each other fantastically!

As far as I know this is a stand alone book.  It has nothing to do with Naomi Novik’s Temeraire Dragon series.

Short review, I know, but I noticed that a number of others reading for Once Upon a Time have this on their list and I don’t want to spoil anything..I’ll just say:  Read it !!

 

 

Wild Fell

Wild Fell ( A Ghost Story) by Michael Rowe.

Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: ChiZine Publications (December 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1771481595

(strangely when I went to Amazon to get the above information, it said the paperback was 320 pgs!  A ghost?)

 

 

 

The crumbling summerhouse called Wild Fell has weathered the violence of the seasons for more than a century. Built for his family by a 19th-century politician of impeccable rectitude, the house has kept its terrible secrets and its darkness sealed within its walls. For a hundred years, the townspeople of have prayed the darkness inside Wild Fell would stay there.

First of all I never really buy a book under 200 pgs long so this came as a surprise to me.  As I mention at the top Amazon said it was 320 pgs.. but it was only 180.  Odd.  Very odd.

Anyway, as I read the book I kept thinking that I had read it before. It drove me crazy so I checked all the lists I had and the book was not listed.  I felt this way through most all of the book.. except the ending.  Which came quick and swift!  Hmmm, not sure what to say about the book.  Some will really like it. And yet others may not.  I may have liked it more if I didn’t keep having the feeling I read it before…  Maybe there is something to this "ghost thing"!

Sorry for the short review..Not that I write long ones but I just don’t know what to say about the book.. except maybe I thought the preface was the best part of the whole book!

 

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THE WIT AND WISDOMOF DOWNTON ABBEY

 

The Wit and Wisdom of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellows.

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (October 13, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250093600

 

 

 

"Come war and peace Downton still stands and the Crawleys are still in it."

Downton Abbey is loved the world over for its fabulous costumes, beautiful scenery, wonderful characters and intricate plot lines, but what keeps millions of us coming back time after time is the stellar quality of the writing. With each stroke of his pen Julian Fellowes seems to gift us with a cuttingly dry quip from the Dowager Countess, a perfectly timed word of wisdom from Mrs Patmore or a touchingly nostalgic pronouncement from Carson. Here in The Wit and Wisdom of Downton Abbey, Jessica Fellowes has gathered together her favorite quotes from the complete Downton Abbey oeuvre to take each of us back to the most memorable moments from the show and ensure we are armed with the very best ripostes should we ever need to chastise an impertinent lady’s maid.

 

 

 

 

 

What can I say?  This is a most wonderful book!  One, because it is the humor of Downton Abbey … and Two because my wonderful "sis", across the Pond, Cath Russell, gave it to me for my Birthday!!!

I so loved each and every character in the series and so this little book will always remind me of them all!

The Lake House

The Lake House by Kate Morton.

Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (October 20, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1451649320

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper, The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.

Oh-My-Gawd!  I have read every book Kate Morton has written and she just keeps getting better and better!  This is the BEST of her books yet!

It began slow, for me.. whenever a book is written in different times I have difficulty remembering which time period I am in. ..but eventually I get it.  And just when I do, the names in the "past" are also names in the "now"!  *sigh*.. but  even with all that, (and trust me I am the slow one so others will get this much faster then I did)  it became a book I could not put down!  Gosh how I love mysteries that include family secrets!!  (The 13th Tale come to mind)

You are reading and suddenly you say to yourself, "ahhah! I know now!"… and a chapter later you say. "well, nope.. I don’t know."  How many times that happens I can’t say but this book is way full of surprises, even to the family involved!!! And right to the better end, the surprises continue!

I loved this book!  Loved, Loved, Loved this book!  This is one I will read a second time once I have forgotten most of it. … and at the rate my mind is disintegrating, that might well be next week!

Good book.

Good characters.

Lots of surprises. 

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BOOKS READ IN 2016…

I haven’t listed books I’ve read up until this date for a bit so I’ll just copy them down and say that this is a slow year for me but I am enjoying each and every book!

January:  2016

1..The Murder Man……………….Tony Parsons……….(384 pgs)
2..Strings of Murder…………….Oscar De Muriel…….(406 pgs)
3..The Haunting of Maddy Clare……Simone St. James……(329 pgs)
4..The Vanishing………………..Wendy Webb…………(304 pgs)
5..Jack Kennedy Elusive Hero……..Chris Matthews……..(496 pgs)
6..These Few Precious Days……….Christopher Andersen..(336 pgs)

February:   2016

7..Inspector of the Dead………….David Morrell……..(352 pgs)
8..Some Danger Involved…………..Will Thomas……….(290 pgs)

March:    2016

9..Jackie After Jack……………..Christopher Andersen.(427 pgs)
10.Empty Mansions………………..Bill Dedman……….(456 pgs)
11.Cover of Snow…………………Jenny Milchman…….(326 pgs)
12.Things Half in Shadow………….Alan Fin………….(448 pgs)

April:    2016

13.The Lake House…………………Kate Morton………(512 pgs)

As I look over the titles I can’t even pick a favorite! (at the moment it would be The Lake House). I can honestly say this has been a great group of books so far this year!

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