I've been flying through my to-read list recently due to long train journeys. Reading is the reason I don't mind spending a couple of hours on the train. I can relax, listen to music and get stuck into a good book. It's honestly my favourite time to read as I know I have nothing to distract me. Here're a few books I've read recently....
'Lately, Maud's been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboard full, forgets to drink the cups of tea she's made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what has happened to her friend, Elizabeth, and what it has to do with the unsolved disappearance of her sister Sukey, years back, just after the war.'
I'd had this book a good year before I finally got around to reading it. It focuses on Maud who lives on her own and who is suffering from dementia. She writes a lot of notes so she can keep track of things such as she's not allowed to buy anymore more tinned pears, she mustn't cook by herself and that her friend Elizabeth is missing.
Maud is written beautifully and she's such a likeable character that you're always rooting for. As you're reading things from her perspective, due to her dementia, certain things are left unsaid or forgotten by her, therefore you slightly have to work it out some aspects for yourself to understand how the story is developing.
There's also a haunting and chilling story from Maud's past that runs through the book. The chapters switch between present day with Maud searching for Elizabeth and Maud as a young girl when her sister goes missing. Although I love present day Maud, it's her past story that is gripping. There's so much mystery surrounding her past I was itching to find out what had happened to her sister, Sukey.
I flew through this quicker than expected and that's due to the talent of the author. The story includes comedy however, it still doesn't play down the woes of dementia and the suffering that the family endures during this time. The book was such a pleasure to read and I was truly shocked by the ending.
'The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.
Days later, another desperate escapee is found - and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed.Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?
Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors - living calling cards - who hold the key to the case.And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die...'
This book was recommended to me with a warning 'I had to stop reading it when I was home alone as it was too scary'.
Now I've finished it, I completely understand why they said that! This book was intense. It has a pretty standard detective character, Helen Grace. She is troubled and a bit of loner, she doesn't celebrate Christmas Day and she doesn't become close to anyone. She's also quite unlikeable, but I feel as if that was how the author wanted to portray her, unlikeable and closed off . However, if you can get over the cliche detective, then I think you would really enjoy this book.
The story follows Helen Grace as she tries to figure out who is behind some unnerving and sinister murders over the city. The story is seriously gripping. It makes you question everyone and suspect everyone as being involved. It's dark, twisted and quite far-fetched in parts, but it's still an enjoyable read. I would class it as a typical detective novel, it wasn't ground-breaking stuff, but it was imaginatively written and an easy read.
'A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.
But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.
As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?'
This is a weird one for me. I had heard so many amazing things about this book that I snatched it up when I saw it in a charity shop recently.
The story centres around young twin girls and it's very eery. The way the book is written makes the girls seem haunting, their smiles, their movements and their mysterious statements. I read an interview in the back of the book with the author who said that you can interpret the story as you wish, I interpreted as a ghost story. And that's not my thing.
The story is centred around the death of one of the identical twins, however as time passes, the parents realise that they're not sure entirely which twin has died. There are some spooky aspects and uncertainty surrounding the twins death, with family secrets slowly being unravelled as the story develops. It's told from two perspectives, the mother and father and as times goes on, you realise that one of them isn't telling the whole truth.
It was haunting, creepy at times, with a twist that I did not expect coming, but I'm still unsure about the story due to the ghost elements. It's not something I enjoy normally. I did still like the book as it was written beautifully, however, I'm still unsure whether I would recommend it.
Have you read any of these books?