My year has got off to a strong reading start. I’m determined to share the books I’ve read each month so please excuse how tardy I’ve been with this recent reads review. I read 5 books during January 2019 which is slightly above average for my reading speed. This post contains affiliate links – should you decide to buy any of the books using the links on the images, I may be credited with a few pence (It won’t cost you any more).
What has really helped my reading mojo return is my Casa Costello Reads Facebook group which is full of chat about books we’ve loved and want to read. It’s definitely not helping my TBR pile get any smaller though as practically every single day, I discover a book that I must read NOW! If you would like to join our group, then please feel free. You will be made very welcome.
And so to the books:
A Keeper – Graham Norton
I’ve told everyone who will listen about this book and how good Graham Norton is as an author. I loved his first book, Holding and his second was even better. Set in Ireland, we meet Elizabeth who has returned to clear her mum’s estate after she dies. Elizabeth finds the house in terrible condition. She wonders if she will ever get it clear and is about to give up when she discovers letters that lead her to find out about her mother’s secret life 40 year earlier.
There is a real sense of isolation in this book – Graham Norton describes loneliness so well. I also really felt the terror from all those years before too. This is definitely a gripping story without giving too much away.
There are twists throughout the book that I almost sensed would come but even when they did, I still gasped.
5 out of 5 stars
Tell Me A Secret – Jane Fallon
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Oh I do enjoy an office based book! I love reading about the relationships between colleagues and the sense that the person you know in work may not be the person they really are.
Holly loves her job and is happy to get a promotion. Very soon, things start happening in work that lead her to think that someone has got it in for her. But who is it? There is one obvious culprit but are they too obvious?
This is a light read (I know its a cliche, but perfect for holidays and when you are travelling). I really did enjoy it though.
4 out of 4 stars
Winter in Paradise – Elin Hilderbrand
This is the first in a new series of novels by an author that I have read before. Most of Hilderbrand’s books are set on Nantucket and I can only describe them as ‘very Danielle Steele’. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a huge market for Danielle Steele books. I used to read tons of them during my teenage years. Nowadays though, I prefer my characters to be a little more realistic, less of a ‘natural beauty that doesn’t realise how beautiful they are’. Possible even more of an underdog.
To give Elin Hilderbrand her due, Winter in Paradise was more of a story than I expected. I definitely had a darker side than previous books of hers that I have read. I can’t say I particularly liked the characters of the 2 sons but I did find myself gripped.
Irene gets a message that her husband has been found dead on a Caribbean island after a helicopter accident. Irene didn’t even know her husband was in the Caribbean but knew he was working away somewhere. It transpires that actually Irene and Russ have been leading fairly separate lives. Irene, along with her 2 sons, Cash and Baker (Their names grated on my nerves throughout the book) head off to the Caribbean island of St John to investigate how Russ found himself in the helicopter along with a young woman and a pilot in the first place.
There are some elements of this book that are semi-predictable but enough surprises to hold my interest. Now a few weeks have passed since finishing the book, I’m even intrigued enough to read the second in the series when it comes out.
3 out of 5 stars
Evil Games (DI Kim Stone #2) – Angela Marsons
I’ve talked before about how pleased I was to discover the Kim Stone series of thrillers by Angela Marsons. In fact, Silent Scream (the first in the series) appeared in my Top 10 books of 2018. I was lucky enough to pick up the next couple in the series at a National Trust bookshop and once again found I was hooked.
Ooh this was deliciously evil. A rapist is discovered murdered but all may not be quite as obvious as it first seems. Kim Stone encounters a psychotherapist who is more than a match for her skills. The cat and mouse games between them in this book are great and more than a bit spooky.
5 out of 5 stars
Lost Girls (DI Kim Stone #3) – Angela Marsons
Very unusually for me, I went straight onto another book by the same author. I just needed another fix of Angela Marsons. You can read these books out of order but I would say they are much better enjoyed in the right order. The running thread of DI Kim Stone life is just as interesting as the crimes she is working on.
I actually think this might be my favourite Angela Marsons yet. 2 little girls go missing outside of a leisure centre. They are best friends and their families are super close. The kidnappers play the families off against each other in the cruelest of ways.
The ending to this book is completely spellbinding. You will race through the last 100 pages and the twist at the end is pure brilliance.
Another 5 out of 5 stars.
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