Still Lives By Reshma Ruia

Still Lives By Reshma Ruia

‘The glow of my cigarette picks out a dark shape lying on the ground. I bend down to take a closer look. It’s a dead sparrow. I wondered if I had become that bird, disoriented and lost.’ Young, handsome and contemptuous of his father’s traditional ways, PK Malik leaves Bombay to start a new life in America. Stopping in Manchester to visit an old friend, he thinks he sees a business opportunity, and decides to stay on. Now fifty-five, PK has fallen out of love with life.

His business is struggling and his wife Geeta is lonely, pining for the India she’s left behind. One day PK crosses the path of Esther, the wife of his business competitor, and they launch into an affair conducted in shabby hotel rooms, with the fear of discovery forever hanging in the air.

My Thoughts:

After reading this book, I realised that it is such a powerful novel about a seemingly happy family looking on as an outsider, you would never know what really is happening behind closed doors. PK Malik is a father and husband but at his age now he has given up a little, he has many things he is struggling with, until one day he meets Esther and she brings out a better side to him that he likes. He can’t help the way he feels for her and they start an affair. But there is always that fear of being caught and he doesn’t know how to cope with it. He knows he is doing wrong but can’t help himself. I suppose it depends on the situation but it was hard to get to know each family member and see things that they didn’t know about. I so wanted to tell his wife what he was like, I felt sorry that they were all in this situation but unfortunately these things happen and if he wants to go around and destroy his life then let him be.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Silent Brother By Simon Van De Velde

The Silent Brother By Simon Van De Velde

The Past Never Dies

When his beloved little brother is stolen away, five-year-old Tommy Farrier is left alone with his alcoholic mam, his violent step-dad and his guilt. Too young to understand what has really happened, Tommy is sure of only one thing. He is to blame.

Tommy tries to be good, to live-up to his brother’s increasingly hazy memory, but trapped in a world of shame and degradation he grows up with just two options; poverty or crime. And crime pays.


Or so he thinks.

A teenage drug-dealer for the vicious Burns gang, Tommy’s life is headed for disaster, until, in the place he least expects, Tommy sees a familiar face…

And then things get a whole lot worse…..

My Thoughts:

After reading Simon’s previous book Backstories, I couldn’t wait to read this one. This story is all about Tommy and how when he was a young child, his brother got taken away from him, he thinks it is all his fault, Tommy’s life is no good for him with an alcoholic mum and a violent step dad, Tommy is being dragged down this no good path too, he gets caught up in drug dealing and so forth and he can’t seem to get out of it until someone shows up who he is least expecting. I liked how the tension and intrigue about where the story may lead to, I really enjoyed reading this book, there is plenty of drama and interesting characters packed into this short read but my god it takes you on one hell of a ride and I just didn’t want to get off.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Cat & Mouse By M. J. Arlidge

Cat & Mouse By M. J. Arlidge

When you think you’re safe,
When you think you’re all alone,
That’s when he’ll come for you…

A silent killer stalks the city, targeting those home alone at night, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with the victims.

As panic spreads, Detective Inspector Helen Grace leads the investigation, but is herself a hunted woman, her every step shadowed by a ruthless psychopath bent on revenge.

As she tracks the murderer, Grace begins to suspect there is a truly shocking home truth that connects these brutal crimes. But what she will find is something more twisted than she could ever suspect…

My Thoughts:

I have read a few of M. J. Arlidge’s books and have really enjoyed them. This one was just as good maybe even better than the last one I read. I loved catching up with Helen Grace as she leads another investigation, this time she is trying to find the killer who targets people when they are home alone. I would suggest not reading it if you are home alone at night. It did creep me out but that is what a thriller is suppose to do, I had goosebumps reading this book, thinking about who the killer could be, there are a few red herrings but the story holds a lot of intrigue and mysteriousness. You want to help Helen catch the killer but is someone after her too? We see the cat and mouse come into play and I feared for Helen’s life a few times, can she keep herself safe and protect others? I really enjoyed this intense and thrilling thriller.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Good Servant By Fern Britton

The Good Servant By Fern Britton

Good daughter.
Good woman.
Good servant.
She tried to be them all…

1932. Dunfermline, Scotland.
Marion Crawford, a bright, ambitious young teacher, is ready to make her mark on the world. Until a twist of fate changes the course of her life forever…

1936. Windsor Castle.
At first this ordinary woman is in a new world, working as the governess to two young princesses, in a household she calls home but where everyone is at a distance. As the course of history changes, she finds herself companion to the future Queen, and indispensable to the Crown. And slowly their needs become her needs. Their lives become hers.

It’s then she meets George, and falls in love for the first time. Now Marion faces an impossible choice: her sense of duty or the love of her life.

My Thoughts:

I have read all of Fern’s books and they are all absolutely fantastic reads. I like when she writes about something different like this one. I have to say I was not sure if it would be my kind of read but it really was. You can tell Fern has put a tremendous amount of research into this novel, it really shows how hard she works, I loved the storyline about Marion being a governess to two young princesses. It was lovely to see them bonding and also I found it really interesting finding out about being a governess back in the day. I loved the fact that the story is based on a true story, it made me feel like I had more of a bond with Marion. I just loved this book so much, it will definitely be in my top ten of my best books this year.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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One of the Girls By Lucy Clarke

One of the Girls By Lucy Clarke

WE WERE DYING FOR A HOLIDAY

The six of us arrived on that beautiful Greek island dreaming of sun-drenched beaches and blood orange sunsets, ready to lose ourselves in the wild freedom of a weekend away with friends.

On the first night we swam under a blanket of stars.

On the second night the games began on our clifftop terrace.

On the third night the idyll cracked, secrets and lies whispering on the breeze.

And by the final night there was a body on the rocks below . . .

WHO WOULD KILL FOR IT?

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed Lucy’s books in the past so was excited to learn she had a new book out, this is a thriller and a half, six women arrive on a Greek Island for one of the women’s hen do. The way Lucy describes the setting, you can imagine you are there feeling the sun on your back. This is suppose to be a lovely few days away to celebrate Lexi getting married but it is not all as it seems, as we get to know the different women we see their sides come out and get to see a little look behind the scenes of what some of them are really planning. It was an intriguing and mysterious thriller that had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. I couldn’t put it down, with all the twists and the red herrings neither will you. Such a fantastic read, Lucy is definitely one of my go to authors.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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A Fortunate Woman By Polly Morland

A Fortunate Woman By Polly Morland

Polly Morland was clearing her late mother’s house when she found a battered paperback fallen behind the family bookshelf. Opening it, she was astonished to see an old photograph of the remote, wooded valley in which she lives. The book was A Fortunate Man, John Berger’s classic account of a country doctor working in the same valley more than half a century earlier. This chance discovery led Morland to the remarkable doctor who serves that valley community today, a woman whose own medical vocation was inspired by reading the very same book as a teenager.

A Fortunate Woman tells her compelling, true story, and how the tale of the old doctor has threaded through her own life in magical ways. Working within a community she loves, she is a rarity in contemporary medicine: a modern doctor who knows her patients inside out, the lives of this ancient, wild place entwined with her own.

Revisiting Berger’s story after half a century of seismic change, both in our society and in the ways in which medicine is practised, A Fortunate Woman sheds light on what it means to be a doctor in today’s complex and challenging world. Interweaving the doctor’s story with those of her patients, reflecting on the relationship between landscape and community, and upon the wider role of medicine in society, a unique portrait of a twenty-first century family doctor emerges.

My Thoughts:

I have to say I really enjoyed this book, it was a little different to my usual reads but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I loved how the book A fortunate Man was found but how I found the stories so engaging and compelling. All the stories are true life and like me probably don’t even think how a country doctor would battle against the elements to see her patients and how living in the country is different. It was an eye opening experience but I felt as though I learnt things through out that I probably won’t have known unless I had read this book. It was also very interesting to read about the affects the pandemic and Covid had on the community. I also really liked the pictures through out the book, it gave it more of a personal experience. I would recommend reading this book.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The BlackBird By Tim Weaver

The BlackBird By Tim Weaver

Ten seconds before the crash, Cate and Aiden Gascoigne are recorded on CCTV. The couple are laughing – happy, untroubled.

Then their car plunges into a ninety-foot ravine.

The impact should kill them. And if that doesn’t, the fire will. Within seconds, the vehicle is an inferno – with the Gascoignes trapped inside.

But when fire crews arrive at the scene , they find something impossible.

The Vehicle is empty.

Cate and Aiden have vanished.

Now only missing persons investigator David Raker can solve the mystery.

My Thoughts:

I haven’t read any of Tim’s books before and I am unsure why as this book was absolutely brilliant. I loved how fast paced it was and how involved I felt during reading it, I am going to read more of his books now as this one was so good. I loved the story and how intriguing it sounded, there are plenty of twists that I never saw coming. Whilst reading the plot I was trying to work out what was going to happen but never expected in a million years what was about to happen. Such a terrific thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn’t want to put it down.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Meredith, Alone By Claire Alexander

Meredith, Alone By Claire Alexander

Meredith Maggs hasn’t left her house in 1,214 days. But she insists she isn’t alone.

She has her cat Fred. Her friend Sadie visits when she can. There’s her online support group, StrengthInNumbers. She has her jigsaws, favourite recipes, her beloved Emily Dickinson, the internet, the Tesco delivery man and her treacherous memories for company.

But something’s about to change. Whether Meredith likes it or not, the world is coming to her door . . . Does she have the courage to overcome what’s been keeping her inside all this time?

My Thoughts:

I loved this book so much. It probably has to be one of my favourites of this year so far. It is all about a lovely lady called Meredith, she has many things she loves to do and her friend Sadie comes over to visit her but what you don’t know about Meredith is that she has not left her house for quite some time. What we see unfold in this story is why and it is heart breaking and sad and so many emotions rolled into one. I just wanted to be there for Meredith and give her a big hug. But with the help from Sadie can she overcome her fear? I can understand that this is a problem that affects so many people, but some people don’t even have anyone to speak to, let alone help them. This book has made me realise to look out for others and make friends aware you are there for them for whatever is going on in their life. This is such a powerful novel that I would highly recommend.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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A New Map of Love By Abi Oliver

A New Map of Love By Abi Oliver

How can you pack for the journey of a lifetime?

George Baxter has settled for a comfortable life, content as the years unfold predictably – until Win, his wife of twenty-six years, dies.

With his loyal dog Monty by his side, George throws himself into his work as an antiques dealer. His business is at the heart of the village and all sorts pass through the doors, each person in search of their own little piece of history.

When George meets local widow Sylvia Newsome, he imagines a different kind of future. But life has more revelations to offer him. Over the course of an English summer George uncovers some unexpected mysteries from his past, which could shape his tomorrows . . .

My Thoughts:

I liked the sound of this book from the blurb so was looking forward to reading it. Not a great deal really happens in the story, George is the main character and after recently been widowed he finds unexpected time on his hands, along with his dog Monty they try and carry on no matter what. Then he meets Sylvia and he sees what his life could be like. It was an ok read, thought provoking and I felt calm reading it. I just felt as though a lot more could of been added to make it more interesting.

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Do No Harm By Jack Jordan

Do No Harm By Jack Jordan

My child has been taken. And I’ve been given a choice…
Kill a patient on the operating table. Or never see my son again.


The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.

I’VE SAVED MANY LIVES.

My Thoughts:

This is my first book by Jack and it certainly will not be my last. I loved the sound of the plot and it didn’t disappoint, my level of intrigue about what would happen made me want to finish the book quickly but not so quickly that I would miss anything. I love how it made my pulse race and the tension that intertwined through the pages was brilliant. We follow Anna who is a heart surgeon and has to make an impossible dilemma but which one will she pick and will it be the right decision? It is a terrifying tale which made me feel as though I was in the room with her, I feel as though my heart was in my mouth many times. I look forward to reading more of Jack’s books in the future.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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