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Islands by Gwen GB.

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Islands by Gwen GB.
"How could a child, let alone several children, have gone missing without anybody noticing, without somebody querying where they'd gone?"
Islands is a powerful and personal story based around the tragedy of miscarriages and the horrors of physical and sexual abuse. It is Gwen's debut novel and worth a read. The timeline covers Katherine's late teenage years in 1976 into the 1980s and to her maturity in 2008. In the background we are reminded of actual historical events such as the Shannon Matthews case, Haut de la Garenne, Elisabeth and Josef Fritzl and the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 flight.
Footloose and fancy-free, that's how Katherine was as she took her final exams, inseparable from her friend Anne. Both are relishing the prospect of leaving school with boys on their minds, obsessed with Darren Le Brocq and Mark Vibert. Katherine's mother, Marie indicates her displeasure in her daughter's relationship with Anne creating tension which soo…

My Sweet Friend by H.A.Leuschel.

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 My Sweet Friend by H.A.Leuschel.
"Beyond the façade we were all human, fragile and sensitive to judgement."
Helene conducted research into the consequences of lying and I mean serious lying and this interesting novella is the result. It touches on mythomania, more commonly known as pathological lying, where guilt doesn't exist at all. If parameters exist between truth and fiction, they are so blurred they are unrecognisable.
It is written in first person with two very different narrators: one nice "The Sweet Friend," the other malicious. The story is set in France, mainly in Paris although Alexa Dubois escapes for a break to Biarritz, apparently on sick-leave through exhaustion. It's 2017. Alexa has just started a new job in Paris working with Rosie, Jack, Monique and Marc connected to sales and marketing as an accounts manager.
Initially, Alexa had made a strong impression on all but Monique. Jack fancied her. Rosie just loved her to bits and uses words such …

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes.

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 Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes.
" I can't be this woman. It's who my mother was and it terrifies me."
This is Moyes' first collection of short stories taken from "Paris For One and OtherStories."Honeymoon in Paris is more novella than short story and satisfying to read. Two newlyweds are celebrating their lune de miel at different times, one in 2002, the other in 1912 with uncanny similarities and tensions. They are certainly love matches but is this a solid enough foundation for marriage and all the challenges that they are going to be faced with? An artist, or more specifically, a painting, links the newlyweds a century apart.
Liv Halston looks down from the iconic Eiffel Tower, alone already regretting her marriage to David who designed and built properties. She was reflecting on how disastrous her honeymoon in Paris had been. She had celebrated two days of married bliss before David had returned to work. One week of celebrations had been reduced to …

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg.

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The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg.
"She got what she deserved. That hussy was going to come to grief sooner or later."
We are presented with a combination of romance and murder, a lighter version of a Scandi thriller. This is the first book in the series involving Erica Falck the writer and Patrik Hedstrom her lover.
It is set in Fjallbacka, an old fishing village, the hometown of Erica and the scene of a cold-blooded murder where she returns after the tragic death of her parents. She had already published four books and was working on the draft of a fifth one on Selma Lagerlof but was behind schedule because of funeral arrangements and cleaning out the family home. Her Stockholm flat had been sub-let as she planned on remaining at her parents' house for the foreseeable future.
Eilert Berg, a resident had been keeping an eye on the house belonging to Alex Wijkner. He was the one who discovered her lifeless body. He stumbled out in the street and found Erica, the first per…

A Woman Scorned by Christine Smith.

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A Woman Scorned by Christine Smith.
This murder mystery is the third book by local writer Christine Smith set mainly around Mojacar in Almeria, Spain.
"She needed a sanctuary to return from the madness of her career, a safe haven of love and happiness. A place for normality."
Robert Taylor represented that "normality" so desired by Clare White. He was a section leader for the local council, thirty-one years of age leading a mundane life: drinking every Friday night with Jim from work and lunch with his parents on Sundays. Not much of a hell-raiser! A domestic emergency disrupted the Friday routine and as Jim made a hurried exit, Clare White made a dramatic entrance and headed to where Robert was left supping his pint solo. Not a bad substitute, especially one that was beautiful.
"Robert sat mesmerised; she was like some exotic creature, the like of which had never crossed his path before."
Abruptly she disappeared telling Robert she was heading to Nairobi and …

Manipulated Lives by H.A.Leuschel.

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Manipulated Lives by H.A.Leuschel.
"My emotions felt like they had tumbled from a great height, crashing onto sharp, rough rocks below. I started to doubt my own intuitions and judgements and there were some days when I was feeling like an empty shell."
This is a collection of five short stories conveying a message that manipulation can ruin lives. Themes of deception and untrustworthy testaments distort the truth and it results in mayhem. Sophie, the narrator was tall, blonde with green eyes. She epitomises beauty. She worked part-time at a P.R. firm writing literary reviews for women's magazines as a freelancer. The story is set in London with a relaxing break to Brighton. It was when Sophie was visiting her private sports' club that she noticed a small and delicate boy who seemed to have been abandoned sitting in the children's play area.
"He looked like a beautiful, fantastical character who'd walked straight out of a children's picture book."
Sh…

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen.

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Die Again by Tess Gerritsen.
         "The circle of life is also a circle of death."

" Six years ago, in the bush, I found out what it's like to die. Don't ask me to die again?"
For those of you who like gory and gripping thrillers with plenty of action then this is for you. This is Gerritsen's eleventh book in the Rizzoli and Isles series. If you're a Gerritsen fan  then you'll be aware of the hit t.v. series Rizzoli and Isles starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
We  begin with a two week safari in Okavango Delta, Botswana, the experience of a lifetime for a group of seven: Millie Jacobson, one of the narrators with boyfriend and writer Richard Renwick, creator of MI5 hero Jackman Tripp, Sylvia and Vivian from Cape Town, Elliot from America and the Matsunagas from Japan. Unfortunately, Millie has been forced to accompany Richard but it doesn't take long before she feels despondent when she realises that her relationship is dying a death.…