It has been a bit of a quiet month chez BeverleyHasRead but I seem to have managed to get through a fair amount of books and have added lots more to my To Be Read pile. Take a look beneath to see what I read, bought and received.
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller was my first read of the month and what a read it is. Exquisitely beautiful with an overarching sense of menace I fell head over heels in love with this book – you can read my full review here.
The Trailing Spouse by Jo Furniss is a clever novel which follows two women searching for the truth in modern day Singapore. I didn’t know quite who to trust or believe in this book and really enjoyed being knocked off kilter. You can read my Blog Tour review here.
I was on the Blog Tour for The Girl I Used to Be by Mary Torjussen a book which examines the impact of a white lie and its snowball effect. You can read my full review here.
I adored Sunburn by Laura Lippman a noir thriller set in 1990s America. It explores the relationship between Polly and Adam who are keeping secrets from one another against a sultry and heady backdrop – my full review is here.
Lullaby by Leïla Slimani is not for the faint hearted. It opens with the death of two children and then propels us back in time to examine what happened. This is a less a whodunnit and more a whydunnit and it is delicately yet sharply written. You can read my full review here.
You will be able to read my full review of the The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech on the 11th September when it is my stop on the Blog Tour, but, I will tell you that this book sneaks up on you and hits you over the head with an emotional wallop.
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is everywhere at the moment and rightly so. It is a clever and inventive thriller with an unusal premise – the serial killer is on the jury. My full review is here.
I re-read one of my favourite books, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness this month in preperation for the TV Adaptation on the 14th September on Sky One. I have reviewed it here (and I also have a giveaway of a paperback copy you can win!)
Overkill by Vanda Symon is my first foray into New Zealand literature and it won’t be my last. You can read my full review on the 10th September when it is my stop on the Blog Tour.
Books I Bought
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – Joel Dicker
August 30, 1975. The day of the disappearance. The day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence.
That summer, struggling author Harry Quebert fell in love with fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard, along with a manuscript copy of the novel that made him a household name. Quebert is the only suspect.
Marcus Goldman – Quebert’s most gifted protégé – throws off his writer’s block to clear his mentor’s name. Solving the case and penning a new bestseller soon merge into one. As his book begins to take on a life of its own, the nation is gripped by the mystery of ‘The Girl Who Touched the Heart of America’.
But with Nola, in death as in life, nothing is ever as it seems.
Social Creature – Tara Isabella Burton
A friendship to die for.
A Ripley story for the Instagram age set in contemporary New York; a world at once sophisticated and sordid, irresistible and irresponsible, unforgettable yet unattainable
Louise is struggling to survive in New York; juggling a series of poorly paid jobs, renting a shabby flat, being cat-called by her creepy neighbour, she dreams of being a writer. And then one day she meets Lavinia. Lavinia who has everything – looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment…
Lavinia invites Louise into her charmed circle, takes her to underground speakeasies, the opera, shares her clothes, her drugs, her Uber account. Louise knows that this can’t last for ever, but just how far is she prepared to go to have this life? Or rather, to have Lavinia’s life?
The Monogram Murders – Sophie Hannah
The new Hercule Poirot novel – another brilliant murder mystery that can only be solved by the eponymous Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’.
Since the publication of her first book in 1920, Agatha Christie wrote 33 novels, two plays and more than 50 short stories featuring Hercule Poirot. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation.
Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.
Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at the fashionable Bloxham Hotel have been murdered, a cufflink placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…
In the hands of internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London – a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’.
Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
One windy spring day in the Chilterns Joe Rose’s calm, organised life is shattered by a ballooning accident. The afternoon could have ended in mere tragedy, but for his brief meeting with Jed Parry. Unknown to Joe, something passes between them – something that gives birth in Parry to an obsession so powerful that it will test to the limits Joe’s beloved scientific rationalism, threaten the love of his wife Clarissa and drive him to the brink of murder and madness.
Sweet Caress – William Boyd
Amory’s first memory is of her father doing a handstand. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers. It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, and, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.
A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, living in his flat in Kensington, earning two pounds a week photographing socialites for fashionable magazines. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late 1920s, to New York of the 1930s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons.
In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay. It is his greatest achievement to date.
The Bird Tribunal – Agnes Ravatn
Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape…
TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough…
Haunting, consuming and powerful, The Bird Tribunal is a taut, exquisitely written psychological thriller that builds to a shocking, dramatic crescendo that will leave you breathless.
Instructions for a Heatwave – Maggie O’ Farrell
It’s July 1976. In London, it hasn’t rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn’t come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta’s children – two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce – back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.
Advanced Copies I Received
The Last – Hanna Jameson
Published by Penguin on 31st January 2019
BREAKING: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
BREAKING: London hit, thousands feared dead.
BREAKING: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm.
Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. More than anything he wishes he hadn’t ignored his wife Nadia’s last message.
Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city, they wait, they survive.
Then one day, the body of a girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer…
As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what happens if the killer doesn’t want to be found?
The Katharina Code – Jørn Lier Horst
Published on 9th August 2018 by Penguin
Katharina went missing twenty-four years ago.
Each year on the anniversary of her disappearance Chief Inspector William Wisting visits her husband, the man he could never help.
He re-reads her files, searching for the answer he could never find.
The code he could never solve.
This year is going to be different.
Another woman is missing.
And so is Katharina’s husband.
Wisting has to find him, but is he rescuing a dear friend, or playing a deadly game?
Come and Find Me – Sarah Hilary
Published by Headline in paperback on 4th October 2018
On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.
The Infinite Blacktop – Sara Gran
Published by Faber & Faber on 18th September 2018
Driven off the desert road and left for dead, Claire DeWitt has to think fast to avoid the cops who arrive first on the scene. Making a break for it, she sets off in search of the person who tried to kill her, and the reasons why. But perhaps the biggest mystery of all lies deeper than that, somewhere out there on the ever rolling highway of life.
Set between modern day Las Vegas and LA, The Infinite Blacktop sees ‘the best detective in the world’ wounded and disorientated, but just about standing.
The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley
Published by HarperCollins on 24th January 2019
EVERYONE’S A SUSPECT.
Bristling with tension, bitter rivalries, and toxic friendships, get ready for the most hotly-anticipated thriller of 2019.
In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.
The beautiful one
The golden couple
The volatile one
The new parents
The quiet one
The city boy
Not an accident – a murder among friends.
The Lion Tamer Who Lost – Louise Beech
Published by Orenda Books on 20th September 2018
Be careful what you wish for…
Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…
Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?
A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart…
After He Died – Michael J Malone
Published by Orenda Books on the 20th September 2018
When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…
When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.
Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…
The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
Published on the 7th February 2019 by Orion
Only she knows what happened.
Only I can make her speak.
Alicia lives a life most dream of. She lives in a house in one of the most desirable areas of London. She is a famous painter, and her husband, Gabriel, is an in-demand fashion photographer. Her life is perfect.
That is, until one evening when Gabriel returns late from a fashion shoot and Alicia shoots him five times and then never speaks another word.
Theo Faber, a forensic psychotherapist, has been consumed with the case for five years, and is the only person able to unravel the mystery of why.
Once Upon A River – Diane Setterfield
Published by Doubleday on 24th January 2019
A dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child.
Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.
Is it a miracle?
Is it magic?
Or can it be explained by science?
An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.
If you have read any of these books or have any on your To Read list let me know, I’d love to hear from you!