#bookreview THE THREE DAHLIAS by @KWatsonAuthor Published July 21st by Constable and imprint of @LittleBrownUK @NetGalley #TheThreeDahlias @BethWright26 and @TheCrimeVault

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SYNOPSIS

It wouldn’t be a country house weekend without a little murder. . .

Three rival actresses team up to solve a murder at the stately home of Lettice Davenport, the author whose sleuthing creation of the 1930s, Dahlia Lively, had made each of them famous to a new generation. A contemporary mystery with a Golden Age feel, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Jessica Fellowes – and Janice Hallett and Richard Osman, of course!


In attendance at Aldermere: the VIP fans, staying at house; the fan club president turned convention organiser; the team behind the newest movie adaptation of Davenport’s books; the Davenport family themselves; and the three actresses famous for portraying Dahlia Lively through the decades.

There is national treasure Rosalind King, from the original movies, who’s feeling sensitive that she’s past her prime, TV Dahlia for thirteen seasons, Caro Hooper, who believes she really IS Dahlia Lively, and ex-child star Posy Starling, fresh out of the fame wilderness (and rehab) to take on the Dahlia mantle for the new movie – but feeling outclassed by her predecessors.

Each actress has her own interpretation of the character and her own secrets to hide – but this English summer weekend they will have to put aside their differences as the crimes at Aldermere turn anything but cosy.

When fictional death turns into real bodies, can the three Dahlias find the answers to the murders among the fans, the film crew and the family – or even in Lettice’s books themselves?

MY THOUGHTS

This was a fun murder mystery novel which had a real golden age vibe within a modern setting. Full of traditional red herrings and family secrets along side the more modern day troubles of it’s three main characters, I found this a fun and enjoyable read.

In the home of Lettice Davenport, deceased author of Golden Age crime novels featuring her heroine Dahlia Lively and her detective sidekick, we are brought into the modern age with a convention taking place in the country house, now owned by her nephew, to celebrate her books and a new film which is about to be made. Three actresses come together, all who have or are about to have played Dahlia over the years.

True to style, a murder is committed and everyone is under suspicion. The three actresses, although far from friendly at the start, soon realise they have to club together, in order to solve this mystery, as they all soon realise that only Dahlia Lively can get to the bottom of what’s been happening, as she has done so many times before, but in this case, it may take 3 of them to solve this crime!

I enjoyed reading this new debut crime novel by author Katy Watson and am pleased to see that this is the first in this new series, with (at least) 2 more in the pipeline. With a brilliant country house setting and an array of different characters all, it seems, with something to hide, there were plenty of twists and red herrings to get stuck into. I loved the chapter headings, taken from the ‘fictional’ original Dahlia Lively novels, which each set the tone for what was to happen next. It really helped to cement the story of this golden age author and made me want to read her books too!!! Except obviously, I can’t!

If you enjoy ‘cosy crime’ type novels and country house murders then this new series will be sure to please.

Quick shout out to the person who created the cover art. It’s really striking!

Many thanks to the publishers for my digital ARC via NetGalley. The Three Dahlias is released July 21st. Do follow the author on her social media accounts too! Plus check out her newsletter which include some great book recommendations.

#bookreview A Stranger On Board by Cameron Ward @AuthorCamWard @MichaelJBooks @penguinrandom @ellamwatkins

Previously published under the name Adam Southward, this new novel by Cameron Ward was published June 23rd and I would like to thank the publishers for kindly sending me a proof copy. This is a high action locked room type mystery with a strong female lead.

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SYNOPSIS

When ex-marine Sarah French joins a luxury superyacht as on-board security, it seems like the perfect place to start over.

But as they head into open water, someone goes missing.

There’s a murderer on board.

And everyone is a suspect.

If Sarah is to keep everyone safe, she’ll need to find the killer.

But there’s a storm on the horizon . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Following Sarah French, an ex-marine, still suffering from the trauma of her last assignment, she is offered a new job by her now boss, Mitch, who runs a security company providing military-trained personnel. Mitch, also ex-marine, knows Sarah’s situation and past and offers her a simple security job, on board a luxury super yacht called The Escape, hoping that it will give her some time to reflect and start to come to terms with what happened.

A planned journey to get the yacht to Antiga for final stages of it’s refurbishment, it appears Sarah’s presence is for insurance purposes only and along with a skeleton crew they soon set off.

Sarah soon notices a strange atmosphere within the crew, but she’s not here to make friends, although she knows she really should work on that side of her life, try and be a bit more approachable, but what she really wants is some time to get her head together and do a good job for Mitch. However when parts of the yacht occur problems and start to malfunction mid journey, and the captain chooses not to return but carry on, Sarah’s role on board soon become anything but simple!

Narrated entirely by Sarah we get a great sense of her personality and the panic attacks she’s experiencing. We are introduced to the others on board as she meets them and there are a good mix of characters. As things start to go wrong on The Escape, there is a real sense of panic and fear, coupled with the crews knowledge and experience of what they should all do in such circumstances. They really should turn back but with big incentives for both owners and crew to get the super yacht to it’s destination quickly, means that the captain chooses to carry on and to make matters even more worse, they are heading for a storm!!

Drama in the middle of the Atlantic and a locked room mystery on board a super yacht are a real mix for a tense and inescapable situation, and the author uses his characters, the workings of the yacht and a strong female lead to there advantage and creates a fast-paced and tense summer thriller. The action really picks up towards the end and Sarah’s military training is brought to the fore.

A solid summer quick read thriller.

#bookreview The Colour Storm by @DamianDibben Published 23rd June by @MichaelJBooks #TheColourStorm @janeacton_pr #newrelease

Huge thanks to Jane of Jane Acton PR for contacting me with the opportunity to read and review this gorgeous new novel by Damian Dibben. Set in 1510 Venice, it is a wonderous mix of historical fiction, Renaissance art, love and the joy of colour.

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SYNOPSIS

n Renaissance Venice, artist Giorgione ‘Zorzo’ Barbarelli’s career hangs in the balance. Competition is fierce, and his debts are piling up. So when Zorzo hears a rumour of a mysterious new pigment brought to Venice by the richest man in Europe, he sets out to acquire the colour and secure his name in history.

Winning a commission to paint a portrait of the man’s wife, Sybille, Zorzo thinks he has found a way into the merchant’s favour. Instead he finds himself caught up in a conspiracy that stretches across Europe and a marriage coming apart inside one of the city’s most illustrious palazzos.

As the water levels rise and the plague creeps ever closer, an increasingly desperate Zorzo isn’t sure whom he can trust . . .

Will Sybille prove to be the key to Zorzo’s success, or the reason for his downfall?

MY THOUGHTS

This fictional story centres around the ‘real life’ Renaissance painter, Giorgio Barbarelli, known as and called Zorzo throughout the book. The year is 1510 and we find Zorzo in need of a commission. Debts are owed and current competition within the art world in Venice at this time is fierce. Ever conscious of his responsibility to his ‘garzoni’, (young apprentices), Zorzo is desperate for a new commission.

On a regular rendezvous with his colourman on the small island of Poveglia, he hears gossip of the existence of a new colour called Prince Orient. Colour is everything to Zorzo, not just his craft and livelihood, but his absolute passion. (The descriptions and imagines of different colours throughout the book are vivid and wonderfully explained) so for him he must know more about it. Plus if he could be the first artist to use it, it could mean riches and fame. He learns that the person in possession of this new colour is one Jakob Fugger, who happens to be arriving in Venice within days. Desperate to find a reason to introduce himself to the rich and power man, Zorzo finds out that Fugger is looking for an artist to paint an altarpiece for the new St Peters Basilica and Zorzo immediately sets out to find who is in the running for this and if he can get his name on the list. Here the book mentions a number of real life, famous artists of the time and bringing them to life, within this story, gives the novel a wonderfully rich and real feel to it.

In his quest for this commission Zorzo become acquainted with Fugger’s wife, Sybille, and it is here the story takes a turn and Zorzo becomes involved in something much more dangerous.

With wonderful insights into the everyday workings of an artists studio and the vivid descriptions of Venice, colour and life at this time, this is a rich and evocative read. The character of Zorzo is delightful and his fondness and care of his garzoni is very touching. Part love story, thriller and art history novel, this story has it all, and I found myself engaged throughout. The drama Zorzo finds himself involved in is wonderfully paced with some brilliant twists and turn and wonderful characters throughout. The ever present danger of Plague at the end of the book adds wonderfully to the plot and give the story a very touching and emotional ending. A super read.

#bookreview IMPOSTER SYNDROME by @bykathywang OUT TODAY! published by @VERVE_Books #impostersyndromebook @LisaGooding_PR

Huge thanks to Verve Books for sending me a proof copy earlier in the year.

SYNOPSIS

In 2006 Julia Lerner is living in Moscow, a recent university graduate in computer science, when she’s recruited by Russia’s largest intelligence agency. By 2018 she’s in Silicon Valley as COO of Tangerine, one of America’s most famous technology companies. In between her executive management (make offers to promising startups, crush them and copy their features if they refuse); self promotion (check out her latest op-ed in the WSJ, on Work/Life Balance 2.0); and work in gender equality (transfer the most annoying females from her team), she funnels intelligence back to the motherland. But now Russia’s asking for more, and Julia’s getting nervous.

Alice Lu is a first generation Chinese American whose parents are delighted she’s working at Tangerine (such a successful company!). Too bad she’s slogging away in the lower echelons, recently dumped, and now sharing her expensive two-bedroom apartment with her cousin Cheri, a perennial “founder’s girlfriend”. One afternoon, while performing a server check, Alice discovers some unusual activity, and now she’s burdened with two powerful but distressing suspicions: Tangerine’s privacy settings aren’t as rigorous as the company claims they are, and the person abusing this loophole might be Julia Lerner herself.

The closer Alice gets to Julia, the more Julia questions her own loyalties. Russia may have placed her in the Valley, but she’s the one who built her career; isn’t she entitled to protect the lifestyle she’s earned? Part page-turning cat-and-mouse chase, part sharp and hilarious satire, Impostor Syndrome is a shrewdly-observed examination of women in tech, Silicon Valley hubris, and the rarely fulfilled but ever-attractive promise of the American Dream.

MY THOUGHTS

What if a senior tech exec at a social media giant is a spy? What if her masters want to jeopardise the life she has built in Silicon Valley? What if someone finds out, can they stop them?

The premise of the story is set out early, Julia is a Russian immigrant, planted as a spy, whose stolen tech startup is acquired by a social media giant, where she maintains a vice like grip as CEO and the most senior woman.

As her handlers demand more and more it becomes harder and harder to cover her tracks, jeopardising her position, family and lifestyle. A worn down technician, Alice, finds the data leaks and goes about trying to track down what might be happening.

Julia is well written as the ambitious, say-the-right-thing, do-the-other-thing tough exec who has worked hard to gain power and will do what it takes to stay there. Her life has been scripted to take advantage while apparently conforming.

The book is written in sections for each character, so you find out in cat and mouse style what one is doing after the other, this keep the suspense high. Julia is hindered by developments in her personal life while Alice is afflicted with a terrible manager, the tedium of a repetitive job and no one to turn to.

Both women earn some sympathy as they try to navigate a male world of big egos and expectations and this is well written.

The story tos and fros as Julia tries to stay ahead while Alice turns more and more extreme measures to get the help she thinks she needs.

I found this a well paced and imaginative read.

#bookreview WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME by @GillianMAuthor Published May 12th by @MichaelJBooks Rep’d by @felicityblunt @lucycmorris #WrongPlaceWrongTime #NetGalley

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SYNOPSIS

It’s every parent’s nightmare.

Your happy, funny, innocent son commits a terrible crime: murdering a complete stranger.

You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your teenage boy is in custody and his future lost.

That night you fall asleep in despair. Until you wake . . .

. . . and it is yesterday.

Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it.

MY THOUGHTS

I had started to hear a lot of praise for this newly released novel by Gillian McAllister, so when a fellow book blogger said I should put it straight to the top of my reading pile, I did just that! Boy! Was I glad I did!

Read it in 2 days and couldn’t put it down. My husband was fully versed on the plot too as I kept shouting out the plot twists to him as I read! Oh! She’s ……… !!The ….. has just ………!!

This is a really great and different take on the family drama/mystery novel and when you read a lot of books something a bit different is always a bonus!

I will not give away too much in this review, as the twists and turns are plentiful, but the book opens with our main character Jen waiting up for her son to come home As she stands by the window she sees his figure come round the corner and walk up to the house, but there is someone else out there, someone whom her son murders right in front of her eyes.

Well with that opener (and I’m not giving anything away here as this is right at the start of the book and included in the blurb) I was sucked immediately in. What follows though is some fantastic plotting, writing, character development, attention to detail and some beautifully heartfelt written sections.

A time travel, ‘why-done-it’ and even if you figure out who’s who and what’s what, a really gripping read that I just couldn’t put down. Huge thanks to the publisher for my advance digital copy.

#bookreview THE MURDER RULE by @DervlaMcTiernan Published May 12th by @HarperCollinsUK @NetGalley #NetGalley @fictionpubteam

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SYNOPSIS

No one is innocent in this story.

First Rule: Make them like you.
Second Rule: Make them need you.
Third Rule: Make them pay.
 
They think I’m a young, idealistic law student, that I’m passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.
 
They think I’m working hard to impress them.
 
They think I’m here to save an innocent man on death row.
  
They’re wrong. I’m going to bury him.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve loved the author’s Cormac Reilly series, so when I heard that she has written a new standalone I was intrigued. Not more Cormac, boo, but something new, Yay! Plus a new setting of the US. All in all I couldn’t wait to read it!

Hannah Rokeby wants in on The Innocence Project. A non-profit organisation that takes on possible miscarriages of justice, and she seemingly will use any means available to her to do so.

Hannah is interested in their biggest current case. A murder conviction given to one Michael Danbridge, whom the project believe has been wrongfully charged and is in fact innocent of this charge. However, we soon learn that Hannah may not want in to help them overturn this conviction but in fact to make sure it sticks!

I’m not going to say much on the plot of this book as it would be far too easy to give away spoilers and I feel, now that I’ve read it, that to go into this book knowing no more than the blurb, makes the story even more enjoyable.

I found this a great fast paced, quick flowing novel, full of twists and turns and some interesting and likable characters. As with the author’s other books I soon slip into her style of writing and she captures my attention right from the very start. The action and revelations keep the story moving wonderfully along making it a great page turner which I finished in just a couple of days. The scenes are described perfectly enabling me to see everything in my minds eye as I read along. I can’t wait to read whatever this author writes next!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning, number one bestseller Dervla McTiernan has established herself as one of the biggest names in crime fiction. Her books have garnered critical acclaim around the world and sold over 400,000 copies in Australia and New Zealand alone.

In 2022, McTiernan returns with her first ever standalone thriller, The Murder Rule. Inspired by the true story of a young law student who worked at the Innocence Project and eventually uncovered evidence which exonerated a man who had been in prison for 26 years, McTiernan has created an unforgettable, twisty thriller – the must-read novel of the year.

Dervla McTiernan’s debut novel, The Rúin, is a critically acclaimed international bestseller published around the world. The Rúin won the Ned Kelly, Davitt and Barry Awards and was shortlisted for numerous others. It was on the Amazon US Best Book of the Year list 2018 and screen rights were snapped up by Colin Farrell’s production company and Hopscotch Features. Dervla’s second book, The Scholar, won the International Thriller Award and debuted straight into the Nielsen Bookscan Top 5 on release in 2019, and her third, The Good Turn, went straight to no.1, confirming her place as one of Australia’s best crime writers.

Many thanks to the publishers for my advanced digital copy.

#bookreview SUMMER FEVER by @KateRiordanUK @MichaelJbooks Out Today!! @sophiekshaw #SUMMERFEVER

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Huge thanks to Sophie Shaw at Michael J Books for sending me a proof copy of the new novel by Kate Riordan, Summer Fever. Having put The Heatwave on my top No.1 spot of 2020 reads, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

SYNOPSIS

Two couples. One sweltering Italian villa . . .

Nick and Laura are the hosts:
pretending their marriage isn’t on the rocks.

Madison and Bastian are the guests:
neither is remotely who they claim to be.

Under the scorching Mediterranean sun
no secret is safe.
No betrayal goes unnoticed.

Two couples. But will either survive the summer . . .

MY THOUGHTS

This new novel from Kate Riordan slowly sucks you in. Enticing you in, with tale of Nick and Laura moving to a fresh new start to the scenically set Luna Rossa. Working on their dream and getting the place ready in time for their first set of paying guests. But……… and I should have guessed from reading the fantastically superb (yes I loved it!) The Heatwave, things soon take on a much darker side and the reader is taken into this dark and sinister tale of sexual coercion, infidelity and sexual tensions.

After failed IVF treatments, Laura and Nick decide to fulfil Laura’s dream to sell up and move to Italy. They find the wonderful Luna Rossa, house, pool and beautiful views set in a more remote, lesser known area of Italy called Le Marche. ‘The next Tuscany’.

Their marriage isn’t in a good place but Nick is desperate to make amends. However when guests Bastian and Madison arrive from The States, the atmosphere soon changes. Nick and Laura were unsure of how having strangers in their home would feel. How should they behave? Should they eat with them, or separately? Give them space? On arrival however, Madison seems more than willing to be friends and as the two couples start to get to know one another, the dynamics of the four characters make for a wonderfully delicious read. Full of uncomfortable tensions and secret ‘goings on’. Including flashbacks to Laura’s younger days at university with her best friend Lou and details of a discovery more recently back in London, the pieces that make up Laura and Nick’s relationship start to emerge.

Kate again does a marvellous job at capturing the setting and the heat of a European summer. Her ability to create undertones and overtones within an action or interaction between two people is both captivating and chilling. There are indeed some dark themes in this story and a growing feeling of menace, particularly from Laura’s flashback to her time at Uni and the builders working on the house and grounds, but they are wonderfully overlaid onto the idyllic setting and Italian summer. If you are after something a little dark, sinister and sexy this summer give this summer sizzler of a read a go!

#bookreview THE BIRDCAGE by @EvePollyChase published April 28th by @MichaelJBooks #newrelease

Huge thanks to the publisher Michael Joseph and to Eve for my advanced digital copy of this new novel. After absolutely loving Eve’s previous novel The Glass House I couldn’t wait to dive into this new book set in Cornwall about 3 sisters with secrets past and present.

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SYNOPSIS

Some secrets need to be set free . . .

Twenty years after their last visit, half-sisters Lauren, Kat and Flore are summoned to Rock Point: the beautiful and windswept cliff house where they sat for their father’s most famous painting, Girls and Birdcage.

But what should be a joyous return is darkened by memories of the catastrophic events of a summer twenty years before.

Because when the sisters arrive, it is clear that someone is determined not to let the past lie.

Someone who is watching their every move.

Who remembers the girls in the painting, and what they did . . .

Set on the rugged Cornish coast, The Birdcage is a twisty, spellbinding novel with unforgettable characters who must piece together their family’s darkest secrets.

MY THOUGHTS

The story centres around the relationship between three half sisters, their artistic and loving but self centred womaniser of a father Charlie and their lives, both together as a somewhat dysfunctional family and their lives growing up with very different mothers and how they have all ‘turned out’ as adults because of it.

On the request of Charlie the sisters have travelled back to their childhood summer base of Rock Point in Cornwall, as their father has an announcement to make. It is the first time they have returned to the house after a traumatic event during the solar eclipse of 1999, which we learn about throughout the book via dual timeline stories of then and now.

With wonderful descriptive and evocative writing throughout, the secrets and suppressed emotions of the past start to unravel and its not just the sisters that had something to hide.

The setting of Rock Point, with its outward beauty but ever present hidden dangers and changeable weather and landscape wonderfully matches the story and the bohemian styled house makes a terrific reflection of Charlie and his carefree life style. Plus Bertha the parrot ever looking over the goings on of the summer is a great addition.

An hypnotic tale of three women, still struggling with their upbringing, with twists and mysteries involving a family who’s foundations look ready to shift at any possible moment. I really enjoyed it.

#bookreview THE SHADOW CHILD by Rachel Hancox Released April 14th 2022 by @centurybooksuk #TheShadowChild #RachelHancox @penguinrandom

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Today I am reviewing a new novel by author Rachel Hancox. A heart breaking and tender novel looking at grief, family, loss and forgiveness. Many thanks to the publisher for my advanced digital copy via NetGalley.

SYNOPSIS

Eighteen-year-old Emma has loving parents and a promising future ahead of her.

So why, one morning, does she leave home without a trace?

Her parents, Cath and Jim, are devastated. They have no idea why Emma left, where she is – or even whether she is still alive.

A year later, Cath and Jim are still tormented by the unanswered questions Emma left behind, and clinging desperately to the hope of finding her.

Meanwhile, tantalisingly close to home, Emma is also struggling with her new existence – and with the trauma that shattered her life.

For all of them, reconciliation seems an impossible dream. Does the way forward lie in facing up to the secrets of the past – secrets that have been hidden for years?

Secrets that have the power to heal them, or to destroy their family forever …

MY THOUGHTS

I found this story a very emotional tale of family, loss and grief. Tenderly written and with wonderfully flowing chapters each headed with a different character. The character building and story flow was extremely well done I thought, and gave a very well rounded and brilliantly paced flow to the story, enabling the reader to really feel like you knew these characters. Nothing is over dramatized, so the story and the people in them are very believable.

The book begins about a year after 18 year old Emma, following a recent trauma, leaves home. No explanation, just a card to her parents, Jim and Cath, saying she is OK but not to try and find her. The lack of not really knowing why Emma left and the not knowing where she is and if she is really OK has hung over her parents like the darkest cloud ever since, and although we see them now, trying to live normal lives their sadness is evident. On top of this, another family loss has occurred some years previous and we learn more of this as the novel progresses.

We are also introduced to another younger couple, who have recently come into Cath and Jim’s lives and their own experiences of family life are also touched upon.

A very well structed book, with heaps of emotion, but also one with a slight sinister edge to it and a story line that keeps the pages turning. The writing made me form a strong emotional connection to the characters which meant I couldn’t stop myself from returning to the book whenever possible to find out what was going to happen next. I won’t go any further into the plot itself as the twists and events make for an absorbing read. I think what stood out for me, apart from the very emotional and well told story, is the very believable nature of the characters. You really felt like you could know these people.

A tender, quiet novel but one that packs an almighty punch of emotion. I definitely cried with this one. I can’t find any previous books by this author so if this is a debut………WOW!

About the Author

Rachel Hancox read Medicine and Social and Political Science at Cambridge, qualified as a doctor three months after getting married, and has juggled her family, her career and a passion for writing ever since.
She worked in Paediatrics and Public Health for twenty years, writing short stories alongside NHS policy reports, and drafting novels during successive bouts of maternity leave.

Rachel loves singing, cooking, gardening and pottery, and has five children, three dogs and a cat. As someone once said, she thrives on chaos. She lives in Oxford with her husband and youngest children.

#bookreview THINK OF ME by Frances Liardet Published by @4thestatebooks and OUT NOW! #newrelease #thinkofme

Having previously read the author’s last book ‘We Must Be Brave’, I was delighted to see this new release and quickly requested a copy.

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SYNOPSIS

When I open my eyes I see a small dark shape at the end of the pew under the window. A piece of cloth, a handkerchief perhaps? No, a woman’s headscarf.

The blue is bright, Mediterranean.

I can’t for the life of me remember seeing it before. But all the same it seems familiar. More than familiar. As if I’ve held it in my hands before. As if it’s been next to Yvette’s skin.

James Acton has come to the village of Upton to begin again. As his grief over the death of his wife eases, he hopes to find new purpose as the vicar of this small, Hampshire parish, still emerging from the long shadow of the war.

James’s own war was in the Western Desert, where he fell in love, first with the thrill of being a hurricane pilot and then with Yvette Haddad, the captivating, enigmatic young Alexandrian with a penchant for dangerous driving.

The past has a way of clinging on to us, and even as James embarks on new beginnings, finding friends – and even love – among the people of Upton, the secrets he has held on to so tightly for years threaten to break loose. But Yvette had secrets too, and as James follows a trail that leads him back through the landscape of their marriage, what he discovers about both of them will change everything …

MY THOUGHTS

A beautiful book, and a really heartfelt story of love, loss, courage and tragedy.

The author has a beautiful way with words, and really managers to portray the emotions of the characters very well. Her writing reminds me a little of Sally Vickers. The whole ‘feel’ of the novel had me utterly absorbed.

James a widow has just moved to Upton, a small village in Hampshire. A new start for him as he takes up the position of Vicar in this small parish. The discovery of a women’s scarf in the church takes him on a mission to find its owner, as there is something which is very, very familiar about it. In doing so the reader is taken back in time to when James meets his late wife Yvette.

Dual time lines of 1970 Upton and Alexandria during WW11 merge wonderfully together to give us a rich and touching story. However with James looking back he can not escape once again remembering the tragedy the couple experience in the early time of their marriage and we also hear, with great raw emotion, from the note books written by Yvette at this time. Secrets are revealed and the story opens up to the reader with great effect.

Lovely smaller characters like James’ son and boss added wonderfully to the story and I loved the tie in with We Must Be Brave. Although at times, a raw and sad story (still birth is part of the novel), it is one filled with much love and forgiveness.

Another wonderful tale from this author.

Many thanks to the publishers for my advanced digital copy via Netgalley.