Thursday, July 29, 2021

Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly takes us deep into the world of a Russian ballet company detailing sacrifices and deception in this twisty narrative.  The setting is London and the performance is Swan Lake. 

Nikolai Kirilov is the director and founder choreographer of the London Russian Ballet.  He was once a great dancer and now it’s his daughter Ava who is the star of the company.
One day Ava will take over the company as Nicky is getting old and is ill. Ava will be dancing the lead role of Odette and Odile, both the white and black swans, and it's an emotionally charged role. The story of Swan Lake is a tragedy and the ancers immerse themselves in the roles.

 I'm not sure what my fascination with ballet is but if there is a ballet setting or plot I usually want to read the book. Having said that, it is extremely detailed about the dancers' training and sacrifice, jealousy and pain. Even though I like the ballet aspect I was beginning to tire of that much focus and then....a change of perspective.

As with Kelly's book He Said/She Said, there is a psychological twist introduced which stuns. Many of the characters are not what they seem and identies are are surprising when revealed. To reveal more would spoil the ending.

Publication date September 14, 2021 by Mobius Books. Genre: Mystery, Thrillers. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book.  I was not compensated for the review, all opinions are mine.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

How much do I love Lisa Jewell.....she keeps you turning the pages and always has an ending that is satisfactory yet you don't see it coming.

This mystery has three different timelines and narratives. 2017: Twenty year old Tallulah and Zack have a child and they live with Tallulah's mother Kim in an English suburb. You read this from Tallulah's perspective and learn she isn't in love with Zach anymore. Zach had abandoned her after she told him she was pregnant.  After months of handling things alone her feelings have changed when he insinuates himself into her life again.  This tension charged situation is well written.  One evening when the two are out on a "date" Scarlett Jacques appears at their table and invites them to a party at her house.
Tallulah contacts her mother Kim and asks if she minds watching the baby longer as she has been invited to a party with college friends.  By morning there is no sign of them.  Tallulah and Zach have disappeared into thin air. 

In the 2018 timeline Kim is still frantically trying to find her daughter with zero help (or concern) from Zach's mother Megs. A year passes and the disappearance of the two becomes a cold case.  You read about Kim's life handling her grandson, always sad and hoping someone will come forward about her daughter's disappearance.

In 2019 thirty-four year old Sophie, a mystery novelist,  moves into the head master's quarters at Manton College with her boyfriend Shaun.  While Shaun is dealing with the responsibilities of his new position at Manton college, Sophie explores the wooded area around their living quarters. She comes upon a cardboard sign with the message Dig Here and a downward arrow attached to a post.  Sophie does dig and comes up with an engagement ring still in the box. This is the thread which starts the naturally curious Sophie to research the missing couple and leads her to Kim.

There are many supporting characters in this novel and the author fleshes them out so you can visulaize them quite clearly. As you turn the pages and chapters lands you back into 2017 a dangerous game of deception is revealed.

The ending - it all comes together and it most certainly was not what I expected.  Well done.

Publication date September 7, 2021 by Atria Books.  Genre: Mystery, Thrillers.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book.  I was not compensated for the review, all opinions are mine.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Dead Man's Grave by Neil Lancaster

Detectives Max Craigie and Janie Calder are teamed up to investigate a missing person report.  It's a delicate situation as the missing man is Tam Hardie, the now elderly but dangerous head of an organized crime network in Scotland. 

Tam Hardie is off in a remote area of Scotland looking for a particular grave in what seems to be a genealogical pursuit. The grave has a headstone reading This Grave Can Never Be Opened so I was curious about that right away.  There is something hidden in there or perhaps it a plague grave from centuries back.

Once Hardie disappears and the detectives are called in you get a glimpse of the seedy and violent underbelly of the Hardie empire.  

This police procedural has everything going for it with likeable main characters and lots of intrigue. The desciptions of Scotland immerse you into the scene and the detective work keeps you turning the pages.

This story had me instantly hooked and I look forward to many more books  in this series about DS Max Cragie and DC Janie Calder by Neil Lancaster. 

Publication date July 16, 2021 by St. Martin's Press.  Genre: Mystery, Thrillers and General Fiction.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book.  I was not compensated for the review, all opinions are mine.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday.

Friday, July 9, 2021

The Green Road by Anne Enright


This is the story about the Madigan family and told from the different perspectives of the four children over a course of time. The opening chapter tells of adult son Dan sharing his decision to become a priest and his mother’s reaction of horror.  This is from the 10 year old Hanna's perspective in 1980 in their county Clare home. The 

We read about Dan and his personal problems and predicament a decade later. He is living in New York and his life as a gay man is written about fairly graphically. 

The other siblings are Emmet who becomes a UNICEF worker in Africa. His was my least favorite story and had I started with it, I’d have ditched the book. 

Hanna's adult  story involves an issue with alcohol.

Constance storyline starts as the third chapter in 1997 at Durty Nellie’s in Bunratty, county Limerick. We were fortunate enough to visit around Limerick and saw Durty Nellie’s but didn’t go in. The description of the area brought back memories. As in much Irish literature, there is tragedy in her story.

The mother is Rosealeen and it's interesting to read how each of her children view her and the relationship they have with their mother.  A lovely Irish setting for the most part and a story of an ordinary family and everyday life.

 Linking up with

 Marg at The Intrepid Reader for the 2021 Historical Reader Challenge 

Joy at Joy's Book Bog for British Isles Friday.

Marg of The Intrepid Reader blog is the host for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge in 2021. T he sign up page may be located HERE so check it out if you'd like to join in.

Happy  reading!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Ther Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

The Adler family appears to have it all. A perfect family living in a beautiful home in a great neighborhood.  Thomas is a successful real estate agent and his wife Viv has a successful business staging homes for sale by decorating.  Their son Eli appears to be on the right track - he is an athletic soccer goalie at a prestigious college.  Tarryn is a surly teenager. 

All four of them have a secrets which I can't reveal without spoilers.  This is important to know because their home is the target of nightly attacks such as egg throwing, feces smeared on  a porch hand rail, tires slashed and more. Who is behind this escalating vandalism and why would their family be targeted?

Thomas, Viv, Eli and Tarryn begin to wonder if the attacks are a result of their secrets and the situations they are dealing with.  I can say  Thomas is being blackmailed and Eli was warned off by his soccer mates about a repulsive incident at college. That's not a spoiler.

I was quite surprised by one of the culprits and found this to be an enjoyable quick read. This is my first experinence with the author Robyn Harding and I think I will keep her on my radar for her previous books.

Publication date August 10, 2021 by Gallery Books.  Genre: Mystery, Thrillers.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book.  I was not compensated for the review, all opinions are mine.

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Roundup

 I had signed up for the book challenge at Shelleyrae's site  Book'd Out  and went for the Nibbler category of six books.  Here'...