2016 read, newly released.

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons by Claire Fuller. Read in 2016, released 26th January

*I received a netgalley copy in return for an honest review.

The author’s first novel was my first read of 2016 and I found it incredibly atmospheric and moving. This is my 183rd read of 2016 & I am glad to see that the author hasn’t changed her style.
The novel is tough to review without leaving any spoilers for future readers, which I do not intend to do. But I will say this I think this a descriptive novel of ‘what could have been’ & how life may not always go the way we foresaw or intended it to.
The setting is perfect, I was looking for a nice coastal mystery and I was glad I found it!
I can see this novel having huge appeal to book groups as it has so much to debate and discuss. So I would hugely recommend to those who run book groups or are members.  4*

2016 read, newly released

Behind Her Eyes

Behind her eyes by Sarah Pinborough. Read in 2016, released 26th January.

*I received a netgalley copy in return for an honest review.

This was one of my favourite novels of 2016. which also included 13 minutes and the death house. 20 fictional books out of 242 & 3 by this author!
This novel is savvy and I love that the author has kept her unique stamp all over the novels, despite them being differing genres and writing styles. I cant explain how genius it is, that what occurs in the last few pages, that has you wanting to read the whole novel again to see it with it’s new perspective.
* review from book journal in 2016 * After reading a wide range of genres throughout the year I could, typically see this novel slotted into the ‘women’s psychological thriller genre’ and whilst it is on some part. it should also be known it has a unique edge and a mind blowing ending that I could see would appeal to a wide range of readers.
The novel is well written and cleverly constructed, it’s always building pace with revelations and twists. The continual flow of the novel distracts you from attempting to ‘solve’ the ending, however my prediction at 86% in, was completely wrong!
I found the characters compelling, the level of secrecy and manipulation, added to the development of these complex relationships, which are for the most part the basis of the novel. One thing I felt relieved to read was Louise a single mother, very realistic and just trying to get through her own life & problems before she is pulled into David & Adele’s lives. Too often in this genre we see mothers portrayed as either perfection or borderline unstable, I very much liked her character, she’s a realist, sarcastic and a tiny bit flawed, sounds much more like the mothers I know!
I don’t want to write to much into the review, with risk of spoilers, but I would hugely recommend. This was book 199 for me this year and I have read nothing else like it!
Huge credit to the author on a fantastic novel and most definitely yes #wtfthatending 5/5.

2016 read, newly released

Little Girl Lost

Little girl lost by Carol Wyer. Read in 2017, released 19th January

*I received a netgalley copy in return for an honest review.

This plotline opens with a harrowing prologue, one that opens your eyes to the underlying theme within the story. The characters are well written and mostly likable, with the occasional eccentric in the mix. However the characters central to the plot are complex and appear to be hiding secrets they’d rather weren’t discovered. The plot is well written with so many twists & turns!
I did figure out the ending as such, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.
I would recommend this to people whom like their crime thrillers dark & full of complex twists! 4*

2016 read, newly released!

Under a Watchful Eye

Under a watchful eye by Adam Nevill. Read in 2016, released 12th January.

*I received a netgalley copy in return for an honest review.

Sebastian Logan is a successful author living by the coast & enjoying the luxuries life has brought him………………… that is until old friend Ewan walks back into his life.
Ewan is a grotesque vagrant who’s conversations sound like the ramblings of a madman. But is there any truth to them? why do they continue to haunt Sebastian and threaten his very sanity.
The novel opens slowly with a sinister eerie feel to Ewan’s character. Ewan is written with such detail he evokes fear within the reader & you can almost smell his disgusting scent off the page!!!
The storyline continues to build and build to a dramatic ending, which was unpredictable and unputdownable! This story kept me awake well past my bedtime, desperately trying to figure out where it would lead! 4*

 

2016 read, newly released!

Little Deaths

Little deaths by Emma Flint. Released 12th January

*I received a netgalley copy in return for an honest review in 2016.

little deaths is a novel set in the 60’s an era where domestic violence was considered a private matter and women, especially mothers were expected to conform with social conventions.
The novel is a complex woven plot of 2 missing children and their unconventional & promiscuous mother.
The central character & mother Ruth, is quickly assigned blame and must endure trail by public opinion of her neighbours and friends. Her every essence of life is scrutinised & degraded. however she retains her inner strength and maintains her innocence. This novel reads right to the very last page and has a shocking ending, that leads you to re-evaluate the whole novel from the beginning. 4/5
I would hugely recommend this novel for book groups, I could see many topical discussion themes such as women’s liberation, promiscuity, 1960’s attitudes and ultimately justice!