Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse 4* #NewRelease 1960s #Saga #HistoricalFiction @MichaelJBooks @ed_pr #LoveLesley25

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The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Twenty-three-year-old Katy Speed has always been fascinated by the house across the street . . .

The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, and other times the women come with children.

Hilda, Katy’s mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders where these mysterious visitors have come from, and what they want. Does Gloria have sinister reasons for secretly bringing strangers into the heart of the community?

Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained strangers must be responsible, until her father is arrested and charged with murder.

Surely the police have arrested the wrong person?

Is the rest of the street safe?

Can Katy find the truth before it’s too late?

My Review:

I am a huge fan of Lesley Pearse and her novel Remember Me, is one of my all-time favourites. I recently enjoyed The Woman In The Wood, but noticed the author had taken a much darker spin on her usual saga type novels. It was still a cracking read, but I was surprised at some of the tough/violent themes.
This time she has written a similar dark novel, set in the 1960’s. The era really sets the tone, as this was an era of fundamental change for women and the beginnings of the female sexual revolution.

The prologue opens in Bexhill-On-Sea, Essex 1964. Katy (22yrs) is busy spying on her neighbours, when she is interrupted by her brother Rob. He is currently home from university and appears to not feel too welcome in his own home.
It becomes quite clear why upon the introduction of Hilda. Katy and Rob’s mother, is far from ‘mothering’. She appears to enjoy belittling and making nasty remarks to others including her own daughter, son and husband. But no one is a bigger target for Hilda than the glamour neighbour Gloria.

Mrs Gloria Reynolds is a local business owner. She owns ‘Gloria’s Gowns’ and Katy is in complete awe of her. Something which sees to incense Hilda even further. Gloria is considered a ‘glamourous divorcee’ locally. With divorce still being considered a taboo subject. Katy is desperate to know more information about her, but aware of the social restrictions to simply ask…..
‘It was rude to ask personal things of someone you didn’t know’ – Katy

Gloria had often taken the time to give Katy advice and guidance, which led to a growth in her confidence and self-esteem. Which enrages Hilda as she feels the slip of her control over her daughter growing.
Especially when Gloria recommends a life in London for Katy.

Hilda is a battle-axe and all-round snob, but as her character develops, we uncover there is more going on inside her own head.
As the saying goes, damaged people, damage people.

In January 1965, there is a terrible fire in the middle of the night at Gloria’s. A fire that will take the lives of two souls, including Gloria. Albert (Katy’s long-suffering father) rushes to help. Whilst Hilda continues to make vicious snide comments and be opinionated beyond the realms of human decency.

When the fire is discovered to be arson and Katy’s father is arrested. Katy must turn amateur sleuth to separate fact from fiction. Albert denies any such affair or knowledge of a motive for the fire. Whilst Hilda turns on her own husband.
‘By consorting with that woman right under my nose, he deserves all he gets’ – Hilda

Katy seeks out Gloria’s friend Edna, is a desperate search for clues of who would want Gloria dead. What she uncovers is a world of domestic abuse, hidden and hushed up amongst middle-class society.

The plot is very moving, and protagonist centred around Katy. I struggled with the constant reminders of this being an issue impacting ‘middle-class’ people. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, it certainly doesn’t discriminate due to wealth. 4*

Lesley Pearse Copyright Charlotte Murphy 2014
Lesley Pearse
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Rose Gold by Walter Mosley 5* #EasyRawlins #Series 1960s LA @wnbooks ‘I am a HUGE fan of Walter Mosley’s writing style and he provides the most AMAZING book quotes. His writing is informative, intriguing and genius!’

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Rose Gold by Walter Mosley ~ Easy Rawlins #13
My own copy
Synopsis:

When four armed policemen turn up at Easy Rawlins’s door, he thinks he’s in trouble. He is.

They want him to find Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a millionaire arms dealer. And Easy can’t afford to say no.

The LAPD think she’s with Bob Mantle, a black boxer turned radical. Has she been kidnapped? Is she colluding? When Easy is almost gunned down on his first day on the case, he realises he’ll need more than wits to find Rose Gold.

My Review:

I hit a reading slump and was desperate to read one of my author favourites to pull me out. So I decided to order the last two novels in the Easy Rawlins series, that I haven’t read yet!
I am a HUGE fan of Walter Mosley’s writing style and he provides the most AMAZING book quotes. His writing is informative, intriguing and genius!

Another thing I love about this specific series, is being able to step into Easy’s shoes and see life through his eyes. After all, how else am I going to experience being an African American male in 1967?

The novel opens on moving day, four white armed men appear at Easy’s new address. Easy instantly becomes alert and apprehensive about what they want?
They require his assistance with a particularly sensitive case. A missing person’s case, but no simple ordinary case by any means. Rosemary Goldsmith is the daughter of a billionaire arms dealer. The detectives are unclear whether Rosemary is involved in her own abduction, hence the need to keep this case of the legit records.

Easy is offered $80K for the missing person’s case and $25K upon completion. Easy maybe many things, but stupid ain’t one of them. He is immediately aware that this case must have some serious danger attached.
But like most PI’s he can’t resist the lure of an intriguing case.

Within the novel we are reunited with various characters from the series. The novel does explore and update readers on Easy’s children and best friend Mouse. But the series, really is best read from the beginning, to fully appreciate these characters and their relationships with Easy.

Back to the case, Rosemary is a student at UC Santa Barbara university and has been rumoured to have become friendly with known radical ‘battling Bob Mantle’. Before Easy can even get remotely close to Bob Mantle’s gym, he has his windshield shot out and police harass easy the victim of the crime.

The only cop Easy trusts is Detective Melvin Suggs, who is currently on leave. Easy recruits him to help on the case in exchange for helping Suggs with his recent suspension from the police force. This is where the novel takes a unique spin. Mouse is not as involved in this novel, his character sits it out, as such.
But it doesn’t take from the enjoyment of the novel at all.

This is complex mystery with political themes. There are spin-off stories which add extra depth. I cannot wait to read the next in the series Charcoal Joe. 5*

To fully appreciate the exceptional writing of Walter Mosley, I have left my usual quotes to the end of my review. I guess I am leaving them open to the readers interpretation, as does the author himself.

‘No amount of silver could buy the passions in an aging man’s heart’

‘You know the only thing worse in their books than a black mother is the white mother of a negro child’

‘Innocence was rarely a key factor for justice in the world Bob and I inhabited’

WM
Walter Mosley
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