Anne Bonny Top 5 #TranslatedLit picks from the TBR pile #KeigoHigashino @AbacusBooks #TetsuyaHonda @TitanBooks #UnSuKim @4thEstateBooks #SørenSveistrup @MichaelJBooks #StinaJackson @CorvusBooks #Japan #Korea #Sweden #Copenhagen #Denmark

***My top 5 picks from my TBR pile, either translated literature or originally written in another language. In no particular order***

devotion of suspect x
The Devotion Of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
Available in PB/Ebook/Audible
Synopsis ~

Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered.

When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime…

One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction.

the silent dead
The Silent Dead by Tetsuya Honda ~ Reiko Himekawa #1
Available in PB/Ebook/Audible
Synopsis ~

When a mutilated body wrapped in a blue tarpaulin is found in a quiet neighbourhood, Lieutenant Reiko Himekawa and her squad are assigned the case. As the youngest female detective in the Homicide Division, Reiko has a lot to prove, but she has an undeniable ability to solve crimes. When she uncovers more murders with the same signature, she knows there is a serial killer at work. What is Strawberry Night, the dark web group that links all the victims? And how long will Reiko survive, now the killer knows her name?

the plotters
The Plotters by Un-Su Kim
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

Plotters are just pawns like us. A request comes in and they draw up the plans. There’s someone above them who tells them what to do. And above that person is another plotter telling them what to do. You think that if you go up there with a knife and stab the person at the very top, that’ll fix everything. But no-one’s there. It’s just an empty chair.

Reseng was raised by cantankerous Old Raccoon in the Library of Dogs. To anyone asking, it’s just an ordinary library. To anyone in the know, it’s a hub for Seoul’s organised crime, and a place where contract killings are plotted and planned. So it’s no surprise that Reseng has grown up to become one of the best hitmen in Seoul. He takes orders from the plotters, carries out his grim duties, and comforts himself afterwards with copious quantities of beer and his two cats, Desk and Lampshade.

But after he takes pity on a target and lets her die how she chooses, he finds his every move is being watched. Is he finally about to fall victim to his own game? And why does that new female librarian at the library act so strangely? Is he looking for his enemies in all the wrong places? Could he be at the centre of a plot bigger than anything he’s ever known?

the chestnut man
The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup
Translated by Caroline Waight
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

One blustery October morning in a quiet Copenhagen suburb, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who’s just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man – evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead; the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. But the man who confessed to her murder is already behind bars and the case long since closed.

Soon afterwards, a second woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women. But what is it?

Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the killer is on a mission that is far from over . . .

the silver road
The Silver Road by Stina Jackson
Translated by Susan Beard
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

Three years ago, Lelle’s daughter went missing in a remote part of Northern Sweden. Lelle has spent the intervening summers driving the Silver Road under the midnight sun, frantically searching for his lost daughter, for himself and for redemption.

Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Meja arrives in town hoping for a fresh start. She is the same age as Lelle’s daughter was – a girl on the brink of adulthood. But for Meja, there are dangers to be found in this isolated place.

As autumn’s darkness slowly creeps in, Lelle and Meja’s lives are intertwined in ways, both haunting and tragic, that they could never have imagined.

Anne Bonny Top 5 Picks UK #Kindle Monthly Deals @lanakortchik @KHughesAuthor @HeidiPerksBooks @FrancesLiardet @NicolaCornick 99p EACH! @headlinepg @HQDigitalUK @4thEstateBooks @arrowpublishing

*In no particular order*

TSOU
The Story Of Us by Lana Kortchik ~ *Ebook 99P*

Synopsis ~

Watching the Red Army withdraw from Ukraine in the face of Hitler’s relentless advance, Natasha Smirnova realises her life is about to change forever.

As Kiev is cast under the dark cloud of occupation, Natasha falls in love with Mark, a Hungarian soldier, enlisted against all his principles on the side of the Nazis.

But as Natasha fights to protect the friends and family she holds dear she must face up to the dark horrors of war and the pain of betrayal. Will the love she and Mark share be strong enough to overcome the forces which threaten to tear them apart?

TWITL
The Woman In The Lake by Nicola Cornick ~ *Ebook 99P*

Synopsis ~

‘I see it all again: the silver moon swimming beneath the water and the golden gown billowing out about her…’

1765: Lady Isabella Gerard asks her maid to take her new golden gown and destroy it. Its shimmering beauty has been tainted by the actions of her husband the night before.

Three months later: Lord Eustace Gerard stands beside the lake looking down at the woman in the golden gown. As the body slowly rolls over to reveal her face, it’s clear this is not his intended victim…

1996: Fenella Brightwell steals a stunning gown from a stately home. Twenty years later and reeling from the end of an abusive marriage, she wonders if it has cursed her all this time. Now she’s determined to discover the history behind the beautiful golden dress…

WMBB
We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet ~ *Ebook 99P*

Synopsis ~

December, 1940. As German bombs fall on Southampton, the city’s residents flee to the surrounding villages. In Upton village, amid the chaos, newly-married Ellen Parr finds a girl sleeping, unclaimed at the back of an empty bus. Five-year-old Pamela, it seems, is entirely alone.

Ellen has always believed she does not want children, but when she takes Pamela into her home the child cracks open the past Ellen thought she had escaped and the future she had dreamed for herself. As the war rages on, love grows where it was least expected, surprising them all. But with the end of the fighting comes the realization that Pamela was never theirs to keep…

For anyone who loved All the Light we Cannot See and The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, We Must Be Brave is a luminous novel about the ways we can rescue one another, and the many different forms that courage can take.

CBFM
Come Back For me by Heidi Perks ~ *Ebook 99p*

Synopsis ~

A SHOCKING DISCOVERY.
A COMMUNITY WRAPPED IN SECRETS.

A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.

For Stella Harvey the news is doubly shocking. The body has been found in the garden of her childhood home – the home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.

Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the isolated island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets.

One thing rings true…
You can’t bury the truth forever.

HLP
Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes ~ *Ebook 99p*

Synopsis ~

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box. In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for forty years.

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways…

Anne Bonny #BookReview My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent #Literary @4thEstateBooks A dark, painful and haunting literary novel 4.5*

cover
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Synopsis:

‘You think you’re invincible. You think you won’t ever miss. We need to put the fear on you. You need to surrender yourself to death before you ever begin, and accept your life as a state of grace, and then and only then will you be good enough.’

At 14, Turtle Alveston knows the use of every gun on her wall;
That chaos is coming and only the strong will survive it;
That her daddy loves her more than anything else in this world.
And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her with him.

She doesn’t know why she feels so different from the other girls at school;
Why the line between love and pain can be so hard to see;
Why making a friend may be the bravest and most terrifying thing she has ever done
And what her daddy will do when he finds out …

Sometimes strength is not the same as courage.
Sometimes leaving is not the only way to escape.
Sometimes surviving isn’t enough.

My Review:

You won’t meet many protagonists quite like Turtle Alveston. What makes Turtle so unique, is what draws you in and won’t let go. I became fascinated with seeing how life worked out for this young woman. Yet at times her story haunted me, with its darkness. It is definitely not for the faint of heart….

Julia Alveston aka Turtle is 14yrs old. She is struggling at school and has a twisted relationship with her father. They live in the rural isolation of Slaughterhouse Creek. Turtle is both socially and emotionally isolated. When I heard her internal dialogue, I was not only shocked. But I wanted to reach out to her and protect her, where others have failed to do so. Her teacher and grandfather are aware that things are not as they should be at home. But both feel that without confirmation there is little that can be done.

‘Misogyny, isolation, watchfulness. These are three big red flags’ Anna – Turtle’s teacher.

“Goddamn it Martin, this is no way to raise a little girl” – Grandpa

What follows is a novel that is vague, yet descriptive and subtle yet heart-breaking. The isolation, survival strategies and fear of Turtle’s father Martin, take over. It is obvious he claims ownership of Turtle and it becomes a battle of wills.
As one young girl is desperate to retain control of her most valued possession, her mind!

‘Her mind cannot be taken by force’

The rural setting really adds to the scene of this broken family and Turtle’s father’s obsession with the ‘end of the world’. Whilst he shows concern for the outer world and their ignorance. He doesn’t take responsibility for how his own attitudes and values, undermine Turtle’s basic emotional fundamentals. There is often a simmering silence in the house and you feel on edge as you turn the page. Wondering what shocking abuse, you will be forced to bear witness to next.

‘He is a big silent presence beside her’

But things begin to change one day for Turtle, when she stumbles across two young boys lost in the woods. Brett and Jacob show Turtle a world that is previously unknown to her. They show her what it is to be a typical teenager about the small town they live in. She is as drawn to them, as they are to her. With Jacob being her intellectual equal, we see in Turtle’s beliefs. Her internal thoughts on women are challenged, and she finally has the opportunity to question if this is how she wants to live.

‘This is me. This is who I am, and this is where I live’ – Turtle

When Turtle’s father discovers her meetings with Jacob, he is furious. You get the sense he feels a slip, in his control over his daughter. He berates her using the term ‘you are mine’ and the violence, ownership and threats continue. There’s a moment in the novel where Turtle goes to sleep thinking of her father’s hatred of her. This moved me to tears and I thought, what could be more painful to a girl with no mother….

Sometimes it takes getting lost to be saved!

I’ve struggled to put my words together to compose my review. It took several days to actually process, what I had just read. A psychologist would have a field day with Turtle. But that’s not the intention of this novel, the idea is to see things through the eyes of Turtle Alveston. They are heavy, painful and weary eyes. But they are worthy, nonetheless.
A dark, painful and haunting literary novel 4.5*

GT
Gabriel Tallent
Website