Monday, December 12, 2016

The Gift by Louise Jensen

What a brilliant thriller: intense suspense, more twists than a country lane, and a clever, original plot that is engrossing and enthralling from beginning to end.  Jenna, the main character, has received a heart transplant but discovers that this amazing gift of a second chance at life comes with a cost.  She starts to experience dreams and recollections that are not her own.  Is she being possessed by her donor?  Her life becomes more traumatic and out of control as she tries to make sense of it all, and danger is lurking.  It's an amazing story that is utterly gripping, a terrific read.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Miss Wrong and Mr Right by Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza has conjured up a fascinating and believable world peopled by engaging and sympathetic characters in this delightful story.  Natalie was going to marry her childhood sweetheart until it occurred to her that there might be more to life than becoming a teenaged bride.  Her fiance, Jamie, was not prepared to wait while she found herself, so they parted ways.  Natalie works hard to overcome her poor academic performance and manages to forge a brilliant career in the world of theatre.  We find her having cast  an American heart-throb TV actor in a production of "The Scottish Play", hoping to have a financially successful run at her theatre, and with a boyfriend who is a yoga teacher, when her eccentric Hungarian grandmother turns up in London - and things start to go wrong.  What is going on in the building over the road to her theatre?  And Jamie comes back into her life - as a business rival.  This is a romance, but with added humour and wit, an absolute joy to read.  I loved it.

What Remains of Me by A. L. Gaylin

An exciting, suspenseful thriller which kept me engrossed, enthralled and guessing right to the end.  There is a web of tangled secrets to be unravelled when death continues to follow Kelly Lund.   Convicted of murder at the age of seventeen when the body of a Hollywood director is discovered, she serves her time and picks up the pieces of her life.  When her father-in-law is found fatally shot, suspicion falls on her again.  But what has really happened, and has there been a gross misjustice?   Who is innocent and who is guilty?  This book really deserves to be described as a thriller.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Girl Unknown, by Karen Perry.

The makings of a great thriller.  First year student Zoe turns up in the office of university lecturer David Connolly and reveals to him that he is her father and she the product of a long ago fling before he married Caroline and had two lovely children with her.  Is Zoe who she says she is?  What are her intentions?  And why is this secret only revealed now?  So far, so good.  However, I was infuriated by David's reactions and unconvinced by his reasoning in not telling his wife and talking it through with her, and how he was prepared to jeopardise the security and well-being of his family for the sake of someone who is a virtual stranger.  He treats, I thought, Caroline, particularly badly and so he lost my sympathy altogether.  Unfortunately, neither Caroline or any of the other characters really found it and so I was frustrated by the story.  Maybe it was just me, because this book has had wonderful reviews elsewhere, but I was disappointed and so relieved when it came to an end,

The Food of Love, by Amanda Prowse

This is a very engaging, engrossing but harrowing and heartbreaking story about how a previously happy family copes with their daughter's mental health problem and the repercussions that this has on their relationships and lives.  As a mother, it was very easy to identify with Freya Braithwaite and the account of her marriage and the problems that unexpectedly beset their family.  She is  a food writer and food enthusiast, and there is an extreme poignancy in what happens to her daughter.  The story reads like a psychological thriller in many ways, and I found it a compulsive page-turner while dreading what would happen next.  It's a powerful piece of writing.