Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The midwife's confession-Diane Chamberlain

This book focusses on secrets.  The main character, Noelle commits suicide in the first chapter so it is strange to view her as the main character but she is central to most of the other storylines.  Her good friends Tara and Emerson can't understand why she has committed suicide so they begin to delve deeper into her past and discover secret siblings, surrogacy and baby swapping. 

Tara is also trying to come to terms with her husband's death and both she and Emerson have teenage daughters who both cause problems for their parents as well as trying to deal with their own issues.

Chamberlain's great strength in this book is the well roundedness of all the characters.  They feel like real people and I found myself drawn to all of them at different times.

We also are introduced later on to Anna who is dealing with an ill daughter and a returning husband.  This book is written alternately by Tara, Emerson, Grace and Anna as well as third person narrative of Noelle. 

All in all a very good read

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Secrets she left behind-Diane Chamberlain

Her writing is likened to Jodi Picoult and I can see why. This book follows the characters introduced in Before the Storm. I hadn't read Before the Storm before reading this one and don't think it mattered once I had worked out the characters. I'm not sure whether it will affect my reading of Before the Storm as I know who started the fire and why and the effects on other people etc.

This story is written from 4 main viewpoints- Maggie who is being let out of prison, Andy-her brother, Keith who she has just learned is her half brother and was badly scarred in the fire and Sara, Keith's mum. The latter's chapters are written as a journal rather than narrative and cover the time from Maggie being born to present.

The story encompasses Sara's disappearance, Maggie's return home from prison and attempts to be accepted by society, as well as issues of complex family relationships, fetal alcohol syndrome, guilt and surviving and is a gripping read

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Gallow's Bird by Camilla Lackberg

Another great novel by Camilla Lackberg, who manages to interweave Patrik's personal life with the cases he is investigating without overdoing one or the other!  In this book Patrik and Erica are preparing for their wedding whilst also dealing with Anna living with them.  Meanwhile, Patrik is called to a car fatality which soon reveals itself as more than the tragic accident it first appeared to be.  We learn more about Melberg and his love life which never runs smoothly.  This book also shows a better side to Gosta, who until this book has been portrayed as a work-shy officer and we are introduced to Hanna, a new inspector to the team

There is also a reality tv show being filmed in the town.  I think my biggest criticism of the book is that I don't think the characters of the contestants are developed very well.  Other than that an excellent novel and I eagerly await the next one!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Stone Cutter- Camilla Lackberg

This is the third book in the Erica Falck/Patrik Hedstom series.  Personally, Patrik has become a father and Erica is suffering some form of postnatal depression.  In his professional sphere a girl is found drowned in the river and she is the daughter of Erica's friend.  In addition to this storyline there is, interwoven, the story of Agnes told beginning in the early 1920s.  It is not clear until a lot later in the book (for me almost at the end) what relevance this has on the modern day story.  We also follow more of Erica's sister Anna's story which I am sure will be continued in the next book

I like the way that Lackberg builds the different characters.  She gives real depth to them.  Would definitely recommemd this book but reading the other 2 first might be worthwhile.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

10th Anniversary- James Patterson

 This isn't the best book I've read and I have largely given up on James Patterson books but I do enjoy the women's murder club series so read this.  It was typical Patterson in that it had short chapters and is very fast moving.

The book opens with Lindsay's wedding but quickly moves onto the discovery of a girl who is bleeding heavily but her baby is missing.  Simultaneously to this investigation we have Yuki tackling a domestic murder trial and Cindy dealing with a rapist who leaves his victims near to where they were abducted but still fully dressed.  In amongst all of this we have romance blossoming for some of the characters and longings for a baby. 

All in all great escapism and light reading and a must if you have read the first 9!!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Cold Shoulder-Lynda La Plante

Lorraine Page was a promising lieutennant until she kills a young boy whilst drunk on duty.  She then continues drining more and more until she has lost everything- her husband, children, house and dignity.  Some years later we catch up with her again after having been admitted to a hospital Rosie (a former alcoholic) takes her in.  A serial killer is on the loose and Lorraine has seen something which makes her invaluable to the police.  She finds herself eventually at the centre of the investigation. 
I really enjoyed this book but did feel that it could have been trimmed by about 50 pages or so.  Towards the end it all seemed a little too protracted.  Had it not been for this it would definitely be a 5* read for me and I am now going to go and search for the next in the series!

Friday, 3 June 2011


My Grandma died last night.  She lived in a care home where she had been since I took the decision with Social Services that she was unsafe at home almost 11 years ago.  The home rang my parents on Sunday morning and said she wasn't well and probably wouldn't get through it.  Mum and Dad went to visit her.  I didn't.  I don't like the care home and I don't like seeing her like that.  Dad phoned me yesterday to tell me they had heard that she was unlikely to make it through the night.  I decided then that I did want to see her and say goodbye.  She was laid in the bed, one eye slightly open, she was rasping trying to breathe.  I couldn't talk to her with mum and dad there.  Dad left but mum stayed.  I still couldn't talk.  Eventually I asked mum to leave too.  Then I talked to Grandma and told her I loved her and I cared about her and that I was pleased that soon she wouldn't be suffering any more.  And I cried.  I knew she wouldn't get better this time.  I kissed her clammy head and stroked her arm.  The body in the bed didn't look like Grandma.  Only when I saw her hands did I know for certain that it was her.  While I was talking to her I was convinced that her breathing was easier.  I said goodbye and left.  My parents came back in the room but I hadn't told them that I thought her breathing was less laboured because I thought it was just me getting used to it.  I went home but Dad rang me 20 minutes later and told me she had died.  He remarked that when they went in her breathing was much easier and then they suddenly realised that it had stopped.  He told me that she had been waiting for me.  I think its probably true.

Grandma and I had a special relationship.  Looking back now I don't think it was a healthy relationship.  My Grandad was admitted to hospital just before I was 10 for a routine heart operation.  He didn't ever recover.  The night of his operation it was agreed that I would spend the night with Grandma to give her some company as she wouldn't be able to go and visit him.  From that point on every weekend I used to stay one night and if I didn't I was made to feel so guilty.  This continued til I was 17.

I am grieving but I am grieving for lots of different things.  I am grieving because she is gone but she went a long time ago- she had dementia towards the end. 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The crucifix killer

A woman is found with her face removed hanging on a cross.  The first question that needs to be answered is who is she?  Then who killed her?  She has a mark on the back of her neck that Detective Robert Hunter has seen before...but the man who made that mark, on his victims before killing them, is now dead so does this mean that there is a new crucifix killer or was the wrong man arrested?

This book introduces us to the combination of Hunter and the new boy Garcia.  I wish I had read this before reading the Executioner as it does give background to both the detectives but particularly Hunter and I think he is a character who could go far.

Its a fast paced thriller with some gore.  Recommeded for James Patterson fans!

Things not to say to a self harmer..

Again as with the earlier post this is just random things that have popped into my head and I'm sure there'll be many more I come up with later
  • Its only superficial
  • Were you trying to kill yourself?
  • Can I see?
  • Its just for attention
  • I knew it wasn't anything serious cos it wasn't very deep/it was in the wrong place

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

I enjoyed this book.  The writing style was very different- Beatrice telling her story to Mr Wright with the occasional rememberance of dialogue with Tess, her sister who has gone missing.  I think it was possibly the writing style as much as, if not more than the actual storyline which kept me gripped.  The actual storyline involved Beatrice leaving her life in New York to come and find her sister who has gone missing and then subsequently her determination to find out what happened to her even in the face of everyone else's adamance that the matter is closed.
I look forward to read Rosamund Lupton's next novel to see what she can produce next time!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Frozen moment by Camilla Ceder

Its not often I give up on a book but I really didn't have the desire to find out whodunnit or why.  A man is found dead in his garage with a gunshot wound and has also been run over by a car.  Sometime later another victim is found with the same type of gunshot wound and having been run over by a car, but a different type of car.  Interspersed with this is the story of a girl who attends an arty type college 10 years or so previously.  I'm sure the link between the 2 stories would become clear eventually but after 170 or so pages I really didn't care.

Am gutted because I hate giving up on books and I wanted to enjoy a new scandinavian author but sadly this one wasn't for me


After 6 years of stability with my depression I've had a wobble...and a fairly major one at that.  To quote my gp "it feels like you're at the bottom of a big hole where your fingers can't even reach the top, let alone have any chance of pulling yourself up".  Hubby is working away a lot at the moment and the boys are being challenging.  The dr doubled my medication a few weeks ago and then last week decided that wasn't making any difference so changed me.  I had nasty withdrawal from coming off the old stuff so now back on half doses of the old stuff plus half doses of the new stuff and generally feeling rubbish!  Physical side effects are horrendous, suicidal plans are even worse!