Finders Keepers by Stephen King.

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About the Book

1978:
Morris Bellamy is a reader so obsessed by America’s iconic author John Rothstein that he is prepared to kill for a trove of notebooks containing at least one more unpublished novel.
2009:
Pete Saubers, a boy whose father was brutally injured by a stolen Mercedes, discovers a buried trunk containing cash and Rothstein’s notebooks.
2014:
After thirty-five years in prison, Morris is up for parole. And he’s hell-bent on recovering his treasure.
Now it’s up to retired detective Bill Hodges – running an investigative company called ‘Finders Keepers’ – to rescue Pete from an ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris…

My Review

When I read Mr Mercedes earlier this year I found it very difficult to put down. Finders Keepers was a little different. I did enjoy it, but the story leading up to ‘modern day’ was a little slow. Bellamy isn’t a nice person, a passionate reader who takes offence when an author doesn’t treat the character he created with the respect that he felt he deserved. He does a long sentence in prison, for unrelated crimes but the account of his time there didn’t really appeal to me.
However, when Hodges and his friends Jerome and Holly appeared I enjoyed it more. After all, who couldn’t like Holly, she is a fantastic character. I felt very sorry for Pete. His family was torn apart by Brady who appears in some very creepy scenes in this novel even though they are only brief. He decides to help them with the cash he finds but in doing so he places them all in danger. Not only from Bellamy but also the book dealer who is another nasty individual.
It could be read as a stand-alone but to get the best out of it you really need to have read Mr Mercedes. Only a few characters are in both but parts of the storyline are linked. I already have End of Watch, the final part of the trilogy on my bookshelf and I plan on reading very soon.

The Watcher by Ross Armstrong.

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About the Book

Lily Gullick lives with her husband Aiden in a new-build flat opposite an estate which has been marked for demolition. A keen birdwatcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours.
Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Lily, intrigued by the social divide in her local area as it becomes increasingly gentrified, knows that she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.
But can Lily really trust everything she sees?

My Review

The Watcher was definitely be one of the strangest books that I have read during 2016. Lily lives in an upmarket flat that is across the road from a block of flats that is being demolished to make way for more luxury accommodation. She is a keen birdwatcher and spends a lot of time looking for birds and spying on her neighbours from her home. This occupies her time whilst her husband Aiden is busy writing his novel and barely communicating.
When she witnesses an assault in another flat she decides to investigate and goes across to the building site where there are a few groups of people who are refusing to leave their homes and are squatting in the flats whilst they are demolished around them. The consequences of this has a huge impact on her life.
Told from Lily’s point of view throughout its like you are reading a journal where she is talking to somebody but the reader doesn’t know who. She becomes more obsessed and at times less likeable although she did make me laugh.
It was strange to read, I could visualise all the new luxury flats in colour along with their wealthy owners and the mainly empty properties with its handful of occupants in black and white. I also thought I knew what was going to happen but I was completely wrong. After about two thirds of the novel something was revealed that was completely unexpected and left me dumbfounded. Thankfully it was a twist that worked very well and left me wanting to read it again.
A very clever storyline, and a well written debut novel.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.

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About the Book.

This explosive, emotional, page-turning debut about a high school held hostage is told from the perspective of four teens each with their own reason to fear the boy with the gun.

My Review.

I have read a few books that are categorised as YA this year. This novel about teenagers is one that is more geared towards adult fiction than the rest.
There has been a shooting at a high school, both teachers and students have been held hostage at gunpoint in the assembly hall. Four different students are describing the events as they happen. Two of them are inside and two of them outside, all of them have a connection to the killer and they reveal how as the story unfolds.
All four accounts are frightening, but for me the most chilling accounts were told from the two who were outside and trying to get help without putting more people in danger. Some scenes were upsetting to read, especially the ones concerning the boy with the gun. I would have liked to read what he was thinking and the thoughts of the police sent to the scene, but it stays with the four students. I found it quite convincing and realistic but it was disturbing book. I was relieved that it wasn’t a long novel.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy via Netgalley.

My Top Ten Books – 2016.

Its the time of year again when a lot of people reveal what books they have enjoyed most throughout the year. Last year I didn’t have a clear favourite. This year I have two, both completely different to each other and I can’t choose between them. The other eight are in no particular order.

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The Last Night by Cesca Major.

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In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

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Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

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The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland.

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The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah.

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The Trespasser by Tana French.

And now for my two favourite books of the year. I really need to read more by both these authors again.

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No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien.

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The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace.

The Book Trail Advent Day Three.

 

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During December The Book Trail Advent is taking place and Liz, Kate and I are all taking the place of “The Three French Hens” You can read the post here

I had a great time answering these questions and spending time in such fabulous company.

Thanks Susan x