Alice Teale Is Missing by H. A. Linskey – Review.

About The Book

Alice Teale walked out of school at the end of a bright spring day.

She’s not been seen since

Alice was popular and well-liked, and her boyfriend, friends and family are desperate to find her.

But soon it’s clear that everyone in her life has something to hide.

Then the police receive a disturbing package.

Pages from Alice’s precious diary.

Who could have sent them? And what have they done with Alice?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Alice Teale Is Missing is the first in a new series and also the first book I have read by this author. I’m happy to say that it is a book I really enjoyed and I am happy knowing that there is another series to read.  I have a feeling that this series is going to be a good one. 

One of the main reasons is that I liked the way the two main characters Beth and Lucas were together. Lucas could have been unlikeable and unfriendly with the disastrous case he was involved in but instead he was shown to suffer from it. A loner in the police force and a broken marriage he could have been shown as bitter and blaming everybody else but he doesn’t. Instead he has tried to move in, whilst acknowledging the gossip and mistrust from other colleagues.

Beth is the graduate officer, has a pass into her position but desperate to do a good job. She has been made aware of what happened to Lucas but wants to investigate Alice’s disappearance so tries to accept it.

I had no idea what happened with Alice. I couldn’t work out if she was dead or alive or the reasons why. I couldn’t work out if she was a nice person or if she wasn’t as popular as se seemed. I had no idea who could be trusted or relied on. I felt frustration at the lack of help from former employees and I loved the description of live in a rundown town with no chance of prospects. And I’m sure we’ve all been in a pub like The Dirty Donkey! 

I see huge potential for this series. A very likeable partnership and I want to see them succeed and prove their colleagues and superiors wrong.

My Top Ten Books of 2019

The time has come again to face an impossible task of narrowing the 117 books I have read into a top ten list. As always it was difficult to do but I have managed and I will list them in no particular order. Apart from my favourite book of the year which I will reveal at the end. You can see my review for each book by clicking on the title.

Expectation by Anna Hope.

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman.

The Photographer Of The Lost by Caroline Scott

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Red Snow by Will Dean

From The City, From The Plough by Alexander Baron

On My Life by Angela Clarke

The Taking Of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

The Girl At The Window by Rowan Coleman

My Book of 2019

Turbulent Wake by Paul. E Hardisty

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A gripping and compassionate drama of two families linked by chance, love and tragedy

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours. 

Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope – cold, elegant, unstable – wants to be left alone.

It’s left to their children – Lena’s youngest, Kate, and Anne’s only child, Peter – to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all. 

A tragedy whose true origins only become clear many years later . . .

A story of love and redemption, faith and forgiveness, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood – villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. 

A story of how, if we’re lucky, the violence lurking beneath everyday life can be vanquished by the power of love.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I always enjoy a family drama, even more so if the novel covers a period of years and what happens to the whole family during that novel. This novel was one that I adored.

Two families, initially united through two characters being police officers. One is more successful than the other but they are friends and eventually neighbours. They both have families but never become  close friends. When the friendship that they have appears to be badly damaged after one suffers life changing injuries you would accept that they would drift apart but two of them are determined to be together.

I adored this novel. Everything was perfect, Irish immigrants hoping for a new life, and struggling to forget the past. The explanations for why events happened and the way they dealt with them. But most of all the relationship between Kate and Peter. The total devotion to each other and the determination to not let the past affect their lives. The way they handled high school and university apart but always thinking of each other and feeling that they needed to be with each other. And the way they connected again, convincing their families that there was a chance of happiness for all of them.

Pure joy. 

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received, Then She Vanishes is the first book I have read by Claire Douglas. After reading it I am happy that there are a few I can read.

The prologue concerns the murder of a mother and son but then most of it concerns Jess and Margot, Heather’s mother. Jess is a journalist but was also a teenage friend of Heather and her sister Flora. She is being pressured into getting a story by her boss but also determined not to let her job damage her relationship with Margot.

I was surprised by how much I liked Jess, I usually dislike journalists in fiction but she was honest in the mistakes she had made in the past and was determined to handle the situation the right way. She has a steady working relationship with her colleagues, especially Jack and it is him she confides in about her past, before her partner Rory. He only really has a role in the latter stages of the novel. They have a great relationship but she has commitment problems, these are revealed in the flashbacks to 1994 when Flora disappeared. Margot was another character who I liked instantly. Never knowing what happened to Flora, wanting to help Heather, and despite her misgivings allowing Jess back into her life.

I enjoyed the flashbacks, the teenage girls are believable with emotions, first love, hurt and jealousy all shown. I also enjoyed listening again to Martha’s Harbour by All About Eve which was a favourite song of Flora’s.

There are plenty of twists but they are slow to come, taking you by surprise when you are least expecting them. Some of it I did work out earlier but I don’t think it was meant to be a huge surprise. Some are chilling, more so because you know that they concern events that have happened. And the final chapter had me lost for words. Brilliant characters, fantastic storyline.


The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen – Extract – Blog Tour.

Today I am sharing an extract with you. The Lost Letters of William Woolf is a book that I have been trying to read for a few months. I hope to read it soon.

About The Book

My Great Love…’

William Woolf is a letter detective at the Dead Letters Depot, where he spends his days reuniting lost mail with its intended recipient.

But when he discovers a series of letters addressed simply to ‘My Great Love’ everything changes.

Written by a woman to a soulmate she hasn’t yet met, her heartfelt words stir William in ways he has long forgotten.

Could they be destined for him? And what would that mean for his own troubled marriage?

William must follow the clues in the letters to solve his most important mystery yet: his own heart. 

Extract

Lost letters have only one hope for survival. If they are caught between two worlds, with an unclear destination and no address of sender, the lucky ones are redirected to the Dead Letters Depot in East London for a final chance of redemption. Inside the damp-rising walls of a converted tea factory, letter detectives spend their days solving mysteries. Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names: they are all culprits in the occurrence of missed birthdays, unknown test results, bruised hearts, unaccepted invitations, silenced confessions, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers. instead of longed for missives, disappointment floods postboxes from Land’s End to Dunnet Head. Hope fades a little more every day, when door bells don’t chime and doormats don’t thud.

William Woolf had worked as a letter detective for eleven years. He was one of an army of thirty, having inherited his position from his beloved uncle, Archie. Almost every Friday throughout William’s childhood, Archie, clad in a lime-green leather jacket, rode his yellow Honda Dream 305 over for tea, eager to share fish and chips doused in salt and vinegar served with a garlic dip, and tales of the treasures rescued that day.

Listening to Archie opened William’s mind to the myriad extraordinary stories that were unfolding every day in the lives of ordinary people. In a blue -lined copy book, he wrote his favourites and unwittingly began what would become a lifelong obsession with storytelling, domestic mysteries and the secrets strangers nurse. What surprised William most when he started working there himself was how little Archie had exaggerated. People send the strangest paraphernalia through the post: incomprehensible and indefensible, sentimental and valuable, erotic and bizarre, alive and expired. In fact, it was the dead animals that so frequently found their way to this inner sanctum of the postal system that had inspired the Dead Letters Depot’s name. A photo taken in 1937, the year it had opened, showed the original postmaster, Mr Frank Oliphant, holding a pheasant and hare aloft, with three rabbits stretched out on the table before him. By the time William joined in 1979, it was a much more irregular occurrence, of course, but the name still endured. He still felt Archie’s presence amid the exposed red brick walls of the depot, and some of the older detectives sometimes called William by his uncle’s name. Their physical similarities were striking: muddy brown curls, chestnut beards flecked with rust, the almond shaped hazel eyes that flickered between shades of emerald green and cocoa, the bump in the nose of all Woolf men.