Monthly Archives: March 2015

Buried Angels, Camilla Lackberg

downloadI’m undecided about this book. I read it and I was certainly engaged by the plot and the characters and their tortured past. It was hard not to be captivated by these elements. I was especially intrigued by the author’s Swedish context and I think it was this more than anything which kept me intrigued.

But I was unsettled by some of what seemed to be the obvious twists – two women who both lost children, a family who disappeared, some unpleasant men. I couldn’t help but feel that it was all too conspicuously apparent. And mostly I couldn’t bring myself to care enough about the fate of these characters. Sometimes it happens – a book just unfolds and I land up feeling detached, possibly through no fault of the author, just something in the air. And so it was with Buried Angels. I read it. Right to the end. I didn’t guess the twist and I was engaged enough to persist. But that was all.

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Two Brothers, Ben Elton

two broIt’s been too long since I last read an epic tale like this one. In fact, I don’t think I’ve read such a captivating drama since Gregory’s Wideacre trilogy had me  captive.

Elton’s book gripped me from the first page and had me hanging by a thread until the very end. There was only one moment where he lost me, but I’ll forgive him that because the book itself was just too otherwise perfect.

Elton weaves two narratives. The first in the past, Berlin 1920 to be precise. The story of a Jewish woman who gives birth to twins. The story of this woman and her family forms the basis of the narrative and unfolds parallel to the birth of Hitler’s Nazi party. Elton has managed to convey the flurry of insanity which engulfed Germany in this post war period. The uncertainty, the beauty, the mania. He does it while simultaneaously moulding Frieda Stengel and her beloved husband, Wolfgang, into characters that we as readers have no choice but to love.

Elton’s second narrative occurs in 1956. And about this I will say nothing for it will simply spoil the magic of the two tales.

For me, part of the aura of this book was the historical context but never did that over power the magic of Elton’s characters. The generous Frieda, her two sons, her trumpet playing husband and of course the beautiful Dagmar and loving Silke.

This book will surely resonate with me for a long time and if you are a fan of historical fiction I can’t recommend it enough. You will not be disappointed.

In The Blood, Lisa Unger

in-the-blood-9781476708232_lgOh gosh this woman unhinges me. Psychological thriller doesn’t even come close to describing this page turning, heart throbbing, gripping and twisting read. Clearly I love Lisa Unger. I love that her crazy plots follow me through my dreams. I love the way she creates this viscious characters filled with verve and pizazz and I love the way she knits it all together. I’m an Unger fan through and though!

Sonya Hartnett, The Ghost’s Child

downloadThe Midnight Zoo was such a treat that when I stumbled upon another of Sonya Hartnett’s books while searching through the library for books for the littler people in my house, I couldn’t possibly resist the site of The Ghost’s Child – and needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed!

The Ghost’s Child starts with some basic scene setting – Matilda, an elderly woman, comes home to find a stranger sitting in her living room. The stranger is a young boy and Matilda – Maddie – finds it comforting to have him sitting there while she offers to make tea and put out biscuits. The story unfolds as Maddie tells the boy about her a story. The story of her life, a life filled with beauty and wonder, love and deep loss.

Maddie’s story is magical and wonderous and exposes readers to such an amazing array of emotions that it is difficult to capture in a short review.

I won’t spoil this gem. I will only tell you that what sold me on this book was the way that it could be read on so many different levels. There is something here for everyone.