What I've read lately

Last week I said that in all that heat and after the party I escaped to a good book, and the review of that book is the first one below. It's not released yet and I've been able to read this through NetGalley, which is a great way of reading some new books.

Although the view of leaves through our new gazebo did test my concentration powers!

The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter

I've not read any of Karin's books before, but she has written the Will Trent and Grant County series, both of which I'll be checking out - if you've read those, I'd be keen to know your views.

This was one of those books that got me hooked from the off. The chapters are long though, so if like me you aim to stop reading at the end of a chapter be prepared for your life to get a bit out of synch. Dinner will be late, because "just one more page!" - but it's worth it.

Throughout the book I questioned which of the sisters the book was titled after, and I think probably both at times. It's a fascinating read, delving into relationships and situations, someI hope you'll never experience first-hand, but told with such clarity and emotion that you really can't help but get involved. 

I'd thoroughly recommend this book when it's released on 13 July.

About the book:

"Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – the town's notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

"Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to the town again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case which can't help triggering the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried for ever..."

The Fifth Letter, Nicole Moriaty 

This was a book that was easy to get into and that continued as the story develops. The main character tells the majority of the story in a confessional box, but don't let that put you off.

I started reading this on a plane and was grateful for its non-complicated plot. I guessed who'd written the fifth letter early on, not sure how - gut instinct, perhaps but as the book went on I questioned my choice, but I needn't have. Good for those times when you want a simple and easy read.

About the book:

"Joni, Trina, Deb and Eden. Best friends since the first day of school. Best friends, they liked to say, forever. But now they are in their thirties and real life - husbands, children, work - has got in the way. So, resurrecting their annual trip away, Joni has an idea, something to help them reconnect. Each woman will write an anonymous letter, sharing with their friends the things that are really going on in their lives.

"But as the confessions come tumbling out, Joni starts to feel the certainty of their decades-long friendships slip from her fingers. Anger. Accusations. Desires. Deceit. And then she finds another letter. One that was never supposed to be read. A fifth letter. Containing a secret so big that its writer had tried to destroy it. And now Joni is starting to wonder, did she ever really know her friends at all?"

A Year and a Day, Isabelle Broom

A captivating story that didn't go quite where I expected it to. Set in the beautiful city of Prague this book reminded me of a long ago trip there, so much so that I even looked up potential flights.  I couldn't make them work from City airport, so a return trip will need more consideration, but I'd love to go back.

The story is of six couples and their experiences in the city, and of their relationships too. And as you'd expect, none of them are standard - whatever standard is. Definitely worth a read, and maybe you'll need a tissue or two too, but I'm sure that like me, if you've visited Prague then you might be tempted to book a return trip too.

About the book:

"Three women. Three love stories. One city.

"For Megan, visiting Prague with her friend Ollie it's just business. Nothing more. Because if she admits the truth she might lose everything.

For Hope, this trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the city when she knows how angry her daughter is. And that it's all her fault.

"For Sophie, Prague has always been magical. And now she's counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her in the city that holds so many of their memories . . ."

Although I haven't read the last two of these for a while now, I enjoyed them and would recommend, both of them are already published. And now I've got my reading bug back I'm already stuck into a book by Christobel Kent, an author I've read and enjoyed before.  I've discovered that wanting to finish a book is a great way to ensure I leave the office for lunch - every one's a winner right?

What have you read that you think I'd like?