I love holidays: the adventure of exploring new places and cultures, the timelessness, the space to kick back and indulge. This year we took no phones and used no internet; our days were completely our own. Under these circumstances, after a busy few hours exploring, I tend to catch up on my reading and this year I managed three excellent reads by authors new to me which I’m going to share with you today.
So, sit back in your deck chair, sink your toes into the sand and take a look at these. I’d highly recommend each and every one.
How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst
A mother is released from prison after serving a sentence for killing her own baby. But on her release she is sent a photo of a young boy that opens up old wounds.
I really liked the main character of Susan and her relationship with her best friend Cass and how this played out throughout the story. It’s a gripping psychological thriller that I read (in between dips in the pool and BBQ dinners) in a couple of days, mostly because I couldn’t put it down. There are references to past events dropped in throughout the story which keep you on your toes – just when you think you’ve worked out the plot, the author sends you in a different direction. This combined with a lovely writing style made for an excellent start to the holiday.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
After a tragic accident changes her life, Jenna moves away to a quiet Welsh seaside village. This story is told partly from the perspective of the police investigation as they try to solve the case and partly from Jenna’s own point of view. As it unfolds it is both haunting and harrowing at times, but certainly a compelling read. A solid police procedural with a depth of characters that gives the author credit, How I Let You Go deals with some very difficult issues which I cannot talk about here without giving away the storyline. Suffice to say, it is a very accomplished debut and well worth a read. I look forward to seeing what Mackintosh comes up with next.
The Safe Word by Karen Long
This was the first in a series of books featuring the refreshingly new detective of Eleanor Raven whom I liked immensely: She’s darkly drawn and clever, but with a seductive edge that makes her intriguing.
A gritty police procedural, it flows along nicely as the police pursue the gruesome serial killer and the novel builds up to great crescendo at the end. The Safe Word marks a great start to the series – I look forward to reading the next.