Saturday, 21 September 2013

My top 5 books read this Summer by Liz

Today's top 5 books has been chosen by Liz at Liz Loves Books so I'll hand you over to her to tell us about them.

I have read some terrific books this Summer - picking a Top 5 was very difficult but here we are - in no particular order.....

1) The Summer We All Ran Away by Cassandra Parkin

When nineteen year old Davey finds himself drunk, beaten and alone, he is rescued by the oddly-assorted inhabitants of an abandoned and beautiful house in the West Country. Their only condition for letting him join them is that he asks them no questions.

More than thirty years ago in that same house, burned-out rock star Jack Laker writes a ground-breaking comeback album, and abandons the girl who saved his life to embark on a doomed and passionate romance with a young actress. His attempt to escape his destructive lifestyle leads to deceit, debauchery and even murder.

As Davey and his fellow housemate Priss try to uncover the secrets of the house's inhabitants, both past and present, it becomes clear that the five strangers have all been drawn there by the events and the music of that long-ago summer.  

This was a beautifully written evocative tale of a group of eclectic people who gather in an old mansion in Devonshire - all trying to escape from something in their past, the echoes of which will affect their future. With a Christie-esqe mystery at its heart I loved every minute of this book and will almost certainly read it again at some point.

2) Black Chalk by Christopher Yates

How well do you know your best friends?
How far would you to protect them?
How far would you go to break them?

It was only ever meant to be a game. A game of consequences, of silly forfeits, childish dares. A game to be played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University.

But then the game changed: the stakes grew higher and the dares more personal, more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results.

Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round.

A dark and twisty tale of 6 students at Oxford playing a game - a game of consequences. With wonderful characterisation and many twists and turns along the way, I could barely step away from it until I was done.

3) One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home. 

So what makes identical twin Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life? How will she survive? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?

This novel, marketed on a  twist that no-one, including myself, ever see's coming was also a wonderful emotional story of one woman hiding a desperate secret who walks out on her perfect family life to start a new one alone in London.  Brilliantly written it will hold your attention to the last words.. will YOU guess Emily's secret? I very much doubt it...

4) Next to Die by Neil White

Joe Parker is Manchester's most ingenious criminal defence lawyer.
Sam Parker is Manchester's most tenacious homicide detective.
Both bear the burden of the unsolved murder of their sister fifteen years earlier.
And both have a stake in a new series of murders that has shaken their city to its core.

Ronnie Bagley is locked up and facing trial for the murder of his girlfriend and baby and there's only one lawyer he wants to defend him: Joe Parker. As Joe takes to the courtroom to represent Ronnie, little does he know that Bagley is smarter than anyone has given him credit for, and soon Joe will find himself pitched against his own brother, Sam, in a race to outwit the most terrifying serial killer the city has ever seen.

It isn't long before Joe and Sam's shared past comes crashing into the present in a pulse-pounding race to find out who is NEXT TO DIE...

One of my favourite authors, Neil never lets me down when it comes to a stonking good crime read. In this, the first of a new series for him, we meet the Parker brothers.  One a defence attorney, one a policeman they will be on opposite sides but will need to work together to stop a Serial Killer who shows no mercy...and prevent a tragedy. Wonderfully written and compelling this may be his best novel  yet..

5) The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald

When a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, it sets off a police investigation that will become a media sensation and dinner-table talk across the world.

Lies, rumours and guilt snowball, causing the parents, Joanna and Alistair, to slowly turn against each other.

Finally Joanna starts thinking the unthinkable: could the truth be even more terrible than she suspected? And what will it take to make things right?

In a stunning novel, one that still brings a tear to my eye when I think about it now, Helen Fitzgerald takes us behind the scenes of the 24/7 news cycle and we see things from the parents point of view amongst others. Don't miss this one!

Head over to to read Liz's reviews or follow her on Twitter @Lizzy11268

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