Posts Tagged ‘Daughter’

This is a tough read which can be likened to marmite. You will either love it and won’t be able to put it down but may find the uncomfortable fascination of reading to the end too much to stomach. As for me, after finishing it I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

I love Cath Staincliffe’s style of writing. Her characterisation and use of the first person draws you into her stories so you soon relate to the people she is writing about and the world they inhabit. ‘Letters to my Daughter’s Killer’ is no exception. You become immersed in the bleak, tortured world of grandmother Ruth Sutton as she struggles to cope with her grief after the murder of her daughter and being left to become the sole carer of her young granddaughter Florence. Be in no doubt that this book will get to your emotions as you share Ruth’s hatred and longing for vengeance. As you read, it’s impossible not to put yourself in Ruth’s shoes and consider how you’d react in her situation, which is probably why I found it such a tough read. But I’m very glad I finished it. It gave me a lot to think about.

The Bonbon Girl is another captivating romantic historical saga from West Country author Linda Finlay. An evocative romp through Cornish coast and countryside in the Victorian era that captures the world of mine workers, bustling county towns and travelling fair people. We follow the love story between Colenso and Kitto – two teenagers deeply in love and about to face the hardship of life in the outside world.

From the dramatic opening with Colenso tied to a rock with waves crashing around her, through her journey of survival to escape a life she doesn’t want, to a surprising resolution. From the first page The Bonbon Girl is a compelling page turner as you read on to find out if true love will conquer all or if Colenso’s perilous circumstances will prevail.
With its well drawn characters and finely tuned research The Bonbon Girl is a satisfying story of friendship, betrayal, tragedy and love which is highly recommended.

A great read if you are planning a Cornish holiday or just want to go back in time.

‘The Lies Within ‘opens dramatically with grieving mother Grace Daniels in the dock being tried for murder. The novel goes on to tell how she became a suspect and ends with what happens next. It is the third book in the series featuring Jane Isaac’s DI Will Jackman and it is good to be in his company again. The core of the book is about how Jackman and Grace’s stories interrelate. He is the SIO investigating the murder of her daughter, and it makes for a clever plot with some really good twists which I didn’t see coming.

The story is told alternatively from Will Jackman and Grace Daniels points of view and it is the emotional resonance of Grace’s sections that make this book so compelling. Jane Isaac’s writing captures all Grace’s roller coaster of emotions: her shock, despair, guilt, anger and isolation verging on mental breakdown in a realistic and empathetic way. Will Jackman is a sympathetic police detective with problems of his own and you want him to solve the case and not be let down. But it is Grace’s story and her characterisation in the heartbreaking situation of being the mother of a murdered daughter that make this crime novel different and cause the reader to reflect on what they would do in Grace’s situation.

Having said that, I did find the first part of the novel rather slow to get going, but once the plot moves in a different and unexpected direction and the pace speeds up the need to read on is compulsive and I read the book in one sitting.

‘The Lies Within’ is a satisfying read and I look forward to DI Will Jackman book four.
With thanks to Legend Press for providing an advance copy to review.

'Alma' collecting money on the Esplanade, Sidmouth

‘Alma’ collecting money on the Esplanade, Sidmouth

DaughterYesterday was the first meeting of the Sidmouth Crime Fiction Reading Group after our summer break. Fresh from our holidays, sunshine, gardening and walks we eagerly dissected our book of the month: ‘Daughter’ by Jane Shemilt. At first, we weren’t sure it qualified as crime fiction as it doesn’t seem to have a crime, but it is a thrilling read. Jane Shemilt writes beautifully, especially her atmospheric descriptions. The alternating timeframe of ‘then’ and ‘now’ quickly draws the reader into the story and compels them to turn the page. Although none of the group found the lead character Jenny very likeable, we found plenty to discuss about her situation as a busy working mother and her attitude to parenting. Our discussion of the novel prompted an interesting sharing of different points of view about the novel’s main themes of grief, parenting and teenage secrets. It was just what I hope to get out of a satisfying read and a stimulating discussion.

And on the way back to the car park I enjoyed an October burst of sunshine, listening to the sea and eating an ice cream.

The Sidmouth Crime Fiction Book Group meets at Kennaway House at 2.30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month. Newcomers are very welcome.