Welcome to Fife’s libraries reader reviews newsletter. All books reviewed in this newsletter are available from Fife’s libraries. To find out which libraries have these books, to make a request or share a review, visit www.fifedirect.org.uk/readingroom
What’s New? Gun machine by Warren Ellis Havisham by Ronald Frame
Books Reviewed this month
Light behind the window by Lucinda Riley
Chessmen by Peter May
Week in winter by Maeve Binchy
The forgotten by David Baldacci Happily ever after by Harriet Evans
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I remember you by Yrsa Sigurdardottir Little known facts by Christine Sneed Making of us by Lisa Jewell One hundred names by Cecelia Ahern Vintage teacup club by Vanessa Greene Winter wonderland by Belinda Jones
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Chessmen by Peter May This is the third in the trilogy of crime thrillers. Former policeman Fin returns to Lewis where his detection skills are put to the test. A body is found and he discovers that old friends are not always what they seem and that there are still secrets to be revealed. The background of the bleak and stark Hebrides adds atmosphere to the crime story. His understanding of how the traditions shape the inhabitants and mould their lives makes the book fit into the ‘Nordic Noir’ section even though it is Scottish. This title is available in Large Print from Fife’s libraries.
The Forgotten by David Baldacci Puller receives a letter from his aunt saying that things are not right in her retirement community. By the time he gets there she is dead. There are two heroes in this book but they are not working together. The highly destructive trade of human trafficking is brought to the fore here and all the human heartache that it entails for the victims. A clever plot that has parallel story lines which eventually combine to make a strong thread of suspense and excitement. You want to reach the end but hope that the book never finishes.
Happily ever after by Harriet Evans We follow Eleanor Bee from university to London and a career in publishing. She starts off as a lowly secretary and through her own hard work lands up as a successful editor in New York. You see the family torn apart by her mother’s drinking and her parent’s divorce. It shows how alcoholism can affect the children too and paints a gritty picture of the guilt, secrecy and isolation associated with it. A thought provoking book with a darker side. Not just chick-lit. This title is available in Spoken Word and Large Print from Fife’s libraries.
Reader Reviews I remember you by Yrsa Sigurdardottir Normally known for her Icelandic crime books, this is a horrific ghost story.Three friends head off to renovate a cottage but it is soon apparent that there is an evil spirit there. The second thread in the story concerns a father who lost his son three years earlier and is helping the police investigate a suicide and vandalism. This is an eerie tale and will stretch your nerves as the tension is built up. Atmospheric and gripping, the suspense will keep you awake, even after the spine-chilling climax.
Little known facts by Christine Sneed Ever wondered what it would be like to have a famous father? This book is written from the viewpoint of his son and daughter and how they cope with his success. The book does not discuss the normal drugs and drink problems you associate with stardom. It also stays away from the celebrity status that the public confer on the rich and famous but instead concentrates on how Rennâ€™s decisions and influence affects the people closest to him. These people also have to find their own identity living in the shadow of his overwhelming personality. A debut novel after her collection of short stories was published.
The making of us by Lisa Jewell Three young people seem unrelated until you discover they share the same donor father. Lydia is coming to terms with her new riches, Dean has just lost the mother of his child, Robyn is studying medicine. The father, Daniel, has not long to live and wants to meet them before he dies. Also the donor siblings meet each other and try to find common ground. A warm but thought provoking story that highlights the moral and ethical dilemma facing those in this situation.
Reader Reviews One hundred names by Cecelia Ahern What is the link between the people who are on the list? Kitty has to solve the mystery after her mentor dies and she is asked to write this last article. No clues and no further details make this seem an impossible task but as Kitty has wrecked her career as a TV journalist she has to make a success of this. The characters are so different and interesting, you will enjoy meeting them and hearing about their past life. Every story was special yet each links together to give an enthralling and magical read. This title is available in Spoken Word and Large Print from Fifeâ€™s libraries.
The vintage teacup club by Vanessa Greene Three women are attracted by a tea service so they decide to take turns in using it. Maggie has made a fresh start after her divorce, Jenny is planning her wedding when her mother comes back into her life while Alison has financial troubles at home. Different ages and different backgrounds do not prevent the women becoming friends. We find out about their dreams and goals, the support and encouragement that enriches their lives-all through a chance encounter at a car boot sale. This title is available in Large Print from Fifeâ€™s libraries.
Winter wonderland by Belinda Jones
Krista runs a travel itinerary website and is visiting Quebec during the Winter Carnival so that she can deliver a first hand experience for the prospective holiday makers. The characters grip you from page one while the romantic endeavours and misadventures keep you interested until the end. It is sparkling adventure and fun which leaves you wanting to book a holiday to Canada as soon as you can find a website that still has vacancies on it.
New Titles Gun Machine by Warren Ellis Detective Tallow finds an apartment filled with guns. Each weapon has been used in an unsolved murder, meaning that someone has been killing for the last twenty years. His investigation leads him to uncover a conspiracy that involves politics and the hidden dark history of Manhattan The police and forensic science formula is normal these days but Ellis puts a twist on it that makes this an interesting read for anyone who likes a gritty crime novel. This has already been sold as a TV pilot.
Havisham by Ronald Frame It explains why Catherine is an embittered and lonely spinster and why she was determined that Estella would not suffer at the hands of a man. She was a motherless child with a privileged upbringing but her father was in trade. He tries to improve her marriage prospects by sending her to stay with the Chadwycks and there her heartbreaking future is set. Well written and absorbing, after a slow beginning, it is an attempt to flesh out the bones of a famous literary character. This title is available in Spoken Word and Large Print from Fife’s libraries
The light behind the window by Lucinda Riley Emilie meets Sebastian, they fall in love and get married. In WW2 his grandmother Constance is a SOE operator who hides in Emilie’s father’s chateau.. He pretends to be friends with the Nazis while running the local Resistance group. His sister is blind and treated as a child until she falls in love with a German officer. The story flows effortlessly between Emilie, and Constance. Their narratives are compellingly and convincingly told with unsettling truths being discovered as you turn the pages. This title is available in Spoken Word and Large Print from Fife’s libraries.
A week in winter by Maeve Binchy A new hotel opens on the west coast of Ireland with both staff and guests having high hopes for a wonderful week. As usual Maeve Bincy writes about a number of different characters so that you get their perspectives and then the stories mesh as they meet each other. You realise why they chose that hotel and what they took away with them after their time together. You read about ordinary people with everyday problems. An uncomplicated story which ambles along to its happy ending. A lovely last novel from this popular author.