Lex has spent years trying to forge an identity for herself beyond that of Girl A - the one who escaped from her parent's horrific abuse and raised the alarm to save her siblings. Now an adult, with a successful legal career in New York, she is dragged back to her childhood trauma when her mother dies in prison and names Lex as executor of her will. As Lex reconnects with her siblings, many of whom she hasn't seen for years, she must confront the insidious grip they have on each other's lives, not to mention the dark coping strategies that can hold back the past no longer.
Subtly Creepy Books to Enjoy this Halloween!
Confession: I'm a massive wimp, and for me full-on horror films or books are an absolute no-no. When I was younger I was traumatised by E.T. the alien for weeks, and my Mum once had to walk me sobbing out of the cinema when I freaked out over Dobby in The Chamber of Secrets. If you share my cowardly streak, you'll love this list of books that sit safely outside of the horror genre, but still provide a creepy and unsettling vibe to get you in the mood for spooky season...
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell: Thriller-Edition Escapism
Rating: 3 stars
Summary: When Libby inherits a mansion from the biological parents she never knew, it offers life-changing possibilities and the ticket out of her dead-end job. However, this once-lavish house holds the story of Libby's first months of life, and she can't sell until the truth is uncovered.
A newspaper article records how the house became infamous decades ago, when three adults were found dead in what was suspected to be a cult-related suicide pact. Concerned locals reported children living there too, but their identities were unknown and no trace of them remained. These missing children could be the only family Libby has ever known: the question is whether they want to be found.
Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith: Crime Fiction With Character
Rating: 3.5 stars
Category: Crime fiction
Synopsis: Victor Van Allen is proud of the ordered life he has created for himself. He runs a sought-after printing press, holds a respected position in the town, and is the father of a precocious little girl.
The only taint to this perfect facade is his wife, Melinda. Their relationship is tenuously held together by Vic sleeping in a separate room and pretending to ignore her involvements with other men. Yet a new arrival in the sleepy town of Little Wesley means Vic may not be able to look the other way for much longer...
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Stand-Out Thriller that Deserves the Hype
Rating: 5 stars
Theo has just started a new job at The Grove, a psychiatric unit for violent female criminals. Top of the list of new patients he must take on is Alicia. Alicia seemed to have it all - a flourishing career as an artist and a loving husband - until the night she shot him in the head. Since that fateful night, Alicia has refused to speak a word.
Disentangling Alicia's past and the motives for her crime is not going to be easy - especially when The Grove is hiding secrets of its own.
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith: Unsettling and Subversive Crime Novel
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Crime Fiction
"Did the world always mete out just deserts?"
Tom Ripley is struggling to make his way in New York City, chasing the elusive American Dream while treading the edges of illegality. When the father of an old acquaintance approaches Tom in the hope that he can persuade his son, Dickie Greenleaf, to come home from Europe and take on the family business, Tom leaps at the chance.
However, from the first, it becomes clear that Dickie has no intention of obliging his father. His life in the Italian village of Mongibello is everything Tom has ever dreamed of: wealth, status, a luxurious lifestyle. Tom will have to return empty-handed to his sordid life in New York - unless he takes measures increasingly more extreme.
5 Spooky Books by Women to Read this Halloween
The City Girl Magazine aims to connect, inspire and empower women living in cities across the UK and abroad. I write about books for the magazine (what else!?!) and thought I would share this Halloween-inspired post on my blog too. Please do take a look! https://citygirlnetwork.com/citygirlmagazine/5-spooky-books-by-women-to-read-this-halloween
Archive Nostalgia: Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Thriller, Crime Fiction
Synopsis: The novel is set in 1930s Brighton, where the holiday amusements sit in stark contrast to a sinister gang underworld. Central to our view of this underworld is Pinkie, a boy of only 17 who orchestrates the killing of rival gang informer Fred.
Little does he know that Fred had befriended the uncompromisingly righteous Ada, who is determined to see justice done. As he commits increasingly violent acts to protect himself and his fragile status, Pinkie is left spiralling further into a state of amorality and despair.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Encompassing Emotional Epic
Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis: Donna Tartt's masterpiece The Goldfinch follows the story of Theo. Aside from his recently-gone-AWOL father, Theo is a relatively normal New York schoolboy. That is until his life is irrevocably shattered at the age of thirteen when he loses his mother in a suspected terrorist attack at a museum.
As a cast of wayward characters makes their way into and out of Theo's life, he clings to the art his mother loved as a way of maintaining a connection with her. However, this remnant of stability will also be shaken when the art he treasures so much draws Theo into a spiral of criminal activity.
Archive Nostalgia: Fulfil your Summer Reading Goals – Tailored Recommendations!
With many people embarking on summer reading challenges this year, such as the 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy @ 746 Books, I thought I would bring back this feature from the archives. If you're looking to reach some reading goals over summer, hopefully, this will provide you with some inspiration!
The weather is getting warmer, the evenings lighter, the trees are blossoming – summer is definitely on its way! I don’t know about you, but whether I’m on holiday or just relaxing in the garden, summer is the time when I get to read most out of any time of year. But have you thought about what you’re aiming to achieve with your reading this summer? Do you want to feel more well-read by perusing some classics, or do you fancy something a little lighter to help you relax on the beach? The tailored recommendations below will help you to fulfil your summer reading goals, whatever they may be!