mrschristine.com

2017

Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson

Published July 13, 2022

Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson

I love Kerry Wilkinson’s books, and this was another really good thriller mystery, where two sisters return to a Cornish village from their childhoods to move on from trauma, but in turn finding more to deal with as they go along. There are some really great, but potentially triggering, descriptions of struggling with an eating disorder, and the scenes in the cave were genuinely very tense. The rising stakes, the feeling that the truth might never come out, it was really well-paced and well-written. Good times.

The Party by Robyn Harding

Published May 17, 2022

The Party by Robyn Harding

Everyone in this was just awful. The book is told from a handful of different points of view, and details the lead up to, the actions at, and the aftermath of a terrible sleepover party. An accident occurs and the fallout of it brings many other secrets to light with the threat of a lawsuit looming over a couple of different families. I just thought everyone was terrible and actively disliked them, but having said that, it was very well written and just slipped by as I was keen to know what was going to happen.

Heads or Tails by Damien Boyd

Published February 2, 2022

Heads or Tails by Damien Boyd

Ooh, this was right up my street, this one. Nick Dixon’s seventh adventure and it was a bit more like the Inspector Frost series, in which lots of different things were interlinked and layered and kept coming back around and being more important each time. The initial murder was really quite disturbing, well written, but quite graphic, and really made me care about who was behind it. There was lots going on: poaching, coastguards, organised crime, mobsters, various locations, lots of trains, plus a near death experience, and a lot of personal stuff piled on top. Loved it!

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

Published November 14, 2021

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

This felt like a stiff and stilted read, and I was tempted to give up halfway through but then it took a turn I wasn’t expecting at all, and I just had to see how it all played out. At heart it’s the traditional story of highly strung mother disliking the new girlfriend, but it goes so much deeper and darker than that! Twists and turns along the way, and some hair-raising moments, but ultimately an intriguing ride to the end.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronica Peerless

Published November 12, 2021

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronica Peerless

This is a very useful visual reference book for any budding gardeners out there. The first part kicks off with a beginner’s guide to keeping plants - where to keep them, how often to water them, the best kind to buy for particular areas of your house. The second part of the book lists a whole variety of individual plants and how to look after them specifically. Useful, and one to keep on the shelf for future reference as well.

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

Published November 2, 2021

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

This is a very well-written book with some great research and reporting along the way, but it left me with very mixed feelings. This guy effectively gave up on modern life and went to live in the woods for several decades, but without the provisions to be able to do so, he resorted to stealing. I supported his desire to be left alone and was worried about how he would cope once arrested, but equally, it did seem like he was terrorising the nearby neighbourhood - especially where some would happily leave out food or other necessities rather than find themselves robbed on occasion. Difficult one.

A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall

Published October 28, 2021

A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall

This is an odd one, another workplace memoir, this time from a life in the criminal courts. It was interesting but I don’t know if it went in depth enough. Obviously you have to be careful of the law, but it felt very light, skimming the surface of a handful of trials. I think there was also a lot of implied knowledge, I didn’t really understand the career trajectory of our narrator, thinking he was a judge before he’d actually made it, etc. Good but not perfect.

Father, Son and the Pennine Way by Mark Richards

Published August 25, 2021

Father, Son and the Pennine Way by Mark Richards

What I liked about this book was how natural and unassuming the writing is, it’s as if you’re sitting in the pub having a chat with the author, rather than reading the first in a series of books about his walks with his son. It’s breezy and startlingly honest in places, detailing the trip from inception to completion, and all the mis-steps along the way (getting lost, shouting at each other, coming to terms with one half being stronger than the other). A really good, relaxing book to read, and more to follow - I can’t wait to see what the pair get up to next.

The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley

Published July 28, 2021

The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley

Interesting book this one, you could feel the fact that it was originally published in four parts but it still worked well as a whole. I thought it was going to be the traditional rom-com, but actually it had quite a few more layers than I was expecting and a lot more depth. The only trouble is, because of the cliffhangers, there are some moments that seem put in there for no purpose, they don’t serve the wider story really.

I'm Still Standing by Colleen Coleman

Published March 23, 2021

I'm Still Standing by Colleen Coleman

Aww, this really was a lovely book. It was a super simple story that had plenty of drama but still somehow felt as though it was gently drawing you along the story of Evelyn. She goes to the big city after a break up and finds a brand new life that she would never have predicted for herself - running and restoring an authentic old pub back to its old self. Quite a lot of the story is just how the pub gradually comes back to life which is nice. The sad twist towards the end, of course, adds a bit of jeopardy but I never doubted for one second that it would all end happily. Which it did, and then some!