Throwback Thursday – The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth

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Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

 

My choice this week is: The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth

From Goodreads:

Paperback, 422 pages
Published April 7th 2011 by Arrow (first published 1972)

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Can you forgive the past?

It’s 1963 and a young German reporter has been assigned the suicide of a holocaust survivor. The news story seems straightforward, this is a tragic insight into one man’s suffering. But a long hidden secret is discovered in the pages of the dead man’s diary.

What follows is life-and-death hunt for a notorious former concentration camp-commander, a man responsible for the deaths of thousands, a man as yet unpunished.

 

 

I read this a few years ago even though it was originally published in 1972. I must admit that I’d always I considered anything by Frederick Forsyth to be very male orientated and something I wouldn’t enjoy reading. Well I was very pleased to be proved wrong, as it was a brilliant thriller with such an unexpected twist.

Book Review – Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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About the Book

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She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away. Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

My Thoughts

I loved this dark, creepy,  latest novel from one of my favourite authors. I was hooked from the first page right through to the last.

What I love about Lisa Jewell’s books is the way she writes and develops such believable characters and scenarios. I feel that I could  be reading about my neighbours, ordinary people that I past on the street everyday who I know nothing about. Her world building is so strong that I can see everything so clearly in my mind’s eye as I get slowly absorbed into her books.

Then She Was Gone, was slightly different in that I got into this book so fast that I was quite surprised by the speed of the plot. I enjoyed the telling of the story from the different characters, and the flitting between the past and present definitely added to the tension throughout. The mystery of what happened to Ellie is slowly but surely revealed with a such a force that I felt emotionally overwhelmed by the last page.

It’s a book that will definitely stay with me for sometime and I will be reading again in the future.

If you like a creepy, dark read that’ll you make your flesh creep then this is a book for you.

I received an Arc through NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone but actually read my own copy that I’d pre-ordered from Waterstones.

 

Stacking the Shelves

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Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

 

I found both of these on NetGalley. Fierce Kingdom is a ‘Read Now’ and The Devil’s Claw is a sample.

 

I downloaded both of these Kindle freebies via social media.

 

Finally, I almost resisted the lure of free books whilst volunteering at the library, only coming home with an audiobook on Monday and a non fiction book on Friday.

What have you been adding to your shelves this week?

 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY – Safe House by Chris Ewan

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throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

My choice this week is:

From Goodreads: Safe House by Chris Ewan

Kindle Edition, 441 pages
Published 2012 by Faber and Faber Crime
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When Rob Hale wakes up in hospital after a motorcycle crash on the Isle of Man, he is told that Lena, the woman he claims was travelling with him, doesn’t exist. The woman he describes bears a striking resemblance to his recently deceased sister, Laura, but has he really only imagined her?

Convinced that Lena is real, Rob sets out to find the answers to who she is and who is behind her disappearance. He is aided in this by Rebecca Lewis, a London-based PI, who has come to the island at the behest of his parents to investigate his sister’s suicide. But who is Rebecca really and how did she know his sister?

Together Rob and Rebecca follow the clues to discover Lena’s fate. In doing so they realise that even on an island where most people know each other, everyone hides a secret, and sometimes your best option isn’t to hide but to stay and fight.

This hooked right from the first page, and kept me glued all the way through. I liked the main character Rob who got involved by chance in the beginning. There were lots of twists and turns and shady characters, that I really didn’t know if I could trust or not. It kept me guessing for a long time, and made for a very satisfying read. If you’re looking for a fast paced thriller you can’t go wrong with this one.

Six Degrees of Separation – From Pride and Prejudice to …

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It’s time for #6degrees. It’s unquestionably the least demanding bookish meme on the interwebs, so join in!

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Books Are My Favourite and Best. The idea is to start with the book that Kate gives us and then create a chain of six books, each suggested by the one before…

 

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This month’s starting book is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice,  a book I have tried to read on several occasions and always failed. I have enjoyed the TV and film adaptations over the years, especially Lost in Austen which I managed to catch again recently on the ITV Hub.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another book I’ve failed to enjoy is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I haven’t bothered with the rest of the series so maybe I should try the film versions instead?

 

 

 

 

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Thinking of books made into films makes me think of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, a book and series that I’ve adored since childhood, but didn’t enjoy the film version.

 

 

 

 

 

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This brings me to When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr  another childhood favourite. I don’t think this has been made into a film although I think it could quite possibly work quite well as a TV series or film.

 

 

 

 

 

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This brings me to SilverFin by Charlie Higson, the first book in the Young Bond series. I think they’d be brilliant on the screen but the author has said that it wouldn’t work as whoever played the young Bond would grow up too quickly for the films to work.

 

 

 

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This makes me think of The Lord of the Rings which I although I haven’t read or watched the films, have according to my husband and son, been adapted brilliantly for the big screen.

 

 

 

 

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This finally brings me to Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert a book and film adaptation that I did enjoy, although I know it wasn’t for everyone.

 

 

 

 

From one Elizabeth to another Elizabeth both writing about love and marriage, via Harry Potter, Narnia, WW2 refugees, Young Bond and  Middle Earth.  Well I’m as surprised as you with the way this went. Hope you enjoyed the trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review – The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase

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The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase

35150520From the present day . . .  

Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it’s the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.                                     

to the fifties . . .

When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of ’59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter Audrey five years before. The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey’s vanishing – until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn.

Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart?

My Review

I loved everything about this book the setting, the story, the characters, the house.

The writing is beautiful and instantly transported me to the present day Cotswolds and back to the summer of 1959, so full of nostalgia but also something dark and mysterious.

The 1959 story is told by Margot the second youngest and plainest of the sisters and the closest to Audrey. She desperately wants to finds out what happened to her cousin and asks the awkward question that nobody wants to vocalise. Having sisters myself, I loved the Wilde girls’ relationships, the closeness and teasing and yearned for my carefree childhood days with my siblings.

The present-day storyline is full of tension in a different way. Jessie and her blended family want to make a fresh start in the countryside, getting away from the stresses and strains of life in London. The tense atmosphere between Jessie and her stepdaughter Bella came across really well as the story took a more menacing turn at times.   Is there something malevolent in the house or is it all in Jessie’s imagination?

This isn’t a dramatic novel, although there are moments filled with drama, but one that slowly builds revealing it’s secrets through undulating twists and turns right up until the end, with a very satisfying ending.

This is one of my favourite books this year. I definitely recommend this if you enjoy books about family relationships and family secrets. This is my first book by Eve chase and it certainly won’t be my last.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Michael Joseph for my complimentary digital copy.

Stacking the Shelves

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Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

This week has been a good week for acquiring books in all formats and places.

I received this lovely paperback in the post from Readers First

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I was approved on NetGalley for these two very different ARCs

I found both these books via Twitter on Kindle.

The Queen of Blogging is a freebie and To the Kill the President was only 99p.

Finally, I almost resisted the lure of books whilst volunteering at the library, only coming home with this very small book of short ghost stories by Sophie Hannah.

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THROWBACK THURSDAY –

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throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

My choice this week is:

From Goodreads: The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella

Hard cover, 432 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Bantam

 

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Captain James Gould arrives in wartime Naples assigned to discourage marriages between British soldiers and their gorgeous Italian girlfriends.
But the innocent young officer is soon distracted by an intoxicating young widow who knows her way around a kitchen…Livia Pertini is creating feasts that stun the senses with their succulence—ruby-coloured San Marzana tomatoes, glistening anchovies, and delectable new potatoes encrusted with the black volcanic earth of of Campania—and James is about to learn that his heart may rank higher than his orders.
For romance can be born of the sweet and spicy passions of food and love—and time spent in the kitchen can be as joyful and exciting as the banquet of life itself! 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book when I read it many years ago. The plot is pretty predictable, but there were a few surprises thrown in towards the end. The characters were believable and the setting of Naples was perfect. The food descriptions were delicious. and reminded of Nicky Pellegrino’s books which are also set in Italy and are about relationships around food.

#ARCAugust – My Reading List

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So here are the books I’m planning to read during the challenge this month, a mixture of physical and ebooks. Fortunately 3 of them are also on my #20BooksofSummer list, a rather cunning plan don’t you think? 😉