None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning. Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own? Was it the terrible accident? Or when they found the first body?
Really, believe the hype about this book. It is so, so good. A nostalgic trip full of attitude, excellent descriptions, taut characters and a plot that twisted and turned long enough to keep me guessing throughout. It made me think of old Stephen king books, evenings in the 80s on my Chopper bike, and all the things that can shape our childhoods and the adults we grow up to be. It’s at once a dark crime novel, and a coming of age story. This book blends plot and character beautifully and all the 80s kids are gonna love it.
Devoted father or merciless killer? His secrets are buried with him. Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares, the victims were buried…ALIVE. Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?
Sharon Bolton is an absolute master and I’ve read, and loved, her other books, but this is a whole new level. The story is told in the past and present from the point of view of Police woman Florence Lovelady. She is sharp, unapologetic, complicated and layered. A fully-rounded, female protagonist that you want to spend time with. So, it is no surprise, perhaps, that this is also a book that is about, women, witchcraft, femininity, and strength. The words sparkle on the page and the sense of setting and place is strong, Bolton’s descriptions are evocative and full of tactile phrases, and the emotions they conjure. I loved it and am so smug at having a proof.
Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.
Full of twists I didn’t see coming, so timely, so astute, so wonderfully executed. But, my god the prose in this book just jumps from the page and into your heart. Told from varying Points of View each character is fully rounded, and believable. The subject matters this book deals with are deep, dark, and often harrowing. But Vaughan expertly draws you in to big themes via small, personal stories. I read this in one sitting. It is beautiful, sad, hopeful, an absolute page-turner, and I’m still thinking about it now.
When a severed hand is found in an abandoned flat, Detective Jake Porter and his partner Nick Styles are able to DNA match the limb to the owner, Natasha Barclay, who has not been seen in decades. But why has no one been looking for her? It seems that Natasha’s family are the people who can least be trusted. Delving into the details behind her disappearance and discovering links to another investigation, a tragic family history begins to take on a darker twist. Hampered by a widespread fear of a local heavy, as well as internal politics and possible corruption within the force, Porter and Styles are digging for answers, but will what they find ever see the light of day?
I LOVED this. I read it in two days. It feels like a real, classic whodunnit, and reminded me of all the things I loved about the genre when I first started reading it. Porter and Styles are beautifully drawn, evoking just the right amount of empathy and curiosity, (Porter in particular, he’s like a shinier Wexford for the modern age). The intricate plot was executed skillfully, characters were multi-faceted and full of depth.
All-in-all, it was like comfort food in print. I cannot wait for the next one.
You never know who’s watching… Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign. But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house. How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for?
This book is intense. It explores family dynamics (a favourite topic for me), and questions how much we actually know about the people we love, and how reliable our viewpoints really are. The use of ‘The Doll House’ itself is creepy and compelling, and so is this page-turning debut. It is paranoid domestic noir at its finest. Morgan draws her characters skilfully, and the plot is full of twists and turns that you don’t see coming, but realise you should have known all along.