I recently treated myself to Still Dark by Alex Gray. She is a Scottish crime writer whose books I have enjoyed in the past. Several are reveiwed on this site including Five Ways to Kill a Man https://bookreviewstoday.info/2015/09… and The Darkest Goodbye https://bookreviewstoday.info/2017/07….
Still Dark follows on from The Darkest Goodbye. Indeed, although this crime thriller has a cracking beginning. The main protagonist, Lorimer, witnesses a horrifying incident which affects his pschyche very badly. Eventually he accepts that he needs professional help to get over the trauma.
While he is receiving treatment, Lorimer sees a news programme on television in which he sees the man who he believes was involved in the crimes he investigated in The Darkest Goodbye.
From this point on, the large tract in the middle of Still Dark really requires the reader to have read the earlier book. DC Kirsty Wilson re-appears and provides Lorimer with ‘legs’ during his treatment.
This book disappointed me. It was as if Still Dark was really the second part of the earlier novel. I felt cheated. I always thought Alex Gray respected her readers, but this book was a bit of a pot boiler: although it did have a satisfying conclusion. I cannot recommend Still Dark.
The Cocktail Bar comes fast on the heels of Oh! What a Pavlova. Although it’s not a sequel, it does continue the author’s unique – and soon-to-be very popular (you mark my words) writing voice which is like a breath of fresh air. I think Ms May enjoys writing so much that her enthusiasm shines off the page.
The prose gallops along without a boring moment as River (the main character) leaves the high life to set up his cocktail bar in Glastonbury. There’s a whole host of quirky characters from bitchy Georgina to hippy Mum populating the book that romps to an ending that will have readers crying out for more (just like the perfect cocktail).
The author, Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!
Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel… and her second novel, The Cocktail Bar, was published by Crooked Cat Books in early 2018.
Her most recent novel, “Forest Dancer” is set in Portugal and published by Crooked Cat Books. It is available from Amazon:
When I was on holiday last year I read Death in Dulwich by Alice Castle. I thoroughly enjoyed it and reviewed the book here: https://bookreviewstoday.info/2017/10… . So I was delighted, when I was browsing Amazon recently, that the site suggested I might be interested in the author’s new book The Girl in the Gallery. Amazon, for once, was right!
In this novel, Beth visits her local art gallery and finds a comatose teenage girl positioned on top of a sarcophagus. Beth takes charge of the situation when the museum assistant proves to be completely hapless. This is how she falls into investigating the case with York. The author juggles Beth’s involvment in the case with her own job at Wyatt’s College and the demands of being a single mother, bringing up her little boy. I do not want to give any spoilers, suffice to say the plot is clever, and maintains the well-paced and interesting mystery throughout. I read a great many murder mysteries, but I did not guess ‘who dunnit’ in this case.
If anything, I enjoyed The Girl in the Gallery even more that Death in Dulwich and will definitely look out for more books by this author. The Girl in the Gallery would be an excellent book club read. Alice Castle writes fine mysteries and I highly recommend this book.
Alice Castle lives in South London with her two children, two stepchildren, two cats and her husband. She was a feature writer on the Daily Express for many years and has written for most other national newspapers. She has a degree in Modern History from St Andrews University, is the British Royalty expert for Flemish TV, and lived in Brussels for eight years. Her first novel, Hot Chocolate, sold out in two weeks and her second, Death in Dulwich, was published in September 2017 as the first in the London Murder Mystery Series.
This book was the first story I had ever read that was set in New Zealand. It is the book that was book of the month in my book club.
After the Fall is a psychological thriller by Charity Norman. The author was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law in the northeast of England. Also a mediator, she is passionate about the power of communication to slice through the knots. In 2002, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. After the Fall was published in 2013.
The story starts in the quiet of a New Zealand winter’s night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy, Finn, with severe internal injuries. He’s fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse.
Initially, Finn’s fall looks like a horrible accident; but his mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it really happened. After the Fall tackles some tough family issues. This book kept me on the edge of getting to the heart of the truth long enough to be satisfying when I got there.
I could not put it down and read this book quickly, eager to get to the ending and understand. After the Fall is a brave, well written, book that I recommend for your to read list. The characters are so vibrant and the writing so taut and the plot is complex and keeps your interest throughout the book.
If you like a complex family drama in your reading don’t look past this nove. After the Fall goes really deep into the heart of what really matters. Great setting and great story.