I had never read any books by Jojo Moyes, until Me before You became our book of the month for our book group.
Me Before You tells the story of a successful young attorney, Will Traynor, who is seriously injured in an accident as a result of which he becomes wheel chair bound and quadriplegic.
He has become very bitter and rude. He never goes out and has attempted suicide. His parents are at their wits’ end. So they enploy a new carer, Louisa Clark, whom they hope will cheer him up, although she has no experience of caring.
Louisa has just lost her job at a local cafe. She had worked there for years: but the owner decided to close the cafe and move abroad. Louisa has been with her boyfriend Patrick for years too. She has not experienced much at all outside her home town.
Louisa has quite a different attitude to life from Will and bursts into his world in a riot of colour. Their conflicting attitudes change each other permanently.
I had not really expected to enjoy this book: but I did. Although the ending was very predictable, the route it took to get there transfixed me. Me Before You was a terrific book group read.
Jojo Moyes is a British novelist. She studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.
Moyes’ novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004. She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.
It had been a long time since I had read a novel by Peter James, not for any particular reason, just because I was reading so many other good books. So I treated myself to Need You Dead.
This is the 13th book in the Roy Grace books, this is a series that is so well paced and consistently of a very high standard. However, although the police procedures are unfailingly correct, I found that the level of procedural detail intruded into the story. Nevertheless, it is a good read.
Need You Dead revolves around the end of the life of Lorna Belling and her untimely death.
When her body is found in a bath in Brighton and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. There are a number of possible scenarios but the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.
I enjoyed the story, in Need You Dead, if not the detailed procedure, and will make sure it is not so long before I read another book by Peter James again.
Peter James is a UK No. 1 bestselling author, best known for writing crime and thriller novels, and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. With a total of 13 Sunday Times No. 1s under his belt, he has achieved global book sales of over 19 million copies to date, and has been translated into 37 languages.
Synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners, Peter has garnered an army of loyal fans throughout his storytelling career – which also included stints writing for TV and producing films. He has won over 40 awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for which he was an Executive Producer. Many of Peter’s novels have been adapted for film, TV and stage.
I first met Amit Dhand after he had been a speaker at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School last year and I bought his debut novel Streets of Darkness. I almost didn’t go to his talk because I had had a busy day and was quite tired and he was an author I had never heard of. However, I am very glad I did go to his talk and he is an author whose name I will not forget.
I am also very glad I bought Streets of Darkness: it is an excellent book. We are introduced to a new detective, Hardeep (Harry) Virdee. Harry is a Sikh who has married a Muslim as a result of which, they have both been ostracised by their families. Harry is facing the loss of his job over an incident when he over-reacted protecting the honour of his pregnant wife. Now, Harry’s wife, Saima is past her due date with their first child and this causes them both stress.
Streets of Darkness has all the usual elements of a standard crime thriller, race, drugs, corruption and murder . But they are not at all stale. This is largely to do with Harry and Saima. Their relationship, despite its background is refreshingly straightforward. Harry isn’t a drunk; he’s not a womaniser; he has a history and a temper, but he’s essentially a good guy in the true sense of the word. Likewise, Saima is a nurse: a clever, educated woman who stands up for herself and reins in Harry’s excesses.
The action in Streets of Darkness takes place over a twenty-four hour period. It’s gritty, violent and perfect for fans of Tess Gerritsen or Lee Child; or anyone who enjoys the BBC’s drama, Luther. It would be an excellent book club read and I look forward to reading more by this talented author.
Amit A. Dhand was raised in Bradford and spent his youth observing the city from behind the counter of a small convenience store. After qualifying as a pharmacist, he worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to Bradford to start his own business and begin writing. The history, diversity and darkness of the city have inspired his Harry Virdee novels.