#BibliomaniacsBookShelf 10-14th July

Bibliomaniac's Book Shelf: 
A Round Up of the Books I've Reviewed This Week!

It's been a busy week this week with some outstanding novels hitting my shelves! The real challenge has been to try to find new ways to say "gripping" and "outstanding" as I have been thoroughly spoilt with some exceptionally chilling and beautifully written reads! It has genuinely been an amazing week of 5* books!

Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas 

I am a huge Claire Douglas fan and was thrilled to be offered an advance copy of her third novel. In my opinion this is her best book yet and really proves how talented she is as an author as Douglas weaves a complex tale of friendship, identity and past secrets. Douglas's execution of such a well crafted novel is impressive and the number of jaw dropping, chilling and rug pulling moments is just brilliant. This is a book that is full of twists and revelations but more importantly, it is a great story that will have you gripped until the very last page. It is about friendship, betrayal, love, revenge, anxiety and paranoia. An absolute must read this summer and an absolutely stunning psychological thriller.

Other books to add to your shelves......

The Good Girl was one of my favourite Book Club reads and so I was very excited about Neill's new novel, The Betrayals. Once more Neill has created a story that is multilayered and full of complex characters and interesting dilemmas. It's ambitiously told from four different narrative viewpoints but not once do you lose your grip on what is happening. It is a very cleverly managed jigsaw where the pieces don't always end up fitting where you think! I really enjoyed the discussions about the mind, rational explanations and the irrational realities, memories and relationships. Clever, entertaining and thought provoking. 

This novel has a dual narrative which slips between the past (1950s) and the present. Both storylines are compelling and linked with the mysterious, unsolved disappearance of Audrey Wilde. Both story lines are about women, families, mothers and daughters. Both story lines use the beautiful and evocative setting of the rambling Applecote House - once a place of happiness, then tragedy and now it the present day, a place where a new family try to leave their past behind and build a new life together. The writing is bewitching, lyrical and chilling and the characters are well crafted. A great read with two plots that gradually collide and intertwine in a very satisfying ending. 

This novel is a perfect summer read - relatively short and set in Italy in a heatwave. It tells the story of a sixteen year boy on the cusp of adulthood as he gradually confronts some difficult truths about his father. This novel is set in a small, isolated village community and focuses on the impact of a missing child on this community. The language is beautiful, the setting is stunning and the story is gently compelling and full of great observations about people under pressure. Recommend! 

Full Review of Can You Hear Me

If you are a fan of historical fiction or travel fiction then this will be the read for you this summer! McVeigh has written a novel that is fluent, well paced, interesting and thoroughly researched with a good cast of strong characters. There are some harrowing scenes and some difficult sections to read due to the historical time the novel recounts but well worth adding to that reading pile.


Death Plays a Part by Vivian Conroy

I was on the Blog Tour for Vivian Conroy's new cosy crime series set in Cornwall. You can read my full post here and don't forget to check out some of the other stops with the other bloggers too!

Author Events 
Bibliomaniac's Book Club: Real Life, Real Books

On Wednesday 5th July I was lucky enough to host an author panel event with Jennie Ensor (Blind Side), Kerensa Jennings (Seas of Snow) and Jessica Duchen (Ghost Variations) at The Harpenden Arms with the support of Harpenden Books. It was a great evening and a fascinating discussion of the whole process of getting an idea, researching an idea, writing and then getting published. There was also a lot of discussion about handling taboo subjects and tricky issues and themes in novels. Read my reviews of all three books via the link below. 

Rowan Coleman: The Summer of Impossible Things
Harpenden Bookshop 13th July

On Thursday I got to meet the lovely Rowan Coleman who came to Harpenden Books to launch her latest novel The Summer of Impossible Things. Rowan read us an extract which was tantalising and then chatted a little bit about the inspiration for this novel and her research in America for the setting and events the book revolves around. She also answered questions from the audience about where she found inspiration for her other books, her writing life and her love for the Brontes. It was a relaxing, enjoyable and interesting evening and such an honour to meet such a lovely, humorous lady whose personality was a bright and captivating as her latest book cover.


Rowan Coleman will be appearing at my author event in September and after this week, I cannot wait to meet her again! If you live near Harpenden (very accessible from St Albans or North London) then why not book a ticket and come along! 

Phew! What a week!! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and find a good book to spend it with! 

For more recommendations and reviews follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or via my website bibliomaniacuk.co.uk


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