The Long Drop
 Read over 2 days.

The Long Drop

William Watt wants answers about his family’s murder. Peter Manuel has them. But Peter Manuel is a liar.

William Watt is an ordinary businessman, a fool, a social climber.

Peter Manuel is a famous liar, a rapist, a criminal. He claims he can get hold of the gun used to murder Watt’s family.

One December night in 1957, Watt meets Manuel in a Glasgow bar to find out what he knows.

Based on true events, The Long Drop is an extraordinarily unsettling, evocative and compelling novel from a writer at the height of her powers

My thoughts:
I am a big fan of Denise’s writing and this book did not disappoint . this book is a read that grips the reader from the start. It blends fact with fiction.
It could be classed as a crime novel, true crime because it concerns actual people and also historical fiction as it is set 60 years ago.
William Smart wants to know who killed his family?
Peter Manuel says he knows who did it. But he’s a liar!
I was 8 years old when the events in this book transpired and Denise conjured the Glasgow of my childhood admirably.
William Smart is a successful business man, a social climber with ideas above his station.
Peter Manuel is a Billy Liar figure, living a dream world of fanciful happenings and events, most of which are in his imagination. He is also a petty thief and rapist.
One thing is true is that William and Peter did meet in Glasgow and spent 11 hours drinking.
This was not rare as Glasgow at that time was full of clubs, down trodden pubs and illegal drinking dens.
The fictitious conservation and events that Denise conjures for this 11 hour has the reader wondering, Did it, or could it have happened?
Glasgow at that that time was a bleak gap toothed city recovering from the Blitz and full of seedy characters, two of which are William and Peter.
It was also a city populated by men, run by men for men.
A superb read. Worthy of five stars. A urge you all to grab a copy and dive in.
My thoughts are entirely my own.
 

 

Denise Mina 

Denise Mina

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Born

in Glasgow, The United Kingdom 

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Member Since
March 2013



Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father’s job as an Engineer, the family followed the north sea oil boom of the seventies around Europe
She left school at sixteen and did a number of poorly paid jobs, including working in a meat factory, as a bar maid, kitchen porter and cook.
Eventually she settled in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients.
At twenty one she passed exams, got into study Law at Glasgow University and went on to research a PhD thesis at Strathclyde University on the ascription of mental illness to female offenders, teaching criminology and criminal law in the mean time.
Misusing her grant she stayed at home and wrote a novel, ‘Garnethill’ when she was supposed to be studying instead.

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None but the Dead
 Read over 4 days:

None but the Dead (Rhona MacLeod #11)

Sanday, one of Britain’s northernmost islands, inaccessible when the wind prevents the ferry from the mainland crossing, or fog grounds the tiny island hopping plane. When human remains are discovered to the rear of an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod and her assistant arrive to excavate the grave. Approaching mid-winter, they find daylight in short supply, the weather inhospitable, and some of the island’s inhabitants less than cooperative. When the suspicious death of an old man in Glasgow appears to have links with the island, DS Michael McNab is dispatched to investigate. Desperately uncomfortable in such surroundings, he finds that none of the tools of detective work are there. No internet, no CCTV, and no police station. As the weather closes in, the team, which includes criminal profiler and Orcadian Professor Magnus Pirie, are presented with a series of unexplained incidents, apparently linked to the discovery of 13  magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the island school where the body was discovered. But how and in what circumstance did they die, and why are their long forgotten deaths significant to the current investigation? As a major storm approaches, bringing gale force winds and high seas, the islanders turn on one another, as past and present evil deeds collide, and long buried secrets break surface, along with the exposed bones.
GET A COPY
Wow, wow is all I can say. What a brilliant book! The writing, research and atmosphere draws you in and wont let go. Set in the Shetland island of Sanday, where human remains have been uncovered, sees Dr Rhona Macleod and her assistant Chrissy called in to investigate.
Meanwhile in Glasgow, DS. McNab is investigating the death of an elderly man who has links to the island.
This sees McNab volunteering to go to Sanday. To further his investigation or see Rhona, who knows? As the investigation continues they find the inhabitants closing ranks and treating the incomers with suspicion.
One of these incomers Mike, who has secrets of his own, finds a muslin flower in his loft and takes it to Sam Flett at the Heritage Centre. He is told that it represents the soul of a dead child and he is told to return it to where he found it.
If you have never been to Shetland this book will make you want to go, if only to sample the atmosphere that Lin has created.
This book has you turning the pages and gasping in fear when Lin throws you another curve ball.
All characters are well drawn and have you rooting for them.
A finely carved tale which will have you cheering, cringing and wondering what will happen next.
If you haven’t read any of Lin’s books, I would say grab one and dive in,
A superb read and 5 stars from me

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Lin Anderson was born in Greenock of Scottish and Irish parents. A graduate of both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, she has lived in many different parts of Scotland and also spent five years working in the African bush. A teacher of Mathematics and Computing, she began her writing career four years ago. Her first film, Small Love, which was broadcast on STV, was nominated for TAPS writer of the year award 2001. Her African short stories have been published in the 10th Anniversary Macallan collection and broadcast on BBC Radio Four.
Pretty Baby
 Read over 5 days.

Pretty Baby

A chance encounter

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

An act of kindness

Heidi has always been charitable but her family are horrified when she returns home with a young woman named Willow and her baby in tow. Dishevelled and homeless, this girl could be a criminal – or worse. But despite the family’s objections, Heidi offers them refuge.

A tangled web of lies

As Willow begins to get back on her feet, disturbing clues into her past starts to emerge. Now Heidi must question if her motives for helping the stranger are unselfish or rooted in her own failures.

Praise for Pretty Baby
‘Pretty Baby is almost hypnotic and anything but predictable…This book will give insomniacs a compelling reason to sit up all night.’ – Kirkus

My Thoughts:
This was a good read. The sort that grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let go until the last full stop. A chance encounter leads to an act of kindness which eventually descends into a web of lies.
It is a story that is told by three(unreliable?) narrators.
Chris husband to Heidi and Willow a homeless girl who Heidi initially looks kindly upon.
But all is not as it seems. A simple story of a kindness to your fellow human soon becomes something completely different.
The frailties, secrets and lies of the three narrators web a brilliant tale of underlying menace.
The writing is top notch and the chapters short which makes you want to read on and never get bored. The characters are well drawn and rounded. My first read from Mary Kubica and on this example wont be my last. I recommend this book to all.

 

Mary Kubica 



Mary Kubica

Goodreads Author


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March 2013


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Mary Kubica is the bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL (2014) and PRETTY BABY (2015). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. Mary lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother
 

Things I Couldn’t Tell My Mother

There was a lot that we kept from my mother. My dad would say to me as a teenager “Don’t tell your mother.” We couldn’t face the disapproval.

Sue Johnston always seemed to be disappointing her mother. As a girl she never stayed clean and tidy like her cousins. As she grew older, she spent all her piano lesson money on drinks for her mates down at the pub, and when she discovered The Cavern she was never at home. The final straw was when Sue left her steady job at a St. Helen’s factory to try her hand at that unsteadiest of jobs: acting.

Yet when Sue was bringing up her own child alone, her mother was always there to help. And playing her much-loved characters Sheila Grant in Waking the Dead and Barbara in The Royle Family– although her mum wouldn’t say she was proud as such, she certainly seemed to approve. And in her mother’s final months, it was Sue she needed by her side.

The relationship with your mother is perhaps the most precious and fraught of any woman’s life. When she began writing, Sue set out to record ‘all the big things, and all the small things. Everything I wanted to tell my mother but felt I never could’. The result is a warm, poignant and often very funny memoir by one of Britain’s favourite actresses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My thoughts and review:
I picked this book up on holiday. I have known Sue as an actress for a few years. Appearing in things like Brookside, Waking the Dead and Medics amongst other things. She is an actress of vast range. Tv Soap Operas, Crime shows and comedy etc. I enjoyed this book immensely. It’s full of humour, pathos and stories about well known people in the same business as Sue. But the part of the narrative that appealed to me was her relationship with her parents and their relationship with each other. Though Sue has a large extended family I feel that being an only child has given her the drive and determination to be a success in her chosen profession. This was a good read and I would recommend it. A worthy 4 stars.
Quicksand

Quicksand

There could be two sides to Maja Norberg that shift silently like quicksand: the question is, which one do you believe?

Is Maja a normal 18-year-old, the poster girl next door, popular and excelling at her schoolwork, caught in the middle of a terrible tragedy? Or, is she the most reviled teenager in the country?

Either way, everyone knows her name. She has spent nine excruciating months in jail, awaiting trial for a mass murder that killed her boyfriend and her best friend, and now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. What did she do? Or is it what she didn’t do that brought her here?

Is Maja a cold-blooded murderer or is she just a girl who has lost her way and, as a consequence, now lost the ones she loved?

My thoughts and review.
This was my first read by this author. A great read that keeps the reader turning the pages.
It is the story of a shooting at a Norwegian high school and the aftermath and fall out that results.
Surviving the shooting, Maja Norberg, finds herself on trial as one of the perpetrators of the shooting.
The story is told in a series of flashbacks, present time trial and the doubts in Moja’s own mind.
All of Moja’s class mates have their own story and skeletons in their own cupboards.
A story not only of a crime and trial but the resultant ramifications on the wider society.
Moja, Sebastian, Samir and Amanda ar all well drawn characters and have integral parts in the story. But I found the most loathsome character is Claes, Sebastian’s father. A well told tale that draws the reader in and does not let them go.
Thanks to my friend Ewa Sherman for this book and reomendation.
Grab a copy folks!

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Malin Persson Giolito was born in Stockholm in 1969, and grew up in Djursholm. She has worked as a lawyer for the biggest law firm in the Nordic region and as an official for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
Persson Giolito has published three previous novels. Her latest novel, Quicksand (Störst av allt), was published by Wahlström & Widstrand in June 2016 and has been sold to 24 countries and was awarded the Best Crime Novel of the Year Award 2016, Sweden’s official suspense literature award, which is given by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy.
She lives in Brussels together with her husband and their three daughters