The Pharmacist's Wife
 

The Pharmacist’s Wife

 Love. Desire. Vengeance. A deadly alchemy.

When Rebecca Palmer’s new husband opens a pharmacy in Victorian Edinburgh, she expects to live the life of a well-heeled gentlewoman. But her ideal is turns to ashes when she discovers her husband is not what he seems. As Rebecca struggles to maintain her dignity in the face of his infidelity and strange sexual desires, Alexander tries to pacify her so-called hysteria with a magical new chemical creation. A wonder-drug he calls heroin.

Rebecca’s journey into addiction takes her further into her past, and her first, lost love, while Alexander looks on, curiously observing his wife’s descent. Meanwhile, Alexander’s desire to profit from his invention leads him down a dangerous path that blurs science, passion, and death. He soon discovers that even the most promising experiments can have unforeseen and deadly consequences…

Reminiscent of the works of Sarah Waters, this is a brilliantly observed piece of Victoriana which deals with the disempowerment of women, addiction, desire, sexual obsession and vengeance.

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My thoughts:

When Alexander opens his new pharmacy, things look rosy for him and his new wife Rebecca. But all is not as it seems.
This was a delicious tale. Love, desire,vengeance are all present. Also throw in drug addiction and you have a deadly alchemy.
Set in Victorian Edinburgh this is a gothic tale. Where men rule and women are mere chattels .
They are expected to obey men in all they say and subvert their own opinions and beliefs to the male of the species.
A story that entertains, grips and has readers shaking their head in wonder and incredulity.
A tale that has the reader smelling the atmosphere of Victorian Edinburgh.
A Edinburgh of gas lamps, horse drawn trams and carts.
The atmosphere this author has conjured up is magnificent.
You live in Edinburgh of the mid 1800’s and savour every moment.
If you like the tales of Sarah Waters you will enjoy this book
Thanks to the author, publishers and Lovereading.co.uk for the ARC.
A worthy 4 stars

 

 

Glamis Castle's photo.

FEB24

Crime at the Castle

 · Hosted by Glamis Castle

Chris Brookmyre.

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This was a superb event at Glamis Castle.

The cream of Scottish crime fiction were assembled for the delight of their many fans. I personally went to see …. Caroline Dunford.   Alex Gray.  Michael J Malone. Chris Brookmyre.

                                                                 
                                                             
                                                               
All these panels were very entertaining and informative.
Caroline Dunford.. Gave an interesting talk on the history of profiling serial killers.
Chris Brookmyre .. Was his usual irreverent and non PC  self.
Alex Gray … Told us of the creation of her long running series featuring DCI Lorimer
Michael J Malone… Has progressed since his debut novel ” Blood Tears”
Other writers present were..
Caro Ramsay
Chris Longmuir
Craig Robertson
Denise Mina
Douglas Skelton
Jackie Mclean
Sandra Ireland
Shona MacLean
Val McDermid
T.F. Muir
Wendy H Jones
There was plenty to hear and see. I only wished I could have seen them all.
A welcome addition to the Scottish crime calendar which I hope goes from strength.

 

The Last Refuge

The Last Refuge

You can run from your past but you can never hide from yourself…
When John Callum arrives on the wild and desolate Faroe Islands, he vows to sever all ties with his previous life. He desperately wants to make a new start, and is surprised by how quickly he is welcomed into the close-knit community. But still, the terrifying, debilitating nightmares just won’t stop.
Then the solitude is shattered by an almost unheard of crime on the islands: murder. A specialist team of detectives arrives from Denmark to help the local police, who seem completely ill-equipped for an investigation of this scale. But as tensions rise, and the community closes rank to protect its own, John has to watch his back.
But far more disquieting than that, John’s nightmares have taken an even more disturbing turn, and he can’t be certain about the one thing he needs to know above all else. Whether he is the killer.
My thoughts:
This was a book that gripped from the beginning and did not let go!
John Callum leaves his past behind his past in Glasgow to start a new life in the wilds of the Faroe Islands. But will he be able to leave it behind? He is still plagued by nightmares.
he hopes for a new life and things look good as he is assimilated and welcomed by the local people.
But all is not what it seems and his new life falls begins to disintergrate and all is not all it seems.
This is a narrative that pulls, no drags the reader along.
The characters are superbly drawn and well rounded. All are vital to the story in which there is not a wasted word. The descriptions of the Islands are superb. The majesty of the hills and sea, the bleakness of the weather are conveyed well in Craig’s writing. His writing informs the reader of the raw power of nature and the underlying menace that is intruding into John’s life.
A well deserved 4 stars and I look forward to reading more of Craig’s work.

Craig Robertson 


Craig Robertson

Goodreads Author


Born

The United Kingdom 

Genre



During his 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper, Craig Robertson has interviewed three recent Prime Ministers; attended major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann; been pilloried on breakfast television, beaten Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, been among the first to interview Susan Boyle, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India.

 

 

Silence of the Grave

Silence of the Grave

Building work in an expanding Reykjavík uncovers a shallow grave.

Years before, this part of the city was all open hills, and Erlendur and his team hope this is a typical Icelandic missing person scenario; perhaps someone once lost in the snow, who has lain peacefully buried for decades. Things are never that simple.

Whilst Erlendur struggles to hold together the crumbling fragments of his own family, his case unearths many other tales of family pain. The hills have more than one tragic story to tell: tales of failed relationships and heartbreak; of anger, domestic violence and fear; of family loyalty and family shame. Few people are still alive who can tell the story, but even secrets taken to the grave cannot remain hidden forever…

My thoughts:
This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. it was a story full of well drawn characters and a cracking story.
Detective Erlendur and his team are drawn into what they hope is a missing case scenario when a body is uncovered in a Silent Grave.
Silent, because there seems to be no reason for this grave to be there or clues to who it contains.
This opens up an investigation that opens up the past and also makes Erlendur confront his own demons.
His estranged wife, dysfunctional children and ghosts from his own childhood.
This is a dark book, bleak at times and full of the mystery and brooding atmosphere of the island nation of Iceland.
I would recommend this book even though it is number 4 in the series. It makes me want to read more of this author and Iceland.
A 5 star read!
 

 

Arnaldur Indriðason 

Arnaldur Indriðason


Born

in Reykjavík, Iceland

January 28, 1961


Genre



Arnaldur Indridason (b.1961) has the rare distinction of having won the Nordic Crime Novel Prize two years running. He is also the winner of the highly respected and world famous CWA Gold Dagger Award for the top crime novel of the year in the English language, Silence of the Grave.
Indridason’s novels have sold over twelve million copies worldwide, in 40 languages, and have won numerous well-respected prizes and received rave reviews all over the world.

The Visitors

The Visitors

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.

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My Thoughts:

What a dark, compelling read this is.
A mash of various time frames and points of view. It is a skillfully woven tale that sucks the reader in and wont let go.
John and Marion, are siblings and a product of a controlling father and an ineffectual mother.
John has a future and dark secrets shared with his father; whilst Marion is offered no encouragement, hope and is left to bumble through life at the command of her father and later John who seems to be his father incarnate.
This is a book that blurs the lines between the genres and the author is very skillful at this and she takes the reader on her ride and what a roller coaster it is.
This is an author who has set her bar high and it is hard to believe it is a debut novel and what a debut this is!
A well written dark, disturbing and claustrophobic novel. Very creepy with a cast of bizarre characters who leap off the page and into your mind.
I would recommend this novel and look forward to reading more from this author. Though it is hard to see how she can top this.
Well done Catherine!


Catherine Burns

 

Born

Manchester, The United Kingdom

Twitter

 

Genre

 


Born in Manchester, Catherine Burns is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Cambridge. She worked as a bond trader in London before studying at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography and teaching film theory at the University of Salford. The Visitors is her debut novel.

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