Love & Care is a beautifully heartfelt and gently humorous account of a son caring for his mother who has Parkinson’s dementia, whilst getting to grips with his own life post-divorce. A hugely timely publication, Love & Care touches on issues of ageing and care faced by many families around the world, which have been exacerbated by a pandemic that has seen 4.5 million people in the UK facing new care responsibilities, joining Britain’s existing 7-million-plus carers. Shaun Deeney had just embarked on a new life abroad. No longer brooding on his divorce, and with his two daughters grown up, he was making a fresh start and hoping to find love again. Until the sudden death of his father changed everything. With his mother in a care home, Shaun knew he had a choice to make: leave his mother there, or give up his new-found freedom to care for her in the home she once shared with his father. Love & Care charts his first year learning to care for his mum; the changing seasons framing their relationship. Will he cope and prove the doubters wrong? What will it mean for his chances of finding love? Writing with raw honesty and humour, Shaun reflects on his own relationships – as a son, father and man. He explores our ability to keep hope alive, to forgive and be forgiven. Along the way he learns that letting go may just be the most . Along the way he learns that letting go may just be the most valuable lesson in love
Quite simply put this is beautiful, beautiful novel. A story based on a true horrifying event, The tsunami that has devastated swathes of Thailand. A memory that has laid dormant in my mind and was brought to the fore was the quality of this novel which has a superb storyline and superb writing of the highest quality.
Simply put, this is an exceptional novel. It is has left me profoundly moved and I commend the author on the skill required to compose such poignant, insightful prose, whilst also introducing such vibrant, individual characters.
It is told from the point of view of Carl who flies out to Thailand to look for his friends Richard and Eva who are missing. This is a very human story told in a way that empathises with the immensity and hopelessness of this task.
The horror, death and destruction will stay with me for a long while, as will the fundamental goodness of people who excelled in their efforts to assist others. This is a book I will long remember not only for the subject matter, but because of the skill, compassion and beauty of a story well told.
I grew up in Kiev, Ukraine at the end of Soviet era, small enough not to fully understand the changes which swept all over my country but big enough to remember before and after. I remember my father asking me, what is the capital of your country? Moscow, I said. His eyes filled with bitterness. ‘It’s Kiev. Kiev!’ he shouted at me. That was not true, I thought, that is not what they taught us at school, but I felt too small to argue with him.
After Lenin’s portrait was taken down in our classroom, my years in school I mostly remember for being self-conscious about being tall, very tall in fact, the tallest girl in the school. Hiding, spending a lot of time at home, I read books that took me to the worlds I thought I could only dream of going to. And then the coin flipped and being tall and skinny was appreciated. I changed from studying at university to distance learning, and left for Paris on a one-way ticket to become a model.
There were highs and lows, but mostly there was a lot of travelling, I lived a peripatetic life in many capitals in all the continents, some cities became home for a while and some I just passed through.
The modelling years finished and I completed my Masters degree in Art and Business and I worked for a while at Sotheby’s, the auction house, in London – a cosmopolitan hub where every one of my friends came from different corner of the world, with vastly different backgrounds, stories, pursuits and visions of tomorrow. I felt that I fitted right in with this motely band of gypsies.
Every year, I went to my husband’s summer house in the North of Sweden. The pine trees and birches, soft bright green moss, the smell of dry grass, hare bells and red clover in the meadow reminded me of my grandparents’ home where as a child I was sent for long summer months. But it was only when my first son was born, I finally felt the true meaning of home – it’s where my heart was, it was in front of me. Last year, we left London and settled in the Chilterns, where I began a new chapter of my life, planting my dream garden and working on my next book.
In December 2004, I was in Thailand, planning to spend Christmas and New Year at a friend’s house in Phuket, but at the last moment, I changed my mind and left. So I never met ‘Kristoffer’ and ‘Eva’. I wish I did, because I heard so much about them from ‘Carl’ – the book is inspired by his story.
In 2012, I went to remote Koh Prah Thong and by pure accident met Kimina and JP, tsunami survivors and owners of one of bungalows at the resort, returning for the first time to the island since the wave devasted it. They met Kristoffer and Eva, and they remembered meeting Carl in Kurabury. Together, we kayaked into an endless maze of the mangrove creek until somehow my kayak turned upside down and I fell into the murky waters. As I tried to get into a canoe, I scratched my shoulders on the thorns of a plant, but at that time the wound looked minor. Back in London, in a matter of days it swelled to a size of an orange and because it didn’t respond to any antibiotic treatments, I had surgery on my shoulder. The samples of my tissues were tested and studied and almost five months later my doctor finally admit they were unable to match it with any known infection. I felt all these events were like beads that lay in my hand waiting to be threaded into a story – the story of Breathe.
A storm has hit South Carolina, dredging up crimes of the past. En route to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognises many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec fifteen years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she flies to Montreal to gather evidence and convince her boss Pierre La Manch to reopen the cold case. She also seeks the advice—and comfort—of her long time beau Andrew Ryan. Meanwhile, a storm of a different type gathers force in South Carolina. The citizens of Charleston are struck by capnocytophaga, a bacterium that, at its worst, can eat human flesh. Thousands panic and test themselves for a rare genetic mutation that may have rendered them vulnerable. Shockingly, Tempe eventually deduces not only that the victims in both grisly murder cases are related, but that the murders and the disease outbreak also have a common cause . . .
Well here we are at book 20 of the Tempe Brennan series. A series that began with Deja Dead and has though to book twenty with the character of Tempe growing with each book,
The Bone Code is no let down either. Set in a post Covid world. A storm hits the Carolinas and a container containing medical waste is washed up on the shore. This contains two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting.
The bodies are of a woman and child and are similar to a cold case from fifteen years previously in Quebec.
Is there more to them than their similarities? Could they have the same cause?
This is forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan’s latest forensic investigation and it puts her on a dangerous trail to murderous villains. Meanwhile there’s a major outbreak involving some sort of organism that can cause illness and death in humans that’s spread from pets mainly dogs called capnocytophaga.
I found the science connected to this case involving molecular genetics and genome editing were extremely interesting, the story has a huge scientific theme.
The cast of this story are all essential to its telling, particularly the relationship between Tempe and Andrew Ryan a key ingredient to the story. and not forgetting Birdie the cat!
A medium paced thriller with great story telling putting her competitors in the field in the shade.
FURTHER PRAISE FOR THE TEMPERANCE BRENNAN SERIES ‘…another fascinating journey into a world that most of us thankfully have little first-hand experience of, Reichs is a well-qualified guide who sets up complex plots and then proceeds to unravel them’ Crime Review ‘Every minute in the morgue with Tempe is golden’ The New York Times Book Review