So since I lasted posted, there has been a general election, and the aftermath, and then I had to go to New York for work, so I’ve not managed to blog about all the books I’ve read. Rather than do a proper catch up, I’m going to cheat a bit and cover them all in this one post, with just a few lines about each.
INTO THE WATER by Paula Hawkins: in the village of Beckford there’s a long history of women drowning themselves or being drowned. When a local teenager and her best friend’s mum both end up dead within months of one another and seemingly drowned, the police investigation unearths all kinds of mysteries about the past and secrets about the present. Not bad but not brilliant either.
THE THIRST by Joe Nesbo: what can I say? I love Harry Hole books and this one is just as good as all the others. Perfect reading for a stressful election campaign when very little holds my attention.
THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas: Easily the best thing I’ve read during this period of time. A teenage girl and her best friend are pulled over by the police. The advice drummed into them since they could walk – “Keep your hands visible. No sudden moves. Only speak when spoken to” – doesn’t keep them safe and she witnesses him being shot by a police officer. This is the story of her community’s reaction and her decision to speak out and fight for justice.
THE BALTIMORE BOYS by Joel Dicker: I was looking forward to this as I really enjoyed THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR. It’s not a patch on that though Dicker definitely knows how to tell a story. Three best friends and a girl they all love. Two are caught up in a tragedy, the details of which aren’t revealed until close to the end, and the third writes this book to ensure they are not forgotten by history, whilst at the same time rekindling his relationship with the girl that divided them.
THE HEART GOES LAST by Margaret Atwood: as usual, Atwood’s searing analysis of modern day life is spot on. Here she has created a world in which people choose to enter a closed community called Positron, dreamt up by some bright spark to make prisons and the prison population generate a profit. Two of the newest residents, Charmaine and Stan, sign up for life but soon discover that perfection is not all it’s cracked up to be. Wickedly funny and deeply disturbing.
EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave: “The first problem of was was that no one was any good at it yet”. Mary wants to teach the children left behind in London. She falls in love with Tom, who has chosen to stay behind whilst his flatmate Alistair signs up. Desperately sad, incredibly moving and utterly gripping. Almost on a par with the glorious Kate Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE and A GOD IN RUINS for the way it captures the enormity and the smallness of the Second World War.