March / April 2018 Read & Reviews
Can't believe we're in March all ready! On my list for the March and April are:
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
The Perfect Girlfriend is a psychological thriller with a creepy female protagonist. How far would you go to get back the love of your life ~ almost anything? You would? You haven't meet Juliette who takes stalking and stealing identities to a whole new level when it comes to her ex, Nate an airline pilot. Juliette and Nate were the perfect couple until Nate wanted 'his space.' Nate moves on with his life while Juliette stands still and waits for her own take off. Here the fun starts. Juliette wants Nate back in her life and will stop at nothing to achieve this goal. Juliette reinvents herself, and as if her persona isn't disturbed enough, retrains as cabin crew and joins the same airline as Nate ~ unbeknown to him. I'm not going to spoil the story but Juliette's character and alter ego are deeply disturbed yet strangely compelling in their audacity in achieving their aim. They get under Nate's skin without him really knowing why. Juliette reminded me of Alex in the film Fatal Attraction but with a far more twisted ending.
Karen uses her own previous experience of working for an airline to lend credibility to the storyline. It is also an interesting take on stalking as I wonder if the roles were reversed, and it is Nate who is integrating himself into Juliette's life, how forgiving we would be as the reader at this behaviour?
Next time I fly, I shall be watching the crew with interest *she winks.*
Friend Request by Laura Marshall
When Louise received a friend request on Facebook, her past collides with her present, leaving her worried and anxious. How can someone from school, twenty or so years ago, contact her? Especially when she is supposed to be dead? As a school girl, Louise was bullied and a bully but she never intended to hurt anyone, not least Maria. But she did didn't she, and now its time for payback. This is an interesting psychologically thriller with many twists and turns for the reader in trying to work out what or who is real and what isn't. Past and present are interwoven throughout, though sometimes this could be a distraction. My gripe is that it is not fast paced enough, and it is only when I get to about three quarters in, that I feel the tension screws really being twisted. Without giving anything away, there is a scene with Louise and her toddler who has been abducted, and I wish the scene was longer ~ it would have really up the tension, but was scary nevertheless. There is a neat twist at the end, that you may or may not have worked out as the reader. I suspected but wasn't sure and you won't believe the reason why.
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
I've read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which I loved, and looked forward to reading Rachel Joyce's The Music Shop. As the title suggests, this story is set in a music shop managed by the owner, Frank, in a run down part of town. Frank has the knack of knowing exactly what his customer's need in terms of music. Especially when they are suffering from life's ups and downs. Frank sells vinyl and only vinyl, and shudders at the mere thought of having to sell CD's. One day, into his life walks, or rather faints, the mysterious Ilse Brauchmann. Life will never be the same again for Frank.
The Music Shop is an unusual, wonderful love story. Of music's ability to soothe the soul, to uplift and bring total joy ~ if you let music weave its magic. It's a story of never being able to escape the past and blind to what the future may hold.
Another great story by Rachael Joyce, of beautiful characters and their subtle habits brought to life on the page. It was one of those books I was really sad to finish.