My Week in Books – 11th August ‘19

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

Wicked by DesignWicked by Design by Katy Moran (uncorrected proof copy, courtesy of Head of Zeus)

1819, Jack ‘Crow’ Crowlas, the charismatic and troubled hero of Hester and Crow, has married his feisty love, Hester and with their baby daughter, settled down to enjoy their new life as Lord and Lady Lamorna of Nansmornow in Cornwall.

But for Crow, trouble is never far away and as Cornwall seethes with rebellion, he is arrested for treason. Spared execution on condition that he undertakes a highly dubious mission to St Petersburg, he finds himself tangled in a snare of treachery and illicit passion, violence and sexual deceit, where not only his love for Hester, but also his relationship with his only brother, serving with the British army in Russia, will be tested to the limit and beyond.

The Hiding GameThe Hiding Game by Naomi Wood (signed hardcover)

In 1922, Paul Beckermann arrives at the Bauhaus art school and is immediately seduced by both the charismatic teaching and his fellow students. Eccentric and alluring, the more time Paul spends with his new friends the closer they become, and the deeper he falls in love with the mesmerising Charlotte. But Paul is not the only one vying for her affections, and soon an insidious rivalry takes root.

As political tensions escalate in Germany, the Bauhaus finds itself under threat, and the group begins to disintegrate under the pressure of its own betrayals and love affairs. Decades later, in the wake of an unthinkable tragedy, Paul is haunted by a secret. When an old friend from the Bauhaus resurfaces, he must finally break his silence.

Those Who Are LovedThose Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop (hardcover)

Themis is part of a family bitterly divided by politics and, as a young woman, her fury with those who have collaborated with the Nazis, drives her to fight for the communists. She is eventually imprisoned on the notorious islands of exile, Makronisos and Trikeri, and has to make a life or death decision.

She is proud of having fought, but for the rest of her life is haunted by some of her actions. Forty years after the end of the civil war, she finally achieves catharsis.

SummerlandSummerland by Lucy Adlington (paperback, courtesy of Hot Key Books and Readers First)

Brigid is one of a group of child refugees being escorted to England by the Red Cross in October 1946. She is a serious, silent figure, with worn clothes and shoes and a small cardboard suitcase containing all her belongings. On arrival at Waterloo station however, Brigid breaks from the group and runs…

Brigid has a secret which she has buried deep inside her. She also has an ulterior motive: she needs to find a place called Summerland Hall where she hopes she will find the one person left alive who is deeply important to her.

An extraordinary tale, with some events inspired by history, that encompasses truth, tolerance, racism and forgiveness.

The Room of the DeadThe Room of the Dead (Betty Church Mystery #2) by M.R.C. Kasasian (ebook, courtesy of Head of Zeus and NetGalley)

December, 1939.  Having solved the case of the Suffolk Vampire, Inspector Betty Church and her colleagues at Sackwater Police Station have settled back down to business. There’s the elderly Mr Fern who keeps losing his slippers, Sylvia Satin’s thirteenth birthday party to attend and the scintillating case of the missing bookmark to solve.

Though peace and quiet are all well and good, Betty soon finds herself longing for some cold-blooded murder.

When a bomb is dropped on a residential street, both peace and quiet are broken and it seems the war has finally reached Sackwater. But Betty cannot stop the Hun, however hard she tries. So when the body of one of the bomb victims is found stretched out like an angel on Sackwater’s beach, Betty concentrates on finding the enemy much closer to home…

The Secrets We KeptThe Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott (eARC, courtesy of Hutchinson and Random Things Tours)

A BANNED MASTERPIECE

1956, A celebrated Russian author is writing a book, Doctor Zhivago, which could spark dissent in the Soviet Union. The Soviets, afraid of its subversive power, ban it. But in the rest of the world it’s fast becoming a sensation.

TWO FEMALE SPIES

The CIA plans to use the book to tip the Cold War in its favour. Their agents are not the usual spies, however. Two typists – the charming, experienced Sally and the talented novice Irina – are charged with the mission of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago back into Russia by any means necessary.

A BOOK THAT CHANGED HISTORY

It will not be easy. There are people willing to die for this book – and agents willing to kill for it. But they cannot fail – as this book has the power to change history.

Invitation to a BonfireInvitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt (paperback)

The seductive story of a dangerous love triangle, inspired by the infamous Nabokov marriage, with a spellbinding psychological thriller at its core.

In the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young refugee from the Soviet Union, finds herself in the alien landscape of an elite all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home, and her sense of purpose, Zoya struggles to belong, a task made more difficult by the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country’s paranoia about Russian spies. When she meets the visiting writer and fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov—whose books Zoya has privately obsessed over for years—her luck seems to have taken a turn for the better. But she soon discovers that Leo is not the solution to her loneliness: he’s committed to his art and bound by the sinister orchestrations of his brilliant wife, Vera.

As the reader unravels the mystery of Zoya, Lev, and Vera’s fate, Zoya is faced with mounting pressure to figure out who she is and what kind of life she wants to build. Grappling with class distinctions, national allegiance, and ethical fidelity—not to mention the powerful magnetism of sex—Invitation to a Bonfire investigates how one’s identity is formed, irrevocably, through a series of momentary decisions, including how to survive, who to love, and whether to pay the complicated price of happiness.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday  – I published my review of Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland.

Tuesday –  I shared my review of This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next…and have a good nose around to see what other bloggers are reading.

Thursday – I joined the blog tour for The Traitor of Treasure Island by John Drake, publishing my review of this re-imagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic.

Friday – I shared my Five Favourite July Reads.

Saturday – I published my introduction to my Buchan of the Month, The Courts of the Morning by John Buchan.

As always, thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on or shared my blog posts on social media this week.


On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: Untitled by Anna Pasternak
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: The Beach at Doonshean by Penny Feeny

4 thoughts on “My Week in Books – 11th August ‘19

    1. Thanks, I treated myself because I have a ticket to hear Victoria Hislop talk about the book at Henley Literary Festival on 4th October. Hope she’s got her signing pen ready 😁

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  1. Bauhaus is very topical this year it seems – I think its an anniversary of some kind. I keep seeing articles about the movement in various magazines

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