My Week in Books – 16th August 2020

MyWeekinBooks

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I shared my Five Favourite July Reads.

Tuesday – I published my review of Fortress of Fury by Matthew Harffy as part of the blog tour celebrating the launch of Head of Zeus’s new imprint, Aries Fiction. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

Wednesday – It wouldn’t be “hump day” without WWW Wednesday, the opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next…as well as have a good nose around to see what other bloggers are reading.

Thursday – I published my review of The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor as part of the blog tour.

Friday –  I shared my review of Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen by Alison Weir.

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


New arrivals

A bumper week for new books… However, I did take a few to my local Oxfam for re-homing.

9781529308433The Diver and the Lover by Jeremy Vine (eARC, Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley)

It is 1951 and sisters Ginny and Meredith have travelled from England to Spain in search of distraction and respite. The two wars have wreaked loss and deprivation upon the family and the spectre of Meredith’s troubled childhood continues to haunt them. Their journey to the rugged peninsula of Catalonia promises hope and renewal. While there they discover the artist Salvador Dali is staying in nearby Port Lligat. Meredith is fascinated by modern art and longs to meet the famous surrealist.

Dali is embarking on an ambitious new work, but his headstrong male model has refused to pose. A replacement is found, a young American waiter with whom Ginny has struck up a tentative acquaintance. The lives of the characters become entangled as family secrets, ego and the dangerous politics of Franco’s Spain threaten to undo the fragile bonds that have been forged.

A powerful story of love, sacrifice and the lengths we will go to for who – or what – we love.

cover190268-mediumDear Child by Romy Haussman (eARC, Flatiron via NetGalley)

A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare.

She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn’t their Lena.

The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn’t sharing, and Lena’s devastated father is trying to piece together details that don’t quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.

5193kKx+8ZL._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_Imperfect Alchemist by Naomi Miller (eARC, Allison & Busby via NetGalley)

A marriage of dynasty: that is what is expected of Mary Sidney. A marriage to Sir Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, to be precise. But Mary’s sharp mind longs to work on her writing and translation projects, ideally alongside her brilliant brother Philip, and perhaps learn more of the alchemical arts at the elbow of the dazzling Walter Raleigh.

Rose Commin, a young country girl with a surprising talent for drawing, is desperate to shrug off the slurs of witchcraft which have tarnished life at home. The opportunity to work at Wilton House, the Herberts’ Wiltshire home, is her chance. Defying the conventions of their time, these two women, mistress and maid, will find themselves facing the triumphs, revelations and struggles that lie ahead by leaning on each other.

9781529389043The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis (eARC, Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley)

Haworth Parsonage, February 1846. The Bronte sisters – Anne, Emily, and Charlotte – are busy with their literary pursuits. As they query publishers for their poetry, each sister hopes to write a full-length novel that will thrill the reading public. They’re also hoping for a new case for their fledgling detecting enterprise, Bell Brothers and Company solicitors.

On a bitterly cold February evening, their housekeeper Tabby tells them of a grim discovery at Scar Top House, an old farmhouse belonging to the Bradshaw family. A set of bones has been found bricked up in a chimney breast inside the ancient home. Tabby says it’s bad doings, and dark omens for all of them. The rattled housekeeper gives them a warning, telling the sisters of a chilling rumour attached to the family.

The villagers believe that, on the verge of bankruptcy, Clifton Bradshaw sold his soul to the devil in return for great riches. Does this have anything to do with the bones found in the Bradshaw house? The sisters are intrigued by the story and feel compelled to investigate. But Anne, Emily, and Charlotte soon learn that true evil has set a murderous trap and they’ve been lured right into it…

Betrayal CoverBetrayal by Lilja Sigurdardottir (e-book, Orenda and Random Things Tours)

Burned out and traumatised by her horrifying experiences around the world, aid worker Ursula has returned to Iceland.

Unable to settle, she accepts a high-profile government role in which she hopes to make a difference again. But on her first day in the post, Ursula promises to help a mother seeking justice for her daughter, who had been raped by a policeman, and life in high office soon becomes much more harrowing than Ursula could ever have imagined.

A homeless man is stalking her – but is he hounding her, or warning her of some danger? And why has the death of her father in police custody so many years earlier reared its head again?As Ursula is drawn into dirty politics, facing increasingly deadly threats, the lives of her stalker, her bodyguard and even a witch-like cleaning lady intertwine.

Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised even higher…

9780099427575A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (paperback)

The Nolan family are first-generation immigrants to the United States. Originating in Ireland and Austria, their life in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn is poor and deprived, but their sacrifices make it possible for their children to grow up in a land of boundless opportunity.

Francie Nolan is the eldest daughter of the family. Alert, imaginative and resourceful, her journey through the first years of a century of profound change is difficult – and transformative. But amid the poverty and suffering among the poor of Brooklyn, there is hope, and the prospect of a brighter future.

9780749024826The Night Raids (Nighthawk #3) by Jim Kelly (paperback)

A lone German bomber crosses the East coast of Britain on a moonless night in the long hot summer of 1940. The pilot picks up the silver thread of a river and following it to his target, drops his bomb over Cambridge’s rail yards. The shell falls short of its mark, and lands in a maze-like neighbourhood of terraced streets on the edge of the city’s medieval centre.

D I Eden Brooke is first on the scene and discovers the body of an elderly woman, Nora Wylde, beside her shattered bed in a terrace house on Elm Street, two fingers on her left hand severed, in what looks like a brutal attempt by looters to steal her rings. When the next day Nora’s teenage granddaughter, Peggy, a munitions worker at Marshall’s Airfield, is reported missing, Brooke realises there is more to the situation than meets the eye.

9781838770709City of Spies by Mara Timon (ARC, courtesy of Zaffre and Readers First)

Lisbon, 1943. After escaping from Nazi-Occupied France, SOE agent Elisabeth de Mornay, codename Cecile, receives new orders: she must infiltrate high society in neutral Lisbon and find out who is leaking key information to the Germans about British troop movements. As Solange Verin, a French widow of independent means, she will be able to meet all the rich Europeans who have gathered in Lisbon to wait out the war. One of them is a traitor and she must find out who before more British servicemen die.

Complications arise when ‘Solange’ comes to the attention of German Abwehr officer, Major Eduard Graf. As they get to know each other, she struggles to keep her lies close to the truth.

But in a city that is filled with spies, how can she tell who is friend, or foe?


On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

 

Planned posts

  • Blog Tour/Book Review: The Girl From Vichy by Andie Newton
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Make Good Movies
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Book Review: The Bitch by Pilar Quintana
  • Buchan of the Month: Introducing…A Prince of the Captivity by John Buchan

6 thoughts on “My Week in Books – 16th August 2020

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