Book review | The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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To step on a train to me is going on an adventure, even if it is just for a day. I discovered Sweden and Scotland by train. Both amazing journeys that I would absolutely recommend. A book titled The Girl on the Train is therefore something I had to read.

The Girl on the Train is in short about Rachel who on her daily train journey observes a specific house and makes assumptions about the couple, Scott and Megan, who live in it. After an incident involving Megan, Rachel believes she has seen something worth looking into.

“The train crawls along; it judders past warehouses and water towers, bridges and sheds, past modest Victorian houses, their backs turned squarely to the track. My head leaning against the carriage window, I watch these houses roll past me like a tracking shot in a film. I see them as others do not…

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Accidental Thriller, A Guest Post by Stephen May, Author of Stronger Than Skin

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When you’ve gone to the same university as an author, what could be better than to help celebrate their latest book? I’m delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for Stronger Than Skin by Stephen May. I asked Stephen to tell me a bit about how he wrote a story that became both a thriller and a love story and thankfully he agreed to do so!

Stronger Than Skin was published on 16th March 2017 by Sandstone Press and is available for purchase in e-book and paperback here.

Stronger Than Skin

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Mark Chadwick is cycling home from work, eager to get back to his pregnant wife Katy and two children, when he sees the police calling at his house. He knows exactly why they are there and he knows that the world he has carefully constructed over twenty very deliberately uneventful years is about to fall apart. He…

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BOOK REVIEW: The Other World, It Whispers by Stephanie Victoire

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It is hard to say what makes a good short story collection, assessing the quality of one story is hard enough, let alone many. A short story collection can manage to delight and disappoint at the same time; it can push the boundaries and simultaneously stay safely within them. There are no rules on how to construct a short story collection. One may strive for coherence, a uniting of themes, of sentiment, imagery, then again one may not – the stories may flit between genre, time and space. Also, the length of a short story may stretch the notion of ‘short’ to its very literary limit, essentially constituting a baby novella, or, ‘short’ might seem a little far off the mark, being closer to poetry rather than prose.

So, with these difficulties in mind we turn to Stephanie Victoire’s collection The Other World it Whispers. Here we have nine stories…

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(Book Review) The Edge of the Earth ~ Christina Schwarz

I don’t usually read historical novels, but I was eager to read The Edge of the Earth by Christina Schwarz because I have always had a fascination for lighthouses, and the cover of this book drew me to it immediately. The book tells the story of Trudy, a young woman who abandons the life that […]

via Book Review: The Edge of the Earth — Kristah Price

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A South African Setting by Miranda Sherry, author of Bone Meal for Roses

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Regular readers of Linda’s Book Bag know how much I love travel and Africa in particular fascinates me. Just over a year ago I visited South Africa so I’m delighted to welcome Miranda Sherry to the blog today as her book, Bone Meal for Roses, is set there.

Bone Meal for Roses was published by Head of Zeus on 8th September 2016 and is available for purchase in e-book and hardback here.

Bone Meal for Roses

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A bittersweet, gorgeously written novel about a young girl with an abusive past growing up in the majestic landscape of South Africa.

Her mother destroyed her. The garden saved her.

Poppy was six years old when she was rescued from her abusive mother and taken to her grandparents’ farm to recover. There, under a wide South African sky, Poppy succumbs to the magic of their garden. Slowly, her memories fade and her…

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A review of “The End – Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings” (Edited by Ashley Stokes – Unthank Books)

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Mark Mayes

An absolutely splendid collection of stories, and a fascinating and mysterious set of paintings to go with them.

From the fifteen tales in this book, my favourites were Angela Readman’s “The Slyest of Foxes”, “Ariel” by David Rose; Ashley Stokes’ “Decompression Chamber”, and “Nowhere Nothing Fuck-Up” by u.v. ray.

Before each story we are shown a small version of one of Nicolas Ruston’s paintings – all have the words “The End” in them, although in different typography, and each has either a recognizable scene or single image (in some cases tending to the abstract or symbolic) from which the fifteen writers took their inspiration, or jumping-off point. The introduction recounts the genesis of this project in detail, and appreciating the overall endeavour, and how it came to be, became an integral part of the book, for me.

As the title implies, the stories involve endings of one kind or another…

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Fen – Daisy Johnson (June 2016)

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I’ve been dipping in and out of this book since July, not because I haven’t enjoyed it but more because I wanted to make it last as long as I possibly could. This collection of short stories really was fantastic and I have no problem in saying I’m incredibly jealous of Daisy Johnson’s talents.

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Each of the stories is set in the marshy Fenland of East Anglia and perfectly poses a flickering of reality more bizarre than the last. Introducing multiple female protagonists in various circumstances and experiences of life, the collection is haunted by natural figures, animated spaces and the sicknesses of the human condition.

The stories are all intriguing in their own right but rather than write about them all, I’ll just be touching on two of my favorites.

The first is titled ‘A BRUISE THE SHAPE AND SIZE OF A DOOR HANDLE’. This story centers around Salma after she moves in to her father’s house and begins…

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Spill Simmer Falter Wither – Sara Baume

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This book will tear your heart.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither is described in a lot of reviews as being about a relationship between a man and his dog.

That is not what this book is about at all.

Ray’s relationship with OneEye is only a part of the story. For a while I thought the dog may be entirely imaginary.

This book is about loneliness. It’s about abandonment. It’s about craving parental approval and coming back for more disappointment. And it does not offer redemption.

Spill Simmer Falter Wither is a mondegreen for spring, summer, fall, winter, and the book covers one year in Ray’s life, after the death of his father and his new relationship with OneEye. They live together in Ray’s house until an incident compels Ray to pack up his small car and take to life on the road with his only…

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the disappearance of Adele Bedeau. by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Purchased by chance, or rather by me, in Hatchards, the gorgeous bookshop on Piccadilly, it’s seldom you read a book as well executed as its cover. The classical image of a man and his carafe of red wine sums up the wide range of nocturnal entertainment options in Saint-Louis. This is not a Butlins. But one of thousands of towns in the sleepier parts of Europe, in which time trots by, untouched by hypermarkets, the Internet or personal drones. There’s the sense that a box set of Narcs or Sons of Anarchy could change the town forever, as the residents flock around to see how shiny DVDs are.

It’s against this backdrop that the underwhelming, yet well-dressed detective Georges Gorki finds himself investigating the disappearance of waitress Adele Bedeau from Restaurant de la Cloche. He remains haunted by an unsolved case 20 years earlier.

It’s a literary whodunit of which there are not…

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