Archive | September 2023

The Island by G.N. Smith


The Island by G.N. Smith is a marvellous nail-bitingly good crime thriller and the second book in A Fiona MacLeish Crime Thriller series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading book one first in order to track character development.

The reader joins Fiona MacLeish on a remote Scottish island as the search for a young girl, also adds a rescue and the hunt for a double-killer to the leading lady’s workload. She is relentless in her pursuit of the truth. She will not rest until the girl is found and the killer apprehended.

Our childhoods shape the adults we become. Various characters have their behaviour’s motivated by a moment in time, long past. The reader’s heart breaks for a character who lost his sister and parents decades ago but still pursues behaviours that draw him close to their memories. He is a gentle giant with a good heart.

Alzheimer’s is a cruel master. A character who is locked in the past, causes chaos in the present.

Using the literary device of pathetic fallacy, the action mirrors the weather. Literal storms mirror the turmoil all around as events spin out of control.

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Sisters At War by Jina Bacarr

All For Love

Sisters At War by Jina Bacarr is a powerful historical novel that totally consumed me.

The action is set during the early years of World War II in Nazi-occupied Paris. It is a city that is ever diminishing as the Nazis take over. They loot priceless art, take over dwellings and bodies of the French people. “The Nazis can take our bodies but not our souls.” The people of France fight bravely on as bit by bit the lights of Paris are dimmed.

The Nazis take what they want including the bodies of young girls as they force them to work in brothels or take them as personal trophies. We witness the sacrificial love of a sister who does what she must in order to protect those she loves.

As the years go on, we follow two sisters at war. Their individual wars look different but both are motivated by a love for family, a hatred of the Nazis and a love for France.

We see the emotional blackmail used by the Nazis to make people toe the line.

The beauty of Paris is overshadowed by the ugliness of Nazi occupation.

The story is written from two alternating points of view as we witness the different wars that were waged.

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The Flood by G.N. Smith

Heart Racing

The Flood by G.N. Smith was an exciting contemporary crime thriller. It is the first book in A Fiona MacLeish Crime Thriller series which promises to be thrilling.

The leading lady is very believable. She is cool and calm as a crisis unfolds, and she is tenacious in her search for the truth. Her police training means she carefully pieces together the evidence to decipher the perpetrator – unlike me who hadn’t got a clue!

We see how our upbringing shapes us into the adults we become. No closure in youth means the leading lady is determined that no one will suffer like she has and is relentless in her pursuit of the truth.

Guilt overtakes a character who realizes their trust was misplaced.

Atmospheric weather adds to the tension as a raging storm mirrors the action.

The opening of the book was superb as the reader experiences heightened emotions – and then we are all flung eight hours backwards in time as we wonder what just led up to the scene we just witnessed?

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Things We Do For Love by Vered Neta

Love Wins

Things We Do For Love by Vered Neta is a beautiful contemporary novel about a family.

Families are made up of all sorts. No one model fits all. The family in the novel consists of octogenarian parents, three daughters and their partners and a granddaughter. The novel is told from alternating points of view.

We see the devastating diagnosis of Alzheimer’s as a strong woman loses herself bit by bit. “A ray of light enters the black hole of her memory.” As time passes, she reverts to a child-like state.

Old age is cruel. We witness a life struck down by a stroke but determined to carry on.

The three daughters grew up in the family home. Their lives echo down the hallways. “Ghosts from the past still occupy the room.” Memories are within the very fabric of the building. Their familiar relationship functions the same at fifty as at fifteen. There is the organized one, the quiet one and the one striving for motherhood. We see the difficulties of balancing their lives with taking care of elderly parents. All three still have the ability to rub each other up the wrong way.

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