In Bloom by C.J. Skuse

Bridget Jones Meets Charles Bronson

In Bloom by C.J.Skuse is a gripping contemporary psychological thriller that draws the reader in from the start. It is a sequel but I had not read the previous book and I followed the action just fine.

The book follows a pregnant vigilante, very reminiscent of the Charles Bronson character in the 1970’s Death Wish films. The action alternates between the very ordinary and the extraordinary psychotic episodes. Written in the first person, the reader enters the killer’s mind. She is very personable and highly amusing. With contemporary cultural references the reader finds the lead character easy to identify with in some ways… but not others. Her lists of who should be on her death wish were rather amusing and could be seen as tongue in cheek for the reader… but not the character! I am not normally a lover of anything gruesome but In Bloom had me glued and entertained throughout.

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While We’re Apart by Ellie Dean

Ordinary Heroes

While We’re Apart by Ellie Dean is a historical offering set in England in 1942 at the height of World War II. The reader is treated to the lives of ordinary heroes – the brave men and women on the homefront. There are partings from loved ones in the forces. There are deaths as destruction rains down from the Luftwaffe.

There is a camaraderie. A pulling together. A sharing of what little they have. Hearts and homes are opened to those in need.

The question of illegitimate children arises. A stigma is attached which horrifies the audience of today. We all want to know our roots but it seems that some roots are best kept hidden.

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Strangers On A Bridge by Louise Mangos

At All Costs

Strangers On A Bridge by Louise Mangos is a compelling contemporary psychological thriller that draws the reader into the murky waters of the mind.

The story totally consumes as the reader sees how easy it is to travel the path from truth to lies. One little lie or omission doesn’t really matter… or does it? The foundation for truth and trust has begun to be eroded.

To what lengths would you go to, to protect your family? Family first at all costs seems to be the motto of the tale.

Do the sins of the father visit the son? Would you react differently to the same situation if you could have a do-over?

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The Secret Legacy by Sara Alexander

Sacrificial Love

The Secret Legacy by Sara Alexander is an epic historical family novel that transports the reader to 1950’s Italy.

Wonderful comprehensive descriptions bring the landscape to life for the reader. We are enveloped in warmth and sunshine, with expectations of laughter.

The novel is about love and loss, sacrifice and letting go – knowing when to step forward and when to hold back. there are loves that consume. One is obsessive to the exclusion of all else, the other bubbles away in the background.

There is the difficult theme of mental illness. It is managed with love, care, kindness and gentleness.

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