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The Bad Mother by Amanda Brooke

Untangling The Web

The Bad Mother by Amanda Brooke is a contemporary psychological thriller that has the reader hooked and guessing from the start.

The novel opens and then jumps backwards six months before moving forwards. This is a clever device as it made me question what had happened to end (or start) so intensely?

If someone reminds us of our actions, it must be true. Memory can mislead us. “Do you know what it’s like not to trust your own memory?” Once the seeds of doubt are sown it is hard to return to where we once were.

The novel deals with mental illness. We fear family genes coming down the lines. We fear history repeating itself. “None of us can escape the past.” The past haunts our present and we fear for our future.

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Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

Carving A Different Path

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict is an awesome historical novel. Based on fact, the reader is treated to a cracking story.

To me, Andrew Carnegie was just a name of someone long gone. Carnegie’s Maid has educated me to see the man behind the name.

The novel is written in the first person from the point of view of Clara, Carnegie’s mother’s maid. Both Clara and Carnegie’s mother were poor immigrants, one from Ireland, one from Scotland. They both rose or fell using their own wits. They both cared deeply for their family and would do anything for them, although their methods differed.

Education brings freedom. In a land where the civil war was fought over freedom and the issue of slavery, no man can be truly free without education. Education must be available to all.

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The Twelve Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

Brutal And Horrifying

The Twelve Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson is an epic historical novel set in Georgia in 1930. It was reminiscent of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men in both the style and atmosphere.

Back in the 1930’s the deep South continued to be a divide between the white and black Americans. There were lies and lynchings, rapes and violence, and people turning a blind eye everywhere. It is not a comfortable read. It is deeply disturbing.

In contrast there was love and loyalty between two girls… one black and one white.

The reader gets a glimpse of life in rural, dusty Georgia. The atmosphere of cruelty and distrust has been perfectly captured by Eleanor Henderson.

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The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

Disturbing And Gripping

The Chalk Man by C.J Tudor is a compulsive dual time murder suspense that had me hooked.

Set in 1986 and 2016, the action hops backwards and forwards as the past collides with the present. The characters and the reader try to get the pieces to solve the crime.

The novel is brutal. The crime horrendous and the end jaw dropping. Not everyone is who you think they are. And sometimes the missing piece is right under your nose.

There are the hard hitting topics of sexual exploitation, bullying and hypocritical action. “They were chatting a lot of stuff about love but seemed full of hate.” There is also the sensitive subject of abortion. It is all realistically done and not pleasant reading at times.

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