Tag Archive | Harper Collins

Tell Me Your Secrets by Mel McGrath


Tell Me Your Secrets by Mel McGrath is a totally griping contemporary psychological suspense that I just could not put down. I read it in just two sittings, pausing only to sleep.

There is the theme of grief. “Grief… is a country with a population of one.” No two people will ever grieve the same, even in response to the same event. With grief we see that guilt and regret go hand in hand.

A thirty year old cold case is awakened in present day as a character feels a connection in an old house. Secrets, lies and sadness inhabit the very walls, as the truth is trying to come out.

We witness the manipulation of many by one – but to what end? Read the book in order to find out.

All the characters were well drawn. Not all were likable. Mel McGrath manipulates the reader’s responses as we follow the action.

Continue reading

Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby Brown

The Bulldog Spirit

Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby Brown is a truly inspiring, powerful historical tale that is based on fact.

The novel opens in the autumn of 1942 in Bethnal Green in London. We ‘travel’ through the remainder of the war with the community, focusing in on two families who are next door neighbours.

As we journey, we learn about events on one fateful night in early 1943 in Bethnal Green tube station. We see the repercussions across the community. The reader is educated about what was kept secret for thirty five years after the event.

We witness the indomitable bulldog spirit. As a community pulls together. “Nothing would lessen [her] pain… But these kindnesses, from people who had so little themselves, touched her.” Though the people have little in the form of material goods, they have huge hearts that love, care and support.

Continue reading

The Steel Girls At War by Michelle Rawlins

Warms My Heart

Steel Girls At War by Michelle Rawlins is a powerful historical novel that I became totally engrossed in. It is the fourth book in the Steel Girls series but can be read as a stand-alone. I recommend reading the previous books first in order to get to know the characters and to see their development and progression.

The book is set over the summer of 1940 in Sheffield. We return to the familiar faces who work in the steel industry. The camaraderie, love and support grow ever stronger. It is the women who pick up the slack left behind by the men going to war.

Women stepped up and into the jobs vacated by men. They still had homes to run and children to look after. They developed a network of support and love.

This book focuses in on one particular family. They are the microcosm for the macrocosm of what was happening in homes up and down Britain. We follow a young mother and her children as they wait for news on the whereabouts of a husband and father. We can understand the conflicting emotions of worry and despair needing to be balanced with remaining upbeat for the sake of the children. It is important to hold on to hope. “Without hope you haven’t got anything.”

June 1940 saw the evacuation of Dunkirk. Lives were left on hold as they wait for news.

Returning soldiers came home with more than injured bodies, minds were damaged too. PTSD moved in, altering personalities. We witness how hard it is for wives and children. Our hearts go out to them.

Continue reading

The Good Liars by Anita Frank

Wow! – So Good!

The Good Liars by Anita Frank is an absolutely marvellous historical, psychological suspense that I just could not put down.

Anita Frank drew me in from the start with my questions as to what had happened and why would a name be missing? As I read on, my responses to characters were guided by the artistic pen of Anita Frank. The further I got into the book, the faster my heart beat as the tension rose ever higher. The conclusion was superb.

The book is set in 1920. The first world war is over but it has far-reaching effects. Lives have been blighted by experiences at the Front. Not all scars are visible, many souls returned tormented. Mind ravaged lives as the battle fields lived on in their heads.

Terrible lashing rain leaves a landscape submerged, reminding the reader of the landscape of war. As the rain falls and the sky darkens, the action within a country house mirrors the weather.

The Good Liars is written within the gothic style as an old house has dark corners, attics, basements and creepy goings on.

Continue reading