Lex has spent years trying to forge an identity for herself beyond that of Girl A - the one who escaped from her parent's horrific abuse and raised the alarm to save her siblings. Now an adult, with a successful legal career in New York, she is dragged back to her childhood trauma when her mother dies in prison and names Lex as executor of her will. As Lex reconnects with her siblings, many of whom she hasn't seen for years, she must confront the insidious grip they have on each other's lives, not to mention the dark coping strategies that can hold back the past no longer.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Category: Crime fiction
Synopsis: Victor Van Allen is proud of the ordered life he has created for himself. He runs a sought-after printing press, holds a respected position in the town, and is the father of a precocious little girl.
The only taint to this perfect facade is his wife, Melinda. Their relationship is tenuously held together by Vic sleeping in a separate room and pretending to ignore her involvements with other men. Yet a new arrival in the sleepy town of Little Wesley means Vic may not be able to look the other way for much longer...
Rating: 5 stars
Theo has just started a new job at The Grove, a psychiatric unit for violent female criminals. Top of the list of new patients he must take on is Alicia. Alicia seemed to have it all - a flourishing career as an artist and a loving husband - until the night she shot him in the head. Since that fateful night, Alicia has refused to speak a word.
Disentangling Alicia's past and the motives for her crime is not going to be easy - especially when The Grove is hiding secrets of its own.
Rating: 3 stars
Petra Kolber began her career as a fitness instructor, but she soon began to notice the impact perfectionism was having on the women she coached. Now she runs perfection detox workshops built around her 21-step programme, which aims to support women in the journey towards embracing their flawed, imperfect, yet wonderfully unique selves.
The Perfection Detox is subtitled 'Tame Your Inner Critic, Live Bravely, and Unleash Your Joy' - I think we could all use some of that!
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Crime Fiction
"Did the world always mete out just deserts?"
Tom Ripley is struggling to make his way in New York City, chasing the elusive American Dream while treading the edges of illegality. When the father of an old acquaintance approaches Tom in the hope that he can persuade his son, Dickie Greenleaf, to come home from Europe and take on the family business, Tom leaps at the chance.
However, from the first, it becomes clear that Dickie has no intention of obliging his father. His life in the Italian village of Mongibello is everything Tom has ever dreamed of: wealth, status, a luxurious lifestyle. Tom will have to return empty-handed to his sordid life in New York - unless he takes measures increasingly more extreme.
"Someday, somehow, I would repay my cousin Rachel." Ambrose has been like a father to Philip, raising him single-handedly ever since the death of his parents. They live undisturbed on their Cornish estate, surrounded entirely by men - not even a female housekeeper. So when Ambrose travels abroad for his health, only to send word he has fallen in love and married, it is understandable for Philip to be jealous. His feelings of hatred towards this woman only increase when Ambrose dies in Italy, with his new wife by his side. Philip is left the grand estate, but no chance to say goodbye. However, this bitterness soon alleviates upon meeting Ambrose's widow, the beautiful and enigmatic Rachel. He may be falling for her. And that may be exactly what she wants.
Rating: 4 stars Category: Crime Fiction Synopsis: "You can't sit on the fence forever." Zorede takes the role of older sister seriously. She protects Ayoola. Takes the blame when she gets in trouble. And - quite literally - cleans up the bodies. Ayoola has now killed three of her boyfriends, and, although she pleads self-defence, Zorede is not convinced. So when Ayoola starts dating the doctor Zorede is in love with, it's finally time for her to pick a side. With family loyalty stretched to the limit, Zorede questions whether she should continue to defend her little sister - no matter what.
The City Girl Magazine aims to connect, inspire and empower women living in cities across the UK and abroad. I write about books for the magazine (what else!?!) and thought I would share this Halloween-inspired post on my blog too. Please do take a look! https://citygirlnetwork.com/citygirlmagazine/5-spooky-books-by-women-to-read-this-halloween
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Thriller, Crime Fiction
Synopsis: The novel is set in 1930s Brighton, where the holiday amusements sit in stark contrast to a sinister gang underworld. Central to our view of this underworld is Pinkie, a boy of only 17 who orchestrates the killing of rival gang informer Fred.
Little does he know that Fred had befriended the uncompromisingly righteous Ada, who is determined to see justice done. As he commits increasingly violent acts to protect himself and his fragile status, Pinkie is left spiralling further into a state of amorality and despair.
Questioning the Canon is a new feature in which I hope to bring to light lesser-known books about a certain issue, which can be read alongside or instead of infamous 'classics'.
People are starting to discuss whether the authors we hold up as cultural icons - Shakespeare, Dickens, Wordsworth - should be accompanied by previously marginalised writers. Our idea of what constitutes 'great literature' is becoming broader.
This can only be a good thing, as it means more diversity and social representation in what we read!