What I read in Goa

November 16, 2018Hels

One of the best things about Goa, was that I was able to spend so much time lazing in the sun and reading. Sam and I only took hand luggage to Goa so all the books were on my Kindle – I much prefer reading physical books but when I’m away, my Kindle is my best friend. While I was away, I hit my reading challenge target of 75 books in 2018 and I was so proud of myself!

So, here’s what I read in Goa. Also, anyone that knows me, knows I love psychological thrillers. It wasn’t intentional, but almost every single book I read was a thriller…

69. The Secret (K.L. Slater) ⭐⭐⭐

Alice and Louise are sisters, and while they were close as children, there is now a lot they don’t know about each others lives. Archie is Louise’s eight-year-old son and he is often left with Alice while Louise works. Archie has seen something terrible, and he has to keep it a secret.

I’ve read a few of K.L. Slater’s books now, and they are always great books – maybe not the most ground-breaking psychological thrillers, but very enjoyable. When I was reading this, I immediately felt for Archie, and just wanted to give him a hug. I liked that once you thought it was over and that the secret had been revealed, you were suddenly hit with something else which I hadn’t seen coming. I didn’t love the format of this book, it was jumping from character to character and between timeframes. I understand why it was done like this but I had to keep going back to work out when certain passages were set. There were quite a few sub-plots which seemed a bit unnecessary but overall I enjoyed it.

70. Behind Closed Doors (B.A. Paris) ⭐⭐⭐

Grace and Jack seem like the perfect married couple. They throw impressive dinner parties, live in a beautiful home and have plenty of money. Friends comment that Grace always cancels plans last minute, doesn’t have her own phone or email address, and is never out by herself…

I think this book is well written, however the content is very dark and can be hard to read. I would have liked more detail about Esther, Grace’s friend, and for me, the ending wasn’t particularly satisfactory. SPOILER: Trigger warning, the book contains abuse of women.

71. You Let Me In (Lucy Clarke) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Elle is a writer whose debut novel became a bestseller. She lives in Cornwall, near to her sister, in a beautiful house. While away on a writers retreat, she rents out her house on Airbnb and when she returns, everything feels different. Elle is struggling with her second book, and doubt and paranoia start to creep in. Her house, which was previously her safe haven, suddenly feels sinister and mysterious.

I thought this book was brilliantly written, and there were plenty of red herrings that kept me guessing. I found the ending really satisfying, and I really want to read more of Lucy Clarke’s books now.

72. Closer (K.L. Slater) ⭐⭐⭐

Shaun and Emma are separated, but they lived together for the sake of their daughter, Maisie, until Shaun starts a new relationship. Maisie was a bright, happy young girl who loved dancing, but then something changes. Emma grows increasingly worried, but doesn’t know how to help her.

K.L. Slater’s books are always enjoyable – as you can see, this was the second book by her I read on this trip. I really felt for Maisie in this book, and the story isn’t as clear-cut as I initially thought. There are chapters from an unknown voice which talks about abuse, and hints about Emma’s past being cause for concern. I understand why it was included, but for most of the book, I found the sub-plot quite unnecessary. There is a bit of a double twist which I really liked, it’s definitely worth a read.

73. I Invited Her In (Adele Parks) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mel gets an email from Abi, someone who she hasn’t seen or heard from since university. The email brings back memories of her carefree past that she thought was long gone, and now Abi is in trouble, Mel is only too happy to invite her to stay. Abi quickly makes herself at home with Mel’s family, but why is she really there?

I really, really enjoyed this book. I kept turning to Sam and telling him my predictions for it, and while I did guess a lot of the twists, this wasn’t a bad thing as I really loved the story and I was still gripped until the end. There was one big thing in the book involving Abi that I really struggled with, and Sam and I had a bit of a debate about whether we thought it was okay or not, I don’t want to give away any spoilers but if you read this book let me know so we can discuss!

74. In The Woods: Dublin Murder Squad #1 (Tana French) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

22 years ago, Adam Ryan and two of his friends were playing in the woods that surrounded their housing estate. When they don’t return home, a search is organised and Adam is found hiding behind a tree, with blood in his shoes and slashes in his clothes. He doesn’t remember anything about the event, and his friends are never found. Now, Adam goes by his middle name, Rob, and is a detective on the Murder Squad. Rob and his partner, Cassie Maddox, are assigned to investigate the murder of a young girl who was found in the woods where Rob’s friends disappeared.

My wonderful friend Molly had recommended Tana French to me for a long time, and I can’t believe it took me so long to get round to reading this. I absolutely LOVED it. It’s fascinating reading, not only is it an excellent crime novel, but the relationships in it are brilliantly written. I found the story really satisfying, and I immediately started reading the second book in the series…

75. The Likeness: Dublin Murder Squad #2 (Tana French) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Likeness follows Cassie Maddox (who featured in In The Woods) who is investigating the death of a woman going by the name of Lexie Madison who bears an uncanny resemblance to Cassie. In order to find out what happened, Cassie goes undercover, and takes the place of Lexie Madison.

This sounds really far-fetched, but somehow it was believable. I was really invested in the case and the group of friends that Cassie was investigating. Several characters from In The Woods were mentioned which gave the book a lovely feeling of familiarity, and I really enjoyed it. I thought the book maybe rambled slightly in the middle, but I loved the characters so I was happy to go along with it! I’ve now started the third book in the series…!

 

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading lately?

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A week in Goa

November 14, 2018

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November 19, 2018