Sunday, 8 May 2016

Book Review: DAISY IN CHAINS by Sharon Bolton

Daisy in Chains

Title: Daisy in Chains
Author: Sharon Bolton
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Read: April 2016
Expected publication: 2nd June 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Famous killers have fan clubs.

Hamish Wolfe is no different. Locked up for the rest of his life for the abduction and murder of three young women, he gets countless adoring letters every day. He's handsome, charismatic and very persuasive. His admirers are convinced he's innocent, and that he's the man of their dreams.

Who would join such a club?

Maggie Rose is different. Reclusive and enigmatic; a successful lawyer and bestselling true-crime writer, she only takes on cases that she can win.

Hamish wants her as his lawyer, he wants her to change his fate. She thinks she's immune to the charms of a man like this. But maybe not this time . . .

My thoughts:

Hamish Wolfe – a convicted killer spending time in jail for the brutal murder of 3 young women who all just have one thing in common: being overweight.

Pete Weston – the detective who found the evidence to put Hamish behind bars. But did he catch the right guy?

Maggie Rose – the reclusive and somewhat eccentric young lawyer who has already freed several convicted murderers. Hamish still claims he is innocent – will she take on his case?

And who is the mysterious Daisy?

Playing out as a narrative from the perspectives of the three main characters and a series of letters and case files, Daisy in Chains takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of crime, lies and deception, where no one is to be trusted and dark secrets can raise their ugly heads at any minute.
It is impossible to say any more without giving away a piece of the puzzle, so there is only one thing left to say: this is a must read for all fans of Sharon Bolton and anyone who enjoys a solid, well-written and suspenseful crime novel. Executed with Bolton’s usual flair for words and eye for detail, Daisy in Chains will shock and surprise at every turn of the page, as will the ending. It firmly proves why Bolton is a master of her game and firmly entrenched on top of my favourite authors list. It also shows that she can turn her hand to a slightly different writing style to her previous novels, and excel at it. Gone are the dark gothic undertones which once earned her the name “Queen of Rural Gothic”, but the story’s increasingly dark and sinister undertones are initially hidden in a more formal voice fitting for a crime novel which is partly set in the prison system. It is more towards the end that the setting becomes more creepy and sinister, as only Bolton can conjure up, fitting for the shocking finale. As in previous books, Bolton uses a strong professional female lead to drive the story, but this time with a twist you may see coming as the story progresses, but will never guess the full extent of. As the story gets darker and the reader is constantly forced to question every preconception they may have held, it is impossible to put this book down for even a minute. Best read under the doona with plenty of time to spare.

All I can say is: run to the bookstore and get a copy for yourself, then bolt all the doors, put the phone on silent and enjoy! It is so worth it. Firmly on my favourite list for this year.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Book Review: FIVE ROSES by Alice Zorn

Five Roses

Five Roses
Author: Alice Zorn
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Read: April 2016
Expected publication: 23rd July 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

A sister. A baby. A man who watches from the trees.

Fara and her husband buy a house with a disturbing history that reawakens memories of her own family tragedy. Maddy still lives in the house, once a hippie commune, where her daughter was kidnapped twenty-seven years ago. Rose grew up isolated with her mother in the backwoods north of Montreal. Now in the city, she questions the silence and deception that shaped her upbringing.

Fara, Maddy, and Rose meet in Montreal's historic Pointe St-Charles, a rundown neighbourhood on the cusp of gentrification. Against a backdrop of abandonment, loss, and revitalization, the women must confront troubling secrets in order to rebuild their lives. Zorn deftly interweaves the rich yet fragile lives of three very different people into a story of strength and friendship.

My thoughts:

Set in a poor multicultural suburb of Montreal and in rural Quebec, Five Roses follows the lives of 4 women: 27-year old Rose, who is trying to get used to city life after growing up in an isolated cabin in the woods with a mystery surrounding her birth and parentage. Maddy, who at 43 is still living in the same house which bore witness to a secret loss she suffered as a teenage girl. Yushi, the talented Indian pastry maker who is bullied by her boss at work and whose friendship with Maddy and Rose will change her life. And Zara, who has just moved into a house where death recently claimed a young life, which reminds her of a tragic event in her own past. As the four women are brought together by the circumstances of their work and place of residence, they connect in ways that bring out the secrets and emotions of their different pasts and will shape their lives in ways none of them could have imagined.

Five Roses is a wonderful, rich story of four women from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds who are connected by one place – the neighbourhood of Pointe St-Charles in Montreal, its landscape dominated by the luminous sign Farine Five Roses. The author does a great job creating a sense of place and a rich background history for each of her characters, which kept me reading on hungrily, thoroughly engrossed in the atmosphere of the story. A beautifully written book which will take you on a journey into a different world, with vibrant and wonderful characters who must overcome the obstacles of their pasts to shape their future. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.