Wednesday 29 January 2020

Book Review: The Suspect by Fiona Barton

Content Warning: Drug Use; Date Rape Drug used; Drugged; Death; Sexual Assualt Referenced; Murder; Corrupt Police; Cancer; Romantic Partner dying; Accidental Death; death by vomiting;

Of course, we ended up here.

‘The police belonged to another world – the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.’

When two 18-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think ...

This is the third and maybe the last Kate Waters novel, I haven't found confirmation of this, but this feels like the last of Kate Waters. Like the old girl is gonna been left to paster after this one. Also, the way things are referenced in this novel feel like a wrap-up. I have reviewed the first two novels, The Widow and the Child.

Kate Water's personal life was obviously set up from the last book for this one. Her son goes to Thailand and is still there all the years later. So of course, he ends up being involved.

Waters is pretty unlikeable in this one. The other ones she always seemed alright; a Journalist who had good intentions. I should have felt sympathy but it just didn't click in this book. Maybe it's all the complaining about the death of Journalism. Yeah, Journalism has taken a hit with the death of print, but there is Journalism still and in 2020 more people are aware of Clickbait. I don't know if it also I'm just sick of so-called Journalists who have failed to report on cases. Yeah, the internet is a trash fire of miscommunication and propaganda but so are newspapers. Speaking of.

This book takes place during the Scottish Refurdem, random and odd considering August was meant to be a slow time for news. I guess maybe in England but I remember a lot of lying going on then. Maybe it's somehow set in the future. The Scottish Referendum was five years ago and it honestly feels like more. Also at one point, a journalist refers to the case as "The Backpacker murders", which is odd as that refers to real murders that happened in Australia during the early 90s. He seems old enough to know that. Fiona Barton should know that.

The ending of this book acts like its a big dark reveal when its nothing. It's just okay. It is what is.

This book is in several points of view, and we have voices to match in the audiobook; read by Siân Thomas, Mark Meadows, Clare Corbett and Ria Zmitrowicz; this works well especially with my lack of affection for Waters this time. We have the police officer from the first book back to investigate and one of the girls who goes missing in Thailand. Works great as a method of getting the story across.

Overall, I gave this 3/5 stars for Big Mama. I don't think this was a series that benefited from me reading them all back to back. The first two books felt pretty self-contained, while this one felt like it needs the other books more. I don't if this is definitely the end of Kate Waters, but is probably the end of me reading about her.

Released: 24/1/2019/1 March 2019
Read 20/1/2020, Reviewed 26/1/2020
Source: Library

Saturday 25 January 2020

MCR is a thing I love.

I am going to see My Chemical Romance in June 2020. Not sure of the date. In my panic to get tickets, I forgot to ask what the day was.

So I called up again, it was for the 20th so I booked for the 21 as well because I am a loser and terrible person. But I have so little in life being the fool that sees a band twice is who I am now. In my defence, I booked the Sunday after I called back and got through to the Disabled again, so...I mean if you were all about it you would have tickets by then.

Yeah, I'm the worst when it comes to My Chemical Romances tickets. I was just gonna say I'm the worst, but there's a lot of bad things in this world like people who brought tickets to sell them. I am gonna see My Chemical Romance twice because my brain makes bad decision sometimes.

Thanks, anxiety, the thing that makes me miss out and gives me the fear of missing out. I don't know, should I cancel the ticket. I've been online and I don't see anyone say that they didn't get tickets. It just took them a long arse time. IDK, I know it was a bad thing to do but now I don't know wait to do about it. The Worse part is that Disabled access is appearing on Second Sale sites. I hope they get their tickets cancelled. I don't know what to do about this anyway.

Doing that whole going back to uni thing to become educated? Again. Doing the same level of uni but this time with the right level of support hopefully. I am Dyslexic and Autistic with fun side benefits of that. I'm a terrible procrastinator. I think I shall go to the GP and talk about how I think my Anxiety gives me physical symptoms.

I have chronic pain and had since I was a child. I've always had a bad back, I mean at least ten which is not right. Did I hurt myself and no one saw me do it? Obviously, as a kid, you don't tell your parents all the asinine stuff you do and maybe I don't remember happening because as Dyslexic kid I hurt myself all the time. I walk into walls. I almost fall all the time.

My bullet journal Obsession with international shipping has finally been caught by customs. I blame the Brexit. *Loud Sigh* Yeah, so that finally happened. Greaaaatttt...

It is what is, I still expect this nonsense to continue even now we no longer have the benefits of being in the EU. Now just stuck in the UK without any benefits under the tories.

So now I have ruined this post, turning a great thing of seeing My Chemical Romance into something really depressive.

That being said trying to get a ticket was a nightmare. I tried to get normal tickets because I've had cases where the Disabled tickets sold out before the normal ones, so I was hedging bets. But being there at 9.30 on the dot, got me nothing. No seats or VIP seats. I was there pretty quickly there for Sunday too, nothing. So I am mad with people who immediately sold tickets. Maybe both you got lucky in your gang to try to get them, but now there were people who brought tickets with no intention of using them.

So no luck through Ticketmaster. I did get through Disabled Finally. I had to call 75 times to get thought the first time, and I was in a panic when I did. They hanged up on me several times were caught in a loop pressing 1 and 1 over and over to get into the queue and then I was kicked off the queue three times which the worst part. I don't why they think that will actually get people to stop calling.

I felts so anxious before and afterwards. Just stress about the whole thing.

Melton Keyes being where MCR do their big reunion sounds like a joke.

I still hope they tour the UK because I always regretted not seeing them in Glasgow. I'm able so excited and happy about seeing them, but I can't keep that energy up till June.

Also, I am seeing Fall Out Boy and Green Day three days afterwards. This is a hilarious and delightful state of events. Also stressful. See you then.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Book Review: The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

CW: Forced Prostitution mentioned; Threat of Violence; Suspensus Baby Deaths mentioned; Child Abuse; Death of a Parent/s; Accidental Deaths; World War II; Homeness from bombing;

The Attic will keep you safe.

My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over 150 years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker's Daughter is a story of murder, mystery and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

This book leaps through time all surrounding this house slash the ghost who haunts it. Though, we start with archivist whose marrying someone she clearly doesn't like. Mainly it's the house and the ghost haunting it Birdie, who had a sad life and now has a sad afterlife. The end. Okay, there' s more to it that. This is about the mystery about who Birdie was and how she died.

My library has this as Historical Fiction > Crime & Thriller, I guess because there don't have mystery section in the Historical bit for some reason. It's a mystery. Crimes happened, not thrilling at all. Aren't genres a beautiful weird thing. It's very slow-paced.

No idea why they went for this title. Yes, her father is a clockmaker but it's not really a big deal. He's not really ever in the book. There are no scenes with him, and him being a clockmaker plays a very small part of the book. It would be like if someone called my life story the Taxi Driver's Child despite dealing with my life now when both of my parents are no longer Taxi drivers.

The ending was kinda asinine. Obviously, with Birdie being a ghost you know she has to die at some point but the way it happens feels so forced, especially with no one realising what is going on. It feels like Morton decided how she wanted the book to go, but then half-arsed.

Her name is made to be such a big deal and it's never revealed publically despite one the character discovering it. Instead, it ends with a weak thing about how cheating is complicated. Sure, in the Victorian times where marriages were mostly about power. A lot of characters end up injured with no memory of how they ended up that way. How convenient.

I'm not gonna lie, I kinda got bored during the end of this, during the kinda epilogue bit. They are so many characters of characters and time periods. This is a long book at 17 Hours 3 minutes, so you do spend a big chunk with all of them. The question is why though? There's no meaningful link up. I thought the book would have ended differently, which would have been more satisfying.

I listened to the audiobook as read by Joanne Froggatt. She does a decent job. Googling her lead me to find out there are only 16 episodes of Dinner Ladies. Watching things randomly on Gold sure leads you to think there's more of something than there really is. 

Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars for Plotful Head-injuries. This book is frustratingly lacklustre at the end. There are questions left in the air that don't make sense at all. 

Released: 1 October 2018
Read 15 January 2020, Reviewed January 2020.
Source: Library


Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

What is the Pondathon?

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest. Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete 'side quests' during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Information about Joining the Pondathon

  1. To join the Pondathon, simply sign up anytime between January 18th 2020 to March 5th 2020.
  2. Choose a team, create your own animal character for the Pondathon and create a character card!
  3. Create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with '#Pondathon' in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  4. Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.
Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond or @artfromafriend on Twitter or Instagram in all your updates! We'd love to see all of the beautiful and awesome characters that you create!

My Pond Character

My Pond Character is called Raonaild, she good with a blade and a spell. Always, has a backup ready for a situation.
Yeah, I did this mostly because I thought she looked cute with a blade.

My Pondathon TBR

My TBR will come later.

[Book cover image] Book Name by Author [What is this book about? When did you acquire this book? Why do you want to read it? Are you looking forward to reading it? What are some thoughts you want to share about the book?]

[Book cover image] Book Name by Author [What is this book about? When did you acquire this book? Why do you want to read it? Are you looking forward to reading it? What are some thoughts you want to share about the book?]

[Book cover image] Book Name by Author [What is this book about? When did you acquire this book? Why do you want to read it? Are you looking forward to reading it? What are some thoughts you want to share about the book?]

[Copy and paste the above if you want to add more books to your readathon TBR!]

Saturday 18 January 2020

Adventures in Dog Parenting

Writing prompts don't work for me anymore. I looked through them all the time for this blog but never come across one that sparks inspiration. I want to write weekly, but not much really happens to me because I never leave the house.

Well, I do but is that interesting that I went food shopping and my dogs pull my shoulder so hard that it's sore and numb the next day. I'm used to my arms going numb but it has lasted a while. I woke up on Friday with it still numb from the night before. It's numb in the centre, sort of an ache, but no tingling paint and it still feels things without it being painful.

He also jumped into a locke after a swan and I had to pull him out because he couldn't climb back over the mini-fence that separates dogs from the evil that is swans. He was soaked but fine. It's January so the Swans fled rather an attack my idiot. I honestly don't how he managed it because his lead was locked and I was trying to untangle Leia at the time.

Both were overly hyper for some reason. They get walked, and they see other dogs but on Thursday they were really excited about it for some reason. Leia has been to that park before, Skye hadn't. Him seeing a swan for the first time was to try to make friends with it, what a fool.

Next is the beach for Skye, Maybe go in the summer when it warmer than normal for Scotland. Maybe we get Summer in Spring this year. My mum's response to the swan story was at least I know he likes the water. He might be traumatised. Leia won't go in river water, she just tried to drink the beach water but with that being saltwater I didn't let her get too close because I was not prepared to go in after her that day.

Another joy of dogs was that Skye brought a dead rat to my door. I'm very thankful that I taught him not to bring outside toys inside. I don't think he killed it because it was cold and been out for five minutes. He could have killed it earlier. My guess is it died by poison and just happened to drop dead while in my garden.

He's part Border Collie and , both have strong hunting instinct and breed to bring kills back to their owners. Not Border Collie so much the last one. Yeah, Border Collie were not bred to kill their prey but I have known Border Collies to hunt moles and one time a pigeon. She was also obsessed with the cat too but she was would just stare at her. Oh, Mysti. Basically, there's a reason why they use Border Collie as search and rescue dogs.

I put the rat in the bin. Skye was very confused to find it gone when he went out later. I'm hoping there are no more dead rats out in my garden as if they have been poisoned that could make Skye sick.

Leia and Skye kinda love each other, but Leia will still randomly put him in his place. I get telling to go away when he's annoying her but some times she does it when he's walking past. Dogs are weird and Leia is grumpy about having a sibling when she not playing with him.

I have to go now as Skye is currently eating straight from the Puppy food bag.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Book Review: Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler

Queer and has the words 'read' and 'book' in te title, I should love this, but yet.

Ashleigh Walker is in Love. 

You know the feeling - that intense, heart-racing, all-consumiing emotion that can only come with first love. It's enough to stop her worring about bad grades at college. Enough to distract her from her parents' marriage troubles.

There's just one thing bothering her...

Shouldn't it be her boyfriend, Dylan, who makes her feel this way, not Miss Murrary, her English teacher?

The author started writing this book fifteen years before it was published, meaning starting it in the early 00s and it shows. Especially as it starts with 'I'm not like Other girls' trope:

"Actually, wait up a second, I'd better get something straight here, just in case I'm giving the wrong impression. I'm not one of those brain-dead bimbos who talks about boys and make-up all time."

There is some girl hate in this book, as well as the main character being overwhelming jealous.

I read Haunt Me by Kesser and didn't like it much. It felt old school YA, but in a bad way. It tried, but I didn't think I would pick Kessler up again but this was a Queer book I found in the library and it had 'read' and 'book' in the title so I decided to try again with Kessler.

There's a first time sex scene in this, not queer. It's the standard heterosexual stick it in and call it 'sex'. I just wish there's was YA book out there, that didn't have a sex scene where it's just dry penetration, something to break the myth that your first time should hurt and that doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. It's normal to do sex badly the first time but remember kids, no matter what or how, if penetrating, always prepare and use lube, from the virgin thirteen-year-old who knows more about sex ed than she might ever use. I'm pro-sex scenes in YA, not excessive, but enough to show what normal healthy sex should be like, so they know enough to use a condom. This book also has a pregnancy scare in this book, which is the universal uterus having experience, because who hasn't thought: "Maybe I'm the next Virgin Mary". I guess this done realistically, except that's ends in period happening and that could just be spoting so Ash could be pregnant at the end of the book and just not know it as she never takes a pregnancy test and pregnancy are each unique angels. This book starts in September I think, her period is late during the Christmas holidays so it must have happened in November. Exam results are in August. Okay, so probably not secretly pregnant but what a way to end a book that would have been. Which brings us to another problem this novel has.

This novel feels very disjointed, especially in Part three which feels like five epilogues in a role, then some plot, then just ends. It feels like it needed another hundred pages to smooth it out, but I also might have given up if there had been another hundred. This a school year in life of book, but we jump around a lot, not a smooth course through the year.

On the pluses, it's own voices and it's queer. Besides, some mild girl hating this novel was okay. It has the typical It got better than first few chapters. I actually almost returned this to library unread due to the first chapter and the way the characters were introduced. I neither regret reading it or would have regretted never reading. If this book has been released during original conception then it would have stood out but frankly, in 2020, there are tons of better Queer girl books out there. 

The teacher crush is part of Ashleigh discovering her sexuality and is acknowledged by Miss Murary but nothing really happens if you're looking for a scandalising read, this is not that, which I'm fine with. I know some people like reading teacher-student books, but I'm not here for abuse of power stories unless it confirms the teacher being in the wrong and not romanised. 

It also attempts to tackle divorce, which involved the parents arguing all the time and being unbearable to live with, which is relatable. I can't actually think of YA book that deals with the parents divorcing during the book, a lot of have divorced set up before but usually, that's just an excuse to only have one parent around for the majority of the book.

Overall, I give this book 2/5 stars for Dated Lesbianism. If this book had been released during the 2000s then it would have stood out but frankly, in 2020, there are tons of better Queer girl books out there. 

Read 4/5/2019, finished reviewing 15/1/2020 (I had written the majority but never put the finishing touches.


Page 8, "Actually, wait up a second, I'd better get something straight here, just in case I'm giving the wrong impression. I'm not one of those brain-dead bimbos who talks about boys and make-up all time."

Page 178, "'What's GSOH?' Mum askes me,
'Good Sense of Humour. God, Mum everyone knows that!" Yeah, I have never seen that term before. Maybe exclusive to online dating.

Saturday 11 January 2020

2020 Goals: The year, not that many goals.

Hello Strangeos, I have returned this week to tell about goals for 2020 and the things I hope to do with my life this year. A lot of these are carryovers.
  1. Read a book a week: This one is an obviously one, but I am current danger of not doing at the time of writing this.
  2. Finish 10 series: So 12 series a year has never happened so far. Maybe if I lower that number I'll finally do it. I have a very unchanging list for the list. 
  3. Read More of My Own Books: I own a lot of books, and the majority of my reading is never the ones I actually own. It's often
  4. Get the TBR Down:  Every year I end up with way more books on To Be Read list. 
  5. Write a Review a Week: I have finished this year with books unreviewed for the second time. I did not do this. I think I did do more reviews this year. 
  6. Write a Post a Week: This is blog is meant to keep me writing all the time, and it's not working out that way. I would feel better about letting this blog go if I was writing outside of it but I am not. 
  7. Finish a Novel: This is a goal back for this year. I have ideas that I know the endings but never wrote them down. I want to finally change. I want a completed draft. 
  8. Published a Video a Week: I would like to edit in advance including CC, but CC has killed videos for me. I don't know if that's a self-hate thing or just dyslexic brains don't like writing transcripts. I know Dyslexia does make copying things from Audio hard. I think I can do it. 
  9. Do More Complicated Videos: I want to do video essays basically. I have ideas so I want them to exist outside my head.
  10. Continue Bullet Journaling: I have brought of tons of stuff lately for it, so I better keep up with it. Also, records are nice. 
  11. Exercise most days: Obvious one. To clarify I don't mean doing an extreme work out every day; more I have Border Collies so they have to exercise in some way every day. There are Lazy ways of doing this e.g. putting them in the garden to chase each other and the best way of taking them for a long walk. I want to be able to do this most days for them, which will also befit me, in raising my fitness. I do have chronic pain and low energy levels so I don't think I can do this every day of the week without giving myself burnout and killing the project immediately. 
  12. Apply for things: I know I'm not going to a foreign country in September so I need to go to uni or something. I just in this chronic illness limbo and I hate it.
  13. Read 104 Books: Yeah, that's my Goodreads goal. 

So those are my goals for this year. Yay. 

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Book Review: The Child by Fiona Barton

Book CW: Child abduction; Death of a Baby; Rape, Rape drugged; sexual assault; child abuse; paedophilia (a young teenager); sexual crime ring; consent issues; child grooming; grooming; mental illness from trauma; parental negotiate. 

People are the worst.

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

This is the second book by Fiona Barton and the second following old school reporter Kate Waters, now on to another case. I did review the first one. This time the body of a baby is found. This book deals with just as heavy subjects as the last book (hence the content warnings). I think pretty well, revalent to real-world events so not a great book for escapism.

Because we've given three POV almost from the start, you know there's a reason why we're hearing these two women. Obviously, Kate Waters is a reporter and slowly come across the other two and their connection to the baby. Once again, I wouldn't call this a thriller, because it's mostly characters reflecting back and there's no urgency to what is going on, besides the slow death of Journalism. Kate is the only one whose present day is the big factor of this story. This for people who like fictional crime cases and exploration of characters dealing with consequences far after the fact.

This deals with lots of characters including ones who are very unlikable. I don't think I really connected to these characters as people, which is not an issue for me. Maybe if I had that would have added stars.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book, as read by Finty Williams, Steven Pacey, Adjoa Andoh, Clare Corbett and Fenella Woolgar. This book had a bigger cast with three main voice actors, Clare Corbett is back the Kate Waters character I think. The cast was good, and distinct from each other.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for Journalist Ethics. Once again a well-crafted novel; I am planning on listening to the next book in the series, I'm curious about how that will go with it being set in another country from these ones.

Finished reading 5th January 2020, Reviewed 8th January 2020.

Saturday 4 January 2020

2019 Goals in Reflection

It's now 2020, but we still have to wrap up 2019. One hell of a year. Literally, hell is a good word for that went down and sadly the new decade doesn't look it will change much.
  1. Read a book a week: Technically no, but in the sprint, I did this. I finish a book for 48 weeks out of the 53 we covered this year. 
  2. Finish 12 series: "Okay, I would be happy with five because that's more than last year." I did not manage this. I finished three. There was another one I caught up, that might never be a finished series. So another goal I'll carry. 
  3. Read More of My Own Books: I read 37 books of my own books, but I only read 13 books that I brought this year. Though, percentage-wise that is better than last year. This is a win on technicality basically.
  4. Stop with the Insane Book Buying:  I have brought 133 books this year. Though it has been 52 days since I brought any books and I brought 255 books last year. I could do better as I was hoping to get that number back under the hundreds. 
  5. Write a Review a Week: I have finished this year with books unreviewed for the second time. I did not do this. I think I did do more reviews this year. 
  6. Write a Post a Week: No.....
  7. Write More in General: Noooooooooooo... Did almost managed to do NaNoWriMo. Okay, Maybe I kinda did this one. 
  8. Published a Video a Week: No. 
  9. Do More Complicated Videos: Nope.
  10. Continue Bullet Journaling: I did this. Not to the most specific details, some months but all months were covered. 
  11. Exercise Most Days: No. This started strong but went out of the window with Kidney swapping that happened in January. I stopped doing a lot of things after. Strong starts to nothing happened a lot last year. I did do some walking, but not a lot of cardio. 
  12. Apply for things: I applied to one thing, did not get it. This is better in that I finally did make myself apply. But I still procrastination the application meaning it could have been better when I submitted it. There were other things I could have applied for as well. 
I read a lot this year I guess. Moving on.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Book Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

Book CW: Child Abuse, paedophilia, computer grooming, murder, child murder, infertility, unhealthy relationships, minor domestic abuse (isolating, being in control of life decision, gaslighting), mentally unstable characters, questionable consent porn, sexual crime ring;

This is a case where you shouldn't stand by your man.

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen …

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth - that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything …

This is a book dealing with crime and investigation. I wouldn't call it a thriller as I think it's too slow pace and there's no big surprise at the end. Yes, there is that climax at the end but no real tension building up to that. I often do read books where I figured out the ending page one, so I don't mind that, but this could be a bit misleading as this is sold as a thriller. I get why the publisher has done so but it's more like a slow exploration through the past of the characters, rather active present as its told.

This is told in multiple points of view: the Widow, the Reporter and the Officer. All talking about their connection to a murder case. The widow, Jean is the wife of a man accused of killing a child and going through their relationship. Kate the reporter is the one who this series turns out to be, as she does her own investigating. She basically what reporters should be like and her best pal the officer who gives her inside information. All the characters are on the older side and near to the end of their careers which is an interesting insight as Journalism and Police investigation have both changed a lot in the past 30 years. Fiona Barton is a retired Journalist which probably why Kate became the stand out character.

Jean is both a sympathetic character and sometimes dislikable. She has let a man dominant her life, which is sort of understandable for her generation, but it also goes to the extreme lengths in the divorce age. The author talks about in an interview included with this book, that she wanted to explore the wives of these men accused/who have done terrible crimes. I believe this woman exists, but not sure if I like her, which is fine as you don't have to like a character for their story to be worth reading. I hesitate to say enjoy because of the terrible subject matter of this book.

I listen to this on audiobook. It's a well-done production, Clare Corbett does a good job of distincting each POV character. Also does announce whose who every time, I know some audiobooks don't. Listening to this book would be a good way to consume this book.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for Locked Computers. This is a well-crafted novel, with characters slowing building up a case together and was an interesting idea. I think the idea is strong enough that other writers would do something completely different while both having good books come out of it. I would read a book with this same premise but more importantly more by Fiona Barton.

(Though, her having worked for the Daily Mail is off-putting). I now have reviewed the sequel.

Finished reading  29 December 2019.