Rosamund Lupton- The Quality of Silence.

I was really eager to read this book after having already read works from this author before and loved them. The Quality of Silence is a tense book so full of atmosphere that you will feel the chill of the ice around the characters and have your heart in your mouth as the tension builds.

The book is about Yasmin and Ruby, mother and daughter, who arrive in Alaska to join Matt- Yasmin’s husband, Ruby’s father but when they turn up at the airport they are told that there has been a fire in his village and he is presumed to be dead. Something within Yasmin refuses to accept this and is determined to go out and find him herself, she knows he is alive and just needs someone else to believe it too.

Yasmin and Ruby then embark on a journey across the ice roads of Alaska but do they really know how dangerous it is out there? There are snow storms, a sinister truck that appears to be following her and strange emails of dead animals being sent to them as their journey unfolds.

Ruby is only 10 years old but is far more grown up than other children. She is deaf and has a very unique take on life, she’s interested in wildlife and animals, wants to know facts, uses Twitter and blogs to reach out to others and has a very close relationship to her father. Throughout the journey Ruby and Yasmin learn about each other and their insecurities.

This book has a steady stream of tension and terror that builds up very slowly with each page turned to the point that I just couldn’t put the book down and felt really on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know exactly who this person was who was following them, why they seemed determined to hinder them from finding Matt and would they ever find him?

The book is told in first person by Ruby and also in third person by Yasmin. This sounds like it would be confusing but it actually worked really well, it was easy to know when it was Ruby’s voice and when it was Yasmin’s and it meant as a reader you really got to know the characters and their relationship, especially that between Yasmin and Matt as she would recall memories of them meeting.

There was lots of indepth knowledge of various subjects within this book that I found really interesting and added to the atmosphere.

When reading I felt the chill of the book both in terms of the tension and sinister nature of some parts of it but also because of the snow and ice, the plummeting temperatures. I think it’s really clever, skilled writing to provoke such a response!

I am a big fan of Rosamund Lupton and this book hasn’t disappointed at all.

 

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The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft

After a couple of weeks of reading chick lit books I wanted to read something a bit faster-paced that would distract my completely from the ‘real world’ and all it’s problems and this book did just that!

Simone and Matt are only young when they become parents. Simone is still a teenager and Matt is in his early twenties studying to become a doctor but they embrace parenthood, determined to make it work, however, at just 6 months old their daughter Helena is abducted and nobody can find her…

18 years later Simone is approached by a young woman claiming she is Helena and asking for her help but should Simone trust her? Confused about what to do Simone listens to this girl and tries to work out if she is lying to her and what her motives could be but then as soon as she came back into her life, the daughter disappears again.

As Simone and her work friend Abbott try to track down the woman claiming to be Helena they uncover some disturbing facts, they don’t know who to trust and soon find themselves caught up in a web of horrific events.

 

What I really liked about this book was that as soon as I started reading it I was pulled right in. There was no lengthy scene setting and explanation about who everyone was and how they all felt, instead it was quick action right from the very start so I instantly wanted to keep reading. Throughout the book it was the same, lots of action, lots of clues and intrigue about who everyone was and what part they had to play in the story and this worked really well. It meant that I was constantly on edge wanting to know what happened next and whether what was said was true or some trap to have Simone fall in.

As the story progressed you did get to know more details about the characters, how they were all linked and their feelings and relationships and I think that it was better to be introduced throughout it like this as it still kept up the fast pace.

Sometimes when reading books with a mystery to them and a crime to solve it can be easy to preempt what will happen or you find yourself trying to guess the ending instead of actually reading the book properly but that wasn’t the case here. With this book when I was reading it I switched off from trying to figure it out myself and instead was there, imagining the scenes unfolding and willing Simone not to fall for any of the things various people were telling her. when I eventually did put the book down for the day I would think about what happened, there were so many questions I wanted answers to but I couldn’t figure out how it would end and I didn’t guess the ending either which is brilliant. I do sometimes feel cheated if I have guessed the ending of a book… as though I’m just reading it just to get to the point whereas with this I was reading it because I really wanted to know what happened.

There are lots of twists and turns in ┬áthis book and it has left me thinking about things… how it would feel to be separated from your child for so long to then have someone claim to be them, how I’d cope with that, how I could ever move on without knowing the truth.

When I downloaded this book I really needed something to take me away from reality for a while and this book completely did that. I am now very much looking forward to reading more of Kathryn Croft’s books as I was very impressed with this one. If you’re looking for a fast-paced book that will have you wanting to keep on turning those pages then this is definitely recommended!

Coming Down by Carrie Elks

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I finished reading this book yesterday after devouring it in just a matter of days and now I’m at a loss as to what to read next as I enjoyed reading this so much! I read a book by Carrie Elks a few months ago and really enjoyed it so was looking forward to reading this, it definitely didn’t disappoint, it had me drawn in from the beginning, I couldn’t put it down and it was perfect escapism.

The story tells of Beth who works helping children who’s parents are struggling with drug addiction. She has a very wealthy husband Simon who gives her all she needs and a brilliant best friend in Lara who works at the drug clinic. It looks as though she has the perfect, stable life with a job she loves, a doting husband and a great best friend but Beth has a past which she has tried to move on from and it seems like the past is about to come back into her life.

Niall is part of Beth’s past and he has just taken on the role of the art teacher at the centre. Niall being back in Beth’s life causes her great confusion as she begins to remember the life she once had and relive a tragic event which has haunted her since. Her current life is stable at last, she’s built herself a very secure life but being back in Niall’s presence gives her a taste of who she once was and she realises she misses it.

When reading this book I was drawn in, I found it so hard to put down because I had loads of questions I wanted answers to; what did happen in Beth’s past? Was Simon aware of it? Would she really risk her marriage for something that happened so long ago? What would happen with the children at the centre she was trying to help?

There was lots going on in this book, talk of the past, the future, worrying about children in the care centre, facing big decisions and so forth and I think it all was woven together really well. The book flowed brilliantly, so much was covered but it didn’t feel like it was too much and it moved quite fast- no great long descriptions which I sometimes find can get a little tiring, instead it moved fast enough to keep me interested but without being so fast that it felt haphazard.

Within this book there are some chapters which tell us about Beth’s past. These are only a few pages long and give a brilliant insight into what happened. They’re just enough to show how Niall and Beth first met and what happened between them and the tragic event which then had them lose contact for so long. This was well done, I like that it wasn’t huge jumps back with lots of chapters dedicated to it as the present felt much more relevant so just having a few short chapters in the past worked really well.

The characters were brilliantly crafted. Being able to see parts of the past really helped get to know where Beth had come from. I liked the way she was really passionate about everything- her job, those around her, the children and how she worked through the angst she had about everything. I was unsure of Niall at first, suspicious of what part he had played in her past but the relationship between them was really special and made me really want Beth to choose him but at the same time I felt sorry for Simon who hadn’t really done anything wrong. I think that’s a very clever way of getting a reader to feel some of the angst that Beth had!

What I really liked about this book is that it felt very real… the dramas that unfolded could easily happen in real life – a marriage struggling when one of the members of it gets a taste of who they once was. A family battling with addiction… these things could easily happen and I think that’s what had me so captured by it. I find if I read a book that’s really unbelievable I struggle to get my head around it but this wasn’t like that at all.

There were some very moving moments that did leave me reaching for a tissue on occasion but they weren’t too much and it wasn’t pages and pages of grief and sadness but just enough to make it feel very real and raw.

I think this is an ideal book to give you some escapism. I found it so easy to read- no complex story lines or theories to get your head around. It was ideal reading to just switch off for a while from the real world and lose myself in someone else’s problems. If you’re looking for a book with enough going on to keep you interested and some brilliant characters with a realistic storyline then I definitely recommend this.

I really enjoyed reading it and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series Broken Chords.