The French Girl is a slow burner. Be aware of that when you start reading it. Sometimes it is almost a bit dragging. The things concerning Kate’s job are somehow irrelevant to the story. But at the same time they fill out the lives of the characters and make them so lifelike. Something in the book caught my attention the whole time. The dynamics within the circle of friends is interesting. I also liked that the story was told only from one point of view, Kate’s. The story would be perfect for two narrative levels, today and the past. But the author does without it and there are no direct flashbacks but only Kate’s memories. I thought that was pleasant, because the narration on second time levels is a bit overused lately.
The story is told quickly. 6 friends spent a holiday in France 10 years ago. The enigmatic neighbor, Serverine, disappeared at the same time as they left. Now her body has appeared on the property and a French policeman is traveling to London to interrogate the friends again. Kate’s life gets completely out of balance. The relationship between friends also changes.
Despite some lengths, I found the book very entertaining. The characters are very lifelike and all the details make them very real. I felt well entertained. I can understand when other readers find the book boring. But for me it had something that kept my interest alive. The end is a bit unusual and maybe a bit unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, one expects almost naturally a spectacular twist or a showdown. But the author also refrains from this and I also found that to be pleasantly different. The French Girl does not differ at first glance from other books, but in such trifles it shows that it is different, something special.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Magpie murders is a cleverly constructed thriller and a book within a book.
Susan is editor in a small publishing house. Actually, they only have one selling author. Alan Conway is the author of the popular crime series around the investigator Atticus Pünd. Susan holds the ninth volume in her hands and stars to read. And so do we. It is a classic and somewhat old-fashioned whodunit. So we read this story with Susan for half of the book. But the end is missing. Susan is surprised and even more so when she learns that Alan Conway committed suicide. We are now in the second story of this book where Susan is looking for the missing chapters and is soon even a murder on the track.
I must confess that I did not like the first part, that is the manuscript. I found the story a bit sluggish and not very exciting. I would not be a fan of Atticus Pünd. Only in hindsight the story becomes more important and becomes very interesting and enlightening due to the further events in the book. I was rewarded with an unusual story. The tension remains a bit sparing but the whole thing is so interesting that I liked to read the book quickly. I especially like the writing style of the author. I already noticed his styke in another book. I also find his unusual ideas for plots very refreshing.
From me there is a clear reading recommendation for anyone who does not necessarily need breathless tension and classic whodunit likes. There are also interesting insights into the publishing industry
This book wasn’t my cup of tea. I never got into the story or connected to the characters. A few month ago I read a lot of raving reviews and because of that I bought it. But I found it rather boring. The story is very predictable and implausible. I don’t think the police will let two women run around and do their job. The writing is also very simple and often reminded me of YA books. I also disliked how it portraits Bernadette as such a stupid and devoted wife and how downplayed Richard’s behaviour was.
I should have stopped reading when I thought about it 30% into it. I wouldn’t have missed much.
About the Author: Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel.
You will find her here:
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/friends-and-other-liars-kaela-coble/1126273509
To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he’s dead.
When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown, it is to the grave of her old friend Danny, a member of a group that was, ten years ago, Ruby’s whole world. The crew made a pact back then: stay together, stay loyal, and stay honest. But that was before all of the lies.
Because even friends keep secrets. They just don’t stay secret for long.
Now Danny has left behind a letter for each of them, issuing one final ultimatum: share your darkest betrayal to the group, or risk it coming out in a trap he has created. When past mistakes resurface, the lines of friendship blurb, and four old friends are left trying to understand what it means to lie to the ones you love best.
Ruby grew up in a small town. She moved away 10 years ago right after High School and never returned. Now she has to come back for a funeral because one of her old friends committed suicide. Coming home brings back bad memories. She used to be very close to her childhood friends. They promised themselves to look out for and be absolutely honest to each other. But everybody keeps a secret. Somehow Danny knew these secrets and after his death he leaves some letters for his friends. He wants them to reveal their secrets to each other or otherwise somebody else will expose them.
It took a while to get into the book. At first it is confusing with all the characters and their connections. The book is told from multiple POV and time, past and present. I must admit that I was not able to connect to any of the characters. They seem so unlikely friends. They all came from more or less dysfunctional families and that tied them together. But I thought that they were all very different I was wondering if the really still liked each other or just thought they have to stick together because of their history. They kept secrets about the most important things in their life and did not share them with one another. So I get a weird feeling about their so proclaimed friendship.
The book did not quite grip me as I hoped it would. For a long time it’s all about the complicated relationship between Ruby and Murphy and their on/off love affair. Both are back and forth all the time about themselves and most of the time they talk past one another. This part of the story was dragged too much for my taste. I don’t like love stories. And this book felt too much like one. But nevertheless it kept my interest all the time.
This is not a bad book, it is an easy and interesting read. I don’t mind when I don’t like the characters. I still can enjoy the story. And I did most of the time. I liked the ending, though. It is not a very twisted story but somehow honest and true to life. Just a little bit too much lover’s struggle for my taste.
This was absolutely crazy! Mindf*cking genius!
I will not try to retell the story. I don’t know if I really understood everything. I experienced a revelation a few minutes ago about one thing I was wondering about and it made me gasp in adoration about the cleverness of the story. This unusual book is a mix of a good old crime story à la Agatha Christie, time travel, Groundhog Day and something else which I have no word for. Neither in English nor in my mother tongue German.
Imaging yourself waking up every morning to the same day but inside a different person. You have to live through the same day again and again. You remember what happened the last time you relived it and what the person you were did. I began to ask myself very soon why this is happening and how this can be possible. To my great pleasure the riddle was solved at the end. And in a way I did not expect.
I will not even try to summarize the complex story. It is full of details and surprising moments. There were many situations in which I asked myself how this could work and how the main character Aidan had figured this all out. I was totally lost with the time table. I just trusted Aidan and the author of getting it all right. But at the end I –almost- understood everything and it left me back in awe of the talent of the author. What a great story and a great concept. What an amazing piece of work.
The book takes its time and it is a very long book. But it needs all this pages to unfold its story with every detail. You can be sure that your patience and confusion will be rewarded at the end. I was so pleased how everything turned out and was explained. This is the kind of story where a struggling ending could have ruined everything. But here happened quite the contrary. The end and the moment I really got the book finally made it for me all the better and it turned into a 5 star while I considered it temporarily as a 4 star.
This book may not be for everyone. It is beautifully written but also a bit slow and confusing. The story is so far away from everything I have read in the last years and that was so refreshing. It was worth my time and the little struggle with keeping up with all what’s happening. I really had to focus while reading. But it was fun and amazing. I really enjoyed it. If you are up to something unusual and want a challenge then this may be the right book for you.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
German book – German review (englisch title: „Lie With Me“
Paul Morris ist ein notorischer Lügner. Er ist charmant und gutaussehend und zehrt von einem kurzen Ruhm als Schriftsteller. Vor 20 Jahren veröffentlichte er ein Buch, das sehr erfolgreich war und mit guten Kritiken bedacht wurde. Seitdem hat er nichts Gescheites mehr zu Papier gebracht und schnorrt sich durchs Leben. Nun sieht er sich gezwungen, mit 44 Jahren wieder bei seiner Mutter einzuziehen. Da trifft er zufällig einen alten Freund wieder, der ihn zu einem Abendessen bei ihm einlädt. Dort lernt er die wohlhabende Witwe Alice kennen. Eigentlich ist sie zu alt für ihn, denn er verführt sonst nur junge Frauen. Aber aus Langeweile trifft er sich mit ihr. Dabei fällt ihm auf, dass sie durchaus Vorteile für ihn bereithält. Da sie Kinder hat, kann er immer mal bei ihr übernachten und auch Essen, was seiner prekären Situation bezüglich Wohnung und Einkommen sehr entgegenkommt. Als er erfährt, dass Alice mit ihren Kindern und Freunden den Sommer in Griechenland verbringen will, setzt er alles daran, auch eingeladen zu werden.
Paul ist ein charmanter und arroganter Unsympath. Er lügt bei jeder Gelegenheit, auch wenn es sich nur um Kleinigkeiten handelt. Er will immer gut dastehen, aber leider ist seine private Situation alles andere als glänzend. Er ist immer schon so durchs Leben gekommen. Dabei weiß er um seine Fehler, aber er ist so von sich überzeugt, dass er felsenfest glaubt, alle anderen mit seinem Charme und Witz zu täuschen.
Das Buch kommt erst langsam in Fahrt. Wir lernen erst Paul gut kennen und die Beziehung zu Alice baut sich auf. Mich hat sogleich die Sprache der Autorin begeistert. Paul ist der Ich-Erzähler, und die Art, wie er in selbstgefälligem Plauderton die Geschichte erzählt, empfand ich als sehr unterhaltsam. Er ist keine sehr sympathische Figur, aber ich fand die Erzählung sehr amüsant. Dabei habe ich aber schon bald eine unterschwellige Spannung verspürt. Wir erfahren gleich zu Anfang, dass Paul reflektiert und überlegt, wann er die ersten Anzeichen, dass etwas schief lief, hätte bemerken müssen. Unter der heißen griechischen Sonne entfaltet sich langsam eine hinterlistige und erschreckend kaltblütige Story.
Mir hat das Buch sehr gut gefallen. Das lag vor allem an der Figur Paul, an der Sprache und an der düsteren Stimmung, die rund um den Lebenskünstler Paul herrscht und die er nicht bemerkt. „Die Hochstapler“ ist ein flüssig zu lesendes, unterhaltsames und kurzweiliges Buch.