The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Artist Alicia Berenson has shot her beloved husband in the head 5 times because he came home late one evening.  Since then she has not uttered a single word.  She has been imprisoned in a secure mental facility where her only form of communication has been through her paintings.  Psychotherapist, Theo Faber has taken an obsessive interest in Alicia, so much so that he has quit his job and moved half way across the country to treat her but to what end? To absolve her? To understand her? To save her? 

There has been a phenomenal amount of hype surrounding this book and well deserved too. This is a smart and addictive thriller which drew me in and kept me hooked from the first chapter. The story is primarily narrated from Theo’s perspective and this, interspersed with individual diary entries from Alicia herself, help the story to unfold and reveal just why she is The Silent Patient.  

The insane twist at the end left me gobsmacked and wondering just how Alex Michaelidis created such a convincing and captivating tale for his debut.  I think one of the draws of this book is how Michaelidis has managed to write so many words about a person who has no words.  This psychological thriller rendered me unsociable and was completely consuming – I devoured it in just two sittings.

Many thanks to Orion and Netgalley for sending me an ARC copy of this novel to read in return for an honest review.  The Silent Patient came out in hardcover on 07 February 2019.

MrsCookesBooks

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Adèle by Leïla Slimani

Adèle has a chic apartment in the sought after suburbs of modern day Paris. She has a job as a successful journalist, a handsome surgeon for a husband and a scrumptious little toddler boy. One could say that Adèle has it all, except there is a problem; Adèle is bored; Adèle is frustrated; Adèle is a sex addict.

Adèle’s willingness and tendency to detonate her self destruct button both frequently and without warning, means she has to envelope her normal life around her secret affairs and one night stands; to hide her sordid second life; to conceal her true self.

The combination of Slimani’s wonderfully descriptive prose together with the elegant flow and sumptuous descriptions of Adèle’s Parisian life made this a quick and enjoyable read.  This book is neither seedy nor superficial; it is not full of gratuitous sex but neither is it reserved.

I found this to be a powerful and dark exploration of addiction from the perspective of a very troubled woman; a fascinating insight into Adèle’s privileged world that somehow leaves her wanting more.

I have a feeling this will be a Marmite book – I thoroughly enjoyed it as the narrative is so beautifully written.  I felt it to be complex and absorbing; simple yet devastating. I have not yet read Lullaby (also by Slimani) but will certainly be purchasing it on my next trip to the bookshop. 

My thanks go to Faber & Faber and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC copy of this novel in return for an honest review.  Adèle was published in hardback on 7th February 2019.

The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

It’s 1997 and Britain has been shaken to the core by the chilling abduction and murder of a baby, by two young girls. Sisters Primrose and Laurel are those two young girls, and the media gives them a sickeningly sweet name; The Flower Girls. Ten year old Laurel is convicted of the baby’s murder whilst Primrose, who is only 6, is deemed too young to be convicted and allowed to walk free. 

Fast forward almost 20 years and Primrose, now Hazel, is staying with her boyfriend in a hotel over the New Year when a little girl goes missing. Suddenly Primrose finds herself catapulted into the spotlight all over again as The Flower Girls have the Press salivating once more.

This atmospheric novel is full of twists and kept me guessing right until the end, something many novels claim but few deliver.  Alice Clarke-Platts deals with the deeply disturbing subject of child killers cleverly and succinctly and this novel immediately recalled high profile, real life cases to mind – some of which are cited and referred to within.

I must admit, I was apprehensive about starting this psychological thriller, not only due to the sinister subject matter but also because as I have two young children myself, both of whom are little girls.  All apprehensions were hurriedly pushed to the back of my mind as soon as I started reading; this is an intriguing page turner in its truest form.  The Flower Girls is fast paced, punchy and truly unsettling; a fantastic read.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing/Raven Books and Netgalley for sending me an ARC copy of this novel to read in return for an honest review.  The Flower Girls is out in hardcover on 24 January 2019.

Dry Hard by Nick Spalding

Kate and Scott have a comfortably boozy relationship; they use alcohol as the crutch to get them through the everyday mundanity of life and as such have fallen into a downward spiral culminating in them making complete arses of themselves pretty much any time they touch a drink. Much to the disdain and horror of their young daughter Holly, who decides that there is need for an intervention, which will take place in the form of a horribly embarrassing show and tell all on YouTube. Kate and Scott don’t even know what YouTube is. Until they do. And when they see the ugly truth and turn into a social media phenomenon overnight, things start to snowball. 

As a relative newbie to the comedy writers genre and in fact to Nick Spalding’s books themselves, I approached this book with caution. I’m glad to say that my trepidation was short lived – I laughed so hard at this book that I annoyed my husband because I was shaking the bed so violently from trying to quell my giggling outbursts! Whilst this book deals with serious topics related to alcohol and it’s perceived abuse; it does6e48c21f-344f-4459-8bdb-a5d3de0bfd2f so with stunning comic timing and long hard belly laughs along the way, potted with a crazy insight into the world of social media and so called YouTube stardom. A must read if you’re looking for something light-hearted and fun – I’ll definitely be looking for more Nick Spalding in my next bookshop visit!

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing who provided me with an ARC Kindle copy of this novel so that I could read it and write an honest review. This book will be released on 08 January 2019.

What’s the story…?

As a child and growing up as a teenager, my nose was never far away from a book. This continued into adulthood but came to an abrupt halt when I had my two children – it was my only real hobby and so when all the love that engulfs you with the arrival of babies cascaded into our lives it felt like a part of me went into a kind of hibernation.

Fast-forward four years and my reading mojo is well and truly back – I can tear through books in days and am forever quizzing people to see if they’ve come across any of my latest reads and asking for their opinions.  I’m constantly searching out new novels and am always keen to try different genres.

Oh no not another crazy introvert who likes to hide from the world on her sofa surrounded by books! I bet she has cats too! I hear you say.  Well, with two children under four, I can hardly shy away from life (even if I wanted to) and yes, I do think that a trip to the bookshop is HEAVEN but, we all have to have our quirks, right? Also – I enjoy running too, but that’s another rather terrifying story.

Writing seems to come fairly naturally to me and has certainly helped me with my job in the legal sector, but with my career temporarily on hold I’ve decided to start a blog as a creative outlet to keep my brain ticking over, if you like.  It means I get to read to my hearts content, share my thoughts with fellow readers and, what brings me most joy, discuss my favourite subject (books if you hadn’t realised) with other people.cropped-4ae2075b-33b7-4eb1-ba10-9760eb5b9c08.jpeg

So grab a cup of tea/glass of wine/gin and tonic and join me on the sofa to find out what’s turning my pages in the literary world at the moment.

If you’d like me to review any books for you, please get in touch through my contact page on this site or via Twitter @mrscookesbooks or Instagram http://www.instagram.com/mrscookesbooks

P.S. I do have cats actually; two of them. #sorrynotsorry