#5Books: Book recs and International Women’s Day

#5Books for the week ending 11 march

I work with a bunch of fabulous women and men, and for this IWD, the suggestion was made (inspired by another team who was doing the same), that we share the professional achievement we are most proud of.

As the 8th neared, it seemed to plague everyone (the women) what to put, and me, I wasn’t going to submit anything if no one else was. Interesting isn’t it? We’re a bunch of professional women, but my colleagues couldn’t figure out what was good enough, I wasn’t going to do anything without them, and as it turned out the guy who did submit something, didn’t want to submit something about his wife, or any of us (we asked him not to), so he did it about someone famous.

Would you have been comfortable saying something? I know the other group we got the idea from were.

Still have to work to do, don’t we? How was your International Women’s Day?

Anyway, book recs.

The House on Half Moon Street

Everyone has a secret… Only some lead to murder.

Leo Stanhope. Assistant to a London coroner; in love with Maria; and hiding a very big secret.

For Leo was born Charlotte, but knowing he was meant to be a man – despite the evidence of his body – he fled his family home at just fifteen, and has been living as Leo ever since: his original identity known only to a few trusted people.

But then Maria is found dead and Leo is accused of her murder. Desperate to find her killer and under suspicion from all those around him, he stands to lose not just the woman he loves, but his freedom and, ultimately, his life.

A wonderfully atmospheric debut, rich in character and setting, in The House on Half Moon Street Alex Reeve has created a world that crime readers will want to return to again and again.

This reminds me of Molly in Sherlock’s The Abominable Bride, where she dressed like a man to be able to get the job she wanted and was more than capable of as the coroner in 1895. Throw in a romance and a mystery and I kind of want this now, and mercifully this is released in May!

Silent Victim

Emma’s darkest secrets are buried in the past. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long.

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen.

It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge…

Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

Panicked, Emma confesses to her husband. But this is only the beginning. Soon, Alex will discover things about her he’ll wish he’d learned sooner. And others he’ll long to forget.

Whew. Revenge is sweet, until you have to admit to it. But the last bit, about the other secrets she’s hiding speaks to the potential for a tension-filled situation to say the least between people who should know each other the best, which domestic noir, you still do impress me.

Good Guys

Donovan was shot by a cop. For jaywalking, supposedly. Actually, for arguing with a cop while black. Four of the nine shots were lethal–or would have been, if their target had been anybody else. The Foundation picked him up, brought him back, and trained him further. “Lethal” turns out to be a relative term when magic is involved.

When Marci was fifteen, she levitated a paperweight and threw it at a guy she didn’t like. The Foundation scooped her up for training too.

“Hippie chick” Susan got well into her Foundation training before they told her about the magic, but she’s as powerful as Donovan and Marci now.

They can teleport themselves thousands of miles, conjure shields that will stop bullets, and read information from the remnants of spells cast by others days before.

They all work for the secretive Foundation…for minimum wage.

Which is okay, because the Foundation are the good guys. Aren’t they?

So you would think is about a bunch of people with special powers banding together … and then the blurb hits you with the last line! Puts a different perspective on everything doesn’t it?

Bone Music

There’s more than one way to stoke the flames of revenge…

Charlotte Rowe spent the first seven years of her life in the hands of the only parents she knew-a pair of serial killers who murdered her mother and tried to shape Charlotte in their own twisted image. If only the nightmare had ended when she was rescued. Instead, her real father exploited her tabloid-ready story for fame and profit-until Charlotte finally broke free from her ghoulish past and fled. Just when she thinks she has buried her personal hell forever, Charlotte is swept into a frightening new ordeal. Secretly dosed with an experimental drug, she’s endowed with a shocking new power-but pursued by a treacherous corporation desperate to control her.

Except from now on, if anybody is going to control Charlotte, it’s going to be Charlotte herself. She’s determined to use the extraordinary ability she now possesses to fight the kind of evil that shattered her life-by drawing a serial killer out from the shadows to face the righteous fury of a victim turned avenger.

I feel like Charlotte needs a break, after all that — though to be fair, exacting her revenge makes sense too. What power does the drug give her? And how do we get from being pursued by a corporation to hunting a serial killer?

The Plotter

The important thing is not who pulls the trigger but who’s behind the person who pulls the trigger—the plotters, the masterminds working in the shadows. Raised by Old Raccoon in The Library of Dogs, Reseng has always been surrounded by plots to kill—and by books that no one ever reads. In Seoul’s corrupt underworld, he was destined to be an assassin.

Until he breaks the rules. That’s when he meets a trio of young women—a convenience store worker, her wheelchair-bound sister, and a cross-eyed obsessive knitter—with an extraordinary plot of their own.

Will the women save the day? Or will Reseng be next on the kill list? Who will look after his cats, Reading Lamp and Book Stand? Who planted the bomb in his toilet? How much beer can he drink before he forgets it all?

The Plotters is a cracking noir thriller combined with the soul, wit and lyricism of a highly original literary voice.

Un-su Kim is the rising star of Korean literature. With shades of Murakami, The Plotters is a complex, fascinating moral tale about the changing of the guard in a corrupt underworld—a page-turner filled with black humour and compassion for a fallen world.

So a bit of backstory for you: this was written eight years ago in Korea, but upon its recent translation, it’s been off the charts successful and publishing houses WANT it. But the author? Is on a sailing boat for eight months since last December, researching his next novel. So he’s got no idea how successful his translation is.

An assassin who breaks the rules, and then meets a trio of women… but  how do the women tie into all this? There are an interesting bunch of questions in that blurb aren’t there? But, I am recommending this because it’s a thriller not worried about whodunit but why was it done. 

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