#5Books: Book recs and it’s been a quiet week

#5Books for the week ending 3 June 2018

It really has been a quiet week last week. It’s gotten steadily colder and I’ve found myself heading to bed and reading under the covers. It helps there is absolutely nothing on TV, aside from Masterchef that is of interest to me. I should Netflix something, but I haven’t had the energy this week.

Also! I’d like to add that I am entirely crushing on Gordon Ramsay after his week on our Masterchef. He literally closed his eyes and crossed his fingers when our Australian judges were delivering their verdicts on contestants’ foods on the night he was in the kitchen mentoring them.

The next day he threw a under-cooked salmon across the kitchen, but I figured he was due some sort of release!

The Other Wife

Childhood sweethearts William and Mary have been married for sixty years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both have a strong sense of right and wrong.

This is what their son, Joe O’Loughlin, has always believed. But when Joe is summoned to the hospital with news that his father has been brutally attacked, his world is turned upside down. Who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood – a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer?

Against the advice of the police, Joe launches his own investigation. As he learns more, he discovers sides to his father he never knew – and is forcibly reminded that the truth comes at a price.

A mesmerising psychological thriller from one of the greatest crime writers of today, Michael Robotham, the international bestselling author of THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS.

Praise for Michael Robotham’s writing:

‘Will have you turning the pages compulsively’ The Times

‘Robotham doesn’t just make me scared for his characters, he makes my heart ache for them’ Linwood Barclay

‘Superbly exciting … a terrific read’ Guardian

‘A nerve-shredding thriller with the heart and soul so often missing from lesser crime and suspense novels. I couldn’t stop reading, yet I didn’t want Audie’s story to end. Robotham is an absolute master’ Stephen King on Life or Death

There are way too many quotes of praise in this blurb, which you would think for a writer like Robotham would not be necessary. Anyway, I digress – yes, this is book 9, but I couldn’t resist the blurb! And I choose to think of this as utterly self-contained from to whatever comes before in this series for Joe because it focuses so much on his family – and his father, and whatever lies he’s told.

Dead Heat

Detective Darren Glass is back, and the stakes are higher than ever.

When the battered body of a young Aboriginal woman washes up onto a beach at Jervis Bay, Australian Federal Police Detective Darren Glass is brought in from Canberra to investigate. Glass quickly ties the murder to the disappearance of a sailor from the nearby naval base, and is forced to partner up with a senior intelligence officer from the Royal Australian Navy.

Together they follow the trail of evidence to the red heart of Australia, where a confrontation with outlaw bikies and Aboriginal activists proves deadly. As the body count mounts and foreign links emerge, the conspiracy at the heart of the case becomes a threat to Australia’s national security, as well as regional peace.

Yes, it’s another in a series of some sort, but it’s an Australian author, and detective, so  it’s going on my TBR. There’s so much happening here, going from our capital to the outback, and involving the Navy to the Aboriginal activists and politics. How does this all come together?

Her Pretty Face

The author of the bestselling novel The Party—lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Mirandareturns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets.

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunick. And she’s a murderer.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past

Whew. Who do you think the murderer is? Is it Kate? But then I think that would be too obvious, it has to be Frances, which to be fair, feels like the obvious first choice too. The blurb asks some interesting questions at the end: why of these two strangers would one need to forgive the other? Did Amber hurt someone close to the other?

Shelter in place

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at the video-game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.

The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies’ room, hopelessly clutching her cell phone–until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

But one person wasn’t satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait–and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

I have a confession to make – I’ve never read Nora Roberts. I’ve had an image of her in my mind from her early work, which was entirely incorrect as it turns out, because she writes pretty diversely. And this? This is my type of read – a conspirator, lying in wait while everyone assumes they’re safe.

It feels weird to be enthusiastic about a book that involves a mass shooting, given the ones happening in America makes the news here every time. But, I’m also interested to see how authors handle the aftermath.

My lovely wife

Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut suspense novel about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting.

To everyone around them, Millicent and her husband have an ideal life. She is a successful real estate agent, he teaches tennis to the wealthy residents at their local country club, and they have two teenage children. They are the quintessential family, holding strong in a time when disposable relationships are the new normal. How have they survived all of these years?

One key to their success is having similar interests: Millicent and her husband enjoy the cat-and-mouse game of finding women to seduce and murder. They follow a specific set of rules and have boundaries that must not be crossed; this has allowed them to maintain an otherwise normal home life. But everything changes when Owen Oliver Riley, an infamous serial killer who terrorized their town in the past, resurfaces. As the foundation of their complicated relationship begins to crumble, Millicent’s husband wonders how well he really knows her. How far will he go to keep his family together?

Does this not sound epic and dark?? A serial killer couple, and then their relationship is threatened by another serial killer? Brings a whole new level to relationships doesn’t it?

Serial killer domestic noir! who knew!!


  • Shelter in Place and My Lovely Wife sound awesome. I’ve read some Roberts books and they’ve all be different genres. I’m just curious how she writes so many different titles. The woman must be a writing machine. You’ve been freezing and I’ve been sweating to death. It is finally going to be more seasonable here this week so maybe I’ll get the spring we skipped. Hope you have a great week!

    • Verushka says:

      Definitely — I still don’t know how writers like her and Seanan McGuire find time to do anything else but write! I hope you had a great week, Barb. It’s been raining for most of the week, and I am ready for some cold days as long as they’re not wet lol

  • Angela says:

    Ok, My Lovely Wife sounds great – sounds like there could be some humor there! When I think of a husband and wife having common interests, my mind doesn’t normally go to murder!

  • Silvia says:

    I hope you love them all! I only tried a few Nora Roberts’ books, but I’d be curious to see if the others you mentioned here work well for me, too 🙂

  • Awesome recs. Seriously I could spend a week at the beach happily reading these!

  • I do like Megan Miranda so I believe her about Her Pretty Face! Really curious about that one!

  • These are really great recommendations. I especially like the sounds of The Other Wife.

  • Winter has come! But somehow I’m still not all up with the reading. Work = Crazy, Hobbies = Increasing and Spare Time = Zero.

    I really should start watching MasterChef! I’ve started watching this year’s MKR episodes but I’m still right back at the first few episodes and I have to admit the first group has done nothing to impress me and I’m wondering if they’re all being chosen for dramatic personalities and not a damn for cooking ability or even potential. I mean, a team where one person can’t even cook and the other isn’t even of calibre for the show? Ugh. I will keep watching though because #addicted. Rant over. 😀

  • I’ve actually never read Nora Roberts either so you’re not alone. My sister loves her books so I’d like to try them but when I borrowed some of hers, the print was so tiny that my old eyes just couldn’t take it. The book sounds especially good so maybe this will be my first attempt at reading her. All of the other books sound great too!

  • Jen Mullen says:

    I’m a fan of Michael Robotham’s Joe O’Loughlin series and need The Other Wife!

  • Oh my gosh, I’ve never read Nora Roberts either! I feel like it’s sort of a crime against romancelandia at this point, since I’m such a big romance reader. But honestly, the bits of her writing that I’ve sampled weren’t really my style. Maybe Shelter in Place will be more my style!

  • The Other Wife and Her Prety Face look good! Thanks for sharing!

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