Proper books I’ve enjoyed – April

Stack of books

Here are three new books I’ve enjoyed reading this month:

Three Perfect Liars – Heidi Perks

I’ve enjoyed the previous novels from Heidi Perks, the twists of Now You See Her and the intrigue of Come Back For Me, and the new release cleverly combines the two. The story starts at the end, with a boutique office building on fire and three women watching it unfold. Was it an accident or something more sinister? We then jump back, not all the way to the beginning, but near to the fire. We first meet Laura, who is going back to work after the birth of her first child. Her circumstances and emotions will ring true with many readers, you can’t help but empathise with her career vs mum guilt. We then meet Mia and Janie, who have their own stories, and secrets. Whilst the story unfolds at a pace, the answers are revealed slowly, and sometimes unexpectedly. As with Heidi Perks’ other novels, you are very unlikely to be able to predict everything and that’s part of the enjoyment. As a working mum, the situations in the book are very familiar and that added to the intrigue. I’ve certainly looked at some of my colleagues in a different light since finishing it!

What Have I Done? – Laura Dockrill

The subject matter of this book / memoir is not something that would immediately appeal, and for that reason I put off reading it for a while. Alongside that, I’ve had my own experience of maternal mental health issues, and like so many other parents, it can take months and even years to face the prospect of reliving this. Laura’s story is similar to hundreds and thousands of new mums, but nothing can prepare you for what actually happens. There’s nothing in the parenting manuals or on jolly social media posts about the true horror of maternal or post-partum mental health. Which is why is comes as such a massive shock; why you feel that it is just happening to you; and why you feel so much guilt that you feel this way. Laura’s book is honest but so well written that you just want to read more, despite the uncomfortable topic. We need more books like this; ones that say hey, this happens, it’s normal and it’s life. There’s no shame in it, and you can get help and get better. What Have I Done? shows that mums are not alone in this, and that it’s an illness that can be treated and overcome. Well done Laura.

To Kill A Man – Sam Bourne

This was my first Sam Bourne novel, and boy it did not disappoint! I was a bit worried that I had not read the preceding books featuring super fixer Maggie Costello but there was plenty of back story to catch up on. The main character is lawyer Natasha Winthrop, who has a bright future ahead of her until she is attacked in her own home. The attack escalates and Natasha kills the attacker, seemingly in self-defence – but was it? The story unfolds at pace and you just can’t put it down from there. The book doesn’t hold back from some very sensitive and emotive topics, and the reader is faced with plenty of moral dilemmas. It’s so well written that it doesn’t feel uncomfortable, although some scenes will stay with you long after. I’m very pleased to have found an exciting new series to read.

*These books were provided to me as a Net Galley reviewer. Featured photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

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