For the Love of Books, a look at what's new and exciting in the world of reading

Archive for January 2016

What’s the worst thing you can imagine? The loss of someone you love? When Rena Sutherland awakens from a come she realizes her daughter is missing. Gone for four days and no one has been searching for her. The fear, grief and anger are almost too much to bear. With the help of Christine Emmett, a victim support officer, Rena gets involved with a group of women who are stuck in the same nightmare. Their support group, six women who all have lost daughters, meet to try to cope with their loss. I really enjoyed this story, although as a mother, I found parts of it gut wrenching. Hayton examines not only the mystery of the disappearances, but the fall out for those left behind


Return to Florida with paralegal and diver Hayden Kent. In this outing, her mentor and good friend Dana calls to tell Hayden that her son, Mike has been found dead, washed up on Pigeon Key. Police surmise something went wrong on Mike’s dive as he was found clothed in his scuba gear, but Hayden is suspicious. Mike had recently discovered the wreck of a Spanish galleon, rumored to contain untold riches. That kind of wealth might well drive someone to murder. When Hayden dives on the wreck, she discovers that the rumors of gold appear to be true. And with the discovery that Mike had two wills, both filed the same day, there are plenty of suspects. I love this series. The Florida Keys setting is beautiful, and Hayden is the kind of woman I would like to hang around with

Reading this fascinating book is like eating popcorn, you just can’t stop. I found myself reeling off little known animal facts to anyone who was nearby – Did you know ants don’t have lungs? Or that pigs cannot look up to the sky? Accompanied by droll, adorable pen and ink drawing of animals (some accompanied by witty little cartoon thought bubbles), this book is a must for any animal lover, whatever their age. Highly recommended

Abby and Ned are exhausted from renovating their old Victorian when Leslie approaches Abby about looking after Ellie for a few days while Leslie’s husband has surgery. Looking after Ellie quickly becomes a good excuse to get away, and Ned wrangles a trip to Cape Cod. There, Abby wants to recharge physically and mentally. Hopefully she won’t have any ghosts dropping in while she’s on vacation. But Abby begins to see visions of a woman, a dead woman. Abby usually has some connection to the spirits she sees, but her family has no history on the Cape, do they? Abby calls in her parents to help answer her questions and hopefully to find a way to put an uneasy spirit to rest

Emily had the life she always wanted. She’s married her true love and life has nowhere to go but up, the sky is the limit. Then her mother-in-law gets ill, seriously ill, and all Emily’s husband’s love and attention turns to his mother, leaving Emily feeling shut out in the cold. She begins to spend more and more time at work and after a tempestuous affair with her boss, discovers she’s carrying his child. Emily has fallen in love with her boss and is all set to tell her husband she’s leaving him when her lover is killed on 9/11. Unable to have the future she wanted, Emily changes her names to Connie and moves to California where she and her daughter live a good life until a medical diagnosis leaves her no choice but to face her past. When I read the synopsis of this book, I was prepared to hate Emily/Connie, a woman who seemed to be able to turn her back on people in need and cast aside those she professed to love. After reading the book, however, I was able to understand and maybe even identify with a woman whose world explodes around her. Sometimes people just do what they have to do, and it’s a testament to Hooper’s skills as an author that she can make readers sympathize with an unsympathetic character

Durrant continues her “Dead” series with DI Calladine and DS Ruth Bayliss on the trail of a ruthless killer. A group of homeless people has set up an encampment in an old cotton mill, reminiscent of the Occupy movement of a few years ago. There are rumors that one of the men there has been killed, but police cannot find a body, only a bloody coat. Meanwhile the organizers of the encampment have been getting bones in the mail, animal bones it turns out, but still, very disturbing. Is there a connection to the murder? Ruth and Calladine will try to find out while struggling with their own lives. Calladine in particular is having a hard time getting sorted with his new boss, someone he does not like…or trust. Durrant’s strength are her characters, who continue to grow and develop with each book in the series

After finding her boyfriend in a compromising position with another woman, Laurie decides to leave London behind and head home to Cornwall, to Sunset Bay and her sister. Mia Chapman has made a success of both she and her grandmother’s dreams in running Dolly’s Diner, a spot where the locals, and the visitors love to hang out. She’s not that thrilled to see her sister Laurie return. As far as Mia’s concerned, Laurie bailed at a time when Mia and her family needed Laurie most. Coming home now won’t change anything. Or will it? Once as close as only sisters can be, Laurie tries to find a way back into her sister’s heart. This is a lovely story, with Cornwall as a backdrop, and two sisters who finally find their way home