Once I have read an exceptional good book, I find it hard to find something to read again, And this year I have been enjoying some of the best sellers _ New York Times bestsellers.

First of course Dead Wake by Erik Larson, the extremely well researched history of the sinking of the Lusitania. But I have written about this in a previous blog and ARK has also concurred with me – this is a brilliant book, not to be missed.

dead wake

Then I picked up The Girl on the Train, quite an unusual murder mystery. Although this book will not win the Pulitzer Prize for literature it is still an engaging story. A fun-read. ‘ Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages.”—The Boston Globe

Alfred Hitchcock may have said all there is to say about the fallibility of making assumptions about what you see through a window, but, like most important lessons, this one can bear some repeating. To the limited scope of a window frame, the former London journalist Paula Hawkins, in her debut thriller, “The Girl on the Train,” offers a few additional obfuscations. First, her novel’s protagonist, Rachel, looks out through the window of a moving train on her daily commute. Second, Rachel is your basic hot mess: depressed, unemployed, still in mourning for the death of her marriage and prone to alcoholic blackouts that coincide with critical moments in the tale of a missing woman later found dead. Rachel might as well be wearing a sign that reads “Unreliable Narrator.” New York Times review.

The girl on the train

The next book was Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days – whosebewitching debut takes us from the cosy confines of a London home to the dark heart of the forest, following the breadcrumb trail of eight-year-old Peggy Hillcoat. […] Like all good fairy tales, this is a book filled with suspense and revelation, light and shadow and the overwhelming feeling that nothing is quite as it seems in the Hillcoats’ lives. It’s spellbinding, scary stuff.
The Sunday Express

Is it all possible? I had to think about it. Are the characters for real, even the imagined friends? Oh yes for sure. But if you could survive that long in the wilderness I doubt very much.

our endless numbered days

And then Hausfrau. Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel, but remember that Essbaum is first and fore mostly a poet which explains the beautiful prose.

Hausfrau

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  “Sexy and insightful, this gorgeously written novel opens a window into one woman’s desperate soul.”—People
There are echoes in Hausfrau of those other frustrated wives, Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina. Here, as in those novels, we expect tragedy at the turn of every page. 

So now I am reading for the second time ASA Harrison’s The Silent wife.

(I almost never read books twice so this should tell you something. The other book that I read twice was Julian Barnes A Sense of an Ending – superb.) “Harrison has spun a masterfully suspenseful tale in which the main plot point is given away from the beginning – no easy feat. It’s a story of the end of a marriage, the end of love and how long buried secrets can cast a long shadow.” – The Cleveland Plain Deale

Beautifully and superbly written. And had she lived I would imagine she would have gone on to   win many literary prizes.

None of these above should ever be compared with the third rate book (and very poor movie) Gone Girl. Please.

 I was never a fan of ‘Gone Girl’, and am glad I did not know that this novel, ‘The Silent Wife’ was being compared to ‘Gone Girl’. This is an entirely separate novel, connected only by the season, a summer novel/thriller. Amazon Review.