Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Temporary Nature Of Our Being-ness


When Darkness Falls (Jack Swyteck Series) by James Grippando


Paperback:  Miami attorney Jack Swyteck is back in the lightning-paced thriller When Darkness Falls (2007).  This time Jack gets more than he bargained for when he defends a homeless man who calls himself Falcon.

Falcon is full of contradictions.  He lives in a car but he has access to a lot of cash.  And he has an obsession with the Miami mayor's daughter.  First, Falcon threatens to jump from the top of the Bay of Biscayne bridge unless he can talk to Alina Mendoza.  He ends up in jail, but surprisingly has the bail money and is on the street again in a few hours, earning Jack the enmity of the powerful and vindictive mayor.

Then Falcon strikes again. 

Hours after his release, the body of a brutally murdered woman is found in the trunk of Falcon's car. Then Falcon crashes Jack's car into a motel and takes hostage the woman inside, plus Theo, in the process killing one policeman and injuring another.  Now Jack's in a pulse-pounding race to save Theo and the woman but what Jack does not know is that the deadly scenario that is unfolding is much bigger than Falcon, much bigger than he could possibly imagine.

When Darkness Falls is the sixth book in the riveting Jack Swyteck series set in Florida, USA.

About the author:  James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and later served as counsel at Boies Schiller and Flexner LLP.  He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he is a dog.

Rating:  5/5

Got The Look (Jack Swyteck Series) by James Grippando


Paperback:  In Got the Look (2006), Swyteck is up against a killer who is so fiendishly clever and diabolical that even Jack may have at last met his match.

FBI agent Andie Henning is tracking a ruthless kidnapper plaguing south Florida, one who is out to prove that all human life can be valued in dollars and cents.  But at every turn, he has slipped through her net.  This time he has taken the wife of one of the state's richest horse breeders and is asking a ransom of $1 million.

The stakes go up when Andie finds the woman dead.

Enter Jack Swyteck.

He has a new girlfriend, Mia, and life is good until she goes missing.  Then Jack gets a one-two punch:  he discovers that his lover is married, and her rich husband gets a ransom demand that pegs Mia as the kidnapper's latest victim.  Worst of all, her husband knows all about her affair with Jack, and he decides to pay the kidnapper exactly what his cheating wife is worth:  nothing.

Feeling deceived, Jack at first resists getting involved.  But as secrets about Mia's strange marriage and mysterious past unfold, Jack is in for a twisty ride that may bring him face-to-face with a madman.

Got The Look is the fifth book in the winning Jack Swyteck legal series set in Florida, USA.

About the author:  James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and later served as counsel at Boies Schiller and Flexner LLP.  He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he is a dog.

Rating:  5/5

Monday, 29 January 2018

Talent and Genius


Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris


Paperback:  Jack - handsome, dedicated lawyer, loving husband.

Grace - elegant, consummate housewife, prisoner.

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace:  he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance.  You would like to get to know Grace better.  But it is difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart.  Some might call this true love.

Picture this:  a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing.  They appear to be in their element while entertaining.  And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week.  Grace wants to go, but knows she never will.  Her friends call - so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone?  And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage?

Or the perfect lie?

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

About the author:  Internationally bestselling author B A Paris grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France, where she spent some years working as a trader in an international bank before re-training as a teacher and setting up a language school with her husband.  Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks.  Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters.  Behind Closed Doors (2016) is her first novel.

Rating:  5/5

Stable Genius Act


Sunday, 14 January 2018

Recollections


Fire and Fury (US Politics) by Michael Wolff


Hardback:  With extraordinary access to the Trump White House, Michael Wolff tells the inside story of the most controversial presidency of our time, to say the least.

The first nine months of Donald Trump's term were stormy, outrageous - and absolutely mesmerizing. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.

In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations:

— What President Trump's staff really thinks of him
— What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama
— Why FBI director James Comey was really fired
— Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn't be in the same room
— Who is really directing the Trump administration's strategy in the wake of Bannon's firing
— What the secret to communicating with Trump is
— What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers

Never before has a presidency so divided the American people.  Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury (2018) shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion, and again, that is the least of it.

About the author:  Michael Wolff is an American author, essayist, and journalist who is a regular columnist and contributor to USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, and the UK edition of GQ.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Will Donald Trump Destroy The Presidency?


The Book Of Mirrors by E O Chirovici


Paperback:  The Book of Mirrors (2017) is a gripping psychological thriller full of hidden fragments and dark reflections.

How would you piece together a murder?

Do you trust other people's memories?

Do you trust your own?

Should you?

Princeton, 1987:  renowned psychologist Professor Joseph Weider is brutally murdered.

New York, 25 years later:  literary agent Peter Katz receives a manuscript. Or is it a confession?

Today:  unearth the secrets of The Book of Mirrors and discover why your memory is the most dangerous weapon of all.

Inspired by false memories from his childhood and written in the author's second language, remarkably The Book of Mirrors nearly wasn't published at all.  Having been rejected in the US, E O Chirovici took to the novel to a small UK publisher who advised him to try just one more time to get it to a wider readership.  He did, and The Book of Mirrors was immediately signed by a literary agent, sparking a UK auction and world-wide rights sales. 

About the author:  Eugen O Chirovici had a career in mass-media, running a national daily newspaper and then a TV news channel.  He has published over 1 000 articles in Romania and abroad.  He currently holds three honorary doctorates (in Economics, Communication & History) and is a member of the Romanian Academy of Science.  He is the recipient of several prizes for journalism.  The Book of Mirrors is his first novel in English.  He now lives in Brussels with his wife. 

Rating:  5/5

Friday, 12 January 2018

An Exorcist Explains The Demonic (Spiritual Warfare/Angelology and Demonology) by Fr Gabriele Amorth with Stefano Stimamiglio


Paperback:  From Fr Gabriele Amorth, the renowned exorcist in Rome, comes this powerful, eye-opening book on the deadly antics of Satan and his fallen angels, as well as spiritual remedies for each.

These pages provide a basic orientation in the dark phenomenology, succinctly explaining Catholic doctrine on the fallen angels and the innumerable manifestations.  Among the many questions Fr Amorth answers in this book are:

Where does the Evil One dwell in the human body?
How does the Devil appear and what does he look like?
What are the powers that comes from Satan?
Do the sins of ancestors influence our life?
How are spiritual evils contracted?
What is the state of souls in purgatory?
What is the role of sacramentals in fighting off temptation?
When should exorcisms and prayers of healing be performed?
What happens during an exorcism?
What you should do when a family is being attacked by a demon?

An Exorcist Explains The Demonic:  The Antics of Satan and His Army Of Fallen Angels (2016) is translated from the Italian by Charlotte J Fasi.

About the author:  Fr Gabriele Amorth is a priest of the Congregation of San Paolo.  Fr Amorth is internationally recognized as the world's greatest exorcist.  His mission of expelling the devil through incessant dedication has earned the gratitude of thousands of believers and the esteem of the most important authorities of the Catholic Church.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Slow Horses (Jackson Lamb Series) by Mick Herron


Paperback:  Let us be clear about this much at least:  Slough House is not in Slough, nor is it a house.  Slough House is Jackson Lamb's kingdom;  a dumping ground for members of the intelligence service who have screwed up:  left a secret file on a train, blown a surveillance, or become drunkenly unreliable.  They are the service's poor relations - the slow horses - and bitterest among them is River Cartwright, whose days are spent transcribing mobile phone conversations.

But when a young man is abducted, and it is threatened that he will be beheaded live on the Internet, River sees an opportunity to redeem himself. 

Is the victim who he first appears to be?

And what is the kidnappers' connection with a disgraced journalist?

As the clock ticks on the execution, River finds that everyone involved has their own agenda.  And unless the slow horses can prove they are not as useless as they are thought to be, a young man's death is going to echo around the world.

Slow Horses (2010) is the first instalment in one of the finest spook fiction series set in England.

About the author:  Mick Herron is a novelist and short story writer whose books include the Sarah Tucker/Zoë Boehm series and the standalone novel Reconstruction (2008).  His work has been shortlisted for the Macavity, Barry and Shamus awards, and his novella Dolphin Junction was joint winner of the 2009 Ellery Queen Readers Award.  His second standalone, Nobody Walks, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2015, and was one of Booklist Magazine’s Best 101 Crime Novels of the Decade.

He is the author of the acclaimed Jackson Lamb series, the first of which, the Steel Dagger-nominated Slow Horses, was hailed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the “the twenty greatest spy novels of all time”.  The second in the series, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger, and was picked by the Sunday Times as one of the best 25 crime novels of the past five years.  The third, Real Tigers, was shortlisted for both the Gold and Steel Daggers, for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, and for the 2017 Macavity Award.  It won the Last Laugh Award at Crimefest 2017, for the best humorous crime novel of 2016.

Spook Street, the fourth Jackson Lamb novel – praised by Ian Rankin for its “sublime dialogue and frictionless plotting” – won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2017.

The fifth Jackson Lamb novel, London Rules, will appear on 15 February 2018.

Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford. He writes full time.

Rating:  5/5

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

2018 Commitments


New Year's Resolutions


Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf


Paperback:  Our Souls At Night (2015) is a spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.

In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbour, Louis Waters.

Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades;  in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife.

His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with.

Their brave adventures - their pleasures and their difficulties - are hugely involving and truly resonant, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final instalment to this beloved writer's enduring contribution to American literature.

About the author:  Kent Haruf was born in eastern Colorado.  He received his Bachelors of Arts in literature from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1965 and his Masters of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1973.  For two years, he taught English in Turkey with the Peace Corps and his other jobs have included a chicken farm in Colorado, a construction site in Wyoming, a rehabilitation hospital in Colorado, a hospital in Arizona, a library in Iowa, an alternative high school in Wisconsin, and universities in Nebraska and Illinois.

Haruf is the author of Plainsong (1999), which received the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Maria Thomas Award in Fiction, and The New Yorker Book Award.  Plainsong was also a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award.  His novel, The Tie That Binds (1984), received a Whiting Foundation Award and a special citation from the Pen/Hemingway Foundation.  In 2006, Haruf was awarded the Dos Passos Prize for Literature.

All of his novels are set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado.  Holt is loosely based on Yuma, Colorado, an early residence of Haruf in the 1980s. 

Haruf lived with his wife, Cathy, in Salida, Colorado, with their three daughters.  He died of cancer on 30 November 2014.

Rating:  5/5

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito


Hardback:  Quicksand (2017) is an incisive courtroom thriller and a drama that raises questions about the nature of love, the disastrous side effects of guilt, and the function of justice.

A mass shooting has taken place at a prep school in Stockholm’s wealthiest suburb.  Eighteen-year-old Maja Norberg is charged for her involvement in the massacre that left her boyfriend and her best friend dead.  She has spent nine months in jail awaiting trial.  Now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom.

How did Maja - popular, privileged, and a top student - become a cold-blooded killer in the eyes of the public?

What did Maja do?

Or is it what she failed to do that brought her here?

Malin Persson Giolito has written a perceptive portrayal of a teenage girl and a blistering indictment of a society that is coming apart.  A work of great literary sensibility, Quicksand touches on wealth, class, immigration, and the games children play among themselves when parents are no longer attuned to their struggles.

Quicksand (2017) is named the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Crime Writers Academy.  It is translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles.

About the author:  Malin Persson Giolito was born in Stockholm in 1969, and grew up in Djursholm, Sweden.  She holds a degree in law from Uppsala University and has worked as a lawyer for the biggest law firm in the Nordic region and as an official for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.  She is now a full-time writer and has written four novels including Quicksand, her English debut.  Persson Giolito lives with her husband and three daughters in Brussels.

Rating:  4/5

Sunday, 7 January 2018

"Being, Like, Really Smart"


"Stable Genius"


The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty


Paperback:  Did one act define who you were forever?  

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret (2013) is a letter that is not meant to be read.

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died...

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death.  Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well.  Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all - she is an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother of three.  Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her:  Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia - or each other - but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses - and, ultimately, ourselves.

About the author:  Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist's Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies.

Her breakout novel The Husband's Secret sold over three million copies worldwide, was a number 1 UK bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and has been translated into over 40 languages.  It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list.  CBS Films has acquired the film rights.

With the launch of Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list.  Little Lies is now an Emmy-winning HBO limited series starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, Adam Scott and Zoe Kravitz set in Sydney, Australia.

Writing as L M Moriarty, Liane has also written a children's book series, The Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella, The Shocking Trouble on the Planet of Shobble and The Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy. 

Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.

Rating:  5/5

Murder In Clichy (Aimée Leduc Series) by Cara Black


Hardback:  Spirited Aimée Leduc, a private investigator based in Paris, has been introduced to the Cao Dai temple by her partner, René, who urges her to learn to meditate as a counterbalance to her frenetic lifestyle.  There a Vietnamese nun asks her, as a favour, to pick up a package across town in the Clichy quarter.

Aimée is to hand over a check and bring the package back to the temple.  But this act of kindness ends in a stranger's death and leaves her with a bullet wound in the arm, a check for 50 000 francs and a trove of ancient jade artifacts whose provenance is a mystery.

The French secret service, a group of veterans of the war in Indochina, some wealthy ex-colonials and contending international oil companies all claim the jade.  They will stop at nothing to gain possession of it.  And the nun has disappeared.

Since the incident in which she was temporarily blinded, in Murder In The Bastille, Aimée has promised both her partner and her fiancé that in future she will avoid danger.  But somehow it continues to seek her out.

Murder In Clichy (2005) is the fifth book in the sophisticated, well-paced and intensely Parisienne Aimée Leduc series.

About the author:  Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 17 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris.  Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris - the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture - and invitations to be the Guest of Honour at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime.  With more than 400 000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew.

Cara was born in Chicago but has lived in California’s Bay Area since she was five years old.  Before turning to writing full-time, she tried her hand at a number of jobs:  she was a barista in the Basel train station café in Switzerland, taught English in Japan, studied Buddhism in Dharamsala in Northern India, and worked as a bar girl in Bangkok (only pouring drinks!).  After studying Chinese history at Sophia University in Tokyo - where she met her husband, Jun, a bookseller, potter, and amateur chef - she obtained her teaching credential at San Francisco State College, and went on to work as a preschool director and then as an agent of the federally funded Head Start program, which sent her into San Francisco’s Chinatown to help families there - often sweatshop workers - secure early care and early education for their children.  Each of these jobs was amazing and educational in a different way, and the Aimée Leduc books are covered in fingerprints of Cara’s various experiences.

Her love of all things French was kindled by the French-speaking nuns at her Catholic high school, where Cara first encountered French literature and went crazy for the work of Prix Goncourt winner Romain Gary.  Her junior year in high school, she wrote him a fan letter - which he answered, and which inspired her to make her first trip to Paris, where her idol took her out for coffee and a cigar. Since then, she has been to Paris many, many times.

On each visit she entrenches herself in a different part of the city, learning its secret history.  She has posed as a journalist to sneak into closed areas, trained at a firing range with real Paris flics, gotten locked in a bathroom at the Victor Hugo museum, and - just like Aimée - gone down into the sewers with the rats (she can never pass up an opportunity to see something new, even when the timing is not ideal - she was headed to a fancy dinner right afterwards and had a spot of bother with her shoes).

For the scoop on real Paris crime, she takes the flics out for drinks and dinner to hear their stories - but it usually turns into a long evening, which is why she sticks with espresso.

Rating:  5/5

Murder In The Bastille (Aimée Leduc Series) by Cara Black


Paperback:  Aimée Leduc is all dressed up in her new Chinese silk jacket for dinner at an elegant restaurant in the Bastille district, but is chagrined to see the woman seated at the very next table is wearing an identical jacket.

When the woman leaves her mobile phone on the table, Aimée follows her to return it, but is attacked in the shadowy Passage de la Boule Blanche and blinded.

The woman she was following is dead.

Was her attacker a serial killer targeting showy blondes, as the police insist?

Was he really after the other woman?

Or was Aimée his intended victim?

Murder In The Bastille (2003) is the fourth instalment in the atmospheric and suspenseful PI Aimée Leduc investigation series set in Paris.

About the author:  Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 17 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris.  Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris - the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture - and invitations to be the Guest of Honour at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime.  With more than 400 000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew.

Cara was born in Chicago but has lived in California’s Bay Area since she was five years old.  Before turning to writing full-time, she tried her hand at a number of jobs:  she was a barista in the Basel train station café in Switzerland, taught English in Japan, studied Buddhism in Dharamsala in Northern India, and worked as a bar girl in Bangkok (only pouring drinks!).  After studying Chinese history at Sophia University in Tokyo - where she met her husband, Jun, a bookseller, potter, and amateur chef - she obtained her teaching credential at San Francisco State College, and went on to work as a preschool director and then as an agent of the federally funded Head Start program, which sent her into San Francisco’s Chinatown to help families there - often sweatshop workers - secure early care and early education for their children.  Each of these jobs was amazing and educational in a different way, and the Aimée Leduc books are covered in fingerprints of Cara’s various experiences.

Her love of all things French was kindled by the French-speaking nuns at her Catholic high school, where Cara first encountered French literature and went crazy for the work of Prix Goncourt winner Romain Gary.  Her junior year in high school, she wrote him a fan letter - which he answered, and which inspired her to make her first trip to Paris, where her idol took her out for coffee and a cigar. Since then, she has been to Paris many, many times.

On each visit she entrenches herself in a different part of the city, learning its secret history.  She has posed as a journalist to sneak into closed areas, trained at a firing range with real Paris flics, gotten locked in a bathroom at the Victor Hugo museum, and - just like Aimée - gone down into the sewers with the rats (she can never pass up an opportunity to see something new, even when the timing is not ideal - she was headed to a fancy dinner right afterwards and had a spot of bother with her shoes).

For the scoop on real Paris crime, she takes the flics out for drinks and dinner to hear their stories - but it usually turns into a long evening, which is why she sticks with espresso.

Rating:  5/5

Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck Series) by James Grippando


Paperback:  The fourth Jack Swyteck mystery finds the Miami defense lawyer in unfamiliar territory.

When a woman asks him to defend her against the charge of murdering her husband, Jack is initially reluctant:  the victim is a U.S. naval officer;  the crime took place at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay;  and Jack has almost no experience with military courtroom procedures.

But the woman has a very persuasive reason for Jack to take the case (all right, it is a little far-fetched, but it works), and soon Jack finds himself fighting for his client's life in an arena that is brand new to him.

Hear No Evil (2004) is a tight, smartly constructed mystery - with military overtones - that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.  It is the fourth instalment in the well-written Jack Swyteck legal series set in Florida, USA.

About the author:  James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and later served as counsel at Boies Schiller and Flexner LLP.  He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he is a dog.

Rating:  5/5

Friday, 5 January 2018

The Prisoner's Dilemma


First Friday of 2018


City of Friends by Joanna Trollope


Paperback:  City of Friends (2017) is the number one bestselling twentieth novel from the highly acclaimed author, Joanna Trollope.

She glanced at her phone again.  There were appeals from the girls, from her colleagues, a text from Steve reading with uncharacteristic imperiousness, 'Call me.'  She couldn't.  She couldn't call anyone.  She leaned forward, gripping the edge of the bench, and stared at the ground.  God, she thought, am I losing my mind?  Is this what happens when you lose your job?

The day Stacey Grant loses her job feels like the last day of her life.  Or at least, the only life she had ever known.  For who was she if not a City high-flyer, Senior Partner at one of the top private equity firms in London?

As Stacey starts to reconcile her old life with the new - one without professional achievements or meetings, but instead, long days at home with her dog and ailing mother, waiting for her successful husband to come home - she at least has The Girls to fall back on.  Beth, Melissa and Gaby.  The girls, now women, had been best friends from the early days of university right through their working lives, and for all the happiness and heartbreaks in between.

But these career women all have personal problems of their own, and when Stacey's redundancy forces a betrayal to emerge that was supposed to remain secret, their long cherished friendships will be pushed to their limits.

Stylishly written and perfectly enjoyable, City of Friends tackles contemporary issues about women, career, and whether women can have it all.

About the author:  Joanna Trollope is the author of nineteen highly acclaimed and bestselling novels, including The Rector's Wife, Marrying The Mistress and Daughters-in-Law.  She has also written a study of women in the British Empire, Britannia's Daughters, and ten historical novels under the pseudonym of Caroline Harvey.  She was appointed OBE in 1996, and a trustee of the National Literacy Trust in 2012.  She has chaired the Whitbread and Orange Awards, as well as being a judge of many other literature prizes;  she has been part of two DCMS panels on public libraries and is patron of numerous charities, including Meningitis Now, and Chawton House Library.  In 2014, she updated Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility as the opening novel in the Austen project.

Rating:  4/5