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The Housewife, Valerie Keogh


Blurb

There’s no place like home” – that’s what I tell myself as I pull another flawless meal from the oven. This perfect house on a quiet street was supposed to be my sanctuary, a place to recover. But everything changed the moment I saw that woman in the charity shop. She triggered something dark, buried deep within my memory…

Now I’ve started forgetting small things, like locking the front door.

And bigger things, like remembering to pick my little girl up from nursery.

I feel terrified every time I pass through a particular spot in our living room.
And sometimes, when I’m alone, I’m sure I can hear a baby crying…
I think the woman in the shop knows what happened to me. But if I can’t trust myself to believe she’s real, who will?

Available here

My review

NB, I wrote this review last week, before I’d seen the cover. OMG,  I just love it – the raw beauty of that blue and then the red – it just pops out at you. Even though I’ve read I’ve just gone ahead and pre ordered anyway just because of it. 

I’ve long been a fan of Valerie Keogh, my go to writer for nail-biting reads. Okay, so her Hudson/Connelly does make me feel a little uncomfortable but there’s something fundamentally wrong about a psychopathic murdering nurse don’t you think? Her Garda West series, more formulaic but with stunning locations and unusual plots is pure genius. 

But enough about that. The Housewife is the second of Keogh’s thrillers under the auspices of Bookouture. Secrets Between Us, my favourite thriller of 2018, her first. But this one is very different.

I don’t know if any of you are fans of Irish literature but there’s shades of that famous of all famous Irish playwrights, Seán O’Casey’s Kitchen-sink masterpiece, ‘Juno and the Paycock’, to be found amongst the pages of The Housewife. Keogh has taken a situation, a day in the life of a housewife and turned it inside-out and upside-down. After all there’s little to find that’s exciting in the day-to-day chores of washing, ironing, shopping and cleaning for a husband and small child – rewarding perhaps but exciting? No. But there’s something lurking, some element just out of the corner of the reader’s eye that is uncomfortable. Amongst the cooking and cleaning the husband is a little too controlling. The drive for Diane to be that impossible of all things – perfect – unsettling. And when she decides to try and get back into the workplace after a period of ill-health? Tragic.

There are no heroes between the pages of Keogh’s novel. There are no millionaires, yachts, blonde bombshells or other unrealistic characters. Here Keogh has made the ordinary extraordinary. The monotonous, riveting. Housework will never seem the same again and housewives? They each have a story to tell. 

More please. 

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Death Comes To Call – Clare Chase

Blurb

When a promising local artist disappears, the victim’s brother begs Detective Tara Thorpe to take the case. It seems there’s no evidence of foul play… he simply disappeared without a trace.
Tara agrees to do some digging… never mind that her unorthodox approach to policing has got a few of her colleagues’ backs up. Amongst them is her former supervisor Detective Patrick Wilkins… he’s had enough of Tara calling the shots and will do anything to knock her down. She must be careful.
At least she has an ally in their boss, Detective Garstin Blake. He’ll always back her hunches. If anything, they work together too well… at least, that’s the rumour around the station these days.

When a body of a young woman is found frozen near the fens, Tara’s evidence suddenly becomes key to solving a high-profile murder. Is their missing artist still a victim… or in fact a clever murderer with a deadly plan?

Available here

My review. 

This is my fifth read by Clare Chase so you can probably guess I’m a huge fan of her writing. Tara Thorp and her boss, Blake get tangled up in a case of missing artist, Luke. But it’s not his body that turns up but that of art gallery hostess, Freya Cross. 

This is a riveting, ‘bum stuck in chair’ read where the complex characters add an extra layer of excitement to what is already a white-knuckle read. Chase drags you into her world, kicking and screaming, playing with you emotions until conclusions have been drawn and all loose ends tied off in a pretty bow. I like the added element of Blake’s relationship with Tara. It added an extra dimension to an already well-thought-out plot. 

Here we don’t just get a crime thriller. We also get a flutter of romance and more office politics than you can shake a stick at. 10 stars.