A Summer to Remember by Sue Moorcroft

A Summer to Remember

I have long been a fan of Sue Moorcroft’s writing, and A Summer to Remember is yet another example of her superb storytelling.

This is no sugar-coated romance, but real characters facing, and dealing with, real-life problems.

At the beginning we feel for Clancy; her life has been turned upside down, but she is resourceful and resilient. She goes to Nelson’s Bar to lick her wounds, but comes to love the place and doesn’t want to leave.  

Sue paints a vivid picture of the North Norfolk coast and you can almost smell the salty sea air in ‘Sunny Hunny’ (Hunstanton).

The characters are well drawn and completely convincing, even the horrible ones. I particularly liked Dilys and Ernie, who stayed married but lived next door to each other, Harry and Rory, whose story is told with great sensitivity, and Nelson the dog.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy to review.   

A Lot of Nerve by Ian McCulloch

A Lot of Nerve

A Lot of Nerve is an impressive debut novel featuring small-time villain, Jonesy. Despite his ‘dodgy deals’, he is somehow a very likeable character; the reader is definitely on his side.

The story is mostly told from Jonesy’s point of view with occasional insights into the minds of others. This helps to move the story forward.

It has a striking cover, touches of humour and some wonderfully quirky characters that come to life on the page; it would be easy to imagine it turned into a movie.

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jonesy. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

All That's Dead by Stuart MacBride

All Thats Dead

I’m a huge fan of the Logan McRae series of novels and they just keep getting better.

All the familiar much-loved characters are there – Steele, Rennie and Tufty – in this topical political story about extreme Scottish nationalists.

The dark humour offsets the gruesome nature of their discoveries in this case. There is a vivid sense of place and the use of local dialect adds colour and realism – I have previously lived in this part of Scotland and Aberdeenshire jumps off the page in all its glory.

This is crime writing at its best and I hope it’s not the last we see of Logan McRae. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC to review.

A Girl's Best Friend by Jules Wake

A Girls Best Friend

I have read other books by Jules Wake (try From Italy with Love) and this is well up to her usual standard.

Ella is in a bad place at the start and just wants to hide away and get on with her book illustrations. To her horror, she discovers that looking after a dog is part of the deal when she agreed to house-sit for her godmother, Magda, who has gone travelling.

I’m more of a cat person but found myself won over by Tess and the beneficial effect she has on Ella’s life. Despite her best intentions, she is not allowed to hide away; the locals are extremely friendly and, of course, there is a handsome vet.

Ella’s backstory is gradually revealed and it becomes apparent why she had to flee to the country. The characters are well rounded, the setting is convincingly real and Tess will steal your heart. I really enjoyed A Girl’s Best Friend and will be looking out for her next one.


The Driftwood Girls by Mark Douglas-Home

The Driftwood Girls

The Driftwood Girls is the fourth novel in the ‘sea detective’ series featuring Cal McGill, an oceanographer and a very unusual investigator. I read and enjoyed the first three books several years ago, and was delighted when NetGalley accepted my request to read this one. While it works fine as a standalone, as there is enough backstory, introduced in a natural way, to make sense of what is going on, I would suggest you start with The Sea Detective, and read them in order, for a much more rewarding experience.

Told from multiple viewpoints, the novel begins slowly as Mark Douglas-Home introduces us to all the characters involved in this intricately plotted and fascinating tale. It is hard to fathom just how all the disparate strands of the plot could possibly be connected, when Cal starts to investigate the disappearance, twenty-three years previously, of Flora and Kate’s mother. No spoilers here so you’ll just have to read it for yourself.

The characters are well drawn and believable, especially the female ones; the sense of place of the various geographical locations (Edinburgh, NW Scotland, Texel island, the Suffolk coast) adds another layer to the narrative; the science is convincing and well-researched.  

If you are looking to read something a bit out of the ordinary, then I thoroughly recommend The Driftwood Girls. The complicated but entirely plausible story will keep you reading long into the night. Cal McGill is unorthodox, a bit of a loner, but makes a compelling investigator who leaves no stone unturned until he gets to the truth. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy in return for an honest review #thedriftwoodgirls #markdouglashome #netgalley