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Book reviews by GJ Williams (the aspiring author)

It has been said that ‘sheer luxury is a damn good book and the time to read it’. The Sassistas agree. More and more of those ‘damn good books’ are written by women, whether they are telling a powerful story or giving pragmatic advice. We will be looking at top selling, self-published, new and well-read. And if you have read something which you think will help, enchant, interest or even challenge the Sassistas…let us know.

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes

Book review

Following on from the huge success of psychological thrillers such as Before I go to Sleep, The Girl on The Train and Apple Tree Yard this genre of thriller is certainly dominating the bestseller lists. These books may be page turners, keeping us excited and enthralled - but they are nothing new. Sassy decided to take a look back at an early 20thcentury psychological thriller to see how they have changed over the decades.

Secrets of the Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

Book review by GJ Williams

When Ruth and her husband pull up the floorboards of the old Scottish manse they are renovating and find a secret which has laid buried beneath for over a century they unlock a tragedy which ripped apart lives. Ruth, already trying to come to terms with her own past, becomes fixated on finding out the truth of the contents of the box. As she delves deeper she is forced to confront her own tragedy.

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Book Review by GJ Williams

With the sudden splurge in psychological thrillers with less than perfect women, it is easy to think this is a new genre. But think again. The doyenne of the style, complete with ‘the bitch’ character was Daphne du Maurier – she of Rebecca and Jamaica Inn fame.

Christmas at the Vicarage by Rebecca Boxall

Book review by GJ Williams

This seemed the perfect gift for a cold Christmas in front of the fire with a large sherry and a pair of cosy slippers.

The Gift by Louise Jensen

Book Review by GJ Williams

The Gift centres on Jenna, the recent recipient of a new heart donated after the tragic death of a young girl. As Jenna moves through the stages of recovery, far from the expected wellbeing from having had a second start in life, she is dogged by strange dreams, irrational fears and apparent flashbacks.

The Crooked Spire by Chris Nickson

Book review by GJ Williams

The Medieval Crime Mystery genre is my favourite. Most of us tend to think of the big-guns such as S.J. Parris and C. J. Samson but there are many more authors out there creating good tales in shorter books which are often more accessible and easy going than the ‘masters’ of the genre. Chris Nickson’s John Carpenter series falls into this category. You may not have all the backdrop of social history and current politics, but you do get a simple tale, well told.

The Game you Played by Anni Taylor

Book review

When her two year old son Tommy disappears from a Sydney playground, Phoebe Basko’s life starts spiralling out of control, relying heavily on drink and sleeping tablets to get through each day. Then, six months later, Phoebe starts receiving cryptic notes – clues, all in rhyme and based on the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme.

The Twelfth Angel by Og Mandino

Book review

What a wonderfully uplifting book.

This book, originally published in 1993, tells the story of John Harding, a successful businessman with a gorgeous and happy family, who returns to live in his hometown of Boland, New Hampshire. However, tragedy strikes when his wife and son are killed in a tragic car accident and John’s perfect life is shattered. He becomes suicidal, but just when he is about to end it all an old school friend turns up to offer some kind words and ask a favour.

Lie with Me by Sabine Durrant

Book review by G.J. Williams

Like just about every psychological thriller coming onto the shelves this is presented as a ‘must read’ for those who loved 'The Girl on the Train’, ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Widow.’ As might be expected, people are beginning to rail about the strategy to associate all new titles with these successes – marketing departments beware the intelligent reader!

To me this book was Marmite - and I flip flopped between love and hate all the way through.

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Book review by GJ Williams

As an aspiring writer I love to deep dive into a book. A book which you cannot put down because you just need to know what happens next is a treat. The Widow has had mixed reviews on Bookread, but for me it was one of those ‘keep reading’ books.

Killer Women Crime Club Anthology #1

Review by GJ Williams

This is the first anthology of the Killer Women Crime Club – a group of London based, female crime writers who have come together to not only write, but put on events and publications in their favourite arena – women in crime. If you are new to the crime genre, this is a perfect taster book to get a feel for fifteen great writers, their style and their voice. If you are a died in the wool crime lover, then it is a potpourri of tales which you can dip into, Tom-Thumb style, whether you have five minutes on a train or a blissful hour alone to immerse yourself into a book. With a foreword by Val McDermid and lauding by Peter James, it has to be a good buy.

Hot Women Rock

Review of Pat Duckworth’s book on how to find your midlife mojo.

There are more women over 50 in the workplace than ever before. Today, 64% of us are salaried compared to only 42% of us in 1985. But are we enjoying it? It seems not. A survey by the Health and Safety Executive found that women aged 45-54 reported higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression than any other age group. Now, there may be a number of non-work reasons including life and physical changes, responsibilities for caring, kids leaving home. But for all too many of us, we are just sick of our jobs. When did you last …

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