I've been reading plenty of good books recently, and here is a selection of my best reads:
Lee Child - Past Tense
I like reading a thriller from time to time, and always enjoy Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. The retired army police officer travels where the road takes him, but trouble always seems to find him. His strong sense of justice means that he can't resist looking out for the oppressed, the weak, the wronged, and putting a small part of the world to rights. Living outside the system, he's a man of few possessions, no home, no family, tough and fearless, but we can be satisfied that he will put some bad guys out of business. In Past Tense he happens by chance to pass the town where his father grew up, and he goes to have a look round out of curiosity. He begins to uncover puzzling facts about his father's past. Meanwhile, a young Canadian couple find themselves prisoners at a nearby motel, with sinister results. Inevitably, Reacher crosses their paths and a showdown begins. Tense, exciting and written in the easy, taut style characteristic of this author.
Susan Lewis - No Place to Hide
This is another author whose books I return to. She explores difficult situations with compassion. In this novel, we follow Justine who is making a new life for herself and her three year old daughter Lula in the USA in the town where her mother was born. But Justine is hiding under a false name, fleeing from a difficult past. But why is she still in touch with her husband Matt back home? - and why has she abandoned her family and her successful career? Flashbacks to her earlier life eventually lead to the reason for her flight. There's also a mystery surrounding her deceased grandmother, rousing Justine's curiosity as she begins to forge new ties in America. Tense and emotional, this book covers some uncomfortable experiences with sensitivity, and keeps the reader turning the pages.
Carole Matthews - Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights
A deliciously seasonal novel from this ever-popular author. Despite this book being a sequel (I hadn't read its predecessor) I was able to pick up enough of the back story to enjoy it on its own. Fay lives with her partner, Danny, on his canal boat, and can't believe her luck in finding him. But their idyllic life is interrupted when she gets a cry for help from her former life, and returns to the Cafe in the Garden which she used to run. Although she loves being back helping out in the cafe and looking after her friends, she worries about the long separation from Danny. Can their relationship survive being apart for so long, and does she have the strength to help those she cares about? Uplifting and delightful, this is a charming novel, full of atmosphere and vivid characters.