Keith Stuart - The Frequency of Us
This is a split-time novel with a difference. Will is almost ninety, living in Bath in 2007. But the life he's living is not the one he believes is his. He has memories from World War II when he and his wife Elsa were in a bomb blast. But after it she's gone forever from his life, and everyone thinks he's imagined their relationship. Into his run-down home comes Laura, a young woman whose own life is held together by a thread. Her last chance to make something of her job as a carer is to decide whether Will can cope in his own home, or whether he has dementia and needs residential care. Somehow the two make a tentative connection, through Will's obsession with the radios he used to design. Laura feels a strange atmosphere in the house - but is it just that she's suffering withdrawal symptoms from her antidepressant meds? Science and fantasy, real problems and the poignancy of love, loss and despair combine to make an intriguing read.
Heidi Eljarbo – Hidden Masterpiece
The third in the Soli Hansen mysteries, set in World War II Norway. Yet again young art historian Soli is involved in a mission to outwit the Nazi force occupying her country, and save a painting by the Dutch artist Rembrandt from their clutches. Wonderful atmosphere, filled with edge-of-the-seat moments as Soli and her friend Heddy make a dangerous journey across a snowy Norwegian landscape. Although dedicated to her mission, her heart is sore because Nikolai, the man she loves, is missing, and she has heard that a precious artifact entrusted to her care has fallen into the hands of Nazi sympathisers. A thoroughly enjoyable book, enhanced for me by memories of three wonderful Norwegian holidays.
Brad Parks – Interference
An intriguing thriller with a scientific background. Although it's set in the world of quantum physics, there’s no need to feel put off by the subject. The principal narrator is Brigid, wife of Matt Bronik, a physics professor at the U.S. Dartmouth College. Matt begins to have mysterious seizures, which is particularly stressful for Brigid, also mother to their ten-year-old son, as she has considerable hearing loss. When her husband is kidnapped, local police detective Emmett Webster is called in to investigate. Recently widowed, he needs something to focus his attention, and despite the disapproval of his superiors, he keeps on working the case doggedly. Throw into the mix a multi-billionaire who may have an ulterior motive for kidnapping the scientist, and Matt’s doctoral student, Sheena, who seems to have developed miraculous powers related to his experiments - not to mention his colleague David who could be trying to hide his own misdemeanours - it all combines into a fascinating read. I was hooked until the end.