Friday, August 18, 2017

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #172

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
It was the subtitle on Elisabeth Carpenter's forthcoming book that caught my eye. 99 Red Balloons: A chillingly clever psychological thriller with a stomach-flipping twist. It is on my TBR stack, so we'll see if it lives up to that  description. So, the US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Two very similar looks this week. The title fonts are the same, but with a slight change in the tone of the red. Same tag line - switching candy for sweets. A different playground apparatus in each. Of course a red balloon in each. Scraggly (I love that descriptor) tree branches. Big difference - an actual girl in the US shot and a child's shoe only in the UK shot. But despite all those similarities, I think I prefer the UK cover this week. It seems more ominous - I think it's the background shading. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read 99 Red Balloons? You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sleeping in the Ground - Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series is one of my hands down favourites. Sleeping in the Ground is the 24th entry.

I have such a delicious sense of anticipation when I open the cover of the latest Banks. I had no idea what the plot was about, but knew I would be in for another great read. I wanted to catch up with characters I've come to know and appreciate. What has gone on in their lives? Robinson keeps them moving forward in real time with each new entry.

Sleeping in the Ground opens with a wedding - and a funeral. A unknown gunman opens fire on a countryside wedding, killing and wounding many. Banks is away attending the memorial service of his first love from forty years ago, when he is called to the scene. He's become quite introspective with her passing, looking at his own life and decisions. But, it seems to be manifesting itself in anger and short tempered outbursts - quite unlike the usually composed Banks.

The killer is identified early on in the book and I wondered where the book could go from there, as there were still many pages remaining. Banks has some niggling doubts though and continues to investigate even as the case is declared solved. Robinson's plot was inventive and completely unpredictable. I truly enjoy being surprised by a mystery as I read so many.

Robinson excels at both plotting and characterizations. As I mentioned earlier, I read this series as much for the mystery as for those who populate the pages. Familiar supporting players are back, including one from Banks' past. The settings and descriptions have me yearning to sit in a pub with a packet of crisps, catching up on the latest.

As always, I enjoy Bank's music selections. I've often put the book down to look up and listen to a song that is playing in the book, curious as to how and why it fits that particular scene or moment. Banks is also into poetry now and those references are also well suited.

Robinson's prose are effortless and so very engaging. Sleeping in the Ground is a stellar entry in this series - and I will be eagerly awaiting number twenty five. Read an excerpt of Sleeping in the Ground.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Over the Counter #379

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Showing my age here.....excuse me while I flip over my record.....

The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track by Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon.

From the publisher, Black Dog and Leventhal:

"A comprehensive visual history of the "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band" as told through the recording of their monumental catalog, including 29 studio and 24 compilation albums, and more than a hundred singles.

Since 1963, The Rolling Stones have been recording and touring, selling more than 200 million records worldwide. While much is known about this iconic group, few books provide a comprehensive history of their time in the studio. In The Rolling Stones All the Songs, authors Margotin and Guesdon describe the origin of their 340 released songs, details from the recording studio, what instruments were used, and behind-the-scenes stories of the great artists who contributed to their tracks.

Organized chronologically by album, this massive, 704-page hardcover begins with their 1963 eponymous debut album recorded over five days at the Regent Studio in London; through their collaboration with legendary producer Jimmy Miller in the ground-breaking albums from 1968 to 1973; to their later work with Don Was, who has produced every album since Voodoo Lounge. Packed with more than 500 photos, All the Songs is also filled with stories fans treasure, such as how the mobile studio they pioneered was featured in Deep Purple's classic song "Smoke on the Water" or how Keith Richards used a cassette recording of an acoustic guitar to get the unique riff on "Street Fighting Man."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Stranger in the House - Shari Lapena

Shari Lapena's suspense novel, The Couple Next Door, was a multi list bestseller. I loved it and couldn't wait to see what her next book would bring. Well, that book, A Stranger in the House, releases tomorrow and it was another late night page turner for me.

Karen and Tom, husband and wife. "But she's gone out with her car, and forgotten to lock the door. That's very odd for his wife, who's a stickler about locking the doors." "Something is wrong. He should call the police. He hesitates. Perhaps the police will thing they've had an argument....theirs is an almost perfect marriage."

The neighbour, Brigid. "Just as she does every morning. Brigid sits in her favorite chair by the large picture window in her living room." "She thinks a lot about Tom and Karen, about where they are and what they're doing, about their life together. It's like she's caught up in a particularly good television show and can't wait to see what happens next."

What a great premise eh? I was immediately hooked! So, something does happen (nope, not gonna spoil it for you!) But Lapena keeps the reader on their toes. We're given information about a crime, but not the full picture. Those three main characters are most definitely not likeable, instead they are self serving, secretive, shallow and manipulative. We have a fairly good idea of what has happened as each of the three is given a voice and point of view. With each new entry a little more of the big picture is revealed. The title is quite appropriate as no one is quite who they say they are.

Detective Rasbach, the detective from The Couple Next Door is also the investigator in this case. The emphasis is more on him as a character, than police procedural details.

The style of writing in A Stranger in the House is pared down to essentials and has a staccato feel to it. I thought it suited this plot, as well as the characters, echoing their thoughts, actions and lies. I did find some of the plot points to be a bit of a stretch, but still quite enjoyed the book. I liked the last twisty paragraph - a great ending.

If you enjoy psychological suspense, this one's for you.  Read an excerpt of A Stranger in the House.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's End - Patti Callahan Henry - Review AND Giveaway

Books and the beach. Two of my favourite things! And you'll find them both in Patti Callahan Henry's new novel, The Bookshop at Water's End. An absolutely perfect summer read! And I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader.

Bonny and Lainey were known as the Summer Sisters when they were younger and spent summers in Watersend, SC. But those idyllic days ended when Lainey's mother disappeared one night. Now in their fifties, they are still friends, but have never gone back to Watersend. Bonny is a doctor, but a tragic mistake may cost her her career. Her marriage is also on the rocks and suddenly Watersend is the place she wants to be. She packs up her daughter Piper and Lainey decides to join her with her children as well. Being back revives old memories, hurts, first loves and lots of questions..... The one constant from now and then? Mimi and her bookshop.

Henry's description of time and place had me wishing to be in Watersend, sitting on a porch or browsing the bookstore shelves for a new read.

The Bookshop at Water's End is a character driven novel. The lives, hopes, wishes, dreams and mistakes of the women are very real and believable. The interactions and dialogue between the two friends, their spouses and children rings true. Each of the main characters (including nineteen year old Piper) is searching - for their purpose, for the place they belong, for forgiveness and for answers. Such a summer read would not be complete without some romance. Bonny's past with Owen - and possible future?- will have readers wondering about their own first love. And the mystery from all those years ago - whatever happened to Lainey's mother?

Henry's writing is languid and detailed, suiting the Lowcountry setting. And perfect for summer reading. Read an excerpt of The Bookshop at Water's End.

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of Losing the Moon; Where the River Runs; When Light Breaks; Between the Tides; The Art of Keeping Secrets; Driftwood Summer; The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story; Coming up for Air; And Then I Found You; The Stories We Tell; The Idea of Love. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband. You can connect with Patti on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

I have a copy of The Bookshop at Water's End to giveaway - enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends August 26/17.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

She Rides Shotgun - Jordan Harper

She Rides Shotgun is Jordan Harper's debut novel.

Polly McClusky is eleven years old. She hasn't seen much of her father Nate in the past few years as he's been in prison. But when he shows up outside her school, she willingly goes with him. You see, there's a contract on both their heads....and Polly's mother has already been killed.

Polly and Nate are on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of those determined to wipe them out. Polly is an innocent, but that has to change. Nate needs to teach her skills - skills an eleven year old shouldn't need. An eleven year old he barely knows. But one that has 'gunfighter eyes' just like her father......

Whew! What a great premise. The danger, the action and the unknown direction the story was going to go immediately drew me in. But, it was also about the relationship between a father and daughter and Nate's unwavering desire to protect he at all costs. The reader cannot help but be firmly behind Nate and Polly as they run - and then fight back. Harper does a fantastic job manipulating the reader's emotions. Both characters were well drawn and I had no problem imagining what they looked like. The inclusion of Polly's stuffed bear as an extension of her personality and thoughts was a great device. With each new twist and turn in their lives, I became even more invested in the outcome - and the ride there.

I chose to listen to She Rides Shotgun - and I'm so glad I did. I'm sure it's just as good a read on the printed page, but for me, it was even better listening. I was sucked into the story and found it so hard to stop and climb out. David Marantz was the reader. I thought his voice interpreted Harper's work well. The tone and timbre he uses for Holly conveys her innocence. The gravelly tone for Nate drew a vivid mental image for me. He captures the danger and action of the book. His voice is easy to listen to and is very clear. Listen to an excerpt of She Rides Shotgun. Or if you prefer read an excerpt.

A caution to those who are adverse to violence. Those looking for a helluva a good tale? This one's for you. She Rides Shotgun has movie written all over it. I am now a devoted Jordan Harper fan - more please. You can connect with Jordan Harper on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Friday, August 11, 2017

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #171

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Hands up - who is looking forward to Harlan Coben's
forthcoming book? Don't Let Go releases in September and is on my must read list. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Well it's an easy choice for me this week. I'm not a fan of the blue and red on the UK cover. And I definitely don't like the image of the man as I prefer to draw my own mental images of characters as I read the book. And the picture of a woman(?) within the other picture. Pass.  I would be much more inclined to pick up the bright yellow US cover. The red font works on the yellow. The man's image with in the door in the 'O'  is understated but effective. So, US cover for me this week. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Don't Let Go? You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Know a Secret - Tess Gerritsen

I Know a Secret is the twelfth book in Tess Gerristsen's celebrated Rizzoli and Ives series.

For those of you who haven't read this series yet (?!) - the two female leads are Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli and her friend, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles.

This latest case is a puzzler. Two bodies with no cause of death that Isles can detect. They've both been posed after death in unusual circumstances. Rizzoli is having just as hard a time finding a connection between the two.

But there is one - and I have to say - it's clever. Using actual crimes as a starting point, Gerritsen has created an inventive plotline. Tess keeps the reader guessing with many players to choose from for the final whodunit. She skilfully manipulates the reader's thinking with dialogue and actions from many that are 'suspicious'. One of those characters is given a voice and chapters of her own. These chapters are 'teasers' with actions and motives being slowly doled out. I did have my suspicions, but was happy to find that I wasn't completely right at the end. And that ending leaves the door cracked open for further stories....

The personal lives of these two leads, as well as the supporting cast, are just as much of draw for me as the main plot is in this series. Their lives have moved along in real time, with a few somewhat startling threads. (Maura's mother is something else....) Their human quirks, ruminations, successes and failures only serve to make them more 'real'. The dynamic between the two leads is believable and enjoyble.

Gerristen's take on the medical aspects of her books is excellent, a she herself is a licensed doctor.

I Know a Secret can absolutely be read as a stand alone, but the evolution of this pair is worth reading from the first book, The Surgeon. An entertaining, enjoyable read for me - and one of the best of the twelve. Read an excerpt of I Know a Secret.

There's a nice cover blurb from Lee Child: "Suspense doesn’t get smarter than this."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Over the Counter #378

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Literary crocheting this week....

Crochet Ever After: 18 Crochet Projects Inspired by Classic Fairy Tales by Brenda K. B. Anderson.

From the publisher, Interweave:

"18 projects to crochet happily ever after.

From the whimsical mind of Beastly Crochet author Brenda K. B. Anderson comes a funtastic collection of 18 fairy-tale inspired crochet projects. Shows and movies based on fairy tales are incredibly popular, and crafty crocheters now have a book of fabulous projects that pay homage to their favorite stories. Little Red's hood with integrated infinity scarf will stay put when she's being chased by the Big Bad Wolf. Sleeping Beauty now has just the right nightie to wear while waiting for Prince Charming to wake her up. Gretel can take her snacks to go with her cupcake purse. Plus the Evil Queen will know exactly who the hottest in the land is when she gazes into her Mirror, Mirror on the Go makeup case.

Heroines, fairy princesses, witches, and big bad wolves are all accounted for in this fanciful collection of crochet accessories, toys, bags, kids' clothes, and more."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Persons Unknown - Susie Steiner

I really enjoyed the first book (Missing, Presumed - my review) in Susie Steiner's new series featuring Cambridgeshire Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw. Manon returns in this second book - Persons Unknown

Manon has relocated from London back to Cambridgeshire and taken a position in Cold Cases. She figures the locale change will be better for her adopted son Fly and the baby she's expecting in five months. Her sister and her young son are living with them as well.

But, old habits die hard. When a businessman dies just steps away from the police station, Manon can't help herself - she sits in on the briefings. Things get real personal when it's discovered that the victim has ties to Manon's family - and that Fly is a suspect. That's just the beginning. Lines are crossed and boundaries broken in so many ways in this latest.

Oh, where to start? I adore Manon. She's dogged, determined, feisty, fierce and loyal. Exactly the person you would want in your corner. Her pregnancy adds a level of difficulty, but also some funny moments on the way to solving this latest mystery. As with Missing, Presumed, there's an excellent. well-plotted mystery at the heart of the book, but Steiner's novels are definitely character driven. And for me, that's why I am enjoying her writing so much. I was glad to see Davy and Harriet (both police officers) return. They too have 'full' personalities and lives. Davy is also given a voice and POV in this book. And I really like the developments and relationships that Steiner has inserted into Manon's life.

I always enjoy British police procedurals - the focus is not on blood or gore, but on the clues, the investigation, and the players. There are many ways things could have played out in Persons Unknown. I had my suspicions about whodunit, but was quite happy to be not completely right.

Persons Unknown was another excellent read from Steiner - and I'm really looking forward to the third book. Absolutely recommended. Read an excerpt of Persons Unknown.

You can connect with Steiner on her website and follow her on Twitter.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Giveaway - The Color of Fear - Marcia Muller

I have a wonderful giveaway for the mystery lovers today! Marcia Muller's latest Sharon McCone mystery, The Color of Fear, has just released - and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader! This is the 32nd book in the series!

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"In New York Times bestselling author Marcia Muller's captivating new mystery, private detective Sharon McCone's investigation hits closer to home than ever before...

When a knock on the door in the middle of the night wakes Sharon, she's wholly unprepared for the horrifying news: her father has been the victim of a vicious, racially-motivated attack.

A nationally recognized Shoshone artist, Elwood had been visiting Sharon for the holidays, browsing for gifts in San Francisco's exclusive Marina district when he was set upon by a mob of angry young men. Now he lies in a coma, hovering between life and death.

With little progress on the investigation from the overworked, short-handed police, Sharon resolves to track down Elwood's attackers herself. But when Sharon begins receiving hate-filled, racist threats from a shadowy group, it becomes clear that her pursuit of justice may be putting her own life in jeopardy..."

"Marcia Muller has written many novels and short stories. She has won six Anthony Awards, a Shamus Award, and is also the recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award (their highest accolade). She lives in northern California with her husband, mystery writer Bill Pronzini." You can connect with Marcia on her website and like her on Facebook.

If you'd like to add The Color of Fear to your bookshelf, enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends August 19/17. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Dog Called Hope - Jason Morgan and Damien Lewis

A Dog Called Hope:A Wounded Warrior and the Service Dog Who Saved Him  is the story of Jason Morgan. and his service dog Napal.

Morgan was a Combat Meteorologist with a Special Forces unit when a covert mission went awry and he suffered catastrophic injuries. Morgan was declared a paraplegic. Fighting unbelievable pain both physically and mentally, Morgan seized upon a ray of hope - Canine Companions for Independence. CCI provides service dogs free of charge to those in need.

A Dog Called Hope is Morgan's life story after that horrific accident - and the dog named Napal, who changed Jason's life.

Although we know accidents happen like this all the time, it is hard to listen to someone's personal story - the pain, the anguish and the grief. But I knew that Morgan had an important and uplifting message to impart. As a dog lover, I was already invested in this story simply from looking at the warm, wonderful and somehow wise face of Napal on the cover of the book. The journey through his accident, to CCI and Napal and afterwards is fascinating, uplifting and yes tear-jerking. (You're going to need a tissue for a few chapters) Morgan has made it his life's work now to spread the word about CCI and the service dogs they train. He now spreads that word as a motivational speaker.

I chose to listen to Morgan's story - the reader was John Moraitis. His voice fit the story of this soldier. He has a matter of fact, get on with life tone that suits this soldier's story. His enunciation is crisp, clean and easy to listen to and understand. I often find that listening to a book is much more intimate than reading - the listener becomes part of the story. And what a story this was! Listen to an excerpt of A Dog Called Hope. Or if you prefer, read an excerpt.

Damien Lewis is an author who worked with Morgan on this book - and indeed plays a part in Napal's story.

While I found the writing slightly overly dramatic in spots, how can you give anyone's life story anything but a five?

Friday, August 4, 2017

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #170

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Karin Slaughter is one of the best thriller/mystery writers out there. I always look forward to reading her latest. That latest (a stand alone) is The Good Daughter releasing this coming week in North America and already released across the pond. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Well, I don't think there's any doubt that this is a dark thriller with these covers. I like the match image on the US cover - it can be interpreted many ways - shining a light on, snuffing out a light etc. I'm very glad that there is no face on the woman image, but I am still tired of those female silhouettes on covers. So, I think it's going to be UK for me this week. The blood on the flowers is ominous. Is that a latched window or door? And those scrawled letters have me curious. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Good Daughter?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Heart of the City - Robert Rotenberg

Heart of the City is the fifth entry in Robert Rotenberg's  Homicide Detective Ari Greene series.

Greene is no longer a detective, having left the force after the events of the last book. Personally, he's learning how to be a father to Alison, the daughter he never knew he had. Professionally he's taken a job as a construction worker. But death still seems to find Greene. Controversial developer Livingstone Fox is found dead on his much contested latest project. And it just happens to be the site Ari is working on - and he finds the body. Old instincts die hard and Greene finds himself drawn into the case - just not as a Homicide Detective this time. And what he doesn't yet know is that his personal life is going to play a big part in this case.

I've always enjoyed Ari Greene as a lead character. He's smart, intuitive, dogged - and human. He makes mistakes, but it only has made him more realistic. His personal storyline is just as engaging as the main plots. I've always enjoyed his father's scenes. I imagine that Alison will be found in future books, but I'm still not sure how I feel about her. We'll see how she develops from here. Greens' former protege Daniel Kennicott has moved up in the department with Greene's leaving. This makes for a very different dynamic this time 'round. I am torn on Kennicott  - I'm not as firmly in his camp - he makes quicker decisions and acts too rashly at times. But, on the other hand, this works well for plotting.

Rotenberg has taken inspiration for this latest novel from current news. The development in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is seemingly never ending and always controversial. Fox's developments are pretty much the truth. What I do like - and without revealing anything pertinent - is the proposed alteration to that growth.

I just love the Canadian setting - the descriptions of streets, stores and neighbourhoods that I recognize and have visited. It really brings the novel to life. Rotenberg himself is a criminal lawyer in Toronto and has based his series in the same city.

As for the whodunit, there are many available suspects and Rotenberg keeps us guessing until the end. I'm not sure I completely bought the final resolution (the killer's motivation was a bit of a stretch for me) but I really enjoyed the journey there. I'll be looking for the next entry in this series. Read an excerpt of Heart of the City.

You can connect with Robert Rotenberg on his website, like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Over the Counter #377

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Who wouldn't look twice at this one....

One-Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chèvre, Paneer--Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less! by Claudia Lucero.

From Workman Publishing:

"It’s a DIY cook’s dream come true: It’s pizza night, and you’ve made not only the crust and sauce but the mozzarella, too. Or you're whipping up quesadillas for a snack, using your homemade Triple Pepper Hack. Or the dinner party's in high gear and out comes the cheese plate—and yes, you've made all the cheeses on it. Even better—you made them all earlier that day.

In a cookbook whose results seem like magic but whose recipes and instructions are specific, easy-to-follow, and foolproof, Claudia Lucero shows step by step—with every step photographed—exactly how to make sixteen fresh cheeses at home, using easily available ingredients and tools, in an hour or less. The approach is basic and based on thousands of years of cheesemaking wisdom: Heat milk, add coagulant, drain, salt, and press. Simple variations produce delicious results across three categories—Creamy and Spreadable, Firm and Chewy, and Melty and Gooey. And just as delicious, the author shows the best ways to serve them, recipes included: Squeaky “Pasta” Primavera, Mozzarella Kebab Party, and Curry in a Hurry Lettuce Wraps."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Are You Sleeping - Kathleen Barber

I'm going to use the publisher's description to introduce you to Kathleen Barber's wonderful debut novel novel - Are You Sleeping.

"Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case - and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter."

Uh huh - it definitely caught my eye - 'twisty' and 'psychological' always do! Would Are You Sleeping live up to this blurb? Yes it did - Barber delivers as promised - this was a wonderfully addicting read!

Father murdered, next door neighbour convicted on her sister's testimony, mother running off and joining a cult. It's no wonder Josie left home as soon as she was able. But with the death of her mother, she reluctantly returns home for the funeral. She has created a life for herself with the man she loves. But she's lied to him about everything. The podcast opens not just the case, but the wounds and secrets in this family.

Past and present are explored through Josie's narrative. Those memories, the tumultuous present and that podcast raise nothing but questions for Josie. I really liked Josie as a main character. And I disliked her sister Lainie just as much. The dynamic between the two is quite complicated and underlines how much our younger years affect the present. There's something 'off' about a number of supporting characters and I had suspicions about many of them.

I thought Barber's format was an inventive premise. I loved the inclusion of tweets, news articles, transcripts, blog comments and more. The podcast as a driving part of the plot is so very current - as is the public's fascination with such cases. The 'right of the public to know' and invasion of people's lives in the name of news also speaks to today's society. The investigative reporter - Poppy - is a perfect caricature of this style of reporting.

Are You Sleeping is a commentary on society, an exploration of familial relationships and a really good whodunnit. (Yes, it's a twisty ending!) I really enjoyed it and will be looking for Barber's next book. Read an excerpt of Are You Sleeping.

You can connect with Kathleen Barber on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.