Before I Met You

by Lisa Jewell (Century) ISBN 9781846059230 R170 

Lisa Jewell has a gift. She writes beautifully.  

After her grandmother dies, Betty Dean leaves Guernsey for London to find Clara Pickle, the mysterious beneficiary in Arlette’s will. The novel flips between Arlette’s youth in 1920s bohemian London and Betty Dean’s adventures in Soho in the 1990s. Arlette, a stunning beauty, followed her heart, found a job, found a great love, and lost it all. She returned to Guernsey, settled down, married and never told anyone she had even lived in London. 

Betty also follows her heart, finds a job, stays in a dingy apartment, and is wooed by the wrong sort of man. She is determined to find Clara, and her grandmother’s story unfolds as she pieces together the clues. Betty, who adored her grandmother, finds out how strong her grandmother was, and how important love is. Effortlessly written, and easy-to-read, Before I met you is a guaranteed good summer read. 

Amanda Patterson
www.writerswrite.co.za 
3.5/5

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Criminal

by Karin Slaughter (Century) ISBN 9781846057977 R215, 00



Karin Slaughter is the novelist who takes readers where no other writers will go. I followed the Dr Sarah Linton novels - captivated, terrified, and sometimes simply brutally shocked. Slaughter doesn’t believe in rules and boundaries for her characters. She imagines the best and the worst things that can happen and she writes everything into the stories. 

In Criminal, Special Agent Will Trenton has to deal with his past. His father, a serial killer who tortured and killed his mother, has been paroled, and a girl has been murdered - a lot like the first girl he murdered 40 years earlier. Will is ordered off the case by his boss, Amanda Wagner, who worked the first case all those years ago. 

Will is in love with Dr Sarah Linton, but he’s still married to Angie, an ally from his days spent in foster care and children’s homes. Will Sarah be able to accept his past? Do they have a future? And can they withstand the trademark cliffhanger Slaughter ending? Although I enjoy Slaughter’s writing, I found alternating between the past and the present distracting and alienating in this novel. I think the scenes are also a little too long. There was too much information to process. I hope her next novel is more focused. 

Amanda Patterson
3/5

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Private Games

by James Patterson (Century) ISBN: 9781846059742

 

This book was clearly intended to run in conjunction with the recent Olympic Games in London.

 

Private, the world's most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Nigel Steele is called to the scene of a ruthless murder. A high-ranking member of the games' organizing committee and his mistress have been killed.

 

This book appears to form part of a series of books by the author. Although part of a series this book can be read on its own and has a strong plot-driven story.

 

This book seems to me to follow the so-called Patterson formula, being fast paced which keeps you on the edge of your seat. Quick, short chapters had a psychological way of making me want to keep turning the pages.

 

Even though the Olympic Games are finished, this book is still a good read and worth investing the time in reading it.

 

Michele van Eck

4/5

 

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The Making of Us

by Lisa Jewell (Century) ISBN: 9781846055744 R215, 00 

Lisa Jewell wrote 31 Dream Street, one of my favourite chick lit novels. The Making of Us begins in a disjointed fashion. I wasn't sure which character was which and I wasn't sure if I wanted to carry on reading. I'm glad I did. 

Daniel is dying in a hospice in Bury St Edmunds. Maggie listens to his life story. He tells her his secret, his 'legacy'. He was a sperm donor and he has three children - Lydia, Dean and Robyn. 

Lydia is damaged, wealthy and successful. She is also lonely and unfulfilled. Robyn always knew she was a sperm donor baby because of family health problems. She is intelligent and studying to be a doctor. She is also losing her motivation and wondering what it's all about. Dean comes from a poor family and his girlfriend is pregnant. 

As the story unfolds, these three lost children find each other and everything changes. Lisa Jewell's strength has always been her superb characterisation. She doesn't disappoint. You will grow to like these people and you will find yourself thinking about them when you've finished the book. 

Amanda Patterson

4/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - How to write for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za 

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