My Review of Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Watson

Date Finished: 8th February 2013

Book Challenge Number: 11 (I’ve skipped number 10 because it was Utopia by Thomas More, compulsory reading for a presentation I had to do. Also skipped 8 which was the Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, I don’t want to bore you or myself by posting a review on those)
Rating: 5 stars
Before I Go To Sleep follows Christine, a woman who wakes up unable to remember the previous day or key events in her life before a traumatic event. With the help of Dr Nash, she keeps a journal and tries to recapture her memories. 
When I first started reading this book, I was expecting it to be quite dry with no real storyline apart from ‘she can’t remember’ and thought the story might get repetitive. But oh no, this story had so many twists and turns that it well and truly had my attention. I do a lot of reading when I’m under the weather, but this book captivated me so much I finished it in two days! 
I love the way Watson builds up this image of domesticity with that undertone of suspicion that runs all the way through, culminating in an explosive climax that I did not see coming. The ending is really a happy one by all accounts, and a lot of questions you have as the story progresses are answered in the ending.
Overall, it was a heartfelt novel about feeling like you’ve lost yourself because you can’t remember key events in your life. I loved the little flashbacks that she has of past events as she visits new places and meets old faces, it really made the book personal and made you sympathise for poor Christine as her life appears so wasted.
For beautiful writing, emotion, suspicion and a brilliant ending, I 100% recommend this book

My Review of A Place of Execution by Val McDermid

Finished on the 16th January 2013

3rd Book of my 2013 Reading Challenge

This book begins in a cold winter of 1963, in a tiny hamlet in Derbyshire called Scardale. 13 year old Alison Carter has gone missing in strange circumstances, her dog being found tied up close by. No one can figure out who is responsible, was it an outsider who didn’t know their way around the village? Or someone closer to home? A person is convicted through the dedication of the team of police officers led by George Bennett. 35 years later, journalist Catherine Heathcote is determined to write a tell-all book about the case with George Bennett, a gritty true crime text. But a new lead emerges, and Bennett tries to stop the story, leading Catherine determined to find out the truth about the Carter case.

Let me just say how AMAZING this book is. At first I was a bit, ‘okay it’s a tragic story but…’. But then it got intriguing, so intriguing that I managed to finish the book yesterday instead of today. When it got to the 35 years later bit, I seriously couldn’t put it down. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a mystery novel; tragedy, disturbing events, the blame game, family suspicion, rumours, ghosts, abuse, cover-ups, genuinely everything. I was seriously impressed by the ending, even I did not see that coming!

 Val McDermid has definitely outdone herself with A Place of Execution, it’s truly an easy-read yet so perfectly written for the genre. It has loveable characters with a wide variety of personalities, such as the secretive yet community minded and practically all related members of Scardale, the loveable rogue Tommy Clough, the dedicated George Bennett and the headstrong Ma Lomas. I love the continuity throughout the book and how all of the events seem quite straightforward at the beginning but then intertwine to shock you with the conclusion. Thoroughly recommended, definitely, 100%.