* Silent Water by Jan Ruth. Again, this is the third book of a trilogy, so maybe I should be talking about all three here, and again it is set in Wales, a country I have deep affection for. This series is a modern day relationship driven saga that is so real and so compelling I couldn't put the books down when I started them. Silent Water sort of wraps the series up, but does it? I don't know if there will be another as it does leave a few questions at the end. Once again, the sense of place is paramount and it is highly character driven. I loved the whole series and this one was just the final touch.
*Best Seller and The Other Side, both by Terry Tyler.
Best Seller is a novella that speaks to many of us who seek success in writing. A well conceived story with characters that are real and believable, it deals with what happens when someone plagiarises a story...the sort of fraud that happens more often than we think.
The Other Side is possibly among my favourite Terry Tyler novels. It's actually quite genius in its construction and it answers the question in novel form of what might happen (or have happened) if we made (or had made) different choices in life. It's complicated and needs focus, but I thought it was brilliant.
*Marielle by Peter Davey. I read this first in December 2015, but I read it again over the summer. I just love Peter Davey's writing and this is one of the most beautifully crafted and moving stories I've read in a long time. The story centres on a French dentist, who, bored with his perfectly average life, wife and daughter, fancies himself in love with a woman he meets by chance in an underground car park. All three of Peter Davey's French novellas have a special quality and much is down to the superb crafting and the characterisation. Marielle, in particular, is like watching a French film in words. Wonderful writing.
* A Delicate Truth by John Le Carré. From one of my favourite writers of all time, this novel, like so many of his more recent books, focuses on the deceptions woven by those in high places against the rest of us mere mortals. To say what it is about would be to give the story away, but read it. You will never feel quite the same again about what our special forces and intelligence services do in the name of 'protecting' us all, nor about the people who are in charge of them. It's a world in which Le Carré himself has much experience, so the reader has more than uncomfortably aware that it is quite possibly true. No image for this one. There are several, so I didn't know which one to pick.
* Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald. I read this book for the first time about fifteen years ago, and only recently found it again. It is just the most beautiful story about a motley group of people living on gradually deteriorating wooden Thames barges on the Thames near Battersea. Written in the 80s, it won several literary prizes then, but I guess it's largely been forgotten. It's one of those books I would never want to be without. I'm not sure if it's even in print anymore, but if it is, it's worth buying and keeping.
I know I've read many other very good books this last year, but these are the ones that have stood out for me and that I remember clearly. I am busy reading again now, but I've slowed down a little as I'm also writing too. As I've already mentioned, I'm not a book blogger or reviewer, nor are these awards; they are simply books that I've enjoyed and like to share with those of you who read my blog.
Normal stories will be resumed next week. I hope you are all having a great start to the new year... despite being too cold, too wet, too windy, too hot, too everything! It's just that time of year isn't it? All the best anyway, wherever you are in the world!