Sunday 19 March 2023

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent (2023)


Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.

Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and worried police, but also a sinister voice from a past she has no memory of. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, recluse Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, finding independence, and learning that people don't always mean what they say.

But when messages start arriving from a stranger who knows far more about her past than she knows herself, Sally's life will be thrown into chaos once again . . .

Strange Sally Diamond is the kind of book you will want to talk about after you've finished.
Initially, I thought Sally would be one of those fashionable characters like Eleanor Oliphant or Molly Grey; quirky and likely on the spectrum. We are told from the outset that Sally is autistic and that little slice of dark humour which brings the world's attention to her is enough to pull you into the story.  However, it quickly emerged into a very dark and uncomfortable read as we learned about Sally's background and her biological family. Sally was definitely not the strangest person in her world. 
A secondary character became more important to me than Sally and I was on tenterhooks to find out how he would turn out. But with a Liz Nugent book, you cannot take anything for granted and there were twists I didn't see coming.
This book was darker than my usual fare but as much as I was uncomfortable I was compelled to keep reading to the end.

Monday 6 March 2023

Cold Blooded Liar: McKittrick & Reeves, Book 1 by Karen Rose (2023)

The first installment of the new McKittrick & Reeves series from Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Rose.

Colton Driscoll is a compulsive liar. But there's one thing his psychologist Sam Reeves fears he is telling the truth about: murder. Concerned his patient has committed an awful crime and that the life of another girl could be under threat, Sam calls in an anonymous tip to the San Diego Police Department.

Detective Kit McKittrick works homicide in the hope that one day she will find out what happened to her foster sister, Wren. When a tip comes in from an anonymous caller it leads her to the body of a girl whose murder has the hallmarks of a serial killer that has been at large for almost twenty years. It also leads her to the source of the information: Dr Sam Reeves.

Will Kit be able to crack the cold case in time to stop another murder being committed? And is Sam Reeves being a concerned citizen trying to help, or is there another more sinister reason he has so much information? 


A fascinating start to a new series. I loved that the author made this a crime novel at heart and left the romance open as a possibility for further books in the series I love a good slow burn and it leaves more time for plot development and for the characters to grow. 

Kit and Sam both have tragic backstories. The murder of Kit's sister remains a cold case so I am anticipating that it won't stay unsolved for much longer. Kit has a loving foster family and their presence injected a warm feeling of safety and comfort even though terrible things were happening around them. Kit makes a wonderful role model as a strong, intelligent and independent woman.

Sam is a gentle soul and I found his character a refreshing change from the alpha males typically found in romantic suspense. Even though he initially seemed like someone who needed to be looked after he grew in my estimation as the story developed. He conducted his own investigation and was able to act appropriately in a dangerous situation when needed. I'm sure Sam will grow in confidence as he becomes more embroiled in solving cases with Kit. Sam and Kit have an attraction and it will be interesting to watch this pair grow closer as they work together in the future.