The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: The Hiding Game by Louise Phillips

Heather Baxter is an attorney who by day, defends a young girl accused of killing an infant boy in her charge, and by night, is tormented as she tries to make sense of her mother’s unsolved murder, many years earlier. Through her journey of discovery, Heather uncovers several links between the two cases, often in terrible danger as she moves ever closer to a cruel and ruthless killer. A thoroughly enjoyable thriller combining exciting courtroom drama with unsettling secrets, mystery and intrigue!

The HIDING GAME is released on September 5th. Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books Ireland for the opportunity to read this ARC.

The Librarian’s Cellar: Book of The Week – All That Glitters by Thomas Maier

‘ALL THAT GLITTERS Anna Wintour, Tina Brown, and the Rivalry Inside America’s Richest Media Empire’, by Thomas Maier, is an appropriate title for quite a complex book that may prove to be a useful addition to the study of American media, politics and pop culture. The author delves into the Condé Nast empire run by S. I. Newhouse Jr. and creative guru and influencer Alex Liberman. Perhaps the most interesting element of the book is how it examines the contribution of Anna Wintour and Tina Brown, both British women who worked their way to the top of this male-dominated American industry, and how they challenged the rules set down by that male establishment. It is also a sobering study of the power of magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair before the onset of social media. I received this ARC copy from Net Galley with thanks also to Skyhorse Publishing. Publication Date September 2019

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: Apple of My Eye by Claire Allan

Claire Allan’s latest novel is a quick and compelling read – for all the twisted reasons that you can imagine. Eli is a nurse working in a hospice. She is expecting her first child, feeling unwell and filled with doubts about her ability to love and care for her new baby. However, she has great support from work colleagues, a loving husband, and a very caring mother, so what could possibly go wrong? Everything, it seems as she begins to receive mysterious messages hinting that Martin, her husband, may be cheating on her. In her vulnerable state, and despite his vehement denials of any wrong-doing, Eli begins to doubt Martin… no spoilers here, but the sinister element of gaslighting takes this thriller to a chilling conclusion.

 

Published by Avon | 2019

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of the novel, LADY BETH and has written and directed the short film FRAMED (2018). She has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013).

 

The Librarian’s Cellar: December Reading

Finding time to read in December proved challenging. Books were in abundance, as were visits to bookstores. However, as the end of the busy month drew to a close, and dark evenings invited comfort food and copious glasses of wine, I decided to ignore my To Be Read tower and just indulge in the material I was most drawn to, which turned out to be personal biographies. Quick reads! I think all writers are interested in the lives of others, after all, and apart from our own experiences, isn’t that where we draw most of our characterisation from?

Here are four that kinda-sorta blew my mind!

 

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What a story? What a life for this woman, born into a closed off, survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho, where brutality, and lets face it, serious child neglect were commonplace. Westover seems very forgiving of her family, even when she describes the extremist perspectives of her bi-polar father, and the violence meted out to her by her own brother, which is difficult to fathom. However, her personal journey into education and self-realisation is riveting. I couldn’t put this book down!

 

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Next time you think the rich and famous have it all, think again! Melanie’s story weaves back and forth between her childhood, her fame as member of the Spice Girls, and her ten-year, abusive marriage. This is an honest, sometimes uncomfortable account of her worst days, and you have to commend her for highlighting her very personal and painful plight. If this book helps even one abused woman to reflect on her situation and get the hell out of it, then my hat is off to Melanie. Job done.

 

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I recently watched (practically in tears) DAVID CASSIDY: The Last Session. While shooting the documentary, David was gravely ill, though didn’t seem to be aware of just how serious his situation was. It was difficult to watch it, but compelling just the same. Hence, when I came across his memoir, I was instantly hooked. Cassidy wasn’t always taken as seriously as perhaps he should have been as a talented writer, musician and actor, dealt a life-time of serious highs, but also some devastating blows that would ultimately lead to his premature death. Definitely worth a read.

 

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An accomplished song writer, Lily’s book is honest and in parts, quite funny. However, it is also a serious and very personal telling of her childhood and what was really going on behind the scenes during her rise to fame and the years since. She is still so young, but obviously an old soul. What struck me most about her writing is the obvious maturity that she has, and her ability to place her often harrowing experiences into perspective – and to take ownership of her decisions.

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of LADY BETH, and has also written and directed FRAMED, a short film. Caroline has also written and co-produced the short films, ADAM and IN RIBBONS.

The Librarian’s Cellar: The Night of the Hunter by David Grubb

Although the film adaptation has long been one of my all time favourites, to my shame, I had never read this classic book until it was recently recommended to me. And wow. I think I likened the experience of reading it to being cosseted in a dimly lit parlour full of old friends, curled up in front of an open fire, shins burning yet unable to move. The plight of young John Harper, an innocent child shadowed by sinister evil while trying to protect his little sister, Pearl – and to protect the legacy of his late father’s twisted last wish – had me riveted all the way to the final denouement. First published in 1953, and inspired by a real serial killer, the character of The Hunter, fake preacher, Harry Powell, is the creepiest depiction of relentless evil I think I have ever read. You won’t forget the preacher Powell. He will crawl right in there, under your skin as author, David Grubb’s gothic prose assaults your senses.

 

Caroline Farrell is the author of the novel, LADY BETH, and is screenwriter of the short films, ADAM and IN RIBBONS.