TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “GOOD GIRL, BAD GIRL”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Michael Robotham.

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Intro:  (Cyrus)

“Which one is she?” I ask, leaning closer to the observation window.

“Blonde.  Baggy sweater.  Sitting on her own.”

“And you’re not going to tell me why I’m here?”

“I don’t want to influence your decision.”

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Teaser:  Ness slides his arms through the sleeves of his coat.  “I can’t tell you the exact cause of death, but the temperature on Monday night fell to below freezing.  Jodie was cold and wet and barely conscious.  She was always going to die unless someone found her.” (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen. She doesn’t appear in any missing persons file, and her DNA can’t be matched to an identity. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac. When she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—fascinating and dangerous in equal measure. Evie knows when someone is lying, and no one around her is telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is called in to investigate the shocking murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home. Pretty and popular, Jodie is portrayed by everyone as the ultimate girl-next-door, but as Cyrus peels back the layers, a secret life emerges—one that Evie Cormac, the girl with no past, knows something about. A man haunted by his own tragic history, Cyrus is caught between the two cases—one girl who needs saving and another who needs justice. What price will he pay for the truth? Fiendishly clever, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham.

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What do you think?  I do enjoy reading this author’s books.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LYING ROOM”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is The Lying Room, by Nicci French.

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Intro:  (The Assignation)

When Neve pulled up the blinds, the kitchen sprang into life like a theatre set, empty and waiting for the familiar show to begin.  She looked around:  it was all a bit threadbare, the skirting boards scuffed and that crack running down the wall.  She and Fletcher had been meaning to do something about it for years.

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Teaser:  She was about to leave—she had raised her hand to open the front door—when she stopped.  There was something odd about the flat.  What was it?  She thought and thought.  She walked back to the living room.  Suddenly she realized.  It wasn’t what was there.  It was what wasn’t there. (p.57).

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Synopsis:  It should have been just a mid-life fling. A guilty indiscretion that Neve Connolly could have weathered. An escape from twenty years of routine marriage to her overworked husband, and from her increasingly distant children. But when Neve pays a morning-after visit to her lover, Saul, and finds him brutally murdered, their pied-à-terre still heady with her perfume, all the lies she has so painstakingly stitched together threaten to unravel.

After scrubbing clean every trace of her existence from Saul’s life—and death—Neve believes she can return to normal, shaken but intact. But she can’t get out of her head the one tormenting question: what was she forgetting?

An investigation into the slaying could provide the answer. It’s brought Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching, and Neve’s worst fears, to her door. But with every new lie, every new misdirection to save herself, Neve descends further into the darkness of her betrayal—and into more danger than she ever imagined. Because Hitching isn’t the only one watching Neve. So is a determined killer who’s about to make the next terrifying move in a deadly affair….

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I am eager to immerse myself in this book.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE DUTCH HOUSE”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s featured book is The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett.

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Intro:  The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister’s room and told us to come downstairs.  “Your father has a friend he wants you to meet,” she said.

“Is it a work friend?” Maeve asked.  She was older and so had a more complex understanding of friendship.

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Teaser:  As we stood there shoulder to shoulder, the dishes done and the most frustrating mystery of my life resolved, I remembered that this was the woman who had hit me once when I was a child.  She had slept with my father and wanted to marry him.  I thought of what a better life it would have been had Fluffy gotten her way. (65%).

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Synopsis:  At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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