Jeff and Michael Popple recommend five great summer reads to keep you entertained or relaxed at the pool, beach or backyard. More of their reviews can be found on their blogs: murdermayhemandlongdogs.com and the unseenlibrary.com
Spy by Danielle Steel
Looking for a good book to kick off your summer reading? Then check out Spy by bestselling author Danielle Steel. Spy follows the life of Alexandra Wickham, a young woman who serves as a British intelligence operative during and after World War II, but who can never reveal the truth of her job to any of her loved ones.
Spy is an outstanding piece of historical fiction that expertly combines romance and family drama with an intriguing spy thriller story. A powerful and addictive read, Spy has something for everyone and is highly recommended.
Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward
If you need a massive book to read while travelling or lounging by the pool, you should get this debut fantasy novel from Matthew Ward. The Tressian Republic is under threat of invasion, and yet its rulers are blinded by plots and ambition. Three heroes may have a chance of saving their nation, however, bitter rivalries and the need for revenge threatens to turn them against each other.
A complex novel with a widespread and exciting story, this excellent book is well worth checking out. At nearly 800 pages long, it is guaranteed to keep you busy and enthralled over the holidays.
More Book talk:
Miracle Mutts by Laura Greaves
Michael Joseph, $32.99
Laura Greaves provides some feel-good reading, and great photos, with this lovely book about dogs who have shown incredible grit and determination. The 15 accounts collected here run the gamut from tales about dogs who have suffered abuse, medical issues and farming accidents, but have gone on to prosper and give back to their rescuers. Included among them is Maggie who was shot 17 times on the streets of Beirut and blinded, but now provides support to stressed out students in England.
The abuse that many of these dogs received will make you angry, but the outcomes are a triumph of compassion and resilience.
The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale
Simon & Schuster, $29.99
This briskly paced tale of love gone wrong is a good follow-up to Drysdale’s enjoyable The Sunday Girl. When Charlie sees a photo of her husband on a dating app she goes into a spin. Determined to find out what is going on, she signs up to the app to catch him out, but things soon spin out of control and she finds herself in a deadly situation.
Charlie is an engaging narrator who combines a sense of mounting horror with wry observations on internet dating, “Think: zombie apocalypse with dick pics,” and the book builds to an unexpected climax. A good beach novel.
Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter by Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad
For a terrific fun read for the kids, think about grabbing this latest entry in the iconic Asterix series. Asterix, Obelix and the Gaulish village play host to the daughter of the legendary chieftain Vercingetorix in order to keep her out of Roman hands. However, the chieftain’s daughter is a rebellious young woman who is determined to run away, even with a dogged traitor hunting her.
Part of a newer batch of Asterix comics that have a more modern flair, this latest volume has the heart of the original comics, as well as an amusing focus on the trials of the younger generation. Very entertaining.