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Saturdays at the Café

Saturdays at the Café - Body

Saturdays at the Café is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.

 


The Last Testament

From the Number One bestselling author of The Righteous Men comes this staggering religious conspiracy thriller. The Last Testament: It was written. It was lost. It will save us all.

April 2003: as the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities is looted, a teenage Iraqi boy finds an ancient clay tablet in a long-forgotten vault. He takes it and runs off into the night …

Several years later, at a peace rally in Jerusalem, the Israeli prime minister is about to sign a historic deal with the Palestinians. A man approaches from the crowd and seems to reach for a gun – bodyguards shoot him dead. But in his hand was a note, one he wanted to hand to the prime minister.

The shooting sparks a series of tit-for-tat killings which could derail the peace accord. Washington sends for trouble-shooter and peace negotiator Maggie Costello, after she thought she had quit the job for good. She follows a trail that takes her from Jewish settlements on the West Bank to Palestinian refugee camps, where she discovers the latest deaths are not random but have a distinct pattern. All the dead men are archaeologists and historians – those who know the buried secrets of the ancient past.

Menaced by fanatics and violent extremists on all sides, Costello is soon plunged into high-stakes international politics, the worldwide underground trade in stolen antiquities and a last, unsolved riddle of the Bible.

Eva @ Novel Deelights reviewed a later book in the series and it reminded me how much I enjoyed this author. Of course, I’m starting at the beginning.

 


Under My Skin

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts—there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

I’ve waited forever in the library queue for this book. It comes highly recommended.

 


Bitter Orange

From the attic of Lyntons, a dilapidated English country mansion, Frances Jellico sees them—Cara first: dark and beautiful, then Peter: striking and serious. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 in the rooms below hers while Frances is researching the architecture in the surrounding gardens. But she’s distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she finds a peephole that gives her access to her neighbors’ private lives.

To Frances’ surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to get to know her. It is the first occasion she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes until the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled.

But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories that Cara tells don’t quite add up, and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. Amid the decadence, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand their lives forever.

I initially took a pass on this book and rethought my decision.

 


The Clockmaker’s Daughter

My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader convinced me weeks ago to add this to my shelf. I waited until it showed up at my library.

 


A Serial Killer’s Daughter

In 2005, Dennis Rader confessed without remorse to the murders of ten people, including two children–acts that destroyed seven families and wrecked countless lives in the process. As the town of Wichita, Kansas, celebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare, another was just beginning for his daughter, Kerri Rawson.

Suffering from unexplainable night terrors for much of her childhood and young adult years, Kerri was unaware of her father’s crimes until the FBI knocked on her apartment door, plunging Kerri into a black hole of horror and disbelief. Her dad had been leading a double life. The same man who had been a loving father, devoted husband, church president, Boy Scout leader, and public servant had been using his family as a cover for his heinous crimes since before she was born.

Telling her story with candor and courage, Kerri writes for all who carry unhealed wounds and who struggle to protect themselves and their families from the crippling effects of violence, betrayal, anger, and loss. A Serial Killer’s Daughter is an intimate and honest exploration of life with one of America’s most notorious serial killers. For anyone grappling with how to forgive the unforgivable, rebuild lives in the shadow of death, and hold on to sanity in the midst of madness, Kerri’s story will shock, astound, and ultimately encourage.

I can’t wait to read this as I’m more than fascinated to learn her story.

 


Inheritance

What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her.

Inheritance is a book about secrets—secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in—a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

Timely and unforgettable, Dani Shapiro’s memoir is a gripping, gut-wrenching exploration of genealogy, paternity, and love.

I’m going through something similar and am hoping this provides some insight.

 


If Looks Could Kill

Meet Bailey Weggins, the thirty-something, single-again true crime writer for a leading Manhattan woman’s magazine. Smart and savvy, she’s got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing the truth in a story-especially if it’s murder. Bailey’s in bed with her commitment-challenged lover K.C. when she gets a frantic call from her high-maintenance boss at Gloss magazine. Grabbing coffee and a cab outside her Greenwich Village apartment-the consolation prize in her divorce settlement-Bailey reluctantly heads uptown. At Cat Jones’s Upper East Side town house, she finds something that seriously clashes with the chic décor: the dead body of the family’s line-in nanny.

As Bailey-unofficially-delves into the murdered girl’s past, she finds no shortage of A-list suspects. But when a startling discovery suggests that Cat may have been the intended victim, Bailey is suddenly up to her bed head in high-profile investigation that’s perfect fodder for a tabloid headline: Is someone trying to kill the editor’s of women’s magazines?

With the spotlight on New York’s glitzy media world, Bailey interviews back-stabbing editors, straying husbands, and one sexy, six-feet two psychologist who could make her decide to kick K.C. to the curb. Sporting her pair of red slingbacks and armed with the investigative skills she’s honed as a true crime reporter, she sets out on a search that takes her from Manhattan’s exclusive Carnegie-Hill area-the nanny heartland of America-to the ritzy weekend estates of Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Bailey will need all her street smarts and some lightning-fast detective work to catch a killer who could end up deleting her name from the masthead for good.

Mackenzie @ PhDiva reviewed the third book in this series and I wanted in!

 


The Gray Man

To those who lurk in the shadows, he’s known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always.
But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money. And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.

But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there’s no gray area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive…

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader reviewed a later book in the series and I was immediately taken in by this character. This is the beginning of his story.


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

28 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. You have some great choices coming up Jonetta. Funny thing is, I thought I had read Ink and Bone and when I read the synopsis, I went to Goodreads to check and I hadn’t. Time to get to it I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always love Saturdays at your cafe because the books that you feature are so diverse. There’s always at least one the lot that will pique my interest and this week is no different. Thank you! Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bitter Orange is such a peculiar book. I kinda liked it but also didn’t like some parts… hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂
    The Lisa Unger book looks really good! Don’t think i ever read any of her stuff…

    Liked by 1 person

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