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Holding a Book

Alyson

The only bookshop worker who reads crime/thrillers... so definitely ask Alyson for her recommendations

More about me

1. A book you thought you were going to like but didn't?

Headland by John Byrnes - Gross! What the heck John?

2. A favourite book of 2022:

Happy Go Lucky by David Sedaris

3. Your favourite book of all time:

The Corpse Had A Familiar Face by Edna Buchanan

4. A book that changed your life:

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Attwood

5. A book that ruined you:

Wifedom by Anna Funder - I'm so MAD at George Orwell now!

6. A book with the best last line:

The Handmaids Tale:

"Are there any questions?"

Currently Reading:

The Vanishing Point

By Andrea Hotere

A dazzling and spellbinding debut about a mysterious painting, the secrets it keeps, and the two women connected across centuries by a quest to discover the truth – for readers of Geraldine Brooks, Tracy Chevalier and Maggie O'Farrell.

London, 1991: Alex Johns, an art intern at the Courtauld, believes a hidden secret lies within Diego VelÁzquez’s Las Meninas – one of the most written about paintings of all time.

Her mother died in mysterious circumstances while trying to uncover its secrets and Alex is troubled by memories of her own encounter as a child with the girl in the painting – the Infanta Margarita – who continues to haunt her. Alex must take up her mother’s work and find evidence to uncover the truths within the canvas.
 
Madrid, 1656: The Infanta Margarita senses that those around her believe the royal household is cursed.
 
She wonders why her father, the King, is a pale shadow of himself and why the Queen is distressed. What threatens the royal offspring? She struggles to fight for her own destiny as the forces around her seek to marry her off and send her from the home she loves.

A treacherous trail through the art world, the church and 17th century Spanish court via drawings, letters and cryptic notes has Alex trying to piece together what happened in King Philip’s court...
 
But with powerful players who will do anything to stop these truths coming to light, will Alex live to share them or is she, too, cursed?
 
In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring and A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Andrea Hotere’s The Vanishing Point slowly reveals the secrets in the painting that have been closely guarded for centuries. 
 
Praise for The Vanishing Point
'This is an astonishing and beautiful novel that brings the art world into sharp relief, as well as a gutsy mysterious story of one woman's journey into the past. Simply a masterpiece in its own right.' – Fiona Kidman

‘Captivating, filled with the spellbinding power that artworks have through history. I haven’t read anything quite like this before. Scenes from The Vanishing Point have and will remain vividly in my mind.’ – Hannah Bent

'The Vanishing Point is a spellbinding novel, but beware, it will arouse an intense longing to see the painting in its home in The Prado. I can’t wait to see what this author does next!' – ANZ Lit Lovers

The Vanishing Point

Bright Young Women

By Jessica Knoll

January 1978. A serial killer has terrorized women across the Pacific Northwest, but his existence couldn't be further from the minds of the young women at the top sorority on Florida State University's campus in Tallahassee. Tonight is a night of promise, excitement, and desire, but Pamela Schumacher, president of the sorority, makes the unpopular decision to stay home, a decision that unwittingly saves her life. Startled awake at 3 a.m. by a strange sound, she makes the fateful decision to investigate. What she finds behind the door is a scene of implausible violence-two of her sisters dead; two others, maimed. Over the next few days, Pamela is thrust into a terrifying mystery inspired by the crime that's captivated public interest for more than four decades.

On the other side of the country, Tina Cannon has found peace in Seattle after years of hardship. A chance encounter brings twenty-five-year-old Ruth Wachowsky into her life, a young woman with painful secrets of her own, and the two form an instant connection. When Ruth goes missing from Lake Sammamish State Park in broad daylight, surrounded by thousands of beachgoers on a beautiful summer day, Tina devotes herself to finding out what happened to her. When she hears about the tragedy in Tallahassee, she knows it's the man the papers refer to as the All-American Sex Killer. Determined to make him answer for what he did to Ruth, she travels to Florida on a collision course with Pamela, and one last impending tragedy.

Bright Young Women
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