Title: The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou

Author: Eleni Kyriacou

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Head of Zeus

The Blurb

A compelling historical crime novel set in the Greek diaspora of 1950s London – that’s inspired by a true story – The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is perfect for fans of Sara Collins, Eve Chase and Jessie Burton.

THEY HAVE TOLD SO MANY LIES ABOUT ME.

London, 1954. Zina Pavlou, a Cypriot grandmother, waits quietly in the custody of the Metropolitan police. She can’t speak their language, but she understands what their wary looks mean: she has been accused of the brutal murder of her daughter-in-law.

Eva Georgiou, Greek interpreter for the Met, knows how it feels to be voiceless as an immigrant woman. While she works as Zina’s translator, her obsession with the case deepens, and so too does her bond with the accused murderer.

Zina can’t speak for herself. She can’t clear her own name. All she can do is wait for the world to decide…

IS SHE A VICTIM? OR IS SHE A KILLER?

The Review

This is quite possibly my book of the year.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is based on real life events and is about the justice system in Britain post-WW2. Zina Pavlou is a Greek Cypriot who has come to England to live with her son and his wife. During her time in England she struggles with the new way of life, not understanding the language and mostly not getting on with her daughter-in-law. However, when she gets accused of a heinous crime things become decidedly worse.

This story is a fascinating read that makes you question what it is that you think you know. Told from two different perspectives with a non linear timeline you are left really unsettled.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is a fantastic story.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou is available now.

For more information regarding Eleni Kyriacou (@elenikwriter) please visit www.elenikwriter.com.

For more information regarding Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Well Behaved Women

Author: Caroline Lamond

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

When Maybelle Crabtree, a God-fearing farm girl from Kentucky, has a chance encounter with a charismatic stranger, her life changes forever. With an invitation to join the infamous Alla Nazimova and her Sewing Circle, Maybelle’s eyes are opened to a life of decadence and glamour.

Able to freely discover her own sexuality, Maybelle embraces all that Hollywood has to offer in the hedonist roaring twenties.

But both Maybelle and Alla have secrets that threaten to bring their gilded lives crashing down. Hearts will be broken, careers destroyed and friendships shattered because what happens behind closed doors, doesn’t stay hidden forever…

TW: This book contains scenes of a sexual nature, violence, domestic abuse and abortion.

The Review

I do love me some historical fiction and I really enjoyed Caroline Lamond’s Well Behaved Women.

Well Behaved Women focuses on the life of real life actress Alla Nazimova and asks “what if?” Caroline Lamond has magically woven a story out of this concept and invited readers to a time and place that we can only dream about being a part of and peeks behind the curtain of the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle.

Accompanying Alla’s story we have Maybelle – a country bumpkin who is seduced by the Hollywood crowd. We follow her into Alla’s world and marvel at how different her life becomes.

Well Behaved Women is a good story and the sapphic elements make you realise just how careful people had to be due to the judgement of those around them. It is an entertaining read and one that fans of historical fiction, the world of celebrity and LGBTQIA+ stories will love.

Well Behaved Women by Caroline Lamond is available now.

For more information regarding Caroline Lamond (@carolinelamond) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins UK (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Hiding Game

Author: Naomi Wood

Pages: 383 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

In 1922, Paul Beckermann arrives at the Bauhaus art school and is immediately seduced by both the charismatic teaching and his fellow students. Eccentric and alluring, the more time Paul spends with his new friends the closer they become, and the deeper he falls in love with the mesmerising Charlotte. But Paul is not the only one vying for her affections, and soon an insidious rivalry takes root. 

As political tensions escalate in Germany, the Bauhaus finds itself under threat, and the group begins to disintegrate under the pressure of its own betrayals and love affairs. Decades later, in the wake of an unthinkable tragedy, Paul is haunted by a secret. When an old friend from the Bauhaus resurfaces, he must finally break his silence. 

Beautifully written, powerful and suspenseful, Naomi Wood’s The Hiding Game is a novel about the dangerously fine line between love and obsession, set against the most turbulent era of our recent past.

The Review

I have a rule that has been put in place since my NetGalley backlist is currently over 900 books (shh! If I pretend it isn’t there then maybe it will go away) and the rule is that I am not allowed to stick with a book if it isn’t gripping me. I will give it a good try but if I’m not getting along with it then I will have to put it down. Life is too short for books I am not enjoying. Unfortunately, The Hiding Game fell into this category.

I feel bad because I am sure others have loved this book. It may have been a case of right book wrong time but at this point in my life I cannot continue with a book that I can’t remember the names of the main characters for when I am over 10% into it. It just isn’t for me.

The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood is available now.

For more information regarding Naomi Wood (@NaomiWoodBooks) please visit www.naomiwood.com.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: Kicking Off!

Author: Eve Ainsworth

Pages: 279 Pages

Publisher: UCLan Publishing

The Blurb

It’s 1917, and Britain is at war. Shy teenager Hettie wants to help the war effort, and signs up to work in the local Dick, Kerr & Co. munitions factory. She’s nervous, but she has no idea quite how much her life is about to change … For, inside this factory are young women who are about to make sporting history. Can Hettie find the courage to join them, and in doing so, find her own place in the world?

Based on the thrilling true story of the Dick, Kerr Ladies team – football’s forgotten legends.

The Review

One of my favourite things in books is when the author takes a real life event or a real life person and writes a fictional account of their world. This is why I absolutely loved Kicking Off by Eve Ainsworth.

It is the story of a munitions factory in Preston during the First World War. It is about the girls who stood up and took on the jobs that were usually done by the men. It is about the bravery and courage to make social change when the world was feeling so precarious. And it was about football.

You may think that the beautiful game is hardly world changing but when you think about the fight that women had to be able to take part in football – and about how it is only in the past few years that women’s football has become as popular as it has – then you can see the relevance of a book set over 100 years ago. Girls need more books celebrating them in sport.

Kicking Off! was a joy to read.

Kicking Off! by Eve Ainsworth is available now.

For more information regarding Eve Ainsworth (@EveAinsworth) please visit www.eveainsworth.com.

For more information regarding UCLan Publishing (@publishinguclan) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Christie Affair

Author: Nina de Gramont

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.

I’m no Hercule Poirot.

I’m her husband’s mistress.

Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.

After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to . . .

The Review

Having never read an Agatha Christie book it is a mystery to me as to why I was so intrigued to read The Christie Affair – a story based loosely around the 11 days of Agatha Christie’s life when she went missing…but intrigued I was.

In this absolutely enigmatic tale Nina de Gramont fills in what happened during those 11 days and paints a whole other side to who Agatha Christie was. Whilst this is a fictional account, the story that Nina de Gramont poses – her ‘what if…?’ actually seems very plausible. She factors in socio-economical factors, historical elements and then throws in a murder mystery in this melting pot of ideas and all together it makes a pretty damn fine story.

I know this is fictional but I kind of want it to be real.

The Christie Affair is definitely in my top ten books of the year so far.

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont is available now.

For more information regarding Nina de Gramont (@NinadeGramont) please visit www.ninadegramont.com

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.