Friday, 25 July 2014

Books and Holidays Special Guest Post by Emma Jones

Today I would like to welcome Emma Jones with her books and holidays guest post.

Thanks to Jo for asking me to contribute to your books and holidays theme blog posts.

Below are two books that remind me of holidays and I think make perfect holiday reads. They are very different and therefore may suit different moods or peoples tastes. 

The first is a British crime fiction novel and the second is a humorous book based on 70’s camping holidays.

Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham

Book Blurb taken from Amazon
Perfect strangers. 

A perfect holiday. 

The perfect murder... 

Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, their perfect holiday takes a tragic twist: the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves. 

When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don't always like what they find: buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices... 

Then, a second girl goes missing. 

Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody can imagine?

My Review
The plot focuses on three British couples (Angie & Barry, Sue & Ed and Marina & Dave) who meet on holiday in sunny FloridaOn the last day of their holiday a young girl with learning disabilities goes missing and is found murderedThe couples are all interviewed but allowed to return home.

The couples each exchange emails and end up arranging to meet up for dinner back in the UK. It’s over these dinners you learn more about each characterSome of the characters have a stereotypical feel e.g. –Loud salesman, timid wife but this adds to the twists and turnsAs we learn more about the sixholidaymaker’s it is clear they all have secrets to hideThe three dinner parties become more fraught especially when the couples are questioned further by the UK detective.

Suspicions are raised when a second girl from Kent disappears in similar circumstances and a young ambitiousdetective in the UK takes up the case.

I often guess the end of crime fiction but this one kept me guessing tell the end which I lovedalso liked the use of emails that broke the story up and added to the realistic feel of the situation.
I think this is a perfect holiday read. It is clever and had me hooked. Also the holiday theme makes you think of sunshine even if you maybe on a caravan site in the UK on a rainy afternoon.

The Tent, The Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy

Book Blurb taken from Amazon
Pack your suitcases, we're off!  
For the 70's child, summer holidays didn't mean the joy of CentreParcs or the sophistication of a Tuscan villa. They meant being crammed into a car with Grandma and heading to the coast. With just a tent for a home and a bucket for the necessities, we would set off on new adventures each year stoically resolving to enjoy ourselves. 
For Emma Kennedy, and her mum and dad, disaster always came along for the ride no matter where they went. Whether it was being swept away by a force ten gale on the Welsh coast or suffering copious amounts of food poisoning on a brave trip to the south of France, family holidays always left them battered and bruised.
But they never gave up. Emma's memoir, The Tent, The Bucket and Me, is a painfully funny reminder of just what it was like to spend your summer holidays cold, damp but with sand between your toes.

My Review
I loved this book. It made me smile and laugh throughout. It has an amazing feel good factor. It is not an actual novel but a collection of funny holiday trips. The book has 10 chapters each about a different event.
The first story made me actually laugh out loud. The car had broken down and was now temporarily fixed but it was imperative that it kept moving. However they needed to pick up the grandmother from her home in Wales.
“You want me to ask your seventy year old mother to jump into a moving car?” My mother blinked
My grandmother who was not fast at the best of times, skip-walked next to the open car door. She couldn’t quite muster the courage to jump. My mother gave her a shove. My grandmother falling into the car was in grave danger of being impaled on the gear stick. This was not how they did things in the valley.
Disasters and confusion are involved throughout. They were caught in gale force winds on a Welsh cliff top and Emma fell into a squat toilet having just arrived in France.
I’m not sure it would endear you to camping but is a brilliantly funny read with constant reminds of holidays in the70’s.

Twitter: @booksemmajones

Thanks Emma

Jo xx

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