When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Fiona Cummins, When I Was Ten on my blog today.

BLURB

Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were killed in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Their ten year-old daughter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened that night – with devastating consequences for them all.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of Fiona Cummins’s writing, and I couldn’t wait to read her new novel When I Was Ten. This is a highly engaging read, and once I started it, I was hooked. This is a novel with a really intriguing premise. A family have been slaughtered; their children have been separated. But the horrifying part is that Dr Carter and his wife were murdered by one of their children. It’s why it has become one of the most talked about crimes of the modern age. But what really happened that night? What is the untold story?

In When I Was Ten, Fiona Cummins delves into the psychology of the characters at the centre of the crime. Now everything is about to change for them. An explosive new documentary is about to air, and new revelations are about to come to light when one of the Carter sisters speaks to the press. Fiona Cummins introduces us to two characters, Catherine and Brinley. Brinley works at a local newspaper, and as interest in the Carter case heightens again, her boss is after an exclusive interview with one of the Carter sisters. But what he doesn’t know is that Brinley once lived next door to the Carter family. She chooses to keep this to herself. Catherine is also a really intriguing character. You can see she is keeping secrets, and she is determined to make sure that her past stays buried.

As the novel progresses, Fiona Cummins takes us back in time. We see the events leading up to the murders of the Carter family, and she begins to build a picture of what really took place. As Fiona Cummins did reveal more about what happened at that time, I could see why the events escalated in the way they did. But I don’t want to go into any further detail here. The book darkens as we begin to understand the truth, and the darkness becomes palpable as we reach the horrifying conclusion. It asks a terrifying question, what can prompt a child to murder their parents?

The writing is taut right the way through, and I could not put this book down. The chapters are short and snappy, and I wanted to find out more about the characters. Fiona Cummins writes some horrific scenes when we go back to the time of the murders. This is when the bigger picture here begins to unravel.

Fiona Cummins is one of the best crime writers out there. If you haven’t yet discovered her books, then you really need to. I highly, highly recommend When I Was Ten! I’m sure this is going to be one of the most talked about thrillers of the year, and it deserves to be.

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication date: 15th April 2021

Print length: 384 pages

When I was Ten is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 17/03/2021

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

The Night Gate: the Razor-Sharp Finale to the Enzo Macleod Investigations (The Enzo Files Book 7) by [Peter May]

In a sleepy French village, the body of a man shot through the head is disinterred by the roots of a fallen tree. A week later a famous art critic is viciously murdered in a nearby house. The deaths occurred more than seventy years apart.
Asked by a colleague to inspect the site of the former, forensics expert Enzo Macleod quickly finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the latter. Two extraordinary narratives are set in train – one historical, unfolding in the treacherous wartime years of Occupied France; the other contemporary, set in the autumn of 2020 as France re-enters Covid lockdown.

And Enzo’s investigations reveal an unexpected link between the murders – the Mona Lisa.

Tasked by the exiled General Charles de Gaulle to keep the world’s most famous painting out of Nazi hands after the fall of France in 1940, 28-year-old Georgette Pignal finds herself swept along by the tide of history. Following in the wake of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as it is moved from château to château by the Louvre, she finds herself just one step ahead of two German art experts sent to steal it for rival patrons – Hitler and Göring.

What none of them know is that the Louvre itself has taken exceptional measures to keep the painting safe, unwittingly setting in train a fatal sequence of events extending over seven decades.

Events that have led to both killings.

The Night Gate spans three generations, taking us from war-torn London, the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, Berlin and Vichy France, to the deadly enemy facing the world in 2020. In his latest novel, Peter May shows why he is one of the great contemporary writers of crime fiction.

A TALE OF GLAMOUR, INTRIGUE AND DESIRE ABOUT A YOUNG WOMAN’S ASTONISHING JOURNEY TO A NEW LIFE IN AUSTRALIA AT THE BRINK OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR

**********
England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, long-hidden secrets begin to surface. Her heart beats faster for the attention of handsome Edward, but is his heart already taken?

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and Lily’s desire for Edward is untameable. But something else is awry on this ship and Lily is determined to find out ….

What have I finished reading?

Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were killed in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Their ten year-old daughter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened that night – with devastating consequences for them all.

Cry for Mercy: An utterly addictive crime thriller with gripping mystery and suspense (Detective Eleanor Raven Book 1) by [Karen Long]

It should have been the best day of her life. It became the last.

Lydia’s mouth curls into a delighted smile as she spots the man in front of her on the quiet, suburban street. She has been expecting him, and she feels like the luckiest girl alive as she steps into the waiting car.

But Lydia isn’t as lucky as she thought—not when her parents frantically report that she never came home last night.
Not when her body is found, carefully displayed in an abandoned warehouse, miles from home.
And then another woman goes missing. How many more will disappear before her twisted killer is uncovered?

What will I read next?

The Bone Keeper: An unputdownable thriller; you'll need to sleep with the lights on by [Luca Veste]

What if the figure that haunted your nightmares as child, the myth of the man in the woods, was real?
 
He’ll slice your flesh. 
Your bones he’ll keep.
 
Twenty years ago, four teenagers went exploring in the local woods, trying to find to the supposed home of The Bone Keeper. Only three returned. 
 
Now, a woman is found wandering the streets of Liverpool, horrifically injured, claiming to have fled the Bone Keeper.  Investigating officer DC Louise Henderson must convince sceptical colleagues that this urban myth might be flesh and blood.  But when a body is unearthed in the woodland the woman has fled from, the case takes on a much darker tone. 

The Killing Choice: Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month ‘Riveting’ (DI Alex Finn 2) by [Will Shindler]

‘Leave your daughter with me, or I will kill you both’

It felt like a normal Friday evening before Karl and his daughter Leah were ambushed by a figure in a blank mask. At knife point, Karl is forced to make an impossible choice. Stay and die, or walk away from Leah and take this thug’s word that they both will live.

Should Karl trust a villain and leave his daughter with a knife at her throat? Could he ever live with himself if he did?

It’s not long before more seemingly unconnected and innocent people across London are offered a deal in exchange for their life. More blood is spilled, more families shattered, and more people are left to suffer with the consequences of their decisions.

DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen must hunt for a killer that appears to have no face, no motive and no conscience before more victims are forced to make their choice.

The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins #bookreview @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan

I’m absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Fiona Cummins brilliant new crime novel The Neighbour on my blog today.

The Neighbour by [Cummins, Fiona]

BLURB

FOR SALEA lovely family home with good-sized garden and treehouse occupying a plot close to woodland. Perfect for kids, fitness enthusiasts, dog walkers . . .

And, it seems, the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer.

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. Besides, they’d got the house at a steal and he was convinced he could flip it for a fortune.

The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.

After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer – quickly.

MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved this one. Having been a fan of Fiona Cummins’ first two novels, I was more than intrigued to see what she would write next, and the answer is The Neighbour which is a crime novel of pure brilliance. Fiona’s writing makes her books exactly the type of read you could race through in one sitting. Genuinely chilling and with short, snappy chapters that will have you itching to read the next, this is top-rate crime fiction.

Fiona develops her characters so, so well. We have the Lockwood’s who have just moved into The Avenue and the creepy neighbours who will have you examining and thinking about each and every one of them. I had so many suspicions about all of them, and I loved how Fiona led me down several different paths and how she then thwarted my thoughts at the end as the final truths were revealed, and this was done so very brilliantly.

There is such a creepy premise to this book that will have you looking at your own neighbours with suspicion, perhaps, depending on how well you get on with them I suppose and how well you know them. We hear from the killer’s thoughts throughout the book, and there were some lines in these scenes that did give me chills. The characters will also have you thinking just what lengths will you go to protect your loved ones, especially from the secrets you hide. You will see what I mean when I say that this is a genuinely chilling read.

The Neighbour is a novel I did not want to put down. The only problem I have now is that I have to wait a while for Fiona’s next book. This is very much a character-driven crime novel, and they will all stay in your mind for a while after you read it. This definitely comes highly recommended from me.

Publisher: Pan

Publication date: 4th April 2019

Print length: 416 pages

If you would like to purchase The Neighbour you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones