This week the heat gang popped our slippers on, took the phone off the hook and polished our spectacles as we sat back and enjoyed a spot of reading. On this week's heat bookshelf: The Space Between Us by Anna McPartlin and The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson.
Here's what we thought:
The Space Between Us
Anna McPartlin (Penguin, £7.99)
The plot: Lily and Eve had been best friends since they were in nappies, but, after a huge falling- out in their teenage years, the pair went their separate ways. Fast-forward 17 years and Eve wakes up in hospital following a devastating accident, only to find Lily nursing her back to health. As the two women reconnect, it doesn’t take long for them to realise that turning their backs on each other all those years ago has had catastrophic consequences. Will Eve help Lily to escape her vile husband, and can Lily open Eve’s eyes to the pain she’s concealing?
What’s right with it? The story flips from the present day to letters that Eve and Lily wrote
to each other in the months running up to their bitter parting, giving each character a real depth and helping you appreciate just how colossal the impact of their separation has been. McPartlin expertly sprinkles humour, emotion and action through every scene, keeping you hastily page-hopping right until the end.
What’s wrong with it? You have to wait a long time to find out exactly what it was that caused Eve and Lily to loathe each other so much, so patience is a must.
Verdict: A warm, honest and touching tale about life, love, friendship and all the inevitable chaos that comes with it. 4/5 @Broomie29
The Rose Petal Beach
Dorothy Koomson (Quercus, £14.99)
The plot: Tamia Challey’s world is split in two when her husband Scott is arrested for the attempted rape of her best friend Mirabelle. He admits to an affair, but says the rape was a lie made up by Mirabelle after he tried to finish things with her. Tamia doesn’t know who or what to believe, and things get even crazier when Mirabelle is found murdered. Tamia has no memory of her actions on the night of her best friend’s death, as she’d drunk two bottles of wine. All she does know is that she was capable of murderous fantasies about the woman who has been killed. But could Tamia have done it for real?
What’s right with it? Pacy and compelling, the twists and turns come thick and fast with a surprise round every corner.
What’s wrong with it? Scott’s double (or even triple) life does seem a teeny bit unlikely.
Verdict: If you’re taking The Rose Petal Beach on holiday with you, you’d better find yourself a nice comfy sunlounger, as you won’t want to shift from it all day. 4/5 @StarStyleJo