4 of 5 stars
Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
I did enjoy this book - it was an interesting story linking a historical tale with the current day. It's certainly an impressive debut novel. But, I couldn't give it 5 stars as I felt it was a bit lacking in depth. The page count is listed as 320, it felt shorter than that when reading it and it could have benefitted from more details in places.
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's nearly midnight and you're home alone with only your baby grandson for company. Your daughter and her boyfriend have gone out to a party; the first time they've been out since their son was born. And now you are waiting for them to come home. But they don't. The next morning, frantic, you ring your daughter's friends, and you're told that she was last seen heading to a party in an isolated village known as Dark Place ...
An unsolved mystery, family secrets, a boarding school for difficult teenagers, and an unidentified body.
This was certainly a gripping book - I finished it within 2 days. It was a little bit jumpy between time frames for me, hence no 5 stars and there were a couple of aspects that I didn't find totally plausible but it was still a great read.
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