I’ve not read any Charity Norman before. She was born in Uganda, and grew up and started her family in England, but moved to New Zealand in 2002. So we definitely consider her a New Zealand author.
I first came across her last year when her latest book, Remember Me, was listed in Kete books – a site announcing and reviewing new New Zealand books. It sounded interesting so I asked my friend to set aside a copy for me at the bookshop.
They never found Leah Parata. Not a boot, not a backpack, not a turquoise beanie. After she left me that day, she vanished off the face of the earth.
A close-knit community is ripped apart by disturbing revelations that cast new light on a young woman’s disappearance twenty-five years ago.
After years of living overseas, Emily Kirkland returns to New Zealand to care for her father, Felix, who suffers from dementia. As his memory fades and his guard slips, she begins to understand him for the first time – and to glimpse shattering truths about his past. Truths she’d rather were kept buried.
Apparently Charity Norman has published a few books, and my friend told me that The Secrets of Strangers was even better, so I got a copy of that too.
A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for a group of strangers whose paths cross in a London cafe – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage.
But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and, as the captives grapple with their inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?
These are both excellent examples of how appalling so many mystery book covers are – using generic stock photos that don’t appear to be connected to the story in any way or make me curious at all. I wouldn’t have picked these up if left to my own devices browsing in a bookshop.