Friday Face Off : Windows to the Soul


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

Windows – windows to the soul?

So, in sticking with my desire to go with recent reads I’ve gone with a great read from a favourite author: Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough.  I’m interpreting windows – as ‘eyes’ which are sometimes called windows to the soul – you could also literally choose a book with a window or windows.  Hopefully everyone found this week’s theme relatively easy.  Not a lot of covers, in fact, okay, two, but so very different.  Take a look:

I like both covers for different reasons but my favourite:


I mean, the second cover is great, deceptive even.  The woman in the pool, immediately gives off a summer vibe beach read but then the title with the blood red gives a different feeling altogether.   But this cover is classy.  You might not at first glance miss the person reflected in the glasses so that’s just an additional extra.  But there’s something very cold and clipped and perfectly manicured about this and for some reason it gives me the chills.

So, which is your favourite?

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.

Next week – Tentacles – ‘The sea brought you.  The sea shall have you back’

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  


3rd July – Tentacles – ‘The sea brought you.  The sea shall have you back’

10th July – Tunnel – ‘At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.’

17th July – holding an object – just as it seems

24th July – Framed – more meaning than one.  A cover with a frame, a picture within a cover or a murder mystery set up??

31st July – White – a cover that is predominantly white

7th August – Action – a cover that depicts action of some sort

14th August – Glasses or spectacles – “One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”

21st August – Potions –  hubble bubble

28th August – Dark road – ‘the road goes ever on and on’

4th September – Cold and crisp – any cover that gives you winter vibes

11th September – A cover with a pattern

18th September – Minimalistic and lacking clutter

25th September – A very busy cover full to bursting with detail

2nd October – A standout font

9th October – Mist/fog – “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.”

16th October – Spider web – “Farewell, Aragog, king of the arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you would never forget!

23th October – Ripped/torn – interpret it as you wish

30th October – Forest/jungle – ‘None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.’

6th November – Planets – “You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.”

13th November – Bright – ‘The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades’.

20th November – Words only – “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

27th November – Modern sci fi

4th December –  Fae – or fairy??

11th December – Lake – the mysterious lake

18th December – Highly Stylised

25th December- Freebie – or day off.


Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough

My TL:DR Five Word Review : Jealousy, Lust, Secrets and Murder

Dead To Her is another Sarah Pinborough book that kept me pretty much glued to the page.  This is a winning combination of steamy Southern gothic meets modern retelling of DuMaurier’s Rebecca and the combination of Steel Magnolias, gold diggers and unfaithful husbands makes for a boiling pot of intrigue.

If you’re picking up Dead to Her don’t imagine for one moment that you’re going to like any of the characters.  This is one big mess of nasty that goes to prove that beauty really is sometimes simply skin deep.

Meet Marcie – second wife to successful and wealthy Jason.  Marcie has completely reinvented herself and has finally achieved her heart’s desires.  She has a rich husband, money is no object, she’s younger than the other wives in her wealthy set and moves in elite circles.  Of course, Marcie, will never truly be satisfied because there’s always ‘one more goal’ before she has truly reached the pinnacle of success and having married a man who cheated and divorced his first wife she can never totally relax because she’s walking on pins waiting for the very same thing to happen to her.

Meet Keisha.  Recently married to William Radford IV, Jason’s boss, powerful and rich, Keisha is barely in her twenties.  She waltzes in with her designer gowns, curvaceous body, drop dead gorgeous looks and wild nature and steals Marcie’s crown without batting one perfectly outlined eyelid.  The two are rivals but at the same time, not being truly part of the inner circle their ‘outsider’ status pushes them together.

I’m not going to elaborate too much on the plot as this will fundamentally spoil the reveals as they naturally occur.  And there are plenty of reveals and a tangled web of deceit and red herrings along the way.

Characters – as I said don’t expect to make any friends among these pages.  I have sat here and thought about all of them and to be honest none of them are basking in the glow of innocence.  Whether it be greed, betrayal, bullying behaviour, vanity or revenge there are many shades of grey here and a number of different agendas.

The setting is modern Savannah. Hot and sultry, full of history and elite families with cupboards full of skeletons that will never be publicly displayed.  This is how the other half lives.  Money no object.  Yachts, lavish dining, afternoon cocktails around the pool, shopping sprees simply to break the monotony.  And, keeping up – everyone is jostling for position.

As I mentioned, I’m not going to elaborate on the plot.  Pinborough is becoming the queen of twisted storytelling.  Building things up and then knocking them back down.  In terms of the murder and the police investigation, I will say I’m not sure how everything stacks up but, to be honest, I don’t think it really matters here.  This is more about the dark underbelly and the glorious reveals which make it such an entertaining read.  There is also a play on magical realism in the form of voodoo and bad juju although this is a light touch that feeds more on superstition and fear than anything else.

In terms of criticism.  I think the novel takes a little while to really gather momentum but I didn’t find it a problem.  This felt like a very quick read and the set up is necessary.  And, as I said, I’m not sure how realistic some elements of the story are but, again, I don’t think it really matters as this is more about entertainment value than police procedure.

Overall, this was, as I hoped and expected, a very entertaining read.  I loved the play on a well loved classic story and the writing is easy, persuasive and cheeky all at once.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 stars


Can’t Wait Wednesday : Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough.  I love this author so I keep my eyes peeled (ouch) for any new books on the horizon.

DeadtoHerBeing the second wife can be murder . . . 

“Once a cheat, always a cheat,” they say.

Marcie Maddox has worked hard to get where she is after the illicit affair that started her new life a few years ago. But her world of country clubs, yachts and sumptuous houses in Savannah, Georgia, isn’t easy to maintain, no matter how hard she tries. Nor is keeping her husband, Jason, truly interested.

So, when Jason’s boss brings home a hot new wife from his trip to London, the young Mrs William Radford IV isn’t quite the souvenir everyone expected. Sexy, drop-dead gorgeous and black—Keisha quickly usurps Marcie’s place as the beautiful second wife. But when Marcie sees the extra spark in the room when Keisha and Jason are together and their obvious, magnetic attraction, the gloves come off.

Revenge is best served cold, but in the steamy Savannah heat, blood runs so hot that this summer it might just boil over into murder.

Expected publication: February 2020