Wondrous Words and Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Hidden by Melanie Golding

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 : The Hidden by Melanie Golding.  I loved Little Darlings and so have been waiting to see what the author would come up with next and The Hidden has an excellent description:

Melanie Golding’s newest folkloric suspense is a spine-tingling twist on Celtic mythology.

One dark December night, in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother finally arrives, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent case of a toddler running off.

Gregor, a seemingly single man, is found bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment, but the discovery of children’s toys raises more questions than answers.

Every night, Ruby gazes into Gregor’s apartment, leading to the discovery of his secret family: his unusually silent daughter and his mentally unstable wife, Constance, who insists that she is descended from the mythological Selkies. She begs Ruby to aid in finding the sealskin that Gregor has hidden from her, making it impossible to return to her people.

DS Joanna Harper’s investigation into Gregor’s assault leads her to CCTV footage of the mother-daughter pair from town. Harper realizes she knows the woman almost as well as she knows herself: it’s her estranged daughter, Ruby. No matter the depth of Ruby’s involvement, she knows she will choose her daughter over her career.

Steeped in local legend and exploring the depths of what it means to be a mother, Melanie Golding’s newest novel is a lyrical and atmospheric folktale for the modern age.

Expected publication : November 2021

WWW

This meme was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion Blog and has now been adopted by Elza Reads.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.

No rules just enjoy and for further info check out Elza Reads.

This week my word is:

TARADIDDLE

A taradiddle is a petty lie or pretentious nonsense.

What a lovely sounding word it is. I had a little look into the word.  It may have first been used in the 18th Century although the origins aren’t known.  There are a few myths out there about where and when the word came into use but it appears that these rumours are ‘taradiddles’ in themselves.

If you break the word up –

Tara – is an exclamation; and

Diddle – can be to cheat or swindle

So, put the two together and you have a cheating exclamation!  Which could be a little lie if you think about it.

Whilst I was looking into this I also came across an interesting little snippet for Harry Potter fans.  Apparently the word was used by Cornelius Fudge in JK Rowlings Order of the Phoenix “‘We haven’t got time to listen to more taradiddles, I’m afraid, Dumbledore.’”

Anyway, the book I was reading when came across this word was The Drowned City (which I enjoyed, my review here) by KJ Maitland:

Drowned City

The Drowned City by KJ Maitland

Posted On 5 April 2021

Filed under Book Reviews
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My Five Word TL:DR Review : Great start to historical series

Drowned CityWell, I say this is a great start, because I’m hopeful there will be more books with Daniel Pursglove seeking answers, so fingers crossed that this book receives the praise it deserves and more books are forthcoming.  I’ve long wanted to read Maitland and in fact I’m not quite sure why I’ve not delved into her work sooner.  I enjoy a good historical novel and the period for The Drowned City was a particularly fascinating time.

The story takes place a little time after the Gunpowder Plot has been discovered, King James first sits on the throne and times are turbulent when it comes to religion with those of the Catholic persuasion being forced into secrecy.  The plot here takes place after disaster strikes the Bristol channel causing rumours of witchcraft, or the hand of God taking revenge, to run rife.  James, already of a nervous disposition following the threat to his life, is eager for an investigation to be held to quell such rumours before they take on a life of their own.  It’s believed that one of the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot, Spero Pettingar, escaped detection and fled to Bristol which, in the throes of chaos is not only the perfect hiding place but is also a hotbed for spies and conspiracy.

Now, enter the scene Daniel Pursglove.  When I say enter the scene I mean let’s take a look inside Newgate Prison because that’s where Daniel is currently residing – and I don’t mean in a voluntary manner.  By all accounts Newgate was a pretty hideous place and Maitland paints it here in quite hideous but appropriate terms.  Pursglove is the perfect candidate to send into Bristol.  His background lends itself well, and you will discover this as the plot is uncovered, and so, he’s given a chance at freedom, go to Bristol, report back, and, if favourable, be released.  The stakes are high.

So, what did I like about this.  Well, it’s a fantastic period of history, rife with intrigue.  Everyone was backstabbing everyone else and this comes across clearly here.  The writing is just gorgeous.  You can practically sink into the place.  I love the attention to detail.  The place depicted is a hot mess which you would expect after such a catastrophic event – and even to this day it appears there are arguments about whether or not this was an immense storm surge or a tsunami.  Basically, whatever it was that took place, it caused massive devastation and that becomes clear on every page.  Bristol isn’t just dangerous in terms of the criminal element or the undercover conspiracies, the physical landscape is dangerous by virtue of the disaster.

On top of this Daniel is a great character to follow.  I found myself enjoying his story very much.  He’s basically a good guy, he’s not above taking action, he knows what’s what, and he isn’t naive by a long stroke of the imagination, but he’s basically a likable person and I could quite happily follow more of his adventures.

In terms of criticisms.  Not much from me to be honest.  I think this isn’t a book that you’re going to race through. This is a period of time that was messy and convoluted and sometimes it’s difficult to grasp all the subtle nuances. Also, Daniel sometimes seems to follow a strange path in his search for answers and not necessarily a path that’s easy to follow or understand.  Basically he seems to spend his time in any number of drinking establishments listening to gossip or seeking out shady characters.  There definitely is a slowing down of pace at certain points not to mention a slightly first in series feel but I have to say that none of these things were a problem for me.

On the whole, I had a really good time with this and I would love for the series to continue.  I think this could become a wonderfully dark and mysterious series.

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

My rating 4 of 5 stars