Life | Newton Leys Book Club #1

Yes, you’ve read the title right – I have joined a book club! I’ve always been an occasional reader (limited to going on holiday) and I always stick to the same genre of book or author. So I thought I’d try something new and divulge in new hobbies... yano, because I don’t have the time or money to go for afternoon tea, brunch or dinner anymore and I don’t really have the time to write, as much as I love it... I digress!

Anyway, somebody on the estate set up the group on Facebook and there was plenty of original interest. We had to vote on the book and the best day/time – and of course, you can’t always please everyone! We are fortunate enough to have a Costa on the estate, so we met there. There were four of us in attendance: Debbie (the group leader), Emma, Pearl and myself (with Alfie, of course, who was very well behaved). We were there to discuss book one: Gamekeeper Turned Poacher by Denver Murphy.

The best thing about joining a book club is coming across something you’d never normally read. I didn’t vote for this particular novel – and I wasn’t sold on the title. I had a look at the cover on Amazon and still wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it (although Ashley let me borrow his Kindle, where I could download it for free) – but I was pleasantly surprised. Rather than giveaway the plot or reveal spoilers, I’ve decided to write about some of the things we discussed during the meeting, as we used these questions as a guide.

The novel is plot-based, rather than character-based and I wasn’t sure if this was typical to the genre, but I found we didn’t know enough about the characters and their back stories. Usually, when I’m reading a book, I either find the characters are relatable or you have some kind of emotional connection with them – but this wasn’t the case. I personally like to feel more involved with them, as this is what makes me keep reading – and I’m hoping this is something that will shine through in books two and three.

Despite being told from different points of view and jumping between locations, the plot flowed well and it wasn’t too long before I was hooked. Being a crime novel, some of the descriptions were very detailed – without being too inappropriate and in some cases, still leaving something for the imagination. I think, had I not got Alfie to look after, I’d have read larger chunks in one go, rather than keep putting it down after a chapter or two. Talking of locations, the author lives on our estate and there was a mention of Milton Keynes, which I liked. I was familiar with a few of the locations used, but this one in particular got me (and the others) thinking! When we originally discussed this title, I thought the whole novel was set in MK – but I’m glad it wasn’t!

I loved there being a female lead and while we didn’t find out too much about her history or character (hoping for more in the sequel!), it added to the contemporariness of the novel. I feel like she was a sassy independent woman, not without her issues, but a breath of fresh air – and undoubtedly, my favourite character. Talking of issues, the novel touches upon many struggles in today’s society: murder, rape, mental health, sexism and equality in the workplace.

And finally, the ending! I’m glad there’s a second book as for me, this instalment ended too abruptly. I don’t think I really followed what was happening as I finished the final sentence I couldn’t work out who was alive or dead (if anyone was). I have already downloaded book two – and the third is out later this month. You can download or buy Gamekeeper Turned Poacher here.

Our next book is He Said, She Said by Erin Kelly.

Love, Lucy xx   

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Love, Lucy xx

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