So yesterday I finished The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I can't tell you how engrossed I got in this book. And how in awe I am of an ability to write a plot which joins up so perfectly despite having so many strands and keeping you guessing the whole way through.
The Secret Keeper is a story about the investigation of an elderly actress into the secret past of her mother, all started by a murder she witnesses in the 1960s. The book jumps backwards to wartime to slowly reveal the truth and forwards to present day as she learns more. The characters are fascinating but over and above everything else it's such a good story. I can't imagine how long it took to map out the story itself before she began to write it. The mind boggles.
There are two of her books I haven't yet read so The Distant Hours is probably next.
I'll also add in here that I read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. I read it aloud to the kids and it is quite simply the silliest book I have ever read. I'm not sure I ever read it as a child, despite it being in the book drawer (I am the fortunate recipient of many of my childhood stories although still can't find my copy of "The Boy With Illuminated Measles"...) There is space travel, an alien attack, and lots of messing about with the age of grandparents. The girls laughed out loud and I enjoyed reading it to them because of their reaction. Although it isn't a patch on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG or Matilda. It is gloriously daft though.
The version we have has some unnerving illustrations by Faith Jacques which caused a little upset. Kids were clearly a lot tougher in the 70s...