Six Degrees of Separation from Trust to The Betrayal of Trust

It’s time again for Six Degrees of Separation, a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.

The starting book this month is Trust by Hernan Diaz, described as a sweeping, unpredictable novel about power, wealth and truth, told by four unique, interlocking voices and set against the backdrop of turbulent 1920s New York. I haven’t read this but it does appeal to me.

My First link is to another book set in the 1920s, The Winding Road by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, a big hardback of 662 pages, that I bought in a library book sale. There are 35 books in the Morland Dynasty series and I haven’t read any of them. This is the 34th book in the series, so I am hoping it will read well as a standalone. The Jazz Age is in full swing in New York, the General Strike is underway in London, the shadows are gathering over Europe and the Wall Street Crash brings the decade to an end.

My Second Link is also a book I bought in a library book sale, Dark Matter by Philip Kerr, subtitled The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton. This is historical crime fiction, set in 1696 when Newton was the Warden of the Royal Mint at the Tower of London hunting down counterfeiters during the period of the Recoinage of the currency, when fake gold coins were being forged. 

My Third Link is to The Redemption of Alezander Seaton by S G Mclean another book set in the 17th century, not in London, but in Scotland, mainly in the town of Banff. It’s a story of murder and cruelty, but also of love and the power of good over evil, as Alexander Seaton, a schoolteacher, sets out to prove the innocence of his friend Charles Thom, accused of murder.

The author originally wrote under her name – Shona Maclean, but now her books are published under the truncated name, S G MacLean. Another author who has also changed her published name, but the other way round, going from a truncated name to her full first name is Sharon Bolton who formerly wrote as S J Bolton.

And so my Fourth Link is to Sharon Bolton’s Blood Harvest, which was originally published under the name S J Bolton. It’s a dark, scary book and one that I found disturbing, but thoroughly absorbing, It’s a modern Gothic tale about the Fletchers who have just moved into a new house, but someone seems to be trying to drive them away – at first with silly pranks but then with threats that become increasingly dangerous. It’s full of tension, terror and suspense and I was in several minds before the end as to what it was all about.

I read Blood Harvest in September 2011. My Fifth Link is another book I read that month, Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie. It’s a baffling case for Poirot when he is asked to investigate the death of Enoch Arden, found dead in his room at the local inn. There isn’t a flood in this book – the title is from Shakespeare, as Poirot explains:  “There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at its flood leads on to fortune …” Someone acted on that, Superintendent. To seize opportunity and turn it to one’s own ends – and that has been triumphantly accomplished…’

But there is a flood in my Sixth Link, The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill, the 6th in the Simon Serrailler series. Simon investigates a cold case, that of a teenager missing for 16 years. After flooding causes a landslip on the Moor her body comes to the surface together with that of an unknown female found in a shallow grave nearby. But the police investigations are not the main subject of this book. It focuses on the problems of ageing, hospice care, Motor Neurone Disease, assisted suicide, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. A lot to cope with all at once and at times I found The Betrayal of Trust a deeply depressing book.

My chain is a full circle that going from Trust to The Betrayal of Trust and from the 1920s, passing through the 17th century to the 20th century, and from historical fiction to crime fiction.

Next month (4, March 2023), we’ll start with a book that was a best-selling self-help title in the seventies – Passages by Gail Sheehy. I have never heard of this book before.

7 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation from Trust to The Betrayal of Trust

  1. These are really clever links, Margaret! And I’m glad you’ve been able to find some good books at your library’s sale. I’m happy to see Bolton, MacLean, and Kerr here; I like their writing very much. And, of course, Agatha Christie…


  2. Great links. The Redemption of Alexander Seaton has been on my TBR for years – I must try to read it soon! I love Sharon Bolton too and Blood Harvest is one of the few books of hers that I still haven’t read.


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