Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (December 11)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well the Christmas tree is up, 11 of the chocolates from the advent calendar devoured and at last most of the presents bought, although I still have the dreaded wrapping to do. I think I’m the only female on the planet that has wrapping skills that are so below par no amount of bows and ribbons can disguise the poor effort that lurks beneath! How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

After all that goodness I treated myself to both episodes shown so far of Rillington Place on BBC iPlayer yesterday! Oh my goodness Tim Roth is so creepy as Reg Christie. I’m looking forward to the final episode of this three part drama.

I don’t watch much TV and these days what I do watch is Netflix series that are agreed by both inhabitants of this household, the rest of the time the TV is on boy stuff or used for playing games so I depend on my lovely colleagues at work who tell me about those programmes that I will enjoy – this one is a corker. Despite my interest in true crime I realised that beyond recognising the names of both the house and Christie, I knew nothing about the murders – I think I may be reading a book about this before too long!

This Week on the Blog

Due to so much going on last weekend I skipped posting on Monday to give myself time to catch up, so my blogging week started with my excerpt post on Tuesday which came from The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle, the story of a woman following the death of her husband in a plane crash, a plane he wasn’t supposed to be on, realised that everything she thought she knew about his was a lie.

My This Week in Books post featured two psychological thrillers and a crime novel set in Jersey – Standing in the Shadows by Jon Stasiak.

On Thursday I reviewed My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal, a credible story about two siblings separated, in part due to their colour, by Social Workers in the 1980s. A moving story narrated by nine-year old Leon that avoided overplaying its hand thereby becoming all the more hard-hitting. This book has been shortlisted for the Costa Awards.

Friday had me reviewing one of my own books; The Silent Hours by Cesca Major. Set in France, mainly during World War II two young people fall in love – one Jewish Sebastian, the other Isabelle whose brother was fighting. Giving the book real depth the book is told from a number of perspectives and ends with a shocking real-life event. This was an incredibly powerful read.

My final review of the week fully deserved the full five stars: Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaistre wrote a masterpiece of misdirection with this novel. I was really quite unsure with the beginning and then everything changed and I didn’t want to part with the book. I am now reconsidering my Top Ten read for 2016!

This Time Last Year…

…I was reading a non-fiction books The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson, a book which covers the surveys carried out on children to record the state of health amongst other things, of the country. It was completely fascinating and a very accessible read.

You can read my full review here

The Life Project


The remarkable story of a unique series of studies that have touched the lives of almost everyone in Britain today
On 3rd March 1946 a survey began that is, today, the longest-running study of human development in the world, growing to encompass six generations of children, 150,000 individuals and some of the best-studied people on the planet. The simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die, irrevocably altering our understanding of inequality and health. This is the tale of these studies; the scientists who created and sustain them, the remarkable discoveries that have come from them. The envy of scientists around the world, they are one of Britain’s best-kept secrets. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well despite vowing to stay away from NetGalley I do have one addition from them, again prompted by some tantalising reviews in the blogosphere: What Remains of Me by A L Gaylin was published on 1 December 2016.



People don’t need to know you’re a murderer.
They just have to think you could be…

June 1980: 17-year-old Kelly Lund is jailed for killing Hollywood film director, John McFadden
Thirty years later, Kelly is a free woman. Yet speculation still swirls over what really happened that night.
And when her father-in law, and close friend of McFadden is found dead – shot through the head at point-blank range – there can only be one suspect.
But this time Kelly has some high-profile friends who believe she’s innocent of both crimes.
But is she? NetGalley

A couple of weeks ago Rachel from the lovely Chillers Killers and Thrillers blog ran a competition to win a signed copy of The Mine by Antti Tuomainen which was published by Orenda books earlier this year – I won!! Thank you Rachel whose blog I heartily recommend!



A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. Can he uncover the truth before it’s too late?

In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.

A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir. Amazon

The lovely Karen from Orenda asked me if there were any other books I’d like her to add to the parcel? What sort of question is that? Especially with all the excellent books they publish. She kindly included one that I have been particularly eyeing up since all the wonderful reviews appeared; A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone



Some secrets should never be kept…
Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.
A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them… Amazon

PicMonkey Collage TBR


Since my last post I have read 3 books and I gained 3 so this week my TBR has remained static at 177 books! On the plus side the NetGalley reads are definitely decreasing.

94 physical books
70 e-books
13 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

29 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (December 11)

  1. Wow, so many tempting books, as usual.

    I can probably compete with you for worst gift wrapping skills in the world, Cleo. When my daughter lived in my guest house, she had to come over and wrap for me. LOL. Now I just give gift cards…or have things wrapped at the store.

    I can’t wait to get The Marriage Lie…I have it bookmarked. What Remains of Me looks good, too…and so does that Rillington Place trailer. Tim Roth can be creepy when he’s not even trying…


    1. Haha from the small survey so far maybe book lovers and wrapping skills are mutually exclusive – my daughter also has wrapped presents for me – as a teenager and beyond! I love it when stores offer the service!! Tim Roth seriously creeped me out in this one – but it is so good, can’t wait for the last part!


  2. With you on the wrapping! I’ve finished Finders Keepers by Stephen King and was struggling through The Watcher by Ross Armstrong and that has suddenly got brilliant. Rillington Place is fab and so is the other In Blind Sight. It’s also based on true events.


  3. Ha, my wrapping skills are so bad I used to claim my 4 year old (at the time) had wrapped the presents for birthday parties. And blame Santa (he must have hurt his thumb and not been able to wrap properly).
    I’ve been enjoying (although probably repulsed is more accurate a description) Tim Roth as Christie – really sinister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m feeling much less like I need to go to a meeting and state ‘My Name is Cleo and I can’t wrap’ As quite small children mine would declare ‘Mum wrapped this’ when handed anything I’d attempted to cover with paper as my ex was quite proficient!
      Tim Roth is so very creepy as Christie and repulsed is the right description!


  4. You’ve got some good reads coming up, Cleo, and congratulations on your win! That’s great! Thanks also for sharing about Rillington Place. It sounds great, and I hope it’ll come across the pond at some point.


  5. Oh I LOVE that actress! I admire her so much! I saw her in a another sad movie when she was younger Loving…? (Some man’s name), and JANE EYRE many years ago. She looks older now, but top rate! I love true stories! Thanks for the heads up!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been reading a children’s book, Cogheart, by Peter Bunzl. I’ve loved it. There’s a mechanical fox in it called Malkin that I’d quite like Santa to deliver to me for Christmas. Fingers crossed!


  7. I must have already eaten 11 entire Advent calendars, haha. I never learned to enjoy one square of chocolate at a time. I have only done half my Christmas shopping, which means I seriously need to get to it to avoid running everywhere at the last minute.
    I am so happy to see A Suitable Lie included in this post! I cannot wait to read your review, I loved it to pieces 🙂


  8. I always start out having fun wrapping presents. Then is gets tiring. LOL Presents I bought online are trickling in so I’m wrapping them as they arrive. Not so hard then:) Still got some shopping to do but I want to get out to the stores and browse too.

    My Sunday Post


  9. Have you seen the 10 Rillington Place movie with Richard Attenborough and John Hurt? I saw it on its release many years ago and was stunned — I barely dared walk hom from the cinema through the darkened streets of Kilburn . . . The worst murder is the judicial one of Timothy Evans.

    Wrapping? Try the male approach. First, beat the gift into submission. After a while it’ll be only too glad to crawl meekly into the wrapping paper. Even so, it’s best to put your foot on its throat until you realize you’ve left the sticky tape upstairs and/or your spouse has decamped with it for some obscure craft project of her own. The gift may start to wriggle around at this point, but a threatening snarl should cow it back into immobility. Begin shouting incomprehensibly — this is a useful and effective male response to any form of adversity. Sooner or later, your spouse will appear on the scene with a weary eye.

    “Look, dammit,” you should bellow reasonably, “this is your present, so it’s only fair that you be the one to wrap it!”

    This is my own tried and true method and it works every time, as when I started wrapping Pam’s birthday present today. And I have the black eye to prove it.


  10. Is there something about readers and the lack of the fine motor skills needed for wrapping – some link with the rapidly flicking eye movements of a reader miswiring the paper folding cutting and sellotape subduing optimum fine hand movement mastery? We are clearly ALL coming out of the woodwork on this. Perhaps we could have a competition next year, with prhotographic evidence of the worst parcelling skills. You tube videos to display the sorry skills in progress.

    For myself, I also think there must be a gene or two for abysmal wrapping, as my mum was the same. My ex, a dab hand at wrapping, would do the honours of the wrap, so at least our presents to each other ended up beautifully wrapped – but his presents were of course savagely handled by me, so always looked as if a demented sheepdog had had a paw in the activity.

    And one of my cats, this year, I note has been using the wrapping paper for claw sharpening. No doubt SOMEONE would find a way to rescue things by turning it into bows, whipped ends and furbelows. But not me.

    It does mean most of my presents need to be square or rectangular tp have any kind of neatness about them. There’s always the little gift bags instead of paper and sello. And other cheating mechanisms, such as wrapping small presents up by stuffing them into a pair of (new) socks!!

    And does’nt it take FOREVER to do – iot took me twice as long to mangle wrapping as it took the ex to create a package of beauty


    1. Haha I’ve been pondering this since so many book lovers suffer from the same affliction. I did some after writing this post and put them in a bag (so they didn’t offend my eyes) and blow me but by today the sellotape has detached itself from one end already! At least I haven’t got my hair attached this time which is particularly attractive 😏
      I try to go for squared edges too, but to be honest these still look far from the professional creations everyone around me effortlessly produces – and yes it takes way too long!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh well I guess none of us could get employment as seasonal staff in chi chi gift shops where elegant ladies and gentlemen perform fast, sophisticated origami art with wrapping paper and whipped ribbons and pompoms.

        Liked by 1 person

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