It’s some time since I have done a wrap up post which was mainly due to an unscheduled break from blogging caused by too much paid work to leave any time to devote to the blog and I have a rule to prioritise reading over blogging.
I have been short-sighted since I started at secondary school and after several months of not being able to see the board admitted this fact to my parents and was duly issued with a horrible pair of NHS glasses.
I hated them and spent the whole of my school career only wearing them when absolutely necessary, leading to at least two pairs ending up under the wheels of the school bus as they flew out of my pocket as I raced for it. Anyway time moved on and eventually I had a more stylish pair and then I moved to contact lenses so I only need to wear my glasses on very rare occasions. But, horror has struck, I went to the optician for my routine eye-test to be informed that I now need to wear reading glasses, the news was accompanied with the phrase ‘well you’re fast approaching that magic milestone!’ The young optician then noticing my lack of appreciation for this helpful comment said, ‘Well it’s not so bad you only have to wear them while working on a screen or reading’ and didn’t believe me when I pointed, out that this was my whole life!!
Of course when they arrive it might mean that my eyes are not so tired after a day at work and I will be able to read more! Here’s hoping.
This Week on the Blog
It’s been a busy week on the blog which sprang back into business with my review of The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler which not only sparked happy memories of authors read many moons ago but also introduced plenty of other interesting writers all with a tongue-in-cheek writing style.
Next I reviewed Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves, a book from my TBR which had been unread since its purchase back in 2012. As it was number 4 in the Vera series I’ve comforted myself that I have another four books to read whenever I want something that is guaranteed to delight.
My excerpt post was for the winner of the Search for a Bestseller run by Richard and Judy; Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear.
This Week in Books featured the authors Frances Brody, Sinéad Crowley and William Boyd.
This was neatly followed by my review of the ninth book in the Kate Shackleton series, Death in the Stars by Frances Brody featuring the solar eclipse of 1927 and a story which revolved by a group of variety hall entertainers.
On Friday I posted my review of The Last Thread by Ray Britain, a debut crime fiction thriller written by a former Police Officer which far exceeded my expectations.
The week was rounded up with my review of The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère, a non-fiction true crime novel that chilled me.
This Time Last Year…
I was reading His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet which was on Man Booker Prize shortlist 2016. Those of you who visit regularly, or even occasionally know that I enjoy historical crime fiction and when I belatedly heard about this book featuring young Roddy Macrae who hailed from the remote crofting community of Culduie in Rossshire I knew I had to read it. The tale is based on the facts that on an August day in 1869, beat the local constable Lachlan Mackenzie and two other people to death. A brilliant book which I would really like to re-read now I know how it ends…
You can read my full review here or click on the book cover
The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.
Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary. Amazon
Stacking the Shelves
From the TBR perspective one advantage of having been so busy (and not being able to see) is that I haven’t had too much time to request new books, but surprisingly a few have made it into my house anyway!
I was delighted to be offered a copy of Anything for Her by GJ Minett as I was a huge fan of his first two books; The Hidden Legacy and Lie in Wait so I’m eager to see what the author has in store for me this time.
You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?
When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.
When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago?
Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .
Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do. NetGalley
I have also received a copy of The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin which sounds irresistible and is due to be published in February 2018.
‘We have no need to protect ourselves from the bad sort
because we ARE the bad sort . . .’
‘This newspaper has taken note that the past month has been remarkable for the prevalence of cases where men, women and children are declared missing. Scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of an incident of this type’ – The Morning Herald, Tuesday 13 September 1831
Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.
When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.
But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . . Amazon
I also have received a copy of Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce which appealed as a humorous change from all the crime and wickedness, it’s not due to be published until April 2018 but I am very tempted to pick it up now anyway.
London, 1940. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.
Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. Emmy finds herself dismissing problems from lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted readers in favour of those who fear their ankles are unsightly or have trouble untangling lengths of wool. But soon the thought of desperate women going unanswered becomes too much to bear and Emmy decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .
Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird is a love letter to female friendship, Blitz spirit, the kindness of strangers and the art of letter-writing itself. Amazon
What have you found to read this week? Any of these take your fancy?
Since my last post I’ve read 7 books, and DNF 1.
My TBR now has a total of 175
Physical Books – 95
Kindle Books – 59
NetGalley Books – 21