Posted in Books I want to Read

Book Releases September 2013

Reading Book  Well it’s nearly the end of the month and sadly Autumn will be with it before we  know it .

On the bright side those longer nights mean more time curled up with a book in the  warm.  Here are my picks of the releases for September only two have made it to my really Must Be Read list this month but I still have a backlog from August so…

Firstly The Backs by Alison Bruce

The Backs
Alison Bruce know how to tell a good story, I’ve enjoyed the previous outings of DC Goodhew books which started with Cambridge Blue. This one is due out September 19 on kindle at


A fresh start in a place you hate is even tougher with a killer watching…

Jane Osborne left Cambridge and vowed she’d never return. An unexpected twist of fortune results in DC Goodhew bringing her back to the remnants of her old life and a confrontation with the man who killed her sister.

Meanwhile a burning car on the outskirts of Cambridge leads to the discovery of the body of its owner, Paul Marshall. There seems nothing to connect it to either a recent assault, or to Jane Osborne, until a shocking discovery rips Goodhew’s investigation apart.

And secondly unusually for me I chose a bit of love; The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

The Longest Ride

Who can resist a bit of romance with some reminiscing about the war on a cool evening?


Ninety-one year old Ira Levinson is in trouble. Struggling to stay conscious after a car crash, with his mind fading, an image of his beloved, and long-dead, wife Ruth appears. Urging him to hang on, she lovingly recounts the joys and sorrows of their life together – how they met, the dark days of WWII, and its unrelenting effect on their families.

A few miles away, college student Sophia Danko’s life is about to change. Recovering from a break-up, she meets the young, rugged Luke and is thrown into a world far removed from her privileged school life. Sophia sees a new and tantalising future for herself, but Luke has a secret which threatens to break it all apart.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples, separated by years and experience, whose lives are about to converge in the most unexpected – and shocking – of ways.

Posted in Books I want to Read

Friday Finds (August 23)


FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS! Continue reading “Friday Finds (August 23)”

Posted in Books I want to Read

Too many books not enough time

I have come to the conclusion that the amount of time I spend looking at books that I want to read is seriously impinging on my available reading time.

At the moment I look at the recommendations on Amazon, look at what friends have read on Goodreads thereby swelling my wishlist which is held on Amazon on a regular basis. Today the number of books that I have on said wishlists (of course they are split into groups) is 78, given that on average I read just under 100 books per year is that too many? I do every now and again look at reviews of books that were added before they were published and remove those that no longer appeal but…. too many books and not enough time.

I have about 6 weeks until my holiday where I have promised myself that I won’t take books from Netgalley or Amazon Vine I will choose some from my wishlist so my next task is to decide which ones make it to this exclusive club

On the list so far:

The Dolls House – Louise Phillips
A Killing of Angels – Kate Rhodes
The Stranger You Know – Jane Casey
The Silent Tide – Rachel Hore
Until You’re Mine – Samantha Hayes

Five books by authors whose previous books have hit the spot

Louise Phillips

Red RibbonsRed Ribbons by Louise Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the perfect example of a good thriller, there is a cohesive plot line, not too many instances where the reader has to suspend belief and characters who you feel you know.

Red Ribbons is told from three main different viewpoints. Dr Kate Pearson who is a psychologist helping the police to discover the profile of a killer. A young girl was found buried in Dublin Mountains with red ribbons in her hair, soon afterwards another young girl is found, again with unknown red ribbons. Ellie Brady who is a patient in an asylum, incarcerated 14 years previously and our killer who is bored of his job, his colleagues and brooding over the recent death of his mother. As a reader there are plenty of clues to fit together, including how does Ellie’s story connect to those of the recent dead girls? The Police are battling against time to stop the killer taking any more young lives and Kate is doing her best to guide them in the right direction whilst dealing with a less than happy domestic situation.

I found this book totally absorbing; one that I had to keep reading to find out how all the pieces of the puzzle would fit together. I am delighted to hear Louise Phillips has written The Doll’s House due out August 2013.

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Kate Rhodes

Crossbones YardCrossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Crossbones Yard is where Alice Quentin finds a woman’s body, just outside the memorial gates to the graveyard where fallen women were buried from the 16th Century.

This crime novel works well, Alice is a psychologist with a difficult past who is asked by the police to interview Maurice Cley a man who is due to be released from prison. Maurice was a close friend of the serial killers Ray and Marie Benson who had killed 13 young women . With a potential copycat killing Alice becomes more involved helping the police. Alice has plenty of other worries; her brother Will is mentally ill, her friend homeless, she is doubtful about her current relationship and she has a busy workload.

I enjoyed reading the snippets of Alice’s cases in her daily working life. The characters were well drawn and realistic although the constant reference to Alice’s dislike of lifts and love of running began to grate by the end of the book. The writing sets this book apart with a great pace bringing the book to its dramatic conclusion.

I believe this is the first of a three book deal for Kate Rhodes and I look forward to the next book in this series.

I was lucky enough to receive this book from the Amazon Vine Programme

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Jane Casey

The Last GirlThe Last Girl by Jane Casey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the three previous books by Jane Casey The Missing, her debut novel, The Burning and The Reckoning featuring DC Maeve Kerrigan, I was keen to see what the next installment would bring. This book begins with Lydia’s mother and twin sister found dead, her father received a blow to the head but she escaped unhurt. What happened in the house that evening, what was the motive and who is keeping secrets?

Jane Casey’s books don’t just stick to one investigation they are realistic and there are a number of things going on in the Met at the same time. Maeve is still coping with her arrogant boss Derwent and her personal life isn’t quite as good as she’d hoped but she fights on with spirit. The police characters are well defined the cases to be solved have the feel of authenticity without boring us with paperwork etc. The secondary characters were all sufficiently awful to provide many suspects to consider. The only reason why I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because I didn’t find this case quite as exciting as those in the previous books but being well written the story flowed along leaving the reader to ponder who did it and why

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Rachel Hore

The Memory GardenThe Memory Garden by Rachel Hore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Memory Garden is set in Merryn Hall in Cornwall. Mel takes a sabbatical from lecturing to write a book about Cornish artists whilst recovering both from the death of her mother and a painful split from her long-time boyfriend Jake.

The split is fairly even between the past and the present and both stories are engaging, Pearl a daughter of uncertain parentage goes to work as a servant at Merryn Hall in 1912 taking with her a box of paints. In the present day, Mel helps Patrick, the new owner of Merryn Hall, to renovate the garden hoping to restore it to it’s former glory. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that both Mel and Pearl face similar relationship problems in their quest to be happy.

I have read all Rachel Hore’s previous books and although I liked this book it wasn’t as good as the The Glass Painter’s Daughter which was outstanding.

This is an easy read with quite a range of characters, all well developed and engaging, I have A Gathering Storm on my wish list.

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Samantha Hayes

UnspokenUnspoken by Samantha Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book written from the viewpoint of a couple, Murray and Julia, on the verge of divorcing and Mary Julia’s mother.

Mary is found mute by her daughter who visits for Christmas Day and the story revolves around what happened to cause this. Running parrallel is about a local girl who Julia finds badly hurt nearby. The local GP David steps into help with Mary and Julia falls hard for him.

I’m not going to ruin the story because although a lot of it is fairly obvious I found myself eager to find out exactly what happened to all concerned. Some parts of the story are not convincing at all but still well worth a read.

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Posted in Books I want to Read

Denise Mina Books

I was soon sucked into the episode of The Field of Blood that I stumbled across on TV last week. I knew I’d read one of Denise Mina’s books and that she was on my (long) list of authors to look out for.

Having investigated further I have already reviewed The End of the Wasp Season (Alex Morrow, #2)The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good plot for this police procedural mixed with a psychological thriller

There is no preamble to this book, it starts with two boys entering Sarah Erroll’s house in a wealthy suburb in Glasgow, but what did they want? At the same time a notorious banker is found hanging from an oak tree in Kent, his son is sent for by the headmaster of his boarding school and told the news.

Sarah Erroll’s case is investigated by DS Alex Morrow a hardened detective who is pregnant with twins. She is determined that Sarah’s killer is found but is concerned when her boss takes charge. Alex doesn’t agree with the direction he is taking the investigation and suspects him of wanting the glory.

This book has a lot to say about police politics, family relationships and friendships, I like the fact that each character has many layers so that as you read your opinion changes about them. What I didn’t like so much was the writing. In places it really didn’t seem to make sense which did spoil my enjoyment of what could be a great book. However I enjoyed it enough to buy some of Denise Mina’s earlier work.

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I also have The Field of Blood on my kindle, as yet unread but as the program I watched appeared to be the second in the Paddy Mehan series I think maybe I should concentrate on the Alex Morrow Series…

Still Midnight (2009)
The End of the Wasp Season (2010)
Gods and Beasts (2013)
The Red Road (2013)

or read her original series of which the first Garnethill won the John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel

Garnethill (1998)
Exile (2000)
Resolution (2001)

either way that is at least 6 books I’ve added to my wish-list!!

Posted in Books I want to Read

To be released August 2013

One of my favourite pastimes is looking for books that are due to be released and add them to my ever increasing wishlist.

Books due to be released in August 2013 that have caught my eye are:

Never Coming Back – Tim Weaver
Never Coming Back is the brilliant new missing persons case in the David Raker series by Tim Weaver.

It was supposed to be the start of a big night out. But when Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house, she finds the front door unlocked and no one inside. Dinner’s cooking, the TV’s on. Carrie, her husband and their two daughters are gone.

When the police draw a blank, Emily asks missing persons investigator David Raker to find them. It’s clear someone doesn’t want the family found.

But as he gets closer to the truth, Raker begins to uncover evidence of a sinister cover-up, spanning decades and costing countless lives. And worse, in trying to find Emily’s missing family, he might just have made himself the next target …I read Vanished the previous novel in the David Raker Series, and was really impressed by the clever plot line.
see my brief review on Goodreads VanishedVanished by Tim Weaver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sam Wren’s life is full of secrets but which one led to him getting onto the tube one morning never to be seen again? David Raker, Private Investigator, is contacted by Sam’s wife Julia to find answers. What follows is a master piece in thriller writing. There is a cast of well defined characters, a bunch of secrets that may or may not lead to answers and enough twists and turns to keep you reading. This isn’t a book for the faint-hearted though. There is a lot of violence so well described you’ll be flinching.

I really wish I’d read Tim Weaver’s first two books in this series before this one as there are references to a previous case which David Raker and Police Officer Healy were involved in. I will be seeking out Chasing the Dead and The Dead Tracks to see what I have been missing.

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No Man’s Nightingale – Ruth Rendall

Sarah Hussain was not popular with many people in the community of Kingsmarkham. She was born of mixed parentage – a white Irishwoman and an immigrant Indian Hindu. She was also the Reverend of St Peter’s Church.

But it comes as a profound shock to everyone when she is found strangled in the Vicarage.

A garrulous cleaner, Maxine, also shared by the Wexfords, discovers the body. In his comparatively recent retirement, the former Detective Chief Inspector is devoting much time to reading, and is deep into Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He has little patience with Maxine’s prattle.

But when his old friend Mike Burden asks if he might like to assist on this case as Crime Solutions Adviser (unpaid), Wexford is obliged to pay more precise attention to all available information.

The old instincts have not been blunted by a life where he and Dora divide their time between London and Kingsmarkham. Wexford retains a relish for solving puzzles and a curiosity about people which is invaluable in detective work.

For all his experience and sophistication, Burden tends to jump to conclusions. But he is wise enough to listen to the man whose office he inherited, and whose experience makes him a most formidable ally.

I just can’t pass by the 24th Inspector Wexford Novel and although I do agree with the viewpoint that some of Ruth Rendall’s stories can now appear a little dated I for one still love them and will be forever grateful for each new one that is published.

The Keeper – Luke Delaney


The second novel in the DI Sean Corrigan series – authentic and terrifying crime fiction with a psychological edge, by an ex-Met detective. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Stuart MacBride.

Thomas Keller knows exactly who he’s looking for…

They tried to keep them apart, but when he finds her, he’s going to keep her. Just like he knows she wants him to.

DI Sean Corrigan is not like other detectives. His dark past has given him the ability to step into a crime scene and see it through the offender’s eyes. He understands what drives a person to commit terrible acts – but sometimes his gift feels more like a curse.

When women start disappearing from their homes in broad daylight, Corrigan’s Murder Investigation Team is reluctant to take on a missing persons case. But then the first body turns up, and Corrigan knows he must quickly get into the mind of the murderer. Because this killer knows exactly who he wants. And he won’t stop until he finds her.

This has made it onto my list just from the blurb and the fact that I am a huge fan of Mark Billingham and Peter James