2019 Book Reviews with Links

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote (1958)



After You – Jojo Moyes (2015)

The Red Address Book – Sofia Lundberg (2019)

Tell Me A Secret – Jane Fallon (2019)

 

Before She Knew Him – Peter Swanson (2019)

Cruel Acts – Jane Casey (2019)

Dead at First Sight – Peter James (2019)

Don’t Believe It – Charlie Donlea (2018)

Dead Memories – Angela Marsons (2019)

Gone in the Night – Mary-Jane Riley (2019)

The Neighbour – Fiona Cummins (2019)

No Way Out – Cara Hunter (2019)

The Stone Circle – Elly Griffiths (2019)

To Catch A Killer – Emma Kavanagh (2019)

The Wych Elm – Tana French (2019)

 


Blood Orange – Harriet Tyce (2019)

Degrees of Guilt – HS Chandler (2019)

The Evidence Against You – Gillian McAllister (2019)

The Guilty Party – Mel McGrath (2019)

The Lie of You – Jane Lythell (2014)

The Mother-in-Law – Sally Hepworth (2019)

Only A Mother – Elisabeth Carpenter (2018)

A Place to Lie – Rebecca Griffiths (2018)

The Secretary – Renée Knight (2019)

The Suspect – Fiona Barton (2019)

 

 

The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective Susannah Stapleton (2019)

The Cromwell Street Murders – John Bennett (2005)

The Innocent Killer – Michael Griesbach (2016)

Move to Murder – Antony M Brown (2018)

My Mother the Psychopath (2019)


You can find all the reviews on this blog by Author;  A-L  M-Z

Books with Five Star reviews appear in the slideshow below

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Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 6)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White which is on The Classics Club reading list because I am determined to make sure I read twelve books from this list in 2019.

Blurb

The Wheel Spins is the novel about young and bright Iris Carr, who is on her way back to England after spending a holiday somewhere in the Balkans. After she is left alone by her friends, Iris catches the train for Trieste and finds company in Miss Froy, chatty elderly English woman. When she wakes up from a short nap, she discovers that her elderly travelling companion seems to have disappeared from the train. After her fellow passengers deny ever having seen the elderly lady, the young woman is on the verge of her nerves. She is helped by a young English traveller, and the two proceed to search the train for clues to the old woman’s disappearance. Amazon

The last book I finished was the tenth in the Kim Stone series, Dead Memories by Angela Marsons was a fantastic addition to this brilliant series.

Blurb

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the death of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim? Amazon

Next up I plan to read The Secretary by Renée Knight which I’m really keen to read having loved Disclaimer, the author’s first book.

Blurb

Look around you. Who holds the most power in the room? Is it the one who speaks loudest, who looks the part, who has the most money, who commands the most respect?

Or perhaps it’s someone like Christine Butcher: a meek, overlooked figure, who silently bears witness as information is shared and secrets are whispered. Someone who quietly, perhaps even unwittingly, gathers together knowledge of the people she’s there to serve – the ones who don’t notice her, the ones who consider themselves to be important.

There’s a fine line between loyalty and obsession. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room . . . Amazon

What does your reading week look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (October 7)

Another frantic week here in Jersey and the autumnal weather has arrived with a bang – I write this with the wind whistling around the house which means that finally life should slow down a bit and I can once more cuddle up under my blanket of an evening, and read.

This Week on the Blog

I started the week with my monthly Five of the Best post revisiting those five star reads from the last five years and reminded myself of some cracking titles into the bargain.

My excerpt post came from the book I have chosen from my Classics Club reads for October, Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan.

This Week in Books featured the authors Rachel Abbott, Liane Moriarty and Angela Marsons.

My first review of the week was for the book I have been listening to on audio book; My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by the hugely talented Fredrick Backman.

On Friday I reviewed Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, a bonkers book which was a fun read and just what I needed.

The week was rounded off with my review of Ronnie Turner’s debut novel Lies Between Us for the blog tour to celebrate the publication of this novel on 1 October 2018.

 

This Time Last Year…

I was reading the non-fiction book The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler in which he has collated ninety-nine authors who for one reason or another are no longer seen on the bookshelves of bookshops or libraries but somehow glimmer on our collective consciousness, and their works fluttered at the edges of many when he kicked this project off.

Unlike so many such lists that are produced this collector of these forgotten authors has brought together a set of authors from the Victorian times up to the more recent, the entire range of genres taking in slapstick comedy through Sci-Fi, poetry, literary fiction and crime. Obviously with so many authors each one gets a brief mention detailing the often prodigious output, why they were popular and why they may well have fallen out of favour as the years rolled on.

This really is the perfect present for any bibliophile.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.

Blurb

Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you’re dead.

So begins Christopher Fowler’s foray into the back catalogues and backstories of 99 authors who, once hugely popular, have all but disappeared from our shelves.

Whether male or female, domestic or international, flash-in-the-pan or prolific, mega-seller or prize-winner – no author, it seems, can ever be fully immune from the fate of being forgotten. And Fowler, as well as remembering their careers, lifts the lid on their lives, and why they often stopped writing or disappeared from the public eye.

These 99 journeys are punctuated by 12 short essays about faded once-favourites: including the now-vanished novels Walt Disney brought to the screen, the contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and the women who introduced us to psychological suspense many decades before it conquered the world.

This is a book about books and their authors. It is for book lovers, and is written by one who could not be a more enthusiastic, enlightening and entertaining guide. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Just one new book was added to my shelves this week, an unexpected and yet very welcome addition from Katherine Sunderland at No Exit Press! The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby looks just my kind of read partly of course because I do love anything that looks back to the Victorian era.

The Conviction of Cora Burns won’t be published until March 2019 but now’s your chance to put it on the watchlist!

Blurb

To believe in her future, she must uncover her past…
Birmingham, 1885.

Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.

Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora…? Amazon

What have you found to read?

tbr-watch

Since I last reported my figures I’ve read 3 books and somehow in the same time I’ve only acquired 1! The total is therefore still tumbling to 161!
Physical Books – 109
Kindle Books – 40
NetGalley Books –11
Audio Books –1

 

I haven’t added any reviews of my own books this week but nor have I spent any tokens so I still have 3 1/3 book tokens. I might be a little short for the annual book sale next week… but hey rules are made to be broken!

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (October 3)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is Rachel Abbott’s foray into psychological thriller land with her novel And So It Begins. Having been a fan of her DCI Tom Douglas series for quite some time I was interested to see how the switch of genre works; in short so far so good… and she’s chosen a great name for one of the key characters! And So It Begins will be published on 11 October 2018.

Blurb

Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder? Amazon

The last book I finished was Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty which I have to say was just the lighter read I needed to balance the rather hectic time I’m having at the moment. Nine Perfect Strangers is out this week, on 4 October 2018.

Blurb

The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation.
Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.

Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.

For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . . Amazon

Up next is another highly anticipated review copy (it must be the beginning of another month) with Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons. This is the ninth in the Detective Kim Stone series set in the Black Country and will be published on 19 October 2018.

Blurb

Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these books take your fancy this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (September 30)

My blogging (and reading) has become erratic over the last few weeks and so it is a little while since I did a weekly wrap up post, but there is a reason… I have been engaged for nearly eight years but last month we decided we’d actually do the deed, and we are getting married in April 2019. I’m especially happy this weekend because my best friend is visiting from her native Gloucester and so yesterday, along with my daughter, we went wedding dress shopping and had far more fun than I expected.

This Week on the Blog

This week started with my excerpt post which was for Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, a book that will be published on 4 October 2018.

This Week in Books featured the authors Wendy James, Babs Horton and Ronnie Turner.

I then posted my review for The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton which was published 20 September 2018.

On Friday I posted my review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark which is another book ticked of The Classics Club reads.

The week finished with my review of Mae West’s account of her childhood with Fred and Rose West followed with how she came to terms with the awful crimes her parents committed in Love As Always Mum xxx

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Last Thread by Ray Britain a crime fiction novel written by a man who had a varied and lengthy career in the Police Force acting as Senior Investigating Officer in many investigations.

I was worried that Ray’s eagerness to reflect real life policing would slow the story line right down with detail but it didn’t. In fact The Last Thread is one of those books that has remained distinct from the heap of crime fiction I’ve read in the last year.

With an opening of a boy standing on a bridge about to commit suicide with the chief protagonist DCI Doug Stirling that had my heart pounding and the tension remained high throughout the rest of the novel.

The Last Thread is an outstanding debut with an exceptional plot which is complex yet not so much so that I ever lost any of the threads, let alone the last one!

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.



Blurb

Accused of pushing a boy to his death, DCI Doug Stirling is suspended from duty. Attacked in the media and haunted by the boy’s eyes as he let go of Stirling’s hand, he must watch helplessly as an incompetent colleague bent on destroying him investigates the boy’s death.

Weeks later, a burnt-out car containing a savagely murdered, unidentified man leads ACC Steph Tanner to take a professional risk in appointing Stirling to lead the investigation. But with no witnesses, no forensic evidence and more theories than investigators, Stirling’s investigation has too many ‘loose threads’ as a complex, interwoven history of deception, betrayal and sadistic relationships is revealed.

Is the investigation as complex as it appears, or is there a simpler explanation? With time the enemy, and still traumatised by the boy’s death, can Stirling bring the killer, or killers, to justice before his career is ruined?

Things are difficult enough when DC Helen Williams joins the investigation, a determined woman intent on rekindling their past relationship. And could Ayesha, the beautiful lawyer Stirling has grown fond of, be connected to the murder? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I might have been so busy my reading has slowed down but I have still managed to acquire some new books.

I have a new audible book Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea which will be over in no time as I march around the island to make sure the wedding dress fits!

Blurb

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.

As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.

Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life. Amazon

From NetGalley I have a copy of the latest in the Detective Kim Stone series, Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons which will be published on 19 October.

Blurb

Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet. Amazon

As well as a copy of Murder by the Book by Claire Harman which will be published on 25 October 2018.

Blurb

Early in the morning of 6 May 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a footman answered the door to a panic-stricken maid from a nearby house. Her elderly master, Lord William Russell, was lying in bed with his throat cut so deeply that the head was almost severed.

The whole of London, from monarch to street urchins, was gripped by the gory details of the Russell murder, but behind it was another story, a work of fiction, and a fierce debate about censorship and morality. Several of the key literary figures of the day, including Dickens and Thackeray, were drawn into the controversy, and when Lord William’s murderer claimed to having been inspired by the season’s most sensational novel, it seemed that a great deal more was on trial than anyone could have guessed.

Bringing together much previously unpublished material from a wide range of sources, Claire Harman reveals the story of the notorious Russell murder case and its fascinating connections with the writers and literary culture of the day. Gripping and eye-opening, Murder by the Book is the untold true story of a surprisingly literary crime. Amazon

I have also purchased a copy of The Lies We Told by Camilla Way because I’d enjoyed the author’s previous novel Watching Evie so much.


Blurb

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late? Amazon

tbr-watch

Since I last reported my figures I’ve read 7 books and somehow in the same time I’ve acquired 4! The total is therefore down to the record low of 163!
Physical Books – 109
Kindle Books – 40
NetGalley Books –13
Audio Books –1

 

I have also added 4 reviews of my own books and I spent 2 tokens so the complicated maths gives me 3 1/3 book tokens to spend.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 22)

Well another busy week full of sunshine and a family trip to see the local production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as my step-daughter and her boyfriend were visiting. We were all greatly impressed, the child-catcher being suitably scary!

This Week on the Blog

As I’m alternating the reads I experienced while on my holiday last month and newly published books, there week was a lull in the publishing world so I’m slowly catching up starting with a review of Dying Truth by the outstanding Angela Marsons

My excerpt post this week came from an upcoming read; Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne an author not afraid to dig a little deeper into the human psyche.

This Week in Books featured the authors Rachel Rhys, Paula Daly and Alison Light a pleasing mix of historical, psychological and non-fiction.

My second review of the week was for Raven Black by Ann Cleeves, an outstanding piece of crime fiction where the setting is almost a character in its own right.

Raven Black was only the fourth book I’ve reviewed for the 20 Books of Summer 2018 challenge and by now I should have completed the first 10. I wasn’t deterred by this apparent failing though and optimistically published my second set of 10 books on Friday.

I redeemed myself somewhat by posting my review of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, the fifth book for the challenge, yesterday. This is going into that very special list of favourite reads of all time!

 

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Death Knocks Twice by Richard Thorogood, a lighter look at murder on the Caribbean island of Saint-Marie where the influence of Agatha Christie looms large.

This old-fashioned story albeit in modern times, is characterised by a minimal number of suspects and a fiendishly difficult puzzle to solve with plenty of red-herrings thrown into the mix. And then Death knocks again and another body is discovered in equally baffling circumstances! With no-one being quite what they seem and it quickly becoming clear that the coffee plantation, built up with the use of slaves, is not as prosperous as the family’s standing in the community might suggest DI Poole along with Camille, Fidel and Dwayne use age-old techniques to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Brilliant done with a lightness of touch that reflects the TV series this was a delightful read.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.

Blurb

Two dead bodies. A family of suspects. One grumpy detective.

Reluctantly stationed on the sweltering Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, Detective Inspector Richard Poole dreams of cold winds, drizzly rain and a pint in his local pub.

Just as he is feeling as fed up as can be, a mysterious vagrant is found dead in the grounds of the historic Beaumont plantation. Immediately assumed to be suicide, DI Poole is not so convinced and determined to prove otherwise. Never mind that the only fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to the victim. Or that the room was locked from the inside.

Before long, death knocks twice and a second body turns up. The hunt is on to solve the case – despite the best efforts of the enigmatic Beaumont family… Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

While I was away on holiday a local author contacted me to see if I was interested in reading his book and finally due to other commitments we finally met up for a good chat one lunctime this week. I am now the proud owner of Anthony Le Moignan’s first published novel (although he has more up his sleeve), A Long Goodbye.

Blurb

Simon, a successful accountant, has a big problem. The biggest of them all. He checks himself into Orchard Care Home whilst still relatively healthy, the youngest resident by decades. He’s confident he cut all ties with the outside world and is untraceable.

Emma, married with no kids, lives, breathes and manages Orchard Care Home; a position her husband, Michael, used to hold in the good old days. But now he’s soared up the company hierarchy she sees so much less of him.

The attraction between carer and resident is instant, but ultimately destined for catastrophe. Alzheimer’s takes no prisoners and Early Onset, it’s most tragic form, is the cruellest of all.
How can Michael feel threatened by Simon? And what future could Emma have with him?
Simon understands less and less, but knows he has to try and run away from time – to somehow beat the ceaseless clock.

A powerful new novel by Anthony Le Moignan that will make you laugh and cry, for fans of Jojo Moyes, Emma Healey and Nicholas Sparks. Amazon

I have decided that hard-hitting crime fiction as an audio book is not for me… so I have chosen something gentler to accompany me on my walking; My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman seems to be working better for me…

Blurb

Everyone remembers the smell of their grandmother’s house.

Everyone remembers the stories their grandmother told them.

But does everyone remember their grandmother flirting with policemen? Driving illegally?
Breaking into a zoo in the middle of the night? Firing a paintball gun from a balcony in her dressing gown?

Seven-year-old Elsa does.

Some might call Elsa’s granny ‘eccentric’, or even ‘crazy’. Elsa calls her a superhero. And granny’s stories, of knights and princesses and dragons and castles, are her superpower. Because, as Elsa is starting to learn, heroes and villains don’t always exist in imaginary kingdoms; they could live just down the hallway.

As Christmas draws near, even the best superhero grandmothers may have one or two things they’d like to apologise for. And, in the process, Elsa can have some breath-taking adventures of her own . . . Amazon

tbr-watch

Finally I have broken the 2 book a week reading and managed to read 3 books this week and I have only added the 2 so the TBR is standing at 170!
Physical Books – 112
Kindle Books – 41
NetGalley Books –16
Audio Books –1

And with all three of this week’s reviews were for a books I own I’ve added another whole book token so now I’m 3 1/3 books in credit, having bought no new books.

Posted in Uncategorized

Six in Six – 2018 Edition

 


This meme originates from Jo at The Book Jotter and having thoroughly enjoyed participating over the last couple of years I wanted to see what my Six in Six looked like in 2018!
The aim is to sort your reads into six categories – you can choose from the ones Jo suggests or come up with your own. Although the same book can obviously feature in more than one category, I’ve chosen to select one book for each category from my favourite reads of the year so far.

Six new authors to me

I’ve met some great new authors in 2018 who write in a variety of genres.

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce

The Dissent of Annie Lang by Ros Franey

And the Birds Kept on Singing by Simon Bourke

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Three Things About Elsie by Joanne Cannon

Close to Home by Cara Hunter

 

 

Six classics I have read

As I joined The Classics Club in 2018 it seemed only right to feature some of the books I’ve read for this challenge…

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Cripsin

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns

Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton 

 

 

Six From the Non-Fiction Shelf

And another selection that aren’t all crime related; I’m doing well this year!

Conan Doyle for the Defence by Margalit Fox

Bookwork by Lucy Mangan

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards

My Life in Houses by Margaret Forster

Wedlock by Wendy Moore

Common People by Alison Light

 

 

Six series of books read or started

Here’s where I remind myself that I read way too many crime fiction series!

Dead if you Don’t by Peter James

Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson

Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott

The Killing House by Claire McGowan

The Girl in the Woods by Camilla Lackberg

Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary

 

 

Six books from authors I know will never let me down

A mixture of crime fiction and delightful fiction.

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

Sanctum by Denise Mina

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

 

Six books by authors I am looking forward to reading more of

This is a selection of authors who have made me think in various ways and so I can’t see what they deliver next, or in some instances have already written so I can explore their back catalogue.

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Smash all the Windows by Jane Davis

Blackmail, Sex and Lies by Kathryn McMaster

A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

 

 

 

 

So there are my choices from the first half of 2018 – What would you choose?

My Six in Six

2016

2017

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (June 3)

It feels like summer here – last Sunday we had a bbq to belatedly celebrate my daughter’s birthday on her return from holiday, and yesterday we took a walk so that we could have breakfast while looking at this wonderful view.

This Week on the Blog

With summer actually making a proper appearance it was fitting that my week started with my first selection for Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer 2018, a challenge that shapes my summer.

My excerpt post came from Ngaio Marsh’s book Off With His Head which is one of my reads for The Classics Club.

This Week in Books featured the authors Fredrik Backman, Rhiannon Navin and Kim Izzo

So we are up to Thursday before I posted my first review of the week for Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith.

Then, it was 1 June and time for me to make my selection for Five of the Best for May from 2014 to 2018.

My second review of the week was for Only Child by Rhiannon Navin, a heartbreaking tale narrated by a six-year-old boy called Zach.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham. I love a crime fiction book t with a strong contemporary feel and Mark Billingham uses his fourteenth book in the Tom Thorne series to use honour killings as the starting point. The fact that he does this within a brilliantly constructed mystery certainly makes for compelling reading. Mark Billingham has clearly researched his subject matter speaking to those who have been part of those families where the younger generation are resistant to following the rules their parents are keen to uphold but he never forgets that this is a work of fiction, and as such it was gripping.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

Blurb

A BLOODY MESSAGE
As DI Nicola Tanner investigates what appears to be a series of organised killings, her partner Susan is brutally murdered, leaving the detective bereft, and vengeful.

A POWERFUL ALLY
Taken off the case, Tanner enlists the help of DI Tom Thorne to pursue a pair of ruthless killers and the broker handing out the deadly contracts.

A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
As the killers target their latest victim, Thorne takes the biggest risk of his career and is drawn into a horrifying and disturbing world in which families will do anything to protect their honour. Amazon

Stacking The Shelves

I have one new addition from NetGalley this week; Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly, an author who had me thoroughly gripped with her previous novels Just What Kind of Mother are You?, The Mistake I Made and The Trophy Child. Open Your Eyes will be published on 26 July 2018.

Blurb

Haven’t we all wanted to pretend everything is fine?
Jane doesn’t like confrontation. Given the choice, she’d prefer to focus on what’s going well, the good things in life.
But when her husband, Leon, is brutally attacked in the driveway of their home, in front of their two young children, Jane has to face reality. As he lies in a coma, Jane must open her eyes to the problems in her life, and the secrets that have been kept from her, if she’s to find out who hurt her husband – and why.
Maybe it’s time to face up to it all. Who knows what you might find . . . NetGalley

And my holiday is coming up so I cashed in two of my tokens. Limiting my choices for buying new books has caused endless debates about which books I really, really want – that debate is ongoing and I’m hoping to have another token in the bank so I can choose two more before I leave!

First up is Dying Truth by Angela Marsons, the eighth in her Kim Stone series and a sure fire winner as far as this reader is concerned.

Blurb

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price. Amazon

I’ve also bought a copy of A Fractured Winter, the latest book by Alison Baillie after being so impressed by Sewing the Shadows Together

Blurb

A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.

Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart. She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her.

Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago?

What is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?

A story of the shadows of the past, the uncertainties of the present and how you can never really know anybody. Amazon

What have you found to read this week? Do share!

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 3 books and I have gained 3 so the TBR is at a consistent 175
Physical Books – 112
Kindle Books – 46
NetGalley Books –16
Audio Books –1

Having used 2 tokens I am 1 book in credit!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (April 22)

I’m so glad the spring has finally sprung especially as we had visitors last week including two of the small variety which meant I had my first visit to the beach of the year where we collected lots of lovely shells.

I also finished my snow day scarf just in time for the hot weather! Here it is just before it passed the finish line although if I’d be clever I would have worn a contrasting outfit.

This Week on the Blog

This week started with my review for Broken Bones by Angela Marsons which was my 11th read for my Mount TBR Challenge – the aim is to have finished 36 of my own books bought before 1 January 2018 before the end of the year so I am more or less on track!

My excerpt post was from Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell which I’m hoping to read soon.

This Week in Books featured the authors Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Sharon Bolton and Rebecca Fleet.

My second review of the week was for Rebecca Muddiman’s Murder in Slow Motion which went behind the scenes on a domestic abuse storyline for police duo Gardner and Freeman.

My final review of the week was all about an obsessive man, told from his viewpoint in Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall.

I finished the week with a tag – Currently Reading – about my reading habits which quickly focussed on how accommodating or otherwise I need to be to indulge my habit of reading in bed.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Little Deaths by Emma Flint which is a fictionalised tale of Alice Crimmins (in the book she becomes Ruth Malone) whose two young children disappeared from their bedroom in Queens, New York in the 1960s. The story explores how much the resulting investigation and trial was powered by the fact that Ruth did not behave in a way that was expected of a mother. This was an incredibly powerful read, easily one of my favourite books of 2017 with its complex character leaping off the page.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

Blurb

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.

Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths is a gripping novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well as you know I have sworn off NetGalley for the month of April but I did win a competition run by the lovely Portobello Book Blog to celebrate her third year of blogging. My mystery book was Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter and came with some beautiful bookmarks. Even better the book includes rummaging through some archives, something I always find irresistible! Thank you so much Joanne!



Blurb

Munro House is the new start Stella needs. But it will also draw her back to a dark past…

Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected.

At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by a string of tragic deaths. No less intriguing is its eccentric and handsome young owner, Jamie Munro, who hires Stella as his assistant while he pursues a seemingly impossible aim. Working through the great house’s archives, Stella soon finds herself drawn in by a cache of increasingly erratic letters from a young Victorian woman about her husband, Dr James Lockhart, a man whose single-minded ambition has strange parallels with Jamie’s.

Just as Stella begins developing feelings for Jamie, she discovers that the connection between the Lockharts and the Munros could have sinister repercussions for them both. She’s finally found the life she wants to live—but is it all an illusion? Amazon

My second book is one that I requested for review prior to the self-imposed ban beginning – honest – The Dissent of Annie Lang by Ros Franey was published on 19 April 2018.

Blurb

“Growing up in a strict religious family between the wars, Annie Lang wasn’t convinced that Jesus was such a great friend to little children. Or why would he have snatched away her lovely mother when she was only six? Witness to disturbing events that no one can explain, Annie is confused and sister Bea can’t help.

Six years on and student Annie returns from France to find her brother in the local mental hospital, her father rarely home and her friend and Sunday School teacher missing. With the help of her childhood diary Annie turns detective to try and understand the past. Her journey leads to a discovery that she believes will ruin all their lives, unless they can somehow atone for what has happened.

Impulsive, brave and lovable, Annie Lang is formidable when she takes matters into her own hands.” Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 5 books and since I have gained 2 so my TBR has fallen to its lowest level yet in 2018, a mere 182
Physical Books – 113
Kindle Books – 50
NetGalley Books –19

 

Since my last post I have banked 2/3 of a book token so I am 1 book in credit! Which is just as well as I’m off on holiday in June and I can’t have absolutely no new books to take!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (April 8)

Well it’s been quite a week! If anyone can tell me why four day working weeks are so much worse than normal ones, please let me know.

But… There was good news on Thursday when I read this tweet, I was thrilled that my review was included for a book that is quite different to my normal type of reads, but one that I really enjoyed despite that.

And then yesterday when I discovered that I have been nominated for BEST BOOK REVIEW BLOG for THE ANNUAL BLOGGERS BASH – I’m honoured and thrilled to be included and of course there are a whole heap of other wonderful book bloggers to vote for too!

If you fancy casting a vote click on the logo

This Week on the Blog

I started the week with my Five of the Best – Five Star Reads for March 2014 to 2018 which included books by Tom Vowler, Jane Robins, Sarah Ward, Gillian McAllister and Claire McGowan.

My excerpt post came from my latest read for The Classics Club; The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin

This Week in Books featured books by Jane Davis, Alison Marsons and Rebecca Muddiman.

My first review of the week was for the psychological suspense novel Skin Deep by Liz Nugent which I awarded the full five stars.

This was followed by my review for Vicky Newham‘s debut novel Turn a Blind Eye which introduces Bangladeshi DI Maya Rahman and is set in Tower Hamlets, East London.

I rounded off the week with a cheeky book challenge – I Spy Book Challenge had me frantically searching my bookshelves for suitable titles – always fun!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton. This almost surreal piece of crime fiction featured a hot air balloon, a bunch of nuns and peacocks which has to go down as the most bizarre trio of important items for any crime novel.

The book starts with a fortieth birthday celebration and the aforementioned hot air balloon when one of the passengers witnesses an act of violence. The man committing violence eyes meet those of the witness, and then the balloon crashes. If you want to know any more you really should read this brilliant novel.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.



Blurb

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, thirteen passengers on a hot-air balloon flight witness a brutal murder. Within the next hour, all but one of them will be dead.

Alone, scared and trusting no-one, she flees for her life, running to the one place she feels safe. But she’s seen the killer’s face, and he’s seen hers – and he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the last witness to his crime . . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Just one book this week, yes you read that correctly! I have vowed not only to continue to follow the book token rule in purchasing new books but I’m also sworn off all new review books for the month of April and probably May too. This is mainly out of necessity as the months on the spreadsheet are already overflowing and I am determined to squeeze some of my own reads in too, so something had to give.

So how do I have one book? Well I accepted, not that I would ever say no to this author, before 1 April when this vow came into being.

Dead If You Don’t by Peter James is going to be published on 17 May 2018 and is the fourteenth in my favourite ever police procedural series featuring Roy James.

Blurb

Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. He’s beginning to lose, big style. However, taking his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match should have given him a welcome respite, if only for a few hours. But it’s at the stadium where his nightmare begins.

Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client. He takes his eye off Mungo for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears. Then he gets the terrifying message that someone has his child, and to get him back alive, Kipp will have to pay.

Defying instruction not to contact the police, Kipp reluctantly does just that, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems . . . Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 4 books and since I have gained 1 so my TBR has started its descent to 185
Physical Books – 111
Kindle Books – 52
NetGalley Books –22

 

I have banked absolutely no book tokens this week and also spent 0 so I’m just 1/3 books in credit!