Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Hope to Die – David Jackson

Crime Fiction
4*s

So DS Nathan Cody has his second outing in his native Liverpool and this time he starts without his partner DC Megan Webley who is still recovering from a serious injury but fear not she soon returns. The murder Nathan Cody is investigating is a particularly gruesome one and one that has no obvious motive. Mary Cowper is a church going teacher who was killed while walking her dog by the Anglian Cathedral. No matter where they look they can’t see why anyone would want this woman dead, she’s as inoffensive as they come.

Meanwhile we learn all about the childhood of a young boy, a grim upbringing policed by a strict mother and God. I have to admit I’m always a little suspicious of excerpts from seemingly unrelated voices within crime fiction but David Jackson has his narrative spot on in this instance. It is fairly obvious that this is our killer but I couldn’t fit the childhood voice to any of the characters we were meeting, and nor could I separate the sad stories from the narrator which tell of a deeply anguished childhood, with the revulsion I felt over the killings of the women.

Hope to Die doesn’t just concentrate on the investigation which needless to say is soon expanded as another woman is found dead, we also get to understand a little more about Nathan Cody’s demons which haunted him in A Tapping at My Door and continue in this episode. When Megan Webley returns to work we also have the gaps between the two books filled in, with Megan understandably confused by Cody’s absence during her recovery but she’s the better person and extends the olive branch. The fact that the pair had a romantic liaison some time before Cody joined the team only serves the tension to crackle at times both at home and at work.

We have a new female addition to the team the data analyst, Grace, who is keen to show what she’s made of after a life-time of being ignored by her peers and I was pleased that DCI Blunt the no-nonsense, yet capable of compassion, a woman who is almost motherly in her dealings with Cody, is still in charge. All this gives not only a good ratio of both male and female police staff but a wide range of characters to give a good depth to the investigation.

The pace is fairly fast particularly with the switches between the odd things that are happening to Cody away from the investigation and the information that is leaking out about the suspects, even if none of them appear to have a motive, there are lies and half-truths to be uncovered. You don’t want to start this book just before bed-time that’s for sure because not only will you be unable to relinquish your hold on the book as one more chapter turns into two, three and onwards, but because David Jackson creates a world which feels particularly unsafe for the unassuming and then throws some particularly weird activities into the mix… like clowns!

With tension aplenty, some relationship issues and an ending which will have you longing for the next book, this is not to be missed although I strongly suggest you read the first book in the series to get the most from the story arc. Hope to Die will be published on 6 April 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre who were kind enough to provide me with an advance review copy. This unbiased review is my thanks to them and the talented David Jackson.

First Published UK: 6 April 2017
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
No of Pages:  416
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (March 29)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsyy 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

I have had my brother visiting over the last week and therefore haven’t read a great deal although I did get to finally watch Heavenly Creatures which was excellent. I apologise for my lack of comments and the delay in responding to some emails etc. So onto the books!

I’m currently reading Hope to Die by David Jackson, the second in the Nathan Cody series set in Liverpool – see the wonderful post created for Put A Book On The Map by David Jackson and Karen from Go Buy The Book



Blurb

When the victim seems perfect, is it the perfect crime? The gripping new serial killer thriller, from the runaway bestselling author of CRY BABY.
On a bitterly cold winter’s night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city’s Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage.
Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic – no-one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder.
And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever closer, and – still bearing the physical and mental scars – it’s all he can do to hold onto his sanity. And then the killer strikes again . . . NetGalley

The last book I finished was The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but soon became hooked – my review will be up on Friday!


Blurb

“I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.”
When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.

Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.

For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced and psychological drama about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.

Next is a book which will be featured soon on Put A Book On The Map; A Time For Silence by Thorne Moore


Blurb

When Sarah, struggling to get over tragedy, stumbles across her grandparents’ ruined farm, it feels as if the house has been waiting for her. She is drawn to their apparently idyllic way of life and starts to look into her family history only to learn that her grandfather, Jack, was murdered. Why has nobody told her? Sarah becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Gwen and Jack. But are there some family stories that should never be told… Amazon!

I need your help

Now Put A Book On The Map has been launched, and has garnered so much interest I’m wondering if you live or are familiar with an area where a book is set?

If so, would you  like to write a few words and perhaps provide some photos? Please get in touch with me cleopatralovesbooks70@gmail.com

Topping the list is a shout-out for a blogger from Nottingham, or who knows the area, to feature fellow blogger Rebecca Bradley’s Hannah Robbins books.

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (March 5)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well we’ve now said goodbye to the worst two months of the year and spring will soon be here – in fact walking in Jersey today the roadsides were full of daffodils so maybe it has arrived!

jersey-in-the-spring

This Week on the Blog

Well it’s been a jam-packed week here on Cleopatra Loves Books, just the way we like it! The week started with my posting my review of The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths as part of the blog tour to celebrate the publication of this, the ninth book in the Dr Ruth Galloway series.

My excerpt post this week came from Boundary by Andrée A. Michaud which I will be reading soon.

This Week in Books had titles from Sarah Hilary, Caroline Lea and Gillian McAllister proving that my March reading has started strongly.

Next I reviewed Caroline Lea’s book, When the Sky Fell Apart, a book about the Occupation of Jersey during the Second World War, a story told through the eyes of a few of the inhabitants adding a richness to the back story.

On Friday I posted my review for The Long Drop by Denise Mina which is one of the best inspired by a true crime book that I have ever read – the details of life in Glasgow in the late 50s share a set with the serial killer, Peter Manuel who recently was the subject of the TV drama In Plain Sight.

It was the turn of David Jackson’s book A Tapping At My Door to be featured on Put A Book on the Map post yesterday so we took a trip to Liverpool with the help of Karen from Go Buy The Book and her wonderful pictures of key parts of the book.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward a book set in a fictional town in Derbyshire. I loved all the aspects to this crime fiction novel but particularly that some was set in the past, in 1978 and those events have a consequence in the present day story. Although the story rattles along it is made up of many cunning layers which meant it easily earned the full five stars from me.

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

In Bitter Chill

Blurb

Bampton, Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found. Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins’s mother commits suicide.
Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But news of the suicide re-opens old wounds and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago.
This is a story about loss and family secrets, and how often the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Only two additions this week both from NetGalley, the first being the second in the Nathan Cody series by David Jackson; Hope to Die – perfect timing as the first featured on yesterday’s Put A Book On The Map post! If you can’t tell I’m extremely excited about this one which will be published on 6 April 2017.

hope-to-die

Blurb

When the victim seems perfect, is it the perfect crime?
On a bitterly cold winter’s night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city’s Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage.

Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic – no-one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder.

And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever closer, and – still bearing the physical and mental scars – it’s all he can do to hold onto his sanity. And then the killer strikes again . . . NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase which will be published on 13 July 2017.

the-vanishing-of-audrey-wilde

Blurb

Nineteen fifty-nine. The four Wilde sisters, Isla, Violet, Maggie and Dot, are spending the summer in the Cotswolds, at Applecote Manor. Affectionately called the Wildlings, the sisters are exceptionally close, yet this year there’s a sense of nostalgia. Things are changing.

Except for Applecote itself, a house that seems frozen in time. The sisters haven’t been there in five years; not since their cousin Audrey mysteriously vanished.

But as they discover Applecote’s dark secrets and new temptations, the sisters begin to grow apart. Until the night everything spirals out of control and the Wildlings form a bond far thicker than blood… NetGalley

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained just 2 so the grand total is 188
Physical Books – 110
Kindle Books – 65
NetGalley Books – 13