Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (February 5)

Weekly Wrap Up

There really is no greater thrill for a book blogger than learning that your review has been quoted inside in a book you have loved. This week I hit the jackpot because I’m quoted inside the front cover of Lie In Wait by G.J. Minett alongside some of my favourite bloggers!! As you can see Lie In Wait is now out in paperback and comes highly recommended by yours truly!

lie-in-wait-inside-cover

I also have to ask, is anyone watching Unforgotten on ITV? Do you have a scenario which will work for the final on Thursday? All the ones I can come up with have massive flaws and I lay awake last night re-examining the evidence and still zilch!

This Week on the Blog

So I managed to post three reviews this week starting with After She Fell by Mary-Jane Riley in a tale of an apparent suicide in North Norfolk. This is the second in the Alex Devlin series and my review awarded it a well-deserved five stars.

On Tuesday my excerpt post was from The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths whose series featuring the forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is one of my favourites.

This Week in Books detailed my reading plans, which I admit have been somewhat derailed, but I have now finished the magnificent He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly which I will be reviewing soon.

On Thursday I posted my review of Hannah Kent’s second book The Good People which transported me to a village steeped in superstition in early nineteenth century Ireland – the story told is all the more powerful as it is based on a true event.

My last review of this week was for The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards which is the second in his Lake District Mystery series. This was a good puzzle, set in a beautiful location with historian Daniel Kind and DCI Hannah Scarlett investigating a cold case where a man murdered with his own scythe!

And yesterday Put A Book On The Map had its launch in East Anglia with Mary-Jane Riley talking about the settings for The Bad Things and After She Fell alongside Katherine Sunderland of Bibliomaniac. The piece looked amazing especially as they both generously contributed beautiful photos. Susan from The Book Trail drew up Book Trails for each book too.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Ex by Alafair Burke . This courtroom drama had me hooked with my sympathies for the characters swaying with each revelation. This author is a master of pace, and plotting. I really must keep my promise to myself and read some of her other works.
You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

The Ex

Blurb

DID HE, OR DIDN’T HE?
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defence lawyers. When she gets a phone call informing her that her former fiancé has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. Amazon

Stacking The Shelves

Just one book this week courtesy of the lovely Margot Kinberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist who kindly posted What Remains Behind by Dorothy Fowler because I was struggling to find a copy. Margot’s blog really is the place to go to discover all things crime fiction and she featured this book in one of her ‘In The Spotlight’ posts. Do go and check out her blog although be warned, it has many, many tempting books featured.

what-remains-behind

Blurb

Everything leaves a trace. Chloe, a contract archaeologist, is excavating the site of a religious Kaipara Harbour community, which burnt to the ground in the 1880s. As the site is uncovered, what unpalatable truths will be revealed about the events on the night of the fire?

Chloe’s own family has farmed this land, and she is caught in the conflict as local resistance to the excavation mounts. When Chloe digs up more than shards of pottery, she realises that the site holds secrets that will not stay buried, and their effect on the present is devastating.

Moving between a diary written in the 1880s and the current day, this compelling novel has murder, mystery, love, lust – and archaeology. Goodreads

What have you found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read just 2 books but I only gained 1 new one, and I found a book lurking on the TBR which I’d read – so the grand total for the first weekend in February is a mere 188
Physical Books – 110
Kindle Books – 67
NetGalley Books – 11

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Ex – Alafair Burke

Crime Fiction 5*s
Crime Fiction
5*s

Those of you who read my blog regularly have probably realised that my preferred location for crime fiction is the UK and although I’m not adverse to fiction from other lands per se, when it comes to how crimes are investigated and tried, I tend towards the UK. I have however recently got (belatedly) hooked on the TV series, The Good Wife, which has given me my sole grounding on the roles of the US defence and prosecution attorneys. So when I opened The Ex and was immediately introduced to the defence attorney, Olivia Randall I felt at home. Olivia is rung by the teenage Buckley Harris to ask her to help her father who is talking to the New York Police Department following a shooting in a nearby park.

Olivia had been in a serious relationship with said Jack Harris and has harboured guilt about the end of their relationship ever since. It is quickly established that Jack was at the park, he’s been caught on CCTV and the police soon come up with what seems like an excellent motive, one of the victims was the father of the boy who shot his beloved wife Molly in a mass shooting three years earlier. Jack with other families caught up in this earlier shooting were suing the father, but this had just been dismissed as no case to answer. Jack is confident all will be ok, after all he has an alibi of sorts, a good if totally bizarre reason to be at the park. Surely this misunderstanding will soon be cleared up?

This novel had me longing to know more with enough dilemmas to keep me questioning, not only whether Jack was guilty or not but also how wise Olivia was to take on the case given their shared background, albeit one that had ended on a sour note some twenty years before. The pace is good with the revelations if not coming thick and fast, in a steady drip so that if you are like me your opinion will change about the main protagonists a number of times before the finale. But best of all for me, was the courtroom drama which was a mirror image of an episode of The Good Wife with Olivia coming up with alternative scenarios to ensure that, despite the seemingly iron-clad evidence the prosecution have unveiled, that Jack will go home to care for his teenage daughter Buckley. All of this isn’t helped that her own investigations make Olivia herself wonder how well she really knows Jack now, and maybe how well she ever knew him.

I’m not going to pretend that I particularly liked many of the characters, they all, including Olivia had something ‘off’ about them, but I don’t read books to become friends with those who inhabit the pages, I read to be entertained, and this book gave me bucket loads of entertainment as well as a mystery to be solved. And yes, for once I had it worked out, not too early on, but satisfyingly not just before it was finally revealed so as well as a cracking good read, I get a pat on the back!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Faber and Faber who granted my wish on NetGalley which allowed me to read this complex drama that certainly kept my brain working at trying to solve the mystery while giving me a great courtroom drama.

The Ex was published on 2 February 2016 so if this sounds like one you’d enjoy, I suggest you get a copy.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 3)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy 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

Well due to visitors over the last week there has been little reading done so please forgive the overlap.

At the moment I’m reading The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft , a psychological thriller.

The Girl You Lost

Please see yesterday’s post for the synopsis and excerpts from this book

I have just finished The Ex by Alafair Burke, a gripping attorney led thriller.

The Ex

Blurb

In this breakout standalone thriller in the tradition of Gillian Flynn, William Landay and Paula Hawkins, a lawyer agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been accused of murder-but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated.
Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene since the shooting of his wife by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman who eerily but thrillingly echoes his past. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a “Missed Moment” item online and days later, a woman responds…
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she gets the phone call informing her that her former fiancée, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him? NetGalley

Next I plan on reading Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris a debut thriller!

Behind Closed Doors

Blurb

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie. Amazon

So that’s my choices for this week. What do you all have to read at the moment? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 27)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy 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 Promise by Alison Bruce, the sixth in the DC Goodhew series which will be published on 4 February 2016.

The Promise

Blurb

In a single night, Kyle Davidson’s life is derailed. His relationship is over, he is denied access to his young son and everything important to him is at risk.
His thoughts stumble between fear and revenge. Kyle Davidson has a choice to make.
Meanwhile, after the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill. Having known the homeless man for several years Goodhew feels compelled to be part of the investigation – but routine lines of enquiry soon take a dark and unexpected turn.
Suddenly the Cambridge back streets hold deadly secrets for Goodhew and the only person who has the answers is planning one final, desperate act. NetGalley

I have recently finished the latest in the Ruth Galloway series; The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

The Woman in Blue

See yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book.

Next up I have The Ex by Alafair Burke, a new to me author whose synopsis was just too tempting to resist.

The Ex

Blurb

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene since the shooting of his wife by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman who eerily but thrillingly echoes his past. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a “Missed Moment” item online and days later, a woman responds…
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she gets the phone call informing her that her former fiancée, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him? NetGalley

The Ex will be published on 4 February 2016

So that’s my choices. What do you all have to read at the moment? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (January 23)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

Well I’ve had a run on NetGalley approvals this week all of which I’m hugely pleased about!

The Ex by Alafair Burke was one book I wished for as it wasn’t available to request, and the NG fairy granted my wish!

The Ex

Blurb

Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene since the shooting of his wife by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman who eerily but thrillingly echoes his past. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a “Missed Moment” item online and days later, a woman responds…
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she gets the phone call informing her that her former fiancée, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him? NetGalley

The Ex will be published on 4 February 2016

March sees the publication of two authors who are on my ‘must-read’ list. Firstly Claire McGowan’s fourth in the Paula McGuire series, A Savage Hunger

A Savage Hunger

Blurb

Victim: Female. Twenty-two years of age.
Reason for investigation: Missing person.
ID: Alice Morgan. Student. Last seen at a remote religious shrine in Ballyterrin.
Alice Morgan’s disappearance raises immediate questions for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. Alice, the daughter of a life peer in the Home Office, has vanished along with a holy relic – the bones of a saint – and the only trace is the bloodstains on the altar.
With no body to confirm death, the pressure in this high-profile case is all-consuming, and Paula knows that she will have to put her own life, including her imminent marriage, on hold, if they are to find the truth.
A connection to a decades-old murder immediately indicates that all may not be as it seems; as the summer heat rises and tempers fray, can Alice be found or will they learn that those that are hungry for vengeance may be the most savage of all? NetGalley

… and Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf, writer of the brilliant Little Mercies.

Missing Pieces

Blurb

Everyone has secrets…
Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the town where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalised in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realises that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the rabbit hole of Jack’s past, but the farther she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a hard reality she may not be prepared for. NetGalley

Finally I also have a copy of Tammy Cohen’s When She Was Bad which will be published on 21 April 2016. There hasn’t been one of this author’s books that I haven’t massively enjoyed so was super thrilled to receive a copy of this one which is looking at working lives – could this be the start of a new type of noir – graft noir perhaps?

When She Was Bad

Blurb

YOU SEE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH EVERY DAY.
BUT WHAT CAN’T YOU SEE?
Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years – they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in ….
Now, there’s something chilling in the air.
Who secretly hates everyone?
Who is tortured by their past?
Who is capable of murder?

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last count I have read 4 books, and gained 4 so I’m running fast to stand still with a total of 174 books!
85 physical books
73 e-books
16 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?