Rewind – recap: Weekly round up.

Okay. So at the start of the week I planned to be very productive. To make a real dent in my to be read list and to tick off some of those titles which have been long calling out for my attention. Yes. Well. I did manage to read a bit. Probably better than I expected to be fair, but I have let myself get disastrously distracted and so I’ve not been as productive on the old blogging front as I might have liked. By that, I mean I have failed miserably and basically not blogged since the start of the week.

Because I suck at this. The posting bit, I mean. I like to think I’m finally getting into my stride on the writing reviews bit (when I finally get around to it.)

In my defence (if there is one) I have been reading a number of books for blog tours and/or future releases which I can’t quite publish my review on yet so I am running out of ‘current’ titles to write about, something I need to remedy pretty sharpish. Look on the positive side. If you’re a blog subscriber it means a lot less or a lot shorter weekly digests and if you follow me on Twitter … Well I still write lots of rubbish on there so sorry about that.

So… Not being completely hopeless, I have actually read something this week, and in one case, published a review as well.

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My only published review this week was for ‘Truth Will Out‘ by A.D. Garrett and can be found here. This is the third book in the Simms and Fennimore series and what a book it is. When a mother and daughter are abducted on their way home from an afternoon treat, Fennimore is drawn into the case by a taunting letter from someone who could well be the kidnapper. Excluded from the investigation by a very wary police force, Fennimore begins to look into a potential case of a miscarriage of justice instead. This was a brilliant story, pulling together so many hanging threads from the previous stories and the tension which builds around the mother and daughter and their abductor, and also Fennimore as he searches for his missing daughter, kept me right on the edge of my seat.

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Next up was ‘Witness by Caroline Mitchell. I have yet to publish my review for this book which is being released by Thomas & Mercer on 20th December, but I will say that this was a brilliantly twisty psychological thriller, a step apart from the police procedurals that Ms Mitchell is known for. I don’t want to say too much about the book, and you can catch the gist from the blurb on Amazon here. I will say that this was a book which kept me hooked, with a brilliantly manipulative bad guy who could really make my skin crawl. Definitely worth pre-ordering and the ending… Well. Yeah. I didn’t quite expect that.

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Okay, so ‘Miss Wrong and Mr Right wasn’t on my list of to be reads at the start of the week, and it probably sticks out like a sore thumb in the midst of all these dark and twisty thrillers, but sometimes you just have to. Right? It’s the story of Natalie Love who, having escaped her small village to head to London with her Gran, has a successful career and a loving relationship. Everything a woman could want. Except her loving relationship may not be as stable as she thought and when a face from her past opens up a rival business opposite her theatre, she begins to wonder just how perfect her life really is and whether by being career focused, she has been missing out on what she really wants.  A sheer delight, I found myself chuckling so often while reading this and couldn’t help but smile throughout. Especially the scene with the pigeons. Oh my life. I can just picture it now and it’s a scream. My review will be posted this week but if you like a good romcom, this could be one for you.

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Possibly my favourite read of this week, but also the hardest to review, was ‘A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone. This is the story of Andy, a single father whose wife died during childbirth. He thought he had found his second chance in Anna, a young woman who seemed perfect for him. Who loved him unconditionally and also loved his son. But after a whirlwind romance, the truth of their relationship becomes painfully clear, and Andy’s need to hold his family together masks a horrible and violent secret, one which he cannot divulge for fear of reprisals and also a terrible sense of shame. A true domestic noir, this story will challenge the nerve of anyone who has suffered a violent relationship. The story telling is powerful but not gratuitous, it’s strength coming from the understated and empathetic way in which the author tells the story. There are other threads to this tale which lift if from being simply about abuse. The characters brought out a range of emotions in me, and there is a danger of my review becoming a little to personal so I am taking my time in writing it. But make no mistake – this is getting a massive thumbs up from me and when I finally find the words, I hope my review reflects that.

I am 85% thru Black Widow, and I do promise that I will finish it this week (if not this evening) and post my review post-haste.

So – my to reads for the week.

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

The Exiled by Kati Hiekkapelto

The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson

Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb

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So what is planned for the week ahead?

With the end of the year fast approaching, I’ve been thinking long and hard about whether or not I should do a ‘favourite books’ or ‘best of 2016’ feature to say toodaloo to 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms. When I came to review my reading lists for 2016 I was surprised by the number of Bookouture authors I had read. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been as they are quite prolific on NetGalley where I cut my reviewing teeth so to speak, but still. When you look through their lists it is amazing the diverse range of authors that they have on their books and the sheer number of them I’ve actually read and reviewed in the time my blog has been running.

So… As I’m already running a couple of featured blogs for two new Bookouture releases this week, I’ve decided to turn my blog to recapping some of the stunning Bookouture titles I’ve read, loved and reviewed this year. Starting tomorrow, with my blog tour post for the fantabulous ‘Love You To Death‘ by Caroline ‘My Mind is Scarier Than I Look’ Mitchell, I will be looking back on some of the best books I have read and which have really helped me fall in love with reading once again. I won’t be able to cover all of their brilliant books and authors and if I miss anyone I am sorry because I’ve loved everything I’ve read, but if you want to understand why it’s not possible to mention everyone, you only have to visit Bookouture’s website hereThere’s a reason Publishers Weekly named them the hottest digital publisher in Britain right now (you can read the article here).

Happy Reading All

JM