Rewind, recap: weekly update w/e 16/07/17

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My view this week. Well… Not strictly true as I didn’t make it anywhere near Brixton or Victoria. But I was in London for a very flying visit to look at some industrial units. What a truly glamorous life I lead right? My Thursday consisted of – drive to Ponders End (via Starbucks) – spend five minutes looking at an industrial unit. Spend an hour driving to Kingsbury, in NW London (via Costa Coffee) – spend five minutes looking at an industrial unit. Drive to Hayes – spend five minutes looking at an industrial unit. Drive home (via Starbucks). Exciting stuff huh?

The only real benefit of driving around aimlessly, apart from being able to stock up on copious amounts of coffee and blackberry mojito green tea lemonade (non alcoholic), is that I also get to listen to audio books. As I was driving for around seven hours I managed to get most of the way through a whole book, which I finished off by reading when I got home. Tidy.

I’m just starting to get into my major project now with the first training sessions for our ‘super users’ next week. I forgot to tell them that they need to wear their underpants over their trousers so I guess that’s something we’ll have to cover off in housekeeping before the session starts…

Three days of that and then I get a very long weekend off because I am going to Harrogate. Right now I am neither excited or nervous about this fact. I am kind of apathetic. I think because I am so damned busy I have no time, thankfully, to be anything but. I still have the sort of feeling of dread buried somewhere deep inside, but I’ll worry about that surfacing again on Thursday morning as I say goodbye to the poochie. Or rather as I am packing as I probably won’t get round to it much before then… It’s just four days at a book festival. It is going to be fine. I think.

So. Bookwise, this week I’ve been quite productive. Sort of. Didn’t get much reading done until Wednesday as I had blog posts to catch up on, reviews to write, and that pesky chapter three in my thriller spoof – Killer – to complete. Even so, I’ve managed to get through four books thanks to my impromptu road trip on Thursday so it could be worse. I even got book post! Yup. I am loved once more. Two fabulous little parcels winging their way to me courtesy of Penguin and Head of Zeus. First up was The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond. I also received Behind Her Back by Jane Lythell.

Purchase wise I’ve been quite restrained. Sort of. I did a cheeky pre-order of Patricia Gibney’s third Lottie Parker novel, The Lost Childas well as ordering a bit of a curve ball book, Wicked Grind by J Kenner (one of my guilty pleasures). Inspired by Emma Mitchell, I made a random purchase of the following: Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms, Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, Oxford Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms. Maybe I can inject a little more variety into my ‘thriller’. Or then again, perhaps not. And it was only while I was reading the ARC that I realised I hadn’t actually pre-ordered All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker, which I have since remedied.

Only one ARC downloaded from Netgalley, The Lost Wife by Anna Mansell and no new audible this week so that, ladies and gents, was it.

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Books I have read

TLWThe Lost Wife by Anna Mansell

Fans of Sheila O’Flanagan, Amanda Prowse and Kelly Rimmer will love The Lost Wife, the compelling story of a woman’s deepest secrets, and the friends and family who must learn to live without her.

‘An incredible, beautiful story of loss, love, forgiveness, moving on, overcoming grief, redemption and above all, hope.’ Renita D’Silva

When Ellie Moran passes away, she leaves her newborn son and husband Ed behind her. Their marriage was perfect, their lives everything they had hoped for. So why was Ellie keeping secrets from Ed?

Knowing he can never ask his wife the truth, Ed is struggling to cope. When the secrets threaten to tear his whole family apart, Ed turns to Rachel, the one person who sees him as more than just Ellie’s widower.

But then Rachel discovers something Ellie was hiding, something that would break Ed’s heart. Can Rachel help Ed to find peace without the wife he lost – and a second chance at happiness?

This was a last minute pick as I am taking part in the blog tour but an absolute cracking read. His family torn apart by loss and suspicion, Ed Moran really needs a friend which he finds in nursery worker Rachel. But in trying to help Ed come to terms with what happened, Rachel makes a grave error, one which may be unforgivable. Occasionally heart wrenching and often tender this book was a welcome break from my usual crime and thriller spree. I’ll be sharing my thoughts at the end of the month, but in the meantime you can pre-order the book here.

TO.jpgThe One by John Marrs

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

So. I’m way behind the curve on this one. It’s one I’ve had on my Netgalley TBR for a long time and I thought I may as well make the most of my road trip and start to clear some of that backlog. So, I downloaded the audio and off I went. Now this was an intriguing read for me. I am overwhelmingly sceptical about the concept of people finding ‘the one’. Of there being that super spark which goes beyond anything experienced with any other partner, so this book kind of tapped into that scepticism and kept be suitably entertained. You’ll have to wait a while for my thoughts on the book but you can bag yourself a copy right here.

AWGAll The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker

‘Raine sometimes complains that nothing exciting is ever gonna happen in Grace again. Daddy told her careful what you wish for.’

Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine. Then Summer goes missing.

Grace is already simmering, and with this new tragedy the police have their hands full keeping the peace. Only Raine throws herself into the search, supported by a most unlikely ally.

But perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .

For fans of The Roanoke Girls and Fargo, All the Wicked Girls is a gripping crime novel with a huge heart from an exceptional talent.

Now it is no secret that I really loved Chris Whitaker’s debut novel, Tall Oaks. It was my top read of 2016 and is one I recommend to anyone who asks me which books they absolutely must read. So book two had a lot to live up to. And did it? Well I’m not going to say too much as my review will be out closer to publication but Mr Whitaker truly does have a talent for capturing the spirit of small town America, for creating a suffocating and oppressive atmosphere alongside a compelling and consuming story. And characterisations… You don;t get the full on Manny experience, but the friendship between Noah, Purv and Raine was brilliantly observed. So yeah. I liked it. You can pre-order your own copy here.

TUD.jpgThe Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

One man is dead.

But thousands were his victims.

Can a single murder avenge that of many?

Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto: the body of Christopher Drayton is found at the foot of the cliffs. Muslim Detective Esa Khattak, head of the Community Policing Unit, and his partner Rachel Getty are called in to investigate. As the secrets of Drayton’s role in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of Bosnian Muslims surface, the harrowing significance of his death makes it difficult to remain objective. In a community haunted by the atrocities of war, anyone could be a suspect. And when the victim is a man with so many deaths to his name, could it be that justice has at long last been served?

In this important debut novel, Ausma Zehanat Khan has written a compelling and provocative mystery exploring the complexities of identity, loss, and redemption.

Winner of the Barry Award, Arthur Ellis Award, and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel.

I’ve been itching to read this book since receiving it from No Exit Press last month. I’m on the blog tour next week so you won’t have long to wait for my thoughts. Not always a comfortable subject to read about, it touches upon one of the darkest periods in recent European history. As I’ve literally only just finished reading, I’m going to sit and digest it a little while before writing my review. In the meantime, order yourself a copy of the book here.

So that’s it. Four books. Not too shabby. Not sure this will be as productive a week as Harrogate is likely to impinge on my reading a touch… I’ll give it a shot though and the travel means valuable audio book time so perhaps I can squeeze in at least a couple of titles by Sunday….

Busy week on the blog with a mix of reviews, book love and blog tours as per the norm.

Review: Cragside by L.J. Ross

#BlogTour Guest Post: Spark Out by Nick Rippington

#BookLove: Linda Hill

Killer: Chapter Three (or ‘I did warn you – these are actually getting worse…’)

#Blogtour review: The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney

#BlogTour Review: Dying To Live by Michael Stanley

Guest Review: Bored of the Rings by Rich Amooi

#BookLove: Catherine Kullman

Review: Nowhere Child by Rachel Abbott

The week ahead is once more pretty busy. I have more book love, blog tours and reviews to share. I start the week with a guest post from Malcolm Hollingdrake as part of the Dying Art blog tour. On Wednesday I’m finally able to share my review of The Other Twin by Lucy V Hay and on Friday I am thrilled to be opening the blog tour for Chris Curran’s new book, Her Deadly Secret. I have a little book love from Katherine Sunderland and Jane Cable and if I get time, maybe an update or two from Harrogate (but don’t hold your breath…)

And that’s it. Have a fabulous week of bookishness all. See you next week.

JL

9 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: weekly update w/e 16/07/17

  1. Another productive week and you’ve persuaded me to buy The Lost Wife. Don’t fret about Harrogate, says she who is now going on her own and is not exactly brimming with confidence. If all else fails it’s a lovely town, great shopping, lots of coffee opportunities and I’m taking a loaded Kindle.

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  2. If my three-hour commute drive per day is confirmed, I am so gonna need audiobooks, but they are darn expensive!!
    I was very skeptical about the concept of The One, but I loved reading the book! I am currently reading The Lost Wife and loving it. I should also start The Unquiet Dead soon!
    Don’t think about Harrogate until the very last moment, and you’ll have a blast 😀 Take us with you and have lots of pics and fun! xx

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