Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 01/10/17


In a week where I almost retired from blogging (well I thought about it fractionally at least) I have to say that I have been at possibly my most stressed in a very long time. It is actually nothing to do with the blog, although I have been ‘complaining’ all week about lack of love i.e. lack of ‘book post’. It is a plight of many a blogger, some of whom can be quite perplexed and upset about it, especially when they see the book they covet in the hands of another blogger or reader. I, to be fair, don’t really care much, but the obligatory ‘book post shelfie’ can lead to many a green-eyed monster in the blogging world, and if we’re honest, it seems we’ve enough of those going around already. You only need to ask some of my fellow bloggers about life in Twitter and Facebook jail.

Least said soonest mended on that front…

When it comes to book post, I’m actually lucky if I received one piece of book post every five or six weeks, and my last hit, until this week, was at the beginning of September, so this month has been nothing out of the ordinary. I think there are only about four publishers on the planet who have my actual address if I am honest so I should not be surprised by the lack of actual post lol. I am still getting review requests (have you folks read my reviews? Why would you do that?) and more than enough approvals on NetGalley which, along with my excessive book purchases, are enough to keep me in books until I actually can retire from the day job. In about thirty years or so…

That said, I was very moved and overwhelmingly grateful to receive a lovely ‘care’ package from Katherine Sunderland on Friday courtesy of her and the team over at No Exit Press (one of the four publishers with my address details :D). I love Katherine and her blog. She is genuinely lovely and such a positive supporter of the bookish world I’m very happy to call her a friend.

Isn’t that lovely? I shall look forward to sitting down and reading Larry and the Dog People. This certainly cheered me up after a very long week at work where my mood was at a considerable low, my swearing at a considerable high and the only highlight worth mentioning was a nice curry out with my team to celebrate nearing the end of part one of budget hell. It’s a tradition and something I do with them every year, in part to say a small thanks for all of their hard work throughout the year.

Book post, it appears, is like the proverbial London bus… You wait weeks for some and then two come along all at once. Saturday I returned home from sorting out a phone upgrade to two more parcels. One was the signed first edition copy of Val McDermid’s Insidious Intent which I was waiting on from Goldsboro. The other one was the second book in the Hendrik Groen series, On The Bright Side which is out in January. I loved the original book so can’t wait to tuck into this one. Big thanks to Sam Deacon at Penguin Michael Joseph for sending it to me. And also a big thanks to Lloyd Otis for the invite to attend his book launch in London in a couple of weeks. I can actually attend this one and I can’t wait.

I feel loved again. But it’s all okay anyway. As you can see from the picture at the top, I have Belgian Chocolate Mushrooms. I am saving them to eat on Friday when my review of the fungi-tastic The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen is reviewed on the blog. I’ll need sustenance by then. Several early starts and some property viewings scheduled for this week. It’s going to be a long one…

NetGalley wise I was quite restrained. For me. Only two titles. One I needed for a blog tour the other for my Christmas feature in November so they don’t count… Sort of. I bagged copies of Christmas at Hope Cottage by Lily Graham and Cold Christmas by Alastair Gunn. Another Penguin MJ title that I was actually invited to read. I’m sure many thousands of others were too but it’s almost as if they might like me. Just a little bit…

Amazon and book purchase wise… Yes well. Least said soonest mended on that front too. Whoops.

I may, may have preordered the signed hardback copy of Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson from Goldsboro. May… I ‘may’ also have ordered a physical copy of The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen. Not that I enjoyed it or anything. Or that I have the kindle version on pre-order. Just saying…

I may also have pre-ordered Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer, Killed, the fifth Henning Juul book by Thomas Enger, Hydra by Matt Wesolwski, Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb, Shadows by Paul Finch, Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray, Mother by S.E. Lynes, Sometimes I Kill by Alice Feeney,  Gone Missing by T.J. Brearton, Hello Again by Brenda Novak and The CWA Short Story Anthology.

And placed orders for The Undesired by Yrsa Sigurdardottir and The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst.

Seriously. I need help. Still, my plan not to leave the family any inheritance appears to be on track 😀

Reading wise, give how busy and tired I’ve been, I managed three books, which I’m happy with.

Books I have read.

TFA.jpgThe Fallen Agent by Oliver Tidy

Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.

The first in a new series about former spook Jess Albion, this book is high in action and tension. Centered around the threat of a potential biological attack on London, the story is one of betrayal and revenge. My review will be on the blog in a few weeks as part of the tour. In the mean time you can pre-order the book here.

S.jpgSnare by Lilja Sigurdardottir

After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world.

As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash.

Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Wow. What a book. I raced through this in just under a day and enjoyed every minute of it. Poor Sonia. I really felt for her. I had a bit of an inkling of what was happening but it didn’t make it any less shocking when it was confirmed. And such a compelling story, a bit cat and mouse, with a whole lot of threat. Loved it. My review will be published in a couple of weeks, in the meantime you can preorder a copy of the book here.

FH.jpgFox Hunter by Zoe Sharp

FOX HUNTER is the latest in Zoë Sharp’s highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thriller series.

‘The dead man had not gone quietly … There was a time when I would have given everything I owned to be the one responsible for that.’

Charlie Fox will never forget the men who put a brutal end to her military career, but she vowed a long time ago she would not go looking for them.

Now she doesn’t have a choice.

Her boss and former lover, Sean Meyer, is missing in Iraq where one of those men was working as a private security contractor. When the man’s butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.

Sean’s partner in their exclusive New York close-protection agency needs this dealt with—fast and quiet—before everything they’ve worked for is in ruins. He sends Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions:

Find Sean Meyer and stop him. By whatever means necessary.

At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he’s turned into a violent stranger. As the trail grows more bloody, Charlie realises that unless she can get to Sean first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.

Okay. So as per usual I’m a little late to the party. Way beyond fashionably so but better late than never I always say. This is my first Charlie Fox book but after hearing the author read from it at Noir at the Bar at Harrogate, I couldn’t resist when invited to be a part of the blog tour. High on action, this is totally my kind of book. You can find out how much so in a couple of week. While you’re waiting you can order yourself a copy of the book here.

That was it. All I managed. I ran out of time. Some rather ambitious reading targets for this week given that I’m driving all around the country for half of it, but I will achieve. I am determined and bloody minded enough.

Blog wise, another full on week behind me with a mix of reviews and blog tours posts.

Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech

Kisses From Nimbus by P.J. ‘Red’ Riley

#Booklove: Mandie Griffiths

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

House of Spines by Michael J. Malone

Operation Clean Up Day by Jason Tucker

We’ll Always Have Christmas by Jenny Hale

Lies That Poison by Amanda Fleet

A mad week really when you think about it. And I reviewed my first Christmas book. Go me!

The week ahead is just as manic in all quarters. Blog wise it’s the usual mix of reviews, booklove and blog tours. First up today is Mandie’s blog tour review of The Bad Sister by Anne Penketh. On Wednesday I have a blog tour guest post from Will Campbell, author of Sometimes The Darkness. Thursday I have a Q&S with debut author, Caroline England, and more blog tours on Friday with reviews of The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen, The Mistake by K.L. Slater and a further guest post on Saturday from author Donald M Bell and his book, Doing Scary. I’ll be rounding out the week with a review. Hope you can join me.

Tonight, all being well and barring any natural disasters, I will be making the most of my proximity to London with work and attending my first ever First Monday Crime. It’s a cracking line up with Ann Cleeves, Mark Edwards, Caz Frear and Lilja Sigurdardottir. Oh, and some bloke called Rod Reynolds apparently. I can’t wait. I may even see some of you there. All I have to do is find the place. Wish me luck…

Do hope that you have a wonderfully bookish week all. See you next time



7 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 01/10/17

  1. Aw thanks for the lovely mention Jen, you’re too kind! I missed not having a pal to sit with at morecambe Crime Fest this weekend! But I’m all booked for Bristol! And I loved Snare too- what a compelling read! Looking forward to your review- and all your reviews as always! Have a good week!! Xx

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  2. My bookpost has gone down dramatically since I have been turning down blog tours. It’s actually a bit of a relief as the pile you haven’t managed to get through makes you feel guilty and a bit stressed – not that I ever got loads. Enjoy First Monday Crime. I’m very jealous as I would love to meet Mark Edwards!

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    1. I couldn’t cope with the amount of book post some people get. I also couldn’t insist on hard copy only. I love ebook post. Compact and portable. Not being able to read all the lovely books you are sent is the worst as feel sooooo guilty.

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