Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 29/10/17

It is official. I am broken. Well … when I say official, I mean that I feel it. Let’s face it – none of us are getting any younger, me included, and it’s fair to say I’ve been working some pretty wacky hours of late. Well … they are finally catching up with me and if the bags under my eyes get much bigger, I’m not going to have to worry about taking my bags for life to Tesco for the weekly shop anymore …

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This week was less hectic than previous weeks, but I’m not entirely convinced that’s a good thing. You know how it is. When you’ve been running around like a loon for ages, the minute you finally take a step back and relax, the worse you feel for it. That’s me this week. Only one trip out, although it was a long one. 0300 start to drive the 170+ miles to Southampton for an 0545 start. Then a day out on the van with one of my team who was using our new POD system for the first time. Thankfully the weather was good as I spent the day travelling around various customer in Southampton and seeing places I had read of in books. In fact at one point it felt as though I was on a Helen Grace mystery tour… Lots of views of the Solent and I saw some really big butts in the docks and some slightly smaller butts on a shelf … (that’s boats to people who have never watched Finding Nemo …). Actually, I suppose to the navy they’d be ships – boats go under water …

Actually, the worst part about the day wasn’t the early start or the 12 boxes (8 bottles bottles of water cooler water included) that we had to take to the second floor of an oldish building with no lift and a rather small staircase. Nope. That’s all bread and butter stuff and nothing I can really complain about as my drivers have to do it every day. The worst part … that was the nearly 5 hour drive home. Bloody Friday traffic and being that horrid hybrid weekend at the end/start of a half term week. Yak. No easy way back whichever way I played it. Got about 60% through my next audio book though so it’s not all bad, but I am fluffing knackered now.

The weekend was much better. Headed down to London late morning (I know – I’m nuts) for the TBC 3rd Birthday party. I have no pictures as I am not a selfie gal and I have already done something foolish this weekend which will haunt me (and you) for years :p, but there will be some knocking about of me on social media to prove I did it, and I do have witnesses by way in Susan Hampson, Linda Hill, Fiona Wilson and Rachel Gilbey amongst others 🙂 A big thanks to Tracy and the gang for organising it as it was a fab night and I got to meet some great folk and catch up with a few authors I’ve met before or have been chatting with on Social Media.  I even rounded off the weekend with a trip to what is quite possibly my favourite restaurant now – Ole and Steen – for some Halloween cakes before heading home Sunday morning.

I know. Just … don’t say anything about the picture on the right. It is white chocolate, filled with a kind of chocolate cream.marshmallow and a marzipan base. It is very tasty and it is a ghost!!! Not all mine. I shared with family as a thank you for poochie sitting.

Anyhoo – back to the books. Well – Saturday night came with a whole host of them as each attendee had a tote bag full of goodies and I was also given a couple of new books by the lovely Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books. What did I get? Well, a side from back ache carrying them all home 😉 – from the party: The Watcher by Ross Armstrong; The Mine by Antti Tuomainen (love that book); Will You Remember Me by Amanda Prowse;  Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward and The House by Simon Lelic. From the lovely Karen I received Maria in the Moon by the equally lovely Louise Beech and Deep Blue Trouble by the also very lovely Steph Broadribb. I will admit to getting a bit Gollum over them and perhaps stroking my new books a little too much … Moving on.

Book post wise, just the one this week but it is a cracker and I am very, very excited to read it. Again from the lovely Karen Sullivan and Orenda Books I received the CWA Short Story Anthology – Mystery Tour featuring some very fabulous authors. Bouncy happy tigger moment for me then. The only thing to cheer me after a very long Friday of travel. You find the last reserve of energy for the good books. Isn’t it stunning?

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Book purchase wise I have been very reserved. I only ordered/pre-ordered the following books: The Cover Up by Marnie Riches; Truth or Dare by Richard Parker; Come Out To Play by Dylan Young; The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman; Before You Go by Clare Swatman; The Prodigal by Nicky Black and The Good Samaritan by John Marrs. No new Netgalley titles. I know!!! And no new audio books either.

Reading wise … well I really need to buck my ideas up as I’ve been pants again this week. Only three completed plus about 2/3 of an audio book and just about started another book. I am now a book and a half behind plan but determined to catch up. If I am missing from the world of blogging and sharing, you know why.

Books I have read

TGSThe Good Samaritan by John Marrs

She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.

Oh, oh, oh. Now I loved Mr Marrs last book The One (met him over the weekend too – lovely chap), but I have to say I think this one is even better. It’s quite a taboo topic and the main character is very, very dark. The creeping, twisting and unravelling story had me completely hooked, even if some of the characters made some mad decisions. Gah. I can’t talk about the book without spoiling things, but I am going to have to try as my review is due on Saturday – eeek. Out on December 1st, you can pre-order your own copy, as I have done, right here.

KS.jpgKilling State by Judith O’Reilly

The bullet in his brain isn’t the problem. She is.
Michael North is a hero, with a bullet in the brain to prove it. A bullet which has rewired his neural pathways and heightened his sense of intuition. A bullet which is driving him mad.

Working for an extra-governmental agency called The Board, North knows one thing for sure. He is very good at killing very bad guys. But what happens when a hero is ordered to kill a good woman rather than a bad man?

Because it turns out that rising political star, Honor Jones, MP, can’t stop asking the right questions about the wrong people. 

He should follow orders.

Shouldn’t he?

Wowsers. What a book. I don’t know quite what I was expecting when I started to read this but it wasn’t this. Part action thriller, part psychological thriller and part conspiracy theory, this is a most unusual but very entertaining and gripping read. You shouldn’t love a guy who is essentially a gun for hire but there is something about Michael North which engages you and has you rooting for a man you should want to see taken down. I’ll be reviewing this for the blog tour at the weekend but you can order a copy here.

WO.jpegWhite Out by Ragnar Jónasson

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop?

With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.

Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

Man… I wanted to savour this, the last in the Ari Thor series, but I just couldn’t. I had to read and read and read until I was finished. What a haunting story; what a wonderfully atmospheric setting, what a brilliant way to say goodbye to Ari. Oh … but now I have to review it and there are only so many times you can use the word brilliant and perfect and magnificent and … well you get the picture. You’ll see if I managed to find any unique and seldom used adjectives next Monday. In the meantime go order yourselves a copy here.

And that was it. As I say I am most of the way through another audio book which I hope to complete and review this week, and I’m part way through another book I started last night, but I have a way to go to catch up with myself right now. Still if I go into radio (or social media) silence, you’ll know it’s in a good cause. And I have a pretty full week on the blog this week just as I did last, which you can see the highlights of below:

Review: Christmas at the Falling Down Guest House by Lilly Bartlett

#BookLove: Karen Cole

#BlogTour: Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis

#BlogTour: Absolution by P.A. Davies

#BlogBlitz: A Cosy Candlelit Christmas by Tilly Tennant

#BlogBlitz: The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney

Review: Now We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride

Review: The Binding Song by Elodie Harper

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons – Prologue Preview

The week ahead is a mixture of blog tours, and a little book love, this time from Annie at The Misstery Book Blog. Blog Tour wise I’m dropping in reviews of Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell, The Good Samaritan by John Marrs, and Killing State by Judith O’Reilly. I also have a special review planned in for later in the week, but trust me – soon said, soonest mended on that front. You may won’t want to miss it…

So that is it folks. I am off to read. Or sleep. Or some weird hybrid combination of both. If you share my posts this week – thanks in advance. If you see me about on Social Media – tell me to sod off and get some reading (or work) done.

Have a fabulously bookish week all

Jen

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