Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 03/12/17

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Me this week. Definitely a case of least said, soonest mended. What was an already stressful week took a massive downward turn on Thursday and I will be completely honest and say I have been struggling since then to turn the frown upside down. Or stop my face from leaking.

I am searching for positives to stop this from being a completely depressing post and if there is one that I can draw upon it is the support I received from my wonderful booky and none booky friends. It really means a lot guys. I’m not usually one to publicise the darkness on FB, I’m pretty adept at keeping it to myself 24/7, but I think I was at a point of being pretty well broken and you gave me the lift I needed. I’m still not fully there, but looking forward to First Monday Crime tonight as a distraction.

Failing that I have chocolate. Oh and I went to Manchester Christmas Market on Wednesday. Had some lovely cannoli, a giant bratwurst and saw Zippy Santa again …

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So. The good news. Well, this week I started my bookvent countdown. Narrowing down my nearly 200 reads to a top 25 list has been virtually impossible so I have taken some liberties. My blog, my rules. Get over it. 🙂 By now, day four should be in the public domain and only 20 days left to go …

I received some lovely book post at the start of the week – the second book in the Hendrik Groen series – On The Bright Side. Can’t wait to start reading this. He’s like the granddad I never knew.

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Ebook post wise, on Thursday night, a very much needed treat, I got my hands on a copy of Dark Skies by LJ Ross, the seventh book in the DCI Ryan series. Earlier this year I won a charity auction giving me the chance to be a named character in the book. I was desperate to see what my namesake had been up to. Oh boy did I chuckle when I started to read it.

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Netgalley wise, I was approved for a copy of Hell Bay, the new thriller from Kate Rhodes which is published next year. There will be a bit of a surprise for anyone reading this too …

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Purchase wise I pre-ordered Hangman the second book in the Ragdoll series by Daniel Cole, Anything For Herby GJ Minett, and The Liar’s Promise by Mark Tilbury. Audio book wise I was a very lucky lady, gifted four Bookouture titles from the publisher – Don’t Tell A Soul by DK Hood; The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland; Mother by SE Lynes and Dying Breath by Helen Phifer. I also purchased Cragside by LJ Ross, just because I didn’t have it and my collection needed completing, and A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly, just because.

Reading wise I managed three books and a novella which I think isn’t bad in a bad week.

Books I have read

TSCThe Silent Children by Carol Wyer

The boy studied the bruise turning yellow at the base of his neck. With quick fingers his mother tightened his tie, and pulled his collar high above it. Her eyes alone said, We will not speak of this…

Years later, a man is found shot dead in a local park. On his phone is a draft text: I can’t keep this secret any longer. The recipient is unnamed.

Detective Robyn Carter knows this secret is the key to the case, but his friends and family don’t offer any clues, and all her team have to go on is a size-ten footprint. 

Then a nurse is found in a pool of blood at the bottom of her staircase, and a seemingly insignificant detail in her friend’s statement makes Robyn wonder: are the two bodies connected, and has the killer only just begun?

When another body confirms Robyn’s worst fears, she realises she’s in a race against time to stop the killer before they strike again. But just as she thinks she’s closing in, one of her own team goes missing.

Buried in the past is a terrible injustice. Can Robyn uncover the truth before another life is lost?

Loved this book. Absolutely loved it. So many secrets and lies it was hard to know who to trust. There are some difficult subjects touched upon and some disturbing links between the suspects. The deaths are swift and violent but this story goes beyond just looking at victims and killers. And as for Robyn’s story – well that is even more complicated and I am thoroughly intrigued. I’ll be reviewing for the blog tour next week, but you can pre-order a copy of the book here.

FTSFollow the Snowflake by Angelina Kerner

At 28, it’s bad to be single. After four years of relationship struggles, Cat is ready to try anything.

That’s when her friend tells her about her class’ Dear Santa letters. One little boy asked for a new mommy, and she suggests Cat meets the kid’s dad, just to see where things go. Cat figures it can’t hurt…until she meets a stranger in the midst of a car accident. The man is handsome with a sad look in his eyes. He still wears a wedding band and she’s not sure his heart’s available, even if he makes her heart race. But, maybe he’s a widower? Cat wonders if she should resign herself to being an old maid, or whether she could possibly be the answer to a little boy’s Christmas wish, unless there’s a third option – a future with the stranger. 

A quick and romantic read, this novella certainly excels in the Christmas spirit. Told partly in a journal/diary style and partly following our heroine, Cat, as she tries to navigate a disastrous love life and organising the Bank’s Christmas party, this is a tale which will warm your cockles. I’ll be reviewing next week but you can order a copy of the book here.

DSDark Skies by LJ Ross

Beware what lies beneath…

One fateful, starry night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant…until now. 

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan returns from honeymoon to face danger from all sides. In the depths of Kielder Forest, a murderer has escaped justice before and will do anything to protect the secrets of the past. Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, an old foe has taken the helm as Superintendent and is determined to destroy Ryan at any cost. 

Who will prevail in Ryan’s most dangerous case yet?

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

Firstly – ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Secondly – love it, love it, love it, love it, love it. The seventh book in the DCI Ryan series and every bit as thrilling and intriguing as all of its predecessors. It is the setting which really makes these books for me, that and a crime fighting team who are engaging and exciting. You really root for them. And that new DCS … Did I mention I loved it? The book is released on Sunday but you can join all the other sensible souls who preordered sending the book straight to number one by following the link here.

AFHAnything for Her by GJ Minett

A devilish psychological thriller from the widely loved GJ Minett, for fans of The Girl Before and Lie with Me.

You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?

When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.

When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago? 

Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .

Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do.

What a twisted story. I didn’t know quite who to believe. Drawn into a complex family situation, poor Billy Orr has every reason to step away but the allure of Aimi and the memories she evokes of his childhood are just too great. I loved the twistiness of this book, the complexities of Billy’s childhood which coloured his present. You can purchase a copy of the book here and my review will be out, alongside an extract from the book, on Thursday.

That was it. I’ve had worse weeks reading wise but I’ve also had better. I do admit I’m on a bit of a slow down now as we head towards Christmas, so I’m guessing that three books will be my new normal.

Full week on the blog though with some original reviews and some #bookvent.

#BlogBlitz: Now You See Me by Kierney Scott

#BlogBlitz: Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray

#FirstMonday: Q&A with Chris Whitaker

#Blogtour: The Last Post by BK Duncan

#FirstMonday: Q&A with Louise Jensen

#FestiveReads: Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 1

The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 2

The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 3

The week ahead sees more of my #bookvent countdown alongside a blog tour post for Anything For Her on Thursday and a review of Dark Skies on Sunday. Hope you can stop by.

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Have a fabulous week all. I’m off to First Monday Crime this evening and hoping for a better week overall this week. Wish me luck

Jen

The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 4

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2017 

My fourth bookvent pick is another very early 2017 read. Technically, it was a late 2016 read but as it was published in January, my review didn’t appear until 2017 so it still counts. What a book and what a debut! This is one which captured the hearts of many a reader when it was first released, the start of a series which is full of action and heart stopping moments, and features an ass-kicking, taser toting heroine with a heart of gold, who has the sass and the smarts to take on anyone and come out on top. Book four in my #bookvent countdown is …

gift-1760899_640 Continue reading “The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 4”