Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 25/02/18


So this is the blog post that isn’t meant to happen but I had a couple of hours in between events so here we are. What a week this has been, what a rare mood I’m in. Why it’s almost like being … contented I think is the word. After an all to brief round trip to Dublin on Monday to deliver a bit of training, I have finished off my week up in Dundee and Aberdeen combining necessary annual work trips with a touch of blogger heaven a.k.a. Granite Noir.Now I may at some stage regale you all with my tales of what I did and saw but then again I may not. I attended many panels (well a few) spoke to and hugged many authors (well a few) and got some signed books (less than a few). The panels I attended were fabulous and the authors and speakers highly engaging and entertaining including Thomas Enger, Mari Hannah, Sarah Ward, Val McDermid, Karen Sullivan, MJ Arlidge Stefan Ahnhem, Craig Sisterson, Johana Gustawsson, Clare Carson, James Oswald and Will Dean. I also attended a workshop on creating compelling characters with Melanie McGrath which was really informative and made you think about the importance of clarity and coherence in character. The weekend has been, in a word, awesome.

The weekend was made ever more special by my getting to spend time with some truly fabulous people, namely Alison Baillie, Sharon Bairden, and Mary Picken and to meet Claire MacLeary and Kate Noble. Yes … I finally got to meet The (Not So) Quiet Knitter. She is sooooo lovely (if a little shy) and actually very chatty.

As I write this I have two more events left, Words and Music with Thomas Enger and Noir at the Bar. I am looking forward to both of them but hoping I don’t have too late a night as I am due up at 05:00 to be in Portlethen by around 06:15. Then it is the small matter of the 8+ hour drive home with a small diversion to Airdrie. I am so lucky. Actually I am but don’t tell work that. They may think I want to be there …

The best news of the evening – Granite Noir will be back on 24th February 2019. Watch this space folks. And for those of you wanting a much better flavour of what this weekend has been all about then check out Granite Noir TV for some of the panels that were recorded over the weekend.

Signed book wise I was very restrained. Only the two. Killed by Thomas Enger and Eeny Meeny by MJ Arlidge. I still have some more to buy this coming week though as I attend the Orenda Roadshow in Warwick on Wednesday. Cannot wait. To those poor Orenda authors who have been at Granite Noir this weekend, I am not stalking you (much) I am acting as chauffeur for my sister. Honest.

All this travel has been both good and bad for reading and book buying. Aside from the two books above, I may have bought a couple of other titles and I might have received a teeny bit more book post … Book post wise I have received The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater and The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan so thank you to Penguin and No Exit Press for those.

Book purchase wise, clearly being at a literary festival has curtailed my spending. As a result I have only bought Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan; Dark Pines by Will Dean (seemed rude not to); The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins; The Lincoln Rhyme Collection Books 1-4 and 5-8 by Jeffrey Deaver (possibly inspired by watching The Bone Collector the other evening – I do love Denzel …); Hold My Hand by MJ Ford; The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste; The Sweetheart Killer by Arlene Hunt; Lucky Ghost by Matthew Blakstad; Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan; In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward and Sewing the Shadows Together by Alison Baillie. Not a lot of books at all really.

Whoops. Reading wise it’s not been too bad I suppose. I’ve managed a few books and an audio book so I can’t really complain.

Books I have read

SVSilent Victim – Caroline Mitchell

Emma’s darkest secrets are buried in the past. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long.

Emma is a loving wife, a devoted mother…and an involuntary killer. For years she’s been hiding the dead body of the teacher who seduced her as a teen.

It’s a secret that might have stayed buried if only her life had been less perfect. A promotion for Emma’s husband, Alex, means they can finally move to a bigger home with their young son. But with a buyer lined up for their old house, Emma can’t leave without destroying every last trace of her final revenge…

Returning to the shallow grave in the garden, she finds it empty. The body is gone.

Panicked, Emma confesses to her husband. But this is only the beginning. Soon, Alex will discover things about her he’ll wish he’d learned sooner. And others he’ll long to forget.

A dark and tense thriller with a protagonist with a very terrible secret. I blasted through this in a day as it was the kind of read which just compelled you onwards. It is released on 1st March and you can order a copy here.

BMFBring Me Flowers – DK Hood

She didn’t know he was watching. Until it was too late.

She’d walked this path hundreds of times before, she knew every twist and turn. But today was different. She didn’t know someone was waiting for her, hidden away from view. She didn’t know this was the last time she’d walk this path.

Hidden deep in the forest, schoolgirl Felicity Parker is found carefully laid out on a rock with nothing but a freshly picked bunch of flowers next to her lifeless form. Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate the gruesome discovery.

With the body found just off a popular hiking route, Jenna believes the killer is a visitor to the town… until a second local girl is discovered.

Within days, Kate Bright, a school friend of Felicity’s, is found brutally murdered at the local swimming pool and once again, the killer has displayed his victim in a terrifying manner and left flowers at the scene. 

The town is gripped with fear and Jenna and her deputy, David Kane, now know that the killer is living amongst them, and that he’s picking off school girls one by one. But they don’t know who is next on the list.

As the trail goes cold, Kane and Alton are forced to sit and wait for the killer to make his next move. But now he has a new victim in his sights, and he’s looking much closer to home …

If you love Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott you’ll love this nail-biting thriller from D.K. Hood.

This is the second in the series and I think it will help readers to have consumed book one, but is not essential. Set in small town America there is a chilling and merciless killer on the loose in a story which will have you locking up your daughters. You can preorder a copy here.

TVThe Visitor – KL Slater

He’ll make sure she never wants to leave…

Holly never thought she’d move back to her home town, but then something terrible happened. She doesn’t know if she can recover. But she knows she can never tell another soul.

People say her neighbour, David, is “different”. He doesn’t go out much, and never after dark. But in David Holly finds just what she needs: a friend. Someone who’s always there.

No one knows Holly’s secret, or where she lives. She has left the past behind. She is sure of it. So why does she feel as though she’s in terrible danger?

An absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller, from the bestselling author of Blink and The Mistake. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Couple Next Door. 

A gripping thriller which has you wondering just which way is up. So many possible outcomes in this book and an undercurrent of unease which will have readers in a spin. You can preorder a copy here.

TBaThe Babysitter – Sheryl Browne

You trust her with your family. Would you trust her with your life?

Mark and Melissa Cain are thrilled to have found Jade, a babysitter who is brilliant with their young children. Having seen her own house burn to the ground, Jade needs them as much as they need her. Moving Jade into the family home can only be a good thing, can’t it?

As Mark works long hours as a police officer and Melissa struggles with running a business, the family become ever more reliant on their babysitter, who is only too happy to help. And as Melissa begins to slip into depression, it’s Jade who is left picking up the pieces.

But Mark soon notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Things at home feel wrong, and as Mark begins to investigate their seemingly perfect sitter, what he discovers shocks him to his core. He’s met Jade before. And now he suspects he might know what she wants …

Mark is in a race against time to protect his family. But what will he find as he goes back to his family home?

A true cuckoo in the nest kind of thriller this may well have you losing your mind. Tense and occasionally skin crawling if you are a cat lover you may want to look away … You can preorder a copy here.


AOASAnatomy of a Scandal – Sarah Vaughan

A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it. 

Anatomy of a Scandal centres on a high-profile marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.

Oh my life this is such a brilliant book. I’ve had it on my biggest regrets pile for a while so the long drive up to Scotland gave me just the excuse I needed to ‘read’ it at long last. Clever, observant and so brilliantly topical this is a fabulous book which you can order here.

Blog has been busy enough, all things considered, and you can find the highlights below (or links to the posts even). I did take part in a Writing Challenge as part of Rachel Abbott’s blog tour so if you are really bored, do go and take a look. You’ll have a chance to vote on your favourite challenge entries soon so keep an eye on Rachel’s Twitter and Facebook feeds for more details.

Guest Post: CJ Harter author of Fitful Head

#BlogTour: The Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies

#BlogTour: Come a Little Closer by Rachel Abbott

#BlogTour: #TheLastLaugh by Tracy Bloom

Review: Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

Clearly as I am cutting back on the blogging this year, I have nothing in the diary for the week ahead. Well … apart from blog tours for SE Lynes’ The Pact; BK Duncan’s Found Drowned; Peter Ritchie’s Evidence of Death; Aidan Conway’s A Known Evil; Caroline Mitchell’s Silent Victim; DK Hood’s Bring Me Flowers and KL Slater’s The Visitor. It seems to be all about the initials this week. Do join me if you can.

I am looking forward to another brilliantly bookish week. See you all again soon…


11 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 25/02/18

    1. It most certainly was. Such a great event and last night was hilarious. James Oswald talking butt plugs, Felicia Yapp doing a tango, being instructed on what happens when you poison someone with phosphorus and Thomas Enger singing.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh my stars Jen. If this is you ‘cutting back’ on the blog, then there is indeed no hope for me. I’m so pleased that you really enjoyed ‘Granite Noir’. I’m jealous, but I pleased that someone as book nerdy as me was there. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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