Hey kids. Have you missed me? Probably not but it’s been two weeks since my last update post so bear with me. This could be long.
What’s new I hear you ask …
So, since we last spoke you may have seen that I’ve been on a writing weekend – Crime and Publishment – made a committment to try to write a novel (god help us all) and been to a book launch. I’ve also been mega busy at work, read a few books, though not as many as I’d hoped, and generally been very stressed. Add in an impending trip to France for a two and half hour meeting this week and you have all the makings of a nervous breakdown … Good job I’m far too lazy to be stressed huh?
It’s been that long since the last post, I can’t remember what I’ve told you and what I haven’t. I know I posted about Orenda and I wrote a post about Crime and Publishment too, so you don’t need to hear all about that again. It’s here if you’re bored. What I haven’t updated you on is my evening at the pre-launch event for Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh. The day before I headed north to Gretna, I drove west to Oswestry for an enjoyable evening listening to Jenny Blackhurst interview Clare all about her new book and her journey to becoming a writer, A thoroughly entertaining evening and also an inspiration to anyone who is wanting to become a writer themselves (not that any of us would admit it on the night…) Picked myself up a lovely signed book too which is always nice.
Aside from all of the above, and a little bit of work, as that is what I actually get paid for, I have mostly been spending my spare time catching up on reading, and beginning my research for what I laughing call ‘my novel’. I have a plot, sort of, I have a protagonist begging to be let out of my head. I just need to find words and time. Easy … Research has, at this early stage, mostly consisted of buying lots of books on Amazon, many from recommendations from other authors so thank you very much for that, and some from thinking that the For Dummies guides have to be, for me at least, the way to go.
My research purchases this week have been plentiful, consisting of the following:
Mindhunter – Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit; Criminology for Dummies; Forensic Psychology For Dummies; Inside the Minds of Serial Killers; Psychology for Dummies; Forensic Analysis and DNA in Criminal Investigations; How To Commit The Perfect Murder; The Writers Guide to Weapons; and Forensic Psychology – Crime, Justice, Law, Interventions
This is on top of books I already owned which include Forensics by Val McDermid; The Crime Writer’s Casebook; and The Crime Writer’s Guide to Police Procedure and Practice. I’m going to be busy 😀
Because you can never have too many reference books …
I also bought book books since we last spoke. Shocker I know. I have purchased the following: Among the Ruins and A Death In Sarajevo by Ausam Zehanat Khan; Red Devil Drive by JM Gulvin; Overkill by Vanda Symon; plus I have received a few books from Goldsboro – We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt; The Collector by Fiona Cummins; The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson and Girl on Fire by Tony Parsons.
Reading wise, I’ve had variable results in the two weeks. Six books. Not bad but not brilliant. In my defence I was otherwise occupied last weekend.
Books I have read
A young woman is found dead on a remote Icelandic beach.
She came looking for safety, but instead she found a watery grave.
A hasty police investigation determines her death as suicide . . .
When Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik police is forced into early retirement, she is told she can investigate one last cold case of her choice – and she knows which one.
What she discovers is far darker than suicide . . . And no one is telling Hulda the whole story.
When her own colleagues try to put the brakes on her investigation, Hulda has just days to discover the truth. A truth she will risk her own life to find.
A darkly compelling psychological thriller, full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of Louise Jensen, Cass Green and Alex Lake.
Secrets lie beneath the surface…
Two men, seemingly unconnected, are discovered dead in a holiday boat on the Norfolk Broads, having apparently committed suicide together.
Local journalist Alex Devlin, planning an article on the dangers of internet suicide forums, starts digging into their backgrounds.
But Alex’s investigation soon leads her to a much darker mystery – one that will hit closer to home than she could possibly have imagined, and place the lives of those she loves in terrible danger.
This is the third book in the series but the first I have read. Featuring journalist Alex Devlin, she finds herself in the case of a suspected suicide pact which seems a little too clean to be true. My review will be up on Tuesday but you can buy a copy of the book here.
As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots.
Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation.
On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky… B
oth a dark and consuming crime thriller and a lyrical, poetic ode to the sea, We Were the Salt of the Sea is a stunning, page-turning novel, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
Another hauntingly beautiful new book from the Orenda stable, my review is out this morning and you can order your own copy here.
Jenny has too much on her plate: literally – she’s only expecting one child but she’s eating for at least three. Not to mention trying to juggle her nightmare boss, a know-it-all sister, and an infuriatingly laid-back husband.
She used to be known for her ‘Single Girl About Town’ column. But when her boss gives her job to a younger colleague, Jenny panics and proposes she blogs instead about being a clueless new mum. Surely people will find her new friendship group fascinating? (Even if the only thing they seem to have in common is that they all had sex around the same time 9 months ago…)
And if her readers aren’t quite hooked yet, maybe Jenny will just have to be more liberal with the truth. After all, none of the other mums will read it… will they?
The Undercover Mother is a hilarious parenting page-turner that will make you laugh, cry and want to crack open the gin. Perfect for fans of Why Mummy Drinks and The Bad Mother’s Diary
A funny look at first time motherhood which will resonate with many people, you’ll be able to read my review on Wednesday. In the meantime you can order a copy here.
On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.
I love Marnie Rome and this is an absolutely brilliant addition to the series. On the hunt for a dangerous escaped convict, Marnie faces her biggest challenge yet. You can preorder your own copy right here.
Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout.
Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services.
End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.
Oh what a bittersweet moment. I absolutely love this series and loved being back in the company of Finlay and Jones but I am so sad this journey is now over. You can find my review on the blog on Friday and preorder your own copy here.
Because it’s been so long there are a lot of catch up posts here if you want to read them. Sorry (not sorry).
My week ahead is very, very full., Blog tours pretty much all week starting today with We Were The Salt of the Sea, Dark Waters, The Undercover Mother, End Game, Hold My Hand by MJ Ford, No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney, and No Comment by Graham Smith.
I’m hoping to get some decent reading time in this week with all the train travel I have to undertake. Failing that then at least some research. Wish me luck. After all the working I’ll be travelling to Derby on Saturday for a Crime Fiction day, can’t wait. And if I’m lucky then I’ll be having a snooze or two, Just little ones.
Have a great week all