Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 15/04/18

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You have to admit – this is not a bad way to start a week huh? It was lush if somewhat sickly but highly recommended. I love Ole & Steen on Haymarket. Best Danish pastry I have tasted. If you are in London then you simply must go. Their sandwiches and coffees aren’t bad either.

After starting last week’s post with a puppy picture, I was asked for a cat this week so here you go.lion-3317566_640

Not what you were expecting? He’s still pretty cute though. For those wanting a kitty of a slighter small size and shape here’s one for you.

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None of this has anything to do with books but then what is new. Well … the cake kind of links back to books as I did eat it prior to heading on over to City University and First Monday Crime last week. A wonderfully bookish night of entertainment courtesy of Barry Forshaw, Stuart Turton, Leigh Russell and john Connolly. Sadly, thanks to the sudden descent of fog upon the country Rachel Abbott didn’t make it but the panel still kept us wholly entertained with discussions on why kids don’t read much, whether Stuart Turton loves or hates Agatha Christie and whether John Connolly writes horror or crime or a hybrid. For more on the evening as a whole I recommend that you read Joy Kluver’s write up here. I was far to enthralled and entertained to take decent notes but I did grab a couple of pictures.

Now, you may or may not have worked out from my overly gushing post the other week about The Woman in the Woods that I’m a small fan of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker books. I did the thoroughly bookishly geeky thing of queuing to get my copy signed (even though I have a signed copy on the way from Goldsboro books anyway – this was personalised) and unlike me, I managed to get out more of a sentence than ‘I liked your book’. When Mr C remarked that I had already read it, I explained that I’d reviewed it the previous week. After a surprised ‘that was you!’ I got a totally unexpected and unsolicited hug of thanks from the man himself.

Now I am not prone to the old huggage, hand shakes are still somewhat of a necessary evil IMHO, even for work. I want to die when I meet my European colleagues with their strange air kiss/cheek rub ways. I can never remember which is which and who is going to fire in for one, two or even three kisses. Three!!! I mean, what the heck?Where I come from that’s borderline asking for your hand in marriage or at the very least an indecent proposal!

Those who know me well know that this hugging phenomenon is something I am struggling to come to terms with about the bookish world. You lot are very huggy people. This one though I did not mind at all. Not in any weird kind of freaky stalkerish way I hasten to add, but it was just so surprising as I am sure that authors such as John Connolly and the rest of the panel get hundreds of reviews and kind comments all the time, so to know that he read and was genuinely thankful for the review makes this whole blogging thing worth while. In it’s own odd way it’s kind of different to greeting people who you may have conversed with a bit on line or perhaps met before too as that’s where you expect a kind of happy but strange hug/air kiss/pre proposal type scenario 😉😬. I mean I’d have been as happy with a genuine and enthusiastic thank you but I’m not complaining.;) And I now have another book in my signed collection which also contains huge hugs (at least this is what we deciphered it as saying lol)!!! Good night out.

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This was the most exciting thing to happen to me all week as other than this I have had a trip just south of Lille for another two hour meeting (and the kiss/don’t kiss, one two or three nightmare) and a lot of work twaddle to contend with. I completed week 4 of my Forensic Psychology – Witness Investigation course and week 1 of the Forensic Science course that I am trying to undertake alongside blogging and working and travelling and occasional sleeping so that is a bonus. I also got two other new signed books this week. First up was a copy of DM Mark’s The Zealot’s Bones (warning to the sensitive the cover has a scary rat and you may wish to scroll on) and a second signed copy of Written in Bones by James Oswald, simply because it was signed and dated on my birthday last year. That seemed like fate to me so it had to be done.

Ahhh. Book. Heaven. Not too shabby a week huh? Well apart from work but we can gloss over that part …

New book wise I have been ordering from Goldsboro again. This time it’s a signed copy of The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride which is released in June. Happy bunny time over here then. From Amazon my purchases have been limited (yeah right) and I only ordered the US hard cover of Ragnar Jonasson’s Black Out because it is stunning (and I have the first two in the set so it seemed rude not to). From the UK I ordered The Zealot’s Bones by DM Mark (I can’t read a signed copy…); Down To The Woods by MJ Arlidge; Counting the Dead by Victoria Jenkins and No Turning Back by Sam Blake.

Netgalley wise I have had a few books. It’s a mixture of tour requests, direct invites to review in the case of Peter James and Ruth Dugdall and ‘I just want to read these’ requests. I picked up Body and Soul by John Harvey; The Things You Didn’t See by Ruth Dugdall; The Retreat by Mark Edwards; Dead If you Don’t by Peter James and One Little Lie by Sam Carrington. I was also sent an early copy of The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer which is absolutely bloody fabulous I might add.

Reading wise I’ve not had too shabby a week all things considered. I am still shattered so i think to have finished reading four books again this week is quite pleasing.

Books I have read

TISThe Ice Swimmer – Kjell Ola Dahl

When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. 

With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.

Dark, complex and nail-bitingly tense, The Ice Swimmer is the latest and most unforgettable instalment in the critically acclaimed Oslo Detective series, by the godfather of Nordic Noir.

My review of this brilliant novel will be out later this week but I truly love the writing style and the feel of this Oslo based thriller. Slower in pace than most Detective novels it is still engaging and has so many hold your breath moments that you won’t be able to turn away. You can buy your own copy here.

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Body and Soul – John Harvey

From the master of British Crime Writing comes Frank Elder’s last case.

‘The heavy manacles around the girl’s wrists, perhaps not surprisingly, looked very much like the ones that had been found on the studio floor. For a moment, she had a vision of the chain to which they were attached being swung through the air, taking on force and speed before striking home.Then swung again.’

When his estranged daughter Katherine appears on his doorstep, ex-Detective Frank Elder knows that something is wrong.

Katherine has long been troubled, and Elder has always felt powerless to help her.

But now Katherine has begun to self-destruct.

The breakdown of her affair with a controversial artist has sent her into a tailspin which culminates in murder.

And as Elder struggles to protect his daughter and prove her innocence, the terrors of the past threaten them both once more …

The last in the series this is the first book I have read by John Harvey. Nothing new there for me. Fast paced and gripping from the off, it does contain spoilers for prior novels so be aware before setting off, but as a first read it also gives enough back ground to put everything in context and keep you on edge all along. My review will be posted later this week and you can buy your own copy here.

TCOThe Chosen Ones – Carol Wyer

They had not been forgiven. And they would never be forgotten ….
When a doting young father is murdered and his body discovered in a cornfield for his family to see, it’s a harrowing new case for Detective Robyn Carter. But just as Robyn starts to investigate, a popular local doctor and young mother, is found dead outside her surgery.

As Robyn tries to find the link between the victims, she uncovers a dark web of secrets. Were these much-loved members of the community as innocent as they seemed? 

The killer has a message for Robyn and the carefully chosen victims. Can Robyn get to the truth before she becomes the next target? 

If you love Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Rachel Abbott, you’ll love the latest pulse-pounding thriller from Carol Wyer. The Chosen Ones will keep you guessing until the very last page.

What I love about this series, aside from the great characters and the brilliant writing, is that it is set very locally to me and I always chuckle when I see local references. Plenty of that in this book, alongside a chilling set of murders which will make your toes curl and keep you right at the edge of a very uncomfortable seat. Loved it. My review will be a long time coming as publication isn’t until later next month, but you can preorder a copy here. Totally worth it.

TGWGRThe Girl Who Got Revenge – Marnie Riches

Revenge is a dish best served deadly…

A twelve-year-old girl is found dead at the Amsterdam port. An old man dies mysteriously in a doctors’ waiting room. Two seemingly unconnected cases, but Inspector Van den Bergen doesn’t think so…

Criminologist George McKenzie is called in to help crack the case before it’s too late. But the truth is far more deadly than anyone can imagine… Can George get justice for the dead before she ends up six-feet under too?

A heart-racing thriller packed with secrets, lies and the ultimate revenge, perfect for fans of Steig Larsson and Jo Nesbo.

Love this series, loved this book. George McKenzie and her lover Van den Bergen are back and boy what a case they are faced with. Human trafficking and unexplained deaths of admittedly quite aged men. Full of the humour, darkness and brilliant plotting that threads through this series, fans will not be disappointed. My review and an extract from the book will be up on the blog this weekend, but you can order your own copy here.

Busy week on the blog so here is a recap:

A Grand Old Time by Judy Leigh

My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland

Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan

The Summer Theatre By The Sea by Tracy Corbett

Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson

Cover Reveal: The Picture – Roger Bray

The week ahead is pretty tame in comparison although I do have a few tours on the cards for the Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dahl; Body and Soul by John Harvey; The Dark Web by Christopher Lowery; East if India by Erica Brown (Mandie’s review) and The Girl Who Got Revenge by Marnie Riches.

Do have a fabulously bookish week everyone. I will be mostly reading, studying and possibly (maybe) thinking about starting writing myself. Only possibly maybe ish. But probably not. Bust, busy and all that.

Jen

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