Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 03/06/18

This past weekend I have been on my travels again. After a fairly sedate week at work, where I spent most of if trying to work out what day it was thanks to the Bank Holiday, Mandie and I have headed oop north, very far up North as it happens, to Stirling in readiness for the launch of Bloody Scotland 2018, which takes place today at the Golden Lion Hotel. Excited muchly? Yes. Yes I am.

As if this wondrous happening wasn’t enough, we also booked out trains, hotels and accommodation for Bute Noir in August. this is the first time I have been off mainland Scotland and while it may not be the furthest away island I am still a touch excited and totally looking forward to it. Much of my holiday time is being spent exploring parts of the British Isles that I have either not experienced before or not visited in years. You would think with my job I’d be bored with travelling the UK by now but you’d be wrong. Have you actually stopped and taken time to look around you lately, or perhaps a little further afield. Our island, small, waterlogged and generally poo on the weather front as it may be. is actually a pretty bloody fantastic place to visit and there are so many parts I have yet to explore. Bring it on. Despite this being the fifth time in a smidge over two years that I have been to Stirling, this is the first time I’ve been to the Wallace Monument so there is always the chance to do something new, no matter how many times you go somewhere.


On the bookish front, it was all rather quiet again until mid week when I received a package from the lovely Karen at Orenda Books. Copies of Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen, The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech and Overkill by Vanda Symon. I also received a copy of the next Leigh Russell Geraldine Steel title, Death Rope from publishers No Exit and How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt from Penguin. I also received a digital arc of A Steep Price by Robert Dugoni from Thomas and Mercer. Super tidy book week for me then 🙂

One Netgalley ARC this week which is one I have been looking forward to. I picked up The Thieftaker’s Trek by debut author Joan S. Sumner. I met Joan on the Crime and Publishment course in March and we had a really good talk about her writing. It turns out I have a little knowledge of the area in which Joan has set her books, if not of the era in which she has written them, but I’m really excited to read it and find out more.


So … last week I was on a bit of buying slump. Yeah … that’s over. 😀 I bought the following: The Defence, The Pleaand The Liar (also on audible) by Steve Cavanagh, The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise BeechAfter He Died by Michael J Malone, The Girl With No Name and Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan. I also took the liberty of ordering the US cover of Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh as it is very pretty (Not out until 2019 but I can wait …) and Death Rope by Leigh Russell.

Normal service has resumed. Yay. (For Amazon anyway).

Books I have Read

uUltima – LS Hilton,

The shockingly audacious conclusion to the international bestselling phenomenon that began with Maestra.

If you can’t beat them  kill them

First there was Maestra. Then there was Domina. Now – there is Ultima.

Glamorous international art-dealer Elizabeth Teerlinc knows a thing or two about fakes. After all, she is one herself.

Her real identity, Judith Rashleigh, is buried under a layer of lies. Not to mention the corpses of the men foolish enough to get in her way. 

But now, caught in the murderous crossfire between a Russian Mafia boss and a corrupt Italian police detective, Judith is forced to create an even more daring work of art – a fake masterpiece she must take to the world-famous auction house where she used to be a lowly assistant and sell for $150 million.

For Judith the prospect of putting one over her loathsome former employer and the world’s art establishment is almost as thrilling as the extreme sex she’s addicted to – especially when the price of failure is a bullet in the back of the head.

But exposing her new identity to the glare of the spotlight puts her at risk of an even greater danger. Like a beautiful painting stripped of its layers of varnish, something altogether different could be revealed. 

A truth about her past even Judith might find shocking.

Yes. I know. I surprised me too. But you know what? I actually enjoyed this. Slightly steamier than your average thriller, there was a great story and really strong characterisation behind this book and as this was the final part in the series, I’m actually looking forward to going back and reading the first two. You can read my review here and purchase a copy of the book here.

fmhFollow Me Home – DK Hood

‘Don’t you agree Detective? That some people deserve to die? I’ve killed the first. I’ve killed the second. Now will you catch the others, or do I have to kill them too?’

The body of Amos Price lies in a pool of blood on the polished floor of an otherwise empty house. With no signs of a break in, and no clues left at the scene, Detective Jenna Alton is at a loss.

But as the team begins to unpick the life of the reclusive victim, they discover a disturbing link between Amos and the disappearance of several young girls in the county going back years. 

Days later, another brutally murdered body is found, in a remote motel on the outskirts of town. Ely Dorsey was killed in a frenzied attack and Jenna fears not only that the murders are connected to the missing girls, but that the killer hasn’t finished yet.

As Jenna tries to work out who will be next, the killer suddenly starts sending her deputy, David Kane, messages. Is she being taunted? Or does the murderer want to be caught? And will Jenna discover who’s behind these killings before more people die?

An absolutely nail-biting thriller with plenty of twists, Follow Me Home is perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott.

The third part in the Kane and Alton series sees them on the hunt for a vicious killer who seems to be extracting their own kind of justice for truly heinous crimes. The subject matter is tough to read but carefully handled. The murders are brutal and varied. You’ll be able to read my review as part of the tour and can order a copy of the book here.

FTDFirst to Die – Alex Caan



Bonfire Night and St James’s Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Kate Riley and Zain Harris from the Police Crime Commissioner’s office are called in.

The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus. The autopsy reveals the victim was a senior civil servant, whose work in international development involved saving lives. Why would anyone want him dead? 


As the research team looking into the origins of the deadly virus scramble to discover an antidote, first one, then another pharmacist goes missing. Meanwhile, a dark truth starts to emerge about the murder victim: he was an aggressive man, whose bullying behaviour resulted in the suicide attempt of one of his former staff members.


With thirty lives potentially at stake, Kate and Zain have their work cut out for them. Can they find the two missing pharmacists in time, or will they too end up dead?

Gah. You have no idea how long I have wanted to read this book. I have had several false starts, plus some emergency blog tour reads which demanded my attention but have finally been able to finish what I started and boy am I a happy bunny. Uncannily topical this book had me hooked from start to finish. Oh how I have missed Zain. You’ll be able to read my review around publication day (not long now – 14th June) but can preorder a copy here.

Three books. Not bad considering I got distracted by Bute Noir and spent half a day driving to Stirling. I am actually half way through another audio book as well so I am still being productive if not effective. Blog wise, I have no idea but here is a recap.

Ultima by LS Hilton

Guest Review: Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Absolution by Paul E. Hardisty

Summer at the Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies

When the Waters Recede by Graham Smith

Okay. So not so busy, Well I did say i was slowing down … This week I have blog tours today for Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh and on Friday for Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen. If you stop by on Sunday, I may have a bit of a surprise for you all too.

Funny old week this week. I’m only actually in the office for two days (yippee) because I have a two day leadership conference to attend at Alton Towers of all places (less yippee) and of course today I am in Stirling. Then I am off work for a whole week so no office for me. Cannot wait. I may even remember to put my out of office on the email this time as well. Whoops.

Have a fabulously bookish time this week folks. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again very soon as I let you know all about this year’s Bloody Scotland line up. I am so excited.

If anyone wants to know why I blog and why I travel the country so much then this … this is why. I am super privileged to be in a position where I can do this kind of thing, where I am offered the chance to be part of something really special and where I am trusted enough to help to spread the word. You can keep the free ARCs, I am lucky enough to be able to afford my own books (as this weeks purchases will confirm). I appreciate being trusted with the books, I truly do, but they are not why I do this. What drives me, what I love about blogging, is being given the opportunity to support, champion and shout out about the bookish community that I love. What a gift.

Speak soon.


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