Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 01/07/18

Can four pictures really sum up my week? Well, if I’m being honest they come pretty close. Reading, paperwork, sunny skies and traffic jams. That’s what I’ve been up to. The sunny skies makes a nice change. Well … not a change exactly, it’s becoming quite repetitive now, but hey – we mustn’t complain.

So how has your week been? Good? Good. I had a pretty awesome one by all accounts. Monday, despite being at work (boo hiss) I had a pretty fabulous day as I was Netgalley approved for one of THE books I have been most anticipating all year, the first in James Oswald’s brand new Constance Fairchild series, No Time To Cry. Now I was in Dublin training on Monday so I started reading it in my lunch break. Carried on reading it in the airport where I was only disturbed by a small false fire alarm, boarding the plane and driving home. I know! Annoying right? Carried on reading when I got home, finished around two a.am. I am completely gutted now as reading it so quickly means I have ages to wait for the next book in either series but by ‘eck. It was good. Sooooooo good. This was my only Netgalley this week, but that’s no bad thing lol. And as I arrived home to a signed copy of The Reckoning by Yrsa Sigurdardottir courtesy of Goldsboro Books too, the day was pretty good all in all.

Tuesday was a work day (boo hiss) but I crammed in some reading in the evening, even though I was absolutely shattered from my early morning book binge. Wednesday was a little more exciting as I drove down to London for an early morning (six a.m.) appointment the following day, Whilst there it felt only polite to head along to the London launch for Louise Voss’ The Old You and Doug Johnstone’s Fault Lines. The sacrifices one makes for blogging huh?

A fabulous evening in the gallery of Collyer Bristow on Beford Row in some wonderful company. So nice to catch up with old friends, Vicki Goldman, Joy Kluver, Jacob Collins, Anne Cater, Karen Cole, Mary Picken, Barry Forshaw and Marina Sofia. I met Daniel Pembrey who is lovely, and of course it was a chance to say hi to the lovely Karen Sullivan again and also the effervescent Meggy who was in her element and perhaps more than a little high on chocolate cake ;), One of the biggest surprises of the night was seeing Thomas Enger there – totally not expecting that but just shows what a fab team the Orenda guys are as he flew in all the way from Norway to give his support to the launch.

Book wise I picked up a signed copy of Fault Lines (I already had The Old You from earlier in the year at the Orenda Roadshow in Warwick) and an arc of Good Samaritans by Will Carver, an arc I have been rather jealous of having seen arriving with all my blogging compadres.

Driving home from Tottenham on Thursday was pure hell. Hell I tell you! Left at three and, with a series of delays, accidents and general nonsense to contend with, plus a very late breakfast stop at four thirty p.m., I finally arrived home just before eight. You’d think I’d be unhappy about that right? Well normally I would be but I managed to finish an audio book and then, when you arrive home to a massive parcel with your TBC auction wins in it, well you can’t stay in a bad mood for long can you? Such a wonderful sight to see.

What was in it? Well … Random, Snapshot, Cold Grave, Witness The Dead, In Place of Death, Murderabilia and The Photographer by Craig Robertson and The Unseen, The Price, The Harrowing and The Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff. Oh, plus some Ferrero Rocher and a Bloody Scotland t-shirt. Tidy.

Friday it was back to work and some rather dull but essential meetings and a lot more spreadsheet work. You’d think I’d be flagging by this point, and normally you’d be right, but an email from the lovely Karen Sullivan put a big smile on my face and not even talking coffee pods, cost centre reports or proof of delivery capture could get me down. More on that later in the week 😉

Saturday and Sunday … well a little walking and more reading plus a whole lot of review writing. I’m a little behind. Unlike my actual behind which is currently anything other than little hence my need for all the walking, even in this heat… saw some cygnets down a the local canal basin though so that was nice. And the books I have been reading are awesome which is also nice 🙂

Book purchase wise I was quite good really. For me. No new audible, just the one Netgalley above and only three book purchased, two pre-orders and one free short story. They were The Night She Died by Jenny Blackhurst; Death’s Door by Paul Finch and No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister.

Books I have read

NTTCNo Time To Cry – James Oswald

Undercover ops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.

Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.

In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.

There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.

Oh my life how I loved this book. Constance ‘Con’ Fairchild is a brilliant new protagonist who I am looking forward to getting to know. Very different in tone and style from the Inspector McLean series, it still bears James Oswald’s natural style of a twisted and complex story, with just a hint of something … supernatural, captivating characters and feisty determination. He may give his leads a very privileged start in life but he never quite lets them get comfortable. Loved it. And if you’ve not read any books by Mr Oswald yet, this is a great place to start. I’ll be reviewing later in the year, may do a taster review later in the month (ebook publication is late July) and you can preorder your own copy here. Do it. you know you want to.

tkhThe Killing Habit – Mark Billingham

How do you catch a killer who is yet to kill?

We all know the signs. Cruelty, lack of empathy, the killing of animals. Now, pets on suburban London streets are being stalked by a shadow, and it could just be the start.

DI Tom Thorne knows the psychological profile of such offenders all too well, so when he is tasked with catching a notorious killer of domestic cats, he sees the chance to stop a series of homicides before they happen.

Others are less convinced, so once more, Thorne relies on DI Nicola Tanner to help him solve the case, before the culprit starts hunting people. It’s a journey that brings them face to face with a killer who will tear their lives apart.

Mark Billingham has a real knack for taking real life cases and spinning them into an occasionally gruesome, always compelling, what if kind of scenario. The book starts in an almost surreal way with Thorne tasked with capturing a cat killer of all people, and ends in a way no-one could have foreseen, Gripping, action laden and with the wonderful pairing of Thorne with his exact opposite, Nicola Tanner once more, this is irresistably good. I’ll be reviewing soon but you can get your own copy here.

apf.jpgA Patient Fury – Sarah Ward

When Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death.

Three bodies discovered – a family obliterated – their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer.

But D.C. Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body – the one they cannot find – that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane.

What Connie Childs fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her more than her health – this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.

This was my first Connie Childs book, although I have the others on my kindle waiting patiently. I know I’veprobably missed quite a bit in Connie’s first outings but I have to say i really liked her, a determined officer, stubborn even, who is not willing to let things go just because she is ordered to do so and who has great instincts which she knows to trust. A harrowing case involving the death of a child puts the whole team on edge. Clever plotting, excellent writing and a guarantee I’ll be back for more. I\ll be reviewing as part of the tour later in the month but you can buy a copy here.

dotgDancing on the Grave – Zoe Sharp

In one of the most beautiful corners of England,
Something very ugly is about to take place…

A sniper with a mission…
a young cop with nothing to lose…
a CSI with everything to prove…
a teenage girl with a terrifying obsession…

There’s a killer on the loose in the Lake District, and the calm of an English summer is shattered.

For newly qualified crime-scene investigator, Grace McColl, it’s both the start of a nightmare and the chance to prove herself after a mistake that cost a life.

For Detective Constable Nick Weston, recently transferred from London, it’s an opportunity to recover his nerve after a disastrous undercover operation that left him for dead.

And for a lonely, loveless teenage girl, Edith, it’s the start of a twisted fantasy—one she never dreamed might come true.

A standalone CSI led thriller this involves a high profile murder, a killer on the loose with a very unstable young woman at his side. High tension, high action and with brilliantly drawn characters this is another top class read from author Zoe Sharp and highly recommended. I’ll be reviewing on the tour later in the month but do yourself a favour and bag a copy here.

Four books – not too shabby all things considered. It’s been a busy week. Less so on the blog but I am meant to be slowing down…

The Note by Andrew Barrett

A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood

Death on Dartmoor by Bernie Steadman

After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac

Guest Post: Robert Dugoni – Author of A Steep Price

The week ahead is pretty full on. I’ve a few blog tours starting tomorrow with The Death of Mrs Westaway by Rith Ware and A Summer Scandal by Kat French; How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt and Gone To Ground by Rachel Amphlett.

I’ll also be taking part in an exclusive cover reveal on Wednesday so do stop by. I promise you that you really want to see this. Love it.

My week will otherwise be made up of work, reading, reviewing and – wait for it – actual writing. Yes, you read that right. No more messing about. I will be writing. Eek. No pressure.

Have a fabulous and hopefully sunny and book filled week all. See you on the other side.

Jen

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