Regrets, I’ve had a few …

I think that a common affliction amongst bookworms is the feeling that we just want to read pretty much all of the books, all of the time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and days in the year to achieve the feat mind, and often we find ourselves investing/indulging in more tomes than we can ever hope to read. We give it a damned good shot, some of us reading a good ten books in a years, some a hundred and some many, many more. Whatever our achievement, we feel rightfully proud, but sometimes, just sometimes, a small element of regret too.

I am one such bookworm. I start each year with such grand plans, in fact I started this year with a list of my most anticipated reads which, sadly, I didn’t quite manage to complete in 2018. I only missed 2 out of 28, which isn’t bad, but you know how it is. Life happens, things change, new books get released that you weren’t expecting, enticing you with their shiny, pretty covers and promising such grand and wonderful adventures that all of the best laid plans fall by the wayside … Well, at least if you are me anyway.

There are so many books that I wish I’d had a little more time this year so that I could have read them (and I finished over 190 books this year already so I did give it a fair crack). But just because I’ve not had time to read them, doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate them still with a little bit of a round up post. Maybe it will prompt me to bounce them up my list this year (I’ve already started one on audio) and if not, it may still help you find your next favourite read.

So here we go. The books I wish I’d read …

In A House of Lies – Ian Rankin


Everyone has something to hide
A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still – both for his family and the police – is that his body was in an area that had already been searched.

Everyone has secrets
Detective Inspector 
Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now – after a decade without answers – it’s time for the truth.

Nobody is innocent
Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead – and that it could be the end of him: 
John Rebus.

This is the one I started on audio … I will finish it in the next few weeks as I journey into work and back, but I’m determined to finish it before the end of January. You can purchase a copy here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

Broken Ground – Val McDermid

When a body is discovered in the remote depths of the Highlands, DCI Karen Pirie finds herself in the right place at the right time. Unearthed with someone’s long-buried inheritance, the victim seems to belong to the distant past – until new evidence suggests otherwise, and Karen is called in to unravel a case where nothing is as it seems.

It’s not long before an overheard conversation draws Karen into the heart of a different case, however – a shocking crime she thought she’d already prevented. As she inches closer to the twisted truths at the centre of these murders, it becomes clear that she’s dealing with a version of justice terrifyingly different to her own . . .

I really enjoyed the last Karen Pirie story and do love Val McDermid’s writing so it’s a with regret that I haven’t yet managed to fit this one in. You can buy a copy here though.

Amazon UK | Waterstones

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

Gosford Park meets Groundhog Day by way of Agatha Christie and Black Mirror  the most inventive story you’ll read this year

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed … Again 

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. 

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

I really want to read this – I have the audio and everything. I heard the author read from the book at Granite Noir and it was hilarious – in a good way. You can purchase a copy here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

The Tattoo Thief – Alison Belsham

A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

Yes … this has appeared on the blog, but it wasn’t me that read it. You can read Mandie’s review here. I do want to read it before the follow up Poison Ink is released next year though. You can buy a copy here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

All That Remains – Sue Black

Sue Black confronts death every day. As Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster. In All That Remains she reveals the many faces of death she has come to know, using key cases to explore how forensic science has developed, and what her work has taught her.

Do we expect a book about death to be sad? Macabre? Sue’s book is neither. There is tragedy, but there is also humour in stories as gripping as the best crime novel. Our own death will remain a great unknown. But as an expert witness from the final frontier, Sue Black is the wisest, most reassuring, most compelling of guides.

I am really looking forward to reading this. Professor Sue Back has lived a fascinating life and career and having heard her at a couple of book festivals now, I’m even more determined to move this up the reading list in 2019. You can buy a copy here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

Unnatural Causes – Dr Richard Shepherd

Meet the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd.

He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death.

He’s a detective in his own right.

And he has one, ultimate and pressing question to answer:

How did this person die?

Unnatural Causes is an unputdownable record of an extraordinary life, a unique insight into a remarkable profession, and above all a powerful and reassuring testament to lives cut short.

Dr Shepherd has faced serial killers, natural disaster, ‘perfect murders’ and freak accidents, all in the pursuit of the truth.

And while he’s been involved in some of the most high-profile cases of recent times, it’s often the less well-known encounters that prove the most perplexing, intriguing and even bizarre.

In or out of the public eye, his evidence has put killers behind bars, freed the innocent and turned open-and-shut cases on their heads.

But a life in death, bearing witness to some of humanity’s darkest corners, exacts a price and Shepherd doesn’t flinch from counting the cost to him and his family.

The dead do not hide the truth and they never lie. Through me the dead can speak . . . 

Another fascinating story of a man with a very important and very stressful job. I’ve seen Dr Shepherd at a couple of events and he talks so openly about his career (and I’ve listened to the first couple of chapters on audio) that I am certain this will be a brilliant read. You can order a copy here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

A House of Ghosts – W.C. Ryan

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read this winter.

There is just something about a gothic story which gets me excited to read so I know that this will have to be a priority for next year when I start to play catch up. You can order a copy here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

You get a bit of a three for one here with the Sam Wyndham series by Abir Mukherjee. A Rising Man; A Necessary Evil and Smoke and Ashes are all on my kindle ready and waiting but I’ve not had chance to read them yet. Mandie has though and so the reviews should be appearing on the blog in January. You can buy a copy at the following links:

A Rising Man: Amazon UK | Waterstones

A Necessary Evil: Amazon UK | Waterstones

Smoke and Ashes: Amazon UK | Waterstones

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Winner of a record THREE National Book Awards: Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year and Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

Another book I’ve started but not yet finished, this does make me chuckle. And thankful I’ve never entered any kind of medical profession. You can purchase a copy here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

Brothers in Blood – Amer Anwar


Southall, West London. After being released from prison, Zaq Khan is lucky to land a dead-end job at a builders’ yard. All he wants to do is keep his head down and put the past behind him.

But when Zaq is forced to search for his boss’s runaway daughter, he quickly finds himself caught up in a deadly web of deception, murder and revenge.

With time running out and pressure mounting, can he find the missing girl before it’s too late? And if he does, can he keep her – and himself – alive long enough to deal with the people who want them both dead?

I really want to read this (it was also on my list from 2017 in it’s previous guise as Western Fringes so I feel doubly bad). I am certain I will read it in 2019. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the book and was lucky enough to receive an invite to the launch so it’s going to be high up on the list. You can buy a copy of the book here:

Amazon UK | Waterstones

There are probably many more I could name as I bought many, many more books than I was able to read in 2018 (no change there) but these are the ones that stick in my mind and make me want to pop them on top of the tbr for next year.

What are your thoughts? Any books you regret not having made a priority in 2018. And I mean regrets in the sense that I didn’t have more time as I have loved every single book I did have the chance to read and review, so no regrets there …

Regrets or not, I hope you have a fab day of reading and relaxing.


30 thoughts on “Regrets, I’ve had a few …

  1. Too many to list for me. I have been too busy with work that I barely nanaged to crack open a handful of books.

    In the past few weeks, though, I managed to finish a couple I have been eager to get finished. Now to actually write blog posts …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Jen. There are so many I’ve had sitting on my shelf for far too long. I’m determined to get round to catching up on the Tony McLean books and Rod Reynolds Charlie Yates series this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many books I meant to read…I wanted also to read the Val McDermid and the Ian Rankin. Just finished This is Going to Hurt…..I found it funny in parts but also heart breaking in others xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yes! Can do identify with this! Even though I’m retired and officially have more time (where the hell it goes, have no idea)
    I haven’t read any of Abir Mukherjee’s books yet either but really want to. Plus I am so behind with Val McDermid’s books- my favourite author!
    Great post. Think so many of were feeling this

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh yes Jen. So many that I wished I had time to read and will valiantly try to get them read in 2019. Most of my list are NOT NEW titles but they are ones I’m really anticipating. Here are just a few: “Salt Lane” by William Shaw, “The trouble with goats and sheep” by Joanna Cannon, “Rubbernecker” by Belinda Bauer, “The dry” by Jane Harper, “Coffin Road” by Peter May, “Her” by Harriet Lane, “Where the Crawdads sing” by Delia Owens, “Her Dark Retreat” by J.A. Baker, “The Ghostwriter” by Allessandra Torre, “The marsh king’s daughter” by Karen Dionne, “Everything but the truth” by Gillian McAllister, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.