Rewind, recap: W/E some time after Christmas because … what the heck

Well … we’re here. On the precipice. Not quite one thing, mostly not the other. Yep. It’s New Year’s Eve. Don’t know about you lot but I’ll be seeing in the new year with a good book, then starting as I mean to go on with a nice 6-9 mile walk tomorrow, including a hike up and down our local hill, The Wrekin. As you do …

Been a while huh? I think the last time I could be arsed to write wrote one of these posts, it was probably before Mandie and I went to Edinburgh. You’ll be relieved to hear we had a fabulous time, ate too much, spent too much and walked a lot (32 miles in 2.5 days) but the weather was kind and the break was much needed. And it was Mandie’s birthday so what the heck right?

So. As it’s been two weeks, I’ve quite a bit of bookish stuff to share with you. Book post wise I’ve had a stonking couple of weeks, Christmas included. The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl; The RingMaster by Vanda Symon; Breakers by Doug Johnstone and A Modern Family by Helga Flatland all from Orenda Books. I’ve Got My Eyes on You by Mark Higgins Clark courtesy of Simon and Schuster. The Island by Ragnar Jonasson courtesy of Penguin. Hanging Tough by LM Bush; The Pursuit of Ordinary by Nigel Jay Cooper; A House Divided by Rachel McLean; They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen and The Lion Tamer Who Lost goodies from Louise Beech, all courtesy of a competition win over at TBC. Grimm’s Fairly Tales was a Jólabókaflóð present from Mandie. The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie and Have You Eaten Grandma by Giles Brandreth were Christmas presents.

I may have bought a few books too. Books 1-5 in the DI Fenchurch series by Ed James. Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales. Black Summer by MW Craven. Twisted by Steve Cavanagh. Poison Ink by Alison Belsham. The Infirmary by LJ Ross. And from Netgalley The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott; Perfect Crime by Helen Fields; In Safe Hands by JP Carter and Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac Henry.

Books I have read

Deep Dirty Truth – Steph Broadribb

A price on her head. A secret worth dying for. Just 48 hours to expose the truth…

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With North due in court in forty-eight hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined. In this race only the winner gets out alive…

Brimming with tension, high-stakes jeopardy and high-voltage action, and a deep, emotional core, Deep Dirty Truth is an unmissable thriller by one of the freshest and most exciting voices in crime fiction.

Lori is back and with quite a bang. Keep an eye out for my review later this week. You can preorder a copy here.

Red Snow – Will Dean

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

The atmospheric follow up to Dead Pines, I’ll be reviewing the book next week for the tour. In the meantime, why not order a copy here.

Cold As The Grave – James Oswald

The ninth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling phenomenon that is the Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers.

Her mummified body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave.

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place.

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

I love the Inspector McLean series and raced through this one in no time. I’m aiming for a review around publication day in February but you can preorder here.

Bridge to Burn – Rachel Amphlett

When a mummified body is found in a renovated building, the gruesome discovery leads Detective Kay Hunter and her team into a complex murder investigation.

The subsequent police inquiry exposes corruption, lies and organised crime within the tight-knit community – and Kay’s determination to seek justice for the young murder victim could ruin the reputations of men who will do anything to protect their business interests.

But as Kay closes in on the killer, tragedy strikes closer to home in an event that will send a shockwave through her personal life and make her question everything she values.

Can Kay keep her private and professional life under control while she tries to unravel one of the strangest murder cases of her career?

Another series I love and this was a real page turner of a read. I’ll be reviewing next week for publication day so keep an eye out for it. You can preorder a copy here.

Behind the Smile – Mary Grand

An emotionally charged, totally gripping story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night..

Lowri is pregnant, looking forward to a new life with her lover, Simon. But her plans are shattered. She finds herself alone, her face scarred, her future uncertain

Her estranged husband, Jack, proposes they “settle” for each other, and raise Lowri’s unborn child on the Isle of Wight, in the idyllic village of Elmstone. 

Lowri is befriended by Carina, the beautiful Italian woman living in Elmstone Manor, and Heather, the popular local café proprietor. However, she soon discovers that no-one is the person they appear.

What dark secrets is Heather hiding from her family and from the village?
Why is Carina desperate for Lowri to fail in her new life and prepared to go to increasingly desperate lengths to destroy her?

As she confronts her own insecurities, and faces another devastating loss, will Lowri find the courage to be proud of the person she is hiding behind the smile? Will she find true love amid the confusion and intrigue?

I’ve had this on my tbr for a while so glad I finally got a chance to read it. Complicated relationships lead to a tense dramatic showdown in this thriller and you can order a copy here.

The Good Teacher – Rachel Sargeant

Some people deserve to be taught a lesson…

Even the good have to die.
A beloved teacher is murdered and left in a ditch beside a country lane. His wife is found beaten and gagged in their suburban home.

Even the best schools have secrets.
New detective Pippa Adams learns that the teacher ran a homework club for vulnerable pupils. But what did he really teach them?

Even the perfect family has something to hide.
When Pippa scratches the surface of the school community, she meets families who’ve learned a shattering lesson. And finally uncovers the good teacher’s darkest secrets…


Previously published as LONG TIME WAITING, now fully updated.

I loved the tense opening of this and the deep rooted secrets surrounding a case of murder. You can order a copy here and my review will be up as part of the tour later in January.

Not too good a reading record really given that I’ve had a couple of weeks, but I’ve been enjoying Christmas so you win some you lose some. Busy old time on the blog in week one, but took a few days off last week. Recap is below.

A Winter Beneath the Stars – Jo Thomas
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 17
What a Year That Was – Orenda Books Part 1
What A Year That Was – Orenda Books Part 2
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 18
The Songbird Girls – Richard Parker
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 19
The Rumour – Lesley Kara
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 20
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 21
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 22
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 23
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 24, Part 1
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 24, Part 2
The Bookvent Calendar – Day 24, Part 3
The Bookvent Calendar – Book of the Year
Anticipated Reads – Orenda Books
Regrets, I’ve had a few …

The week ahead is a quiet one. Blog tours on Thursday and Friday for Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb and Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter.

Well… that’s it. Two weeks in a giant coconut shell. I’m planning on slowing down the reading into 2019 as I want to try and focus on writing more so if you see gaps in my posting, you know why. I’m not sure if the weekly posts will continue either as I’ll have less to talk about, but we will see. I may want the company 😉

Hope you all have a fabulous New Year’s eve. See you next year …

Jen