Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 31/03/19

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Ah… April. Blue skies, (hopefully), the start of longer evenings (definitely) and the beginning of a run of Bank Holidays which means shorter working weeks. Can’t complain about that now can we?

No April fools jokes from me today. Not my style and being British right now means that we are already fool enough in the eyes of the world courtesy of our wonderfully indecisive, democratically elected, thoroughly incompetent government … Anyway – that’s all the politics you’ll get from me too.

Nice relaxed week for me this past week as I was only in work for four days. Whoop whoop. It does mean I was far more productive on the reading front than normal so that’s a bonus because it’s about the largest contribution I’ve made to blogging all week aside from redesigning my blog a little, i.e. I got myself a new theme and coloured stuff in a bit. Do you like it?

I received a couple of bits of book post this week. Picture of Innocence by TJ Stimson courtesy of Avon and Missing Person by Sarah Lotz from Hodder & Stoughton. I’ve been reasonably well behaved on the Netgalley from with just two books, A Random Act of Kindness by Sophie Jenkins which I’m reading for a tour and I Spy by Claire Kendal, which I was invited to read by the publisher. Only one preorder this week which was The Missing Wife by Sam Carrington. A lovely selection there I think you’ll agree?

Books I have read

One More Lie – Amy Lloyd

How do you live with yourself as an adult when you were convicted of murder as a child?

And when you can’t remember the crime…
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE GUILTY?

Charlotte wants a fresh start. She wants to forget her past, forget her crime – and, most of all, forget that one terrible moment.

It’s the reason she’s been given a new name, a new life. The reason she spent years in prison.

But even on the outside, with an ankle monitor and court-mandated therapy, she can’t escape the devastating memory of the night that turned her and her only friend into national hate figures.

But now her friend has found her.

And despite the lies she tells to survive, she soon finds herself being dragged deeper and deeper into a past she cannot confront.

Even if it’s going to cost Charlotte her life…

This is one of the few books this year that I have sat down are devoured in a day. This is a creeping, thriller, chilling at times, other times infused with a sense of threat, but over all a brilliant character study. There are parallels between the book and a very high profile real life case that I don’t think needs spelling out, but this story follows Charlotte, one of the two children convicted of murder, as she tries hard to start a new life away from the institution in which she spent her teenage years. Was she really a killer or wrongly convicted? You’ll have to read to find out, and you can purchase a copy of the book right here to do just that.

The Island – Ragnar Jonasson

Four friends visit the island.

But only three return . . .

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her. 

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding? 

Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter, The Island follows one woman’s journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.

I loved Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series and I have to say that Hidden Iceland books are becoming every bit as addictive. This time around Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is called in to investigate the murder of a young woman on a remote and isolated island. Claustrophobic and tense, I love the author’s style and the way in which he can put you right at the heart of the scene, be it the city or the more remove and secluded parts of Iceland. I’ll be reviewing very soon but you can pre-order a copy here.

Amazing Grace – Kim Nash

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – 
and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, 
Becks

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener 
Vinnie turns up, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness? 

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this, the debut novel from fellow blogger, Kim Nash, for some time and it didn’t disappoint. I think people will be able to identify with the central character, single Mom Grace, and many of the situations she finds herself in. Romantic, funny and moving, this is going to be a big hit with lovers of chick-lit. You can preorder your copy here.

The Ringmaster – Vanda Symon

Death is stalking the South Island of New Zealand

Marginalised by previous antics, Sam Shephard, is on the bottom rung of detective training in Dunedin, and her boss makes sure she knows it. She gets involved in her first homicide investigation, when a university student is murdered in the Botanic Gardens, and Sam soon discovers this is not an isolated incident. There is a chilling prospect of a predator loose in Dunedin, and a very strong possibility that the deaths are linked to a visiting circus…

Determined to find out who’s running the show, and to prove herself, Sam throws herself into an investigation that can have only one ending…

Rich with atmosphere, humour and a dark, shocking plot, The Ringmaster marks the return of passionate, headstrong police officer, Sam Shephard, in the next instalment of Vanda Symon’s bestselling series.

Continuing the fabulous Sam Shephard series, The Ringmaster sees our heroine now working in Dunedin, a far cry from her old job as a country copper. Or is it? An all too familiar scene greets Sam at her first homicide and you do have to wonder if the poor gal might just not be jinxed … I love the first person narrative in this series, the down to earth nature of the protagonist and the way in which Vanda Symon has built the contrast between the laid back New Zealand attitude and horrific crimes, and emotive situations, that Sam becomes embroiled in investigating. Another brilliant, surprisingly emotional, story which had me engrossed from the off.

Four books again. Not too shabby considering I’ve been off my game lately. Probably helped that it was a very, very quiet week on the blog with just the two posts.

Rogue Killer – Leigh Russell

Hold – Michael Donkor

We’re a little bit busier in the week ahead, but not much. Blog tours for One More Lie by Amy Lloyd; The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe and Sleep by CL Taylor.

Have a fabulous week all. I’m hoping to have another productive week of reading but failing that, then at least to get in plenty of walking and make the most of those longer evenings.

Jen

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