Rewind, recap: Weekly Update w/e … who knows? I’ve missed a few.

Hello everyone. Did you miss me? Didn’t think so. Sorry I’ve not been about for a few weeks but the pictures above should give you some clue as to what I’ve been doing that was far more interesting than writing weekly updates that only three people read. Yep – I’ve been doing nature and stuff. Holiday mode. Visiting some beautiful sights, seeing puffins up close and beautiful and basically enjoying life. Sorry (not sorry).

Been a busy few weeks. Received and purchased some lovely books, went to a book festival and the Bloody Scotland launch. Visited DCI Ryan country again and had a glorious time. Even managed to read a few books. How productive have I been, huh? Well, not very as it happens but hey. It’s holiday season so who cares, right?

Since we last spoke (or I wrote, you read), Mandie and I have been to Derby Book Festival, albeit for only one panel on the way to our holiday. It was featuring Norwegian writers, Helga Flatland and Marta Breen and was a fascinating discussion on culture and literature and the role of gender and sexuality in Norwegian society. Thoroughly enjoyed it and picked up a couple of signed books too. Marta Breen’s Women in Battle and Helga Flatland’s A Modern Family.

On the Monday while we were away we ventured north of the border to Stirling for the launch of Bloody Scotland. A fab, short and sweet event followed by a talk with Val McDermid who was introducing her latest non-fiction book – My Scotland – alongside the book’s photographer Alan McCredie.

I received a few bits of book post over the past few weeks. Big thank you’s to publisher Avon Books for Katerina Diamond’s Truth or Die, and Sam Carrington’s The Missing Wife, to Wildfire Books for The July Girls by Phoebe Locke and to Titan Books for the short story anthology, Invisible Blood. Looking forward to tucking into all of those.

I have a couple of Goldsboro Book arrivals too. Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary and All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride. Nice full collections again now. 😀

Netgalley wise I’d like to say I’ve been good but it’s all relative right? Nothing to Hide by James Oswald, Black Summer by MW Craven, The Bad Place by MK Hill, Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas, Child’s Play by Angela Marsons and End Game by Daniel Cole.

New book wise it’s been quite quiet. Penshaw by LJ Ross; The Sleepover by Carol Wyer and The Silent Ones by KL Slater. I know, I know. But it’s summer and I’m saving for festival season.

Books I’ve read

The Friend Who Lied – Rachel Amphlett

What she doesn’t know might kill her…

Lisa Ashton receives a last-minute reprieve from death two weeks before her birthday. Regaining consciousness, she is horrified to learn one of her friends has been killed – and saved her life.

As she recovers, she uncovers a trail of carefully guarded reputations, disturbing rumours, and lies. Soon, Lisa begins to wonder if one of her friends is hiding a terrible secret. 

Because five of them entered the escape room that day, and only four got out alive. 

And someone is determined to cover their tracks before she can find out the truth.

Can Lisa find the killer before someone else dies?

Now You See Me – Chris McGeorge

NOW..

My name is Matthew McConnell. You’ve probably heard my story.
I took five of my friends on a boat through the longest canal tunnel in England.

YOU…

It takes two hours and twenty-six minutes to travel through that tunnel.
Six of us entered that tunnel but I was the only one to come out.

DON’T…

It was pitch black in there – I don’t know what happened to them. But I’m the only suspect. 
And if I don’t find out how they disappeared, I’ll be sentenced to murder.

A Modern Family – Helga Flatland

When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce.

Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.

A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…

The Last Widow – Karin Slaughter

It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.

A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.

Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind…

Wolves at the Door – Gunnar Staalesen

One dark January night a car drives at high speed towards PI Varg Veum, and comes very close to killing him. Veum is certain this is no accident, following so soon after the deaths of two jailed men who were convicted for their participation in a case of child pornography and sexual assault … crimes that Veum himself once stood wrongly accused of committing.

While the guilty men were apparently killed accidentally, Varg suspects that there is something more sinister at play … and that he’s on the death list of someone still at large.

The Whisper Man – Alex North

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken . . .

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a much-needed fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago, a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys.

Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home.

Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window . . .

Child’s Play – Angela Marsons

Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. 

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.

Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event. 

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killer’s they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?

The addictive new crime thriller from multi-million copy, number one bestseller Angela Marsons explores the dark side of child prodigies and will have you absolutely hooked.

A Random Act of Kindness – Sophie Jenkins

It only takes a moment, to change a life for ever…

Fern is too busy making sure other people feel good about themselves to give much thought to her own happiness. But somehow, without her noticing, life has run away from her.

Suddenly, Fern realises her vintage clothes business is struggling, and the casual relationship she’d always thought she was happy in doesn’t look so appealing.

But sometimes, karma really does come through. And when Fern goes out of her way to help 85-year-old Dinah, little does she realise their new friendship will change her life.

Dinah may have troubles in her past, but she’s lived and loved to the full. Can Dinah show Fern that even the smallest acts of kindness can make the world a better place?

If you liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine or How to Be Happy, you’ll love A Random Act of Kindness.

Not too bad considering, but still a bit lame given that it’s three weeks worth of reading lol. Recap on the past posts is below – there are a few…

Second Chances for Lottie Botte – Kate Lilley
All That’s Dead – Stuart MacBride
Shadow Man – Margaret Kirk
Little Girls Sleeping – Jennifer Chase
George The Orphan Crow – Helen Fox
Proximity – Jem Tugwell
Invisible Girl – Jill Childs
Someone Is Lying – Jenny Blackhurst
The Friend Who Lied – Rachel Amphlett
Ungentlemanly Warfare – Howard Linskey
Now you See Me – Chris McGeorge
Bonnie and Stan – Anna Stuart
A Modern Family – Helga Flatland
The Friend Who Lied – Rachel Amphlett (Guest Review)
The Last Widow – Karin Slaughter

So that’s your lot. Bet you wish I was still AWOL now lol. I’ll leave you all now with some more gratuitous holiday snaps and pictures of my kitties including nutty Luna who has developed a real addiction for her cat pillow.

Have a fabulous week all. Speak soon.

Jen

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