Rewind, recap: Weekly Update W/E 21/07/19

What a week. I am not kidding when I say that I cannot possibly sum it all up in one post but the closest I can get to expressing how it has gone is to say one word … Harrogate!

Yes. It was that time of year again. The now annual pilgrimage to the Theakston’s Crime Festival has been and gone and I am now back home in recovery mode, trying hard to get over my literary equivalent of jet-lag. It was an absolutely awesome weekend during which I took far too few photos and brought home far too many books. But it was also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make one or two new ones.

So fabulous to see so many fellow bloggers this weekend including Joy Kluver, Jacob Collins, Kate Eveleigh, Jill Doyle, Noelle Holten (who also crosses the author boundary), Sharon Bairden, Janet Emson, Claire Knight, Emma Welton, Jo Robertson, Emma Mitchell, Tracy Fenton, Anne Cater, Kate Moloney, Mary Picken, Liz Barnsley, Ellen Devonport, Celeste McCreesh and so many more (if I’ve missed you do forgive me). And there there were all the lovely authors including Louise Beech, Lilja Sigurdardottir, Johana Gustawsson, Fiona Cummins, Amanda Jennings, Vicky Newham, Mel Sherratt, Caroline Mitchell, Caroline England, Amer Anwar, Chris Whitaker, Adam Hamdy, Amy McLellan, Susi Holliday, Marnie Riches, Graham Smith, Louise Jensen, Rachel Abbott, the unforgettable Vanda Symon, fabulous publisher Karen Sullivan, and many, many more.

Now I will try and list all the books I’ve received at some stage but there were quite a few and I need a bit of time to work out exactly what they were. I picked up a few signed books though, which was lovely, and has helped to grow my collection even further. Armed with my trusty Jen Med’s Book Reviews tote bag, I made the most of a cracking weekend and came home with quite a haul.

Books I managed to get signed are here, along with my only photos of the festival – with Val McDermid, Nicola Sturgeon (yes – that one) and Harlan Coben.

They are – Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton; Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt; The Wreckage by Robin Morgan-Bentley; The Whisper Man by Alex North; The Hiding Place by Rachel Abbott; Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham’ The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins; We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker; The Burning Men by Will Shindler; The Bone Collector and The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver; Forced Confessions by John Fairfax; Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben; and How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid.

I received many more proofs, including advance copies of Violet by SJI Holliday and Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver from the lovely Orenda Books. The Toffee Pops were courtesy of the absolutely fabulous Vanda Symon.

I love the Harrogate festival as it’s always such fun, but an absolute highlight this year has to be the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers gig on Friday night. A superb set as always, but made all the more special by seeing Nicola Sturgeon join them on stage, along with Lilja Sigurdardottir, for Sympathy For The Devil. Complete and utter respect!

I had just two Netgalley downloads this week (thankfully) which were Michelle Davies’ Dead Guilty and The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry.

No purchases other than those I made at Harrogate. I have to make the effort occasionally …

Books I Have Read

The July Girls – Phoebe Locke

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.

Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.

Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives . . .

Blood Song – Johana Gustawsson

The action swings from London to Sweden, and then back into the past, to Franco’s Spain, as Roy & Castells hunt a monstrous killer … in the lastest instalment of Johana Gustawsson’s award-winning series

Spain, 1938:
The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

Terrifying, vivid and recounted at breakneck speed, Blood Song is not only a riveting thriller and an examination of corruption in the fertility industry, but a shocking reminder of the atrocities of Spain’s dictatorship, in the latest, stunning installment in the award-winning Roy & Castells series.

Perhaps unsurprisingly that is all I managed to finish this week however we had an okay week post wise. Recap below

The Girl In The Grave – Helen Phifer
Truth or Die – Katerina Diamond
The Chain – Adrian McKinty
Capital Crime Preview
Meet Me On The Riviera – Fliss Chester

The week ahead is a bit sparse, posts fairly well dependant on how awake I am later when I come to catch up. I do have a blog tour review of The Last Stage by Louise Voss tomorrow and an extract from Mummy Needs A Break by Susan Edmunds at the weekend and that is it for the definite posts.

So I am off to catch up on my sleep. I will see you all on the other side. For now, here is a picture of Rory who pretty sums up my current energy levels … I need to catch up on my sleep as I have pretty much got back to back festivals in a couple of weeks with Bute Noir and a day trip to Edinburgh to see (not stalk) a certain Scottish author/farmer’s panel.


6 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly Update W/E 21/07/19

  1. Lovely to see you and Mandie at Harrogate. I don’t do many festivals but this is becoming a fixture for me too. From the first year when I was thinking it was a mistake to now looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. It’s hard trying to catch up with everyone, but even a hug, and a few words is an acknowledgment of being part of a community I never imagined I’d be part of. Glad you had a great time and enjoy your book haul x

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  2. Good to see you there, Jen, even if it was only briefly. I did expect to bump into you again, but it didn’t seem to happen. Then again, it was pretty busy. Glad you enjoyed it. I know I did, and am already looking forward to next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to see you too. It’s such a mad weekend I think there is always a lot of ‘seen from a distance’ but not always a lot of chat. We’re back again next year so hopefully see you there


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