Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 19/04/20

So this week past has been all about the work of Thomas Enger – appropriately entitled #EngerWeek. Genius I know. I hope you enjoyed getting to know all about the world of Henning Juul and about Mr Enger’s other writing – Inborn and Death Deserved, as Mandie and I sure enjoyed reading them. Even got all creative a with Canva banners for Instagram. And learned how to do an instagram story so that was nice.

How has your week been? Got to be honest,mine could have been better. I continued to make progress on my work project which is good, and I was having a pretty good week up until Thursday. then I received a review request. Nothing strange in that. I’m a blogger. It happens often enough. This one though had me seeing red. The reason? Well – this was a book about a pandemic. What’s wrong with that, you may well ask? Nothing in particular. I;ve no issues with pandemic novels. Have one in my TBR actually and looking forward to reading it. This one, however, was very specific. About a pandemic that is killing thousands of people across the world. Okay – pandemics do that. This one is called – wait for it – Covid-20. It originated in – can you guess – Wuhan, China. It is about scientists race to find a vaccine or cure while all around them people are dying.

Yes. You read that correctly. Someone is actually trying to cash in on a crisis which has not only cost thousands of lives, but continues to cost thousands of lives on a daily basis. There is a time and a place for this kind of novel, and in the middle of the crisis, while people I know are still losing and facing the prospect of losing people they love, is not that time. It will not be that time for a few years to come in my opinion. And in case you were wondering, I did not accept the book. In fact, I did not respond as my response would have been far from polite as I was, and am still, very angry that it was even sent to me. I wasn’t the only blogger to receive it and the others that i have spoken to, like me, filed the request where it belongs. In the trash.

Anyway, sermon and rant over as I don’t know about you but I just want to use reading and blogging to get away from the harsh realities of current life, not let them fester so it is time to go back to the books.

Only a four day week at work again this week but wasn’t able to capitalise on the extra day off in terms of reading as I spent the day doing blog prep instead,. The good news is that all of my May posts are now ready and just waiting for the reviews to be dropped in, so a bit of pressure off there. Apart from the reading the books an writing the reviews part. I’m working on that lol. Had my colleagues of the week though to keep me company, Tuesday to Friday.

Book wise it was an uneventful week, right up until Saturday when my two pre-orders from Goldsboro Books arrive: the special edition 20th Anniversary copy of Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham and We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker. Lovely, lovely books.

Order wise, I only bought three – well two preorders and a kindle book to go with my book book copy. Somebody’s Daughter, the seventh Natalie Ward novel from Carol Wyer, Buried Angels, the eighth Lottie Parker novel from Patricia Gibney; and The Blood Is Still by Douglas Skelton. I know I have an arc of the last one but I always feel bad when the author doesn’t earn any money from my enjoyment. And I did enjoy it so I bought it. One Netgalley title which was Watch Him Die by Craig Robertson. I was also sent arcs of Bones in the River by Zoë Sharp; Afraid of the Light – a collection of short stories by various Crime Writers; and Sword by Bogdan Teodorescu.

Books I have read

What Lies Between Is by John Marrs

Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.

The Sideman by Caro Ramsay

With no evidence against him and no known motive, DI Costello must break the rules if she is to get her man.

Detective Inspector Costello has resigned. No notice, no goodbyes. Convinced that George Haggerty murdered his wife and son despite his cast-iron alibi, Costello has gone solo, determined to expose a ruthless killer without being hampered by police protocol. But is she right about Haggerty’s guilt? And where has she disappeared to?

DCI Colin Anderson has no time to ponder the loss of his partner of twenty years. With a badly beaten body found on a remote mountain pass; a woman with a serious head wound who won’t communicate in any way; and a substantial pool of blood discovered at the edge of Loch Lomond, Police Scotland have their hands full. Could there be any connection to Costello’s disappearance …?

The Blood Is Still by Douglas Skelton

When the body of a man in eighteenth-century Highland dress is discovered on the site of the Battle of Culloden, journalist Rebecca Connolly takes up the story for the Chronicle.

Meanwhile, a film being made about the ’45 Rebellion has enraged the right-wing group Spirit of the Gael which is connected to a shadowy group called Black Dawn linked to death threats and fake anthrax deliveries to Downing Street and Holyrood. When a second body – this time in the Redcoat uniform of the government army – is found in Inverness,Rebecca finds herself drawn ever deeper into the mystery. Are the murders connected to politics, a local gang war or something else entirely?

Afraid of the Light – Various

A collection of short stories by 14 very talented crime writers; Adam Southward, Elle Croft, S.R. Masters, Phoebe Morgan, N.J. Mackay, Victoria Selman, Rachael Blok, Heather Critchlow, Robert Scragg, Clare Empson, James Delargy, Kate Simants, Jo Furniss, and Dominic Nolan. All proceeds from the sales of this book will go to The Samaritans.

So that was my reading week. I have started reading a fifth book, but wasn’t quite as productive as last week. My biggest challenge though is that i now have eight reviews to write as well. Whoops. Still, as mentioned earlier, last week was #EngerWeek on the blog. A sneaky cover reveal slipped in there too but a full recap is below:

#Review – Burned – Thomas Enger
#Review – Pierced – Thomas Enger
#Review – Scarred – Thomas Enger
#McIlvanney Prize Press Release
#Review – Cursed – Thomas Enger
#Cover Reveal – Somebody’s Daughter – Carol Wyer
#Review – Killed – Thomas Enger
#Review – Inborn – Thomas Enger
#Review – Death Deserved – Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst.

The week ahead is a mixture of reviews – some blog tour, some not. Starting today we have the blogu tour review of The Murder Game, book two in Rachel Abbott’s Stephanie King series. We’re also on the tours for Living Among The Dead by Adena Bernstein Astrowsky and The Museum of Broken Promises by Elizabeth Buchan.

I am going to try my best not to get angry about books this week and have a relaxing, if somewhat review writing dominated week. Only a few weeks until the next bank holiday. Now. that pretty much every single one of this year’s holiday plans are confirmed as cancelled, a girl has to have something to look forward to …

Have a brilliantly bookish week. Stay indoors, stay reading and stay safe.

Jen xx