Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 31/05/20

Well here we are. Can you believe it? The start of June. Five months of the year gone in what somehow feels simultaneously like a flash and the longest five months of time ever known. I genuinely cannot believe we are now officially in summer, heading at a fast pace towards the longest day of the year so that we can begin to watch the nights drawing in again and start making plans for Christmas. Yes I said the ‘C’ word and I’m not even sorry.

Morning walk views

It’s been a funny old year so far, no denying that. At the start of January I had so many plans, lot of things i wanted to achieve, places I wanted to go. So far I have done – well very little to be fair. I’m so glad I made the decision to go to all Orenda Roadshows back in March as I genuinely think this stands a chance of being my only book events this year, if not my only holiday too. Newcastle Noir, Harrogate, Bute Noir, Bloody Scotland – all gone. Whilst the government may be relaxing lockdown rules for now, I genuinely do not know how to feel about that. I know i’m not going to be rushing out to any restaurants or cinema’s any time soon, no matter what precautions they put in place. Takeaway – fine. I can control my surroundings then, but dine in? Sorry – not for me even when it does finally become a possibility. And the six person rule … still two metres apart. Well to be honest, not sure I know six people I want to meet any any one time when the rules of engagement are still so restrictive.

Colleagues of the day.

And so, aside from the odd walk with Mandie at the prescribed 2m distance, I turn my focus fully to books. I have a week off from the day job next week and I honestly cannot wait. Can’t do a fat lot with it, but it will be nice not to have to get up to go to the ‘office’ for a few days and to turn my mind completely away from contracts. WHo knows, I might even ope up the laptop and do a little writing, something i just haven’t had the heart for for quite some time. Don’t hold me to it though. Probably won’t happen. I couldn’t even be bothered to remember or celebrate my own blogiversary for heaven’s sake …

Books have been my one constant, and even though I was sure I hadn’t had a very productive month, I decided to take stock of what I’ve read over May … Perhaps I’ve bnot done so badly after all. Considering I have been struggling to read anything Monday to Friday, a few audio books on my daily walks and two Bank Holiday weekends have clearly helped. Twenty books in total and I wasn’t even trying.

They were: The last one To See Her by Mark Tilbury; Bones In The River by Zoë Sharp; The Staycation by Michele Gorman; We Shall Inherit The Wind Gunnar Staalesen; No Escape by Casey Kelleher; Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen; The Curator by MW Craven; Watch HIm Die by Craig Robertson; All Fall Down by MJ Arlidge; The Shrine by LJ Ross; Somebody’s Daughter by Carol Wyer; The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith; The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell; The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter; Final Verdict by Sally Rigby; The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware; Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell; Turn To Dust by Rachel Amphlett; Dead Man’s Daughter by Roz Watkins and Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurdardottir.

Wowsers. 31 days in the month – 20 books. It’s like the good old days lol.

One new book ordered this week – the ebook copy of A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone. No new Netgalley titles – I know! One bit of books post – a signed copy of The Last One To See Her from Mark Tilbury. And I finally found out what the untitled Val McDErmid book is called that I bought the other week – Still Life. And I was gifted a copy of Survive the new thriller by Tom Bale from the man himself, and a very early copy of a new upcoming title from Orenda that you will find out about very soon 😉

Books I have read

Left For Dead by. Caroline Mitchell

A victim on display. A detective on the rails.

Shopping with her sister, DI Amy Winter is admiring a Valentine’s Day window display of a perfect bride encrusted in diamonds and resplendent in lace—until she notices blood oozing from the mannequin’s mouth.

This is no stunt. A post-mortem reveals the victim was left to die on her macabre throne for all to see. When a second victim is found, it emerges that both women were ‘Sugar Babes’ arranging dates with older men online—and Amy finds herself hunting an accomplished psychopath.

As she tracks down the killer, Amy’s instincts go into overdrive when the charismatic head of the agency behind the display makes no attempt to hide his fascination with her serial-killer parents. What exactly does he want from Amy? With her own world in freefall as her biological mother, Lillian Grimes, appeals her conviction, Amy pushes the boundaries of police procedure when a third ‘Sugar Babe’ disappears…Is she as much at risk as the killer’s victims?

Turn To Dust by Rachel Amphlett

When the body of a naked man is found in the middle of a barren field, a rural community is left in shock – and fear.

Discovering that someone is offering money in return for information about the dead man and anyone connected to him, Detective Kay Hunter realises there is a dark side to the victim’s past.

When a key witness disappears and a web of deceit and lies threatens to derail the investigation, she fears the worst.

Can Kay and her team of detectives find out who is behind the man’s murder before another victim is targeted?

Dead Man’s Daughter by Roz Watkins

A gripping and powerful thriller set in the atmospheric Peak District that will have you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of Val McDermid, Susie Steiner and Broadchurch.


She was racing towards the gorge. The place the locals knew as ‘Dead Girl’s Drop’…

DI Meg Dalton is thrown headlong into her latest case when she finds a ten-year-old girl running barefoot through the woods in a blood-soaked nightdress. In the house nearby, the girl’s father has been brutally stabbed to death.

At first Meg suspects a robbery gone tragically wrong, but something doesn’t add up. Why does the girl have no memory of what happened to her? And why has her behaviour changed so dramatically since her recent heart transplant?

The case takes a chilling turn when evidence points to the girl’s involvement in her own father’s murder. As unsettling family secrets emerge, Meg is forced to question her deepest beliefs to discover the shocking truth, before the killer strikes again…

Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

On a jagged, bleak lava field just outside Reykjavik stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until this morning, when a man was found hanging from it…

The nail embedded in his chest proves it wasn’t suicide. But when the police go to his flat, a further puzzle awaits: a four-year-old boy has been left there. He doesn’t seem to have any link with the victim, his parents cannot be found, and his drawings show he witnessed something terrible.

As detective Huldar hunts the killer, and child psychologist Freyja looks for the boy’s parents, the mystery unfolds: a story of violence, entitlement, and revenge.

Quite a full week on the blog again all things considered. Recap below:

#Review – Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
#Review – Buried by Lynda La Plante
#Review – The Rise And Fall Of The Miraculous Vespas by David F. Ross
#Review – Zodiac by Anamaria Ionescu
#Cover Reveal – An Eye for an Eye by Carol Wyer

The week ahead is pretty full too. I have an exclusive cover reveal today at 09:00 then later in the week I have blog tours for Bones In The River by Zoë Sharp; The Staycation by MIchele Gorman and The Last One to See Her by Mark Tilbury and a review of The Curator by MW Craven.

Aside from that I will be reading, walking and working – not necessarily in that order. Hopefully the weather stays fair so I can have a few evenings out in the garden too. Hope you all have a brilliant week of reading and whathaveyou, and that you all stay safe.

Jen xx

3 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 31/05/20

    1. Thank you. It’s actually been quite nice getting out an about while everyone is still in bed. Strange the impact lockdown has as I would never have considered it before but could easily have done it and still be in work at my usual time.

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