Can you believe it? This time next week it will be March and the only things of note I will have achieved, aside from reading copies amounts of most excellent books, will be binge watching It’s A Sin and Behind Her Eyes on Netflix. Both absolutely excellent in case you were wondering, but neither really going to change the world. Well, not my world anyway. A few days closer to getting a Covid jab I suppose and the absolute anticipation of listening to old Bodge Job talk about our route out of lockdown later so that will be fun. The culmination of another long weekend off work where, due to the strong winds of Friday and Saturday, I can categorically state that my recycling bins moved far more frequently and a heck of a lot further than I did …
I suppose we had some reason to celebrate though as the publication of my review of What Will Burn by James Oswald marked the 2000th post on the blog since I started it in May 2016. No – I can’t believe it either. That is apparently the equivalent of 1.15 posts per day. I have many contributions from authors and have to thank Mandie for all of her review, but I think I’m quite proud really given that I didn’t expect to last much beyond the end of that first year .
I’ve had a bit of a mammoth week book wise. Five preorders that I can’t talk about as I don’t think they’ve been formally announced yet and I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder. Needless to say I’m very excited about them all but one in particularly had be bouncing like and excited bunny 😉 Many more books received that I can actually talk about though so here goes:
First up there are a few books I decided to treat myself to: The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse, Good Girl by Mel Sherratt and Haven’t They Grown by Sophie Hannah were all grocery essentials this week. Plus I received my hardback copy of What Will Burn by James Oswald (also the kindle copy – I’m greedy) and my signed copies of The Coffin Maker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride and The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor from Goldsboro Books. My second Bert’s Books Orenda Subscription box arrived with signed copies of Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst and Deity by Matt Wesolowski. Very happy. And I might have bought a couple of books for my kindle too – Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney; The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid and The Lynmouth Stories by L.V. Hay.
I also received some arcs and Netgalley approvals in the week. From Netgalley I received Last Seen by Joy Kluver, The Pact by Sharon Bolton and The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter. ARC wise I received three beauties from Orenda Books – The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl; Facets of Death by Michael Stanley and Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdottir.
Yes. I’m a very lucky bunny this week. I’ve also had a pretty tidy reading week too.
Books I have read
Fragile by Sarah Hilary
Everything she touches breaks . . .
Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperate to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong.
So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands.
But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for. Her employer lives by a set of rigid rules and she soon sees that he is hiding secrets of his own.
But is Nell’s arrival at the Villas really the coincidence it seems? After all, she knows more than most how fragile people can be – and how easy they can be to break . . .
Fragile is a dark, contemporary psychological thriller with a modern Gothic twist from an award-winning and critically acclaimed writer who has been compared to Ruth Rendell, P. D. James and Val McDermid. Rebecca meets The Handmaid’s Tale in Sarah Hilary’s standalone breakout novel.
‘A little girl is missing from under her mother’s nose. She’ll be scared and vulnerable – if she’s still alive. But no one is helping us search. No one wants to give us information. No one even seems surprised. What’s going on?’
Detective Bernadette Noel came to this quiet rural corner of south-west England from London to lie low after a high-profile prosecution led to death threats against her family. But she has barely settled in when the call comes. A woman’s voice, shrill with terror and thick with tears: ‘Help – it’s my daughter, Molly – I only had my back turned for a minute… She’s gone!’
A child abduction is about as far from lying low as it gets, and her boss wants to assign a different detective. But there’s no way Bernie’s not taking the case – she can’t miss this chance to prove herself.
Five-year-old Molly Reynolds has been snatched from the playground in the village where she lives. Normally in cases like this the community is an asset – eager to help search and full of local knowledge. But although Molly’s mother Jessica is in anguish, the other villagers don’t seem to want to know.
As details emerge, Bernie discovers a possible link to a shocking crime that has never been solved, and which the locals have never forgotten. But what exactly is the connection to Molly’s abduction? Cracking a cold case is the only way to find out – and meanwhile time is running out for Molly.
A dark and compelling crime thriller that will have you reading late into the night. If you like Val McDermid, D.S. Butler or Angela Marsons, you’ll love Joy Kluver.
1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…
2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier…
As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth … and justice.
A riveting, searing and devastatingly dark thriller, The Source is also a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience … an immense, tense and thought-provoking debut that you will never, ever forget.
Beautiful places hide dark secrets …
Devon’s very own crime writer L.V Hay (The Other Twin, Do No Harm) brings forth three new short stories from her dark mind and poison pen:
– For kidnapped Meg and her young son Danny, In Plain Sight, the remote headland above Lynmouth is not a haven, but hell.
– A summer of fun for Catherine in Killing Me Softly becomes a winter of discontent … and death.
– In Hell And High Water, a last minute holiday for Naomi and baby Tommy becomes a survival situation … But that’s before the village floods.
All taking place out of season when the majority of tourists have gone home, L.V Hay uses her local knowledge to bring forth dark and claustrophic noir she has come to be known for.
‘Do you know what a Judas Horse is? When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it. When he’s ready, you release him and he’ll bring his team back into the corral – like Judas betraying them…’
Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.
As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes – and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.
When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr’s head – and any more blood spilled, on his hands…
Four full length books and some short stories. Working these short weeks is doing wonders for my blogging productivity. Busy enough week on the blog too – recap below:
#Review – Hyde – Craig Russell
#Review – Smoke Screen – Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst – Jen’s Thoughts
#Review – Smoke Screen – Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst – Mandie’s Thoughts
#Review – Lie Beside Me – Gytha Lodge
#Review – Deep Dirty Truth – Steph Broadribb
#Review – The Jigsaw Man – Nadine Matheson
#Review – What Will Burn – James Oswald
So that is my week in a nutshell. Coco de Mer sized this week rather than hazelnut I think. Just the one blog tour this week – Fatal Isles by Maria Adolfsson, but plenty of reading planned. Still a whole week in which to consume more books. I’ve managed 11 plus the short stories so far. For a short month like February, I’m suitably impressed but not resting on my laurels and want to read more.
Hope you all have a brilliantly bookish week. See you on the other side.
Stay safe all.