Rewind, Recap: Weekly Update w/e 14/03/21

Wow. Half way through March, near as damn it, and what an eventful month it has been. Not for me personally, for which I am thankful, but I think it is safe to say the world is a volatile place at the moment. Lots happening, lots to think about, lots to be concerned about, and all the more reason to be thankful I am able to retreat into the world of books. I may be moving ever closer to having the magic vaccination (one age group left ahead of me now and they kick off today) but I am under no illusions that life will return to anything like normal for some time yet, and so I am very grateful to all the authors out there who are helping keep me sane. Sort of.


It’s been a relatively quiet week (for me) on the book front. Two arrivals in the form of pre-ordered hardback books – The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson from Goldsboro Books and The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward from Waterstones. Both signed. Both pretty. i also received unexpected bookpost in the form of The Embalmer by Alison Belsham #gifted by Trapeze.

Orders I made only two – I know. It’s a miracle. 21st Birthday by James Patterson on Audiobook and A Darker Place by Rachel Amphlett. The next book in the Kay Hunter series.

Four books from Netgalley – What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson; The Serial Killers Wife by Alice Hunter; A Corruption of Blood by Ambrose Parry and Truth or Dare by M.J. Arlidge.

Books I have read

The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl

A seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity leads a PI and his ex-con assistant on a murderous trail, in a sophisticated, riveting, cunningly plotted historical Nordic Noir thriller set in interwar and prohibition-era Norway.

Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there’s a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.

When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity.

But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.

Both a fascinating portrait of Oslo’s interwar years, with Nazis operating secretly on Norwegian soil and militant socialists readying workers for war, The Assistant is also a stunningly sophisticated, tension-packed thriller – the darkest of hard-boiled Nordic Noir – from one of Norway’s most acclaimed crime writers.

The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter

Every marriage has its secrets…

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson

When everything you love is in danger, how long can you keep running to survive?

Life can be brutal
Winter in Idaho. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Jack knew it
Jack Dahl has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d die for. Their mother is gone, and their funds are quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison.

So did I
Ava lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father, a merciless man, has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one.

Did I feel the flutter of wings when Jack and I met? Did I sense the coming tornado?
But now Ava wants to break the rules – to let Jack in and open her heart. Then she discovers that Jack and her father are stalking the same money, and suddenly Ava is faced with a terrible choice: remain silent or speak out and help the brothers survive.

Looking back, I think I did . . .

The Pact by Sharon Bolton

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

Yours Until Death by Gunnar Staalesen

An unbearably tense novel of revenge, murder, bereavement and the destructive force of passion.

First published in Norwegian in 1979, it was described by the critic Nils Nordberg as ‘one of the finest, most serious, most ambitious books in post-war Norwegian crime writing’.

The single-mother families of the isolated community under the shadow of the Pyderhorn, Bergen’s greatest mountain, are being terrorised by a teenage gang. But teenage violence is nothing compared to what awaits detective Varg Veum when he gets to know the blue-eyed Wenche Andersen.

Another good week when it comes to reading. I am very much benefitting from the combination of lockdown and having a load of annual leave to use up by the end of March so I don’t expect it to continue for long once Easter has passed. But as I’ve now hit 41 books read in two and a half months, I’ll take that. The fact that I am now reading books I intend to review in May, is a real bonus for me. busy enough week on the blog too – recap below:

#Review – The Moor – LJ Ross
#Review – Bound – Vanda Symon (Jen’s Thoughts)
#Review – Bound – Vanda Symon (Mandie’s Thoughts)
#Review – Time Is Running Out – Michael Wood
#Review – Beton Rouge – Simone Buchholz
#Review – The Devil’s Mark – WD Jackson-Smart

More reviews planned this week with two new tour posts. Tomorrow Mandie shares her thoughts on The Night Gate by Peter May and on Wednesday I finally get to share my review of Future Perfect by Felicia Yap.

So that is my week. Hope you all had a good one and that you have lots of lovely reading planned for the week ahead.

Happy reading and stay safe,

Jen x