Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 28/03/21

Fluffing heck and all that. how in the hell are we nearly at the end of March? Where is the year disappearing to? I mean, in some respects, that fact it is flashing by is a good thing. England earns itself a few more freedoms today, although I doubt I’ll partaking in much of if myself as I am still jabless and conscious that the risk of the dreaded CV are still quite high. But as the days are drawing out and mornings will be lighter, at least I can look forward to restarting my walks before work. This is a good thing. Right?


So. How has your week been? Mine’s been a bit of a mixed bag to be honest. I managed to get out for a few walks so that was nice. An eight miler on Monday and a few three milers after that, but to be honest I’ve not been feeling it. I think I’m just tired and getting out and about more reminds me of all the freedoms we’re having to sacrifice right now for the greater good. It has also reflected in my reading patterns this week. Although I’ll have. technically finished five books again by the time this post goes out, I’ve only physically read three. Two were audio books that I managed over a combo walk/work listening session of two. In fact one I started right at the beginning of March but as it is 15 hours long, I forgive myself for taking the whole month to complete it. See if you can guess which one it was later …

I had a great week book wise though with some stunning new books arriving through the door and such. No new Netgalley books (I’m being good – ish), but several new arcs and a couple of books I’d ordered for myself which I think I told you about last week (I’ve slept a bit since then). New. bought books this week were The Grifters by Jim Thompson and Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby, both of which arrived late in the week. Treated myself to an audiobook copy of Because Of You by Dawn French and pre-orders of Bad Apples by Will Dean (the next Tuva Moodyson novel) and an as yet untitled and unblurbed Helen Fields book due out next Feb. I’m taking a punt on it probably being a Luc Callanach but I’m happy any which way.

Some lovely bookpost this week too. Six bits of it in fact. i’ve been a very lucky blogger. First up were What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson courtesy of Penguin Platform and the very creepy The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir from Hodder & Stoughton. The I received an ARC of Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry from Vintage and a finished copy of 21st Birthday by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro from Century. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, I also received a limited edition ARC of The President’s Daughter by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (yes that Bill Clinton – and it’s all black and gold and pretty 😍) from Century and a copy A Gambling Man by David Baldacci on Saturday from Macmillan. See – super lucky and definitely spoilt again this week. Although that’s likely it for book post for another month so I’ll make the most of it when I get it 😉.

Books I have read

Everything Happens For A Reason by Katie Allen

When Rachel’s baby is stillborn, she becomes obsessed with the idea that saving a stranger s life months earlier is to blame. An unforgettable, heart-wrenching, warm and funny debut.


Mum-to-be Rachel did everything right, but it all went wrong. Her son, Luke, was stillborn and she finds herself on maternity leave without a baby, trying to make sense of her loss.

When a misguided well-wisher tells her that ‘everything happens for a reason’, she becomes obsessed with finding that reason, driven by grief and convinced that she is somehow to blame. She remembers that on the day she discovered her pregnancy, she’d stopped a man from jumping in front of a train, and she s now certain that saving his life cost her the life of her son.

Desperate to find him, she enlists an unlikely ally in Lola, an Underground worker, and Lola’s seven-year-old daughter, Josephine, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results…

Both a heart-wrenchingly poignant portrait of grief and a gloriously uplifting and disarmingly funny story of a young woman’s determination, Everything Happens for a Reason is a bittersweet, life- affirming read and, quite simply, unforgettable.

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

An impossible murder
A remarkable detective duo
A demon who may or may not exist

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is facing trial and execution for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent, while also on board are Sara Wessel, a noble woman with a secret, and her husband, the governor general of Batavia.

But no sooner is their ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A strange symbol appears on the sail. A dead leper stalks the decks. Livestock are slaughtered in the night. And then the passengers hear a terrible voice whispering to them in the darkness, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft. Third: an impossible murder. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent and Sara can solve a mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

21st Birthday by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

When a distraught mother pleads with San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas to investigate the disappearance of her daughter Tara and baby granddaughter Lorrie, Cindy immediately loops in SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer. The prime suspect is Tara’s schoolteacher husband, Lucas Burke, but he tells a conflicting story that paints Tara as a wayward wife, not a missing person.

While the city’s chief medical examiner, Claire Washburn, harbours theories that run counter to the police investigation of the Burke case, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano sizes up Lucas as a textbook domestic offender – until he puts forward a theory of his own that could connect the dots on a constellation of killings.

As the case grows into something far bigger than any of them could have imagined, the four friends will need each other to help unpick the truth from a web of lies.

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

A lucky roll of the dice

California, 1949. Aloysius Archer is on his way to start a new job with a renowned Private Investigator in Bay Town. Feeling lucky, he stops off at a casino in Reno, where he meets an aspiring actress, Liberty Callahan. Together, they head west on a journey filled with danger and surprises – because Archer isn’t the only one with a secretive past.

A risk worth taking

Arriving in a town rife with corruption, Archer is tasked with finding out who is doing everything they can to disrupt the appointment of a top official. Then two seemingly unconnected people are murdered at a burlesque club. In a tight-lipped community, Archer must dig deep to reveal the connection between the victims.

All bets are off

As the final perilous showdown unfurls, Archer will need all of his skills to decipher the truth from the lies and finally, to prove she’s a star in the making, will Liberty have her moment in the spotlight?

The Writing On The Wall by Gunnar Staalesen

This is one of Scandinavia’s top crime writers in the tradition of Henning Mankell.

It was one of those days in February of which there are far too many, despite its being the shortest month of the year. February is the year’s parenthesis. The tax forms have already been sent in and the tourist season has not yet started: there is nothing on the schedule. Greyish-brown slush lay in the gutters and the hills around the city were barely visible through the fog. Like the golden buttons on the waistcoat of a forgotten snowman, you could just make out the lights of the funicular up the hillside and the street lamps were lit even in the middle of the day…

In this crime drama detective Varg Veum’s adventures lead him into a dark world of privileged teenage girls who have been drawn into drugs and prostitution. The situation worsens when the local judge is discovered in a luxury hotel, dead and clad only in women’s lingerie. Called in by anxious parents to look for a missing daughter and explain the judge’s death, Varg finds clues that lead him only deeper into Bergen’s criminal underworld.

So that’s my five. Don’t be impressed with my reading speed – I’d already received ARCs of two of them and two were audio. Did you guess which was the 15 hour epic? Busy enough week on the blog – recap below:

#Review – Watch Her Fall – Erin Kelly
#Cover Reveal – The Rabbit Factor – Antti Tuomainen
#Review – Hotel Cartagena – Simone Buchholz – Jen’s Thoughts
#Review – Hotel Cartagena – Simone Buchholz – Mandie’s Thoughts
#Review – The Embalmer – Alison Belsham
#Review – The Abrupt Physics of Dying – Paul E. Hardisty
#Promo Post – Mark Tilbury Supernatural and Thriller Box Sets
#Review – Not Without My Sister – Marion Kummerow
#Review – What Beauty There Is – Cory Anderson

Okay – so it was a very busy week on the blog … Didn’t feel like it at the time 🤷‍♀️ This week is a little bit calmer with just the one blog tour – tomorrow. Joy Kluver’s Last Seen.

So I’m off back to the books. Well technically more likely to be working depending on what time you read this post, but the books will be there at some stage. I still have three evenings in which to get in another March read which could take me up to an astonishing 21 books read/listened to this month. I don’t think I’ve ever managed that, or if I did it was a long, long time ago. I must have definitely found my mojo, although a lot of short weeks at work certainly helped. Back to full time after Easter so don’t expect such an epic total next month …

Whatever you are up to I hope that you have a brilliantly bookish and safe week. Happy Easter, if that’s your bag, otherwise happy reading.

Jen x