Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 12/09/21

So there we have it. First full week in September done and dusted. The good news is that it means only a handful of days now until Bloody Scotland begins. Whoop whoop. Probably my favourite festival of the bookish year. For those unable to attend in person, this. year the organisers have set up a hybrid festival so not only will there be some live and in-person events in Stirling, every single panel is being screened live to the world. All being well I will be attending there from Saturday morning so hopefully will see a few familiar faces in the crowds, even if we are all part hidden behind masks.

It’s fair to say that after eighteen very tough and disruptive months, the festival team have gone all out to make this a very special event and if you haven’t yet checked out the festival programme, head over to Bloody Scotland website to see just what fun can be had. As well as home grown talent appearing live such as Denise Mina, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Ian Rankin, Chris Brookmyre, Abir Mukherjee, Stuart MacBride, James Oswald, Sarah Hilary, (and many, many more), and the highly anticipated return of the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, there will be some very familiar faces streaming live from around the world including Karin Slaughter, Lee Child, Linwood Barclay, Kathy Reichs and Stephen King! Yes, that Stephen King. I am more than a little excited and I’ll be making the most of the digital pass too. It means I can catch up on any panels I miss seeing live as they’ll be on line after the festival for a time too. Bonus!

It’s been a long week. Had to do a full five days at work. I mean, what the heck? Managed a couple of walks in the evenings and at the weekend, although I admit I’ve not been feeling it and also I’ve been trying to avoid peopleing so I can stay healthy for next weekend. After that I’m not that fussed. I’ll stay locked up again until Christmas if I need to. I’ll be working (from home) and reading – same old, same old. It’s all good. Managed to do quite well on the reading front this week, helped along by more excellent books. I have very good taste it seems. 😉

It’s been a strange old week for books. Not a bad strange, just the usual feast or famine approach to titles through the letter box and on the kindle. On Monday a book I’d ordered from Berts Books arrived – Janice Hallet’s The Appeal. Looking forward to reading it. Then on Friday I received two lovely bits of book postThe Man on Hackpen Hill by J.S. Monroe courtesy of Head of Zeus books and Saying Goodbye To Tuesday by Chrissie Manby from Hodder & Stoughton.

Three new Netgalley titles this week: Sam Carrington’s The Couple on Maple Drive; The Fake Up by Justin Myers and The Midnight Lock by Jeffery Deaver. Might have bought a few books on kindle too – Match Up A short story collection edited by Lee Child; Never Go Back, The Christmas Scorpion by Lee Child; and Vengeance, another short story collection. The Chateau by Catherine Cooper and The Mind of a Murderer by Richard Taylor who, coincidentally, is also appearing at Bloody Scotland. I may have tickets 😉. I also preordered a signed copy of Shadow Voices: 300 Years of Irish Genre Fiction by John Connolly from Goldsboro Books. It’s a very limited print run version so one for the collectors out there for sure.

Books I have read

The Quiet People by Paul Cleave

Suspicion is cast on two successful crime writers, when their seven-year-old son goes missing. Are they trying to show that they can commit the perfect crime? A mesmerisingly twisty, dark thriller from number-one bestselling author Paul Cleave…


Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time…

Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisty thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page.

The Reacher Guy by Heather Martin

Jack Reacher is only the second of Jim Grant’s great fictional characters: the first is Lee Child himself. Heather Martin’s biography tells the story of all three.

Lee Child is the enigmatic powerhouse behind the bestselling Jack Reacher novels. With millions of devoted fans across the globe, and over a hundred million copies of his books sold in more than forty languages, he is that rarity, a writer who is lauded by critics and revered by readers. And yet curiously little has been written about the man himself.

The Reacher Guy is a compelling and authoritative portrait of the artist as a young man, refracted through the life of his fictional avatar, Jack Reacher. Through parallels drawn between Child and his literary creation, it tells the story of how a boy from Birmingham with a ferocious appetite for reading grew up to become a high-flying TV executive, before coming full circle and establishing himself as the strongest brand in publishing.

Heather Martin explores Child’s lifelong fascination with America, and shows how the Reacher novels fed and fuelled this obsession, shedding light on the opaque process of publishing a novel along the way. Drawing on her conversations and correspondence with Child over a number of years, as well as interviews with his friends, teachers and colleagues, she forensically pieces together his life, traversing back through the generations to Northern Ireland and County Durham, and following the trajectory of his extraordinary career via New York and Hollywood until the climactic moment when, in 2020, having written a continuous series of twenty-four books, he finally breaks free of his fictional creation.

Assassins Rogue by Rachel Amphlett

When duty calls, do you follow orders – or risk everything and rebel?

An injured pilot discovers Eva Delacourt’s safe house moments before dying from her wounds, thrusting the female assassin into a global conspiracy.

Within days, a new war will begin in the Middle East, and Eva is the only person who can prevent it.

In a race against time across a fractured Europe, and fighting a mysterious enemy working within the upper echelons of the British government, Eva must confront her past once more if she is to survive her mission.

Assassins Rogue is a blisteringly fast-paced read and the second novel in the English Assassins series featuring female assassin Eva Delacourt.

A Perfect Plan by Jeffery Deaver

A deviously clever story featuring the beloved forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme.

When the FBI comes to Lincoln Rhyme with the news that a mysterious assassin is targeting him, the detective is not particularly concerned. With his long career putting away criminals, he is accustomed to threats on his life, and has designed his Upper West Side townhome to be secure against nearly any threat. But when the assassin gets too close for comfort, shadowing Rhyme and his wife Amelia Sachs as they go about their daily life, Rhyme determines to find out why this person is after him. He must put himself inside the mind of a killer in order to save his own life, and possibly the lives of those he loves most. 

The Last Time She Died by Zoë Sharp

The sun is shining as the Fitzroy family gather to mourn the death of their beloved husband and stepfather. No one but Byron sees the young woman with the white-blonde hair hiding in the shadows. She watches them for a moment, then she is gone.

While the family is at the funeral, the woman breaks into their home. She waits for them to come home, for the police to be called. When she is arrested, she smiles calmly at the outraged people around her and says she has every right to be there. She is Blake Claremont, the late Mr Fitzroy’s daughter.

But Blake vanished ten years ago. She is presumed dead.

Detective John Byron is currently on leave, but he has been asked by his old force to take a quiet look into Fitzroy’s death. While he’s there, he can’t help investigating the mysterious new arrival too. She certainly seems to know things that an outsider could not, and the family welcome her back into her home.

Not long after, someone shoots at her on a quiet rural road… Because whatever secrets the woman is keeping, certain people do not want them revealed.

And those same people are sure Blake isn’t who she claims to be… because they killed and buried her the night she disappeared.

Didn’t they?

From the bestselling author of the Charlie Fox books, The Last Time She Died will have you gripped until the last mind-blowing page. Fans of Cara Hunter, Kendra Elliot and Rachel Abbott will love this action-packed crime thriller.

A good week, I think you’ll agree. Not as impressive as it looks perhaps as A Perfect Plan is only a short story and I have been listening to/reading The Reacher Guy over the past couple of weeks – it’s 500 pages and worth taking time over, believe me. Full enough week on the blog – recap below.

#Review – Resistance – Mara Timon
#Review – My Name is Jensen – Heidi Amsinck
#Review – This Is How We Are Human – Louise Beech
#Review – Jihadi: A Love Story – Yusuf Toropov
#Review – Five Minds – Guy Morpuss

The week ahead looks pretty tidy. I’ve some fab reads lined up, plus Bloody Scotland (🤞🏻) and we’ll be reviewing some awesome books, including a blog tour post from Mandie for The Seamstress of Warsaw by Rebecca Mascull.

Well I hope you all have a fabulous week. Hopefully I’ll be back next Monday but it really depends on how tired I am Sunday evening after all the festival fun. If I don’t make it, take it as read that I read books, I bought books and I ate far too much food – diet starts again on the Tuesday 😉

Have a lovely week all.

Jen x