Well, if recent weekly posts have really not provided anything of much interest to read about, this past weekend has more than made up for it. Started the (long) weekend in London, ended it in Stirling at Bloody Scotland. This year has been a very different kind of festival, largely due to the pandemic, but different in a very good way. Firstly, it was so lovely to see so many familiar faces again and to talk to people about things that weren’t work related. Secondly – it was amazing seeing authors from around the world represented at a time when travel is still extremely challenging. Thirdly – books! Need I say more.
I love the festival feeling and I love Bloody Scotland, and this year’s blend of live and in person events and streamed author event has been absolutely phenomenal. A huge thank you and round of applause to the Bloody Scotland team for doing such a great job in very trying circumstances. I won’t lie – Mandie and I were apprehensive about coming. It’s the first real ‘mass’ event we have done since March 2020. 18 months with no book launches or festivals or anything so taking the plunge and travelling up here was a bit of a calculated gamble. But we are so glad we did as it has been brilliant. Full of laughter, smiling faces and the kind of passion and enthusiasm you would expect. Loved every minute of it.
I ‘might’ have bought a few books whilst I was there, as well as getting a few already owned books signed. Well – it is the first book event in what feels like forever. Here are a couple of snaps of my book haul and newly signed owned books.
From top to bottom … The Dentist by Tim Sullivan; Stuart Mcbride’s Twelve Days of Winter; Murder Under The Microscope by Jim Fraser; The Mind of a Murderer by Dr Richard Taylor; Southern Cross Crime by Craig Sisterson; Cold as Hell by Lilja Sigurdardottir; The Healer, Dark as My Heart, The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen; Sawbones by Stuart MacBride; You Never Said Goodbye (advance proof) by Luca Veste; Fragile by Sarah Hilary; Hyde by Craig Russell (McIlvanney Prize Winner); My Name Is Jensen by Heidi Amsinck; What Will Burn by James Oswald; The Cut by Chris Brookmyre; Light Seekers by Femi Kayode; Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden; Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent; American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins; The Dance of the Serpents by Oscar de Muriel; The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by CS Robertson (advance proof).
Not so many book, books then. Of course I also bought a couple on Kindle … whoops. Call Me Mummy by Tina Baker; Untraceable by Sergei Lebedev. Plus I placed a preorder for Afraid of the Shadows, a short story anthology. 1 Netgalley proof – Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten and one other gifted proof that the eagle eyed may just have spotted. Book post wise I had a good week. My preordered copy of Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds arrived from Berts Books, along with Final Cut by SJ Watson, plus I received proof copies of Bad Apples by Will Dean from Point Blank Books, plus proof copies of Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver; Fall by West Camel and Bitter Flowers by Gunnar Staalesen from Orenda Books. Oh yes – and my preordered copy of The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman arrived.
Now that is what I call a bookish week!
Books I have read
It’s here: the landmark debut thriller from superstar Ant Middleton, million-selling, number one Sunday Times author of First Man In and The Fear Bubble and star of SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Mallory – he was the best of the best, a Special Forces leader and a hero. But then he made a fatal decision, gambling with the lives of his men with terrible consequences: two dead, and his young friend Donno left in a coma.
Back on the streets, with nothing to lose, Mallory has a darkness growing inside him, a dangerous need to seek out trouble. Then Donno’s mother asks him for help: her other son, Scott, has gone missing in South Africa, and she wants Mallory to find him.
Perhaps it’s redemption, perhaps he’s looking for revenge on the world, but suddenly Mallory has a purpose, and nothing and no one is going to stand in his way.
Aleksi lost his mother on a rainy October day when he was 13 years old. 20 years later, he is certain that he knows who’s responsible. Everything points to millionaire Henrik Saarinen. The police don’t agree. Aleksi has only one option: to get close to Henrik Saarinen and find out the truth about his mother’s fate on his own. But as Aleksi soon discovers, delving into Saarinen and his beautiful daughter’s family secrets is a confusing and dangerous enterprise.
Dark As My Heart tells the story of a mother and son and the search for justice. It’s a story about the cost of obsessions, the price of vengeance and the power of love. Set against a vividly conjured bleak and beautiful Finnish landscape, Dark As My Heart is both a Hitchcockian mystery tale and a modern Greek tragedy.
Run. Don’t look back.
When a young teenager is stabbed to death at a busy fairground, Detective Mark Turpin is assigned the task of finding the boy’s killer.
But this was no random murder.
Mark knows the victim, and the man who ordered his death.
As he sifts through the young victim’s final days, he uncovers a powerful crime syndicate that will do anything to protect its interests.
Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly Mark isn’t just trying to solve a murder – he’s fighting for his own survival.
The Lost Boy is the third book in a new murder mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett.
Three books. Not my biggest collection but, you know what? I’m happy. I’ve had a busy week! Full week on the blog too. Recap below.
#Review – A Carrion Death – Michael Stanley
#Review – Everything Happens For A Reason – Katie Allen
#Review – The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman
#Review – One Last Time – Helga Flatland
#Review – The Seamstress of Warsaw – Rebecca Mascull
#Review – Whisky From Small Glasses – Denzil Meyrick
The week ahead is busy enough. Two blog tours posts and a good few reviews. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds and Mandie has a review of The Farmhouse at Peace & Plenty by L.B. Stimson.
And that’s it. Back to work tomorrow (boo hiss) and then I’ll be spending the rest of the week reading and planning when I am going to read all of the wonderful books I’ve just bought (and all the ones I still want to buy …)
Happy reading all and have a fabulous week. I don’t care if I can’t go out again until spring now. This weekend has been a blast.