Not going to lie … April has been an expensive month so far. New glasses, theatre and event tickets and then, this weekend, my tumble dryer decided to pack in. One new dryer and a few hundred pounds lighter, I am just glad I spent little over the previous months and have been able to cover these unexpected eventualities without selling a kidney. Adulting! Painful I tell ya. Painful.
One thing I can rely upon though are my books. A cracking week as far as book post goes, a nice Netgalley treat and a few orders/pre-order have kept me smiling against all the odds. Two lovely books sent over by Graeme Williams and the lovely folks at Vintage/Harvill Secker. First up was Jo Nesbo’s Killing Moon (25 May), the latest Harry Hole investigation. That arrived with a bag of jelly brains, which are rather yummy. Then on Saturday, in spite of half of the address being missing, I received a copy of Brooke Robinson’s debut thriller, The Interpreter (01 & 08 June)
I also received two other very lovely and very welcome packages at the start of the week. I received a copy of Eva Björg Ægisdottir’s brand new thriller, You Can’t See Me (06 July), a prequel to the Forbidden Iceland series, from the lovely Orenda Books. From the equally lovely Polygon, I received two of my most anticipated Scottish thrillers of this summer, the latest in Denzil Meyrick’s Daly and Scott series, No Sweet Sorrow (01 June), and Douglas Skelton’s brand new Rebecca Connolly novel, Children of the Mist (06 July). June and July are really two bumper months for the most excellent crime thrillers. It’s hard to keep up!
Because you can never have too many books. I bought two new titles, The Party House by Lin Anderson and Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce, preordered another, No Ordinary Day: Espionage, betrayal, terrorism and corruption – the truth behind the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher (08 June) by Matt Johnson and John Murray and added to my Netgalley tally with After That Night (22 June) by Karin Slaughter, a brand new Will Trent thriller. I also treated myself to Geneva by Richard Armitage on Audible
Books I have read
The Devil’s Playground by Craig Russell (08 June)
A dark, riveting thriller set in 1920s Hollywood about “the greatest horror movie ever made”, the curse said to surround it, and a deadly search, decades later, for the single copy rumoured still to exist.
1927: Hollywood studio fixer Mary Rourke is called to the palatial home of “the most desirable woman in the world”, silent movie actress Norma Carlton, star of The Devil’s Playground. When Rourke finds Carlton dead, she wonders if the dark rumours she’s heard are true: that The Devil’s Playground really is a cursed production. But nothing in Hollywood is ever what it seems, and cynical fixer Rourke, more used to covering up the truth for studio bosses, finds herself seeking it out.
1967: Paul Conway, film historian and fervid silent movie aficionado, is on the trail of a tantalizing rumour: that a single copy of The Devil’s Playground-a Holy Grail for film buffs that was supposedly cursed and lost to time-may exist. His search takes him deep into the Mojave Desert, to an isolated hotel that hasn’t changed in forty years but harbours only one occupant-and a shocking secret.
Separated by decades, both Rourke and Conway begin to suspect that the real Devil’s Playground is in fact Hollywood itself.
The Silence by Katerina Diamond (08 June)
Gail wakes in the middle of the night to everyone’s worst nightmare.
She can’t move, can’t speak and a stranger is standing over her. Then everything goes black.
Gail knows she didn’t dream it. Or him. But the police don’t believe her.
That was two years ago. She has tried to move on, forget what happened.
Until she meets his next victim.
This woman’s story is identical to hers. And the attack happened exactly one year later.
There is one week left until he will strike again.
Now the silence is broken, there is no telling what he will unleash…
A totally gripping and twisty crime thriller that will take your breath away. Fans of K. L. Slater and Rachel Abbott will be hooked from the very first page.
A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle
November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail to New York with 2,000 passengers – and a killer – on board .
When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship’s officer Timothy Birch is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye.
Birch agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. Its very existence is known only to its owner . . . and the now dead man.
With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple’s purpose on board the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch’s search for the culprit is fraught with danger.
And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst.
Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry (15 June)
In a city of science, discovery can be deadly . . .
In a time of unprecedented scientific innovation, the public’s appetite for wonder has seen a resurgence of interest in mesmerism, spiritualism and other unexplained phenomena.
Dr Will Raven is wary of the shadowlands that lie between progress and quackery, but Sarah Fisher can’t afford to be so picky. Frustrated in her medical ambitions, she sees opportunity in a new therapeutic field not already closed off to women.
Raven has enough on his hands as it is. Body parts have been found at Surgeons Hall, and they’re not anatomy specimens. In a city still haunted by the crimes of Burke and Hare, he is tasked with heading off a scandal.
When further human remains are found, Raven is able to identify a prime suspect, and the hunt is on before he kills again. Unfortunately, the individual he seeks happens to be an accomplished actor, a man of a thousand faces and a renowned master of disguise.
With the lines between science and spectacle dangerously blurred, the stage is set for a grand and deadly illusion . . .
Another not bad week, helped by the fact Monday was a Bank Holiday and I had zero plans. Four good length books devoured again though. I’ll take that. Busy enough on the blog too. Recap below:
#Review – Tell Me Lies – Teresa Driscoll
#Review – The Other Guest – Heidi Perks
#Press Release: The Reading Agency launches Road to Reading for World Book Night
#Review – The Lazarus Solution – Kjell Ola Dahl
#Review – Blood Runs Cold – Neil Lancaster
#Review – The Box – Dan Malakin
I’ve got a busy few weeks at work coming up, and no extra time off, so I’m going to play it by ear on the reading front and just go with the flow. I’m well ahead of where I expected to be right now, fitting in a few extra books here and there, and generally just enjoying reading for me rather than by demand. It’s been quite liberating – and the books I’ve chosen have been excellent too. Long may that continue,
Hope you all have a wonderful week – enjoy the sunshine where you can, and the books always.