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October 2020

**PUBLICATION DAY** Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

I make no apologies by, again, championing this book which has been published today in paperback. I was a huge fan of Rosamund Lupton even before reading Three Hours but this, in my opinion, is her best so far. If you haven’t yet read it, I cannot recommend it highly enough, as the plot is one which will remain with me for a long time.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Children and teachers barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news. In three intense hours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love.

My review can be read here.

The Body on the Island by Nick Louth

In a quiet part of the Thames, a loud splash signals something untoward – an asphyxiated body found naked on an island, covered in strange markings. Without an identity, DCI Craig Gillard is struggling to move forward with the case, especially as potential witnesses all seem to have something to hide. Meanwhile, a notorious child killer is about to be released from prison, determined to settle scores with those who put him inside thirty years previously. One of those people? A young trainee by the name of Craig Gillard…

The Craig Gillard series has become one of my favourites and Nick Louth has written another fantastic book with an engaging plot and a plethora of fascinating characters. We actually don’t see as much of Gillard in this book as we have done in previous installments, the plot focusing on other characters, allowing the story to progress at a fast pace. There were, however, references to events in the previous book, but nothing to spoil later reading if you haven’t read it yet.

I think it is safe to say that this book didn’t go where I was expecting it to! After reading the blurb and the opening chapters, I had a clear idea in my mind as to where this plot was going to take me, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I won’t give anything away but a huge well done to Nick Louth for writing a book with an unexpected plot containing more twists and turns that you could shake a stick at! It’s not often that I am totally blindsided by a book, but this was definitely the case with The Body on the Island!

One of the main mysteries running throughout the book is the police’s inability to discover exactly how the man found on the island was killed. Again, I won’t give any spoilers but when all is revealed at the end, I was genuinely open-mouthed! This is definitely not a mode of murder I have read about before and probably won’t again!

If you haven’t yet read any of this series, I can’t recommend it highly enough and if you are already a fan, you’re going to love this one!

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my copy.

Take a look at my reviews of the rest of the series:

The Body in the Marsh

The Body on the Shore

The Body in the Mist

The Body in the Snow

The Body Under the Bridge

A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin

John Rebus is just coming to terms with the changes in his life when he receives a phone call that has the potential to change everything. Contacted by his daughter, Sammy, who informs him that her husband has been missing for two days, his professional experience leads him to believe the worst. Knowing that his daughter will be the prime suspect, he heads off to the town where she lives, a town with secrets that even Rebus might think twice about uncovering. Meanwhile, back in Edinburgh, DIs Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox are embroiled in a murder investigation, one that appears to have links to Rebus’s case…

Rebus is back and although retired from the police force, he is showing no desire to leave it behind. He may be suffering from COPD and having to adjust his lifestyle to deal with it, but Rebus is still keen to get involved in cases, often to the despair of his former colleagues. With his stack of unsolved case files, I think that Ian Rankin has the material to keep the former detective going for many years to come!

It’s been a while since we encountered Rebus’s daughter, Sammy, and although he doesn’t see her as often as he thinks he should, we get to see how much he cares about her when he drops everything to be at her side when her husband disappears. Although this part of the plot brought Rebus great heartache at times, I really enjoyed the humour he brought, especially when dealing with the local police. I liked the character of DS Creasey, and hope that he can, somehow, find himself involved in a later story line. I also found the historical aspect fascinating, discovering things about wartime Scotland that I was not aware of.

The second plot, the murder of a Saudi student, was equally as interesting with, seemingly, some connections to the investigation Rebus is undertaking. Since his retirement, we have seen more time being given to DIs Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox, but Rebus still lurks in the background, providing help (or a hindrance) along the way. Perhaps the biggest shock for me, though was the discovery that Big Ger Cafferty (still my favourite character) is now the owner of a gin bar, having decided that it was more profitable than whisky! What would the Cafferty of old think about that?!

Twenty-three Rebus books in and Ian Rankin is showing no sign of losing his touch – it is clear to see why this has been top of the bestseller charts. Long may Rebus reign!

With thanks to Orion and Net Galley for my copy.

Monthly Round Up – September 2020

I’ve found it difficult to read books this month although the ones I have read I have enjoyed immensely. I’m going to be, hopefully, working my way through some books for blog tours in October so am looking forward to reading those!

Books I Have Read

Blunt Force by Lynda La Plante

The sixth in the Tennison series, sees Jane working in a much quieter environment than she has been used to – that is until the body of a disembowelled man is found at his home. A slow build-up leads up to an unexpected conclusion with, potentially, the opportunity to revisit part of the plot at a latter date.

 

When the Past Kills by M J Lee

The fifth book in the Ridpath series takes the detective back to his most famous case – the capture of the Beast of Manchester. With people close to the case being killed, this is very personal to Ridpath. With an absolutely explosive ending, this is the best in the series so far.

 

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

The second book to feature Detective Harbinder Kaur is another fantastic novel by the superb Elly Griffiths. Full of wonderful characters, The Postscript Murders is an investigation into the death of an elderly woman known as a ‘murder consultant’. Brilliant!

 

The Thief on the Winged Horse  by Kate Mascarenhas

This novel idea for a book merges a whodunit with magic and, while it is not generally the sort of book I would read, I loved it! Review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

 

Books I Have Acquired

He was never truly gone, only biding his time…

Late on midsummer’s night there is a splash in the river Thames. A body is found on an island, asphyxiated and laced with strange markings. For DCI Craig Gillard it’s a baffling case. The victim’s identity is elusive, clues are scarce and every witness has something to hide.

Meanwhile one of Britain’s deadliest serial killers is finally up for parole after a deal to reveal the location of two missing bodies. The felon has his own plans to get even with witnesses, accusers and the officer who caught him thirty years before. And who was that? A young trainee, by the name of Gillard.

 

The most difficult position in football? Being a goalkeeper. That’s what they say, right? You must be mad to stand between those posts and bat away shots and crosses all game long.

Neville Southall should know. He was the goalkeeper for one of the best teams of the 1980s and became an icon of the game during his 20-year career between the sticks. But what did it take to prepare himself mentally for the difficulties of the position? How did he dig so deep on the biggest occasions and in the highest-pressured moments? What scars were left at the end of his long career – a tenure that saw the highs of winning trophies, but also the lows of losing games, making mistakes and feeling the full weight of club and country on your shoulders. And how has he used his post-playing career to campaign for a better future for the next generation?

In this unique book, one of football’s greatest cult players reflects on the travails of the modern game, how some of society’s problems are reflected within it and draws upon his own experience to tackle one of its final remaining taboos: mental health. On fear of failure, confidence, sexuality and homophobia, suicide, social media and many other talking points – Neville doesn’t hold back on the biggest subjects and gets stuck in to some of the most important topics surrounding the beautiful game.

 

What would you do to protect the ones you love?

1861. George’s life changes forever the day he meets Lucy. She’s beautiful and charming, and he sees a future with her that his position as the second son in a wealthy family has never offered him. But when Lucy dies in a suspected poisoning days after rejecting George, he finds himself swept up into a murder investigation. George loved Lucy; he would never have harmed her. So who did?

Now. On the surface Cassie is happy with her life: a secure job, good friends, and a loving family. When a mysterious gift in a long-forgotten will leads her to a dark secret in her family’s history she’s desperate to learn more. But the secrets in Cassie’s family aren’t all hidden in the past, and her research will soon lead her to a revelation much closer to home – and which will turn everything she knows on its head…

 

You have to stop me from hurting anyone else. I don’t want to do these horrible things. Help me before I’m forced to do it again. And I will do it again because I have no choice. I’ve never had a choice.

In a busy shopping centre, a little girl clutches a teddy bear, clinging to it in the absence of her mother, Katrina. Hours later, Katrina’s body is discovered in an abandoned building. For Detective Kim Stone, it looks like a quick, functional murder. But Kim’s instincts tell her there’s more to this senseless murder than meets the eye. What was the motive for killing a young mother out shopping with her child?

Days later, a second victim is found in a local park, her neck broken just like Katrina’s and her six-year-old son missing.

But with her colleague, Detective Stacey Wood, working on another unsolved crime and a member of the team grieving the loss of a close relative, Kim is struggling to make inroads on what is fast becoming a complex case. And when a handwritten letter from the killer lands on Kim’s desk addressed to her, and pleading for help, she knows time is running out to bring the little boy home alive.

With the support of a handwriting analyst and profiler, Kim and the team begin to get inside the mind of the killer and make a shocking discovery.

Some of the victims have scratch marks on their wrists.

But these are no random scratches. The killer is using them to communicate with someone. The question is… with whom?

And if Kim doesn’t find them soon, another innocent soul will die.

 

Here’s hoping for a good October. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

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