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My Eagerly Anticipated Books of 2019

2019 looks like being another great year for books, in particular crime fiction. Here are the books that I am already looking forward to reading:

The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths

Published 7th February 2019 by Quercus

DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to ‘go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there’. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle’s baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they?

Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh – another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle – trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared thirty years ago.

As the Margaret Lacey case progresses, more and more aspects of it begin to hark back to that first case of The Crossing Places, and to Scarlett Henderson, the girl Nelson couldn’t save. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.

 

The Taking of Annie Thorne by C J Tudor

Published 21st February 2019 by Penguin

One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her.

Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same. She wasn’t my Annie.

I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

 

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Published 24th January 2019 by Orion

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK
I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:

1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

 

 

A Date With Death by Mark Roberts

Published 2nd May 2019 by Head of Zeus

All they wanted was to find their happy-ever-after… Instead, they met their deaths.

Three women have been killed in Liverpool. The MO points to a stranger, and now DCI Eve Clay is on the trail of a vicious man who preys on lonely women on dating sites. He signs off the same way with each message: “Kiss kiss, night night.”

His crimes are escalating – and Eve has to stop him before another girl dies. But first she needs to find him. And that means going undercover online, and posing as his perfect victim…

 

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Published 16th May 2019 by Zaffre

‘…They’re here. They’re-‘
The message on Sara Prior’s phone contains the last words she will ever hear from her husband. Racing to find him, she discovers he has been brutally murdered.
While the police struggle to uncover evidence around this shocking crime, it becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. And she is not the sort of woman to let things lie. Following a hidden clue in her husband’s last desperate phone-call, Sara follows the trail to the house of the last person she’d expect . . .
Meanwhile DS Nathan Cody finds himself drawn into the darkest and most twisted case of his career. And this time things are about to get very very personal.

 

Dead Memories by Angela Marsons

Published 22nd February 2019 by Bookouture

She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers.

‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’

On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.

When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the deaths of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.

Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.

Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?

 

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Published 28th February 2019 by Transworld Digital

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

 

Just some of the books I’m looking forward to reading although, as always, I’ll be hoping for a new Tennison book from Lynda La Plante, and books from Luca Veste, Steve Robinson and Nathan Dylan Goodwin amongst others. Are any of these on your list or are there others I should be looking out for? I’d love to hear what you think!

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A to Z Reading Challenge

At the start of the year, I decided that I would take part in the A to Z Reading Challenge, hosted by https://gingermomreads.com. Although I didn’t manage to complete it, I only missed seven, so that’s not too bad! I’ve decided to give it another go next year so maybe I’ll be more successful!

Here are the books I did manage to read, complete with links to my reviews:

An Unquiet Ghost by Linda Stratmann

Blood Card (The) by Elly Griffiths

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson

E

First to Die by Alex Caan

Guilty Dead (The) by P J Tracy

Her Last Move by John Marrs

If He Wakes by Zoe Lea

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Killing Time by Mark Roberts

Letters From the Dead by Steve Robinson

My Mother the Liar by Ann Troup

No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney

Orchard View by Deborah J Miles

Perfect Match by D. B. Thorne

Q

R

Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer

Taken by Monty Marsden

U

Vanished Child (The) by M J Lee

Wicked Trade (The) by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

X

Y

Z

Hopefully I’ll be able to manage the tricky letters next year!

My Books of 2018

As another year draws to a close, it’s time to, once again, look back at what I’ve read over the past twelve months and try to narrow it down to my ten favourites. Not an easy job! Again, I’ve looked back through my Goodreads reviews to see which books I gave five stars to and have chosen from there. Here are my final ten, in no particular order:

 

Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson

Although I’ve said that my list is in no particular order, this is by far my favourite book of the year. I loved the first two books in the Nathan Cody series but Don’t Make a Sound really is something else. Telling the story of the loathsome Malcolm Benson and the young children he has abducted, this book really did make me gasp in shock as I neared the end. There are not many books that throw me completely off the scent, but David Jackson’s twist succeeded to the point where I had to go back and re-read several pages to ensure that I had read it correctly! I predicted in January that this would be one of my favourite books of the year and I was right!

 

 

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons

The eighth in the Kim Stone series and one that had many devoted fans reaching for their tissues! The investigation into the deaths of some of the pupils at a local school saw Angela Marsons taking the story arc somewhere we never expected it to go. This is a series that is showing no signs of slowing down and Dying Truth is definitely up there as one of the best. If you have never read an Angela Marsons book, you don’t know what you’re missing!

 

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

I’m a huge fan of her Ruth Galloway and Stephens & Mephisto books, so I couldn’t wait to read Elly’s standalone, The Stranger Diaries. Part murder-mystery, part gothic thriller, when the body of her friend is found with horrific injuries, English teacher Clare is immediately a suspect. Clare, an expert in the author R M Holland, is perturbed when a quote from one of his stories is found nearby. This is soon followed by strange comments in her personal diary. Is someone messing with her mind or is there really a supernatural link to the case? A superb read.

 

Her Last Move by John Marrs

A gruesome murder-mystery that is more of a ‘whydunit’ than a ‘whodunit’. The two main protagonists, Joe and Becca, are investigating a serial killer who is stalking the streets of London, remaining one step ahead of the police at all times. This book has stuck in my mind mainly due to the twist that I most definitely did not see coming and is one that you don’t see very often in books of this genre.

 

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

A twisty thriller that had me hooked from the very first page, Jar of Hearts tells the story of Geo, a woman who is about to be released from prison after serving time for her involvement in the murder of her high school friend. Her then boyfriend, Calvin, has escaped from prison and soon there is a trail of bodies all bearing the hallmarks of the Sweetbay Strangler. Is this a message for Geo and is she destined to be the next victim?

 

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

This is a bit of a cheat really as I also included it in my books of 2017 but as it wasn’t officially published until 2018, I think I’m allowed to include it again! When a group of boys follow a trail of drawings depicting chalk men, they find a dismembered body in the woods, changing their lives forever. Now, thirty years later, the chalk men have started to reappear… Clever writing and an equally clever ending, I can’t wait to read the author’s next book, The Taking of Annie Thorne.

 

Killing Time by Mark Roberts

The fourth in the Eve Clay series is another dark thriller from Mark Roberts set, as in the previous books, in Liverpool, but also, this time, taking in the United States. When a young Czech girl is found abandoned in a park, there is some relief until the call comes in that two Polish men have been found dead in their burnt-out flat. Are the cases connected? There is, again, another chilling climax to the story with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

 

The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste

When a woman is found near a forest singing a childhood song about ‘the bone keeper’, people begin to ask the question – could the urban legend actually be real? A very eerie serial killer story with more than a touch of the macabre, Luca Veste has created another great protagonist in Louise Henderson (although I am still missing Murphy and Rossi!).

 

Move to Murder by Antony M Brown

The murder of Julia Wallace in 1931 is one of Britain’s classic unsolved cases. Move to Murder examines the evidence, putting forward several theories, asking the reader to take on the role of the jury and come up with a verdict. A well-written and researched book, this certainly made me question my long-held view on the case.

 

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

I’ve never been a fan of courtroom dramas, but the tagline, ‘The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury’ was too intriguing to miss. With one of the worst (and ingenious) serial killers I’ve read about for a long time, this was definitely one of the books that lived up to the hype.

 

So, there you have it. There’s a few that just missed out, but I’m happy with my final ten. Have any of these made your list? Is there anything you think I should have included?

 

 

 

2018 A to Z Reading Challenge

Although I’ve taken part in the Goodreads reading challenge for the past few years, I’ve never really embraced all of the other challenges that exist out there, so I’ve decided to rectify that! After much research into all the different challenges on a range of other blogs, the one that seemed to appeal the most was the A to Z Reading Challenge hosted by https://gingermomreads.com

So, over the next year, I aim to read a book beginning with each letter of the alphabet. I am already envisaging a bit of creativity that will be required for certain letters!

Wish me luck!

My Books of 2017

2017 has been another great year for books, both from returning authors and debut writers. In an attempt to try to choose my favourite ten, I looked back at my Goodreads ratings to look for all of my 5-star reviews. There were more than ten, so I’ve had to try to narrow it down even further! What follows are the books where the plot has stayed with me for one reason or another. In no particular order:

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

The Ruth Galloway series goes from strength to strength. This very topical book, dealing with the plight of the homeless, is extremely well-written and I can’t wait for the next book, The Dark Angel.

 

Hope to Die by David Jackson

A murder in the grounds of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral sees the start of a brutal killing spree by a killer filled with hate. The second in the Nathan Cody series saw us finding out a bit more about the detective’s past and the ending set up the next book nicely.

 

Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham

I’ve loved all of the Thorne books but this is definitely one where the plot will remain with me for a long time. A very emotive book dealing with the taboo subject of honour killings, as usual Mark Billingham’s writing is perfect.

 

 

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

A very clever book where you don’t know what to believe. Is there something sinister going on or is it all the imaginings of a highly-medicated war reporter? This was a slow burner that became high-octane towards the end of the book with plenty of shocks along the way.

 

The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson

I absolutely loved this book despite it being the second in a series where I had not read the first. An incredibly twisty plot that completely messed with my head yet was never once confusing. I’d love to see this one made into a film.

 

 

Dying Games by Steve Robinson

The books about genealogist Jefferson Tayte just keep getting better and better and this one, I feel, was one of the best. A lot more fast-paced than some of the others, we find Jefferson  racing against the clock to stop a serial killer in his tracks. Very reminiscent of Robert Langdon!

 

The Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney

The second in the Lottie Parker series is a harrowing, emotional read which firmly placed the detective amongst my favourite characters. Death, prostitution, people trafficking and organ harvesting – this book has it all!

 

 

Day of the Dead by Mark Roberts

Another series set in Liverpool, but this time with a brilliant female protagonist, DCI Eve Clay. Some years ago, a paedophile-killer escaped from prison and now it seems as though he is back as the killings have started again. This series has a touch of the macabre about them and are a thrilling read!

 

The Good Mother by Karen Osman

A very character-driven novel about how destructive a secret can be. Told from the perspectives of three women, there was a definite ‘eureka’ moment which totally blew me away. Thrilling and emotive in equal measures.

 

 

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

I toyed about putting this one in as it’s not actually published until January 2018 but it was so good that I had to! Set in the present day and in 1986, it is obvious that crimes have been committed in the past and a group of young friends are implicated in some way. This promises to be one of the books of 2018.

 

So there you have it! How many of these appear on your top ten?

My Eagerly Anticipated Books of 2018

Continue reading “My Eagerly Anticipated Books of 2018”

An Evening With Jo Nesbo

This week, I was fortunate enough to attend an evening with the multi-million selling author Jo Nesbo. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his most famous creation, Harry Hole, Jo is currently embarking on a UK tour, promoting his latest book, The Thirst.

In an interview with Jake Kerridge, Jo recalled how Harry Hole first came into being. When asked to write about life on the road with his band, he decided that the old adage, ‘what goes on tour, stays on tour’ was true and so used the lengthy flight to Australia to plan out the first Harry novel, The Bat. His love for his native Oslo is apparent when he speaks and so it was not too long before his books were being set in the Norwegian capital. It could be argued that Harry Hole is now one of Norway’s biggest exports although he does, according to Jo, have a rival in the Norwegian cheese knife!

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His new book The Thirst is, literally, one of Harry’s most blood thirsty cases, dealing with clinical vampirism. A serial killer is stalking the dating app, Tinder, in order to find victims whose blood he can drink. When asked if he’d consulted convicted murderers to aid his research, Jo revealed that he had spoken to a couple but had never been able to use anything in his books. He also spoke about the end of the Harry Hole series which may come fairly soon.

One of the most interesting parts of the evening was when he discussed The Redbreast  his favourite self-written book. This book, set partly during World War Two, had some of its inspiration thanks to Jo’s father’s involvement in the war, fighting on the side of the Germans whilst his mother was part of the resistance in Norway.

One of the biggest laughs came as he talked about his pride in seeing strangers on aeroplanes reading his books, unaware that the author was sitting next to them. He also is known for signing people’s books when he spots them on an unattended sun lounger on the beach. I wonder how many people have been furious when discovering that someone had written on their book, unaware that it was actually Jo’s signature!

The Thirst is available to buy now.

 

Put a Book on the Map

51eodoodzlToday, I was incredibly pleased to take part in the ‘Put a Book on the Map’ feature on Cleo Bannister’s blog, Cleopatra Loves Books.

I have given a description of the setting of David Jackson’s ‘A Tapping at My Door’ and am thrilled to have my writing alongside that of the man himself!

Please do take a look, and while you’re there, take a look at the rest of Cleo’s fantastic blog!

See the post here.

Read my review of ‘A Tapping at My Door’ here.

My Eagerly Anticipated Books!

It’s been a great year for books and 2017 promises to be just as good! Here are some of the books I’m looking forward to seeing published:

img_0987The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

2016 has seen me binge-reading all of Elly Griffiths’ Dr. Ruth Galloway books and the publication of The Chalk Pit can’t come soon enough! Over the past year, Ruth has become one of my favourite fictional characters and I can’t wait to see what happens to her next.

Published on February 23rd 2017

 

Origin by Dan Brown

519g6di52dl-_sy346_I know that Dan Brown’s books aren’t to everyone’s liking but I’m a firm believer that any book that gets people reading is a good idea! After finding The Lost Symbol a bit of a disappointment, Brown was back on track with Inferno (despite the dodgy ending in the film adaptation…). As with all of Brown’s books, the plot is, so far, shrouded in secrecy, but I’m hoping that it’s set in Europe and not America!

Published on September 26th 2017

 

51vc6ddce-lThe Somme Legacy by M J Lee

I enjoyed M J Lee’s first foray into genealogical mystery (The Irish Inheritance) and was pleased to see that a second book in the Jayne Sinclair series is imminent! As someone with an interest in the Somme, I am looking forward to this book immensely and can’t wait to see what secrets are hidden in the trenches of the First World War.

Published on February 9th 2017

 

downloadDying Games by Steve Robinson

After the revelations in Steve Robinson’s previous book, Kindred, this book is highly anticipated! The Amazon blurb has done more than whet my appetite!

Washington, DC: Twin brothers are found drowned in a Perspex box, one gagged and strapped to a chair. It’s the latest in a series of cruel and elaborate murders with two things in common: the killer has left a family history chart at each crime scene, and the victims all have a connection to genealogical sleuth Jefferson Tayte.

Published on 4th May 2017

2017 will also, hopefully, see new books from Kathleen McGurl, Lynda la Plante, Ann Troup, Nathan Dylan Goodwin, Luca Veste and Alex Grecian amongst others – I can’t wait!

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