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Day of the Dead

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?

Dead Silent by Mark Roberts

51h+jCAxF8LProfessor of medieval art, Leonard Lawson, has been mutilated and murdered, the attack witnessed by his traumatized daughter, Louise. To add to the horror, DCI Eve Clay must try to discover the significance of his body being arranged into a parody of the art work he has spent his life studying. Despite the professor having no known enemies, Clay knows that this attack was personal and is desperate to find the culprit before they find another victim to exact revenge upon.

I was first introduced to the books of Mark Roberts earlier this year after looking for reads set in my home city and thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the Eve Clay series, Blood Mist. Having fully intended to read the series in order, I was given the opportunity to participate in the blog tour for the superb Day of the Dead, meaning that I have actually read the books out of sequence, Dead Silent being the second of the three. This was not a problem, however, as it not completely essential to have read them in order.

If you have read any of the Eve Clay books, you will already know that there is a touch of the macabre about them and this is indeed evident in Dead Silent. The descriptions of the crime scenes were particularly graphic and not for the faint-hearted. It is easy to imagine these novels on the small screen and some of the scenes in this book were reminiscent of the BBC series, Messiah, starring Ken Stott.

In Eve Clay, we have a very likeable, if troubled protagonist. In Dead Silent, we get to find out a bit more about her childhood in the children’s home, helping to explain why she is so dedicated to her job yet neurotic about the safety of her family. It is also good to see a police department where everyone seems to get on well and is just as devoted to solving the case as Clay.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that Mark Roberts drip-feeds you information throughout, allowing you time to try to fathom out what is taking place. Just when you think you have it all worked out, though, he throws a complete curve-ball and makes you reconsider everything you thought. This made Dead Silent a genuinely enjoyable read, and one which makes you think about how important and formative the early lives of children are.

A fantastic read and I can’t wait for the next installment!

 

**BLOG TOUR** Day of the Dead by Mark Roberts

51ekD0+0VCLToday I am incredibly pleased to be the next stop on The Day of the Dead blog tour.

When a paedophile is found tortured to death in Liverpool, all evidence points to Vindici, a notorious killer who escaped from custody the previous year. With many people pleased that a threat to their children is off the streets, DCI Eve Clay and her team know that they are going against public opinion in trying to bring the killer to justice. When a photograph of Vindici surfaces, however, showing him at a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico, Merseyside Police had to reevaluate everything they thought they knew – if the man himself is in another continent, does that mean that there is a copycat killer stalking the streets on Liverpool?

I was thrilled to be asked to take part in this blog tour as I read the first in this series, Blood Mist, earlier in the year and loved it! This is the third of the Eve Clay books and, in my opinion, is even better than the first. This is a very clever book, as due to the nature of the crime – the killing of paedophiles – it is easy to see why the police may have conflicted feelings. One one hand, the man is ridding the streets of men who have committed one of the most heinous crimes possible, but conversely, he is still a murderer and so has to be brought to justice.

This is very much a multifaceted plot with numerous aspects that will keep you guessing until the very end. Although the mystery of the true identity of Vindici was not difficult to work out, the circumstances behind the murders provided a plethora of twists and turns that culminated in several big reveals. Towards the end, the plot moved so quickly, I could not put the book down!

Day of the Dead deals with a very emotive subject matter and I was pleased that, although the murders are quite detailed, there were no graphic accounts of what had happened to the children. Instead, I thought that the reactions of the officers dealing with the cases gave enough insight into how sickening and depraved the crimes were.

This, for me, was a particularly engrossing book as, being from the city where it is set, I could visualise exactly where the action was taking place. On several occasions, though, this did unnerve me slightly, as a couple of streets where I have friends and family were named! Thankfully, this is a work of fiction and not true crime!

I thoroughly enjoyed Day of the Dead and would highly recommend it.

With thanks to Clare Gordon and Head of Zeus for my copy of the book.

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Take a look at the rest of the blogs participating in the tour.

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