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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?

Monthly Round Up: April 2017

Welcome to the second of my monthly ’round ups’. I haven’t been able to read as many books as I would have liked, unfortunately, but I’m hoping to remedy that this coming month!

Books I’ve Read

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707The Killer on the Wall by Emma Kavanagh

This was one of those books where I was immediately grabbed by the blurb. Although I did enjoy it, I felt that it had a very slow start and took a while to get going.

 

Dying Games by Steve Robinson51oXpj-8ZIL

The latest of Steve Robinson’s Jefferson Tayte books was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it was not a let-down in the slightest. A fast-paced read containing some very macabre deaths!

 

34500937Dead Souls by Angela Marsons

Has Angela Marsons ever written a bad book?! This is probably the darkest of her Kim Stone series and one that is incredibly thought-provoking. One of my favourite reads of the year so far.

 

CockroachesCockroaches by Jo Nesbo

The second of the Harry Hole books, I found that this one was a big improvement on the previous book as we get more of an insight into Harry’s life and what exactly makes him tick.

 

Last Witness by Carys Jones

The follow-up to Wrong Number is a high octane tale of revenge as the heroine of the story is determined to avenge the murder of her husband. Review will follow on May 7th as part of the book’s blog tour.

 

 

One That Got Away by Annabel Kantaria

A tale of how appearances can be deceiving and how we can never really know what goes on behind closed doors. Annabel’s previous book, The Disappearance, was one of my favourite books of 2016 and this one did not disappoint either. Review will follow closer to the publication date in September 2017.

51ETyWXR--L__SX323_BO1,204,203,200_The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

The third of the Harry hole books sees Harry finally dealing with a case in his native Norway – a case which has strong links to World War Two. My favourite of the series so far.

Books I’ve Acquired

IMG_1072The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. Constance’s mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.

Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery,” attributing the murder to the Ripper.

As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get—because there may be more than one depraved killer out there…

 

51vmfJ4pJiLTHERE’S A NEW KILLER ON THE STREETS…
A woman is found murdered after an internet date. The marks left on her body show the police that they are dealing with a particularly vicious killer.

HE’S IN YOUR HOUSE… HE’S IN YOUR ROOM
Under pressure from the media to find the murderer, the force know there’s only one man for the job. But Harry Hole is reluctant to return to the place that almost took everything from him. Until he starts to suspect a connection between this killing and his one failed case.

HE’S OUT FOR BLOOD
When another victim is found, Harry realises he will need to put everything on the line if he’s to finally catch the one who got away.

 

Ava doesn’t believe it when the email arrives to say that her twin sister is dead. It’s not grief or denial that causes her scepticism – it just feels too perfect to be anything other than Zelda’s usual manipulative scheming. And Ava knows her twin. Two years after she left, vowing never to speak to Zelda again after the ultimate betrayal, Ava must return home to retrace her errant sister’s last steps. She soon finds notes that lead her on a twisted scavenger-hunt of her twin’s making. Letter by letter, Ava unearths clues to her sister’s disappearance: and unveils harrowing truths of her own. A is for Ava, and Z is for Zelda, but deciphering the letters in-between is not so simple…A clever, twisty, suspense novel for readers of The Ice Twins by S. K Tremayne and Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight.

 

Two women. Two versions of the truth.

Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that’s the story she’s sticking to.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May.
And only another life will do…

That’s it for another month. I’ve got a few great books on my TBR pile that I hope to read over the next few weeks, and don’t forget to join me on the blog tour for Last Witness by Carys Jones on May 7th when, as well as a review, I will be sharing an extract from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dying Games by Steve Robinson

51oXpj-8ZILWhen twin brothers are found drowned in a Perspex box in Washington D. C., and a family history chart is left at the scene, the police realise that this is one of several recent murders with a link to genealogist Jefferson Tayte. Knowing that his experience will be invaluable, Tayte is summoned by the FBI to assist in catching the ruthless killer who always seems to be one step ahead. With his reputation at stake and the body count rapidly rising, will Jefferson have to pay the ultimate price to stop the sadist in his tracks?

I have become a big fan of Steve Robinson’s Jefferson Tayte books over the years and I await each new instalment eagerly. I was excited, therefore, to receive Dying Games through Net Galley, telling myself that I would wait until nearer publication day before I would read it. This resolution lasted a whole day before I found myself clicking on it on my kindle!

The book begins in a very macabre fashion as a woman is burned to death inside a dolls’ house. This sets the tone for the rest of the book as the twisted killer re-enacts deaths that have appeared in the family trees of the victims. From quite early on, JT realises that the killer is someone he has encountered in his professional life but is finding it impossible to convince the FBI that the man cannot be working alone. In Frankie Mavro, JT has the perfect sidekick – someone who provides him with the necessary authority to undertake his research but who is also genuinely on his side.

Like the rest of this series, once I started on this book, I found it difficult to put down. I do feel, though, that this one is different to the others as it had an almost Dan Brown feel to it with our hero solving clues against the clock in order to prevent a tragedy. The ‘race against time’ element made it a very fast-paced, exhilarating read and I really liked the fact how, in many of the cases, there was no happy ending, as this helped JT to develop a true hatred of the unknown man.

Dying Games is a superb addition to the Jefferson Tayte franchise and I hope this is a series that continues to run and run: the ending of this book has certainly changed the direction of any future plots!

With thanks to Net Galley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC.

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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