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The Leaden Heart

Monthly Roundup – July 2019

August already, so it’s time to see what I read in the month of July. A mix of crime, historical crime and historical fiction this month and I’d be interested to see what your views are if you have read any of them!

Books I Have Read

The Leaden Heart by Chris Nickson

The seventh in the DI Tom Harper series set in Leeds at the end of the nineteenth century,  sees the detective investigating a spate of burglaries and a particularly nasty set of crimes involving corruption and intimidation. I’m still really enjoying this series.

 

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons

Another series that is going from strength to strength, this is the eleventh Kim Stone book. With some particularly gruesome deaths, Kim and her team have their work cut out to apprehend the killer. We are given the chance to find out more about Penn and are also introduced to a new character, ‘Tink’ and I am already eagerly awaiting book twelve!

 

In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin

Retired John Rebus finds himself, once again, drawn back to his old stomping ground when a case he was involved in comes to the fore. With less Rebus than in previous books, however, I hope that he will continue to feature in subsequent novels.

 

The Stationmaster’s Daughter by Kathleen McGurl

The latest dual timeline novel from Kathleen McGurl is a heartbreaking tale of love and loss on the railway with a touch of mystery and intrigue thrown in for good measure. A great summer read! Review will be published in August as part of the blog tour.

 

The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey

Two baby girls, both dead, and their mother has been serving time for their murder. Now, with new evidence coming to light, doubt has been cast on her conviction. Did Melissa Slade do it or was someone else responsible? This is a very fast-paced read, the review being published in August as part of the blog tour.

 

One Year Later by Sanjida Kay

One year ago, little Rubie-May did in a terrible accident. Now with the anniversary looming, long-hidden secrets are starting to surface and it begins to appear that there is more to Rubie-May’s death than meets the eye. This is a great read with some twists that I definitely did not see coming.

 

Books I Have Acquired

Apart from the books that I’ve already read, I’ve only acquired one book this month! I’m on several blog tours in August so I’ve been trying to limit my new books until I’ve read the ones I need to!

Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…

Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.

But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…

Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop…

 

I’m currently reading the latest Lynda La Plante book, The Dirty Dozen, and am loving catching up with Jane Tennison again. Hope you’re enjoying what you’re reading!

 

 

 

The Leaden Heart by Chris Nickson

51UbsxvrAiL._SY346_It’s July 1899 and the crime rate in Leeds has been unusually low. This all changes when Superintendent Tom Harper receives word of a particularly daring burglary at one of the city’s more expensive residences. Meanwhile, his ex-colleague, Billy Reed, is seeking some assistance after the suicide of his brother who was facing an extortionate rent increase. Investigation uncovers a web of corruption involving some of the area’s influential residents. Who are the ringleaders and will Harper be able to apprehend them before the death toll rises?

I’ve always enjoyed reading historical crime fiction, particularly those books set during the Victorian era. In the Tom Harper series, we are now reaching the end of the nineteenth century, a time which has seen great changes for the Leeds detectives. As in all of his books, Chris Nickson has created a very vivid picture of the time, creating characters that feel real and who you can certainly feel empathy for. Again, we see Tom’s wife, Annabelle, taking a central role in the plot, her new position as poor law guardian giving her a platform to help those unable to help themselves. Annabelle has always been my favourite character, her ongoing fight for women’s equality being a great theme running throughout the books. With her daughter, Mary, seemingly being a chip off the old block, I think we are in for some entertaining times ahead!

It was pleasing to see Tom and his old friend Billy attempting to build bridges as they investigated the reason behind the suicide of Billy’s brother. Although this was set over a hundred years ago, the story is all too familiar to many people nowadays with those in power preying upon the poor and less fortunate. It was easy to imagine Harper’s frustration as he faced brick walls when trying to uncover the identities of those involved, especially seeing as he was desperate to close the case for the sake of Billy. The crooks doing the dirty work, the Smith brothers, are a particularly nasty pair, leaving a trail of death and destruction wherever they go. I spent the whole book willing for their capture!

If you are new to the Tom Harper books, please don’t be put off by the fact that this is the seventh book in the series as it can definitely be read as a standalone. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite so far, and I eagerly anticipate what the next installment brings for Tom, Annabelle and the rest of the characters we have grown to love.

With thanks to Severn House Publishers and Net Galley for my copy.

 

Monthly Round Up – March 2019

A quarter of the year gone and I am a couple of books ahead on my GoodReads challenge. At the moment, I’ve got so many good books to read from Net Galley and not enough time to read them!

Books I’ve Read

The Catherine Howard Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh

The first in a dual timeline trilogy where we discover the re-imagined history of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard. I love books where fact and fiction are blurred and this mystery definitely provided that! I can’t wait to read book two and pick up where we left off.

 

The Peacock Bottle by Angela Rigley

Another dual timeline story, this time both parts being set in different years of the Victorian era. When a young woman finds a hidden garden, she wonders what has happened in the past to put it into such a state. A gentle read, the review forming part of the blog tour.

 

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

One of my favourite books of the year so far. Who is the mysterious J. T. LeBeau and what has he done? Definitely the sort of book where you should not read any spoilers in order to immerse yourself fully in the plot. Superb writing from Steve Cavanagh.

 

Family Ties by Nicholas Rhea

When Detective Mark Pemberton uncovers an unsolved case from 1916, he makes it his mission to find the murderer of Private James Hartley. Using the original notes and his own detective work, this is a police procedural with a twist.

 

Final Betrayal by Patricia Gibney

The sixth in the Lottie Parker series sees the detective investigating a serial killer who seems to be targeting pairs of young women. An action-packed plot and another great read. The review will form part of the blog tour in April.

 

Where the Dead Fall by M J Lee

I loved the first in the D I Ridpath series and this one is just as good. Still seconded to the coroner’s office, Ridpath witnesses a crime that threatens to reignite the gang wars in Manchester not seen since the 1990s. I couldn’t put this one down!

 

Books I’ve Acquired

‘Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They’re here. They’re-‘ 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband.

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected.

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable .

 

You are outside your front door. There are strangers in your house. Then you realise… You can’t remember your name.

She arrived at the train station after a difficult week at work. Her bag had been stolen, and with it, her identity. Her whole life was in there – passport, wallet, house key. When she tried to report the theft, she couldn’t remember her own name. All she knew was her own address.

Now she’s outside Tony and Laura’s front door. She says she lives in their home. They say they have never met her before.

One of them is lying.

 

 

The charred remains of a child are discovered – a child no one seems to have missed…

It’s high summer, and the lakes are in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave. Uncontrollable fell fires are breaking out across the moors faster than they can be extinguished. When firefighters uncover the body of a dead child at the heart of the latest blaze, Detective Chief Inspector Jude Satterthwaite’s arson investigation turns to one of murder.

Jude was born and bred in the Lake District. He knows everyone… and everyone knows him. Except his intriguing new Detective Sergeant, Ashleigh O’Halloran, who is running from a dangerous past and has secrets of her own to hide…

Temperatures – and tension – in the village are rising, and with the body count rising Jude and his team race against the clock to catch the killer before it’s too late…

 

Leeds, England. July, 1899. The hot summer has been fairly quiet for Detective Superintendent Tom Harper and his squad, until a daring burglary occurs at an expensive Leeds address. Then his friend and former colleague, Inspector Billy Reed, asks for his help. Billy’s brother, Charlie, a shopkeeper, has committed suicide. Going through Charlie’s papers, Billy discovers crippling rent rises demanded by his new landlord. Could these have driven him to his death?

As Harper investigates, he uncovers a web of intimidation and corruption that leads back to the mysterious North Leeds Company. Who is pulling the strings behind the scenes and bringing a new kind of misery and violence to the people of Leeds? Harper is determined to unmask the culprits, but how much blood will be shed as he tries?

 

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.

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.

Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London – the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

 

I’ve just started reading The Five, a book I’ve been looking forward to reading ever since hearing about it last year. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one! Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

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