Category Archives: This Week in Books

This Week in Books – 17-05-17

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

I’ve just finished reading Child Taken by Darren Young:

How could such a thing happen?

But it did happen.

I wasn’t one of the others, observing.

It happened to me.

One hot summer’s day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive.

How can she?

Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what’s been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

I’m currently reading The Baltimore Boys by Joel Dicker:

NOVEMBER 24, 2004

The day of the tragedy. The end of a brotherhood.

The Baltimore Boys. The Goldman Gang. That was what they called Marcus Goldman and his cousins Woody and Hillel. Three brilliant young men with dazzling futures ahead of them, before their kingdom crumbled beneath the weight of lies, jealousy and betrayal. For years, Marcus has struggled with the burdens of his past, but now he must attempt to banish his demons and tell the true and astonishing story of the Baltimore Boys.

Next, I’m planning to read Defectors by Joseph Kanon, a novel that I’m really looking forward to, as it’s a little different to my usual kind of read:

Some secrets should never be told.

Moscow, 1961: With the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Union’s international prestige is at an all-time high. And the most notorious of the defectors to the Soviet Union, former CIA agent Frank Weeks, is about to publish his memoirs. What he reveals will send shock waves through the West. Weeks’ defection in the early 1950s shook Washington to its core – and forced the resignation of his brother, Simon, from the State Department.

Simon, now a publisher in New York, is given the opportunity to read and publish his brother’s memoir. He knows the US government will never approve the publication of what is clearly intended as KGB propaganda. Yet the offer is irresistible: it will finally give him the chance to learn why his brother chose to betray his country.

But what he discovers in Moscow is far more shocking than he ever imagined…

And that’s my week in books!  What are you reading this week?

This Week in Books – 10-05-17

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

This Week in Books – 03-05-17

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick – I really enjoyed this tale of a most unusual protagonist:

A dazzling literary mystery from prizewinning author Marcus Sedgwick, for fans of Scarlett Thomas, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Patrick Suskind.

In Paris, in the year 1899, Marcel Després is arrested for the murder of his wife and transferred to Salpêtrière asylum. And so the story might have stopped.

But this is no ordinary patient: Marcel Després, Mister Memory, is a man who cannot forget. And it is no ordinary case: the hurried cover-up hints at dark secrets in the shadows.

A policeman and a doctor decide to unravel the mystery…but the answers lie inside Marcel’s head.

And how can he tell what is significant when he remembers every detail of every moment of his entire life?

My current read is These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper:

One Parisian summer.

A building of separate lives.

All that divides them will soon collapse…

In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building.

Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay. Though each of their walls touches someone else’s, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers.

Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief.

But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise and walls will crumble both within and without Number 37…

My next book is likely to be A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, which is my book club’s choice for May:

A vicious fifteen-year-old “droog” is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick’s magnificent film of the same title.

In Anthony Burgess’s nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends’ social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex—to “redeem” him—the novel asks, “At what cost?”

And that’s my week in books!

What are you reading this week?

This Week in Books – 19-04-17

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

I’m going on holiday soon, and I’d set myself a target of review copies that I wanted to have read and reviewed before I went away.  With the long weekend, I achieved this target earlier than expected, and so I’ve actually been able to read a few of my own books, and it’s a wonderful feeling!  I’m so appreciative of the review copies that I’m sent and approved for, but it’s been really nice to be able to pick up a couple of the books that I’ve bought for myself.

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The last book I finished reading was Perfect Days by Raphael Montes, which I read as part of Janel’s (@ Keeper of Pages) Criminally Good Book Club:

Teo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother and her dog in Rio de Janeiro, he doesn’t have many friends, and the only time he feels honest human emotion is in the presence of his medical school cadaver–that is, until he meets Clarice. She’s almost his exact opposite: exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind. An aspiring screenwriter, she’s working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. Teo is obsessed. He begins to stalk her, first following her to her university, then to her home, and when she ultimately rejects him, he kidnaps her and they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil, tracing the same route outlined in her screenplay. Through it all, Teo is certain that time is all he needs to prove to Clarice that they are made for each other, that time is all he needs to make her fall in love with him. But as the journey progresses, he digs himself deeper and deeper into a pit that he can’t get out of, stopping at nothing to ensure that no one gets in the way of their life together. Both tense and lurid, and brimming with suspense from the very first page, Perfect Days is a psychological thriller in the vein of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley–a chilling journey in the passenger seat with a psychopath, and the English language debut of one of Brazil’s most deliciously dark young writers.

My current read is The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon.  Many readers will be familiar with this one, and I’m a little ashamed to say that I dismissed it when it was first published, and only bought it when I saw it on a Kindle offer late last year.  Having heard nothing but good about it, particularly from Annie’s (@ The Misstery) recent review, I’ve bumped it up my TBR, and I am absolutely loving it so far!

Part coming-of-age story, part mystery, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is a quirky and utterly charming debut about a community in need of absolution and two girls learning what it means to belong.

England, 1976. Mrs. Creasy is missing and the Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the heat wave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren’t convinced. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands. Inspired by the local vicar, they go looking for God—they believe that if they find Him they might also find Mrs. Creasy and bring her home.

Spunky, spirited Grace and quiet, thoughtful Tilly go door to door in search of clues. The cul-de-sac starts to give up its secrets, and the amateur detectives uncover much more than ever imagined. As they try to make sense of what they’ve seen and heard, a complicated history of deception begins to emerge. Everyone on the Avenue has something to hide, a reason for not fitting in.

In the suffocating heat of the summer, the ability to guard these differences becomes impossible. Along with the parched lawns and the melting pavement, the lives of all the neighbors begin to unravel. What the girls don’t realize is that the lies told to conceal what happened one fateful day about a decade ago are the same ones Mrs. Creasy was beginning to peel back just before she disappeared.

My next book is likely to be The Revenant by Michael Punke.  Again, this was a book that was on offer on Kindle when I purchased it, and I really enjoyed the sample that I read.

A thrilling tale of betrayal and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier, the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass

The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier. Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.

And that’s my week in books!

What are you reading this week?

This Week in Books – 12-04-17

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

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The last book I finished reading was Ararat by Christopher Golden – I’ve been feeling the need to read something horror related, and Ararat, which will be published on 18 April, was exactly what I needed.

Meryam and Adam take risks for a living. But neither is prepared for what lies in the legendary heights of Mount Ararat, Turkey.

First to reach a massive cave revealed by an avalanche, they discover the hole in the mountain’s heart is really an ancient ship, buried in time. A relic that some fervently believe is Noah’s Ark.

Deep in its recesses stands a coffin inscribed with mysterious symbols that no one in their team of scholars, archaeologists and filmmakers can identify. Inside is a twisted, horned cadaver. Outside a storm threatens to break.

As terror begins to infiltrate their every thought, is it the raging blizzard that chases them down the mountain – or something far worse?

My current read is See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt – there has been a lot of noise about this novel already, and I can’t wait to get stuck in!

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden – thirty-two years old and still living at home – immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie’s unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.

The next book that I will probably read, and continuing with the horror theme, will be Sarah Lotz’s latest novel, The White Road, which will be published in May.

Adrenaline-junky Simon Newman sneaks onto private land to explore a dangerous cave in Wales with a strange man he’s met online. But Simon gets more than he bargained for when the expedition goes horribly wrong. Simon emerges, the only survivor, after a rainstorm trap the two in the cave. Simon thinks he’s had a lucky escape.

But his video of his near-death experience has just gone viral.

Suddenly Simon finds himself more famous than he could ever have imagined. Now he’s faced with an impossible task: he’s got to defy death once again, and film the entire thing. The whole world will be watching. There’s only one place on earth for him to pit himself against the elements: Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

But Everest is also one of the deadliest spots on the planet. Two hundred and eighty people have died trying to reach its peak.

And Simon’s luck is about to run out.

And that’s my week in books!

This Week in Books – 05-04-17

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

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I’ve recently finished reading Three Weeks Dead by Rebecca Bradley – a novella featuring a young DC Sally Poynter.

How far would you go if someone took your wife? Especially if you buried her a week ago. When Jason Wells is faced with this scenario, he is confronted with the prospect of committing a crime that will have far-reaching consequences. Can young DC Sally Poynter get through to him before he crosses that line, or does a desperate husband prove to be the case she won’t ever forget? A prequel novella, set before Shallow Waters, the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series.

I’m currently reading Defender by G. X. Todd – a post-apocalyptic novel that has drawn comparisons to The Stand by Stephen King and that I am absolutely loving so far!

Defender by G X Todd is an imaginative thriller that draws on influences from Stephen King, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman to create a new world – where the biggest threat mankind faces is from the voices inside your own head. If you loved The Stand, you’ll love Defender, the first in a four part series.

In a world where long drinks are in short supply, a stranger listens to the voice in his head telling him to buy a lemonade from the girl sitting on a dusty road.

The moment locks them together.

Here and now it’s dangerous to listen to your inner voice. Those who do, keep it quiet.

These voices have purpose.

And when Pilgrim meets Lacey, there is a reason. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Defender pulls you on a wild ride to a place where the voices in your head will save or slaughter you.

My next read is probably going to be Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel – the sequel to the brilliant Sleeping Giants.

An unknown vessel, not of this world, materialises in London. A colossal figure towering over the city, it makes no move. Is this a peaceful first contact or the prelude to an invasion?

Every child has nightmares. But the only thing scarier than little Eva Reyes’ dreams – apocalyptic visions of death and destruction – is the habit they have of coming true…

Scientist Dr Rose Franklin has no memory of the last few years. The strangers she works with say she died, and was brought back to life. The question is not just how … but why?

Kara Resnik and Vincent Couture fell in love during war, and have found peace since. They are the thin line of defence against what is coming. But they do not know they have been living a lie.

And a man who claims to have the answers has his own agenda. There are things he cannot say – and others he won’t.

All pieces of an epic puzzle. One we have been trying to solve since the dawn of time…

What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments!

This Week in Books – 29-03-17

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I’ve seen a few bloggers sharing what they are reading on a regular basis through various features such as Lipsy’s (@ Lipsyy Lost and Found), and I’ve decided that this is something I’d like to start doing.

I can’t promise that I’ll be able to to do it every week, but I’ll definitely trial it for a little while to see how it goes! 😊

This Week in Books allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they’re planning to read next

TWIB - 17-03-27

I’ve recently finished reading The Wanderers by Meg Howrey, a book that I absolutely adored!  My review will be up soon, but here’s the blurb:

The best of Helen Kane exists in space. If she doesn’t go back up, she’ll be consigned to a lesser version of herself on a planet that has also seen better days. Helen is an experienced astronaut with a NASA position and a struggling grown-up daughter who needs her but when, at fifty-three, she is offered a place on the training programme for the first mission to Mars, the most realistic simulation ever, she cannot refuse a last chance to walk among the stars.

Her fellow astronauts are Sergei, a gruff Russian whose teenage sons are less mysterious to him than they’d like to think; and Yoshi, who wants to prove himself worthy of the wife he has drifted apart from. The three will be enclosed for months in a tiny craft, while outside their loved ones negotiate everyday life on Earth. How far will the wanderers travel in the pursuit of endeavour, and what will it be like to come home? Station Eleven meets The Martian in this brilliantly inventive and sharply observed novel of ambition, endeavour and family.

I’m currently reading The House by Simon Lelic:

What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.

And now the police are watching them…

And my next planned read is Bright Shiny Thing by Barbara Nadel:

Out of the blue, private investigator and ex-soldier Lee Arnold receives a visit from an old army mate. Abbas al’Barri worked as a translator with him during the Second Iraq War. Now living in Ilford with his family, Abbas is convinced that he’s had a message from his estranged son Fayyaad, who was radicalised and was last thought to be fighting for ISIL in Iraq. Does Fayyaad’s message indicate a change of heart? Abbas is desperate for Lee’s help in establishing some contact with him, a point with which Lee’s Muslim assistant Mumtaz might be able to help. From the bright lights of the Western world, to the murky online recruitment techniques of radical Islamism, Lee and Mumtaz have little to guide them in who to trust as they begin a journey into the belly of the beast.

And that’s my week in books!

What are you reading at the moment?  I’d love to hear from you!