Friday Finds

Friday Finds

Hosted by Miz B at ShouldBeReading, this is the place where you showcase the books that have come into your possession in the last week, whether they be borrowed, bought, given to you as an ARC…regardless, they all qualify. And please do leave comments with a link to your Friday Finds, or just a list of them…I love to know what’s joining your book collection – or what you think of my new additions! It’s a bit of a bumper crop this week, so let’s get started…

Apologies for being late, as I often am. And as usual there are more in than out – but I have a plan to deal with this, to be unveiled shortly. Whether I’ll stick to it is another matter…Anyway, on with the haul…

Product Details

Okay, I’m blaming this one on LadyFancifull! After reading her review of The City Of Strangers by Michael Russell, I was delighted to recall I had it…somewhere (when I went on the hunt, I actually found TWO copies!) But she also mentioned in the review there was a previous book, featuring the same main character, Garda Sergeant Stefan Gillespie, called The City Of Shadows. I had a peep at Amazon, and seeing it was only £1.49, I pressed that devilishly tempting 1-click button. So I now have the first one on Kindle.

BLURB: Dublin 1934: Detective Stefan Gillespie arrests a German doctor and encounters Hannah Rosen desperate to find her friend Susan, a Jewish woman who had become involved with a priest, and has now disappeared.

When the bodies of a man and woman are found buried in the Dublin mountains, it becomes clear that this case is about more than a missing person. Stefan and Hannah traces the evidence all the way across Europe to Danzig.

In a strange city where the Nazi Party is gaining power, Stefan and Hannah are inching closer to the truth and soon find themselves in grave danger…

Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award 2013.

Product Details

Then, in Waterstones (other bookshops are available – but not just round the corner from my house!), while browsing for possible gifts (ok, this is utter garbage – no one in my family reads, apart from my Dad, and I’ve already got him the new Times World Atlas and Times History Of The World – so I was browsing for ME, and me alone). Anyway, I SOMEHOW found myself in the crime section, and couldn’t resist The Devil In The Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson. I’ve had my eye on it for a bit, and read lots of good things about it, so, like an alcoholic who’s fallen off the wagon, I bought it and hid it inside my coat going into the house, til I got the chance to add it to a pile…

BLURB: London, 1727. Tom Hawkins refuses to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a country parson. His preference is for wine, women, and cards. But there’s honor there too, and Tom won’t pull family strings to get himself out of debt—not even when faced with London’s notorious debtors’ prison.

The Marshalsea Gaol is a world of its own, with simple rules: Those with family or friends who can lend them a little money may survive in relative comfort. Those with none will starve in squalor and disease. And those who try to escape will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of its ruthless governor and his cronies. The trouble is, Tom has never been good at following rules, even simple ones. And the recent grisly murder of a debtor, Captain Roberts, has brought further terror to the gaol. While the captain’s beautiful widow cries for justice, the finger of suspicion points only one way: do the sly, enigmatic figure of Samuel Fleet.

Some call Fleet a devil, a man to avoid at all costs. But Tom Hawkins is sharing his cell. Soon Tom’s choice is clear: get to the truth of the murder—or be the next to die.

A dazzling evocation of a startlingly modern era, The Devil in the Marshalsea is a thrilling debut novel full of intrigue and suspense.

Product Details

Falling Fast by Neil Broadfoot was in the shortlist for Deanston’s Scottish Crime Fiction Book Of The Year, along with The Amber Fury (my review of that is at, and it actually won. I rather fancied it, so when I noticed it was down to 99p on Kindle, I had to buy it. My intention is to work my way through the entire shortlist – I know I already have at least one other book that was on it.

BLURB: Story-hungry journalist Doug McGregor is out to track down a convicted rapist, on the run after being hounded out of his home by a lynch mob. But a grisly suicide in the heart of tourist Edinburgh piques Doug’s curiosity and diverts his attention – especially once his police contact and occasional drinking partner, DS Susie Drummond, reveals that the victim is connected to a high-profile and controversial politician. Together, they find themselves unravelling a story of secrets, drug abuse, violence, murder…and the ultimate taboo. 

Action-packed from the very start, and with enough twists and turns to shock and surprise even the most hard-bitten crime fan, ‘Falling Fast’ is the first of a trilogy. It marks the arrival of a new crime-writing talent who is bound to appeal to aficionados of Scottish crime greats such as Ian Rankin and Val McDermid.

Product Details

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths. This one’s courtesy of NetGalley, and I’ve read some good things about it from bloggers whose taste is similar to my own. Also, the 1950 setting really appeals. Most of you crime aficionados will be aware this is the author of the highly successful Ruth Galloway series.

BLURB: Brighton, 1950.

When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.

The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another ‘trick’, the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in danger… 

How To Make A Friend

How To Make A Friend by Fleur Smithwick. Again, this is courtesy of NetGalley. Know nothing about it, or the author, but the blurb appealed to me.

BLURB: As a lonely child, Alice found comfort the same way so many others do – she invented a friend. Sam was always there when she needed him, until one day…he wasn’t.

Now, Alice’s life almost resembles something happy, normal. She has a handful of close friends and a career as a photographer. But when a tragic accident shatters the world Alice has constructed, the sense of isolation that haunted her in childhood returns. And with it, so does Sam.

To Alice, he looks and feels like a real person, but how can that be so? And who will decide when it’s time for him to leave again? 

Product Details

The Last Girl – Jane Casey. I bought this on Kindle, as I’ve almost finished The Reckoning, and I want to have this to hand as I LOVE Maeve Kerrigan.

BLURB: Vast wealth offers London defense attorney Philip Kennford a lot of things: a gorgeous house with a pool in the backyard, connections in the top echelons of society, a wardrobe worthy of Milan runways. But his money doesn’t provide a happy marriage, or good relationships with his twin daughters…and it does nothing to protect his family when someone brutally murders his wife and daughter in their own home.

When Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan arrives at the scene, the two survivors—Philip and his second favorite daughter, Lydia—both claim to have seen nothing, but it’s clear right away that this is an unhappy family accustomed to keeping secrets. Maeve soon finds herself entangled in a case with a thousand leads that all seem to point nowhere, and it doesn’t help that her boss, whom she trusts more than almost anyone, is starting to make decisions that Maeve finds questionable at best.

In The Last Girl, Jane Casey once again demonstrates her ability to write vivid, three-dimensional characters and spin a gripping, unpredictable mystery.

Product Details

A Lovely Way To Burn by Louise Welsh. Again, from NetGalley, this is the first in a trilogy. I don’t normally “do” dystopian/end-of-the-world stuff but I’m more than prepared to make an exception for Louise.

BLURB: It doesn’t look like murder in a city full of death. A pandemic called ‘The Sweats’ is sweeping the globe. London is a city in crisis. Hospitals begin to fill with the dead and dying, but Stevie Flint is convinced that the sudden death of her boyfriend Dr Simon Sharkey was not from natural causes. As roads out of London become gridlocked with people fleeing infection, Stevie’s search for Simon’s killers takes her in the opposite direction, into the depths of the dying city and a race with death. A Lovely Way to Burn is the first outbreak in the Plague Times trilogy. Chilling, tense and completely compelling, it’s Louise Welsh writing at the height of her powers.

All the “blurbs” above are courtesy of Goodreads.

So what do you think? Have you read any of these? Or do you like the sound of any of them? I love to hear from you all, so please leave your comments below.

20 thoughts on “Friday Finds

    • I’ve got at least 3, possibly 4, of the Ruth Galloway series to read, but I was waiting until I got the first one before I started the series. I have that one now, so I must get reading them – everyone seems to love them, I’ve never heard anyone say they don’t like them. How To Make A Friend does sound rather intriguing – I’ve never heard anything about it, or the author, so it’s a bit of a gamble! Fingers crossed it’s a goodie!


  1. Well The Zig Zag Girl makes both of our lists this week! Jane Casey also gets my vote and I’ve enjoyed some of Louise Walsh’s previous books but not too sure about the dystopian part of A Lovely Way to Burn so seeing as you have the same concerns I’ll be interested to see what you make of this one.


    • I always read Louise Welsh’s books – my best friend from school’s mum bought a flat in the West End of Glasgow for him and his sister to live in while at Uni, as it seemed more sensible than wasting money on rent. I spent a lot of time there, especially when we were all skint, and Louise and her then-boyfriend Michael rented the spare room. The Cutting Room was my favourite, as it reminds me of the West End then (it’s gone SO upmarket now it’s utterly unaffordable to live there, although I’d love to stay there if I could afford it!) Back then, it was studenty, and a bit shabby, where we all lived anyway! Now it’s all footballers, and posh students!


      • There’s no bars for little old men now, or chippies – it’s all reiki studios, expensive hairdressers, delicatessens, and restaurants offering expensive cuisine from obscure countries. I’d still like to live there, but the rents are, as you can imagine, crazy.


  2. I’ve always been curious about Louise Welsh work. I think I have one of her books. From reading the previous comment, I should give her a shot.


    • Personally, I think The Cutting Room (which was longlisted for the Booker, although it’s essentially a crime novel) and The Girl On The Stairs are her best books (although I quite like The Bullet Trick too!) These last two were set in modern day Berlin, which is a great place to set a book, imho. Never been, but would love to visit.


  3. I loved your comment about ‘browsing for Christmas gifts’. I did the same… and ended up buying 3 books for myself for Christmas – so then I had to buy 2 each for my sons too. Not my husband, because he thinks we should all have switched to Kindle long ago.


    • The only thing I don’t like my Kindle for is reference books, as it’s so much harder to “flick around” and find a particular bit you want. I’ve got The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair in hardback, and the idea of carrying it about in my bag to read in spare moments is insane! – it weighs a ton!


  4. The Jane Casey and The Zig-Zag Girl are both great – I actually liked The Zig-Zag Girl more than the Ruth Galloway books. Lady Fancifull talked me into The City of Shadows too, though I’ve no idea when I’ll actually get around to reading it! The other one? Well, I’ll wait for your reviews… 🙂


    • My TBR piles are obscene at present – although I should get through plenty at my parents’ over Christmas, as they watch totally different TV from me, so I’ll be heading to bed at 9pm at night, and reading til 2am AT LEAST (when I usually hear my son coming in from the pub or a party – actually that’s early for him on a night out! Oh to be 21 again! Actually, scratch that – I’m happy tucked up with my book(s)!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There are lot of interesting books on your FF! I’m actually trying not to start with Netgalley, because I have too many unread books already… But seeing the ‘gifts’ you are able to receive, it is really hard to keep myself from creating an account anyway.


    • It’s when they’re books you would have bought anyway – that’s when you feel particularly smug! I have to be a bit careful – I’m like a kid in a sweet shop! There’s bookbridgr too and also edelweiss, which (I think) is just non-fiction (or maybe I only saw half of their site!!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve heard of Edelweiss as well, but I’m not sure if it’s convenient to start browsing their websites right now… I keep trying to convince myself I should downsize my TBR list first before I start visiting those.


  6. You’re evidently much more sensible than me! I’m reading a great non-fiction book from there called Empire Of Sin: A Story Of Sex, Jazz, Murder And The Battle For Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist. It’s set from about 1890 on, and it was pretty wild until a lot later than you’d expect! Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, one of my favourite books (that and The Hare With Amber Eyes jostle for No.1, and Andrew O’Hagan’s The Missing isn’t far behind!) made me fall in love with the city, as did James Lee Burke. Have you been on Bookbridgr? I’ve never seen much of interest there…yet!


  7. found so many books from your crimeworm wordpress site that I would like to read. I have just added your crimeworm to my book site I hope many other readers will find you and like the books you read as much as I do.


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