Friday Finds

Back on the blogosphere, after being knocked sideways by a virus not long after New Year… and I’m still doing The TBR Double Dog Dare (which has provoked great amusement among my friends and family), with only a couple of temptations I couldn’t say no to. Anyway – hosted by Miz B at ShouldBeReading, Friday Finds gives you the opportunity to show off your latest acquisitions. As ARCs are allowed under the terms of the DDD I’ve been stalking NetGalley. And here’s what I’ve found…

Product Details

Blurb:

The compelling new psychological suspense novel featuring DI Lorraine Fisher, from the author of Until You’re Mine and Before You Die. Perfect for fans of S J Watson and Sophie Hannah.
Fleeing the terrors of her former life, Isabel has left England, and at last is beginning to feel safe.
Then a letter shatters her world, and she returns home determined not to let fear rule her life any more.
But she’s unable to shake off the feeling that someone who knows her better than she knows herself may be following her.
Watching. Waiting.
Ready to step back into her life and take control all over again.

Book courtesy of NetGalley.

My thoughts:

This looks great, as expected from Samantha Hayes, and once I’ve got through the backlog of reading, I’ll look forward to diving into it.

Product Details

Blurb:

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…
Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

Book courtesy of NetGalley.

My thoughts:

This one is a book I’ve got to admit I had no clue about, ditto the author, but it just looks like the sort of book I’d read – I’m sure you all now what I mean by that. I also love the idea of the Black Country as a setting and the authors name-checked as comparable (Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham) are favourites of mine. It’s also another book with a female cop protagonist, which is great (if only there were as many female detective inspectors in real life as there are in fiction!)
This House of Grief

Blurb:

“Helen Garner is a great writer.”—Peter Carey
“Swift, beautiful, and relentless.”—Alice Sebold
“The Joan Didion of Australia”—Los Angeles Times
“Truthful, fearless, passionate.”—Kate Grenville

On the evening of 4 September 2005, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother when his car plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven, and two, drowned. Was this an act of deliberate revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner’s obsession. She was in the courtroom every day of Farquharson’s trial and subsequent retrial, along with countless journalists and the families of both the accused and his former wife.

In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. At its core is a search for truth that takes author and reader through complex psychological terrain. Garner exposes, with great compassion, that truth and justice are as complex as human frailty and morality.

Book courtesy of NetGalley.

My thoughts:

I saw this on NetGalley, and realised I’d had the book title and author’s name in the back of my head after reading some really high praise somewhere on the blogosphere. I read a little of the book, and was struck by the author’s exceptionally clear, honest, unflinching prose. It led me to investigate her earlier works, one of which I ended up reading immediately. It was…

Joe Cinque's Consolation, A True Story of Death, Grief and the Law

Blurb:

A TRUE STORY OF DEATH, GRIEF AND THE LAW

In October 1997, a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at their house. Some of the dinner guests, most of them university students, had heard rumours of the plan. Nobody warned Joe Cinque. He died one Sunday, in his own bed, of a massive dose of Rohypnol and heroin. His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murder.

Helen Garner followed the trials in the ACT Supreme Court. Compassionate but unflinching, this is a book about how and why Joe Cinque died. It probes the gap between ethics and the law; examines the helplessness of the courts in the face of what we think of as “evil”; and explores conscience, culpability, and the battered ideal of duty of care.

It is a masterwork from one of Australia’s greatest writers. 

Hands up – I did buy this!

My thoughts:

I read this book really quickly, absolutely unable to put it down. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I’m going to do my best to articulate my thoughts in a review very soon. Very disturbing, but an incredible read.

Last Kiss

Blurb:

A dark tale of deception and desire from the author of Red Ribbons and The Doll’s House

In a quiet suburb, a woman desperately clings to her sanity as a shadowy presence moves objects around her home.


In a hotel room across the city, an art dealer with a dubious sexual past is found butchered, his body arranged to mimic the Hangman card from the Tarot deck.

But what connects them?

When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson is brought in to help investigate the murder, she finds herself plunged into a web of sexual power and evil which spreads from Dublin to Paris, and then to Rome.

Will Kate discover the identity of the killer before it’s too late to protect the innocent? But what separates the innocent from the guilty when the sins of the past can never be forgotten?

Courtesy of the author/publisher.

My thoughts:

I read a review of this by Sarah Ward at Crimepieces, and as the author kindly offered any other bloggers a copy of the book should they wish to review it, I snapped it up, as Sarah’s opinions are definitely worth listening to! It arrived today, just in time for a weekend’s reading. Sarah described this book as “creepy”, so as soon as I finish my current read (Liam McIlvanney’s All The Colours Of The Town), I’ll be diving into this…

Apologies for the hinky different sized fonts (my OCD when it comes to the written word means this is a massive irritant to me!) – it’s a consequence of stealing all the blurbs from GoodReads. They aren’t consistently sized – aaargh!

So, what do you think? Are any of these on your TBR list? Or have you read any already? All bookish thoughts and comments very welcome!

14 thoughts on “Friday Finds

  1. I have This House of Grief in the TBR pile also. A very sad story that will probably be a depressing read, but it was recommended by Sue (Whispering Gums), so I wanted to read it.

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    • She’s a great writer. It’s a reminder that great writing doesn’t have to be particularly fancy, or complex – it’s the honesty of her prose that makes it so memorable. I think This House Of Grief will be a tough read, though.

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    • It’s really disturbing how diverse the legal and moral definitions of “duty of care” are – something I really wasn’t aware of. She is unashamedly on the side of the victim, but makes that clear – reminded me of the late Dominick Dunne in that respect. Good true crime (and tbh that’s a minority; most of it is dire!) can be exceptional, as obviously it deals with the most disturbing thing that can happen in society. Possibly my favourite book ever is Andrew O’Hagan’s The Missing – it’s incredible. If you haven’t read it, I’d heartily recommend it.

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  2. Oh dear, Crimeworm – you may have put me into an irresistible armlock with The Cinques Consolation. It’s barely mid January and I swear that something spooky has happened to my new Kindle Voyage. It seems to have turned me into some sort of will-less downloader. All these titles mysteriously appear, with a little flag, saying ‘New’ on them

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    • It’s that pesky one-click thing – it makes life for a book addict shockingly easy. It should be banned, really! I love that I’ve found Helen Garner, of whom I’d never heard until recently. It’s great finding an author new to you that you really enjoy, isn’t it? She also writes fiction, although that doesn’t sound as immediately appealing to me…I seem to be enjoying non-fiction a great deal at the moment, and spent a whole evening reading essays from the New Yorker, and other US publications, mostly crime reportage, all quite excellent. Yet I’m not keen on short stories, like most people. Was it you who mentioned a Stuart Neville short story, from Oxcrimes?? I dug it out, it was called Juror No 9 and was quite excellent.

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      • No (Oxcrimes) Maybe FF I keep saying I’m not keen on short stories and then I keep finding I’m reading them! They are incredibly exposing I think. I did very much enjoy Hilary Mantel’s collection, there is quite a nasty mind at work in it – but wonderfully satisfying.

        I’m feeling ALMOST virtual about that Helen Garner, as I discovered one of those 1p plus postage from a third party seller, and somehow not only the ‘bargain’ compared to Kindle, but also the fact I’ve got to wait 5 days or so for it to arrive almost delays its landing on the TBR mountain (just as well, as I seem to be getting slower and slower on the Shardlake as its just too good to race!

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      • Possibly was FF – I do find short stories useful for bus journeys or the dentist! And collections like Oxcrimes are a good way of finding new authors…which then increases the TBR pile! I often buy these £2.81 books, when it’s unavailable on Kindle, or too dear, or I specifically want a hard copy – although I do wonder how the sellers make any money! I used to get rid of a lot of books I’d read on eBay, but postage has increased so much, plus Kindles have got so popular, that there’s no market. So it’s Mary’s Meals for them! I don’t blame you for savouring the Shardlake; I did the same with The Paying Guests. I just didn’t want it to end. Even if it wasn’t Sarah Waters’ best work, it’s better than most other authors. Ditto Sansom. And I remember the scandal at the title of Mantel’s short story collection – a publicist s dream! I’ve never read her – I bought Wolf Hall, but so many people have struggled with it I’ve convinced myself I will too. Although I am looking forward to the tv adaptation, which should be on v soon!

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  3. We’ve got Sky, but also Sky Sports (bad move, with Mr Crimeworm about!) However most of my favourite dramas aren’t on at the moment (The Knick) or are finished (The Newsroom). Mr C also has an obsession with horrible late night US true crime stuff – I asked him if he was planning on murdering me! I don’t know why, but these programmes creep me out, even though I love my crime novels, and good true crime (like Helen Garner) Roll on Wolf Hall and Fortitude!

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