Friday Finds

Stacking the shelves

Yep, late as ever – it was actually written yesterday, I just haven’t had time to add the images until now!

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The Faithful Couple by A.D. Miller and Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller were both won in competitions – they’re books I really wanted to read, but Jax Miller was archived on NetGalley by the time everybody was raving about Freedom’s Child. I read Snowdrops by A.D. Miller, his debut, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and absolutely adored it, even though what happens in the story is really mercenary and, ultimately, heartbreaking. It’s set in Moscow, and quite a slim book, so if you see it at the library or in a charity shop, grab it. If “Booker Prize shortlist” puts you off, don’t worry – this is from the year where the judging panel scandalized the literary establishment by saying said they were looking for a good story that zipped along. (Personally, that’s what I’m looking for every time I open a book, although of course there has to be more to it than that, obviously.) And Snowdrops is that. The Faithful Couple appears to be a totally different animal, but on the author’s past performance, I was dying to read it.

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Exposure by Helen Dunmore and Inside Enemy by Alan Judd are two books I specifically requested from a publicist – I don’t make a habit of this, unless I’m really, really dying to read something – and they – Simon & Schuster – were generous enough to send me two lovely hardbacks immediately. I’d read great reviews of the Helen Dunmore on various blogs recently. It’s set in 1960, at the height of the Cold War, and doing a seemingly innocuous favour for a friend lands a man in trouble with MI5. Apparently it’s not an out-and-out spy novel, but more subtle than that. I haven’t had much chance to read even a few pages of it yet, though, as I went to read “a few pages” of the Alan Judd and was still reading at 2 am this morning. I haven’t read him before, but his name has came up so many times in recommendations of the best spy writers that I knew I had to try him out – and so far, the accolades seem well deserved. Regular readers will know I’m on a bit of a spy novel binge at the moment. The thing is, I’d read plenty le Carré, and some of the older writers, like Len Deighton, and books, like Gorky Park, and The Eagle Has Landed, but knew nothing about the new generation of spy writers, barring Stella Rimington and Charles Cumming (who’s rather good). So I’m on a quest to discover who’s worth reading in spy novels now (as well as dipping into the past, no doubt!)

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The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh is a book I’m really excited about. Falling was so close to making my Top Ten last year, and she’s definitely on my list of writers to watch – I’m sure many bloggers would agree with me there. I’ve been “saving” Hidden, but now I’ve a new Emma Kavanagh I’ll be reading it asap. She writes totally differently to any other writer I’ve come across, but I’m not well-educated enough to explain exactly what I mean – I’ll just stick with the tried-and-tested “bloody brilliant” when describing her books.

The Truth About Julia by Anna Schaffner is described as a debut psychological thriller – the word “psychological” in a description always makes me prick up my ears; that’s me and thousands more which is why it’s in the blurb of so many books you pick up at the moment! This one’s hugely different though: “In June 2014, Julia White – a beautiful and intelligent young woman – blows up a coffee shop in central London, killing twenty-four people before turning herself in to the police. Apart from publishing a potentially ironic manifesto, she refuses to explain the reasons for her actions. Clare Hardenberg, an investigative journalist, has been commissioned to write a biography of Julia but at the start of the novel she is on her way to prison herself. What has brought her to this point? Had Julia been seduced and corrupted by someone? Was she simply evil? Had her character been spoiled and damaged by bad parenting? Or was there a cold, perhaps even sociopathic streak in her personality? The truth about Julia will make you question everything…” This book reminds me I’ve a digital ARC of One Of Us by Åsne Seierstad, about Anders Behring Breivik and the bombings and subsequent shooting of young people at a political camp on an island off Norway. I haven’t read or reviewed it yet, but I wonder if his actions inspired this novel? Anyway, it certainly sounds intriguing, and I’m sure I’ll be reading it soon, in order to review it around its release date of April 7th.

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She Died Young by Elizabeth Wilson – a new name to me, but this is her fourth novel – only arrived this morning, and, reading the press release now, it’s as if someone knows exactly what I’m looking to read at the moment (spooky! Maybe GCHQ are monitoring me!) Quoting from some of the blurb: “Set in 1956, the title refers to a woman found with a broken neck in an hotel in King’s Cross, having fallen down some stairs. Journalist Gerry Blackstone thinks there could be more to it than accidental death. A Special Branch officer, McGovern wants help from Blackstone with what he’s been tasked with – finding bent cops, so in return Blackstone asks him for help looking into the girl’s death. Meanwhile, Oxford is filling with Hungarians fleeing the failed revolution. With Burgess and Maclean’s defections still relatively recent, there are concerns that Soviet spies could be amongst them, and McGovern is asked to go there to keep an eye out. As they carry out their parallel investigations, clues start to emerge that their investigations could be linked. As they look deeper, shady characters complicate the picture: the well-to-do madam; the Classics professor; the East London crime boss; the Oxford doctoral student; the fiery Hungarian immigrant; the government minister…does it all lead back to the dead girl? And if so, is something even more sinister going on?”

Straight Into Darkness by Faye Kellerman came straight from the charity shop, £1 as it’s a hardback, but still ludicrously cheap. To be honest, if I’d known my Friday Finds list would end up so long, I’d have probably just left it, but this was on Saturday – I always pop in when putting on Mr C’ s weekly £4 at the bookies, as it’s opposite, with the books calling to me…! It’s not one of her Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus series though – it’s from 2005, and, I think, a standalone. It’s set in Munich, in the late 1920s, as the Nazis are rising to power. Inspector Axel Berg investigates murders, mostly routine deaths. But when investigating the grisly murder of a young society wife, he is thrown into a web of dangerous intrigue, with senior colleagues taking an unprecedented interest in his work, and there are rumours that the death, like everything in Munich, is linked to a political conspiracy. Then two more corpses are discovered, and the city is thrown into confusion and panic. Is Berg searching for a lone lunatic, or a calculating assassin with a more sinister agenda? With few to trust, even among his closest colleagues, Berg has to judge who’s more dangerous: The killer who hunts in the darkness, or the faceless enemy who could be anyone…Actually, it sounds rather good – quite Bernie Gunther-like…I take back what I said about not buying it!

Shatter The Bones by Stuart MacBride was also a charity shop find from the same day – 50p – as I’m picking up any of the older ones I see about the place to fill in my gaps in his series, as I enjoyed In The Cold Dark Ground so much. My enthusiasm for Logan (and DCI Roberta Steel, who’s the real star of the show!) has been renewed!

So, what do you think – do any of these sound like they’d be up your street? I’m sure some of my fellow bloggers received some of the same books – are any going to head straight to the top of your TBR pile?

Friday Finds


Stacking the shelves


I thought I’d participate in the weekly meme whereby you show the books that have come into your possession in the past week, whether from publishers, bought new, second-hand, library books, borrowed from friends, presents – they all count!

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At the start of the week I was lucky enough to win a competition, sponsored by John Murray Publications, of the first three books by Mick Herron about the inept spies sent to Slough House – Slow Horses, the title of the first in the series, followed by Dead Lions, then, finally (and rather wonderfully) a proof copy of the third in the series, Real Tigers, which comes out February 11th. I’ve had my eye on them for a wee while now, having heard nothing but good things, so I’m looking forward to reading them. And as you may know, I am a fan of a good spy novel…


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I’ve been lucky enough to receive review copies of two new books – Jonathan Kellerman‘s Breakdown which is out February 2nd. I’ve been a fan of Milo and Alex – but mainly Milo – for about 20 years now. This is one series – at number 31, I believe! – I do try to read in order, but I confess since I started blogging I’ve fallen behind a bit. Jonathan Kellerman books were first given to me by my old friend, Rab. He used to come round to mine to eat his lunch sometimes when we lived in Glasgow. My son, who was just a toddler, adored him coming round – as his job was driving a bin lorry, and he would park it outside our house! As my boy is now 22, it shows how long I’ve been reading them. The other new one was David Mark‘s Dead Pretty, the fifth in his DS Aector McAvoy series. I’ve read no. 4, Taking Pity, but will have to find the time to read the first three (I’ve got Dark Winter, his debut, and Sorrow Bound, the 3rd, so I’m on the lookout for no. 2, Original Skin, preferably going cheap for Kindle, or perhaps in a charity shop.

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Speaking of charity shops, in the fabulous Mary’s Meals, fatally located opposite the corner of my street, which sells paperbacks for 50p and hardbacks for £1, I got myself an immaculate copy of Stuart MacBride‘s The Missing And The Dead, and a similarly pristine The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, to give to my lovely GP, who is a big crime fiction fan. I’ve handed three copies of that book out to people I think will love it as much as I do, and recommended it to every crime fan I know. I also got a copy of Peter Hoeg‘s Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, which I had when it came out but never got round to reading, although it’s now being credited as one of the first examples of ScandiNoir. I also bought F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s Tender Is The Night, which I read for English Lit A-level more than 20 years ago, and thought it was due a re-read, as I remember loving reading about Dick and Nicole Diver. I’ve also got a copy of Villa America in my bedroom; the couple who owned the Villa, and “appear” in the novel, are alleged to have been the inspiration for Dick and Nicole – although I’ve also read that Fitzgerald based the characters on himself and Zelda. It’s a nice edition too – the silver Penguin Classic, and in pristine condition (this is the closest to the copy cover I could find online.)

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And in Waterstones, thanks to a recommendation from the lovely Shaun of Book Addict Shaun, I bought a copy of Mark Douglas-Home‘s The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea. I’d already got the first in the series, The Sea Detective, in – you guessed it – Mary’s Meals, for 50p. I’ve heard great things – Shaun certainly enjoyed it! – so I plan to get to it sooner rather than later, and then return it to Mary’s Meals, for someone else to enjoy.

So – quite a handful, or perhaps armful would be more accurate this week. But it’s all good stuff, and I look back to reporting to you on them over the next…er, while! Enjoy your weekends, bookworms! I plan to mostly be…doing housework, and reading.

What do you make of my selection? Read any, or planning to? Thumbs up or down for any? I’d love to hear your opinions!

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…

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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.

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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


“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



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


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!

Friday Finds

Friday Finds

Hosted by Miz B at ShouldBeReading, this weekly meme allows you to showcase the books that have come into your possession this week – many of you will have a list of presents to show off. But also included are any purchases, books you’ve borrowed, ARCs – anything that’s new to you…

First on my list was a book I’ve been interested in since it came out earlier this year, but after reading FictionFan‘s glowing review of it, I knew it was a must-have. So my parents very kindly bought me a lovely chunky hardback copy (I prefer non-fiction to be in “real book” form, as it’s easier for reference purposes) of John Campbell‘s Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life. It’s going to take me quite a while to get through this, so expect a review round about…ooh, March…!

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I received a great early Christmas pressie through the post – an early proof of the new DI Marnie Rome by Sarah Hilary, called No Other Darkness. After the fantastic Someone Else’s Skin, which has made many a blogger’s “Best Of…” list for 2014, this is something to really look forward to. I really can’t see me lasting til April before reading, so I’ll have to review it as soon as I read it, and keep the review, lest I be influenced by any early reviews! I don’t have an image for what the final cover will look, I’m afraid.

I also enjoy a good spy thriller, and Edward Wilson‘s come highly recommended. And as there were three of his in the current Kindle sale, where there are some really good books at 99p upwards, I did that frighteningly easy one-click thing. I’m sure you all know what I mean…

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Also in the Kindle sale, I picked up something spooky, The Small Hand by Susan Hill. And, this book was picked in Sarah at Crimepieces Top 5 Of The Year (and she knows her stuff; if you haven’t come across her excellent blog before, do yourself a favour and pay it a visit!) It’s White Crocodile by K.T. Medina, and it’s partly set in Cambodia – a new country for me when it comes to crime fiction!

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So, these are my Boxing Day Friday Finds (a day late as I’ve been battling with my mum’s laptop, which is much more swish than mine!)…do let me know what you think of them, and if any of them pique your interest. And if you have some Friday Finds to showcase, do leave a link to yours below. Or feel free to leave any other bookish thoughts!

Friday Finds

Friday Finds

Hosted by Miz B at ShouldBeReading, this weekly meme gives you an opportunity to showcase your week’s new books, whether they’re bought, begged, or borrowed, treebooks or ebooks, everything counts…and as regular readers will be aware, I’m going to do my very, very best to participate in…

tbr dare 2014The idea of this, hosted by JamesReadsBooks, is that for the first three months of 2015 you only read books that are already in your TBR pile…it’s relaxed for ARCs, book clubs, gifts, etc., but for me the main things I hope to achieve are

1. A drastic reduction in my TBR pile, both real and virtual, as it’s gotten very out of control (and believe me, it’s bad when even I am admitting that!); and

2. If I save a few pennies by staying off Amazon/out of Waterstones, then that’ll be appreciated too!

But I have until December 31st to make any additions to the pile that’ll be included in the Dare…so what I have I piled on it this week?

I finally decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about author David Mark‘s creation,  Aector McAvoy, who I think Cleo at CleopatraLovesBooks said was “the nicest cop” in current crime fiction, and after an email to the lovely people at Quercus, they very kindly sent me a copy of Dark Winter, the first in the series. So, having heard nothing but good things, I’m looking forward to FINALLY meeting Aector!

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I was also lucky enough to win a copy of Dying For Christmas by Tammy Cohen, in a competition on Elena’s blog, Books and Reviews, which is one of my favourite blogs – I’m sure the majority of you are familiar with it; if you’re not, I urge you to check it out (as soon as you’ve finished my post, of course!) This is another book I’ve read good reviews of, and feel I should read it as soon as I can, in keeping with the seasonal setting…oh, decisions, decisions! I can see a second suitcase coming to my parents, filled entirely with books (Mr Crimeworm will be carrying THAT!)

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I also received a copy of the brand-spanking new Jeremy Thorpe biography, courtesy of NetGalley. It’s been written by Michael Bloch. I know political bios aren’t to many people’s taste, but as an ex-student of History and Politics, I do have a weakness for them. Jeremy Thorpe became head of the Liberal party at just 37, and, as a natural politician, seemed destined for great things. But an alleged affair with a sometime male model, Norman Scott, in the 60s, when these things were still illegal, and Scott’s indiscretion about it, ended with Thorpe in court, charged with conspiracy to murder, and, although acquitted, his parliamentary career was in ruins. It was the biggest political scandal since the Profumo affair (one of the two girls who became infamous in the wake of that scandal, Mandy Rice-Davies, died yesterday. I hope she finds more peace in death than she ever had in life.) Thorpe only died on December 4th, so I assume this book has been sitting, waiting until Thorpe’s death, to be released (for legal reasons?) Which seems somewhat…mercenary. But possibly I’m completely wrong, and the book was always planned to be released now. But it’s a couple of months since all the big Christmas books were released, so they certainly missed THAT boat…

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Not TOO bad, this week, then, in terms of books IN this week – maybe The TBR Double Dog Dare won’t be so tough after all, then – except I’ve got a funny feeling I’ll be having a good look round Amazon on Hogmanay, just in case I’ve missed anything I’ll desperately want to read in the next three months. The problem is, that covers an AWFUL LOT of books…

Apologies for this post being late – had a rotten tummy ache yesterday and much of today. But I hope you find it, regardless. What were your Friday Finds, this week (if I haven’t already seen them)? Or have you been too busy buying for others? And do you fancy any of my (somewhat restrained!) haul? Do let me know, or leave any other book-related chat in the comments…



Friday Finds

Friday FindsAs hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading

Not too bad a week in terms of books in (plus I am allowed to stock up on titles for The Double Dog Dare challenge…)


This week from NetGalley I got The Girl On The Pier by Paul Tomkins, which I thought sounded intriguing:

The Girl on the PierBLURB: Abandoned time and again by those he holds dear, Patrick Clement is forging a reputation as a forensic sculptor, helping to identify the unclaimed missing. But he can’t leave behind a remarkable summer night in 1993, spent alone on Brighton’s derelict West Pier with Black, a beautiful photography student. Patrick is haunted by the fact that no sooner did he get to know her than she disappeared from his life…

Who is this girl? And where is Black, the one who got away? 

Decades on, while at work, Patrick is tasked with reconstructing the skull of an unidentified girl found on the pier in the 1970s – the pier he still thinks about. A crime he recalls from childhood, when his family life was in turmoil, Patrick works to discover the truth behind what has happened. 

Set in Brighton, The Girl on the Pier spans several decades, from the seventies to the present day. Inspired by literary novelists such as Ian McEwan, Anne Tyler and John Updike, Paul uses vivid images to make the reader feel as though they are right there in the story. The Girl on the Pier will appeal to lovers of psychological thrillers and suspense novels. 

I also couldn’t resist Ann Cleeves’ Dead Water, the fifth in the Shetland series, as it was a 99p Kindle Daily Deal.

Dead Water (Shetland, #5)BLURB: Ann Cleeves returns to her critically acclaimed Shetland Island series with this stunning mystery featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez, who readers will remember from Raven Black, White Nights, Red Bones, and Blue Lightning. When the body of a journalist is found, Detective Inspector Willow Reeves is drafted from outside to head up the investigation. Inspector Jimmy Perez has been out of the loop, but his local knowledge is needed in this case, and he decides to help Willow. The dead journalist had left the islands years before to pursue his writing career. In his wake, he left a scandal involving a young girl. When Willow and Jimmy dig deeper, they realize that the journalist was chasing a story that many Shetlanders didn’t want to come to the surface. In Dead Water, a triumphant continuation to her Shetland series, Ann Cleeves cements her place as one of Britain’s most successful crime writers. 

And then, of course, I saw Peter May‘s Entry Island at £1.99, which I’ve heard lots of good things about, and I’m hoping it’ll convert me to become a true Peter May fan!

Entry IslandBLURB: When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal’s St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime’s destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants – the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim’s wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

Haunted by this certainty his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away. Dreams in which the widow plays a leading role. Sime’s conviction becomes an obsession. And in spite of mounting evidence of her guilt he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professonal duty he must fulfil, and the personal destiny that awaits him.

Quite ridiculously, I’d forgotten until I’d almost finished this post that I’d seen this book in Waterstones today and bought it on a whim…It’s not my usual cuppa, but I thought, what the hell, buy something different for a change!


BLURB: Motherless Alathea Sawneyford, her charms grown disturbing as she rebels against her father, has made the city’s streets her own, while Annie Cantabile is constrained, by her own disfigurement and her father, to his pianoforte workshop under the shadow of Tyburn gibbet. One afternoon the dusty workshop receives a visitor. A man, representing an unscrupulous band of City speculators, Alathea’s father among them, require a pianoforte and its charming teacher to find titled husbands for all their daughters: sisters Evelina and Marianne; stolid Harriet and pale, pining Georgiana. It seems an innocent enough plan but these are subversive times and perhaps even a drawing-room piano lesson isn’t exactly what it seems. All of which will suit Alathea perfectly. Fierce and bawdy, uproarious and exquisite, Sedition takes its plot at a racing gallop: bold, beautiful and captivating .

I was delighted to receive an early copy from Rebecca Bradley (of the wonderful blog Rebecca Bradley Crime) of her debut novel, Shallow Waters, which will soon be available as an e-book. It kept me up until stupid o’clock, when my Kindle Fire finally died on me..

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BLURB: When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.

Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.

But it doesn’t stop there. When catching a killer isn’t enough, just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?

And finally…

Dare Me

This week I (quite amazingly!) have a “Friday Loss” to report, if such a thing is allowed to exist. My daughter ended up staying two extra days with us as the ferry to my parents’, where she had been heading for a few days, was cancelled due to the weather. When she was younger, she was an avid reader, particularly of Jacqueline Wilson, but at 19 now, as a typical teenager, seems more interested in her iPhone and social media. But I gave her this book last night, and she read quite a chunk of it. So I was delighted when she asked if she could take it with her to finish. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve read some great reviews. Hopefully it’ll remind her how enjoyable reading is.

So how’s your list of Friday Finds? Have you managed to control yourself and stuck to buying books only for others? Or did you manage to grab a few? Remember, they don’t have to be bought; borrowed and library books count too! Leave a link to your Friday Finds, or if you’re not a blogger, just list them below. And let me know what you think of my picks…Will I hate Sedition? Should I replace Dare Me – do you think it’s really good? Leave any manner of book opinions, thoughts or gossip below…

Friday Finds (part two)

Friday Finds

The reason for this Friday Finds (part two) is because, last night, when posting all the books I’d bought/borrowed/been given ARCs of, I actually forgot a couple. I know this means my list for this week is verging on the ridiculous, but there’s a reason for my stocking up on books, which I will reveal very soon…anyway, to the books…

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After following FictionFan’s Book Awards for the last few weeks (and if, in the unlikely event you haven’t seen her blog, I urge you to check it out whenever you are looking for something to read – do beware, though, as your TBR will take a hammering!) I came to the conclusion I had to check out Gordon Ferris‘s Douglas Brodie series. I discovered I had book three of the series already on my Kindle, but not one or two. That was easily solved when I spotted Amazon were selling the first two, The Hanging Shed and Bitter Water, in a two-pack for £1.85. So, after thinking about it for, ooh, 4 seconds, I bought them.

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This is one from NetGalley, Disclaimer by Renee Knight, and it was the blurb that intrigued me:

A fiercely tense and shocking debut thriller that will take your breath away.

What if you realized the book you were reading was all about you?

When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read.

But as she turns the pages she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.

A secret she thought no one else knew…

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? As well as somewhat spooky…

So, my apologies for missing these out last night, but I’m so excited by them I just HAD to add an extra wee post to show them off. Have you read any of the Douglas Brodie series? Does the premise of Disclaimer intrigue you, as it does me (and Cleo at CleopatraLovesBooks)? Do leave any comments below; I love to hear from my fellow bookworms!

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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? 

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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.

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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.