October was a busy month, a reunion with my University friends, a weekend away in Harrogate with my husband, lots of time with friends and family and the necessary evil that is work made this month jam-packed. I did manage to find time for books; reading, buying, blogging and stroking of in book shops (just me?). I was also thrilled to be part of two Orenda Books Blog Tours which I was honoured to be part of. Here’s a roundup of my book month.
Books I Read
A real mixed bags of genres this month! From ghost stories, to kick-ass heroines in space via murder in Finland and some drug running in Iceland, October was wide and varied.
Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir was a real gem of a book, the first in a trilogy that I can’t wait to read the rest of, it is tightly written with a clever and pacy plot and I loved how modern it is. You can read my full review of it here.
Artemis is the second book by author of The Martian, Andy Weir which is a book I loved, and it is published on the 14th November. Set on the moon in its first and only city it features Jazz, a kick-ass heroine who is a smuggler. I’ll be posting a full review on publication date.
The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen is a wonderful book set in Finland about 37-year-old Jaakko Kaunismaa who discovers he is being poisoned, is facing imminent death and sets about trying to discover who the culprit is. You can read my full review here.
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell was a brilliantly spooky read set in a remote house with strange goings on. This book is perfect for curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea, just keep the lights on. You can read my full review here.
Broken Silence by Danielle Ramsay is my book club read for October, set in Whitley Bay which is local to me, it is a police procedural investigating the murder of a local girl who was found dead near a Metro Station. You can read my full review here.
I won The Betrayal by Kate Furnivall in a Twitter competition which I was really excited about as I never win anything! Kate Furnivall’s Russian Concubine series of books are some of my favourites so I was thrilled to receive this before its publication on the 2nd November when I will be posting a full review.
Exquisite by Sarah Stovell is one of those books that you are completely unable to put down. A psychological thriller with a difference I read this in 24 hours and I’ll be posting a full review next week.
This is How it Ends by Eva Dolan is a thoroughly modern book about social injustice and inequality. It begins with a dead man in an abandoned flat and Ella and Molly’s efforts to conceal the body. Told in both flashback (Ella) and present day (Molly), this is a disorientating and clever book. Review to follow soon.
Books I Bought
I’ve been quite restrained this month and have only bought three books. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon will be our Book Club read for November – I have heard lots of good things about this and I am looking forward to getting stuck in.
I have a confession to make, I have an English Literature degree, have read God knows how many books (it has to be well into the 4 digit category) but I have never read an Agatha Christie. Shameful isn’t it? I decided to buy this on Book Shop Day when I was in Harrogate which famously has its own history with Agatha Christie and I thought Murder on the Orient Express would therefore be the perfect book to honour the day with.
ARCs I Received
I have been incredibly lucky to receive lots of advanced copies of books this month. I’ve listed them all beneath with a synopsis, I think you’ll agree there are some intriguing ones here! As always, many thanks to the publishers who have sent me copies of these books.
Genuine Fraud by E Lockhart is published by Bonnier Zaffre and Hot Key Books on 31st May 2018. Her previous novel We Were Liars was exceptional and is one of the few books my non-bookworm sister has re-read so I have high hopes for this.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship.
A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate.
The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen is published by Pan Macmillan on 8th February 2018 and it sounds like a perfect twisty, turny psychological thriller. I can’t wait to get to stuck in.
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.
It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.
The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
You will be wrong.
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan published by Simon and Schuster on the 11th January 2018 looks right up my street with lots of secrets, lies and scandal.
Part courtroom thriller; part portrait of a marriage; part exploration of how our memories still haunt us, Anatomy of a Scandal is a disarming and provocative psychological drama.
Sophie’s husband, James, is a loving father and a successful public figure. Yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to engulf him. She’s kept his darkest secret ever since they were first lovers, at Oxford. And if she stood by him then, she can do it now.
Kate is the barrister prosecuting his case. She’s certain that James is guilty and determined he should pay. No stranger to suffering herself, she doesn’t flinch from posing the questions few want to hear. About what happens between a man a woman when they’re alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in a lift . . .
Is James the victim of an unfortunate misunderstanding or the perpetrator of something sinister? Who is right: Sophie or Kate? This scandal – which forces Sophie to appraise her marriage and Kate her demons – will have far-reaching consequences for them all.
The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin is published by Hodder & Stoughton on 8th February 2018 and is a historical thriller and looks like it is going to be a page turner.
‘We have no need to protect ourselves from the bad sort
because we ARE the bad sort . . .’
‘This newspaper has taken note that the past month has been remarkable for the prevalence of cases where men, women and children are declared missing. Scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of an incident of this type’ – The Morning Herald, Tuesday 13 September 1831
Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.
When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.
But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .
The Confession by Jo Spain is published by Quercus Books on 25th January 2018 is a psychological thriller with a twist where we discover on the first page whodunit but we don’t know why, and neither does he.
Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.
Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?
This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?
Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson published by Orenda Books in paperback tomorrow is the latest in the Dark Iceland series featuring Ari Thór Arason and is translated by the marvellous Quentin Bates. I am on the blog tour for this on the 22nd November so I am afraid you will have to wait until then to read my full review, but in the meantime here is the synopsis.
Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland is published on the 25th January 2018 by Random House. It sounds a bit like a good version of Mr and Mrs Smith and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it.
Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counter-intelligence analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents – seemingly normal people living in plain sight.
After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her is threatened – her job, her husband, even her four children.
Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?
I am so excited to have a copy of Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates, his first novel, Black Chalk is one of my favourites and I have been impatiently waiting for his follow up. I’ll be reading this very soon. Grist Mill Road is published on 9th January 2018 by Macmillan-Picador.
Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah—are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again—with even more devastating results.
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks (yup, that one), is a series of short stories which I have been hearing wonderful things about. This book is available to buy now and was published on the 17th October by Random House.
A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.
A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.
These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.
Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing. Alternatingly whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.
Let me know if you have read any of these books or if any catch your eye, I always love a bit of book chat!