Well, that’s it, the first month of 2018 is over and what a month it has been! January was chock full of the publication of some really exciting books and it was brilliant to see them on bookshelves and to see that others loved them just as much as I did.
I was quite restrained in my book buying (I am trying very hard to curb this as I have so many unread books), and was lucky enough to get an Amazon voucher for Christmas but I am crippled with indecision about what to buy. I have quite a few books I really want to read – The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid are both top of my list at the moment but I also quite fancy Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon and The Feed by Nick Clark Windo. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated!
I was also lucky enough to meet Matt Haig at Waterstones in Newcastle Upon Tyne during his book tour for How To Stop Time. He was really interesting and incredibly interested in the people that he met at the signing afterwards and I enjoyed hearing him talk about writing his books and his past. I was also very fortunate to get my copy of How to Stop Time signed.
Thanks to dreary, cold days I managed to spend lots of time curled up on the sofa reading and made a real dent in my To Read list in January. Take a look at what I read, what I bought and the advanced copies I was lucky enough to receive beneath.
Books I Read
A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis was one of my first reads of the year and what a way to start the year it was. This is the first in a series and I can’t wait to read the rest – you can read my full review here.
I found a new girl crush in January in the shape of Lori Anderson protagonist of Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb. Unlike anything I have read in a while, this book was a breath of fresh air – my full review is here.
January was full of new releases, one of which was the absolutely super Need to Know by Karen Cleveland. This book is smart and brilliantly plotted and is a whole lot of fun to read. I reviewed it last week, a few days before it was published and you can read my review here.
The Woman in the Window by A.J, Finn is getting lots of hype and publicity with comparisons to The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl and deservedly so – it is breathtakingly good. You can read my full review here.
Whilst Lori Anderson is my fictional girl crush, Dolly Alderton is my real-life girl crush and her memoir Everything I Know About Love is brutally honest, funny and made me fall in love with my female friends all over again. You can read my full review here.
[Cargo] by J.C. Macek III is a different thriller, set mainly in a shipping container whilst its protagonist tries to escape it is twisted and brutal and a very interesting read. You can read my full review here.
Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb brought Lori Anderson back into my life – the follow up to Deep Down Dead is an accomplished novel which I really enjoyed – more please Steph! You can read my full review here.
How I Lose You by Kate McNaughton broke me. It isn’t out until the 8th March and I read it because I am a sheep and lots of people on my Twitter timeline were raving about it (and rightly so, it is BRILLIANT), so I queue jumped it to the top of my To Read list. It deals with love, loss and the depth of human emotion and I gobbled it up in an afternoon. I will be reviewing nearer publication date but this is one I am highly recommending.
I read The Dry by Jane Harper last year (and thought it was wonderful) and have been lucky enough to be asked to join the Blog Tour for her second novel, Force of Nature in February. Check back on the 6th to see my full review.
I am a huge fan of Mick Herron’s Slough House series (or the Jackson Lamb series as they are also known) of books and was completely over the moon to receive an Advanced copy of the latest, London Rules. I’ll have a full review of over the weekend but if you haven’t read this series, please do, it is wonderful.
Books I Bought
It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.
But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s economic heart, she begins to find strange connections to a decade-old scandal involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.
But as Abby tries desperately to find out what happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret, her search threatens the reputations, and lives, of the community and risks exposing a darkness that may consume her.
With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.
Advanced Copies I Received
Blue Night by Simone Buchholz is published by Orenda Books on the 28th February and you can read my review on my stop on the Blog Tour on the 13th February.
After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived… Fresh, fiendishly fast-paced and full of devious twists and all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.
Killed by Thomas Enger is published by Orenda Books on 15th February and you can read my review on my stop on the Blog Tour on the 5th February.
Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning…
Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose … except his own life.
Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?
London Rules by Mick Herron is published by John Murray today!
London Rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one.
Cover your arse.
Regent’s Park’s First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he’s facing attack from all directions himself: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat’s wife, a tabloid columnist, who’s crucifying Whelan in print; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who’s alert for Claude’s every stumble.
Meanwhile, the country’s being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks, and someone’s trying to kill Roddy Ho.
Over at Slough House, the crew are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. But collectively, they’re about to rediscover their greatest strength – that of making a bad situation much, much worse.
It’s a good job Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren’t going to break themselves.
How I Lose You by Kate McNaughton is published by Transworld Digital on the 8th March.
When Eva and Adam fall into bed one Friday night, tired and happy after drinks with friends, they have their whole lives ahead of them. But their story ends on page twelve.
That’s no reason to stop reading though, because How I Lose You is a story told backwards – and it’s all the more warm, tender and moving because we know it is going to be interrupted. It’s a story Eva thought she knew – but as you and she will discover, it’s not just the ending of the story that she got wrong.
All The Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church is published by Fourth Estate on the 6th March 2018.
The dazzling, powerful story of a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas – finding unexpected fortune, friendship and love.
In the summer of 1968, Ruby Wilde is the toast of Las Vegas. Showgirl of the Year, in her feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels and sky-high headdresses, she mesmerises audiences from the Tropicana to the Stardust. Ratpackers and movie stars, gamblers and astronauts vie for her attention and shower her with gifts.
But not so long ago Ruby Wilde was Lily Decker from Kansas: an orphaned girl determined to dance her way out of her troubled past. When she was eight years old, Lily survived the car crash that killed her parents and sister. Raised by an aunt who took too little interest in her and an uncle who took too much, dancing was her solace, and her escape. When a mysterious benefactor pays for her to attend a local dance academy, Lily’s talent becomes her ticket to a new life.
Now, as Ruby Wilde, the ultimate Sin City success story, she discovers that the glare of the spotlight cannot banish the shadows that haunt her. As the years pass and Ruby continues to search for freedom, for love and, most importantly, herself, she must learn the difference between what glitters and what is truly gold.
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday is published by Granta Books on the 1st March 2018.
In New York, Alice, a young editor, begins an affair with Ezra Blazer, a world-famous, much older writer. At Heathrow airport, Amar, an Iraqi-American economist en route to Kurdistan, finds himself detained for the weekend. What draws these characters together, and how do their lives connect, if at all?
Playful and inventive, tender and humane, Asymmetry is a novel which illuminates the power plays and imbalances of contemporary life – between young and old, West and Middle East, fairness and injustice, talent and luck, and the personal and the political. It introduces a major new literary talent, writing about the world today with astonishing versatility, acuity and daring.