I’m not sure about you but I love that the evenings are getting lighter, it made me so happy to leave work at 5.40pm a couple of weeks ago to see a faint glimmer of sunlight. Driving to and from work in the dark is really depressing and I am starting to feel that Spring has sprung. Hurrah!
February has been a little quiet on the book front and I haven’t read or blogged as much as I would’ve liked. I’m hoping that March and the lengthening days will brighten my mood a little and help me get back into the reading groove (especially as I have a ridiculous amount of books on my TBR pile!)
You can see the books I have read, bought and received advanced copies of beneath.
Books I’ve Read
Killed by Thomas Enger is the last in the Henning Juul series and is an excellent climax to a wonderful Nordic Noir set of books. I was lucky enough to be on the Orenda Books Blog Tour for Killed in February and you can read my full review here.
I had The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen on my To Read list for quite a while and whilst I enjoyed it I was a little disappointed, read my full review to find out why.
I found a new literary passion in February in the form of German Noir – why, oh why haven’t I read this genre before?! Blue Night by Simone Buchholz was a gritty and compelling read and I was thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour this month. You can read my full review here.
Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land had been on my Kindle for a while and having read lots of good things about it I decided to finally read, and I am SO pleased that I did as it is truly excellent. My full review is here but this is a book I will be recommending forever more.
I was really excited to read Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts in February. Jenny was kind enough to send me a copy of her novel towards the end of 2017 and then I was asked to be part of the Blog Tour by Rachel’s Random Resources. I really enjoyed this dual narrative thriller which contained clever plotting and multi-layered storytelling. You can read my full review here.
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday is an exceptional debut novel which I have been raving about ever since I read it. Three novellas all seemingly unrelated covering the Iraq War, a post 9/11 New York and a May to September relationship combine to create a wonderful and compelling work of fiction. You can read my full review here.
I was a huge fan of We Were Liars, the debut novel by E.Lockhart, I thought it was brilliant and is one that I recommend often. I was therefore really excited to read Genuine Fraud and to see if it lived up to my expectations. You can find out whether it did or not here.
Books I Bought
Hello, my name is Beverley and I am a sheep. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor won the 2017 Costa Novel award and I’ve read lots of great reviews so when I found myself in Waterstones one lunchtime I accidentally bought it, whoops.
Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home.
Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed.
The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must.
An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.
Advanced Copies I Received
I was extremely lucky to win a copy of The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings which is published by HQ on the 17th May. I am really intrigued by the premise and can’t wait to get stuck in.
Some friendships are made to be broken
Cornwall, summer of 1986.
The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.
If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.
If only her life was as perfect as theirs.
If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.
If only she lived at The Cliff House…
Amanda Jennings weaves a haunting tale of obsession, loss and longing, set against the brooding North Cornish coastline, destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.
I was so excited to receive a copy of We Were The Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard from Orenda Books. I love the sound of this book set in Montreal and I am thrilled to be on the Blog Tour – check back on the 18th March to see what I thought.
As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky.
I was a huge fan of The Final Girls by Riley Sager (you can read my full review here) and I may have squealed when I spotted Last Time I Lied is being published in July by Penguin Random House. I am so excited to read this as Riley Sager is a HUGE talent.
Have you ever played two truths and a lie?
Emma has. Her first summer away from home, she learned how to play the game. And she learned how to lie.
Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned . . .
Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime.
Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…
I have written before about how much I like Ragnar Jónasson’s books and I am thrilled to have a copy of his newest, The Darkness which is published by Michael Joseph on the 15th March.
Before Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police is forced into early retirement she is told to investigate a cold case of her choice, and she knows just the one. A young woman found dead on remote seaweed-covered rocks. A woman who was looking for asylum and found only a watery grave. Her death ruled a suicide after a cursory investigation. But Hulda soon realizes that there was something far darker to this case.
This was not the only young woman to disappear around that time. And no one is telling the whole story. When her own force tries to put the brakes on the investigation Hulda has just days to discover the truth. Even if it means risking her own life . . . Spanning the icy streets of Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is an atmospheric thriller from one of the most exciting names in Nordic Noir.
Tangerine by Christine Mangan has a lot of hype around it already – sold for $1.1m in the US and optioned for film by George Clooney with Scarlett Johansson to star this book sounds incredibly intriguing, Published on the 22nd March by Little, Brown this sounds right up my street.
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends – once inseparable roommates – haven’t spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right.
Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy, always fearless and independent, helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.
But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice – she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.
Tangerine is an extraordinary debut, so tightly wound, so evocative of 1950s Tangier, and so cleverly plotted that it will leave you absolutely breathless.
The Ice Swimmer by Kjell Ola Dhal is published by Orenda Books on the 30th April and I am thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour running throughout April. Check back on the 6th April to see my review.
When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frolich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.
Walls of Silence by Ruth Wade is published by Bloodhound Books and I am thrilled to be on the Blog Tour on the 12th March – check back then to read my review.
The Great War is over but for Edith Potter an equally devastating conflict is about to begin.
She is unhinged by a secret so terrible her conscious mind doesn’t acknowledge it.
It is 1927 and Dr Stephen Maynard is using the new science of psychoanalysis to restore her sanity.
From his first meeting with her in the lunatic asylum, Dr Stephen Maynard is determined to bring her back to reality. During the long challenge, her disturbed behaviour forces him to confront his limitations – already severely stretched by the presence of someone prepared to use whatever weapons they can to ensure she maintains her silence.