Tag: mystery

Sunday Summary – 18th October 2020

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. It only feels like two minutes ago since I wrote last week’s update, but here we are! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you have been up to.

I have shared a couple of posts with you this week, which I hope you have enjoyed reading. The first of those posts was a Top Ten Tuesday post, with a theme of hobbies (other than reading). This post subject has been suggested for the 3rd November so I’ve jumped in a bit early. That’s only because I have another commitment on the 3rd November.

On Thursday I shared a blog tour post for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. I really enjoyed this non-fiction account of what being a landlord is really like. It is a real eye-opener, written in an entertaining diarised narrative that’s easy to read. If you haven’t read that post yet, please do! I have a lot more praise for it in my post!

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I had read around a third of Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. With the blog tour post scheduled for Thursday, my priority at the beginning of the week was to finish this in time for the tour. I finished this early on Wednesday evening ready to write my post for the tour the next day.

Since finishing Parasite I haven’t started anything new as I have focussed my attention towards studying for my exam next week. In my downtime, however, I have picked up listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed again. I’ve listened to a few more hours of this and I only have 1hr 40mins left to go. The narrative is definitely getting to the wrap-up part, so I expect I’ll be listening to this next week to find out how it all ends!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, nothing to report here!

 

Coming Up…

With my exam on Wednesday morning, I won’t be putting any time into my blog in the first couple of days next week. I am going to try and draft a post on Wednesday afternoon/evening though. Failing that, it’ll go live on Thursday instead.

Since I’m going to be a little lighter than usual on the posting schedule, I have decided to post a review of an audiobook I listened to at the beginning of this year. Darkdawn is the conclusion to the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. I pre-ordered the audiobook last year as I had listened to the other two and loved the series already. You can find out more about my thoughts to the conclusion of the series in my post next week!

As always, I’ll wrap up with another Sunday Summary update post at the end of the week.

 

That’s all from me for now – have a great week and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 11th October 2020

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post! As always I hope you are keeping well and safe, and thanks for taking the time to check out my post!

This week’s update post is going to be another reasonably quick one. I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week studying for an upcoming exam, as well as knitting. I don’t know if I’ve really mentioned it, but in the last couple of months or so I’ve really gotten into it! I have previously gotten into crochet, but I’ve also taken up knitting. Aside from the occasional frustration at getting a pattern repeat wrong and having to fix what I’m doing, it’s quite therapeutic!

In terms of blogging, I started my week early with a blog tour post sharing a review of Limelight by Graham Hurley on Monday. I really enjoyed this beautifully descriptive and intriguing mystery novel and the writing style – it’s brought me out of the small slump I’ve had recently. My next post went live at the end of the working week. I really enjoyed writing this week’s First Lines Friday post; I featured a book affiliated with a series I love and talk about a lot!

 

Books Read

Immediately after publishing last week’s Sunday Summary post, I read the ending of Limelight so I could draft my blog tour post. There was less than ten per cent left and it only took me around half an hour to finish. I really enjoyed the ending of the book. I had no idea how it would all conclude, but think it was done really well!

Over the next few days, I took a break to study for my exam which is in a couple of week’s time. I also spent some of my lunch hours and evenings learning a new knitting pattern I’ll be working on shortly. So, I didn’t start my next read, Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord until yesterday. I’m not in the habit of reading non-fiction books, but I have picked this one up as it caught my eye when feelers were put out for a potential blog tour. I’ve read about a third of the book since yesterday and it’s really interesting! The diary style of narrative means we get a very personal experience to being a landlord. It’s also really easy to read!

 

Books Discovered

Again, nothing to report here this week!

 

Coming Up…

There is a Top Ten Tuesday topic coming up in a couple of weeks that I would love to publish, but as I have a blog tour scheduled that day I won’t be able to share the post on the designated week. As it ties into other things I have been doing lately, I’ve decided to share it this week instead. The particular topic is Non-Bookish Hobbies.

On Thursday I will be taking part in the blog tour for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. I hope this book intrigues you as much as it did me and you can check out my thoughts on the book!

Last, but not least, I’ll be wrapping up the week with another Sunday Summary catch-up post.

 

Thanks again for reading and I’ll see you around!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: Limelight – Graham Hurley

I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts on Limelight by Graham Hurley with you today! I have read this book over the weekend just gone in preparation for the tour and it is one of the best books I have read recently. Before I jump in with the details, I would first like to say a massive thank you to both Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour, and to the author Graham Hurley for the opportunity to take part and read this fabulous mystery novel! It’s a pleasure to be one of the bloggers kicking off the tour.

 

Limelight – Graham Hurley

Goodreads – Limelight

Life is dangerous. No one survives it. Enora Andressen makes a series of mind-blowing discoveries when her friend disappears.

Actress Enora Andressen is catching up with her ex-neighbour, Evelyn Warlock, who’s recently retired to the comely East Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The peace, the friendship of strangers and the town’s prestigious literary festival . . . Evelyn loves them all.

Until the September evening when her French neighbour, Christianne Beaucarne, disappears. Enora has met this woman. The two of them have bonded. But what Enora discovers over the anguished months to come will put sleepy Budleigh Salterton on the front page of every newspaper in the land.

 

Purchase Links – Severn House     Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Reading Limelight has been a breath of fresh air. A busy schedule has meant that I haven’t been reading as much lately – I’d even go so far as to say I had lost motivation. However, picking up Limelight has reminded me just why I love curling up with a good book. It’s a gem of a mystery novel that has been so easy to read because it has a lot of elements I love – a unique plotline, investment into character and world-building, and above all, an easy to read writing style that I couldn’t put down. In addition to all these, the book, particularly the setting, has a sense of familiarity to me.

I grew up in a seaside town much like Budleigh Salterton. Even now I live only a few minutes drive away, but the thing I really relate to in this novel is the sense of community that comes with small places such as this one. The concept of knowing everyone in town, even if just by sight, might seem strange to anyone living in large cities. Living in a place such as this myself though, I can say that the author has portrayed the town and the relationships of the characters within, perfectly.

Up until Christianne’s disappearance, Budleigh Salterton has the quiet, relaxed feel that I know and love. On the island here we have a phrase for it, ‘Traa dy Liooar’, meaning ‘time enough’. Equally, in places like this, any bit of news is a scandal. Christianne’s disappearance and the events that follow will inevitably dominate the headlines…

What also fits with this is the pace of the novel and the amount of characterisation shared with the reader. I enjoy novels with a lot of depth and time taken in bringing the main characters and the setting to life. Limelight in this regard is also right up my street! This also works well to draw the reader into the community. We really get to know each of the characters in their own right, as well as how they interact with each other.

Limelight is a mystery novel with a unique premise. Never before have I come across a mystery with a theme of euthanasia in it. It makes Limelight a unique novel within its genre and I’ve enjoyed reading the arguments and ethics around the debate that come up in the book. Despite the content matter, Limelight isn’t a heavy read at all. I have read this book over the course of a weekend and enjoyed every moment of it! I hadn’t realised it was part of a series when I signed up for the blog tour. Based on how much I enjoyed reading this book, I’m absolutely inclined to go back to the beginning and read the rest of the books!

 

Author Bio

Graham Hurley is an award-winning TV documentary maker who now writes full time. His Faraday and Winter series won two Theakstons shortlist nominations and was successfully adapted for French TV. He has since written a quartet of novels featuring D/S Jimmy Suttle, and three WW2 novels, the first of which – Finisterre – was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. The first three titles in the Enora Andressen series, Curtain Call, Sight Unseen and Off Script, are also available from Severn House. After thirty years in Portsmouth, Graham now lives in East Devon with his wife, Lin.

Social Media Links –

https://www.grahamhurley.co.uk/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/135794.Graham_Hurley

https://twitter.com/Seasidepicture

https://www.facebook.com/grahamhurleyauthor/

 

Sunday Summary – 4th October 2020

Hello everyone and welcome to another weekly update from me! This Sunday Summary post is probably going to be quite a quick one as I have a book to finish and another blog post to write tonight (more on that later).

I only shared one blog post this week – my reading list for October. I didn’t want to take on too much this week, particularly as I knew I had a blog tour with a short reading deadline coming up and an exam to study for. My reading list was published on Friday. If you haven’t had the chance to have a skeet at what I’m reading yet, head on over and take a look!

 

Books Read

I think I have only made marginal progress on Rags of Time this week. I’ve read a chapter or two at most, but that’s okay. Aside from reading, I’ve been going over material for an exam I have in a few weeks and this has taken priority.

What has also taken priority over the last day or two is reading Limelight by Graham Hurley. I have an imminent blog tour post and I’m sharing a review of the book as part of the tour. I’ve mostly read this book over this weekend, and currently, I have about half an hour left of reading until the end of this particular book before I can start writing my review. No prizes for guessing what I’m doing straight after this post goes live!

I haven’t read anywhere near as much as I have historically for a few weeks now, but picking up Limelight has been a dream. I’ve enjoyed this slower-paced (but far from dull) mystery, the writing and world-building are fantastic and a refreshing change. It’s what I needed I think and it might just be what I needed to get back into reading a bit more again.

 

Books Discovered

This has to be the longest streak for me not adding books to my TBR, but that’s honestly what I need right now. It’s already miles too long and giving myself a chance to catch up with it is a step in the right direction to taming it!

 

Coming Up…

As I have mentioned, I am taking part in a blog tour tomorrow for Limelight by Graham Hurley. I can’t wait to share my thoughts on this brilliant mystery – and I’m saying that having not even finished the book yet! I can’t wait to read to the end and properly get my thoughts together.

Later in the week, I’m going to share another First Lines Friday post with you. It has been a while since I last featured this on my blog, but I’m looking forward to bringing it back to you along with a great book to feature. As to what that book is, I haven’t decided yet – but I promise it’ll be a good one!

That’s going to be all from me in today’s post! Have a good week and I’ll catch you for another update in next week’s Sunday Summary post.

Take care!

 

 

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Reading List – October 2020

Hello everyone and thank you for checking out my reading list post for October. I don’t know about you but I’m really starting to notice the nights are drawing in faster. I actually enjoy this time in autumn. It’s still light when I leave work, but by the time I’ve eaten and gotten cosy for the evening with a cup of tea, it’s dark. It makes you feel justified curling up with a good book!

Speaking of which, would you like to find out what I’m reading this month? I haven’t made an ambitious list this month. I’ll freely admit I lost a bit of steam last month and didn’t read half as much as I planned at the beginning in my reading list. Ultimately, reading is a hobby. I’m not going to force myself to read if I really don’t want to, and I didn’t.

This month I have a little less flexibility. Almost all of the books listed are books I’ve signed up to the blog tours for. The last two are actually touring in November, but very early in November. Let’s find out what they are!

 

Limelight – Graham Hurley

Goodreads – Limelight

Life is dangerous. No one survives it. Enora Andressen makes a series of mind-blowing discoveries when her friend disappears in this compelling thriller set in an idyllic Devon town.

Actress Enora Andressen is catching up with her ex-neighbour, Evelyn Warlock, who’s recently retired to the comely East Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The peace, the friendship of strangers and the town’s prestigious literary festival . . . Evelyn loves them all.

Until the September evening when her French neighbour, Christianne Beaucarne, disappears. Enora has met this woman. The two of them have bonded. But what Enora discovers over the anguished months to come will put sleepy Budleigh Salterton on the front page of every newspaper in the land . . .

Limelight is a completely gripping and fascinating thriller featuring strong characters forced to make impossible decisions, the impact of which will be felt far beyond their quiet town… Perfect for fans of JOHN HARVEY and PETER ROBINSON.

What readers are saying about the Enora Andressen series:

“A first rate mystery with an exciting premise” Booklist on Off Script “Excellent characterization and plotting . . . I read it in a couple of days and loved it” NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars for Off Script “A very strong series debut . . . An intriguing start to a promising new series” Booklist on Curtain Call

 

I love a good thriller, and this is perhaps the best time of year to curl up and read one! Coming from a reasonably small place myself, I think I’ll be able to relate to the atmosphere and sleepiness that is the setting of the book. Although it is the fourth book in a series, I get the impression that it’s pretty standalone and therefore won’t matter that I haven’t read the previous books. At least, I’m hoping so.

I’m looking forward to checking out this thriller. From what I have read, it’s quite an atmospheric and slow build mystery so I’m expecting a lot of world-building, which I love.

 

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord – The Secret Landlord

Goodreads – Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.

Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.

But the real life of a professional landlord is very different to what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.

This explosive front line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, The Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.

This is the truth, the other side of the door.

 

I don’t read much non-fiction, but when I was approached by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources about a potential tour for this book I was intrigued immediately. I’m glad the author decided to go ahead and schedule it, because now I get to read the book!

I want to read this book to get a different perspective on landlords. I suppose I have dealt with a couple in my time and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have the best experience with them at all. It’s not a wealth of experience though and I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush. Yes, there are bad landlords, but I know there are tenants just as bad – I’ve dealt with one myself. I hope there’s plenty of these stories in the book!

 

Unbroken Truth – Lukas Lundh

Goodreads – Unbroken Truth

Beneath the arcane Rustpeaks lies the city of Lansfyrd, capital of one of the Dustlands many Holds. Visibility is at an all-time low and airships rumble through the skies. Detective Lentsay “Len” Yoriya of the Lansfyrd PD is a homocide detective stuck at a burglary assignment as punishment for loving the wrong person. When a xenophobic radio-shaman is murdered and the killers try to frame the city’s oppressed insectoids, Len knows better. But there is an election coming up, and the tension simmering in the city is reaching a boiling point. High-profile murders are rarely uncomplicated.

Meanwhile Len’s partner, Vli-Rana Talie, works as a lector at the Lansfyrd University, trying to keep her research going in an increasingly xenophobic environment. As the temperature rises for her partner, Vli will soon realize that delving into history, that some would prefer was forgotten, will carry risks of its own.

 

Science-fiction is one of my go-to genres to read and Unbroken Truth is my sci-fi fix for the month. For not being a big fan of politics in real life, I really enjoy the conflict it brings about in novel plotlines. This seems to be a prevalent part of the novel so I’m excited to see how this plays out!

This blog tour is now taking part in November, however, it was supposed to be at the beginning of this month. This is why I have ended up with so many tour dates in a short space of time, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

 

Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel – M. K. Wiseman

Goodreads – Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel

I am afraid that I, Sherlock Holmes, must act as my own chronicler in this singular case, that of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. For the way in which the affair was dropped upon my doorstep left me with little choice as to the contrary. Not twelve months prior, the siren’s call of quiet domesticity and married life had robbed me of Watson’s assistance as both partner and recorder of my cases. Thus, when detective inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard required a lead—any lead—I found myself forced to pursue Jack the Ripper alone and without the aid of my faithful friend. And all for the most damnedable of reasons:

Early on in my investigations, Dr. John H. Watson, formerly of 221b Baker Street, emerged as my prime suspect.

 

I really enjoyed reading M K Wiseman’s Magical Intelligence this year. On that basis alone I would have signed up to a blog tour for a book by her. I also love the mystery of Jack the Ripper, so the fact that this blog tour features both is huge! By the time I signed up for this tour I think I knew about the delay to Unbroken Truth, but I couldn’t pass it up. I’m really looking forward to delving into this. I only hope it lives up to expectation!

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

London.1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

Rags of Time is my current read. Whilst it’s on the back burner for a few days until my immediate blog tour obligations are done, I will be reading this in between the other books on my list. I have read most of the book now; I can’t wait to see how it ends! I’m certainly not waiting until the end of the month!

 

That’s my reading list for this month! Do any of the books catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 23rd August 2020

Good evening everyone and welcome back to another Sunday Summary post! I can’t believe it’s the end of another week already! I hope you are all keeping well?

This week I began with a fun Unpopular Opinions Book Tag. Having looked around for inspiration, I figured this would be an entertaining read and would give you the chance to learn a little more about me and my reading tastes. I certainly enjoyed writing it anyway.

Then on Friday, I shared my latest First Lines Friday post. This week’s theme was crime and I shared the opening to a brilliant crime/psychological thriller novel I read and reviewed last month. If you haven’t checked that post yet and you love that type of fiction I recommend you give it a read.

 

Books Read

This week I have been devoting my free time to reading Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. It’s the only book I have picked up so far this week, but I’ve really enjoyed it! In last week’s Sunday Summary post I talked about the book (having just started it) and how I liked the chapter formatting as interviews. This continued throughout and it made a refreshing change from the continuous narrative prose that is a more typical format.

I’m hoping to start my next book, Steelheart tonight with a cup of tea before bed.

Aside from reading, I’ve taken some time out to work on an ongoing crochet project. I was also asked by a work colleague to help teach her daughter how to crochet. She had taken an interest in learning herself but needed help with the names of stitches and reading patterns. I’ve enjoyed spending the time doing that as well this week, which is why I have only read the one book.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been pretty good again this week and there are no new additions to the TBR! Not a bad thing, given the size of it…

 

Coming Up…

I want to share another book review with you first thing next week, and the particular book I have in mind is one I received a copy of from Gollancz to review. The God Game by Danny Tobey an entertaining YA sci-fi thriller novel I read and enjoyed earlier this year. It’s definitely time to share my thoughts with you on this book; I hope you can check out that post when it goes live!

On Friday I’ll be sharing my next Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book on my TBR is a non-fiction book, which is a rarity! It dabbles in psychology, which is why I think I’ll enjoy it, but it’s also supposed to be humorous as well.

Next Sunday I am taking part in a blog tour for Grubane by Karl Drinkwater. With that in mind, that post will be going live on Sunday and my usual Sunday Summary post will be shared on Monday morning.

 

 

That’s all from me in today’s reasonably short Sunday Summary post! Have a great week and I’ll see you in the next one.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 16th August 2020

Good evening everyone and welcome back to this week’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you have had a good weekend, whatever you have gotten up to.

In terms of blog scheduling, mine has been a little busier than usual! At the beginning of the week, I managed to drag my poor attempt of a review of Days of Blood and Starlight out of the dump. I was really disappointed that I struggled with this a couple of weeks ago, but I think I’ve done it justice now. On Thursday I shared a spotlight feature post and author interview for Justice Gone by Nicholas Lombardi Jr. Since publication last year the book has gone on to win an impressive 5 awards! Friday’s was a Shelf Control post and I have finally come to the end of my classics run! This week features a book whose main character is book lover – someone I definitely relate to!

 

Books Read

After finishing Grubane last week I moved on to the next book on my TBR. I didn’t actually start Mindworm by David Pollard until midweek, but it was quite a short read and I finished the book on Saturday evening. I didn’t really know what I expected from the synopsis as it was quite vague, but it was an interesting short story. At just over 100 pages it didn’t take long to read at all.

I then moved on to my current read, Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. I’m only a few chapters in but I’m really enjoying the format of these chapters. They’re written as case file interviews and we are only just learning who the characters are. It’s refreshing to read something in a different format and there’s a good plot developing. Sleeping Giants is one of the longer books on this month’s TBR, but I don’t expect it will take me long to read!

 

Books Discovered

There aren’t any new additions to the TBR this week thankfully. I’m trying to cut the list down a bit as I have managed to creep over 200 books – oops! Thankfully this month’s TBR has quite a few books that will come off this list.

 

Coming Up…

I have decided that I feel like starting the week with a book tag. They’re fun to write and through them, you get to know a bit more about me and my reading tastes etc. I haven’t read many tag posts lately so I ended up doing a bit of searching on the web for inspiration. I found one called the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag and having read the questions, I think it will be fun!

On Friday I’m sharing another First Lines Friday post. This week I am going to set another genre theme as the last one, non-fiction, was fun. It was also a bit of a challenge as I haven’t read much non-fiction. This week’s theme of crime will be a bit easier as I definitely read a lot more of those!

And last, but not least, another Sunday Summary post will be coming your way this time next week. I’m reverting back to my usual 3 posts per week schedule as that’s manageable. I struggled a little bit to do four and keep up the reading.

 

That’s all from me in this week’s Sunday Summary update. What have you been reading?

 

 

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First Lines Friday – 19/06/2020

Hi everyone – it’s the end of the week and I’m looking forward to sharing another First Lines Friday post. It has been nearly a month since my last post and I’m glad to be getting back into it! Today’s featured book is the second novel I have by this particular author. I read and loved the first book of hers and I have discussed it on my blog many times. I bought my copy of this second book not that long after, although I am still yet to read it.

Are you familiar with it based on the introduction?

 

Never go back. That’s what people always tell you. Things will have changed. They won’t be the way you remembered. Leave the past in the past. Of course, the last one is easier said than done. The past has a habit of repeating on you. Like a bad curry.

I don’t want to go back. Really. There are several things higher up on my wish list, like being eaten alive by rats, or line dancing. This is how badly I don’t’ want to see the craphole I grew up in ever again. But sometimes, there is no choice except the wrong choice.

That’s why I find myself driving along a winding A-road, through the North Nottinghamshire countryside, at barely seven o’clock in the morning. I haven’t seen this road for a long time. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen 7 a.m. for a long time.

 

Would you like to find out which book I am featuring this week?

 

The Taking of Annie Thorne – C. J. Tudor

Goodreads – The Taking of Annie Thorne

The new spine-tingling, sinister thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk Man.

One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her. Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same. She wasn’t my Annie. I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

 

I feel like I am always saying this, but I can’t wait to pick this up and see how it compares with The Chalk Man. Honestly, that is one of the best books I have read lately, so I can only hope The Taking of Annie Thorne is just as good!

Thanks for tuning in to today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read the book or any others by C. J. Tudor?

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books for a little escapism

Welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! I really like writing these posts and decided it was time for another. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I quite often go it alone with topics rather than following the set topics for the week. Sometimes the prescribed topics just don’t fit my blog at all! Instead, I have been having a think about an alternative topic for this week. I don’t know about you, but I read for a bit of escapism. I like to break away from the mundane routine. Well, normally. Fact is, the normal mundane routine has been ripped up and tossed out the window. It’s not a very nice situation we are in right now and more than ever I am looking for escapism. I’m sure others are too… and that’s what gave me the idea for this post.

I thought I might struggle to put this list together, but I had the opposite problem! I’ve had to cut it down quite a lot. I’ve excluded a lot of larger names that I would love to feature here because they’re well-known enough to recommend themselves. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are great books – but you probably know about them already. In today’s post, I wanted to talk about books and authors that aren’t as well-known – although they deserve to be!

 

The Mistborn Series – Brandon Sanderson

It would be pretty sacrilegious not to include my current read on this list. I’ve devoured the last three books of this series with fervour over the past few months. The books published to date are split into two timelines. I loved the first trilogy years ago but recently, the later books set in the fictional city of Elendel have reiterated why I love Brandon Sanderson’s writing. The depth of history of the magic, the characters… it’s all fantastic.

I get lost in these books! They’re the kind you promise yourself ‘just one more chapter’ before bed and before you know it, it’s WAY past your bedtime. I don’t regret it either.

 

Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

This is also a recent discovery. I think the fact that I listened to all of Rivers of London and a third of Moon over Soho in the past couple of weeks alone says it all! If it doesn’t, I don’t know what will!

I’ve been listening to these as audiobooks whilst crocheting. It’s nice to break up the format of ‘reading’ – but I have to praise the narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. He manages to take the author’s already interesting and diverse characters and breathe life into them. The book also balances action, character development and sensory descriptions really well. If you like magical and supernatural mysteries or think you might, I would definitely recommend these books as a starting point! I suspect I’ll continue to binge-listen to these!

 

The Last Kingdom – Bernard Cornwell

Something for historical fiction fans here! I’m not even halfway through this series yet but I love it so much! It was recommended to me by a work colleague and friend. She is Danish, and it prompted some interesting conversation about the historical period. For those that don’t know, it’s set at the time the Vikings invaded Britain. The main character Uhtred is an Englishman, but living in the North, his village was raided when he was a boy and he was subsequently raised by Danes. His personal conflict between both sides runs throughout the books I have read so far and it makes for a really interesting perspective on the period!

 

Simon Says – Jo Wesley

If standalone books are more your thing, then Simon Says might be of interest to you. I’m going to be upfront and say that the storyline is based on the sensitive topic of rape, and the consequences of it. That might put some people off, and that’s fine! This book isn’t for you in that case. Considering the nature of it, I think that it is handled really well. I was really impressed with this book – so much so it made it on my top reads of 2019 list!

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Laini Taylor

This book (and series) also qualified for the top reads of 2019 list! I love Laini Taylor’s style of writing and I’ve really enjoyed her Strange the Dreamer duology previously. The Angels vs Demons (monsters) baseline is plot is great because she breaks down the stereotypes of good and evil and tosses them out of the window.

 

Blackwing – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

If, like me, you love fantasy series with epic fantasy worlds with plenty of lore in a post-apocalyptic setting, then the Raven’s Mark series could be for you! Magic ravaged the world in a cataclysmic event and razed the landscape now known as the Misery. If that’s not interesting enough for you, then how does a plotline indicating that a similar event with even more catastrophic consequences sound?

It was a winner for me and I really, REALLY recommend this one to any and all fantasy fans!

 

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Nevernight

The Nevernight Chronicles is another great fantasy series for those that love fantasy novels with lots of history to them. Throw in a young girl who has had her family ripped apart since childhood, rare magic power and a terrible grudge… and you get an amazing, murderous and vengeful trilogy. Determined to bring down the institution that tried to have her murdered as a child, Mia Corvere is a force to be reckoned with. I also quite enjoy Jay Kristoff’s parallels between himself and Mercurio – that’ll make sense if you read the books.

 

The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

It has been a long time since I read these books, but they have definitely made a lasting impression! The first thing I love is the narration style. The tale is told from an older (and hopefully wiser) Kvothe, our main character. He is very candid over the past mistakes of his youth, which we learn about as he retells the tale.

Again, this is a series with a lot of development into the world and characters, so those of you that love that and all the action of the narrative should get on with this very well.

 

The Chalk Man – C.J. Tudor

Here is another standalone for those of you that don’t have the commitment for a series. The Chalk Man is a mystery thriller novel with a chilling premise and plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes! In their youth, Eddie and the gang drew chalk men as a means of communicating with each other secretly around town. However, twenty years on they reunite, and the chalk men have made a mysterious reappearance…

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

The last book on my list is another standalone mystery. The premise of the novel is like a traditional murder mystery, only its groundhog day. The protagonist has seven days to relive the day in the bodies of each guest and then name the murderer.

I really liked this one – I thought it was really unique. It’s also very cleverly-written too!

Hopefully, you have found some inspiration from this Top Ten Tuesday list, if that’s what you’re looking for! If not, well I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you agree with any of my recommendations?

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: iRemember – S. V. Bekvalac

Happy weekend readers! I hope you are having a good one? Since we are all in the middle of lockdown, what better way to spend your time than curled up with a good book? That’s how I am spending mine anyway.

If you are looking for book recommendations, then I hope I can help you here. Today I am taking part in the blog tour for iRemember by S. V. Bekvalac and sharing my thoughts on her book. iRemember is perfect for science fiction and/or dystopian fiction fans… so if that’s your cup of tea please read on!

Quickly before I jump in, huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

 

iRemember – S. V. Kekvalac

Goodreads – iRemember

The city of iRemember shimmers in the desert haze, watched over by the Bureau, a government agency that maintains control through memory surveillance and little pink pills made from the narcotic plant Tranquelle.

It looks like an oasis under its geodesic dome, but the city is under siege. ‘Off-Gridder’ insurgents are fighting to be forgotten.

Bureau Inspector Icara Swansong is on a mission to neutralise the threat. Her investigation leads her into iRemember’s secret underbelly, where she finds herself a fugitive from the very system she had vowed to protect. She has to learn new rules: trust no one. Behind every purple Tranquelle stalk lurk double-agents.

A sci-fi noir with a psychedelic twist, iRemember explores the power the past holds over us and the fragility of everything: what is, what once was, and what will be.

 

Purchase Links –   Amazon UK     Amazon US

For a limited time, iRemember will be available for only 99p.

 

My Thoughts…

iRemember has all the elements expected of dystopian fiction novels – the means to subdue a population and then control it. iRemember was created to allow citizens to protect their memories. The human mind is far from perfect, so why risk losing your precious moments to time and degradation or forgetfulness when you can upload them? That was the idea anyway… and citizens signed up in the thousands.

Helena Frome is the head of the totalitarian government now governing the City. iRemember has become her means of surveillance. Citizens own thoughts and memories can betray them if picked up by those monitoring the data being uploaded to iRemember. Icara Swansong is an agent of the Bureau working for Helena Frome, to rid the world of corruption, but she is fighting a losing battle. Beneath the calming Tranquelle fumes, a dark side of the city simmers away, longing to be forgotten and will do whatever they can to achieve it.

As a huge fan of both science fiction and dystopian novels, iRemember was a great read for me! Set in a futuristic world, the Bureaucrats have all the latest, fancy technology and software. Primitive versions of tech and traditional weapons we know today are relegated to the city’s forgotten underbelly, the Sub Urbs. Despite being more advanced, the technology used in this futuristic universe is very similar to some of the more sophisticated technology we have now and is therefore familiar.

The narrative of iRemember is so twisty that you don’t know who to trust at any given moment. Who is in whose pocket and undercover influence shape the story in an exciting way. Character relations are complex and you’ll find yourself second-guessing people’s motives constantly! I certainly did! There is a vast array in the characters within the novel too. I really enjoyed Lucian’s personal history and cynicism, especially paired with Icara’s overzealous optimism.

The overall story is written really well and draws the reader into the complex web. I really enjoyed reading iRemember and the combination of genres it encompasses. Nothing is ever as it seems and the narrative keeps you on your toes throughout! iRemember is a twisty tale full of deceit, lies and corruption… and cover-ups!

 

Author Bio

SV Bekvalac was born in 1987 in Croatia, in what was then Yugoslavia, but grew up in London.

She studied German and Russian at Oxford, and went to film school in Prague. After almost becoming a film-maker and then an academic, researching cities and films, she found herself writing fiction about cities instead. She started off with screenplays and short stories, but they got longer and longer. iRemember is her first novel.

She has lived in cities all over Europe. Now she lives in London, or in one of her own imaginary cities.

 

Social Media Links Twitter @sandra_bek @EyeAndLightning