My Week in Books


New arrivals

A few review copies received and I (almost) managed to keep to my self-imposed rule of not purchasing books unless they’re titles already on my Goodreads wishlist.

CourtofLionsCourt of Lions by Jane Johnson (hardback, ARC courtesy of Head of Zeus)

Kate Fordham, escaping terrible trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Boabdil, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate’s life forever.

TheThirteenthGateThe Thirteenth Gate by Kat Ross (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

Winter 1888. At a private asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who’s interviewed their patient and isn’t sure he’s a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she’s ever encountered. As Jack rampages through London, this time targeting rare book collectors, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he’s looking for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…

Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Julius Sabelline’s death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker? As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamour of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?

ArminiusArminius: The Limits of Empire by Robert Fabbri (ebook, 99p)

AD9: In the depths of the Teutoburg Wald, in a landscape riven by ravines, darkened by ancient oak and bisected by fast-flowing streams, Arminius of the Cherusci led a confederation of six Germanic tribes in the annihilation of three Roman legions. Deep in the forest almost twenty thousand men were massacred without mercy; fewer than two hundred of them ever made it back across the Rhine. To Rome’s shame, three sacred Eagles were lost that day. But Arminius wasn’t brought up in Germania Magna – he had been raised as a Roman. This is the story of how Arminius came to turn his back on the people who raised him and went on to commit a betrayal so great and so deep, it echoed through the ages.

TheWatchHouseThe Watch House by Bernie McGill (eARC, courtesy of NetGalley & Tinder Press)

As the twentieth century dawns on the island of Rathlin, a place ravaged by storms and haunted by past tragedies, Nuala Byrne is faced with a difficult decision. Abandoned by her family for the new world, she receives a proposal from the island’s aging tailor. For the price of a roof over her head, she accepts. Meanwhile the island is alive with gossip about the strangers who have arrived from the mainland, armed with mysterious equipment which can reportedly steal a person’s words and transmit them through thin air. When Nuala is sent to cook for these men – engineers, who have been sent to Rathlin by Marconi to conduct experiments in the use of wireless telegraphy – she encounters an Italian named Gabriel, who offers her the chance to equip herself with new skills and knowledge. As her friendship with Gabriel opens up horizons beyond the rocky and treacherous cliffs of her island home, Nuala begins to realise that her deal with the tailor was a bargain she should never have struck.

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Book Reviews

On Thursday, I published my review of Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee and on Friday the next comparison post in my From Page to Screen challenge. This time the film adaptation under the spotlight was The Sense of an Ending from the novel of the same name by Julian Barnes.

Other posts

On Monday, I hosted a guest post from Lucy Appadoo as part of the blog tour for her book, Dancing in the Rain. The following day I took part in the book blitz for Shades of the Gods by Erin Hayes.   Wednesday is WWW Wednesday, where I and other book bloggers share what we’ve been reading, are currently reading and plan to read next. I find it fascinating to see what other book bloggers have been up to and it’s a great way to find amazing new blogs to follow. Also on my blog that day was a Q&A with first time author, Ed Duncan, about his thriller, Pigeon-Blood Red. Finally, on Saturday the spotlight was on Master of Alaska by Roger Seiler, a historical fiction novel based on the life of the first governor of Alaska.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 75 out of 78 books read (3 more than last week)
  • Classics Club Challenge– 2 out of 50 books reviewed (same as last week)
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 38 ARCs reviewed out of 50 (2 more than last week)
  • From Page to Screen 2017– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed (1 more than last week)
  • The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Shortlist 2017 – completed

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: City of Masks by S D Sykes
  • Blog Tour/Review: Dark Dawn over Steep House by M R C Kasasian
  • Blog Tour/Review: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell
  • Blog Tour/Review: Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen
  • Blog Tour/Review: Did You Whisper Back? by Kate Rigby
  • Meme: WWW Wednesday
  • Book Review: House of Names by Colm Toibin

Reviews to be added to NetGalley

  • House of Names by Colm Toibin