My Week in Books

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

There were a lot of new arrivals this week as I hit a lucky streak on the giveaway front and indulged in some Kindle daily and monthly deals – but only for books already on my Goodreads wishlist, I should add…


AbideWithMeAbide With Me by Elizabeth Strout (ebook, 99p)

Katherine is only five-years-old. Struck dumb with grief at her mother’s death, it is down to her father, the heartbroken minister Tyler Caskey, to bring his daughter out of silence she has observed in the wake of the family’s tragedy. But Tyler Caskey is barely surviving himself. His cold, church-assigned home is colder still since Lauren’s death, and he struggles to find the right words for his sermons; struggles to be a leader to his congregation when he himself is lost. When Katherine’s schoolteacher calls to discuss his daughter’s anti-social behaviour, it sparks a chain of events that begins to tear down Tyler’s defences. The small-town rumour-mill has much to make of Katherine’s odd behaviour, and even more to say about Tyler’s relationship with his housekeeper, Connie Hatch. And in Tyler’s darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his congregation’s humanity – and his own will to endure the kinds of trials that sooner or later test us all.

LostForWordsLost for Words by Stephanie Butland (ebook, 99p)

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you. Into her refuge – the York book emporium where she works – come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories. Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can’t hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story? It’s time to turn the pages of her past . . .

SeeWhatIHaveDoneSee What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (ebook, 99p)

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden – thirty two years old and still living at home – immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime. Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie’s unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to take care of a problem.

 

TheRainNeverCameThe Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

In a thirsty, drought-stricken Australia, the country is well and truly sunburnt. As the Eastern states are evacuated to more appealing climates, a stubborn few resist the forced removal. They hide out in small country towns – where no one would ever bother looking. Bill Cook and Tobe Cousins are united in their disregard of the law. Aussie larrikins, they pass their hot, monotonous existence drinking at the barely standing pub. When strange lights appear across the Western sky, it seems that those embittered by the drought are seeking revenge. And Bill and Tobe are in their path. In the heat of the moment secrets will be revealed, and survival can’t be guaranteed.

TheThingsWeLearnWhenWereDeadThe Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw (paperback, review copy courtesy of the author)

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all? At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.

TheSummerofImpossibleThingsThe Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman (hardback, giveaway prize)

If you could change the past, would you? Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death. Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

OrendaBooksGiveawayWe Shall Inherit the Wind, Where Roses Never Die and Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen (paperbacks, giveaway prize)

We Shall Inherit the Wind: 1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he’s made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then, in one of the most heart-stopping scenes in crime fiction, the first body appears.

Where Roses Never Die: September 1977. Mette Misvær, a three-year-old girl, disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiration date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette’s mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened to her daughter. As Veum starts to dig, he uncovers an intricate web of secrets, lies and shocking events that have been methodically concealed. When another brutal incident takes place, a pattern begins to emerge.

Wolves in the Dark: Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material . . . and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest—and most personal—case yet.

ItWasOnlyEverYouIt Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan (paperback, review copy courtesy of Head of Zeus)

Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality. But in the end, Patrick Murphy’s heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Book Reviews

On Sunday I published my review of Did You Whisper Back? by Kate Rigby, a tense psychological mystery. Independence Day in the US saw the publication of Citizen Kill by Stephen Clark and I was pleased to celebrate its book birthday by sharing my review of this exciting thriller. On Thursday I shared my review of A Reluctant Warrior by Kelly Brooke Nicholls, a tense, engaging thriller set in Colombia and informed by the author’s own real life experience of living in that troubled country.

Other posts

I joined other bloggers in the 6 Degrees of Separation meme, with this month’s starting point being the iconic novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. You can find out how I got from there to The Summer House Party by Caro Fraser here.  Wednesday has become WWW Wednesday, where I and other book bloggers share what we’ve been reading, are currently reading and plan to read next.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading ChallengeCompleted (82 out of 78 books read, 4 more than last week). I still need to set that new target….
  • 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 (same as last week)
  • From Page to Screen 2017– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed (same as last week)
  • The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Shortlist 2017Completed

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
  • Book Review: Revenants: The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman
  • Book Blitz: Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin
  • Meme: WWW Wednesday
  • Book Review: Shelter by Sarah Franklin
  • Blog Tour/Guest Post: Marry Me at Willoughby Close by

Reviews to be added to NetGalley

  • None just at the moment
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