My Week in Books – 26th August ’18


New arrivals  

The Golden OrphansThe Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond (ebook, review copy courtesy of Damppebbles Blog Tours)

Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…

Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…

The Girl in the LetterThe Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis (ebook)

A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.

1956 – When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day – Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late.

Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…

The Continuity GirlThe Continuity Girl by Patrick Kincaid (ebook)

1969 – Hollywood descends on a tiny Scottish village for the making of Billy Wilder’s most ambitious picture yet: a sprawling epic detailing The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. But the formidable director and his crew soon come into conflict with Jim Outhwaite, a young scientist seeking evidence for monsters.

2014 – Stuck just a short walk from the East London street where she grew up, ambitious Film Studies lecturer Gemma MacDonald is restless and hungry for change. A job offer in the Highlands seems to offer escape – but only at a cost to her relationships with family and an equally ambitious American boyfriend. Then a lost print of Gemma’s favourite film turns up, and with it, an idea…

Two stories, separated by 45 years, are set on collision course – on the surface of Loch Ness, under the shadow of a castle – by the reappearance of the continuity girl herself: April Bloom.

Dead Man's Gift and Other StoriesDead Man’s Gift and Other Stories by Simon Kernick (hardover, library copy)

One book. Five thrillers. No holds barred. Including:


MP Tim Horton arrives home to find his seven-year-old son has been abducted – and the nanny brutally murdered.  The kidnapping gang’s demands are simple: Tim must sacrifice his own life to save his son’s.  A dead man’s gift…


Six former school-friends have been reunited on a remote island.  Separated since a fateful night twenty-one years ago, when their friend Rachel was killed, they’re afraid for their lives – because the man arrested for Rachel’s murder has been released. They think he’s coming for them. They’re almost right.

Plus three more thrillers guaranteed to keep you gripped to the page. Can you withstand five full-strength doses of Simon Kernick?

BookwormBookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan (hardcover, library copy)

When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one.

She was whisked away to Narnia – and Kirrin Island – and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy, and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With Charlotte’s Web she discovered Death and with Judy Blume it was Boys. No wonder she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home.

In Bookworm, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-beloved books, their extraordinary creators, and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way.

Lucy brings the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life – prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate – and brilliantly uses them to tell her own story, that of a born, and unrepentant, bookworm.

The Angel's MarkThe Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry (hardcover, giveaway prize courtesy of Corvus and Readers First)

LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I’s control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country’s fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of London, with strange marks that no one can explain.

When idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby finds another body displaying the same marks only days later, he becomes convinced that a killer is at work, preying on the weak and destitute of London.

Determined to find out who is behind these terrible murders, Nicholas is joined in his investigations by Bianca, a mysterious tavern keeper. As more bodies are discovered, the pair find themselves caught in the middle of a sinister plot. With the killer still at large, and Bianca in terrible danger, Nicholas’s choice seems impossible – to save Bianca, or save himself…

Pre-order The Angel’s Mark from Amazon UK

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Tuesday – I hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher, sharing my review of this gripping, intelligent thriller. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was Books To Pull You Out of A Reading Slump.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.   I also published my review of The Secrets of Primrose Square by Claudia Carroll.

Thursday – To mark its publication in paperback, I republished my review of WW2 historical crime mystery, The Great Darkness by Jim Kelly.

Saturday – As part of the blog tour for The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Macarenhas, I published my review of this compelling and imaginative time travel mystery.  I also shared my review of Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls.

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  • Blog Tour/Book Review/Guest Post: Smart Moves by Adrian Magson
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: Night Flight to Paris by David Gilman
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: The Mistress of Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble
  • Buchan of the Month/Book Review: Huntingtower by John Buchan
  • Book Review: Choose to Rise: The Victory Within by M. N. Mekaelian

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