I read nine books in July, including one over 550 pages which counts as long for me. It was difficult to decide on my five favourite as I enjoyed nearly all of them equally. However, you can find the results of my deliberations below. The link from the book title takes you to my review.
First up it’s a historical crime mystery set in early 19th century New York, Hudson’s Kill by Paddy Hirsch.
The follow-up to The Devil’s Half Mile, Hudson’s Kill reunites the two leading characters from the first book.
I loved the fast-moving and intricate plot, the fantastic period atmosphere and great cast of characters.
Next we move from fiction to non-fiction and In My Life: A Music Memoir by Alan Johnson. The fourth in his series of memoirs, as the title suggests, it focuses on pieces of music (one for each year) that evoke particular memories of his life at the time. I found it immensely readable, honest, warm and witty. You can read my review of Alan talking about the book at last year’s Henley Literary Festival here.
Back to fiction and The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca Stonehill, a historical novel that starts on a musical note being set on Eel Pie Island in the 1950s where many famous rock bands played.
The book then moves to the Greek island of Crete, including events on the island during WW2. I described it as ‘an insightful coming-of-age story and a powerful exploration of the horror, heartbreak and lasting impact of war’.
My next choice is The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle. What if you were asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom you’d like to have dinner. And what if that dinner was to actually happen? This is the book’s intriguing premise.
I described it as ‘a romantic, heart-warming story about love, loss, friendship, the possibility of second chances and the gift of forgiveness’. It would make a great beach read.
My final choice is a complete contrast. Motive X by Stefan Ahnhem is a dark and complex thriller involving the hunt for a serial killer.
The fourth in the series featuring Swedish police investigator, Fabian Risk, it picks up from events at the end of the previous book.
What were your favourite books from last month’s reading?