My Week in Books – 20th May ’18

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals  

SnapSnap by Belinda Bauer (review copy courtesy of Transworld)

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: I could have killed you.

Meanwhile Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother.

But the truth can be a dangerous thing . . .

BlacklandsBlacklands (Exmoor Trilogy #1) by Belinda Bauer (prize, courtesy of Transworld)

Twelve-year-old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body. Every day after school, while his classmates swap football stickers, Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle he never knew, who disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery.

Only Steven’s Nan is not convinced her son is dead. She still waits for him to come home, standing bitter guard at the front window while her family fragments around her. Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks between them before it’s too late. And if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered son, he’ll do it.

So the boy takes the next logical step, carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison. And there begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game between a desperate child and a bored serial killer…


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Tuesday – I took part in the blog tour for The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl, posting my review of this intriguing crime thriller set in Norway.

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 participated in the blog tour for The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw, sharing my review of this quirky, fun read as well as my Q&A with Charlie which included some quick fire questions designed to appeal to those who’ve read the book.

Thursday –My Throwback Thursday book was The Biographies of Ordinary People, Volume 1 by Nicole Dieker.  I’m currently reading Volume 2 which is due to be published on 22nd May.  I was also thrilled to take part in the blog tour for The Dome Press’s latest release, Juliet & Romeo by David Hewson, sharing my review and a Q&A with the author.  Described as a ‘novel retelling’ of the story immortalised in Shakespeare’s play, I was lucky enough to be invited to the book launch and to meet David in person, along with other book bloggers and some of the lovely people at The Dome Press.

Friday – I featured a wonderful guest post from Katherine Stansfield, author of The Magpie Tree.  I’ve just finished reading The Magpie Tree, the second in the author’s Cornish Mysteries series (review coming soon).  Since I haven’t yet read the first in the series, Falling Creatures, the subject of the post, about whether sequels look forward or look back, was particularly relevant to me.

Sunday – I shared my review of The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings, a powerful story of obsession set in Cornwall.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 76 out of 156 books read, 4 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 14 out of 50 books read, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 25 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 2 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen– 10 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last week
  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 5 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 37 books out of 50 read, 1 more than last week
  • When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 7 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 1 out of 6 books read, 1 more than last week
  • Buchan of the Month – 4 out of 12 books read, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Blog Tour/Review: I Will Find You by Daniela Sacerdoti
  • Book Review: Mr Peacock’s Possessions by Lydia Syson
  • Book Review: The Magpie Tree by Katherine Stansfield
  • Book Review: The Biographies of Ordinary People, Vol.2 by Nicole Dieker
  • Blog Tour/Review: That Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina
  • Buchan of the Month: A Lost Lady of Old Years by John Buchan
  • Book Review: The Last Day by Claire Dyer
  • Book Review: War Girl Ursula (War Girl #1) by Marion Kummerow
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My Week in Books – 13th May ’18

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals  

The Hidden BonesThe Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford (ARC courtesy of Allison and Busby)

The dead rarely leave matters tidy, widow Clare Hills knows that all too well. In search of a new start, Clare reconnects with university friend Dr David Barbrook and is pleased when he asks for her help sifting through the effects of recently deceased archaeologist Gerald Hart. Together they stumble the lost finds from Gerald’s most glittering dig. Hidden from view for decades, and supposedly destroyed in an arson attack, the discovery of the Hungerbourne Barrows archive is every archaeologist’s dream. However, the dream soon turns to a nightmare which puts Clare at the centre of a murder inquiry.

After the PartyAfter the Party by Cressida Connolly (eARC, NetGalley)

‘Had it not been for my weakness, someone who is now dead could still be alive. That is what I believed and consequently lived with every day in prison.’

It is the summer of 1938 and Phyllis Forrester has returned to England after years abroad. Moving into her sister’s grand country house, she soon finds herself entangled in a new world of idealistic beliefs and seemingly innocent friendships. Fevered talk of another war infiltrates their small, privileged circle, giving way to a thrilling solution: a great and charismatic leader, who will restore England to its former glory.

At a party hosted by her new friends, Phyllis lets down her guard for a single moment, with devastating consequences. Years later, Phyllis, alone and embittered, recounts the dramatic events which led to her imprisonment and changed the course of her life forever.

Summer of LoveSummer of Love by Caro Fraser (eARC, courtesy of Head of Zeus)

The dark days of the war are over, but the family secrets they held are only just dawning.

In the hot summer of 1949, a group of family and friends gather at Harry Denholm’s country house in Kent. Meg and Dan Ranscombe, emerging from a scandal of their own making; Dan’s godmother, Sonia; and her two young girls, Laura and Avril, only one of whom is Sonia’s biological daughter. Amongst the heat, memories, and infatuations, a secret is revealed to Meg’s son, Max, and soon a terrible tragedy unfolds that will have consequences for them all.

Afterward, Avril, Laura, and Max must come of age in a society still reeling from the war, haunted by the choices of that fateful summer. Cold, entitled Avril will go to any lengths to take what is hers. Beautiful, naive Laura finds refuge and love in the London jazz clubs, but Max, with wealth and unrequited love, has the capacity to undo it all.

The Mountain Man's BadgeThe Mountain Man’s Badge by Gary Corbin (eARC, courtesy of the author)

Lehigh Carter never wanted to be sheriff. And he sure never wanted to arrest his new father-in-law for murder.

Mountain Man Lehigh Carter got talked into serving the unexpired term of disgraced long-time Mt. Hood County sheriff Buck Winters, hoping for a quiet nine months in office before the voters selected a new, permanent office-holder. But a few months into the job, poachers discover the body of Everett Downey, a sleazy local businessman, and the evidence points to Lehigh’s brand-new father-in-law, the once-powerful senator George McBride. To his chagrin and his new bride’s fury, Lehigh is forced to arrest George for the murder, and suddenly his happy marriage is on the rocks. Soon he’s living in a tent with only his two dogs for companionship.

While most people in Mt. Hood County appreciate Lehigh’s honesty and his willingness to fight the cronyism and corruption that have plagued Mt. Hood County law enforcement for decades, his desire for reform ruffles some important feathers. Lehigh finds himself fighting unseen enemies, determined to portray him as inept and even more corrupt than his predecessor – even at the cost of protecting the integrity of the murder investigation. Even his own deputies seem intent on bringing back the old guard, and a series of evidence leaks put Lehigh’s reputation and ability to serve as sheriff in jeopardy.

Lehigh’s not a quitter, though, and with dogged persistence, begins to chip away at the investigation, discovering facts that don’t add up…and leads him to suspect why some of those most intent on removing him from office have reasons far more sinister than Lehigh’s reform agenda.  Can Lehigh uncover the truth behind Everett Downey’s murder without becoming the killer’s next victim?


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I took part in the blog tour for Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt, sharing my review of this fascinating fictionalised account of the life of Alma Schindler who came the wife of Gustav Mahler.   I also posted the first in a new series called Fact in Fiction, revealing five things I learned from the fiction titles I read the previous week.

Tuesday – Another blog tour, this time with an extract from historical novel Her Hidden Life by V. S. Alexander, which is based on a true story.   I also shared my Top Ten Tuesday list of books with my favourite colour in the title, although I diverged a bit by featuring the colours of the rainbow.

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 shared my review of The Burning Chambers, the first in a new trilogy from Queen of historical fiction, Kate Mosse.  Quite a few people commented on my Mary Berry analogy!

Thursday –My Throwback Thursday book was Fortune’s Wheel by Carolyn Hughes which I chose to complement the cover reveal on the same day for the next book in Carolyn’s Meonbridge Chronicles series, A Woman’s Lot.

Saturday –I took a tour of my TBR pile in order to participate in the My Blog’s Name in Books meme.  I also published my review of a book by another Queen of historical fiction, Alison Weir.  It’s the third book in her Six Tudor Queens series, Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 72 out of 156 books read, 6 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 14 out of 50 books read, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 23 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 3 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen– 10 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last week
  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 5 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 36 books out of 50 read, 4 more than last week
  • When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 7 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 0 out of 6 books read, same as last week
  • Buchan of the Month – 4 out of 12 books read, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: Mr Peacock’s Possessions by Lydia Syson
  • Blog Tour/Review: The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl
  • Book Review/Guest Post: The Magpie Tree by Katherine Stansfield
  • Blog Tour/Review/Q&A: The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw
  • Blog Tour/Review: Juliet & Romeo by David Hewson
  • Book Review: The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings
  • Book Review: Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall