Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi everyone,

I’m back with some more rapid reviews. Life has been pretty busy for me lately, and I’m behind on some reviews, so I figured it was time to bring this feature back 🙂

Grab a cuppa, and check out what I’ve been reading in recent months!

Blood Test by Jonathan Kellerman


Doctors believe that they can successfully treat five-year-old cancer patient, Woody Swope. But Woody’s parents, members of a cult called ‘The Touchers’, are not only refusing the treatment, they’re also threatening to remove him from the hospital.

Psychologist Alex Delaware, is called in to talk the parents round. But before he can, the Swopes are gone and so is Woody. All that remains is a savagely ransacked and bloodied motel room, their teenage daughter, Nona, and an increasingly sinister case to solve.

I have decided to start this series from the beginning, because I have the majority of the books on my TBR so I picked this one up recently. I enjoyed Blood Test, it was quite character driven, and it raised a lot of questions in terms of morals and so on. Tough to read at times, it was engaging and interesting. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border – an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness.

The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic.

Now four women embark on the twelfth expedition into the unknown.

I received a copy of this recently, and I was looking for a short read so I picked it up a few weeks ago. I genuinely have no idea what I read though. It was such an odd read. Promised to be scary, it fell a little flat on that for me. Yes, there were rimes when I was a bit apprehensive to turn the page, but it’s more the power of suggestion than actual shock factor. This is now a movie on Netflix, but I don’t think I could watch it. That’s when I would get scared. Its a quick read, but it’s an unusual one.

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall


Mike and Verity have a special game. The Crave.

They play it to prove what they already know: that Verity loves Mike. That she needs Mike.

Even though she’s marrying another man.

Now Mike knows that the stakes of their private game are rising.

This time, someone has to die…

Billed as one of 2018’s psych thrillers, this book was high on my want list so I was delighted to get a Netgalley copy. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once I started reading I was uncomfortable almost immediately. I find books about relationships and control tough to read, and that’s exactly what this is. Character-driven, and written from the male perspective, it definitely delves into the psyche to show why he acts how he does. But my god I found it hard to read. I can see the appeal, and it is well written, but the uncomfortable feeling stayed with me long after finishing it.

The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard


Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, Will Hurley, is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect they are dealing with a copycat, they turn to Will for help. He claims he has the information the police need, but will only give it to one person – the girl he was dating when he committed his horrific crimes.

Alison Smith has spent the last decade abroad, putting her shattered life in Ireland far behind her. But when she gets a request from Dublin imploring her to help prevent another senseless murder, she is pulled back to face the past – and the man – she’s worked so hard to forget.

I loved Catherine’s first book, Distress Signals, so I was thrilled to get a review copy of this one. While it’s a clever and well-written psychological (and crime) thriller, it didn’t pack as much of a punch for me as her first. I loved the idea, and I enjoyed how the story played out. I had suspicions early on, and they proved to be true, but it didn’t deter from my enjoyment of the book. I don’t tend to read much Irish crime fiction, but it’s clear to me that Catherine Ryan Howard is definitely becoming synonymous with it because she has a great writing voice! Looking forward to see what comes next!

So there we go! That’s the first of two Recent Reads post I’ve done, with the next one being posted early next week!

Have you read any of these? Would you read any of them? Do let me know in the comments! 😊

4 thoughts on “Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

  1. A friend of mine has been raving about Annihilation and is going to lend me it, I am intrigued to read it as I have read mixed reviews. I am going to look up Our Kind of Cruelty – you’ve made me want to read it! 🙈

    1. Annihilation was weird! 😂 I didn’t hate it, but I don’t think I “got” it either, if that makes sense?! Definitely try Our Kind Of Cruelty though, if you like that kind of thing you’ll enjoy it!

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