Halfway…

Right, so it’s a little over halfway through February, so I figured I’d take the time to regroup and decide what to do with my ever growing TBR.

This month, I had planned to read 26 books! You can find the full rundown of the books I had selected HERE.

Out of that list, I’ve read a grand total of five books, out of the 26.

Those are:

  • Behind Closed Doors
  • The Girl In The Ice
  • The Defence
  • Jihadi: A Love Story
  • Bone By Bone

I feel I should mention I tried to read a 6th, but it wasn’t for me so I’ve left it down.

Incidentally, I’ve read a further five books that weren’t even on my TBR at the start of February! I was lucky enough to have some ARC’s and Netgalley approvals so I bumped them.

I’ll cover the majority of these in my weekly wrap up post on Sunday (I won’t forget to do it this time! 😂) along with my review links!

Anywaaaaay

My immediate TBR now has 14 paperback books still sitting in the shelf (I added and took away some books!), along with four of the Kindle ARC’s from the list, and a few others I have that I want to read.


***I also hoard DVDs! 😂***



So, with ten days to go until the month ends, I’m still sitting on 22 books that I had planned to read!

I’m basically writing this post to give myself a good kick up the a**e and get reading what I’m supposed to be reading! My being behind also hasn’t stopped me from accepting some more review requests! 😂

I’m thinking that the more I try and set myself a reading goal per month, the less likely that I am to reach it! I fully intend on rearranging my TBR bookshelves over the weekend (time allowing), as they currently look like this:

 
***Excuse the mess, and kids toys, it’s all over the place since Isabelle started walking as she loves to pull at my books!! And yes, that’s a Christmas Yankee House still knocking around***

At least my kindle is all neat and tidy and linear, even if not in chronological order!😁

Anyone read anything on my shelves?

Any organisational solutions?! 😂

At least I’m not ducking and diving through piles of books everywhere…

A girl can dream… 😊📖

The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza

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My thanks as always to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy of The Girl In The Ice.

About the book (via Goodreads):

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

 
My thoughts:

 

I try not to use profanities in my reviews (which is tough because I swear a lot 😂) but every so often some books come along and make you think what the fu…. (see what I did there 😉) is going on?!?!

The Girl In The Ice is one such book! Robert Bryndza seems like such a lovely man so I’m wondering where he found the inspiration for such heinous crimes and such an awful murderer!!!

I loved this book!!! From start to glorious finish, I was hooked! Housework got left, sleep was vastly reduced, I just couldn’t put it down!!!

The prologue to this book should come with a warning….

“Abandon all hope those who enter, not a hope of you putting this book down!!!” 😂

As soon as Detective Erika Foster was introduced, I knew I was going to enjoy her character. A strong ass female lead, takes no shit, relentless in her quest for the truth and all round legend of a woman! Foster had a tough year, and you can tell as her demeanour is sometimes bordering on defeatist but she will not lie down and take it. In fact, she comes back fighting, throwing barbs at her boss and having banter with her colleagues, and getting the job done!!!!

The plot in The Girl In The Ice is so tightly woven that I defy you to pick out the murderer early. I had suspicions but I was way off the mark, more than once if I’m honest!

The author has done a spectacular job with this book. The characters are all so well written, some in particular are just hideous excuses for human beings and made my skin crawl. I love how the tension ramps up with almost every chapter too. You’re on edge reading as you know something is going to happen, but until you turn the page (swipe the kindle 😂) you have no idea!

The Girl In The Ice is most definitely a member of the one more chapter club for me. I didn’t want to stop reading, and God help anyone who interrupted me or made me put it down.

(On one such occasion, with 10% left to go, I had to stop reading!!!! I actually had to go and do real life stuff for the afternoon!!!  I was so cross 😁 and I didn’t get to finish the book until that night!!!)

The climax to the book was brilliant though! Absolutely nail biting until the very end!

The Girl In The Ice was a stellar read with everything I look for in a thriller right there between the pages! I gave it an easy 5⭐️ rating on Goodreads!

The Girl In The Ice is out today and you can purchase a copy HERE


Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris


Wow! Just wow! Every so often a book comes along that people rave about, and Behind Closed Doors is one of those books! I had seen an early buzz about it so I hopped on Netgalley, and thankfully I was approved!


About the book:

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.


My thoughts: 
How do I even begin?! This book. THIS BOOK!!!!!!! 

B. A. Paris has written a spectacular book. Behind Closed Doors is a lesson in domestic noir/thrillers.

Going between the present and the past with Grace Angel, Paris paints two very different pictures with chilling repercussions.

I had a feeling when I started reading that I wouldn’t want to stop, and I was right. I flew through this book, reading at every available moment!

I don’t want to spoil any of the plot, so as per usual, I won’t go into details! Sufficed to say, this book rattled me in so many ways. I felt pity, sadness, anger and so many other emotions during the course of this book.

I loved the way Paris created her characters. Initially, you are almost envious of Jack and Grace. Their lives seem perfect. Beautiful house, he’s a handsome, successful alpha male, affluent lifestyle and so on. However, when the veil of domestic bliss is pulled back, the envy turns to disgust.

Behind Closed Doors grabs you by the hands and throws you on an emotional roller coaster. So full of twists and turns that you can just about hold on, and just when you think it’s all over you’re propelled forward to a compelling conclusion.

I gave Behind Closed Doors 5⭐️ on Goodreads.

Amazing. Just effortlessly brilliant. 😊📖
****Update****

Since reading and posting my early thoughts, so many people have also read this book or pre-ordered it and I’m delighted it’s getting such a great reception as its thoroughly deserved!!

Behind Closed Doors is released today and you can purchase a copy HERE

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh


I got my copy of The Defence from Netgalley. I’ve had it on my kindle for too long so dived into it this week!


About the book (via Goodreads):


Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.
It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy.
Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if he wants to save his daughter.
Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?


My thoughts:


Wow!!!! I’m on a roll with great books this year and The Defence is another one that’s blown me away!!!

I love manly books. You know, the kinds of books that are full of action, conspiracies, violence and so on (Jack Reacher and the like basically)! The Defence was definitely up there as regards a thrill-a-minute read!

I start books at night when I go to bed as it’s the longest uninterrupted reading time for me so I know when I get to some 30-odd percent that I’m well hooked by a book. I went to sleep thinking ‘I can’t wait to pick this up again tomorrow!’ which is definitely a good sign.

The Defence is character-driven and I found myself instantly rooting for Eddie and this didn’t waver at any stage throughout the book.

Flynn is a brilliant character. Intelligent and cocky, but full of the street smarts needed when his daughter is kidnapped by the Russian Mafia. I really enjoyed the parts in the book when Flynn is in the courtroom, as his presence is commanding enough to jump off the page.

I loved this book and as usual I’m struggling to get my thoughts out of my brain and into this review!!! 😁

The Defence is a brilliant thriller! Superbly plotted with excellent characters and an engaging story. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Steve Cavanagh has gained a new fan, and I can’t wait to read the next installment in the Eddie Flynn series!

I gave The Defence an easy 5⭐️ rating on Goodreads!

It’s released today and you can purchase a copy HERE


Hello February…

Hi everyone,

Here we all are in February already! It doesn’t feel that long ago since i was writing my New Year post! 😱

Anyway, I’m still trying to plan my monthly reads in advance (my TBR shelves are still packed with over 400 books!!!) , but with so many great books popping up it makes it difficult to stick with it!

After having a stellar reading month in January, 31 books in 31 days, I’d like to try and take it a small bit easier this month.

This month I’ve chosen 13 physical books I WANT TO READ (13 is my favourite number! 😊) along with 13 various ARC’s and books on my Kindle.
Lessening my total by 5 sounds like very little though, and I may be hard pushed to get all the books read, but I’m damn well going to try! 😝

 

Physical books to be read:
 

The Silkworm by Robery Galbraith

I’ve been dying to read this and have it since it was released, I’m not waiting any more! 😂

The Missing by Chris Mooney

Having read a short story by him this week, I’m bumping up this one! 

In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

On my TBR for a few weeks, on my wish list since release! 

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

I’ve been trying to get to this for ages too!

The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble

To be read and reviewed thanks to the publisher!

I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton

On my list since release too! 

Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

Can’t wait to read this one!!! 

Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve heard great things about this book so bumping it up! 

Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbo

A firm favourite for me, and I read Blood On Snow last year! 

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

Mixed reviews but I’m looking forward to it! 

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

Another one I’m looking forward to reading!

Bone by Bony by Sanjida Kay

Thanks to Corvus for this ARC

Victim Without a Face by Stefan Anhem

Proof copy that I won and I’m dying to read it!

 

Kindle books to be read:

  

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

Netgalley TBR 

Secrets of the Last Nazi by Iain King

Bookouture and Netgalley TBR 

The Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti

Netgalley TBR 

Death in Profile by Guy Fraser-Sampson

Netgalley and Urbane Publications TBR 

Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris

Netgalley TBR 

Beneath The Surface by Heidi Perks

Author request ARC 

Last Prophecy of Rome by Iain King

Bookouture and Netgalley TBR 

Hold Still by Tim Adler

Author request ARC

The Devil’s Wire by Deborah Rogers

Author request 

Jihadi: A Love Story by Yusuf Toropov

I’m on the blog tour this month for Jihadi and I can’t wait to read it! 

Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse

Netgalley TBR 

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

Netgalley TBR 

Only The Innocent by Rachel Abbott

Reading in prep for author post on the blog


So, there you have it! My books that I want to read this month! And it being a leap year, I have an extra day! 😉

What are you reading this month? 😊📖

The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo

My thanks to Hayley at Harper Collins for my copy of The Invisible Guardian to read and review.

I’m honoured to be the last stop on the blog tour for this book, the first in the Baztán trilogy.

About the book: 

The naked body of a teenage girl is found on the banks of the River Baztán. Less than 24 hours after this discovery, a link is made to the murder of another girl the month before. Is this the work of a ritualistic killer or of the Invisible Guardian, the Basajaun, a creature of Basque mythology?
30-year-old Inspector Amaia Salazar heads an investigation which will take her back to Elizondo, the village in the heart of Basque country where she was born, and to which she had hoped never to return. A place of mists, rain and forests. A place of unresolved conflicts, of a dark secret that scarred her childhood and which will come back to torment her.

Torn between the rational, procedural part of her job and local myths and superstitions, Amaia Salazar has to fight off the demons of her past in order to confront the reality of a
serial killer at loose in a region steeped in the history of the Spanish Inquisition.

 

My thoughts:

I had seen The Invisible Guardian pop up on social media a couple of times, so when I was contacted by Hayley to see if I was interested, naturally it was a yes. I was intrigued to read this Spanish bestseller to see what it was like!

Initially, I found it hard to get into. It took a while for the story to progress and there were many asides to do with Spanish mythology and with character backgrounds. However, these descriptions all (whether I realised it or not) had some impact on the developing story and it was all explained much later on.

I liked Inspector Salazar as a character. Well written and quite a strong woman, she didn’t take any prisoners (pardon the pun) and did her job well. Salazar, like many main characters, has her own hidden weaknesses and some of these threaten to undo her during the course of the book.

The murder investigation takes many different twists and turns, and I honestly couldn’t see where it was going for quite some time! Every time I thought I had the perpetrator, the author cleverly pointed the finger in another direction. I quite like that in books, as it makes you think back over what made you choose one person over another and what changed for the characters.

Redondo has skilfully written in Basque heritage and mythology into her novel. The pictures painted are wonderfully vivid, misty mornings that roll on, dense forestry and a flowing river all add to the darkness of the ritualistic subject matter in The Invisible Guardian.

I really enjoyed this book, and I would happily read the following two books in the Baztán trilogy.

You can purchase a copy HERE
Happy reading 😊📖

After You Die by Eva Dolan 

 

Huge thanks to Eva Dolan and Harvill Secker for my ARC of After You Die. I’ve has this on my TBR for a good few weeks now, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it. I’m so cross at myself for leaving it so long as this book was just brilliant!!!


About the book:


Dawn Prentice was already known to the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit.

The previous summer she had logged a number of calls detailing the harassment she and her severely disabled teenage daughter were undergoing. Now she is dead – stabbed to death whilst Holly Prentice has been left to starve upstairs. DS Ferreira, only recently back serving on the force after being severely injured in the line of duty, had met with Dawn that summer. Was she negligent in not taking Dawn’s accusations more seriously? Did the murderer even know that Holly was helpless upstairs while her mother bled to death?
Whilst Ferreira battles her demons, determined to prove she’s up to the frontline, DI Zigic is drawn into conflict with an official seemingly resolved to hide the truth about one of his main suspects. Can either officer unpick the truth about mother and daughter, and bring their killer to justice?

My thoughts: 


Having never read any of Eva Dolan’s previous books, I didn’t know what to expect when I started After You Die. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be hooked immediately and not wanting to leave the book down to sleep, but with 2 kids, I need sleep 😂

Happily, when I picked it back up, I was just as engrossed. I started the book on Tuesday night and had it finished last night. It was utterly addictive reading!
While the themes in the book are tough subject matter, they were handled skilfully, both by the author and the characters she has created. Zigic and Ferreira are one of the best, and most cohesive pairs of detectives I’ve read in a while. I often find that one or the other gets more time, or demands more attention, but both were equally present throughout the narrative.

The plot in After You Die was very tight. Every story was perfectly constructed, and together they intermingled brilliantly. You felt something for almost every character, whether it be sympathy, sadness, happiness or anger, and that is something I look for in the books I read. If I can’t connect, I find it harder to concentrate on the story. No fear of that here!!!

I’m not going go into details of the plot, the synopsis above should be enough to whet your appetite. I, for one, am glad I went in without reading more that the synopsis as it was such a layered book that I wasn’t expecting half of what happened! Also, as usual lately, I guessed the perpetrator and was wrong, again! 😂

Dolan has a fabulous writing style, descriptive yet easy to follow, which I loved. After You Die just flowed off the pages, a compelling and pacy read that just reels you in and doesn’t let you go until you turn the last page.
I gave After You Die an easy 5⭐️ on Goodreads and I’d highly recommend it! I’m off to buy the first two books in the Zigic and Ferreira series! 😉

You can get your copy of After You Die HERE

Happy reading 😊📖