Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

I’m back with more reviews. It honestly feels like I will never get to clear this backlog, but I’m going to do what I can! 🙂

Dark Sacred Night: The Brand New Bosch and Ballard Thriller (Harry Bosch Series Book 21)

I’m a huge fan of the Bosch series, and I was lucky enough to be approved for this on Netgalley. I really enjoyed it, especially as I got to read about Renée Ballard. I haven’t gotten around to reading the first book featuring her. I loved the story, and it kept my attention the whole way through. I really like the relationship between Ballard and Bosch and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them!

The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22)

The Midnight Line was another super fun Reacher read. I loved the idea of seeing the West Point ring in the pawn shop and the way everything spiralled once Reacher decided to find out why it was there. Interesting characters in TML too, and I flew through it.

Past Tense: (Jack Reacher 23)

I had a BEAUTIFUL hardback bound proof of this since Harrogate, but I had been saving it until closer to publication. I loved Past Tense. I found the story to be a bit of a departure from the usual Reacher story, in the sense of character motivations and actions, but I enjoyed it. I will now be impatiently waiting for the next one 🙂

Wild Magic (The Immortals, Book 1)

I’ve never read any Tamora Pierce so this was a new author and style for me, and I definitely got into it. The main character, Daine, is a young mage and she can communicate with animals and nature. I found myself thinking about it often when I wasn’t reading it, and I had to get the next books in the series to find out what happens! Highly recommended!

Wolf-Speaker (The Immortals, Book 2)

This one delves deeper into Daine’s world and it was as compelling as the first book. These are gentler than the usual magical/fantasy reads, but just as captivating.

Emperor Mage (The Immortals, Book 3)

Lots more happened in this book than the previous two. Questions were answered, more questions were asked. I found myself getting lost in the world, and I really liked seeing the characters journeys throughout the series. Definitely recommend this series, and I’m dying to read the fourth book in the series!

The Importance of Being Aisling: Country Roads, Take Her Home

I’m the first to admit I am not a big fan of Irish fiction, not for any particular reason, I just prefer books set in a different country. But then I met Aisling, and I have never read a more relatable book in terms of being able to see traits in people I know woven through the story. It made me laugh, it had some sombre moments, but it was just a genuine and fun read. It really surprised me!

The Hangman’s Hold: A gripping serial killer thriller that will keep you hooked (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 4)

Absolutely love Michael’s DCI Matilda Darke series and The Hangman’s Hold was another excellent installment. Dark, gripping and unsettling, I would highly recommend this series if you’ve not read any!

The Hermitage: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 9)

I love this series, and I really liked The Hermitage. I enjoyed the dual locations and I found the story to be quite engaging. I kept reading and before I knew it I had it finished. The camaraderie and friendships between the characters are what make this series for me. It feels like catching up with friends when I pick up LJ Ross’s books !

Storm Rising (An F.B.I. K-9 Novel Book 3)

Another awesome installment in the FBI K-9 series. Hawk is such a cool dog, and I love reading these books because they are always so insightful from a technical aspect while being completely absorbing in terms of the story. I couldn’t put it down when I started it! Highly recommend this as another series to add to your TBR!

Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

So, I’m 44 (yes, FORTY-FOUR!!!!) reviews behind. Which sucks. But, I am adamant that I will get through them and this is once again, the ONLY way I can play catch up! These are all books I read towards the end of 2018 and I feel terrible that I haven’t gotten around to doing this until now, but hey, better late than never, right? 🙂

Murder on the Orient Express (Poirot)

I will hold my hand up and say until last year, I had never read an Agatha Christie novel. I rectified that by buddy reading Murder with some lovely twitter folk and I really enjoyed it. It is definitely a cosy crime novel, and it was exactly what I needed to read. So much so, that I’m now reading another AC novel, And Then There Were None and enjoying it just as much.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

Very much a character-driven book, Do You Dream of Terra-Two is one for fans of Becky Chambers. It’s got a really good premise, and I enjoyed the journey that the characters take the reader on.

Ink and Bone (The Great Library Book 1)

I’m a sucker for anything that uses books/libraries as a selling point. Ink and Bone is a promising opening for the Great Library series. Good world-building, intriguing characters and plenty of action. It took me a while to get into, but I would happily continue on with the series!

Trust No One: I Am Pilgrim meets Orphan X in this explosive thriller. You won't be able to put it down

This one was on my Netgalley shelf for far too long so I picked it up late last year. It reminds me of the Jason Bourne movies, it reads quite cinematic in that sense. Its a good thriller, with a lot to keep the reader turning the pages. Read this if you enjoyed I Am Pilgrim!

Empress of all Seasons

I am deep into my YA fantasy phase at the moment, and this one was top of my want list last year. I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley copy so I dove right in. Epic world-building, some seriously good characters and beautiful imagery in this one!

Zero Hour: Omnibus Edition

Zero Hour is a tense and emotive book. It is short, but packs a proper punch. It will leave you thinking about it long after finishing it. If you like Hugh Howey you will love Zero Hour!

The Masked City (The Invisible Library series Book 2)

I’m really enjoying this series. I found The Masked City to be hard going at the star though. There was a lot going on, and I couldn’t follow it initially, but once I figured it out I couldn’t put it down. I love the characters in this series, and I can’t wait to read the next ones!

Rosewater: Winner of the Nommo Award for Best Novel (The Wormwood Trilogy Book 1)

Rosewater is one of the more different books I’ve read lately. Speculative, graphic and immersive, it is an intriguing read. I thought it was a bit confusing at times as it jumps around a bit, but it was the premise that kept me reading!

The Lion Tamer Who Lost

An absolutely beautiful book. Emotive, beautifully-written and with a truly captivating story, this is a book with real heart. I can’t do it justice with my words, but I would highly recommend picking it up.

The Last Namsara: Iskari Book One

Another stellar YA fantasy series. I loved The Last Namsara. It is stunningly immersive, characters that will have you rooting for them from the start, and DRAGONS! Super fun read.

The Caged Queen: Iskari Book Two

I read this one before Namsara (I obviously went and bought Namsara as soon as I had finished this one!!!) and I was hooked. It was such an engaging read, and it had enough tie backs to the first book that it made the reader question a few things, but it didn’t give everything away. Loved it!

James Patterson Book Shots Reviews

Late last year, I found myself having trouble with books that weren’t working for me, so I was in need of short sharp reads. In James Patterson’s Book Shots, I found exactly what I needed. Whole stories in 120 pages or less, plus they helped to bring up my Goodreads challenge a little bit 🙂

I’ve read a few of JP’s books before and they are generally easy reads. Pacy and action-packed, and the same can be said for the Book Shots! Here’s the synopsis for each of the ones I read, and a brief review:

  • The Shut In:

I know you’re watching me. 
Confined to a studio apartment, Tricia Celano watches the outside world through a flying drone. But when her high-tech toy records a vicious murder, she’s determined to track down the killer–a killer who knows she’s being watched. 

I found this one to be a bit slow to start, if that is even possible in such a short book, but once it did it was good fun. The drone aspect was a new one, and shows the need to stay up to date with technological advances. Interesting murder method, shady characters and an open ending left me wanting just a little more with The Shut In.

  • Private: Gold:

Money. Betrayal. Murder.

That’s a Private conversation.

Hired to protect a visiting American woman, Private Johannesburg’s Joey Montague is hoping for a routine job looking after a nervous tourist. After the apparent suicide of his business partner, he can’t handle much more. But this case is not what it seems–and neither is his partner’s death.

I’ve not read any of the Private series, so I couldn’t tell you if there is a link to them with this book. However, its another good one. Set in South Africa, the location was a welcome change from the US-based ones. I liked the idea with Private: Gold, and I would definitely add the series to my list after reading this one!

  • Come and Get Us:

What is her husband’s secret? Miranda Cooper’s life takes a terrifying turn when an SUV deliberately runs her and her husband off a desolate Arizona road. With her husband badly wounded, she must run for help alone as his cryptic parting words echo in her head: “Be careful who you trust.”

It is possible this was my favourite one. A car is rammed ff the road and it becomes a race for survival as an unseen force tries to stop Miranda at every turn. There is more to this than meets the eye, and I was intrigued to see how it would play out. The wilderness, tension and characters made this one really good. I read the whole thing really quickly just to see where JP was going. Definitely the best of the Book Shots I’ve read.

  • The Heist:

Three thieves have planned the perfect diamond heist. They’ve monitored the Hatton Garden jeweller for months and are ready to make the hit. But they were not expecting a rival crew to show up at exactly the same time.

After a bloody fight, the three thieves come away with the diamonds and set off to meet their buyer in Amsterdam. But now it’s not only the police who are chasing them, and not only the diamonds that are at stake.

Less inclined to say I love this one. It was good. It all seemed much more rushed than the others though, which made the story feel a bit mashed together if that makes sense?! As a full length novel though, this would have great potential to expand characters and the plot. Enjoyable nonetheless!

  • Kidnapped:

PLEASE HELP BEFORE HE KILLS ME.

Travelling home for the festive season, Jon Roscoe receives a desperate cry for help.

This year, Christmas with his family isn’t quite as he had planned…

I really like Jon Roscoe, the lead in a few of these. I would happily read about him all day long. This was a twisty one, with some hateful characters. I liked how the story played out too. Less action than other Jon Roscoe books, but good all the same!

  • The Verdict:

A woman violently attacked in her bed.

A billionaire businessman on trial at The Old Bailey.

As the world’s press gather outside London’s luxurious Tribeca hotel, can Jon Roscoe protect his own family from the terrifying consequences of the verdict?

Really enjoyed this one too. As I said, Roscoe is a good character. Engaging, honest and reminiscent of an action movie hero, its hard not to enjoy reading about his escapades in these books. And that poor Tribeca Hotel is giving him serious trouble!

  • Cross Kill:

ALEX CROSS, I’m coming for you – even from the grave if I have to.

Along Came a Spider killer Gary Soneji has been dead for over ten years. Alex Cross watched him die. But today, Cross saw him gun down his partner. Is Soneji alive? A ghost? Or something even more sinister?

Nothing will prepare you for the wicked truth.

I read Along Came A Spider years ago, so this was a welcome return to Alex Cross and Gary Soneji. The idea of this one is really good too. It makes the reader question Soneji’s death, just like Alex. Its very quick, but the pace doesn’t really let up, so it’s very easy to read this one straight through. Made me feel like I need to go and read all of the Alex Cross books!

  • The Hostage:

The grand opening of the world’s most exclusive hotel: forty floors of breathtaking luxury.

VIPs gather in London for the ultimate preview. But one uninvited guest plans to make this a day the city will never forget.

Global Head of Security, Jon Roscoe, confronts a killer with a deadly timetable.

First outing with Jon Roscoe and it is a gory one. I really liked this one, and its what made me read the others with him in it. There is a cinematic quality to these books, and above any I’ve read, this is the one that would make the best movie. It has everything you can think of from an action/thriller, but its condensed and concentrated, so its got a got going on!


So yeah. 7 Book Shots, 7 mini reviews. These are all easy reads. They are short, have plenty of action, and work really well as palate-cleansers in terms of changing speed and style. I would happily read more of them!

Have you read any? Would you read them? Do let me know in the comments 🙂

Weekly Wrap Up December 18th

Hi everyone,

Its wrap up time! I’ve also managed to read 2 books this week which isn’t too bad considering nothing I’m reading is hitting the spot! Except Rupture! 😍🙌🏻

! It was an oddly busy week on the blog too, with 7 posts since Monday so there’s plenty to catch up on!

On Monday, Dave Hardy’s Top 20 books of the year went up:

Dave Hardy’s Top 20 Books of 2016 +2

I reviewed The River at Night, which has been getting some great reviews, but it missed the mark for me:

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The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

I had the brilliant Marnie Riches on Wednesday with a great guest post:

Marnie Riches Guest Post: Meet the Family…

I also posted my review of Duplicity:

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Duplicity by Sibel Hodge

Another review for the 2017 release, Lies:

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Lies by T. M. Logan

And another review (I know, I’m on fire 😂), Quercus are massively promoting this one:

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The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney

And last, but by no means least, one of my most anticipated books of the year by one of my absolute faves:

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Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson


That’s been my week here! I’m almost finished Final Girls by Riley Sager so I’ll be reviewing that as well as Fickle by Peter Manus.

Tomorrow I’m on the blog tour for Dark Minds, a short story anthology from Bloodhound Books.

On Tuesday, Ellen is on the blog tour for Scared To Death by Rachel Amphlett!

On Christmas Day, I finally get to share my review of Witness by Caroline Mitchell!

How has your week been? Read anything I need to add to the TBR mountain?! De let me know in the comments below 😊

Weekly Wrap Up (x2)

Hi everyone,

I didn’t do a wrap up post last week, so this week I have a bumper two week wrap up where you can catch up on everything that’s been going on!

Although I’ve been reading, my mojo is still AWOL. I’ve been reading some great books, and I know they’re great, but I’m just not in the form so they haven’t been hitting the mark! I’ve read 157 books this year though, so I guess I can’t complain!

I took part in an event online for THE Book Club on Facebook and I was on the panel for mystery/thriller books, so I did up a post with my Top 20 all time fave M/T books which you can see here:

My Top 20 ATF Mystery/ Thriller books….

I read and reviewed an FBI K9 book:

Lone Wolf by Sara Driscoll

The usual First Monday Crime Spotlight was on Alex Marwood:

*First Monday Crime* Spotlight on Alex Marwood

My favourite post of the month went up:

November Book Haul

My awesome guest reviewer , Ellen, read and reviewed The Poisoned Rock:

The Poisoned Rock by Robert Daws *Ellen’s Review*

I read and reviewed Jackie Baldwin’s debut to coincide with paperback publication:

Dead Man’s Prayer by Jackie Baldwin

The lovely Susan at The Book Trail had me answering some Christmas themed questions:

The Book Trail Advent Calendar Day 3…

I took part in a Bloodhound Books blog tour:

*Blog Tour* Malcolm Hollingdrake Hell’s Gate

I read, LOVED, and reviewed a forthcoming Orenda Books title:

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

And on Friday, I finally posted my top reads of the year, which has turned out to be my most popular post EVER on the blog:

Top 13 Books of 2016…


As for what’s coming up next week, I’m posting another top reads post tomorrow from Dave Hardy, where he lists some stellar books he’s read this year.

I’m also going to post up some reviews, because I’m a bit behind so there should be reviews up for the following books at some stage:

  • The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
  • Duplicity by Sibel Hodge
  • The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney
  • Lies by T. M. Logan

So yeah, that’s been my recent weeks. How has yours been? Read anything I shuld add to my TBR? Do let me know! 🙂

Top 13 Books of 2016…

Hi everyone,

It’s that time of the year again. The time where I draw up this list over and over AND OVER again, trying to whittle down the great books I’ve read into one small one.

As I type this I’m surrounded by 5 or 6 different attempts, and I’ve decided that because 13 is my lucky number, I’m recommending 13 great books from those I have read this year. And for good measure, I’m putting in two books at the end from 2017 that you all need to watch out for!!!

The drawback about listing books, is that I know for a fact I have some absolute standout books from 2016 on my TBR shelves, but I haven’t gotten around to reading them, yet… And also it’s SO hard to choose and not everyone will be happy! But at the end of the day this is personal preference, books that have been great for me. 

This is almost a list of two halves. There is a certain publisher who consistently releases excellent books, so needless to say, they feature heavily. I’ve also got a couple of book series thrown in because I’m not doing two separate posts this year like I did in 2015! If you want to see them, the links are below:

My Top Ten Books & Series of 2015 Part 1!!!

My Top Ten Books & Series of 2015 Part 2!!!

Anyway, as usual, I digress!!!

Onto my TOP 13 BOOKS OF 2016 (in no particular order, with review links under the photos)…

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Dodgers by Bill Beverly 

I read this at the right time. It was everything I was looking for, and I absolutely loved it. I still think about East, months later.

 

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The Constant Soldier by William Ryan

This book broke me. I sobbed as I finished it, I just couldn’t comprehend the beauty of this book. It was utterly breathtaking.

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight took me weeks to read, I just didn’t “get it” immediately, so I left it and came back. I was hooked when I picked it up again. Amazing storytelling, magical prose and a kick-ass heroine, it is a superb starting point for a series.

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The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

Menacing book this one! Slow deliberate prose that will make the hairs on your neck stand on end. Unputdownable, gripping and eloquent!

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Pendulum by Adam Hamdy

Best action thriller of the year for me I think! Pendulum was fast-paced, cinematic and super fun (not for the characters obvs, but I loved it!).

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The Deviants by C J Skuse

Another one that broke me. A YA book so full of heart with great characters. Bawled!!!!

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Blackout by Ragnar Jónasson 

This man can do no wrong in my eyes. In my top books last year, and here we are again. Highlight of my year was meeting Ragnar. #epicfangirl

Dead Is Better by Jo Perry

Dead is Best by Jo Perry

These books are all kinds of awesome. Charlie and Rose are dead and they are two of my favourite characters in fiction this year.

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Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen

Another beautiful Scandi crime novel makes the list. This one was special. Well worth reading!

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

The Plea by Steve Cavanagh

Eddie Flynn is another of my favourite characters this year. Steve Cavanagh writes legal thrillers, and they are just perfection. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment!

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Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus

This book! This one. Unexpected, odd, and absolutely wonderful. Read it, you’ll thank me later!


There you have it, my Top 13 Books of 2016. Here are the two I think you all should keep an eye out for in 2017 and that will more than likely be on this list next year for me…

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Ragdoll by Daniel Cole 

A PROPER serial killer thriller. Edge of your seat amazing, great characters and a twisted antagonist. What more could you want?

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Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

LOVED this one! Haunting and threatening. It freaked me out more than once. Superb writing style, razor sharp. You’ll want to read it!


And so it ends. These books have been my favourites this year, by a mile. They have made me cry (which rarely happens with books!!!!), made me laugh, given me hope and filled me with excitement.

Have you read any of these? Would you? Do let me know in the comments…

Weekly Wrap Up November 27th

Hi everyone,

Super quick wrap up post this week! I’m still reading but not very much so there’s only one non blog tour review on here! Here’s a list of what’s been on the blog this week in chronological order:

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*Blog Tour* Zero by Matt Brolly

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*Blog Tour* The Reykjavik Assignment- Adam LeBor

*Cover Reveal* Domina by L. S. Hilton

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The Back Road by Rachel Abbott

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*Blog Tour* The Mine by Antti Tuomainen #Finnish Invasion

 

So, that’s been my week here! The coming weeks are going to be pretty quiet on here as I’ve not got much on! I’ll post reviews for anything I read though so do stop by 😊

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend!