Watching What I Read

Happy Sunday! And it is a lovely sunny day, but the wind still has a real bite to it.

Just this morning I have started reading

Kiss of Death (DS Heckenburg, #7)

Could this be the end for Heck?

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with an unforgettable crime thriller. Fans of MJ Arlidge and Stuart MacBride won’t be able to put this down.

Don’t let them catch you…

A Deadly Hunt
DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg has been tasked with retrieving one of the UK’s most wanted men. But the trail runs cold when Heck discovers a video tape showing the fugitive in a fight for his life. A fight he has no chance of winning.

A Dangerous Game
Heck realises that there’s another player in this game of cat and mouse, and this time, they’ve not just caught the prize: they’ve made sure no one else ever does.

A Man Who Plays With Fire
How far will Heck and his team go to protect some of the UK’s most brutal killers? And what price is he willing to pay?

I certainly hope this isn’t the end for Heck. I want to be reading of his adventures for a good while yet.

This week I am planning on reading

L'Anglaise

At 35 years old, Ella is no longer excited by her academic career in France and has not found love. Following the unexpected death of her father, she is thrown into crisis, but then she meets the enigmatic Max. Over the course of a summer, their romance deepens—until she makes a discovery that throws everything off course. As Ella’s life becomes bound up with the stories of two other Englishwomen in France, she finds the freedom to tread an unconventional path and to love in her own way. This rich and complex work examines the effects on children of parents in fraught and painful relationships; the fragility of identity; and the ways love can heal.

Tear Me Apart

The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.

One moment will change their lives forever…

Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.

Who knows the answers?

The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.

With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.

I was approved for 5 ARCs from NetGalley this week, amongst them was an approval from Avon Books UK for a mystery read to be published this November. There is no title, no cover, no author, but the publicity blurb reads as follows ‘

There’s a stranger in your home…

A haunting and twisty story about the lies we tell those closest to us, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.

Would you like to hear a story about two little girls who did something bad?

We’re asking you to be brave and request this book without knowing the title or the plot. If you’re approved, you’ll get to read a brand new psychological thriller and we ask that you keep everything secret until Halloween 2018 when we’ll reveal all…

‘Spooky and absorbing, this had me gripped from the first page’ – Cass Green

The Warning

An Irish Country Cottage (Irish Country, #14)

The Man She Married

In the Galway Silence (Jack Taylor, #14)

I am away looking after my grandchildren this week, so my reading and posting may be a little sporadic. Have a wonderful week and happy reading.

 

 

 

Watching what I’m reading

Another slow week of reading. I admit to feeling absolutely exhausted, and then have been hit by a rather nasty stomach bug that is currently doing the rounds. So instead of visiting my grandson today, I have spent most of the day in bed.

I am a little over half way through

The Wife Before Me

And I am quite enjoying this read.

This week I am planning on reading

Sold on a Monday

From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE

The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs, and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted. As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.

Better Than This

Sometimes the most enviable life is really a private hell.

On the surface, Sarah Jenkins appears to have it all: a handsome, wealthy and successful husband, a precocious five-year-old daughter, and a beautiful home in an affluent Seattle neighborhood. Her quirky best friend and fellow high school teacher, Maggie, marvels at her luck—and envies her happiness.

But Sarah is far from happy. She feels empty and on edge, harangued by a critical inner voice—and as the truth about her marriage and details of her past emerge, her “perfect” life begins to crumble. But just when it seems all is lost, a long forgotten, unopened letter changes everything, and with the support of friends, Sarah begins to rebuild her life. Can she quiet the critical voice in her head and learn to value herself instead?

I received 6 ARCs from NetGalley this week

Secrets of the Last Castle

What Happened to Us?: A feelgood story of love, loss and new beginnings...

No Way Out (DI Adam Fawley, #3)

Ruth Robinson's Year of Miracles: An uplifting summer read

Women Behaving Badly

In Harm's Way

This time next week, I will be ensconced with my grandsons being a full time Nana for ten days. I can’t wait! They are both bookworms, with sixteen month old Luke having very definite ideas on what he likes to read, and eleven year old Kayden likes finding books for me that I would not otherwise read. He hasn’t made a bad selection for me yet.

Although we are now officially in Spring, our weather is still  distinctly wintery. It’s cold with heavy rain 😩 The only time I have been warm today is when I have been snuggled up in bed . Speaking of which, I am heading back there now.

Happy reading my friends.

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael    Wood

EXCERPT: ‘Chris?’ she called out to the dark, silent house. ‘Chris, are you home?’

She kicked off her expensive but painful shoes and sighed with relief. She headed for the kitchen when a dull thud from the living room caused her to stop in her tracks. There was someone in her house. If Chris was home, he would have made himself known by now.

She turned and studied the door. Her eyes were locked on the handle, as if waiting for it to be pushed down from the other side. She grabbed it, and opened the door carefully.

Adele opened it wide enough to put her arm through and flick on the living room light. The yellow glow made her squint. She listened intently but couldn’t hear anything from the other side of the door. She pushed it fully open and froze in horror.

‘Who the bloody hell are you?’ she asked.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness.

He knows your darkest secrets.
He’ll make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

And he is closer than you think.

DCI Matilda Darke is running out of time. Fear is spreading throughout the city. As the body count rises, Matilda is targeted and her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

MY THOUGHTS: I have picked up this series on book #4, which has in no way diminished my enjoyment. The Hangman’s Hold can easily be read as a stand-alone, as plenty of background is supplied where needed.

How refreshing to have a lead female police officer who is not an alcoholic, into kinky sex practices, or generally screwed up. Don’t get me wrong, she has issues. Her husband, James, has died and she is bereft. She also has an unsolved case that haunts her. She battles with both these things. But she has a good friend, and good relationships with her older team members. She is strong in some areas, yet vulnerable in others. An interesting character whose loyalties are tested in this book.

The plot moves at a good pace. There are plenty of twists, turns and red herrings. My suspicions veered from one character to another. There are plenty of surprises, and a few jaw-dropping OMG! moments. This is a series I am going to read more of.

😍😍😍😍.5

THE AUTHOR: Before he became an author, Michael Wood used to serve as a journalist and a proofreader. Wood resides in Sheffield, Yorkshire. For Unknown Reasons was Michael Wood’s debut novel, which was published in the year 2015. HarperCollins published the second installment, Outside Looking In in the 2016.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Impulse and Killer Reads via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2465651584

Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach

Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach

Before you even start to read my review, I think it only fair to warn you that I am swimming against the tide of popular opinion, and the thing I liked best about Her Final Hour is the cover.

EXCERPT: …his knees buckled as he saw his wife tied to one of their carver chairs under the light of the cooker hood. A piece of blue cord was looped under her chin and the raw marks around her neck told him exactly what had happened.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Melissa Sanderson is the perfect wife and mother. She dotes on her daughter, and lives in her dream home in a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs.

But looks can be deceiving.

Something is amiss in that house – all the neighbours think so. Some say Melissa is having an affair. Others say she’s been drinking too much.

Then one night, sirens wake up the whole neighbourhood.

Melissa Sanderson is dead.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the first book in this series, The Next Girl. I forgave the author her use of the stereotypical caricature of most major female detectives currently being written – heavy drinking, hard-nosed, has been in an abusive relationship, estranged from family, as her character developed through the first book. But there is absolutely zero further character development in Her Final Hour.

I also commented that ‘some of the investigative techniques left something to be desired, but it does develop into a good crime thriller’. I stand by the first part of that comment as it is also true of Her Final Hour. Unfortunately Her Final Hour does not develop into a good crime thriller.

This book is clumsily written, as though it was dashed off in a hurry. The dialogue is mostly stilted. As I said earlier, there is zero character development. It was repetitive, and the characters constant dwelling on and rehashing of their traumatic pasts became extremely wearing.

There were times when I considered abandoning this read. The only thing that kept me reading was that I had enjoyed The Next Girl. I skimmed pages in an effort to get to the end, and heaved a sigh of relief when I closed the covers.

This was not ‘AN ABSORBING THRILLER WITH AN ENDING YOU WON’T SEE COMING’. It didn’t even come close. I won’t be recommending this book to others, and I probably won’t bother reading any further books in this series. 😕😕.5

I understand that reading is an entirely subjective experience and that, while this book wasn’t one I enjoyed, you may well love it. So if the excerpt piques your interest and you like the sound of the plot synopsis, please get a copy Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach and read it. I sincerely wish that I had enjoyed this more than I did.

THE AUTHOR: Carla Kovach was born in Birmingham, UK and now resides in Redditch, Worcestershire. Author of supernatural drama ‘Flame,’ psychological thriller ‘To Let,’ crime thriller ‘Whispers Beneath the Pines, and romantic comedy ‘Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.’ Carla also writes stage and screen plays, some of which have been produced in the Worcestershire area.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2465649922

Watching What I Read. . .

I am running late with this post, for which I apologize, after a busy weekend with work and visitors, during which I got almost zero reading in. The sky is just beginning to lighten on a cool and overcast Monday morning, and I don’t feel rested and refreshed and ready for the new week at all.

I am currently reading, and isn’t that a beautiful cover, …

Her Final Hour (Detective Gina Harte #2)

This week I am planning on reading

The Hangman’s Hold (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 4)

Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness of your living room. As soon as you get home, he will kill you – hang you by the neck – and make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

He knows your darkest secrets.
The police are running out of time. DCI Matilda Darke is facing her worst nightmare: a serial killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice, whose campaign of violence is spreading fear throughout the city.

And he is closer than you think.
As the body count rises, Matilda is personally targeted and even her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

The Wife Before Me

One evening as the sun is setting, Amelia Madison’s car slides into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Her body is never found.

Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison. She is grieving the loss of her mother, he is grieving for his wife. Together they can help each other.

Now Elena is living with Nicholas. But Elena doesn’t really know him. She doesn’t know what he is capable of.

And she doesn’t know what really happened to Amelia.

Until the day she discovers the torn page of a letter and the words she reads chill her to the bone.

Elena must find the person who wrote these letters if she is to save herself.

This week I received four ARCs from NetGalley

The Secrets We Keep: A gripping emotional page turner

The Wife Before Me

Nothing But Trouble: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Jessica Daniel thriller series Season 2 Book 4)

Perfect Girls (Detective Rachel Prince #3)

I am loving some of these eye-catching covers!

I am also deliberately keeping my reading load light this week as I have another heavy week at work. But I am counting down. Only this week and next week to go and then I am off to stay with my grandchildren for ten days. I am looking forward to spending this chunk of time with them, though I shall probably need a holiday when I get back. Then a couple of weeks after that, we are moving house. A busy time ahead 😎

Happy reading my friends.

 

Kill with Kindness by Ed James

Kill with Kindness by Ed James

EXCERPT: Fenchurch thought it through, trying to piece it together.

Half past eight down in deepest, darkest Wapping. Take about half an hour to walk over to the Minories.

Next sighted at eleven.

Plenty of time for Steve to kill Gayle.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A sadistic killer. An infamous victim. A crime that gets darker and darker…

The body of a young woman is found in a London hotel room, the victim of a suspected poisoning. Called in to investigate, DI Simon Fenchurch soon discovers the case is far more sinister than he could have imagined.

He should have recognised the woman at once—a teacher at a local school, her scandalous affair with a pupil has been splashed across the tabloids. As Fenchurch interrogates those closest to her, a web of suspicious connections begins to emerge.

Meanwhile Fenchurch’s own life is still in turmoil: his family fragmented, his baby son in intensive care, and his mentor replaced by an unsympathetic new boss. The streets of London are in chaos too, with a spate of acid attacks on seemingly random victims.

Struggling to hold on to hope on both fronts, Fenchurch faces the toughest few days of his career. Can he keep his family safe and catch whoever is behind the murder before more lives are lost?

MY THOUGHTS: I have read and enjoyed the previous books in this series, but Kill With Kindness just didn’t hook me and reel me in as the others did. A few times, I thought I was there, but ultimately I just didn’t really become immersed in this story line.

Perhaps there was just too much going on – the murder, the drugs, the family – all vying for the spotlight, and that’s without all the peripheral sub-plots and characters. It all just got a bit too complicated in places.

But I like Fenchurch. He’s a grumpy bugger, but loyal once you’ve won his respect, not quick to forgive if you haven’t. He’s still finding his way with his family, adapting to the changes, and it’s not over yet. Plus there are changes in his workplace, upsetting the balance. He’s a man who calls it like he sees it, and I like that. He is often stubborn, and tends to hold on to grudges long after he should have let them go. He speaks his mind, often to his own detriment. But I like him.

So, will I be reading the next in this series? Definitely. 😊😊😊.5

I wouldn’t recommend reading Kill With Kindness as a stand-alone, there is simply too much back story referred to in parts for it to make complete sense. But I do recommend this series.

THE AUTHOR: Ed James writes crime fiction novels, predominantly the SCOTT CULLEN series of police procedurals set in Edinburgh and the surrounding Lothians – the first four are available now, starting with GHOST IN THE MACHINE which has been downloaded over 280,000 times and is currently free. BOTTLENECK (Cullen 5) is out on 17-Mar-14. He is currently developing two new series – DI SIMON FENCHURCH and DS VICKY DODDS, set in London and Dundee respectively. He also writes the SUPERNATURE series, featuring vampires and other folkloric creatures, of which the first book SHOT THROUGH THE HEART is out now and free.

Ed lives in the East Lothian countryside, 25 miles east of Edinburgh, with his girlfriend, six rescue moggies, two retired greyhounds, a flock of ex-battery chickens and rescue ducks across two breeds and two genders (though the boys don’t lay eggs). While working in IT for a living, Ed wrote mainly on public transport but now writes full time.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Kill With Kindness by Ed James for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2473744748

Watching what I read. . .

After almost three days of Gremlins blanking out my screen every time I went to my WordPress site, I am glad to report that they have finally moved on to other pastures. I sincerely hope that it’s not you that they have moved on to. It was an extremely frustrating experience!

So with my return to normality(?), I decided it was time for a fresh title for my Sunday summary. And since I am currently watching what I eat, the title Watching  What I Read suggested itself to me. So no, it’s not about watching the movies or box sets of what I am reading.

I have just started

Kill with Kindness (DI Fenchurch, #5)

A sadistic killer. An infamous victim. A crime that gets darker and darker…

The body of a young woman is found in a London hotel room, the victim of a suspected poisoning. Called in to investigate, DI Simon Fenchurch soon discovers the case is far more sinister than he could have imagined.

He should have recognised the woman at once—a teacher at a local school, her scandalous affair with a pupil has been splashed across the tabloids. As Fenchurch interrogates those closest to her, a web of suspicious connections begins to emerge.

Meanwhile Fenchurch’s own life is still in turmoil: his family fragmented, his baby son in intensive care, and his mentor replaced by an unsympathetic new boss. The streets of London are in chaos too, with a spate of acid attacks on seemingly random victims.

Struggling to hold on to hope on both fronts, Fenchurch faces the toughest few days of his career. Can he keep his family safe and catch whoever is behind the murder before more lives are lost?

This is a series I have enjoyed from the start.

This coming week, I am planning on reading

Not Her Daughter: A Novel

Gripping, emotional, and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

And Her Final Hour (Detective Gina Harte #2)

Anything can happen behind closed doors…

The gripping new novel from the author of bestseller THE NEXT GIRL. Her Final Hour will have you hooked!

Melissa Sanderson is the perfect wife and mother. She dotes on her daughter, and lives in her dream home in a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs.

But looks can be deceiving. 

Something is amiss in that house – all the neighbours think so. Some say Melissa is having an affair. Others say she’s been drinking too much.

Then one night, sirens wake up the whole neighbourhood.

Melissa Sanderson is dead.

This is the second book in a series, and I absolutely loved the first.

The Crumpled Letter

A Curve in the Road

And Kiss of Death (DS Heckenburg, #7)

This is another series that I love!

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. It is almost Monday here in New Zealand, so I’m heading off to bed to try and get a few hours sleep before I start the new working week.

Happy reading

Cheers

Sandy

 

 

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

EXCERPT: Rosemary married their father Victor when she was eighteen years old – only five years older than Sylvia was now. The idea that Sylvia might be grown up enough in five years time to marry anyone struck Rosemary as ridiculous and reinforced her belief that her own parents should have stepped in and stopped her marrying Victor, should have pointed out that she was a mere child and he was a thirty-six year old man. She often found herself wanting to remonstrate with her mother and father about their lack of parental care, but her mother had succumbed to stomach cancer not long after Amelia was born, and her father had remarried and moved to Ipswich, where he spent most of his days in the bookies, and all of his evenings in the pub.

If, in five years time, Sylvia brought home a thirty-six year old cradle snatching fiance (particularly if he claimed to be a great mathematician) then Rosemary thought she would probably cut his heart out with the carving knife. This thought was so agreeable that the afterthought’s annunciation was temporarily forgotten and Rosemary allowed them all to run out to the ice-cream van when it declared its own melodic arrival in the street.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The first book in Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie Mysteries series, called “The best mystery of the decade” by Stephen King, finds private investigator Jackson Brodie following three seemingly unconnected family mysteries in Edinburgh

Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac’s apparently random attack.

Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making – with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband – until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge . . .

MY THOUGHTS: If I remember rightly, Case Histories was my first introduction to both Kate Atkinson and Jackson Brodie, and the start of an ongoing love affair with both. Atkinson has the ability to see into the dark corners of our minds, to take those unvoiced thoughts, those petty resentments and jealousies, and to craft great stories from them. She is a storyteller.

And Jackson Brodie? Originally from Yorkshire, he is a private investigator who makes his money investigating infidelities and finding missing cats. Although he presents a tough guy exterior, he has a warm and compassionate heart. He can never resist coming to the rescue of the lost and lonely, and so attracts the bereaved and the dysfunctional.

“Jackson had never felt at home in Cambridge, never felt at home in the south of England if it came to that. He had come here more or less by accident, following a girlfriend and staying for a wife. For years he had thought about moving back north, but he knew he never would. There was nothing there for him, just bad memories and a past he could never undo, and what was the point anyway when France was laid out on the other side of the Channel like an exotic patchwork of sunflowers and grapevines and little cafes where he could sit all afternoon drinking local wine and bitter espressos and smoking Gitanes, where everyone would say, Bonjour, Jackson, except they would pronounce it ‘zhaksong’, and he would be happy. Which was exactly the opposite of how he felt now.”

If you have not yet sampled the writing of Kate Atkinson, this is an excellent place to start.

2018: I have read this book multiple times and now,editing this review for republication, I can feel another Atkinson/Brodie marathon coming on. We are moving into our new home in October where I will be able to unpack all my treasured books that are currently packed into boxes in storage, and I will be greeting my Jackson Brodie series like the long lost old friend it is, and once more immersing myself in his world.

THE AUTHOR: Kate Atkinson was born in York and now lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and she has been a critically acclaimed international bestselling author ever since.

She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the critically acclaimed novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories, and One Good Turn.

Case Histories introduced her readers to Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, and won the Saltire Book of the Year Award and the Prix Westminster.

When Will There Be Good News? was voted Richard & Judy Book Best Read of the Year. After Case Histories and One Good Turn, it was her third novel to feature the former private detective Jackson Brodie, who makes a welcome return in Started Early, Took My Dog.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/953252242

Last Witness by Chris Merritt

Last Witness by Chris Merritt

EXCERPT: I didn’t know people had so much blood inside them.

Hidden in the pantry, I watch through narrow slats, holding my breath. I’m so scared, I can’t move – not even a millimeter. I don’t think anyone has seen me, but I can see them. I saw what they did.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: What if you made one mistake and it came back to kill you?

Detective Zac Boateng’s old friend, Troy McEwen, is found dead in his home. The official verdict is suicide. But Boateng believes it was murder. And he thinks he might be next on the killer’s list.

If Troy didn’t take his own life, then who did? As he investigates, Boateng discovers a link to an incident from decades earlier. Mistakes were made that day. Lives were lost and secrets kept. Until now…

As more people who were there on that fateful day are found dead, Boateng knows that the killer is closing in on him…

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed meeting up with Zac Boateng, his team and family again. And while I didn’t quite like Last Witness as much as Bring Her Back, it was still a fast paced and thrilling read.

The author strikes a good balance between the structure of a police procedural and the development of the characters, both in their professional and personal lives. An effective trail is laid, hinting at something sinister in Boateng’s past. Something he shared with a fellow officer who has just been found dead. Something bad enough that, if revealed, could end his career. Merritt creates a suspenseful setting with no shortage of possible suspects. I didn’t know who to trust. And I am sure that we have not seen the last of some of the characters introduced here. . .

Another thing I like about this series is that the main characters are mostly ‘normal’ people. Yes they have pasts, and not always squeaky clean ones, but mostly they are well adjusted and lead relatively regular lives.

Although this is the second book in a series, it is perfectly able to be read as a stand-alone. But believe me, you will be missing out on a great read if you bypass Bring Her Back.

😍😍😍😍

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Last Witness by Chris Merritt for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2433666839

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

How many wet miserable Sundays have we had in a row now in our little corner of New Zealand? Honestly? I have lost count. . .

So let’s talk books.

Currently I am reading

Last Witness: A gripping crime thriller you won't be able to put down

I read the first book in the series, Bring Her Back, and loved it. So I was excited to receive an ARC of Last Witness. So far, it is living up to my expectations which is a relief as my previous two reads were not at all satisfying.

This week I plan on reading

11 Missed Calls

Here are two things I know about my mother:

1. She had dark hair, like mine. 

2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.

Anna has always believed that her mother, Debbie, died 30 years ago on the night she disappeared.

But when her father gets a strange note, she realises that she’s never been told the full story of what happened that night on the cliff.

Confused and upset, Anna turns to her husband Jack – but when she finds a love letter from another woman in his wallet, she realises there’s no-one left to help her, least of all her family.

And then a body is found…

The Secret

You turn your back for a minute. And now your son is in terrible danger …

Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

And a quiet week on the ARC front with just one approval.

An Unwanted Guest

I hope you have all had a far more satisfying week’s reading than I had, and that we are looking at a greatweek to come. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

Cheers

Sandy