Watching What I Read. . .

Because all my reads last week were short, I managed to fit in an extra two books!

Murder in the Dark (Ishmael Jones, #6)  and

The Woman Who Kept Everything

So watch for my reviews over the coming days.

Currently I am reading

Transcription

Which I am loving. Atkinson writes with a richness of detail that draws me in so that I am ‘there’, in the novel, experiencing everything along with her characters.

I am listening to

The Lucky Ones

Which I am also enjoying. I have a feeling that I know who is behind Allison’s ‘fall’, but I may be wrong. I often am.

This week I plan on reading

Broken Ground (Inspector Karen Pirie, #5)

Alice Somerville’s inheritance lies six feet under in a Highland peat bog – a pair of valuable vintage motorbikes buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally organises their recovery, she finds an unwelcome surprise -a body with a pair of bullet holes . . . and Nike trainers. DCI Karen Pirie of Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems.

Meanwhile an overheard conversation in a cafe draws Karen to the heart of a murder she thought she’d already prevented.

As Karen gets closer to the several truths, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series, but I love McDermid’s writing.

The Memory

She’ll never forget… I’ll never forgive.

People always notice my daughter, Isobel. How could they not? Extraordinarily beautiful… until she speaks.

An unsettling, little-girl voice, exactly like a child’s, but from the mouth of a full-grown woman.

Izzie might look grown-up, but inside she’s trapped. Caught in the day it happened… the day that broke her from within. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces.

Another writer that I greatly admire. Her books are always gripping and unpredictable.

Four ARC approvals from NetGalley this week . . .

The Man With No Face

The Lost Traveller (County Cork, #7)

The Parisians

The Thing About Clare

I am looking forward to seeing what you are reading, and what new books you have on your shelves. I do love to indulge in a bit of book envy!

The weather is absolutely beautiful today, as it was yesterday, so I am off to work for a couple of hours, then I plan on spending the remainder of my day in the garden.

Happy reading my friends 💕💕💕💕💕

 

Murder in the Dark by Simon R. Green

Murder in the Dark by Simon R. Green

EXCERPT: ‘It makes you wonder if there’s anything left out there,’ said Paul, his voice eerily calm. ‘If the world has just gone away, or the dark has eaten everything up . . . If we’re all that’s left now, alone in the night.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The sudden appearance of a sinister black hole in the English countryside leads to a baffling murder investigation for Ishmael Jones.

“The past is England’s dreaming, and not all of it sleeps soundly…”

Ishmael Jones and his partner Penny have been despatched to assist a group of scientists who are investigating a mysterious black hole which has appeared on a Somerset hillside. Could it really be a doorway to another dimension, an opening into another world?

When one of the scientists disappears into the hole — with fatal consequences — Ishmael must prove whether it was an accident — or murder. But with no clues, no witnesses and no apparent motive, he has little to go on. Is there an alien predator at large, or is an all-too-human killer responsible? Only one thing is certain: if Ishmael does not uncover the truth in time, more deaths will follow…

MY THOUGHTS: This is the second book that I have read and enjoyed in this very different series. I am not an alien/sci-fi aficionado, but I love this quirky series!

The books are quick reads, entertaining and, although they nudge the boundaries of believability a little, mostly plausible. This is an excellent blend of many genres – and it works! Beautifully!

The main characters complement each other, and the peripheral characters all have purpose and are solid additions to the plot. I never knew where the author was taking me, but it was a very enjoyable journey, and one that I made in one sitting.

I have not read the whole series, nor the first book, but it hasn’t impacted on my enjoyment or understanding whatsoever. I will be reading more in this series.

😊😊😊😊

THE AUTHOR: Simon Richard Green is a British science fiction and fantasy-author. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester. His first publication was in 1979.

His Deathstalker series is partly a parody of the usual space-opera of the 1950s, told with sovereign disregard of the rules of probability, while being at the same time extremely bloodthirsty.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Severn House Publishers via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Murder in the Dark by Simon R. Green 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/2582683579

Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan

Her Final Confession by Lisa  Regan

EXCERPT: A shudder ran the length of her body. Again, she closed her eyes and took several deep breaths. Then she opened them and continued. “He said, ‘Hello sweetheart. I’ve missed you.’ You don’t know how many times I ‘ve heard that voice in my head, in my nightmares. It never went away. As long as he was out there, I was afraid he’d come back. He always a said he would. . .”

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Watching her friend dragged away in handcuffs, Josie couldn’t believe for one second that Gretchen had killed that poor boy. Confession or not, someone else was involved. She would find out who…

When the body of a young student is found on the driveway of a local Denton home, a photograph pinned to his collar, Detective Josie Quinn is first on the scene. The house belongs to Gretchen Palmer, a dedicated member of Josie’s team, missing for the last twenty-four hours.

Working around the clock, Josie is stopped in her tracks when Gretchen hands herself in to the police. She knows that there’s no way Gretchen could ever be a killer, so why would she confess to a murder she didn’t commit?

Digging deep into Gretchen’s secretive life, Josie uncovers a link between the boy, the photograph and a devastating case in Gretchen’s past. But just when Josie thinks she has it all figured out, the bodies of a young couple surface on the other side of town. Can Josie get to the truth in time to save her friend from a life in prison or certain death?

MY THOUGHTS: Nail-biting.

Breath-taking.

Heart-pounding.

Damn! This was good!

This is a series that was really good to begin with, and one that just keeps getting better. Her Final Confession is everything I look for in a thriller. I read it in two sittings – only because I had to go to work in the middle – or I would have read it in one.

I love the way the relationships have developed between Josie, Gretchen and Noah. None of the characters are stereotyped, and some of the excesses of the earlier books have been whittled away to produce smoother, more believable storylines. Although there is a little romance, it complements rather than overpowering the main thread. Kudos to Lisa Regan for striking the perfect balance.

Don’t be put off by this being book 4 of a series, it is easily read as a stand-alone. But if you are looking for a great series as a gift for someone, this comes very highly recommended.

💞💞💞💞💞

THE AUTHOR: Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan 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/2612398474

Watching What I’m Reading

What a week it has been. Although it is officially summer now, the weather is still in changeable spring mode. It was cold and wet enough yesterday that we lit the fire. Today it is 26.5C and we have had a gloriously fine morning, but now clouds are rolling in, the thunder is rumbling and the wind has picked up.

I have had a good week’s reading, finishing the reads I had set myself last week. Currently I am reading

The Diary

which I started last night.

I am about to start listening to

The Lucky Ones

the cover of which caught my attention and sidelined me from my objective of finding the audiobook of one of my Netgalley backtitles.

They called themselves “the lucky ones.” They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She’s determined to find out what really happened that fateful night–was it an accident or, as she’s always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she’ll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.

And I am about to start reading

Transcription

which, you may remember, I featured a few weeks back on my Taste of…….Tuesday post.

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.
Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

This week I am planning on reading

Her Final Confession (Detective Josie Quinn #4)

I have read the other books in this series, and they have been excellent as I am sure this one will be.

Watching her friend dragged away in handcuffs, Josie couldn’t believe for one second that Gretchen had killed that poor boy. Confession or not, someone else was involved. She would find out who…

When the body of a young student is found on the driveway of a local Denton home, a photograph pinned to his collar, Detective Josie Quinn is first on the scene. The house belongs to Gretchen Palmer, a dedicated member of Josie’s team, missing for the last twenty-four hours.

Working around the clock, Josie is stopped in her tracks when Gretchen hands herself in to the police. She knows that there’s no way Gretchen could ever be a killer, so why would she confess to a murder she didn’t commit? 

Digging deep into Gretchen’s secretive life, Josie uncovers a link between the boy, the photograph and a devastating case in Gretchen’s past. But just when Josie thinks she has it all figured out, the bodies of a young couple surface on the other side of town. Can Josie get to the truth in time to save her friend from a life in prison or certain death? 

I have had a great haul of ARCs from NetGalley this week.

Her Final Confession (Detective Josie Quinn #4)

Montauk

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery #1)

Die Last (Max Wolfe, #4)

A very mixed bag! Some of these have been sitting on my ‘wishlist’ for ages. ..

And of course, I bought a copy of

Mavis and Dot: Frolics, foibles and friendships by the seaside

which the author wrote in memory of a dear friend who passed away from ovarian cancer. All profits from the sale of the books will go towards research into the cure for cancer.

Well, that’s my lot for the week.

Happy reading my friends. 😎

Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn

Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn

EXCERPT: If they’d been alone at the lake, and if Sari’s death was ruled a homicide, then one of them was a killer.

Ally. Mac. Jake.

Best friend. Boyfriend. Third wheel.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: On a bright Saturday in early spring, Detective Gemma Monroe responds to a missing person call at Lost Lake, near the small town of Cedar Valley, Colorado. With its sapphire waters and abundance of wildflowers, the lake is a popular camping destination in the summer. But for now, ice still grips the lake and snow buries the flowers.

When Gemma arrives at the shore, she meets three friends who have been camping there: the fourth of their group, Sari Chesney, has disappeared in the night without a trace. Sari is an assistant curator at the local museum, which is set to host a gala that night–a project she’s worked on for months and would never intentionally miss. As Gemma begins to understand the complex dynamics of the supposedly close-knit friendship group, she realizes that more than one person is lying to her–and that the beautiful, still waters of Lost Lake may hide more terrible secrets . . .

MY THOUGHTS: I started this read with high hopes. The prologue is deliciously sinister. Early on, and sporadically scattered throughout the book, are passages of beautifully lyrical writing. e. g. ‘It should have felt peaceful, but there was a roughness to the pastoral scene, like a pencil sketch that has been handled by greasy fingers, the edges smudged.’ The cover describes Littlejohn’s writing as lyrical and gripping, and there are brief glimpses of this, but largely it is all very ordinary. There was a certain roughness to the ending also, which left me feeling dissatisfied.

I had not read the first two books in this series, but don’t feel like I have missed much by not having done so, and I probably won’t read any more of the series to come either. I didn’t feel connected to the characters. I didn’t feel involved in the plot. I felt like a mostly disinterested bystander, watching some disturbance because I happened to be there, with nothing better to do and no other place to be. If you were to ask me about this book in a week or twos time, I think I would struggle to recall it.

My favorite characters are Gemma’s grandparents, Julia and Bull. Julia is suffering from dementia, and Bull, who clearly adores his wife, is determined to keep her at home where he can care for her, rather than placing her in a facility. This side-plot was the highlight of the book for me, and earned the book an extra .5 of a star.

😐😐😐

THE AUTHOR: I was born and raised in Southern California but have called Colorado home for over a decade now. The beautiful mountains and open space continue to inspire me on a daily basis.

I wrote Inherit the Bones over the course of two years. I’ve always had a fascination with all things mystery, horror, and the macabre. Bones was inspired by a vision I had of a clown, found dead, in full costume. I wondered who was the man behind the make-up?

And just like that, a story was born.

​Inherit the Bones received critical acclaim and was a 2017 Colorado Book Award finalist.

I hope you enjoy spending time in Cedar Valley with Detective Gemma Monroe, her partner Finn Nowlin and the rest of the people that bring the town to life. The second book in the series, A Season to Lie, is now available, with a third and fourth book to come in 2018 and 2019.

​I currently serve as the Program Director for the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America and am a winner in the 2017 ThrillerFest Best First Sentence contest. (Author’s website)

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn 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/2568455846

The Blackhouse by Peter May

 


EXCERPT: She sees the dark shape drift out of the shadows almost at the same time she feels it. Soft and cold and heavy. She lets out an involuntary cry.

“For God’s sake, Ceit!” Ulleam comes after her, frustration added now to desire and anxiety, and his feet slide away from under him, for all the world like he has stepped on ice. He lands heavily on his elbow and a pain shoots through his arm. “Shit!” The floor is wet with diesel. He feels it soaking through the seat of his trousers. It is on his hands. Without thinking he fumbles for the cigarette lighter in his pocket. There just isn’t enough damned light in here. Only as he spins the wheel with his thumb, sparking the flame, does it occur to him that he is in imminent danger of turning himself into a human torch. But by then it is too late. The light is sudden and startling in the dark. He braces himself. But there is no ignition of diesel fumes, no sudden flash of searing flame. Just an image so profoundly shocking it is impossible at first to comprehend.

The man is hanging by his neck from the rafters overhead, frayed orange plastic rope tilting his head at an impossible angle. He is a big man, buck naked, blue-white flesh hanging in folds from his breasts and his buttocks, like a loose fitting suit two sizes too big. Loops of something smooth and shiny hang down between his legs from a gaping smile that splits his belly from side to side. The flame sends the dead man’s shadow dancing around the scarred and graffitied walls like so many ghosts welcoming a new arrival. Beyond him, Ulleam sees Ceit’s face. Pale, dark-eyed, frozen in horror. For a moment he thinks, absurdly, that the pool of diesel around him is agricultural, dyed red by the Excise to identify its tax-free status – before realising it is blood, sticky and thick and already drying brown on his hands.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.

A MURDER

Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past.

A SECRET

Something lurks within the close-knit island community. Something sinister.

A TRAP

As Fin investigates, old skeletons begin to surface, and soon he, the hunter, becomes the hunted.

This is the first book in the Lewis trilogy.

MY THOUGHTS: I am still reeling from reading this book. It is dark. It is atmospheric. It is breath-taking. It is gripping.

There is crime, but this is not simply a crime novel. It is so much more. We learn, as the story switches back and forth between now as Finlay Macleod investigates the murder, and then, growing up on the small island of Lewis, how insular and isolated life on these small islands is. It is bleak, with joy being fleeting, an almost forbidden thing. There is no childhood as such, or at least as I remember it. It is a harsh and unforgiving environment. Its people are also harsh and unforgiving. In some cases, downright cruel. Jealousies, hate, resentment and misconception all simmer just below the surface. Only with someone, they have boiled over.

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller, or a police procedural, you are not going to get it with The Blackhouse. If you want a deep, dark, atmospheric mystery that will continue to haunt you after you have finished, then this is the book for you.

Steve Worsley, the narrator, has the perfect voice for this book, and I rate his narration 11/10.

💖💖💖💖💖

THE AUTHOR: Peter May is the multi award-winning author of:

– the award-winning Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland;
– the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell;
– the Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France. The sixth and final Enzo book is Cast Iron (UK January 2017, Riverrun).

He has also written several standalone books:
– I’ll Keep You Safe (January 2018, Riverrun)
– Entry Island (January 2014, Quercus UK)
– Runaway (January 2015, Quercus UK)
– Coffin Road (January 2016, Riverrun)

He has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

One of Scotland’s most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France.

After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy – The Blackhouse – was published in France as L’Ile des Chasseurs d’Oiseaux where it was hailed as “a masterpiece” by the French national newspaper L’Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world’s largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of The Blackhouse by Peter May, narrated by Steve Worsley, published by Isis Publishing Ltd, via OverDrive. 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

Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons

Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons

EXCERPT: …it is done.

The coffin is in the ground.

Hands land all over my back, reassuring, comforting. Some brief, some linger.

everyone wants to offer something, some indication, a token of their grief. They want me to know. They want me to share. They offer it as a gift of their own humanity.

And I don’t give a fuck.

My comfort doesn’t come from them.

Neither does it come from the knowledge of eternal peace.

It doesn’t come from the platitudes and clichés, the well-wishers, cards, flowers or the phone calls. It doesn’t come from the short time we had together.

It comes from the rage. It comes from the white, hot anger that burns in every pore of my body, every atom of my being.

My comfort comes from the plan.

My comfort comes from the knowledge. The knowledge that everyone responsible will die.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet.

MY THOUGHTS: Angela Marsons, you have done it again. You had me in the opening paragraph and by the end of the prologue I would have cut off my arm rather than put this book down. Every time I start one of Marsons’ books, I think that it can’t possibly be as good as the preceding one, and every time I am proved wrong. Fatal Promise is no exception.

This is a book about choice, and has two parallel story lines. For while Kim’s team is investigating a surgeon’s murder, Stacey is continuing to investigate the case of a missing teenage girl, a case she was assigned to in the team she was working with while waiting for Kim to come back from her medical leave. At the same time the team is trying to regroup, coming together for the first time since Dawson’s death, and the undercurrents of emotion from dealing (or not dealing) with the situation flow strong. I felt so sorry for Penn, the newcomer to the group, who bore the brunt of their anger for, although he had worked with them on a case previously, he has been proposed as Dawson’s replacement, something none of them are yet comfortable with.

I love the way Marsons reveals little tidbits about her characters that make them all the more human, more believable. At the same time she weaves a dark and disturbing story of revenge and the inability of people to take responsibility for their own actions.

Although this is a series, the books could probably stand on their own, but why would anyone want to miss out on such a great series? Read. Them. All.

Not to be missed! 💕💖💕💖💕

THE AUTHOR: Angela is the author of the Kim Stone Crime series. She discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.
Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.
After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.
She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion – Crime.
Angela is now signed to write a total of 16 Kim Stone books for http://bookouture.com and has secured a print deal with Bonnier Zaffre Publishing.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via NetGalley for providing a digital copy of Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are 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/2528598255

The Comforts of Home by Susan Hill

The Comforts of Home by Susan Hill

EXCERPT: By seven o’clock the tide was going out from the small bay below the field centre, but it was not until after seven that four intrepid swimmers were on their way down to the water, all wearing wetsuits – they had been warned how cold the sea would be. The first two raced ahead and plunged in, following a wave to launch themselves, the next was not far behind, but then Laura Roberts felt her foot come up against a concealed rock and fell sprawling on the hard sand. She lay until it was clear that she had done herself little harm, though she would probably have bruised toes the next day. The others were shouting with laughter, their voices faint against the drag of the waves.

She rolled over and looked along the flat sand, and as she looked, she saw it. She had read about it. The mistakes people made. A big fish. A log. A seal. Part of a boat. She got up and went slowly along the few yards of beach. Slowed as she got nearer. She made herself look. Took a few steps. The tide was going out but a few foam edged waves were washing over it. Gentle waves. Washing it clean.

She did not remember passing out, only that she came to with Chloe and Angus leaning over her and Ade standing peering down at the woman’s body.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: DC Simon Serrailler’s last, devastating case was nearly the death of him and left him confronting a new reality

Recovering on a remote Scottish island, his peace doesn’t last long. He is pulled in to a murder inquiry by the overstretched local police. A newcomer, popular with the islanders, has died in perplexing circumstances. The community’s reactions are complicated and fragile.

It’s good to be back on the job. And when Simon returns to Lafferton, an arsonist is on the rampage and a woman whose daughter disappeared some years before is haunting the police station seeking closure. She will not let it rest, and Simon is called in to do a cold-case review.

At home, Simon is starting to get used to having a new brother-in-law – in the form of his Chief Constable Kieron Bright. His sister Cat has embarked on a new way of practising medicine, and his nephew Sam is trying to work out what to do with his life. And then their tricky father, Richard, turns up again like a bad penny.

In this gripping new Serrailler thriller, Simon’s personal and professional lives intertwine in more complex and demanding ways than ever before.

MY THOUGHTS: I picked this up yesterday morning and read it in one day, despite having had to go to work for the morning. I could not put it down, but then Susan Hill has that effect on me. She doesn’t tie everything up nice and neatly at the end. There are always loose threads, unresolved issues to be carried over into the next book, and this is why this series should be read in order from the beginning.

Sometimes I feel that I know Simon Serrailler’s family more thoroughly than I know my own. Sometimes I don’t actually like Simon all that much. He is careless of other people’s feelings. He ignores people. He takes advantage of his sister Cat’s good nature. He is completely self-absorbed. I sometimes wonder if he is borderline Aspergers, or if he is just a complete shit. But he is very good at what he does.

This is not just a detective series. It is every bit as much a family saga, one that I am in no hurry to see end.

THE AUTHOR: Susan Hill was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 1942. Her hometown was later referred to in her novel A Change for the Better (1969) and some short stories especially “Cockles and Mussels”.

She attended Scarborough Convent School, where she became interested in theatre and literature. Her family left Scarborough in 1958 and moved to Coventry where her father worked in car and aircraft factories. Hill states that she attended a girls’ grammar school, Barr’s Hill. Her fellow pupils included Jennifer Page, the first Chief Executive of the Millennium Dome. At Barrs Hill she took A levels in English, French, History and Latin, proceeding to an English degree at King’s College London. By this time she had already written her first novel, The Enclosure which was published by Hutchinson in her first year at university. The novel was criticised by The Daily Mail for its sexual content, with the suggestion that writing in this style was unsuitable for a “schoolgirl”.

Her next novel Gentleman and Ladies was published in 1968. This was followed in quick succession by A Change for the Better, I’m the King of the Castle, The Albatross and other stories, Strange Meeting, The Bird of Night, A Bit of Singing and Dancing and In the Springtime of Year, all written and published between 1968 and 1974.

In 1975 she married Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells and they moved to Stratford upon Avon. Their first daughter, Jessica, was born in 1977 and their second daughter, Clemency, was born in 1985. Hill has recently founded her own publishing company, Long Barn Books, which has published one work of fiction per year.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Waitomo District Library for buying a copy of of The Comforts of Home by Susan Hill at my request so that I was able to read and review it. 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/2582671776

Watching What I Read

Today is Remembrance Day, so before we talk books I would like to pause for a moment to remember and give thanks to those who fought for our country and our freedom over 100 years ago.

Once again I am glad I didn’t set my reading sights too high this week. I finished Mark Edwards In Her Shadow yesterday, and I will post my review tomorrow.

Currently I am reading

The Comforts of Home (Simon Serrailler, #9)

Which I started this morning and am now 2/3 through, despite having had to go to work this morning.

I am listening to

The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy, #1)

which is incredibly atmospheric. The narrator does a wonderful job .

This week I am planning on reading

Fatal Promise (D.I. Kim Stone, #9)

Eeeny meeny, miney, moe. Who lives, who dies only I know.

When the body of a doctor is discovered brutally murdered in local woodland, Detective Kim Stone is shocked to discover the victim is Gordon Cordell – a man linked to a previous case she worked on involving the death of a young school girl. Gordon has a chequered past, but who would want him dead?

As the investigation gets underway, Gordon’s son is involved in a horrific car crash which leaves him fighting for his life. Kim’s sure this was no accident.

Then the body of a woman is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Kim makes a disturbing link between the victims and Russells Hall Hospital. The same hospital where Gordon worked.

With Kim and her team still grieving the loss of one of their own, they’re at their weakest and facing one of the most dangerous serial killers they’ve ever encountered. Everything is on the line. Can Kim keep her squad together and find the killer before he claims his next victim?

The killer is picking off his victims at a terrifying pace, and he’s not finished yet. 

One Dark Night

He sees his wife’s eyes watching him in the rear-view mirror, the kids up on their knees to get a better look. That’s when he hears the scream…

You’re driving home from a family outing one afternoon, when a speeding car cuts you up, nearly causing you to crash. Like anyone would, you pull over to confront the driver.

But a glance into the backseat of the speeding car reveals a woman fighting to escape. She is terrified and she’s screaming for your help: these men have murdered her husband…

What would you do?

I have received no approvals from NetGalley this week. It seems that everything I have wanted to request , I have had to wish for!

I hope you have all had more luck than I with your requests, but perhaps the great book god is trying to tell me something , like I should read some of my backtitles and get caught up.

Have a wonderful week of reading my friends 💕💖💕😎

 

Friday Favorite – The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

EXCERPT: The screen of her phone timed out and she was plunged into total darkness. Just the sound of her labored breathing filled the silence. She panicked, fumbling to unlock the phone. At first her arthritic fingers wouldn’t move fast enough, but finally she managed it and the light came back on, casting the front room in a circle of dim blue.

It was stifling inside: the heat pressed down on her, closing off her ears. It was as if she was underwater. Dust particles twirled in the air; a cloud of tiny flies floated silently above a large arty china plate filled with brown wooden balls on the coffee table.

“It’s just a power cut,” she snapped, her voice resonating sharply off the iron fireplace. She was annoyed that she’d panicked. It was just the circuit breaker, nothing more. To prove that there was nothing to be scared of, she would first have a drink of cold water, and then she would get the electricity back on. She turned, shuffling purposefully off towards the kitchen, her arm outstretched with the phone.

The glass kitchen seemed cavernous in the phone’s half light, extending out into the garden. Estelle felt vulnerable and exposed. There was a distant whoosh and a click-clack as a train passed on the track beyond the bottom of the garden. Estelle went to a cupboard and pulled down a glass tumbler. Sweat stung as it dripped into her eyes; she wiped her face with her bare arm. She moved to the sink and filled her glass, wincing as she drank the lukewarm water.

The light went out on the phone again, and a crash from upstairs broke the silence. Estelle dropped the tumbler. It shattered, glass spraying out on the wood floor. Her heart pulsed and pounded, and as she listened in the darkness, there was another scuffling sound from above.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

MY THOUGHTS: Robert Bryndza has definitely found his niche with this, the second book in the DCI Erika Foster series.

His writing is taut, tense and gripping. He spins a good story with just enough extraneous action for it to be interesting without overpowering the main thread of the plot. And the plot is excellent.

DCI Erika Foster has had a tough time of it. She was responsible for the deaths of her husband and four other Police Officers in a drug raid that went wrong. It is something that she is still learning to live with.

Erika, despite being haunted by her past, has her good points. She is the sort of person I would like on my side. She is loyal to her friends and is tenacious; she likes to see things through to the end. She won’t take no for an answer. She won’t be put off by her superiors telling her to leave things alone. On the minus side, she is incredibly stubborn, sometimes dangerously so.

There are quite’ a few of those gut clenching, breath-holding OMG! moments in this book that had me breathlessly turning the pages. I am now a firm fan of this author and looking forward to more in this exciting series.

💕💕💕💕💕

THE AUTHOR: Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over one million copies.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath and Cold Blood are the second, third, fourth and fifth books in the series. The sixth book, Deadly Secrets has just been published.

Robert’s books have sold over 2.5 million copies and have been translated into 28 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to NetGalley and publishers Bookouture for providing a digital ARC of The Night Stalker 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/1625376823