Where I Read!

A small blog post for today but one that I felt would give away a bit about myself.

I try and find time every single day to read. I currently work in insurance and during the winter months, it’s very quiet so I find that I have plenty of time to read at my desk! I’m very lucky I know 🙂

I’m currently living between my parent’s house and my boyfriend’s, while at my parents I tend to read in the bath or in bed where I have recently put a lot of fairy lights around the headboard which makes it lovely and cosy during these winter months to read. While at my boyfriend’s I sit with the cat, on the sofa with a blanket, and read whenever he is off busy building parts for his car.

new forestMy favourite place to go and read at the weekend is the New Forest. I’m very lucky to live close to this beautiful area and during these winter months I stay in my car with a picnic, during the summer it’s ideal for finding a secluded spot to sit beneath a tree with only the wild horses nearby.

Summer evenings I sit down on the beach. Until October I was living on the cliff top to the best beach in the area but I’ve since moved back to my parents with the nearest beach to here being Sandbanks so I hope to make plenty of use of it during this summer. I love sitting on the beach with a parasol over me and being able to hear the sea while hooked by a fantastic book!

Do you have any favourite spots where you love to read?

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Review – If You Go Down To The Woods – Seth C Adams

if you go down to the woods

About The Book:

SOMETHING IS HIDING IN THE SHADOWS…

We were so young when it all happened. Just 13-years-old, making the most of the long, hot, lazy days of summer, thinking we had the world at our feet. That was us – me, Fat Bobby, Jim and Tara – the four members of the Outsiders’ Club.

The day we found a burnt-out car in the woods was the day everything changed. Cold, hard cash in the front seat and a body in the trunk… it started out as a mystery we were desperate to solve.

Then, the Collector arrived. He knew we had found his secret. And suddenly, our summer of innocence turned into the stuff of nightmares.

Nothing would ever be the same again…

My Review:

This book starts as Joey remembers the Summer his parents chose to move when he was just 13. The book is written in first person and comes straight from Joey’s point of view.

The move was an adventure for Joey and he soon meets and makes friends with ‘Fat Bobby’ after coming across him by chance while out with his beloved dog. Soon the ‘Outsiders Club’ is born with Joey, Bobby, Jim and Tara. They bond together and begin hanging out in their spare time.

While exploring in nearby woods, the club come across an abandoned car. Once they finally get inside, they find a hoard of cash and a body in the trunk! This brings danger to the group of friends.

A man known as The Collector is soon coming after the four which makes for a gripping read with many edge of your seat moments.

The lead character Joey can become annoying, however, as he’s only 13 I’m pretty sure that this is what Adams was trying to portray. He’s not that likeable for a main character though.

The writing is fantastic and very descriptive which definitely paints the scene throughout. Part one did drag a little for me but once into Part two, I was hooked!

Would definitely recommend and this book has been likened to Stephen King’s IT and C J Tudor’s The Chalk Men, having read both I can agree this is very true. If your fan of King or Tudor then you will thoroughly enjoy this read.

 

 

 

This week’s book haul!

This week I have been hooked on ‘If You Go Down To The Woods’ by Seth C Adams (review coming tomorrow), however, this hasn’t stopped me purchasing three more books to add on the TBR pile! 

Dark Pines – Will Dean 

dark pinesSEE NO EVIL

Eyes missing, two bodies lie deep in the forest near a remote Swedish town.

HEAR NO EVIL

Tuva Moodyson, a deaf reporter on a small-time local paper, is looking for the story that could make her career.

SPEAK NO EVIL

A web of secrets. And an unsolved murder from twenty years ago.

Can Tuva outwit the killer before she becomes the final victim? She’d like to think so. But first she must face her demons and venture far into the deep, dark woods if she wants to stand any chance of getting the hell out of small-time Gavrik.

I’m sure everyone has seen the recent hype over Will Dean’s recently launched Red Snow, and seeing how much reviewers have loved the book, I decided to read the first book from the Tuva Moodyson series. This book is actually the next to read on my list and I will be starting it this evening while submerged in a relaxing, hot bubble bath! 

Six Stories – Matt Wesolowski 

six storiesOne body. Six stories. Which one is true?

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.

2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame…

As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth.

As with Will Dean’s latest release, there has been a large presence on social media for Matt Wesolowski’s latest from the Six Stories series. I’ve purchased the first in the series with the plan to also read Hydra and Changeling very soon! I’m looking forward to this being delivered. 

The Crow Trap – Ann Cleeves 

the crow trapThree very different women come together at isolated Baikie’s Cottage on the North Pennines, to complete an environmental survey. Three women who each know the meaning of betrayal . . .

Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman, hiding plenty of her own secrets.

Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, where she discovers the body of her friend, Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide – a verdict Rachael refuses to accept.

When another death occurs, a fourth woman enters the picture – the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope . . .

I have watched an episode of the TV series of Vera and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have been meaning to read the Vera Stanhope books, therefore, I thought why not purchase this week when I know there are going to be many evenings next to the open fire during the upcoming cold spell! 

Anyone else bought some brilliant books this week, even when you’ve got a fairly big TBR pile already? 🙂 

Bookish gifts any reader would love!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought I would put together a gift idea list for readers to show to their partner’s for hinting in the lead up to February 14th 🙂

Below are just some of the great gifts I came across and they are all gifts that I would personally love to receive so I’m sure other readers would also love!

Antique Bookcase Cushion 

antique bookcase cushionA beautiful antique book inspired cushion in luxurious leather bound colours. Snuggling up with a book is now even more perfect!

 

 

 

Library Bookend 

the library bookendThis wonderful bookend would suit anyone’s home library. The black metal silhouette of someone putting books away, is charming and elegant.

 

 

 

 

Book Light

book light   This lovely book-shaped rechargeable light opens to send a soft glow over your desk or table. Its solid wood cover is precisely cut to form a flexible spine, so the ‘book’ can be opened 360 degrees until the covers touch- where they can be held in place by the magnetic covers.

 

 

 

Go Away I’m Reading Mug

SONY DSC   Now you can give the priceless gift of a bit of peace and quiet to the reader in your life. Not particularly polite, but sometimes people need to be told! Perfect for anyone who just needs to finish the next chapter.  And the one after that…

 

 

Dinner With Dickens

dinner with dickensThis collection of recipes is inspired by the life and work of Charles Dickens. Food in the novels of Dickens not only creates character and comedy, but is also a means of highlighting social issues. This wonderful book gives insight into Victorian food and how to prepare it. Let yourself dive into Victorian England, experience the food from a grand wedding breakfast to a bread-and-butter tea. Why not try Betsy Prig’s Twopenny Salad, or the Dickens’ family recipe for Twelfth Cake.

 

Aquala Bath Caddy

bath caddyThe ultimate accessory for your bathroom. Relax in the bath with your favourite book and your favourite tipple.

 

 

 

 

‘At Home With Books’ Reading Journal 

book_notes_paperstyle_1024x1024The ultimate companion to reading and book clubs – sections for your reading lists, notes about what you are reading, book club organizing notes, reviews and more.

 

 

 

 

‘Books’ Tote Bag

books_tote_bag_1024x1024A hand-drawn design depicting dozens of beloved books of all kinds, including: The Lord Of The Rings, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Catch 22, The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxyand Dune.

 

 

 

Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards Socks

books_turn_muggles_socks_1_1024x1024A pair of socks, inspired by Muggles everywhere. The perfect gift for any children’s literature fan.

This week’s paperback releases!

My favourite method of book is the paperback! Therefore, I’ve decided to use Monday’s to list the week’s paperback releases and include the titles that I am most excited about.

Are there any that you are also looking forward to this week?

Paperback release date: January 24th

the blood roadThe Blood Road (Logan McRae, Book 11) – Stuart MacBride

What drives someone to murder?

The No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author returns with the much anticipated new Logan McRae thriller.

Some things just won’t stay buried…

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he’s policing his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers – and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…


Watching You – Lisa Jewell

watching you   You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.

That’s when you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.

All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you.

Murder Mile – Lynda La Plante 

murder mileThe fourth in the Sunday Times bestselling Jane Tennison thrillers, MURDER MILE is set at the height of the ‘Winter of Discontent’. Can Jane Tennison uncover a serial killer? 

February, 1979, ‘The Winter of Discontent’. Economic chaos has led to widespread strikes across Britain.

Jane Tennison, now a Detective Sergeant, has been posted to Peckham CID, one of London’s toughest areas. As the rubbish on the streets begins to pile up, so does the murder count: two bodies in as many days.

There are no suspects and the manner of death is different in each case. The only link between the two victims is the location of the bodies, found within a short distance of each other near Rye Lane in Peckham. Three days later another murder occurs in the same area. Press headlines scream that a serial killer is loose on ‘Murder Mile’ and that police incompetence is hampering the investigation.

Jane is under immense pressure to catch the killer before they strike again.Working long hours with little sleep, what she uncovers leaves her doubting her own mind.

Tall Order – Stephen Leather 

tall orderHe is one of the world’s most ruthless terrorists, codenamed Saladin. He plans and executes devastating attacks and then, ghost-like, he disappears.

Ten years ago he blew a plane out of the sky above New York – and now he’s killed dozens in a London strike.

But one of the latest victims is related to the acting head of MI5, who knows exactly who she wants on the case: Spider Shepherd.

Dean Martin, a psychologically damaged former Navy SEAL, is the only person in the world who can identify Saladin. But Martin was killed ten years ago – wasn’t he?

Shepherd must find Martin and take him back to the killing fields on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Revenge on the world’s most wanted terrorist is long overdue, and Shepherd is determined to be the one to deliver it . . .

Changeling – Matt Wesolowski

changeling   On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.

Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is…

The Puppet Show – MW Craven 

the puppet show   A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless. When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of . . .

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive …

Other titles out 24th January 

  • Deceived – Roberta Kray
  • Believe Me – J P Delaney
  • The Wanted – Robert Crais
  • Apple Of My Eye – Claire Allan
  • Island Of The Mad – Laurie R King
  • The Devil’s Dice – Roz Watkins
  • The Break Line – James Brabazon
  • To Catch A Killer – Emma Kavanagh
  • The Coldest Blood – J S Law
  • The Killing of Butterfly Joe – Rhidian Brook
  • In Safe Hands – J P Carter
  • East Of England – Eamonn Griffin
  • Cave Of Bones – Anne Hillerman
  • Deep Dirty Truth – Steph Broadribb
  • The Good Sister – Morgan Jones
  • Among The Ruins – Ausma Zehanat Khan
  • Bad Apple – Zoje Stage
  • No Good Brother – Tyler Keevil
  • Fairwood: A Thriller – Eli Yance

Review – Blood Lines – Angela Marsons

blood lines

 

About The Book:

How do you catch a killer who leaves no trace?

A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring, upstanding social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…

My Review:

This book starts of with the murder of a woman, killed with a blade to the heart. At first glance, it seems that it might be a burglary gone wrong, however, there is soon a second killing. With the news of a possible serial killer at large, DI Kim Stone gets the case.

While Stone is trying to focus on the case, she is getting distracted by two other sub-stories. One brings back Stone’s enemy, the psychotic Dr Alex Thorne and the second gives more insight into the hatred for her mum who is currently residing in a psychiatric hospital.

The main case seems to take a while to get going as they have no evidence to go on, the killer never leaves a trace. This does make this part of the book seem to drag for the first half, and I found myself more intrigued by the subplots with Dr Alex Thorne and Stone’s past with her mother. However, once more evidence starts to come in for the case, it quickens the pace of the main plot and this is when I really started to enjoy the book.

Marsons writing is brilliant and very descriptive, helping the reader to feel more for the characters and setting.

The second half of the book was definitely a fantastic read as I felt myself sucked in and found it difficult to put the book down.

I reckon that if you are familiar with Marsons work, and the previous four Kim Stone books, then you would have a much better connection to the characters. I definitely felt the book was gripping enough to make me look forward to reading the next in the series!

About 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.

 

 

 

 

Review – Perfect Prey – Helen Fields

perfect prey

 

About The Book:

Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.

In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.

The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.

D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.

It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.

My Review:

WOW! What a story! I can guarantee that you will be hooked from the very first page!

Perfect Prey is the second in the terrifying DI Callanach series. Incredibly gruesome and graphic, if you’re a fan of Karin Slaughter (I am!) then you will love this.

The death scenes are horrifically hard hitting and the quick pace makes for a mesmerising read.

You have a man sliced to death in the middle of a crowd at a music festival – a woman crushed to death with her own furniture at home – a woman suffocated with her own scarf – a man skinned to death. With bodies piling up, are the murders committed by one individual or are there multiple killers? Will there be another victim?

DI Callanach and Turner are excellent and interesting characters and they end up racing against time in a game of cat and mouse to stop the carnage.

This was a real page turner and a book I struggled to put down. I highly recommend, as long as you aren’t put off by gory descriptions of murder.

About the author:

A former barrister, Helen now writes a Scottish set crime series – D.I.Callanach and D.I. Ava Turner. Her debut novel Perfect Remains and the second in the series Perfect Prey are Amazon best sellers.

Review – Bring Me Back – BA Paris

bring me back

 

About The Book: 

The Disappearance: Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion: He told the police the truth about that night. Just not quite the whole truth.

The fear: Now Finn has moved on. But his past won’t stay buried…

My Review:

This book starts of brilliantly, with a written interview taken from Finn twelve years ago which definitely makes you want to know more.

Short chapters and the flicking between past and present, with different characters’ view point, makes this book quick and easy to read.

The fast pace makes you delve straight in, and I found myself eager to find out what actually happened. Events happening in the present day just build up the tension and make this book a brilliant read… well, up until the end anyway.

The ending is what made this book disappointing for me. I spent the whole time devouring every chapter and loving the fast pace, but then the ending was so unbelievable it left me with a bad taste.

If you are after a quick read and a great build up of suspense, then I would recommend this book, however, be prepared to not be that excited about the ending.

I’m certainly going to be buying other books from BA Paris, so I’m not going to let this ending put me off, as the rest of the story was great and I did like the writing style.

About The Author:

B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.

Review – The Dead House – Harry Bingham

the dead house

 

About The Book:

On a wild October night, the body of a young woman is found in a remote country churchyard. She’s wearing nothing but a thin, white dress. There are no marks of violence and no obvious cause of death.

Who is the victim? Why is she here?

But another young woman went missing from the area a few years back, and DC Fiona Griffiths soon suspects a crime even more chilling than she first imagined.

Will she unlock the secrets of the dead house? Or will she become its next victim?

My Review:

The Dead House is the fifth in the acclaimed series featuring unusual and engaging detective, DC Fiona Griffiths.

At the beginning of this book, I found Griffiths a bit too peculiar and I find it difficult to believe that a DC could/ would have the mental health issues like this character does. She has a weird way to deal with the dead, however, her character did grow on me further in to the novel.

I love the setting of a rugged and rural Wales, and the author describes it so well that you can picture it vividly.

The story begins with the discovery of a body that has been laid out peacefully in what was once a ‘dead house’, and there is no obvious apparent crime.
The identity of this body and the circumstances for the final resting place require investigation. During the course of her investigations, Fiona realises there is more to this case, the discoveries she makes lead her to the tangled web of organised crime.

Although the beginning did seem rather slow, I would definitely recommend that you keep at it as the story builds tension and becomes a brilliant read that will keep you guessing. I’m pretty sure that readers will not guess the ending before Bingham is ready to reveal!

This is a very well written book and has plenty of twists and turns making it a great read.

About The Author:

Harry is the author of the Fiona Griffiths series of crime novels, set in Cardiff and featuring a heroine described by the Sunday Times as ‘The most startling protagonist in modern crime fiction … brutal, freakish and totally original.’ Harry – slightly less freakish than his creation – lives in Oxford with his wife and young family. He also runs The Writers’ Workshop, an editorial consultancy for new writers. His books on Getting Published and How to Write are among the leading titles in their field.

Review – THIRTEEN – Steve Cavanagh

thirteen

 

About The Book:

The murder trial of the century is here.

A ruthless prosecutor

A brilliant defence lawyer

A defendant with a secret

And a serial killer on the jury….

My Review:

“The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury”

That tag line alone was enough to make me want to purchase this book and dive straight in. What a brilliant book, the best I’ve read in a long time.

The whole concept of having the killer on the jury is not one I’ve come across before, and it definitely makes for a refreshing difference.

This really is a top notch, adrenaline fuelled, legal thriller with so many twists and turns throughout to keep you guessing right up to the end.

You’re kind of lulled into a false sense of security – you know the killer is on the jury, you know he killed those people, you’re pretty sure you know what’s going on…

or do you?

Extremely well written and a novel that you will struggle to put down. I would definitely recommend reading if you haven’t done so already!

About The Author:

Steve Cavanagh is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of the Eddie Flynn series and lawyer. His third novel, The Liar, won the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the year 2018. He is also one half of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. His latest novel, Thirteen, is out now.

His first standalone book, Twisted, is released in the UK in April 2019.