The Thirst by Jo Nesbo

The ThirstThe murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue—fragments of rust and paint in her wounds—leaves the investigating team baffled.

Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene.

The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves, and he promised himself, that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger.

But there’s something about these murders that catches his attention, something in the details that the investigators have missed. For Harry, it’s like hearing “the voice of a man he was trying not to remember.” Now, despite his promises, despite everything he risks, Harry throws himself back into the hunt for a figure who haunts him, the monster who got away.

After writing the other day about series I am never going to catch up on, today I’m reviewing one that I have managed to stay up-to-date on – the Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo.  This is number 11 in the series and I have read each one – in order no less!  The first four or five I thought were brilliant.  I came to the series late then read them all in a matter of weeks.

After that I eagerly awaited each new release and, whilst either through familiarity or writer fatigue, some that followed weren’t as good as those first books, I still kept reading because a) I loved Harry Hole as a character and b) Jo Nesbo has some brilliant twists and turns which do really keep you guessing till the last page.

Tuesday intro: Follow You Home by Mark Edwards

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. Diane is currently on a summer break but I have decided to carry on regardless because these are some of my favourite posts. I see others are doing the same – if you are, please leave a link to your post in the comments so that I don’t miss checking out your reads.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share two teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

This week, I’m reading Follow You Home by Mark Edwards, a book that has been sat on the kindle for more than a while and which I keep telling myself I need to read.

Here’s what it’s about…

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down.

After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilisation, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror.

Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…

Here’s how it starts…

The overnight train to Sighisoara, due to leave Budapest at eleven, was running late. The station was quiet and unwelcoming, bars and shops shut for the night, figures lurking in the shadows around the edge of the building. We sat on the hard floor, tired after a day wandering around the city in the summer heat with our backpacks. A gang of teenagers hung about nearby, shouting and posturing and badgering passers-by for cigarettes. A middle-aged man approached us, asking if we needed a hot meal and somewhere to stay, his oily smile vanishing as we shooed him away.

Armed police strolled about in pairs, scrutinising us suspiciously as they passed by. So we were relieved when the train finally pulled into the platform and more travellers, though fewer than I expected, appeared as if from nowhere.

And here are some teasers to whet your appetite…

The guards watched her. The one in front was in his thirties, overweight with a bald head and patchy stubble on his chin. His colleague was a little younger, with a neatly trimmed beard and intense blue eyes. They both wore the same impatient, pissed-off expression, like they had just been told their wages were being cut. The guidebook said the Romanian border guards were welcoming and friendly, so I smiled at them and nodded. They didn’t smile back.

And

Sometimes in the night I could hear something scratching and skittering in the walls. Rats, drawn to the spreading squalor? I needed to let some fresh air in, but the effort of doing this, of crossing the room and trying to find the key that unlocked the sash window, of forcing the frame open, was too much. Everything felt like too much effort.

What do you think – would you keep reading?

Emma x

Weekly update: 27th August, 2017

Weekly updateMorning all – I hope you are having a good weekend.  I am writing this feeling a little worse to wear (having forgotten I needed to get ahead of myself yesterday) because I went out last night to see a band I haven’t seen for over 20 years, The Wonder Stuff. I have to say, I’m now feeling my age thanks to a smidge too much beer and a lot of jumping up and down.  Part of me wonders what it must be like for a band that is writing new music again to have a group of people there just to listen to the hits…but the other (bigger) part of me is just so happy to have heard the songs live again.  It was so much fun!  For those who haven’t heard of the band (and I’m sure that’s a lot of you), here’s a taster…

Stacking Shelves: 26th August, 2017

STSsmallOnce again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

Thankfully, this week was a lot calmer than last and I am back in my comfort zone of three to four books a week max. being added to the shelves.  As always there is a mix of bought, loaned and review copies.

Crime series I'm officially given up on catching up on…

For the Cloak and Dagger reading challenge I have set myself a mini-challenge of finishing up (or catching up rather) with two series – M. J. Arlidge DI Helen Grace series and the Nikki Galena series by Joy Ellis – and I have to say, with so many other books on my to read list and September fast approaching, I am starting to panic a bit.  The books are all loaded up on the kindle or the shelves but others keep making their way to the top of the pile.

Reading concept. Vintage tone of  woman selecting book from a bo

Sitting there, thinking about when I might find the time to read them (or which books I wouldn’t read instead), I got to also thinking about all the other series I had planned at some point to catch-up on and decided to have a bit of look on goodreads to see if my plans were every likely to become a reality.  For three, I have officially decided they won’t be.  After reading the first book in each series and a couple more along the way, I have decided I am just too far behind and I’m giving up….

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

99 red balloonsTwo girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

So as well as a title that sends me back to my teenage years and memories of watching Top of the Pops, 99 Red Balloons has everything I look for in a psychological thriller – missing children, family secrets and a story that slowly comes together through the eyes of a number of characters, none of whom seem to be quite telling the truth.

And I got all that and more, with a book with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings plus a “wow” moment about two-thirds in that had me pause for a second so my brain could readjust and rethink everything I had read so far.  You’ve got to love those moments and it completely changed the book for me.  

Nothing Stays Buried by P J Tracy

Nothing Stays BuriedWhen Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called to a crime scene in a heavily wooded city park, everything about the setting is all too familiar. And when they discover a playing card on the victim’s body, their worst fears are confirmed there s a serial killer operating in the city for the first time in years.

Across town, Grace MacBride and her unconventional partners at Monkeewrench Software find themselves at both personal and career crossroads. Weary of the darker side of their computer work for law enforcement, they agree to take on a private missing-persons case in a small farming community in southwestern Minnesota.

As the violence accelerates in Minneapolis, Magozzi and Gino soon realize their killer is planning to complete the deck, and they enlist Monkeewrench to help stop the rampage. As a baffling tangle of evidence accumulates, the cops and Monkeewrench make the unlikely connections among a farmer s missing daughter, a serial killer, and a decades-old stabbing that brings them face-to-face with pure evil.

After recently rediscovering the Monkeewrench series with number 7 (Cold Kill), I was excited to see number 8 already available on net galley and jumped at the chance of reviewing it.

There are so many things that make this a great series: the bleak Minneapolis weather (last time it was snow, this time tornadoes) which make everything feel a little bit dark and dangerous; the clever plotting with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings; and the characters, all of whom I like and a few of whom I love.

Tuesday intro: The Thirst by Jo Nesbo

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. Diane is currently on a summer break but I have decided to carry on regardless because these are some of my favourite posts. I see others are doing the same – if you are, please leave a link to your post in the comments so that I don’t miss checking out your reads.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share two teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

So, after a very long intro, this is what I’m reading this week…

The Ballroom by Anna Hope

1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart

by high walls and barred windows,

there is a ballroom vast and beautiful.

For one bright evening every week

they come together

and dance.

When John and Ella meet

It is a dance that will change

two lives forever.

After recently writing about how I don’t read either historical fiction or romance novels and asking for suggestions, The Ballroom turned up in my mailbox as part of a reading round robin I am taking part in (organised by Sarah at Sarah Withers Blog).

Set in 1911 and focusing on the relationship between John and Ella, two residents of an asylum who only meet on scheduled Friday dances, this book couldn’t have been further from my regular reads. Yet, I really enjoyed it, showing me just how important it is I step outside my comfort zone once in a while.

Weekly update: 20th August, 2017

Weekly updateHi all and happy Sunday.  I hope you are having a good week and a good weekend.  Today, the sun is shining so I am happy – it’s been very up and down this summer and I am starting to panic we won’t be getting the weather we need to BBQ again before winter roles around (sorry to sound so depressing!).

Saying that, I doubt we will get to cook out today as we have too much to do.  My in-laws are visiting next week and my spare bedroom looks like a bomb has hit it and I daren’t even go into my daughter’s bathroom – which they’ll be sharing – so I will be spending the day tidying  Maybe if I get all more chores done there will be a veggie burger and a beer at the end of it?