The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?

The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

The Legacy is the third book I’ve read now by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, the author whose name I will never be able to pronounce, and one I was eagerly looking forward to reading given how much I have enjoyed the other two.  I have to say I wasn’t disappointed in what I got for my money (well, not really my money as this was a review copy but you know what I mean – hopefully), though it probably wasn’t the favourite of the books I’ve read.

Why not? Because it didn’t have the spooky element the other two books had and which I thought set them apart from others in the genre.  I thought it would with the prologue – three children sat on a bench, not moving whilst a group of adults talk about the horrible things that have happened to them and how it is best they are given new lives and know nothing of their past.  This is the extent of it though and, with the story proper, it moves into a more traditional police procedural / piece of crime fiction.

That said, this doesn’t make it a bad book, not by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, once I got over my slight disappointment at the lack of spookiness, I became completely absorbed in the story.  It has everything I like in my Nordic noir; it is dark and gritty, the world is cold (there is always snow) and the people slightly dour and depressed (sorry but it’s true – though it doesn’t put me off reading).  Plus there is the structure and social mores in which they live and work, so different to ours and so fascinating.  I can never resist.

As for the book itself, it is well written and well translated and nice and complicated, though it didn’t feel like it would be at first.  With each murder and each twist in the tale I found myself more confused as to what was going on and who the killer was (I didn’t get this one until it was revealed – a good thing for the author in the keep ’em guessing stakes but bad for my ego as I really like to be the one who figures things out before the police).

The silver lining to that is that the police were just as confused as me, no closer to figuring out the truth than I was as they scrambled to find clues and connections between the victims.  I should have had more of a clue given I knew more than them.  Not only was I privy to the children in the prologue, I was only following Karl, a CB radio enthusiast who is picking up broadcasts that seem to be targeted directly at him (and pointing him towards the victims).  Knowing they were all connected didn’t help me though,  I just couldn’t put it together no matter how hard I tried.

Maybe I would have tried harder if I hadn’t been distracted by what I hoped was a burgeoning relationship between the lead detective (Huldar) and Frejya who works for the children’s service and is trying to keep the first victim’s daughter (and only witness to her murder) safe.  Huldar and Frejya have history, meaning she isn’t his biggest fan, but I couldn’t help hoping they would figure it out because, despite Huldar’s social ineptitude, I really liked him and Frejya.  I thought they were complicated but well rounded characters and, as this is the first in the series, I really hope to get to know them better.

Maybe I’ll be lucky in the next one and get a bit of the spooky back but, even if not, I’ll keep reading because I liked this one a lot and would definitely recommend it.

Enjoy!

Emma x

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Source: Net Galley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 23rd March, 2017
Pages: 464
Format: ebook
Genre: crime fiction
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

 

 

Tuesday Intro: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

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. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week, I’m reading The Legacy  by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, an Icelandic author I discovered last year and am slowly reading my way through. The Legacy is her latest offering. Here’s what it’s about…

The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?

The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

And here’s how it starts…

1987

Prologue

They sat on the bench as if arranged in order of size; the girl, who was the youngest, at one end, her two brothers next to her. One, three and four years old. Their thin legs dangled from the hard seat, but unlike normal children they didn’t swing them or wriggle about, and their new shoes hung motionless over the shiny linoleum. There was no curiosity, boredom or impatience in their faces. All three stared at the blank white wall in front of them as if watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Viewed through the glass, the scene resembled a photograph –a study of three children on a bench.

What do you think. Would you keep reading?

Emma

The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

25079833‘Mummy dead.’ The child’s pure treble was uncomfortably clear. It was the last thing Brynjar – and doubtless the others – wanted to hear at that moment. ‘Daddy dead.’ It got worse. ‘Adda dead. Bygga dead.’ The child sighed and clutched her grandmother’s leg. ‘All dead.’

A luxury yacht arrives in Reykjavik harbour with nobody on board. What has happened to the crew, and to the family who were on board when it left Lisbon?

Thora Gudmundsdottir is hired by the young father’s parents to investigate, and is soon drawn deeper into the mystery. What should she make of the rumours saying that the vessel was cursed, especially given that when she boards the yacht she thinks she sees one of the missing twins? Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht’s former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore?

The Silence of the Sea was my first read of 2017 (though obviously not my first review, I’m not that efficient) and I have to say I’m really glad that I chose it.  It was a good start to my reading year and has convinced me I need to read more books by an author who writes chilling tales but has a name I will never be able to pronounce.

Much like the first book I read by Sigurdardottir, Why Did You Lie? there is a slightly spooky element to The Silence of the Sea which sets it apart from other books of the genre and leaves you with plenty to figure out and make best guesses at.  And how much spookier could a ship with new crew and passengers running aground be, especially on a dark, cold and rainy night in Iceland.  Add to that the ships reputation as being cursed and bringing those who own it nothing but bad luck and you have a real page turner.

The bad luck in this case starts with a rich man and his beautiful wife who end up not so rich and unable to pay for their luxury yacht, leaving it stranded in Lisbon. It’s the job of Aegir to make sure it makes it back to it’s new owners (and also the bank he works for) safely.  Unfortunately, things don’t quite go to plan when a member of the crew breaks their leg.  To make sure they can set off on time, he volunteers to take the crew members place, setting off with his family on what will be a fatal voyage.

In Iceland, Thora is a lawyer hired by Aegir’s parents to help them keep their granddaughter and make claim on any insurance money.  Slowly, she begins to try to unpick just what happened to Aegir, his family and – as a result – the rest of the crew, convinced it isn’t possible for everyone to be lost at sea but also not sure she wants to think of the consequences – including that Aegir is on the run for reasons unknown.

I say slowly because that’s the pace of this book.  It doesn’t throw things at you but reveals them bit by bit, lulling you into a false sense of security at times before throwing a curve ball and making you sit up and take notice.  The pace might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I didn’t mind it.  It made me feel like I was getting to think through what was happening and come to my own (wrong) conclusions.

As Thora works in the present to find answers, revealing secrets and unearthing red herrings, the past is revealed in alternating chapters, telling just what happened to everyone on board.  Again, there are twists, turns and plenty of suspects.  Nothing is as it seems, which for a reader is great.  Every time I thought I’d figured it out, I found I hadn’t.  Plus the setting was good, lots to make it seem creepy and you feel that danger lurked around every corner and behind every wave.

Thora is a great character, tenacious and caring and I liked her and her slightly annoying but still interesting secretary Bella who helped her in her investigation.  It was hard to say with Aegir and his family, though the captain of the ship I did think was really well written. I could picture him, hardened by years at sea and experienced enough to take on most things. Aegir I was up and down with, liking him one minute, not the next and finding him quite weak and frustrating in others – but then he is at sea with a bunch of strangers, potentially murderous ones, and has a family to protect so maybe I’m being a bit picky here.

This uncertainty about Aegir certainly didn’t stop me enjoying the book, which I most certainly did.  I thought it was a clever idea, well executed and well written.  I found I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t stop turning pages and – as a result – have to say I liked it a lot.

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Library
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 26th March, 2015 (first published 2011)
Pages: 388
Format: paperback

 

Why Did You Lie? by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

imageA journalist on the track of an old case attempts suicide. An ordinary couple return from a house swap in the states to find their home in disarray and their guests seemingly missing. Four strangers struggle to find shelter on a windswept spike of rock in the middle of a raging sea. They have one thing in common: they all lied. And someone is determined to punish them…

So I think I have found one of my favourite books of the year.  A complete surprise, as it’s not an author I’ve read before and I didn’t know what to expect, but I think it’s fair to say I have been completely blown away.

It starts with the characters, all of whom are so well drawn I felt I knew them by the end of the book.  Each of them felt different and real.  They had complex personalities, habits and quirks (good and bad), something I think it’s hard to do when there are multiple narrations going on at the same time.  And each was dealing with curveballs unexpectedly thrown at them by life (or nature in the case of those trapped on the spike of rock), making their stories interesting outside of the murder plot.

Then there is the setting – I am not sure I’ve read a book set in Iceland before – but the cold, the snow, the sea, all made it feel claustrophobic and not somewhere I would want to be trying to escape a killer.  It felt dark and oppressive, especially when you add in the police’s attitude – it can only be described as misogynistic, meaning women weren’t being listened to and assumptions to behaviours were being made.

And finally there was the way the story was told.  Each chapter laid out a different part of each characters story but they were all taking place within a few days of each other, which threw me off at first until I realised what was happening; more importantly it means it’s hard for the reader to put the pieces together.  You have to ask yourself what has happened, what is to come.  I did finally figure it out (a game I always play with this type of book) but it wasn’t far from the end and it felt like a lightbulb going of.

O.k. so that maybe wasn’t so finally as I need to add that Why Did You Lie? is well written, very well translated, and has a great pace.  I could not put it down and – almost a week later – am still thinking about it.  I’ll be looking for more books by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, even if I may never be able to pronounce her name.  Loved this book – highly recommended.

Emma

Please note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

My Week in Review(s)

So it looks like I spoke too soon about getting back in the swing of book blogging when I posted my first weekly update in over a year a few weeks ago.

This time, though, it wasn’t due to a lack of interest in reading. My daughter went back to school and brought back a big bag of germs that saw me laid up with a heavy cold (not Covid, thankfully) for over a week.

Which meant I was back binge watching Netflix and the books went back on the shelf (or the kindle on the bedside table) for a while.

I was much better by the middle of last week (which was a good thing as I had the week off) and managed to finish and review two books, one of which I loved, one of which I wasn’t too keen on.

Read More »

Mid-year freak out tag

So I’ve been seeing this tag everywhere recently, including over at Snazzy Books and Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! and I thought it would be fun to do too as I normally post a “best of the year so far” post about now.  This seems a nice replacement.  Here are my answers…

1) The best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

51j92jJ6+dLI have to pick a really recent read, Forgotten by Nicole Trope, which just blew me away.

2) Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?Read More »

Reviews: by rating

 

loved-it

A Bunch of Sweet Peas by Henry Donald (short story)

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

Black Hornet by James Sallis

Blame by Nicole Trope

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway by Sara Gran

Dark Water by Robert Bryndza

Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Drive by James Sallis

Driven by James Sallis

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Follow The Leader by Mel Sherratt

Forgotten by Nicole Trope

Fractured by Catherine McKenzie

Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

Killer on the Fens by Joy Ellis

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Let The Dead Speak by Jane Casey

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

Others of My Kind by James Sallis

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Salt River by James Sallis

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Still Waters by Viveca Sten

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

The Burning Air by Erin Kelly

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Heros’ Welcome by Louisa Young

The Killer on the Wall by Emma Kavanagh

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Long Legged Fly by James Sallis

The Moth by James Sallis

The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie

 

 

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A Sheltered Woman, a short story by Yiyun Li

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Trick of The Light by Louise Penny

The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse

Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

Blind Side by Jennie Ensor

Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo

Bradstreet Gate by Robin Kirman

Briar Road by Jonathan Buckley (short story)

Buried Secrets by Lisa Cutts

Captive on the Fens by Joy Ellis

Carrie by Stephen King

Cinderella Girl by Carin Gerhardsen

Closed Circles by Viveca Sten

Cypress Grove by James Sallis

Dead Calm by Inge Löhnig

Dead Lost by Helen H. Durrant

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Fallout by Sadie Jones

Finding Emma by Steena Holmes

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith

Guiltless by Viveca Sten

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Harry’s Last Stand by Harry Leslie Smith

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

Her Mother’s Shadow by Diane Chamberlain

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

Himself by Jess Kidd

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

J by Howard Jacobson

Just What Kind of Mother Are You by Paula Daly

Keeper of the Light by Diane Chamberlain

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

Mary Boleyn by Alison Weir

Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas

My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier 

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

Only The Brave by Mel Sherratt 

Pop Goes The Weasel by M. J. Arlidge

Sometimes I lie by Alice Feeney

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Roots, Radicals, and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World by Billy Bragg

Sebastian Bergman

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

Stalker on the Fens by Joy Ellis

A26 by Pascal Garnier

Tarot Court Cards for Beginners by Leeza Robertson

Taunting The Dead by Mel Sherratt

The Accidental Life of Greg Miller by Aimee Alexander

The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

The Dead Room by Chris Mooney

The Detective’s Secret by Lesley Thomson

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker

The Escape by C. L. Taylor

The Food of Love by Amanda Prowse

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

The Highway by C. J. Box

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

The Lady In The Tower by Alison Weir

The Last Lullaby by Carin Gerhardsen

The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill

The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

The Octopus Nest, a short story by Sophie Hannah

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover

The Prodigal by Nicky Black

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

What Goes Around by Julie Corbin

Where My Heart Used To Beat by Sebastian Faulks

 

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A Mother’s Story by Amanda Prowse

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Accidents Happen by Louise Millar

After Anna by Alex Lake

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Blood Sisters by Graham Masterton

Call for the Dead by John le Carré

Cripple Creek by James Sallis

Cut The Sugar, You’re Sweet Enough by Ella Leche

Deliver Her by Patricia Perry Donovan

Emma’s Secret by Steena Holmes

Fell by Jenn Ashworth

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Halo by Frankie Rose

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

Here We Lie by Sophie McKenzie

House of Evidence by Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson

Kiss River by Diane Chamberlain 

Lancaster and York by Alison Weir

Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser

My Sister by Michelle Adams

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Police by Jo Nesbo

Red Light by Graham Masterton

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield

Taken for Dead by Graham Masterton

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

The Bees by Laline Paul

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald

The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

The Girl In The Red Coat by Kate Hamer

The Memory Man by Helen Smith (short story)

The Mistress’s Daughter by A. M. Homes

The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah

The Other Child by Lucy Atkins

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

You by Caroline Kepnes

not-for-me

A Different Class of Murder by Laura Thompson

All The Little Pieces by Jilliane Hoffman

All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford

Death of a Demon by Anne Holt

The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan

Eat, Nourish, Glow by Amelia Freer

Fair Play by Tove Jansson

Girl Number One by Jane Holland

Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Take Me Home by Daniela Sacerdoti

The Boy Who Could See Death by Salley Vickers

The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse

The Dead by Howard Linskey

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare

Monthly update: March, 2017

How organised am I.  It’s only March 30th and I am writing my monthly update.  There must be something in the air…or I have too much time on my hands! How was March for people? Mine wasn’t bad, though it felt a lot longer than February (figuratively and literally).  Work was crazy busy and we’ve had lots going on at home (will the painting and decorating every be finished).  Still, I managed to fit in reading some book, good, bad and a bit blah…

loved-it

Human Acts by Han Kang, if it’s possible to love a book with such a hard subject matter – the brutal taking down of a popular uprising in 1980’s South Korea.

Let The Dead Speak by Jane Casey, a book that kept me on tenderhooks throughout thanks to it’s great plot and compelling characters.

These books are so different but if I had to choose I would say Human Acts is my book of the month.

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The Murder Game by Julie Apple, a.k.a. Catherine McKenzie, one of my favourite authors, where four law students plan the perfect murder and then try to get away with it (or do they?)

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, a book I was scared to read because I’d loved her last one so much…I am glad to report I wasn’t disappointed.

The Escape by C. L. Taylor, which finds a young mother (and her small child) on the run and fighting to have herself believed.

 

The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson, a psychological thriller with a bit of a difference and a strong female character I couldn’t help but like.

The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, another great piece of crime writing and Nordic Noir, this is the start of a new series I can’t wait to read more of.

The Dead Room by Chris Mooney, a book that had been sat on my kindle for five years before I got round to reading it, immediately wishing I hadn’t waited as long.

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary, another great outing for Marnie Raine looking to solve a crime she seems to be increasingly connected too.

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You by Caroline Kepnes, a book I think I might have waited too long to read as it didn’t live up to expectations (but was that might fault for having such high hopes?)

 

not-for-me

None! (yay!)

And that’s it for me for March – pretty good I think – with only one book I just don’t think I can bring myself to recommend. What about you – how was your month, reading and otherwise?

Emma

This month, I’m linking with Kathryn at Book Date and Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction with their monthly round-up posts (clicking on the images will take you to the posts to check out what others have been reading).

2017-monthly-wrap-up-round-up400 month-in-review-6

Weekly update: 19th March, 2017

Morning all and happy Sunday…hope everyone is having a good weekend and has had a good week. Mine wasn’t too bad, busy with work but there were some fun things in their too, including a day off on Friday where I did absolutely nothing but chill and read, finishing a whole book (The Escape by C. L. Taylor). This was followed by dinner with friends…not the most exciting venue as the kids picked McDonalds but we did manage to stay there for two hours!

Yesterday, my daughter decided to hold a birthday party for our cat, who is now a year old. She invited the grandparents, made a cake out of tuna, a playlist for a party…slightly over the top maybe but it was fun and I think the car involved it for the time it took him to eat his tuna before going outside again. And today, we are attempting to make bath bombs, which I’ve been told are easy but you never know…wish me luck!

Back in the world of blogging, I didn’t have a bad week, though missed my target of five posts. I did manage four, though, so not too shabby for me. It included two reviews…

The Dead Room by Chris Mooney, book three in a series involving a Boston forensic investigator who also seems to be quite handy with a gun and has a habit for getting herself into danger. A new author and series for me, I can see myself reading more.

The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, who has become one of my favourite authors in the past year with her slightly spooky version of Nordic noir. This was another great read, nice and dark and gritty – just how I like them!

Other posts…

…introduced my latest read, Tuesday Intro: The Stranger by Saskia Sarginson, which is now finished and with a review to follow (fingers crossed to getting it written today). I don’t think I am giving anything away by saying I really enjoyed it.

…talked about my belated realisation that I have a lot of ebooks unread (including The Dead Room, which I had owned since 2012) and my determination to finally read some of them.  I picked the three oldest and you can see what they are here. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has books sitting their gathering dust (digitally speaking or otherwise). What is the book that has been sat on your shelves longest?

And that’s it for me. How has your week been, reading and otherwise?

emma x

 

This week, I’m linking in with Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post and with (a little early) Katherine at Book Date for It’s Monday, What Are you Reading? Head over by clicking on their badges below to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.

The Sunday Post

Monthly round-up: January, 2017

So I swear this is the only time I’m going to say this this year but where did January go?  In a flash it seems and now we are here in February already.  The good news in this, though, is that I have holidays booked this month so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.  Plus, January was a good reading month for me (for the most part anyway).  Here’s how it went….

loved-it

 

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner, which sees a welcome return of Quincy and Rainie – two of my favourite Lisa Gardner characters.  This time round they are trying to keep their adoptive daughter safe from a brother who has suddenly reappeared in her life and seems to be on a killing spree.

The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni, the fourth in the Tracy Crosswhite series of books and probably my favourite January read.  I love Tracy, her passion for her job and her friends, her ability to relate to the victims (as she does here) and her unwillingness to let go of a case when she knows a killer is out there.

Wedlock by Wendy Moore, a non-fiction book which looks at the fascinating life of Mary Eleanor Bowes and her abusive husband Andrew Stoney.  The Bowes are a well known name in part of because of the Queen mother but I had no idea of what Mary had to live through in order to protect herself and her children.  If you read this, you’ll never say a domestic thriller plot is far fetched again.

 

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Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt , another detective series I have a feeling I will be getting hooked on by one of my favourite authors.  Sherratt has created an interesting character in Detective Eden Berrisford and a compelling read in this story that manages to combine thrills and suspense whilst at the same time highlighting violence against women and how harmful it is.

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, was a book I read almost 20 years ago and decided to revisit in advance of it’s 25th birthday.  This is one of the only series I have read all the books for (and we are up to X I think, so it’s a lot) and I love the central character Kinsey Millhone. She’s a good old fashioned private investigator in the days before mobile phones and the internet and I enjoyed slipping back into that world.

Liar Liar by M. J. Arlidge, the fourth in the DI Helen Grace series where she is on the hunt for a serial arsonist who may be turning into a serial killer because he doesn’t seem to care who is in the houses he sets fire to – or does he.  It’s up to Helen to figure that out and stop him before he kills someone.

The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, an Icelandic thriller with a supernatural / spooky twist, this one had me turning pages and trying to figure out just what was happening.  Iceland is a great place to set this type of book and Sigurdardottir writes in a dark, claustrophobic, way that I really like.

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land, a book that is supposed to be one of the books of the year and I can see why.  It’s the story of a 15 year old daughter of a serial killer and how she comes to terms with not only what her mother has done but what she has done to survive.  Compelling.

Duplicity by Sibel Hodge, where I had to suspend belief somewhat but as this was so well written I didn’t mind doing that.  I loved the detective in this one and the twists and turns, which kept me guessing right through to the end.

liked-it-a-little

Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis, which I just couldn’t get away with because a) I didn’t like the central characters and b) the one I liked best out of the two disappeared two-thirds of the way through just when I was starting to sympathise with him.  Frustrating.

The Missing by Caroline Eriksson, which I also couldn’t get away with, again because of the characters but also because of holes in the plot and a twist at the end which just didn’t make any sense to me.  Not one I can recommend I’m afraid (though I do still like the cover).

And that’s it for me for January – like I said, not bad – with only two books I just don’t think I can bring myself to recommend. What about you – how was your month, reading and otherwise?

Emma

This month, I’m linking with Kathryn at Book Date and Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction with their monthly round-up posts (clicking on the images will take you to the posts to check out what others have been reading).

2017-monthly-wrap-up-round-up400  month-in-review-6