Tuesday Intro: The Inifinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

Once again this week, I’m linking up again with Vicky at I’d Rather Be At The Beach 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. This week, I’m reading a book I was so excited to see because I’ve been waiting for it to come out since reading the second books in the series back in 2015.  It’s The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran and, although it doesn’t come out till September, I can’t wait to read it.  

Cleaning Up The TBR #5

Back in November last year, I did my first “Cleaning Up the TBR” post, something I first saw over on Fictionophile, who had seen it on Lost in a Story, and thought it was a really good idea. I know I’m not the only one who thought the same as I was seeing it everywhere so I am glad to jump on the bandwagon. Hopefully no one will mind 🙂

The idea is you take your Goodreads TBR list, sort by ascending date added, and look at the oldest five to ten items on your list. If you haven’t read them by now, are you likely to? Why or why not? If you want to keep them, make the case. This is my fifth visit to the list so far, with the last one in May. Here’s what’s next on the list…

Weekly Update: 8th July 2018

Hi there and Happy Sunday.  Welcome to my first weekly update in what seems like forever, but in reality has been about a month.  Life just seems to keep getting away from me and – if I’m honest – I’ve been in a bit of a book blogging slump.  It’s been happening on and off since the Spring and I’m not sure I’m over it yet.

I thought it was because I felt swamped with review copies but they are all done now and I’m completely caught up so I’m actually reading books I’ve bought again – and it’s still made no difference.  With the school holidays almost upon us, I’ll see if the change of pace makes a difference.  If not, I may just take a break.  Oh the woes of being a book blogger 😉

Anyhow, on with my week and what I wrote / reviewed…

Murder in Slow Motion Rebecca Muddiman  image her watchful eye julie corbin

On Monday, I wrote a review of Her Watchful Eye by Julie Corbin, which I really enjoyed because it was full of unreliable characters and twists and turns.

On Tuesday, I introduced my latest read, Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas, which is due out in August so not long to go for my review.

On Wednesday, I recapped on the books I’d read in June, the majority of which were 4+ star reviews so made me very happy.

On Friday, I reviewed Murder in Slow Motion by Rebecca Muddiman, a book set in / around my home town with great plot twists.

And that’s it for me – a short and sweet post. How was your week, reading and otherwise?

Emma x

This week, I’m linking in with Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post and with 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.

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Cloak & Dagger – June Update

CDChallengebadge2016.jpgI have been very lax this year in doing regular updates on my challenges (and I didn’t even do that many of them), even though I have been taking part in the background.  With the end of June fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to revisit them and see where I was, starting with the Cloak & Dagger challenge, run by one of my favourite bloggers, Stormi at books, movies, reviews oh my!, along with Barb at Booker Ts Farm.

To take part, you can read any book from the mystery, suspense, thriller or crime genres (or sub-genres).  They need to be books or novellas over 100 pages so no short stories.  You don’t have to be a blogger as long as you post your reviews somewhere (so Goodreads is fine).   Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.  Then you pick the level you want to read for:

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

 

The Death of Mrs Westaway Ruth Ware

When Harriet, or Hal as she’s known, receives a letter from a solicitor to let her know that her grandmother has died and left her an inheritance she doesn’t know what to think – mainly because her mother’s parents, the only grandparents she knew, died years before, leaving her and her mother with nothing.

On any other day, Hal would have called the solicitor and told him he was mistaken.  But this isn’t any other day.  It’s the day the loan shark she borrowed money from to pay the bills breaks into her flat and threatens her.  It’s the day she feels broken and beaten down by life. So, it becomes the day she decides to pretend to be someone else.  

This is What Happened by Mick Herron

 

This is what happened mick herron

When twenty-something Maggie Barnes moved to London, it was for a fresh start, to get away from a bad relationship and make something of herself – just like her oh-so-perfect sister.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as she planned.  Instead, she found herself in a small, grotty, flat with a minimum-wage job and no friends (bar seven twitter followers she doesn’t even know).

It’s no wonder then, that she jumps at the chance of doing something just a bit different – working with the security services to spy on her employer.  She has, they say, the perfect cover – no one will look at her twice.

If it all sounds a bit far-fetched, it just might be.  It’s hard for me to say more, however, without spoilers – making it a hard review to write too.  What I can say is what’s in the blurb – after what is described as a life-or-death mission, Maggie goes missing…and no one seems to notice.

The problem with the blurb is it doesn’t really describe the book, and I have a feeling from some of the reviews on Goodreads, that people haven’t – therefore – gotten what they expected, especially his fans.  Which is a shame.  Because this is a highly enjoyable novel.  You don’t have to waste much brain power on it, I will admit, but that’s not always the type of book I want to read.

I’ve never read any books by Herron before and I think he has a good writing style and, in This is What Happened, he’s created three interesting and somewhat baffling characters, all of whom are just a little bit lost – which explains how what seems like a simple situation at the beginning, can get so messy so quickly. Apparently it’s based on a true situation and is an apology of sorts to the real Maggie.  I hope she has forgiven him.

Emma x

About the book…

Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in the huge city of London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend or partner, and not much in the way of friends, Maggie is just the kind of person who could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone taking notice

Or just the kind of person MI5 needs to infiltrate the establishment and thwart an international plot that puts all of Britain at risk

Now one young woman has the chance to be a hero—if she can think quickly enough to stay alive.

Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication Date: 7th June, 2018
Genre: Crime fiction, suspense, thriller
Number of pages: 256
Rating: 4 out of 5

Find on: Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US

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

 BIRCHBOX UK

Willnot by James Sallis

WillnotAfter my last unsuccessful experience with James Sallis (The Killer is Dying), I was slightly nervous picking up Willnot, especially as it was my choice for my first ever buddy read with Sarah over at Brainfluff. Thankfully, it looks like The Killer is Dying was a bit of a blip and, here, I got all the Sallis I could have hoped for – yay!

In his typical style, Sallis using words sparingly to paint a picture I found incredibly vivid.  I could picture the small town of Willnot and the people that lived there and I fell a little bit in love with the central character, Hale, a doctor come town ‘wise man’.  It’s his story that’s been told, but also the story of other people who live in Hale.  It’s all seems very simple on the surface, as life often is, but underneath there is plenty going on.

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

cross her heart sarah pinboroughWhen Lisa finds a children’s stuffed toy outside her house, she knows something is wrong.  Very wrong.  Only one person could have left it, and they aren’t supposed to know where she is.  Panic rises – and builds even more when things that mean nothing to anyone but her keep happening.

It’s no wonder she is paranoid.  And no wonder she is driving her daughter – 16 year old Ava – crazy with her constant need to know where she is and what she is doing.  It’s also no wonder that Ava rebels, doing almost the opposite of what her mum asks her to do.

With this type of set-up, you know things aren’t going to go well for either Lisa or Ava.  The question is how is it all going to go pear-shaped and why.  Does it have something to do with Lisa’s secrets, or the ones her best friend Marilyn is hiding? Whose past is about to rear its ugly head?

Macbeth by Jo Nesbo

Macbeth Jo NesboIn a town rife with corruption, it’s hard to know who is good and who is bad.  Or, at least that is the case in Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth, which seems to sit permanently in the grey.

The city, somewhere in Scotland in the 1970’s is grey, overhung by smoke and smog. The settings seem to be mainly grey, with a lot of the action taking place at night or in the evening.  And the characters are grey, so many walking a fine line between what is right and wrong, it’s no wonder some of them start to fall.

In a way, it’s perfect Nesbo territory and why I love his books – there is a darkness there that draws you in and, even with characters that tend to chose the moral right versus the legal one, I can’t help but want them to succeed. 

The Fear by C. L . Taylor

The Fear

When Lou’s father dies, and after a bad break-up with her boyfriend, she decides to up sticks, leaving London and returning to her childhood home, one she hasn’t been back to for 18 years.

Given what happened when she was last there, it’s possibly not the smartest idea, but she feels she needs to to confront her demons and start living her life again.

The what happened is she ran away with her teacher, a much older man.  Or at least that’s the cliff notes version.  As The Fear unfolds, so does Lou’s story, which is much more frightening than it first appears and explains a lot about why she is who she is.