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 Guilty Ones by Joy Ellis

The Guilty Ones Joy EllisWhen DI Jackman’s sister-in-law commits suicide, his family finds it hard to believe.  She was a loving wife and mother and didn’t seem to have any real cares in the world.

His partner, DI Marie Evans, finds it so hard to believe she becomes convinced not all is as it first appears.  It’s a belief that becomes a reality as first one then two more suicide victims are found, neither of which are quite what they seem.

It looks like someone has come up with a very clever way of committing murder – by getting his or her victims to do it themselves. It’s also a very clever idea of a book, one I enjoyed as I watched the police scramble to figure out just who was behind some rather vicious attacks on seemingly innocent people.

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

The Dark Lake

When the body of a young and popular teacher turns up in the waters of Sonny Lake, the first detective called to the scene is Sergeant Gemma Woodstock, a local who not only knows the area but also the victim – Rosalind Ryan, at least in passing (they went to school together).

The connection, Gem insists, is slight.  The relationship between the two women non-existent.  So she stays on the case, along with her partner Felix. Unfortunately, Gem isn’t quite telling the truth; she has a history with Rosalind (Rose), holding a secret that might put the case in jeopardy.

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

the hoarderMaud Drennan is a forty-something carer.  Originally from Ireland, she now lives in London and finds herself taking care of Cathal Flood, a man it isn’t easy to like.  He frightened his last carer away, and the ones before that.  Somehow, though, Maud is holding on, slowly making her way through Cathal’s house and the years of dirt, grime and chaos he has accumulated.

Whether it’s her grit, or their shared Irish roots, Cathal begins to let her in – and so does his rambling, shambolic house.  Because, as well as being a carer, Maud is psychic and, pretty quickly, it becomes clear that the house – or it’s former residents are trying to tell her something. 

Perfect Death by Helen Fields

perfect deathIt’s hard to believe that it was less than a year ago that I came across Helen Fields’ first book, Perfect Remains, at the library AND that I only picked it up because of the cover.

I am so pleased that I did because I thought it was a great book, and now – three books in – I can’t imagine my reading life without detectives Luc Callanach and Ava Turner, the two central characters in this crime series.

Luc is half-Scottish, half-French and trying to rebuild his life after it fell apart a few years previously.  It’s why he moved to Scotland, where he is slowly starting to fit in with his team and get over the events of the past.  Ava is a woman who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth but hasn’t let that stop her climb the ranks of the police and put herself in the line of fire more than once.

Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham

imageSleepyhead is the first in the Tom Thorne series of books.  Written in 2001, it has been sitting on my Kindle since 2014.  When I first bought it, I picked it up quite quickly.  Then put it down again because all I could picture in my head was David Morrissey, who plays Thorne in the TV show.

Four years on, I didn’t do much better with that I have to say, which says something about the TV show’s impact on me I guess.  Thankfully, I couldn’t remember too much of the plot, which meant it was still a new story for me, well mostly because I remembered the basic premise.

In Sleepyhead, someone with medical training (maybe even a doctor) is attacking young women, pinching a particular nerve to cause a stroke.  He doesn’t want to kill them, though, but rather cause locked-in syndrome, where the women are completely aware of what is going on but can’t move, or speak, but are rather trapped in their own bodies.  

Hide and Seek by M. J. Arlidge

Hide and Seek

When I finished the previous book in the DI Helen Grace series, Little Boy Blue, I was left so blown away that the only word I could use to describe it was “wow!”.  I really wasn’t sure if it could be topped because the ending was so unforeseen and so big a twist for this genre.

I’m not sure Little Boy Blue has been topped by Hide and Seek but M. J. Arlidge does a good job trying with what is still an amazing book.  You’ll have to excuse all the hyperbole but this really is a brilliant book in a brilliant series, one I can’t wait to catch up.

For those reading the series and who haven’t gotten to the end of Little Boy Blue yet, there are spoilers here for the series so you might not want to read on.  They can’t be helped though if I am going to try at all to describe the story.  So apologies in advance.

Cloak and Dagger Challenge 2018 (late sign-up)

cdchallengebadge2016

Last year, I took part in the Cloak and Dagger challenge and loved it – mainly because it’s the only one I nailed (or will have once I update the book list!).  It is right up my street with the subject matter and it’s hosted by one of my favourite bloggers, Stormi at books, movies, reviews oh my!, along with Barb at Booker Ts Farm.  Given it went so well for me, I’m doing it again (because I like to feel like a winner and this might be the only way!).

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:

Tuesday Intro: Hide and Seek by M. J. Arlidge

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.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share 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 one of my Cloak and Dagger Challenge reads – Hide and Seek by M. J. Arlidge (an author I also like a lot)…