#BookHaul: February 2017

Hey wonderful people, with the end of the month fast approaching, it’s that time again! Let’s take a look at the books I’ve hauled this month!

Review Copies:

As always, I’m extremely grateful to all the publishers/authors who have sent me these books to review.

Purged by Peter Laws


Matt Hunter lost his faith a long time ago. Formerly a minister, now a professor of sociology, he’s writing a book that debunks the Christian faith while assisting the police with religiously motivated crimes. On holiday with his family in Oxfordshire, Matt finds himself on edge in a seemingly idyllic village where wooden crosses hang at every turn. The stay becomes more sinister still when a local girl goes missing, followed by further disappearances. Caught up in an investigation that brings memories to the surface that he would prefer stay buried deep, Matt is on the trail of a killer determined to save us all.

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips


Lincoln is a good boy. At the age of four, he is curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are.
‘The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.’
When an ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct.
It’s a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing.
But sometimes the rules are different.

Dangerous to Know by Anne Buist


Natalie King is back: back from a stay on the psych ward. Her reluctance to live a quiet life has contributed to a severe depressive episode, and now it’s time for a retreat to the country, and a low-key research job at a provincial university nearby.

But Natalie and trouble have a strange mutual fascination. Her charismatic new boss Frank is friendly, even attractive. But it turns out his pregnant wife is an old enemy of Natalie’s. And when Frank’s tragic personal history is revealed – then reprised in the most shocking way – Natalie finds herself drawn deep into a mystery. And even deeper into danger

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski


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. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

A Presence of Absence by Sarah Surgey and Emma Vestrheim

A Presence of Absence - Sarah and Emma.jpg

A Presence of Absence is the first book in The Odense Series. Although this is a solid crime novel, it also begins and ends with grief for many of the characters, personal demons and life decisions.
A gritty murder case gets in the way of the characters’ everyday lives and sends the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish city of Odense, into a panic.
British detective Simon Weller escapes the fallout from the recent suicide of his Danish wife, Vibeke and heads out to her home city of Odense. But once there he is paired up with a local detective, Jonas, who is also about to hit rock bottom in his home life, and they must overcome their differences and personal problems to try and catch one of the worst serial killers Odense has ever seen. The case takes them back into past decades as history starts catching up with some of the local inhabitants. When Simon realises that his wife’s suicide may not be all it seems and her name appears in the case, his integrity within the case is compromised, how far will he go to find out the truth of Vibeke’s past and hide it from his already troubled police partner?
 Back home in London Simon’s family are struggling with their own web of lies and deceit and the family is falling apart.
With one family hiding a dark secret, the whole case is just about to reach breaking point.

Netgalley Copies:

This month I achieved the 80% feedback rating on Netgalley and I’ve got the badge to prove it! So to celebrate, I requested a few more books – not to many though, I don’t want to lose the badge!

Sweetpea by C J Skuse


The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret. Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list. A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge. Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood (I’m super excited to read this one!)

You Don't Know Me - Imran Mahmood.jpg

An unnamed defendant stands accused of murder. Just before the Closing Speeches, the young man sacks his lawyer, and decides to give his own defence speech.

He tells us that his barrister told him to leave some things out. Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to explain, or believe. But he thinks that if he’s going to go down for life, he might as well go down telling the truth.

There are eight pieces of evidence against him. As he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader – member of the jury – must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions… but at the end of the speeches, only one matters:

Did he do it?

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel (review to come: 01/03/17)

The Roanoke Girls - Amy Engel.jpg


The Roanoke girls seem to have it all. But there’s a dark truth about them which is never spoken. Every girl either runs away, or dies.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents’ estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing – and Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke girl. Is she strong enough to escape a second time?

**Despite all the books I’ve read this month, my review copies stand at 20 (11 ebooks, 9 physical books). I’m dedicating the month of March to getting this total to under 10 (not including any new additions received in March), wish me luck!

Kindle Purchases:

Losing Juliet by June Taylor

After reading Kate @ The Quiet Knitter’s review of this one, I purchased it right away.

Losing Juliet - June Taylor.jpg

You can’t escape the past… Juliet and Chrissy were best friends until one fateful summer forced them apart. Now, nearly twenty years later, Juliet wants to be back in Chrissy’s life. But Chrissy doesn’t want Juliet anywhere near her, or her teenage daughter Eloise. After all, Juliet is the only person who knows what happened that night – and her return threatens to destroy the life that Chrissy has so carefully built. Because when the past is reawakened, it can prove difficult to bury. And soon all three of them will realize how dangerous it can get once the truth is out there…

Sealskin by Su Bristow

Sealskin - Su Bristow.jpg

What happens when magic collides with reality? Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous … and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives – not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence? Based on the legend of the selkies – seals who can transform into people – Sealskin is a magical story, evoking the harsh beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its people, both human and animal, and the triumph of hope over fear and prejudice. With exquisite grace, Exeter Novel Prize-winner Su Bristow transports us to a different world, subtly and beautifully exploring what it means to be an outsider, and our innate capacity for forgiveness and acceptance. Rich with myth and magic, Sealskin is, nonetheless, a very human story, as relevant to our world as to the timeless place in which it is set. And it is, quite simply, unforgettable.

For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood

For Reasons Unknown - Michael Wood.jpg

Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…

Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham


Coventry, 1939. Days before the outbreak of World War II, a terrorist bomb explodes on a busy street, killing and maiming innocent civilians. A man is hanged on the evidence given by a young witness. As time goes on, the witness doubts her recollection of events, but her testimony has already had far-reaching consequences.Over sixty years later, in the wake of the 7/7 London bombings, Sara returns to her childhood home to find that her sister, Polly, missing for more than ten years, has finally come back too. Why now—and where has she been? The sisters grew up under the fierce protection of their nanny, Bridie, herself haunted by a family secret. And there are other secrets that Bridie has kept from the two girls she brought up as her own. Polly’s return sets in motion events that will stretch the women’s fragile bond to its breaking point.

Set against three generations of violence and retribution, Another Day Gone reveals the enduring consequences of a single mistaken memory.

Book Purchases:

Sirens by Joseph Knox

After recently reading Renee @ It’s Book Talk’s 5 star review of this one, I bought it.


It starts with the girl. How it ends is up to DC Aidan Waits.
Isabelle Rossiter has run away again.

When Aidan Waits, a troubled junior detective, is summoned to her father’s penthouse home – he finds a manipulative man, with powerful friends.
But retracing Isabelle’s steps through a dark, nocturnal world, Waits finds something else. An intelligent seventeen-year-old girl who’s scared to death of something. As he investigates her story, and the unsolved disappearance of a young woman just like her, he realizes Isabelle was right to run away.
Soon Waits is cut loose by his superiors, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman. He’s out of his depth and out of time.
How can he save the girl, when he can’t even save himself?

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land



Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…

Seas of Snow by Kerensa Jennings

I was so happy to see this book arrive as I supported its journey to publication, you can read all about Unbound, the crowd-funding publisher and my pledge here.


1950s England. Five-year-old Gracie Scott lives with her Mam and next door to her best friend Billy. An only child, she has never known her Da. When her Uncle Joe moves in, his physical abuse of Gracie’s mother starts almost immediately. But when his attentions wander to Gracie, an even more sinister pattern of behaviour begins.
As Gracie grows older, she finds solace and liberation in books, poetry and her enduring friendship with Billy. Together they escape into the poetic fairy-tale worlds of their imaginations.
But will fairy tales be enough to save Gracie from Uncle Joe’s psychopathic behaviour – and how far will it go?

**Excluding review copies, my owned-books to read now stands at 178 books!

It’s only when I go to do this post do I realise how many books I actually acquired in the month. Alas, we must ask ourselves, can one really ever have too many books?

How many books did you haul this month?

Any books you’re especially looking forward to reading?

33 thoughts on “#BookHaul: February 2017

  1. The Roanoke Girls and Fierce Kingdom were both books that I had requested on Netgalley! I got declined for one and the other is still forever pending. 😂

    Six Stories and You Don’t Know Me sound super interesting! Adding those to the TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m on the blog tour for Six Stories next month so will be reading that soon and I’m super excited to read You Don’t Know Me, I love the idea of it!
      I read a sample of Fierce Kingdom so I looking forward to finishing it and the Roanoke Girls, my review will be up soon but it was an okay read at best.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the shoutout Janel and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Sirens! I think you’ll really enjoy it. I’m very curious about Fierce Kingdom. Congrats on reaching 80% for Netgalley…I didn’t know there was a badge, I’m still working my way there😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m being more selective with review copies now so I can focus more on my own books as there’s so many I’ve got that are highly anticipated reads but I just can’t find the time to fit them in!
      I live the badge but I learnt from a friend m, that the minute your reviews drop under 80% you lose the badge, mine currently 91% but I’ll have to keep an eye on it 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish had something to motivate me like that. My Netgalley trigger finger is out of control. I’m actually posting a blog this Friday called “What’s on my Netgalley shelf” and it’s an overwhelming amount of books haha

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Six Stories will be read soon so I’m glad to hear it! I’ve definitely got loads to keep me busy 🙈 thankfully my placement is over so no more 12.5 hr shifts so normally reading can resume haha


  3. I like all of your additions! I hadn’t heard of Fierce Kingdom before but it seems great! I also really want to read You Don’t Know Me but I’m in the wrong country again.. I’ve already read Six Stories (as part of the blog tour) and you’re in for a treat! It’s clever 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Im on the blog tour for it too so definitely reading that one soon. I look forward to your stop on the tour and seeing how our reviews match up! They’ve been a few books I wanted but wasn’t in the right country to request, it’s so frustrating right!? I read a sample of Fierce Kingdom a month or so ago and I was impressed so I’m looking forward to continuing the story.


      1. I’ve checked I’m first up :-). Yeah it’s not fair, I always depend on the UK and if they are nice enough to take European readers into the selection. I’m afraid that’ll stop too some day ;-). I could change my country but I’m afraid my blog name will give me away haha ;-).

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s