Do I even need to introduce this post any more? I think it’s enough to say: it’s book haul time!
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor (thank you Crown Publishing)
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.
That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.
The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh (thank you Faber & Faber)
Imagine a place populated by criminals – people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don’t know if they’ve perpetrated a crime or just witnessed one. All they do know is that they opted into the programme and that if they try to leave, they will end up dead.
For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace – but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town’s residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her – and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway, it’s simmering with violence and deception, heartbreak and betrayal, and it’s fit to burst.
Hello Again by Brenda Novak (thank you Headline via Book Bridgr)
Dr Evelyn Talbot has spent her life looking over her shoulder after her teenage boyfriend Jasper Moore kidnapped, tortured and left her for dead.
She only just escaped with her life, he disappeared without a trace, and twenty-two years later Evelyn can still feel him lurking in the shadows. Studying the psychopathic minds at Hanover House – Alaska’s first mental health facility for psychopaths – is how she will track him down.
Lyman Bishop could be the perfect subject. Evelyn discovers he is just as intelligent and trustworthy as Jasper appeared, and he hardly seems like the man who has been convicted of kidnapping and murdering several women.
But if Evelyn has learnt anything at all from her terrifying experience, it’s that the most unassuming can be the most dangerous of all.
The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst (thank you Headline via Book Bridgr)
When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.
Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.
But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…
Winter by Ali Smith (thank you Penguin Random House)
Winter? Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer’s leaves? Dead litter.
The world shrinks; the sap sinks.
But winter makes things visible. And if there’s ice, there’ll be fire.
In Ali Smith’s Winter, lifeforce matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.
It’s the season that teaches us survival.
Here comes Winter.
Lost in Whispers by Mary Castillo (thank you Mary Castillo)
The Dori O. Paranormal Mystery Series continues in the latest release by Amazon Best Selling Author Mary Castillo Detective Dori Orihuela makes the arrest of her career within the filth-smeared walls of a dilapidated home. Among the drugs and weaponry, she meets the ghost of a pregnant woman whose warning saves her life. Dori goes back to her happy life with her boyfriend, Gavin and his precocious daughter. But the ghost doesn’t just follow her home, it found its way inside her. In 1942, Roslyn Snow arrives from Pearl Harbor with her discharge papers and a baby she’s giving up for adoption. Hiding the shame of their unplanned pregnancies in what was once a magnificent private estate, Roslyn and her fellow patients wait out their terms. She must be on guard to hide her real identity, the father of her child and protect her heart that wants to care for these forgotten girls. Disturbed by the visions and drawings written in a hand that is not her own, Dori finds help from her best friend, Meg and an eccentric cemetery manager, Richard. But as Dori explores her gift to communicate with the dead, she is exposed to those who could destroy everything and everyone she loves.
When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge (thank you Shayla Raquel)
Frederick Starks has it all—a gorgeous wife who was his high school sweetheart, three beautiful children, a mansion and cars others envy, millions in the bank, respected in his community, admired by his employees, loved and respected by loyal friends. He revels in the hard-earned power and control he’s acquired. As the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold,” which Starks discovers when gut-wrenching betrayal by his wife sends him over the edge and into a maximum security prison. There, Starks is a new “fish,” stripped of nearly everything he’s always relied on. In that place, where inmates and guards have their own rules and codes of conduct, Starks is forced to face the darker side of life, and his own darker side, especially when the betrayals, both inside and outside the prison, don’t stop. He must choose which path to follow when the line between right and wrong becomes blurred: one that leads to getting out of the physical and emotional hellhole he finds himself in or one that keeps him alive.
Strangers by Paul Finch (thank you HarperCollins)
A stranger is just a killer you haven’t met yet…
Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life: as PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is.
But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there’s no other option and these murders are as brutal as they come. Lucy must step into the line of fire a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line.
And, unknown to Lucy, she’s already treading it
Shadows by Paul Finch (thank you HarperCollins)
As a female cop walking the mean streets of Manchester, life can be tough for PC Lucy Clayburn. But when one of the North West’s toughest gangsters is your father, things can be particularly difficult.
When Lucy’s patch is gripped by a spate of murder-robberies, the police are quick to action. Yet when it transpires that the targets are Manchester’s criminal underworld, attitudes change.
Lucy is soon faced with one of the toughest cases of her life – and one which will prove once and for all whether blood really is thicker than water…
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (thank you Pan Macmillan)
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement. It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves. The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships. You will be wrong.
The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard (thank you Atlantic Books/Corvus)
Her first love confessed to five murders. But the truth was so much worse.
Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, Will Hurley, is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect they are dealing with a copycat, they turn to Will for help. He claims he has the information the police need, but will only give it to one person – the girl he was dating when he committed his horrific crimes.
Alison Smith has spent the last decade abroad, putting her shattered life in Ireland far behind her. But when she gets a request from Dublin imploring her to help prevent another senseless murder, she is pulled back to face the past – and the man – she’s worked so hard to forget.
It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell (thank you HQ)
It’s Always the Husband…unless it’s the best friend.
Kate, Aubrey and Jenny are inseparable at college – friends who promised they’d always be there for each other.
But twenty years later, their friendship is about to take a deadly turn.
Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door, but when one of the friends dies in shocking circumstances, will everyone assume that it’s always the husband? Or could it be the best friend?
While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt (thank you HarperCollins)
A pacy, chilling psychological thriller, set to reinvent the genre.
It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…
On a remote Scottish island, the McBride house stands guard over its secrets. A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there; just last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace.For Zoe Adams, newly arrived from America, the house offers a refuge from her failing marriage. But her peaceful retreat is disrupted by strange and disturbing events: night-time intrusions; unknown voices; a constant sense of being watched.The locals want her to believe that these incidents are echoes of the McBrides’ dark past. Zoe is convinced the danger is closer at hand, and all-too-real – but can she uncover the truth before she is silenced?
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton (thank you Headline)
Juliette loves Nate.
She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight
attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.
They are meant to be.
The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing.
Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.
She is the perfect girlfriend.
And she’ll make sure no one stops her from
getting exactly what she wants.
True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…
**Total Netgalley copies to read: 9
**Total review copies to read: 22
The Birdwatcher by William Shaw
Police Sergeant William South has a reason for not wanting to be on the murder investigation.
He is a murderer himself.
But the victim was his only friend; like him, a passionate birdwatcher. South is warily partnered with the strong-willed Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi, newly recruited to the Kent coast from London. Together they find the body, violently beaten, forced inside a wooden chest. Only rage could kill a man like this. South knows it.
But soon – too soon – they find a suspect: Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland. His presence in Kent disturbs William – because he knew him as a boy. If the past is catching up with him, South wants to meet it head on. For even as he desperately investigates the connections, he knows there is no crime, however duplicitous or cruel, that can compare to the great lie of his childhood.
Sometimes A River Song by Avril Joy
Set in a river boat community in Arkansas in the 1930s, this poignant story chronicles Aiyana Weir’s spirited determination to break away from a life, like that of the women around her, defined and dominated by brutal patriarchy. Aiyana’s voice, unique, hesitant and uneducated, expresses the turmoil of her inner world through the details and rhythms of her beloved river and charts her secret pursuit of literacy – her only means of escape from the abuse of her father and the indifference of the man to whom she is casually given. Her grandmother, a mythical figure steeped in wisdom and folklore, and her brother, Lyle, are Aiyana’s only allies in her struggle for survival and as shameless plans to leave the river.
The Good Samaritan by John Marrs
She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.
Yesterday by Felicia Yap
There are two types of people in the world: those who can only remember yesterday, and those who can also recall the day before.You have just one lifeline to the past: your diary. Each night, you write down the things that matter. Each morning, your diary tells you where you were, who you loved and what you did.Today, the police are at your door. They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago.Can you trust the police?
Can you trust your husband?
Can you trust yourself?
**Total owned books to read: 308
And that’s my lot, ladies and gentlemen, another month another book haul. I was happily lowering my review copies total, besides my Netgalley trigger finger, I’m not quite sure how it seems to have risen again.
Did you see any books that take your fancy?
Did we haul any of the same books?