Welcome to my first book haul post of 2018 – and the mantra here is “start as you mean to go on!” You’re here for the books, so let’s get right to it – I’m going to kick of this haul with a book I’ve been very excited about – one of the books I pledged towards, published by Unbound:
All the Perverse Angels by Sarah K. Marr
Anna, an art curator, leaves a psychiatric hospital and finds herself in an English village, sharing a rented cottage with her partner. Seeking refuge from the aftermath of past infidelities, she constructs a personal reality from the brushstrokes and histories of her favourite artworks.
A chance discovery in the cottage’s attic leads Anna on a journey back to the late nineteenth century and the complicated relationships of two women studying at Oxford University.
As Anna’s investigations blend with the students’ story, and the threads of her life intertwine with those of a century earlier, she finds a way to run ever farther from her pain. But the past is not all it seems, and Anna’s escape routes are taken from her, one by one, until she must face the truth of her present.
All the Perverse Angels is a breathtaking novel about the nature of loss and the confusion of love, about the stories we are told and the stories we tell ourselves.
A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard (Titan Books)
Child psychiatrist Kate Wolfe’s world comes crashing down when one of her young patients commits suicide, so when a troubled girl is left at the hospital ward, she doubts her ability to help. But the girl knows things about Kate’s past, things she shouldn’t know, forcing Kate to face the murky evidence surrounding her own sister’s murder sixteen years before. A murder for which a man is about to be executed. Unearthing secrets about her own family, and forced to face both her difficult relationship with her distant father and the possibility that her mother might also have met a violent end, the shocking final twist brings Kate face to face with her deepest fear.
Killed by Thomas Enger (Orenda Books)
Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning…
Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose … except his own life.
Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?
Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts (Rachel’s Random Resources)
Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.
This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?
**Total review copies: 24
The Binding Song by Elodie Harper (Hodder & Stoughton)
Welcome to HMP Halvergate.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to leave.
Dr Janet Palmer was glad to take a new job as lead psychologist at a remote Norfolk prison. She may live to regret it….
The staff are hostile, violence can break out at any time, no one will tell her what happened to her predecessor, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, driving the prisoners to suicide.
Janet is determined to find answers. But the deeper she digs, the more she realises: something is rotten in Halvergate. And it’s nothing as simple as ghosts…
Locked In by GB Williams (Bloodhound Books)
Ariadne Teddington is having a bad day. Then she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun.
Stuck in a bank robbery turned hostage situation, Ariadne keeps her head down and her mouth shut; because if there is one thing criminals hate more than the police it’s prison guards.
Trapped with a child, a policeman, and a robber on the edge, Ariadne desperately searches for a way out for them.
Can they all escape unharmed?
And when everyone is locked in, will anyone get out alive?
The Abandoned by Sharon Thompson (Bloodhound Books)
Peggy Bowden has not had an easy life. As a teenager, her mother was committed to an asylum and then a local priest forced her into an abusive marriage. But when her husband dies in an accident Peggy sees an opportunity to start again and trains as a midwife.
In 1950s Dublin it is not easy for a woman to make a living and Peggy sees a chance to start a business and soon a lucrative maternity home is up and running.
But when Peggy realizes that the lack of birth control is an issue for women, she uses their plight as a way to make more money. Very soon Peggy is on the wrong side of the law.
What makes a woman decide to walk down a dark path? Can Peggy ever get back on the straight and narrow? Or will she have to pay for her crimes?
**Total Netgalley copies: 7
Gifted from Urbane Publications:
183 Times A Year by Eva Jordan
Mothers and daughters alike will never look at each other in quite the same way after reading this book – a brilliantly funny observation of contemporary family life. Lizzie – exasperated mother of Cassie, Connor and stepdaughter Maisy – is the frustrated voice of reason to her daughters’ teenage angst. She gets by with good friends, cheap wine and talking to herself – out loud. 16-year-old Cassie – the Facebook, tweeting, selfie-taking, music and mobile phone obsessed teen – hates everything about her life. She longs for the perfect world of Chelsea Divine and her ‘undivorced’ parents. And Joe, of course. However, the discovery of a terrible betrayal and a brutal attack throws the whole household into disarray. Lizzie and Cassie are forced to reassess the important things in life as they embark upon separate journeys of self-discovery – accepting some less than flattering home truths along the way. Although tragic at times this is a delightfully funny exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and ultimately friendship. A poignant, heartfelt look at that complex and diverse relationship between a Mother and daughter set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.
Beware the Cuckoo by Julie Newman
Two women. One man. A buried secret. They were reunited at his funeral, school friends with a shared past. A past that is anything but straightforward. A past that harbours secrets and untruths. Karen has a seemingly perfect life. An adoring husband, two wonderful children and a beautiful home. She has all she has ever wanted, living the dream. She also has a secret. Sandra’s once perfect life is rapidly unravelling. The man who meant everything to her had a dark side and her business is failing. To get her life back on track she needs to reclaim what is rightfully hers. She knows the secret. As the past meets the present, truths are revealed – and both women understand the true cost of betrayal.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (from Shannon @ Reeds & Reels)
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Zen and the Art of Murder by Oliver Bottini (From Abby @ Anne bonny book reviews)
Louise Boni, maverick chief inspector with the Black Forest crime squad, is struggling with her demons. Divorced at forty-two, she is haunted by the shadows of the past.
Dreading yet another a dreary winter weekend alone, she receives a call from the departmental chief which signals the strangest assignment of her career – to trail a Japanese monk wandering through the snowy wasteland to the east of Freiburg, dressed only in sandals and a cowl. She sets off reluctantly, and by the time she catches up with him, she discovers that he is injured, and fearfully fleeing some unknown evil. When her own team comes under fire, the investigation takes on a terrifying dimension, uncovering a hideous ring of child traffickers. The repercussions of their crimes will change the course of her own life.
Oliver Bottini is a fresh and exciting voice in the world of crime fiction in translation; the Rhine borderlands of the Black Forest are a perfect setting for his beautifully crafted mysteries.
Himself by Jess Kidd
1950. A teenage girl is brutally murdered in a forest. But, somehow, her baby survives.
1976. A mysterious and charming young man returns to the remote coastal village of Mulderrig, seeking answers about the mother who, it was said, had abandoned him on the steps of a Dublin orphanage.
With the help of its oldest and most eccentric inhabitant, he will force the village to give up its ghosts. Nothing, not even the dead, can stay buried forever.
Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais
Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin, a ten-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation, but worlds apart, Beauty, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children after her husband’s death. Told through Beauty and Robin’s alternating perspectives, the narratives interweave to create a rich and complex tapestry of the emotions and tensions at the heart of Apartheid South Africa. Hum If You Don’t Know the Words is a beautifully rendered look at loss, racism, and the creation of family.
Penance by Kanae Minato
When a group of young girls are approached by a stranger, they cannot know that the encounter will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Hours later, Emily is dead. The surviving girls alone can identify the killer. But not one of them remembers his face…
Driven mad by grief, the victim’s mother demands the girls find the murderer or else atone for their crimes. If they do neither, she will have her revenge. She will make them pay…
From the critically acclaimed author of Confessions, Penance is a dark and disturbing tale of revenge that will leave you reeling.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Bravery, courage, fear and love in a time of war.
Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.
The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.
To where the monsters lived.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved–its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery–and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.
An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a wilful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places
Lullaby by Leila Slimani
The baby is dead. It only took a few seconds.
When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family’s chic apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint and is able to host enviable birthday parties.
The couple and nanny become more dependent on each other. But as jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul’s idyllic tableau is shattered…
The Kindred Killers by Graham Smith (Jake Boulder #2)
Jake Boulder’s help is requested by his best friend, Alfonse, when his cousin is crucified and burned alive along with his wife and children.
As Boulder tries to track the heinous killer, a young woman is abducted. Soon her body is discovered and Boulder realises both murders have something unusual in common.
With virtually no leads for Boulder to follow, he strives to find a way to get a clue as to the killer’s identity. But is he hunting for one killer or more?
After a young couple are snatched in the middle of the night the case takes a brutal turn. When the FBI is invited to help with the case, Boulder finds himself warned off the investigation.
When gruesome, and incendiary, footage from a mobile phone is sent to all the major US News outlets and the pressure to find those responsible for the crimes mounts. But with the authorities against him can Boulder catch the killer before it’s too late?
Doorways by Robert Enright
The Otherside is located at the fringes of our world, hiding in plain sight and existing within our shadows. Shielded from humanity, the Otherside is watched over by the BTCO, a highly secret government agency. BTCO agents are the few humans who possess ‘The Knack’, a genetic anomaly that allows them to see the truth of existence. Franklyn ‘Bermuda’ Jones is the BTCO’s finest agent, the only human to have passed to The Otherside and returned. Gifted with the ability to physically interact with The Otherside, Bermuda reluctantly stands between both worlds, pining for the life he had to leave behind and the daughter he can no longer see. Teamed with Argyle, an enigmatic Otherside warrior, Bermuda is assigned the case of a missing woman who has vanished under mysterious circumstances. As Bermuda delves further into the disappearance, he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the truce between two worlds…and finds himself in a race against time to safeguard humanity’s very existence.
Saving Noah by Lucinda Berry
We forgive murderers, not pedophiles.
Meet Noah—an A-honor roll student, award-winning swimmer, and small-town star destined for greatness. There weren’t any signs that something was wrong until the day he confesses to molesting little girls during swim team practice. He’s sentenced to eighteen months in a juvenile sexual rehabilitation center.
His mother, Adrianne, refuses to turn her back on him despite his horrific crimes, but her husband won’t allow Noah back into their home. In a series of shocking and shattering revelations, Adrianne is forced to make the hardest decision of her life. Just how far will she go to protect her son?
Saving Noah challenges everything you think you know about teenage sexual offenders. It will keep you up at night long after you’ve read the last page, questioning beliefs you once thought were true.
The House by Simon Lelic (with Kerrie @ Loved Reading This)
The perfect couple. The perfect house.
THE PERFECT CRIME.
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.
So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.
Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door.
AND NOW THE POLICE ARE WATCHING THEM.
**Total owned books to read: 331
While I might not have much time to read at the moment, I certainly have no problem hauling books!
Did you see any books that take your fancy?
Did we haul any of the same books?