#BookHaul: May 2018

It’s book haul time! I’m extremely excited about this haul because my latest unbound book pledge book arrived, so keep an eye out for that. And I’ve lost all hope with Netgalley, there’s just so many fantastic sounding books being published! My hauling is simply out to control! With that noted, let’s take a look at the latest additions to my shelves.

Review Copies:

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (Penguin)

The Water Cure - Sophie Mackintosh

Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia and Sky, kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them – three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake.

The Water Cure is a fever dream, a blazing vision of suffering, sisterhood and transformation.

Should You Ask Me by Marianne Kavanagh (Hodder Books)

Should You Ask Me - Marianne Kavanagh

‘I’ve come about the bodies. I know who they are.’

Mary is eighty-six years old, and she’s tired of being quiet. She has a story to tell, and she’s only going to tell it once, so she won’t be rushed. Especially as it’s not just a story, it’s a confession. Because Mary has a dark secret, buried decades before. And while William, the nice young constable, might think she just wants someone to talk to, everything she says forces him to confront his own difficult past.

A unique and poignant novel about passion, regret and heartbreak, set during one of the most tumultuous periods of modern British history.

The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut (Titan Books)

The Captives - Debra Jo Immergut

Convicted of murder, destined for life in prison, Miranda is desperate for an escape. She signs up for sessions with the prison psychologist, Frank Lundquist, so that she can access the drugs to end it all. But unknown to her, Frank remembers her from high school, where, forgettable and unseen, he had a crush on Miranda Greene. Now, captivated again, his feelings deepen to obsession. What led the daughter of a former Congressman to commit such a terrible crime? And how can he make her remember him?

As Miranda contemplates a dark future and a darker past, she soon realises that Frank might offer another way to the freedom she longs for. But at what cost?

Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base by Andy Brown (from the author)

Warning Unheeded - Andy Brown

On 20 June 1994, a former airman sought vengeance with a rifle at the Fairchild Air Force Base hospital. Four days later a rogue pilot crashed a B-52 outside of Fairchild’s Nuclear Weapon Storage Area. Both tragedies had been predicted and repeatedly warned about. Those warnings went unheeded.

Warnings Unheeded is a rare look inside the troubled mind of a would-be active shooter. It is an exclusive look at a talented pilot whose dangerous flying prompted aircrews to refuse to fly with him. It is a look at the leadership culture that allowed both men to travel unchecked on the pathway toward destruction.

This unique true-crime book reads like a suspense novel, densely packed with details garnered from medical records, police reports and first-hand accounts obtained from journal entries, letters, witness statements and personal interviews. These empowering stories detail the heroic response to the tragedies, the events that lead up to them, the precursors of violence and disaster and the traumatic aftermath.

Written by Andy Brown, the man who ended the hospital killing spree. Brown’s narrative focuses mainly on others, including the heroic life-saving actions of hospital patrons and staff, but he also describes the preparations he made which enabled him to win a pistol-versus-rifle gunfight as well as his own experience with the effects of trauma.

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough (HarperCollins UK)

Cross Her Heart - Sarah Pinborough


Is it Lisa?
Haunted by a tragic past, all Lisa wants is a quiet life with her daughter, Ava. And when she meets a new man, things seem to be falling into place. But Lisa is hiding a secret so momentous it could shatter her entire world

Is it Ava?
When sixteen-year-old Ava saves a young boy’s life, she becomes a local hero. But never in a million years could she have anticipated the fallout of her actions

Is it Marilyn?
Marilyn has the perfect life. Her husband, her job, her houseshe seems to have it all. But she could never admit to her best friend Lisa the lies she tells herself to get through the day

One moment will change these three women’s lives forever. And the secrets they’ve been keeping could destroy them all.

Vox by Christina Dalcher (HQ)

Vox - Christina Dalcher

Silence can be deafening.

Imagine a world in which you can only speak 100 words a day.

Any more and a thousand volts of electricity will course through your veins.

But only if you’re a woman.


Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Michael Joseph)

Us Against You - Fredrik Backman

Can a broken town survive a second tragedy? The follow-up to the international bestseller Beartown. A small, broken town sits on the edge of a frozen lake surrounded by a forest, its wounds still raw from a tragedy that tore its fragile community in two. Beartown has lost its way. Now the cold and dark that surround the snowbound town creep in, and so do new conflicts and tensions. What was once a friendly rivalry with the neighbouring town is beginning to turn sinister and Beartown braces itself for another tragic blow. How far will the people of Beartown go to preserve their reputations for a second, deadly time? Us Against You is a spell-binding exposition of small-town life in all its flawed complexity.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Headline)

Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

In 1976, Dana dreams of being a writer. In 1815, she is assumed a slave. When Dana first meets Rufus on a Maryland plantation, he’s drowning. She saves his life – and it will happen again and again. Neither of them understands his power to summon her whenever his life is threatened, nor the significance of the ties that bind them. And each time Dana saves him, the more aware she is that her own life might be over before it’s even begun. Octavia E. Butler’s ground-breaking masterpiece is the extraordinary story of two people bound by blood, separated by so much more than time.

This I Would Kill For by Anne Buist (Legend Press)

This I Would Kill For - Anne Buist

Natalie King has been hired to do a psychiatric evaluation for the children’s court. A custody dispute. Not her usual territory. A distraught mother Jenna needs help maintaining custody of her children, claiming her former partner Malik has been abusing one of the children. He claims she’s crazy and compulsive.
But what if all the claims are true, or none? And how does she work out where her concerns for the child slide into her growing obsession with her own lost father? With all the public interest, social media trolling and intense media speculation, Natalie finds herself struggling to view the case impartially. 
More urgently: with both parents saying they’re desperate to keep their daughter safe—what if one of them is desperate enough to kill? 
Against the backdrop of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse, Anne Buist brings us the third instalment in the Natalie King series. Buist takes a routine psychiatric evaluation and develops it into an insightful look into the intricacies and agendas within custody battles. Dealing with the continuing themes of mental illness and family dynamics, this crime thriller is not one to miss. 

Thirteen by Steven Cavanagh (Orion)

Thirteen - Steve Cavanagh


They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom? What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

Jar of Heart by Jennifer Hillier (Atlantic Books)

Jar of Hearts - Jennifer Hillier

A chillingly compelling tale of murder, betrayal and those terrible secrets of the past that live on.

Five years ago, Geo’s first love was revealed as a terrifying serial killer.

But he escaped custody and went on the run.

Now, bodies have started turning up, killed in exactly the same way as before.

The message is clear: he’s making his way to her, one murder at a time…

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (HarperCollins UK)

The Poppy War - R.F. Kuang

A powerful epic fantasy novel with roots in the 20th-century history of China.

Opium runs through the heart of the Nikara Empire, a constant reminder of the war with the Federation of Mugen that brought it to the empire’s shores. A war that only ended thanks to three heroes – the Vipress, the Dragon Emperor and the Gatekeeper – known as the Trifecta. They were legendary figures, each bestowed with god-like powers, who united the warlords of the Empire against the Federation.

Decades have passed. The Trifecta is shattered; the Dragon Emperor is dead, the Gatekeeper is missing, and the Vipress alone sits on the throne at Sinegard. Peace reigns, yet the poppy remains.

War orphan Fang Runin grew up with it. Her adopted family smuggles it throughout the Rooster province, making a living on the misfortune of those addicted to its smoke. But when Rin’s parents force her into an arranged marriage, Rin refuses to accept her fate and fights her way to the prestigious military academy at Sinegard.

There she will learn of drug-fuelled shamanic powers thought to be myth, powers which might defeat the Federation during its third invasion. But the cost of some power is too great to pay, even if it means winning a war that threatens to destroy an entire nation.


The Moor by Sam Haysom

The Moor - Sam Haysom

It begins with a ghost story around a campfire. Teenagers out on a walking trip, trying to act brave in front of each other. But as the walk gets underway and the boys begin to fall out, odd things start to happen. Noises in the night. A severed rabbit’s foot outside someone’s tent.

Soon, the boys begin to disappear.

As panic sets in and a storm approaches, the remaining boys must band together to face a darkness not even the local ghost stories could help them predict.

Urbane Book Club:

Song Castle by Luke Waterson

Song Castle - Luke Waterson

In a land rocked by conflict, one man desires to be remembered for something truly remarkable…

Wales, 1176: in a rain-drenched outpost of Christendom, the great lord of a newly built castle is throwing a party, the like of which has never been seen before. It will be a contest of song, of poetry and music, open to all comers. And now all are coming.

The festival is attracting a strange assortment of characters from across the known world. From the celebrated French troubadour suffering from writer’s block, to the Persian perfumer-poet claiming to have written the most beautiful words ever committed to parchment, all are descending on the castle of a man whose motives run far deeper than that of benevolent host.

Attempting to hold his own against such supreme talent is hopeful young songster Avery, a newcomer to the cutthroat world of bardism and susceptible to its intrigues. But the contest can only take place if the contestants survive the journey, which – on the perilous roads of Wales – is far from certain.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter - Cherry Radford

There’s someone out there, and an unforeseen, irresistible connection…

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to start a novel, she wants to be alone until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle or tragedy of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

The Kindness of Strangers by Julie Newman

The Kindness of Strangers - Julia Newman

Deception abounds in Julie Newman’s breath-taking new novel.

Widow Helen is desperate for a perfect family life, and will do everything she can to get what she wants.

A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict Martin is adrift and seemingly without hope – can he ever win back his estranged family?

Pregnant teenager Charley is striking out on her own to create a new life for her unborn child, but her mother Lizzie has other ideas.

When three seemingly disparate lives connect, the past and the present collide to reveal secrets, lies and how far people are willing to go to hide the truth.


The War is in the Mountains: Violence in the World’s High Places by Judith Matloff (Duckworth)

The War is in the Mountains - Judith Matloff

Mountainous regions are home to only ten percent of the world’s population yet host a strikingly disproportionate share of the world’s conflicts. Mountains provide a natural refuge for those who want to elude authority, and their remoteness has allowed archaic practices to persist well into our globalized era. As Judith Matloff shows, the result is a combustible mix those in the lowlands cannot afford to ignore. Travelling to conflict zones across the world, she introduces us to Albanian teenagers involved in ancient blood feuds; Mexican peasants hunting down violent poppy growers; and Jihadists who have resisted the Russian military for decades. At every stop, Matloff reminds us that the drugs, terrorism, and instability cascading down the mountainside affect us all. A work of political travel writing in the vein of Ryszard Kapuscinski and Robert Kaplan, The War is in the Mountains is an indelible portrait of the conflicts that have unexpectedly shaped our world.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (St. Martin’s Press)

Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

Sweetness can be deceptive.

Suzette is a devoted stay-at-home mother doing everything she can to connect with her seven-year-old daughter, who cannot—or will not—speak. But ever since Hanna was a baby, Suzette couldn’t help but feel despised by her. Manipulated. And scared to death.

Alex, Hanna’s father, wants to believe his wife’s accounts of Hanna’s cruel and unusual behavior. The only problem is that Alex has never really seen it, himself: Hanna shows him nothing but love. Which is driving Suzette literally crazy. Could it be that Hanna is just a typical, naughty girl—one whose everyday antics toward her mother point to intelligence, creativity, maybe even charm? Or is Hanna, as Suzette fears, actually trying to kill her?

Kindle Purchases:

The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave

The Memory Chamber - Holly Cave

True death is a thing of the past…

Now you can spend the rest of eternity re-living your happiest memories: that first kiss, falling in love, the birth of your children, enjoyed on loop for ever and ever.

Isobel is a Heaven Architect, and she helps dying people create afterlives from these memories. So when she falls for Jarek, one of her terminal – and married – clients, she knows that while she cannot save him, she can create the most beautiful of heavens, just for him.

But when Jarek’s wife is found dead, Isobel uncovers a darker side of the world she works within, and she can trust no one with what she finds…

The Memory Chamber is a thrilling and original story which vaults the reader into a world that is terrifyingly close to our own, where we can avoid everything we fear – even death itself. But can we ever escape the truth? Perfect for fans of Black Mirror.

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

The Defence - Steve Cavanagh

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.

It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy. Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if he wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

The Liar by Steve Cavanagh

The Liar - Steve Cavanagh


Leonard Howell’s worst nightmare has come true: his daughter Caroline has been kidnapped. He can’t rely on the cops, so Howell calls the only man he trusts to get her back.


Eddie Flynn knows what it’s like to lose a daughter and vows to bring Caroline home safe. Once a con artist, now a hotshot criminal attorney, Flynn is no stranger to the shady New York underworld.


However, as he steps back into his old life, Flynn realizes that the rules of the game have changed – and that he is being played. But who is pulling the strings? And is anyone in this twisted case telling the truth…?

Book Purchases:

Win or Learn: MMA, Conor McGregor & Me: A Trainer’s Journey  by John Kavanagh

Win or Learn - John Kavanagh.jpg

Conor McGregor’s trainer tells the amazing story of his long road to success in the world’s fastest-growing sport

Growing up in Dublin, John Kavanagh was a skinny lad who was frequently bullied. As a young man, after suffering a bad beating when he intervened to help a woman who was being attacked, he decided he had to learn to defend himself. Before long, he was training fighters in a tiny shed, and promoting the earliest mixed-martial arts events in Ireland. And then, a cocky kid called Conor McGregor walked into his gym …

In Win or Learn, John Kavanagh tells his own remarkable life story – which is at the heart of the story of the extraordinary explosion of MMA in Ireland and globally. Employing the motto ‘win or learn’, Kavanagh has become a guru to young men and women seeking to master the arts of combat. And as the trainer of the world’s most charismatic champion, his gym has become a magnet for talented fighters from all over the globe. Kavanagh’s portrait of Conor McGregor – who he has seen in his lowest moments, as well as in his greatest triumphs – is a revelation.

What emerges from Win or Learn is a remarkable portrait of ambition, discipline, and persistence in the face of years and years of disappointment. It is a must read for every MMA fan – but also for anyone who wants to understand how to follow a dream and realize a vision.

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James

The Book of Night Women - Marlon James.jpg

By the Man Booker-winning author Marlon James, this is the powerful story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. Even at her birth, the Night Women – a clandestine council of fierce slaves plotting an island-wide revolt – recognize a dark force in her that they treat with both reverence and fear. But as Lilith comes of age and begins to understand her own feelings and identity, she dares to push at the edges of what is imaginable for the life of a slave woman. And as rebellions simmer and unspoken jealousies intensify, Lilith’s powers and sense of purpose threaten not just her own destiny, but the destinies of all the slave women in Jamaica.

Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante

Prime Suspect - Lynda LaPlante

When a prostitute is found murdered in her bedsit, the Metropolitan police set to work finding the perpetrator of this brutal attack. DNA samples lead them straight to George Marlow, a man previously convicted of attempted rape. The police think they’ve found their man, but things are not quite what they seem . . .

Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison came through the ranks the hard way, opposed and resented at every step by her male colleagues. So when DCI Shefford falls ill, the opportunity for Tennison to get herself noticed finally arrives. But the boys are not happy and every one of her colleagues is willing her to trip up.

Desperate to remove all doubt around her suspect, Tennison struggles to make the charges stick. And then a second body turns up. With the team against her, and a dangerous criminal still on the loose, DCI Jane Tennison must fight to prove herself, now or never.

Book Swaps:

The Key by Kathryn Hughes (from Book Inspector)

The Key - Kathryn Hughes

Turn The Key and unlock the past…

It’s Ellen Crosby’s first day as a student nurse at Ambergate County Lunatic Asylum. When she meets a young woman committed by her father, and a pioneering physician keen to try out the various ‘cures’ for mental illness, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change all their lives for ever…

Sarah is drawn to the abandoned Ambergate Asylum. Whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase belonging to a female patient who was admitted fifty years earlier. The shocking contents lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy, lost love and an old wrong that only she may have the power to put right . . .

Turn a Blind Eye by Vicky Newham (from I Loved Reading This)

Turn a Blind Eye - Vicky Newham

A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.

A headmistress is found strangled in her East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept:

I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.

At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found.

Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.

I opted to not put the total number of review copies and purchased books in this month, because the situation is dire, the review copies are insanely out of control. I used all this GDPR malarky to unsubscribe from several mailing list to avoid the temptation, because I seriously need to get a grip on things. And it doesn’t help that I haven’t read anything for the past 4 days, which is very unlike me as I usually read daily, let’s hope a dreaded slump isn’t coming!

I may not have read anything these last few days but, as you can see, the book hauling remains the same!

Did you see any books that take your fancy?

Did we haul any of the same books?

56 thoughts on “#BookHaul: May 2018

  1. Did you see any books that take your fancy, are you kidding me 😉 Lots but I’m most impressed that you managed to get a copy of Vox and Cross Her Heart. I bought the latter but it still hasn’t arrived yet. Jar of Hearts is starting to become a bit of a hyped book.. so yes it’s on my wishlist as well. Great haul Janel, let’s hope the slump doesn’t happen.. happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cross Her Heart was a total, but very welcomed, surprised. I got a copy of Vox via Instagram, HQ posted asked who wants to be a Vox champion and I was picked to receive a copy – are you tempted to join Instagram now 😉 haha. Jar of Hearts is definitely a hyped book, but thankfully it’s one I wanted to read before the hype so I don’t think I’ll be influenced, if you know what I mean. ….I didn’t read anything today either but I’m staying positive, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t worry about not reading.. I’m doing a bit more crafts atm as well and trying not to feel guilty about it so you’re not alone. Ah I’ve noticed there are quite a few giveaways on Instagram. Very tempting indeed this way ;-).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m also reading the Cavanaugh books (I bought the earlier ones and pre-ordered Thirteen! Looking forward to those. I Lighthouse Daughter intriques me (heading to NG haha) Just finished Jar of Hearts (quite liked it and gave it a 4).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I requested Thirteen on NG, I had no idea it was part of a series, so when I was accepted, I was like damn, I have to read three books before I can read this one! But luckily I love a good legal thriller! Jar of Hearts is one of my highly anticipated summer reads!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it so interesting that Vox and The Water Cure are surfacing at the same time, both female-centric reads set in slight dystopian worlds. I was so excited to get approved The Poppy War on Netgalley, I don’t often request fantasy so I was worried I’d be declined, but luckily not.


  3. Another great book haul!!
    Looks like your going to be reading Steve Cavanagh’s series in order. I am loving it! I’m reading book three next and plan on reading Thirteen during the 24 in 48 readathon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tina!
      Yeah, when I requested it on NG, I had no idea it was part of a series – I’m going to have to start paying closer attention! There’s definitely a lil legal thriller binge in my future. Has the date for 24 in 48 been announced yet?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, my hauling is out of control! I was surprised I was approved for The Poppy War on Netgalley, as I don’t often request fantasy but I’ve seen so much talk about it on twitter, I had to get a copy!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vox sounds intriguing! And of course all the Steve Cavanagh. I’ve got “Turn A Blind Eye” but not had chance to read it yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I requested Thirteen from NG, I didn’t know it was part of a series, so I’ve got some catching up to do! I read the first page of VOX when it arrives and I’m super intrigued – I’ve got a blog tour book to read then I’ll probably read it. Looking forward to seeing how our thoughts on Turn a Blind Eye compare 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an impressive haul!! I am in awe. I am reading Cross Her Heart next – I can’t wait. The Memory Chamber looks interesting, and of course I LOVE LOVE LOVE Us Against You. I can’t wait to see your reviews on all of these books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the concept for The Memory Camber, and for 99p on Kindle, can’t go wrong really. You already know I’m super excited for Us Against You!!!!! It’ll be interesting to see how our thoughts compare on Cross Her Heart 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so excited for Jar of Hearts but I’ve been in such a weird mood lately and haven’t read anything these past few days so I’m waiting for my reading mojo to come back before I pick anything up! I’ll keep an eye out for your thought on Baby Teeth, so I know how much of a priority I ned to make it, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think I haul books pretty well, but it also means I my TBR never shrinks, lol. I love the sound of The Water Cure, it (along with Vox) are my priority arcs because I love the female-centric, slight dystopian-ness of them!

      Liked by 1 person

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