Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver

This was my first Paver read having heard some good things about her, and it thrust me straight into a solid Gothic historical yarn with some genuinely creepy moments! The novel is perhaps misnamed: it focuses on the house Wake's End set beside the local fen, some three miles from the village of Wakenhyrst; and,… Continue reading Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver

The Comforts of Home, Susan Hill

How does Simon Serrailler recover from a vicious assault at the hands of paedophiles, which left him on the verge of death? How does Serrailler manage his post-traumatic stress disorder? Entry number nine in Susan Hill's DCS Simon Serrailler series picks up where the previous novel, The Soul of Discretion, finishes: Serrailler is in hospital… Continue reading The Comforts of Home, Susan Hill

The Mitford Murders, Jessica Fellowes

What a classy cover! Don't be judging a book by its cover, but even so... classy! I want to describe it as being in an art deco style but I'm not entirely sure what that term means... Similarly classy is the pedigree of the author: Jessica Fellowes is a well renowned journalist and editor; she… Continue reading The Mitford Murders, Jessica Fellowes

The Soul of Discretion, Susan Hill

Trigger Warning: child sexual abuse and rape. Ah, Susan Hill, you seemed to have taken a different direction with this book from the rest of the Serrailler series. Had the gentility of Lafferton started to wane for you? Was there only so much you could do with the cloistered - and I choose that metaphor… Continue reading The Soul of Discretion, Susan Hill

A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I often find - as I mentioned in my previous post - a post-Christmas lull in my reading. The cold dark days of January, which this year… Continue reading A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Sentence is Death, Anthony Horowitz

Why do we read detective stories? It is a strange genre.  Every piece of advice is that tension and conflict are the driver of a narrative and, with this genre, unlike the thriller genre, the most significant conflict - the one which traditionally culminates in murder, as it does with this one - occurs significantly… Continue reading The Sentence is Death, Anthony Horowitz

Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Rivers of London series as a fresh urban fantasy - and all the freedoms and inventiveness which comes with that - merged with the familiar structures and language of a police procedural. In the previous book, The Hanging Tree, Aaronovitch finally reveals the identity of The Faceless Man, the antagonist… Continue reading Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch

Blood Rites and Dead Beat, Jim Butcher

I'm going to review these two together quickly: everything you'd expect from Jim Butcher and Harry Dresden is here and in abundance. Sixth and seventh entries into the Dresden Files, following the exploits of Chicago's only professional wizard, if you've been reading up to this point, you know what you're getting into!  Blood Rites for me… Continue reading Blood Rites and Dead Beat, Jim Butcher

30 Day Book Challenge: Day One!

Okay, so I came across this at the great Professional Book Nerds site and with an unexpected day off work, I thought I'd start off today. And doing it on my blog rather than Twitter gives me a little more space to ruminate over the prompts which today is Favourite book in a series. Do… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day One!

Lethal White, Robert Galbraith

Let's play a game. A Robert Galbraith bingo. A Robert Galbraith drinking game. Take a drink every time one of the following happens: Cormoran Strike is described as being pube-headed; Robin Ellacott is described as beautiful; Robin's breasts are mentioned; Strike doesn't tell Robin how he feels; Robin doesn't tell Strike how she feels; Matthew… Continue reading Lethal White, Robert Galbraith

The Mystery of Three Quarters, Sophie Hannah

Hercule Poirot. Arrogant and dandy and moustache firmly in place. An extended cast of somewhat two-dimensional characters. A convoluted and contrived plot - very contrived in this instance. Very contrived. Let's face is, when the plot of a novel revolves around the construction of a battenburg cake, that novel is - for fear of being… Continue reading The Mystery of Three Quarters, Sophie Hannah

The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner

I am not a fan of prison drama. Orange Is The New Black? No thank you. Shawshank Redemption? I just don't like the prison setting. It may have something to do with an innate suspicion of large numbers of people being together; it may have something to do with having been a criminal barrister and… Continue reading The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner

Snap, Belinda Bauer

It's that time of year again, the Man Booker Longlist has been released and I do try to keep.up to date with them - as I do with the Costa and Women's Prize lists. Sometimes they can be a bit hit-and-miss, sometimes a little pretentious, but generally a good addition to my TBR list and… Continue reading Snap, Belinda Bauer

Faithful Place, Tana French

Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series is a delight, but has sometimes only vague connections to the eponymous Murder Squad. In The Woods, the first novel, centred on it; but the follow-up The Likeness, centred on Cassie Madox from the first book who is now in Domestic Violence rather than murder and being supervised by… Continue reading Faithful Place, Tana French

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet came to my attention through the Booker Prize: I loved his His Bloody Project novel with its multiple voices and setting, evocatively recreating the brutality of life in Scottish crofting communities. It was on the strength of that that I picked up this, the first of his Detective Gorski novels and -… Continue reading The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, Graeme Macrae Burnet

Weekly Round Up: 10th July 2018

This week sees a coupe of books finished and taken from my TBR pile! Jessie Burton's The Muse grew on me as I reached the final sections and anticipated some of the revelations. I did find her language to be beautiful and sensual but her more contemplative moments a little awkward. I was, though, sad to… Continue reading Weekly Round Up: 10th July 2018

Weekly Round Up: 2nd July 2018

Exciting news this week! New blog features have arrived! Well, been made. By me. I'm not sure they quite work right, but as I'm seeking access to ARCs and am signed up to NetGalley and other blogging lists, I learn that a Review Policy is required. It sounds terribly formal and... binding. But if these… Continue reading Weekly Round Up: 2nd July 2018

The Betrayal of Trust and A Question of Identity, Susan Hill

Ahhhh Lafferton. Possibly even more dangerous than Midsomer or a dinner party with Jessica Fletcher and Jane Marple! The serial killer centre of England. I've lost track of the numbers of serial killers in the Simon Serrailler series: they've targetted women for medical reasons, abducted young children; they've targetted weddings and, now, the elderly in… Continue reading The Betrayal of Trust and A Question of Identity, Susan Hill

The Word Is Murder, Anthony Horowitz

Sometimes you want to like a book just so damn much that it feels like you're the failure when you end up not liking it. So it was for me with this novel. Now there is no doubt that Horowitz can plot a cracking crime story: Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War, Magpie Murders are all testimony… Continue reading The Word Is Murder, Anthony Horowitz

See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt

Lizzie Borden took an axeAnd gave her mother forty whacks.When she saw what she had done,She gave her father forty-one. Oh, Sarah Schmidt can write! What a strange strange thing to start a review with! But there is writing and there is writing and Sarah Schmidt can write! Not only can she create a plot and move… Continue reading See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt

The Witch Elm by Tana French

Well! This is my Christmas gift list sorted! Heart racing! Just need to resist the temptation to buy it myself on October 9th! I would read almost anything by Tana French since reading The Secret Place and going back to start her Dublin Murder Squad series from the start - Broken Harbour is in my… Continue reading The Witch Elm by Tana French

The Dry, Jane Harper

This book had won a range of prizes by the time I got to reading it: Australia Indie Book and Indie Debut of the Year 2017; Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year; CWA Gold Dagger. It even became the Radio 2 Book Club Choice. I think I read somewhere that film rights have been… Continue reading The Dry, Jane Harper

The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley

There is something very frustrating about this book. It was so close to being great that the fact that it wasn't great is so disappointing. The premise sounded brilliant: members of a religious community go on a retreat to an isolated location; suspicious and sinister villagers mill around; a young boy is being prayed for… Continue reading The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley

Broken Harbour, Tana French

Recipe for a Tana French Dublin Murder Squad novel: Take an atmospheric and intense setting, such as the last remnant of an ancient forest, a secluded mansion or a half completed housing project abutting the sea; insert a handful of characters with intense and golden relationships; raise the pressure and temperature; remove from the oven when those relationships… Continue reading Broken Harbour, Tana French

Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng

Sometimes, you read a short story that leaves you wanting more and makes you wish that the writer had extended it to a novel length. With this novel, well written and crafted as it is, I wonder whether it could have been reduced to a short story. Or began life as a short story or… Continue reading Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng