Latest Reads: The Silver Wolf Rob Sinclair.

Publication Date: Available Now from Bloodhound Books

Source: Review copy

Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again – his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers – the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?

I’m a fan of this series – pure escapism and the character development is brilliant so I do highly recommend reading in order, including the Enemy series.

Mainly I think that I love a good anti-hero and Ryker is definitely that – this time around he’s after revenge but that won’t come easy and as usual with this author it’s a bit of a thrill ride, with added oomph created  by the “Silver Wolf” of the title – because we all love a good bad guy right? I KNOW that one is not not just me.

It is easy to get caught up in this – in fact I read it in an afternoon with no problem at all – Mainly I think it’s the “Bourne” vibe of the whole series, a kind of jet setting, hard hitting boom of a read that doesn’t pull punches. I liked that the past pulled on Ryker here, back into the intelligence services vortex, a fascinating underworld.

A huge plus of this series as a whole and this book in particular is the excellent scene setting interspersed with the strong character building both in relationships and personality – intriguing and highly readable, anyone who likes a great thriller that can steal your time in a good bookish way should pick these up.

Recommended. Next?

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Latest Reads: Everything Is Lies Helen Callaghan

Publication Date: 22nd Feb 2018 from Penguin: Michael Joseph

Source: Netgalley

No-one is who you think they are

Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed.

Everyone has secrets

Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death.

Especially those closest to you 

The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn’t a killer. As her father is too ill to talk it is up to Sophia to clear her mother’s name. And to do this she needs to delve deep into her family’s past – a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .

What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?

I got thoroughly immersed into “Everything Is Lies” almost immediately – excellent lead in to an emotionally charged story that was absolutely gripping.

Sophia comes home to find her mother dead and her father critically injured in an apparent murder/suicide – but she is not convinced and when she discovers her mother has finally written a book so begins a journey into a dark past that has never let go…

Helen Callaghan has written a story about personality, manipulation and perception, wrapping it  up into a tense and genuinely intriguing family drama. Using the past and present to great effect (I, admittedly, found the past portions the more engaging of the two, the slowly unfolding truth about Sophia’s Mother brings her to stark, beautiful life) we find out that nothing about Sophia’s origins are as they seem. The characters in this drama are both enigmatic and beautifully drawn, the notebooks Nina left behind bringing an era to life – a time, not that far in our past, where certain things were viewed differently  – the central theme here is enduring and changeable but I won’t spoil anything.

Secrets abound, still I found the whole thing endearingly realistic – often quite heartbreaking – whilst the final reveal so to speak was nothing like surprising, this is not a book that lives and dies on being unpredictable but more an emotional journey of one daughter discovering her parents’ past and seeing them as people separate from herself. It is clever, yes very twisted with psychological thriller elements – but I came out of it feeling melancholy and this is one of those books where the characters are very real and you wish you could go back in and change the bad things into good.

Definitely recommended.

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Firestorm Lucy Hounsom – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: 14th December from Tor

Source: Netgalley

The land burns brighter in the dark.

Kyndra has finally mastered her cold Starborn powers, but at what cost? She’s drifting from those dearest to her – though they can only reunite Acre together. And assassins who dance through time pose an extraordinary new threat. They seek to change the past – to unmake the Sartyan Empire and rewrite the whole history of Acre. And in the Khronostians’ new narrative, Kyndra is never even born. 

Ex-slaver Char is determined to enlist the help of dragons for the fight to come. They were banished from the world by Khronostians. But, with the rogue Khronostian Ma’s skills, he and Kyndra aim to reach the dragons’ mountainous city. And perhaps here, they can gather enough power to send Kyndra far back in time – to prevent the death of an era. Yet despite her best efforts, events propel Kyndra towards a confrontation that has shaped and will shape the future of the world.

A brilliant end to what has been a brilliant series from Lucy Hounsom – complex, addictive, beautiful world building and hugely character driven.

Watching Kyndra change, adapt and fight her ability, often with the world on her shoulders has been a huge strength of this series for me – that and the other cast surrounding her each one full of depth, the relationship building is just as strong as the world building here and the author manages the many facets of her plot with aplomb.

Full of magic and you know, time travel which is never easy, so often over complicated, also DRAGONS. Look you can’t ask for more than dragons really – but you get much more as in Firestorm changing the timeline changes the perspective and without Kyndra surely the world will be lost?

I just banged through this super fast, devouring the words and living the adventure. Pure book reading bliss.

Highly Recommended – the whole trilogy.

Find out more here: http://lucyhounsom.com/

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Breaking Bones Robert Wite – Blog Tour Review

Publication Date: Available Now from Endeavour Press

Source: Review Copy

The streets of Preston are alive with music and banter.

But nothing can drown out the sound of breaking bones. 

Inseparable since childhood and feared by their community, Tony, Eddie and Frankie are beyond the reach of justice. 

The brutal gang, The Three Dogs, are a law unto themselves. 

Detective Jim Hacker has watched The Dogs grow from thuggish youths to psychotic criminals. He seems to be the only one who wants to see their empire fall. 

Meanwhile Jamie Strange, a young Royal Marine, finds himself embroiled in the lives of The Three Dogs when his girlfriend, Laurie Holland, cuts off their engagement… to be with the most dangerous of The Dogs: Frankie Verdi. 

Jamie vows to save Laurie, before Frankie damns them both. 

Every dog will have its day. 

Breaking Bones is a fast paced, highly authentic crime thriller, set in the Eighties with some cleverly drawn characters and an engaging story.

I’m not usually one for books about gangs and the such but I found myself immersed into this one fairly early on – although I have to say I was more into the military layers perhaps than the main one – this is a novel that encompasses many things and keeps you turning those pages.

It is violent, as is it’s subject matter but the author draws a vivid and immersive picture of life on the streets, the “Dogs” themselves are fascinating as a unit. Breaking Bones was well written to really draw you into a different world as a reader, that plus the 1980’s setting, one I remember well, made this an addictive and enjoyable read.

If you like the Martina Cole style of storytelling, dark, gritty and realistic then this one will be for you.

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The Perfect Victim Corrie Jackson. Blog Tour Guest Post.

Today I am VERY happy to welcome author (and friend) Corrie Jackson, talking about four female journalists who rock her world. Details on the book follow – but pick this one up if you can because it’s all the brilliant.

4 female journalists who rock my world

One of the things I value most about my journalist protagonist, Sophie Kent, is her courage. Not just the everyday courage it requires to survive the cutthroat world of 24/7 news. I mean the courage to fight the fight, to make herself heard, to go where others won’t in the pursuit of truth. Sure, Sophie’s a fictional character. But look around you. Every day, female reporters are risking everything to expose injustice. It takes guts. Think Martha Gelhorn, Kate Adie and Marie Colvin. These women are pioneers, revolutionaries, superheroes. And it’s thanks to them that I was inspired to create a kick-ass journalist of my own. Here are a few of the bold women whose written words have changed the world…

Veronica Guerin

For Guerin, death threats went with the territory. Her role as crime reporter for Ireland’s Sunday Independent saw her grapple with Dublin’s criminal underworld. But Guerin refused to back down, even when a gang member shot her in the leg. Her talent for building relationships with both the police and the drug gangs gave her unparalleled access. But she paid the ultimate price. In 1996, two motorcyclists shot the reporter at point blank range as she sat at traffic lights in her car. Guerin’s husband later said ‘she stood as freedom…she stood as light.’ And her death marked a turning point in Ireland’s battle against organized crime.

Nellie Bly

Fed up with writing for ‘women’s pages’ at her local Pittsburgh newspaper, Bly moved to New York in 1887 and landed a job at Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, the New York World. After hearing reports of brutality at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell Island, Bly went undercover by faking insanity to get admitted. Ten torturous days later, Bly’s exposé blew the lid on the rat-infested hellhole, where women were systematically abused, and dangerous patients tied together with ropes. Her story forced the government to reform the system – and she pioneered a new kind of investigative journalism in the process. Trail. Blazer.

Alex Crawford

The Sky news correspondent, who was awarded an OBE in 2012, has reported from all over the world. But the Libyan Civil War made Crawford a household name, after her live-reporting from the Battle of Tivoli went viral. She’s also a mother of four and has spoken out about the endless sexism she’s encountered. In a 2011 interview Crawford gave via satellite link from Libya, she remarked that she’d spent the day working with a male colleague, “and there will be no-one who says ‘what do you think you’re doing, how awful, what are you doing to your children?”’ Quite.

Edna Buchanan

Dubbed the ‘one-woman newsroom’, Buchanan ruled Miami’s crime beat for two decades. She covered over three thousand murders and won a Pulitzer prize in 1986, blazing a trail right through the ruthless, Alpha-male crime industry (in towering heels most of the time). She has gone on to write several novels (check out her memoir, The Corpse Had A Familiar Face; I devoured it in one sitting) but journalism is her passion. In her words: ‘There is something noble and exciting about venturing out every day to seek the truth.’ Amen to that!

About the book:

Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart.

Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life.

Then Charlie flees.

Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unravelling marriage, she realises that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts.

As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart.

Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.

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January Book Watch: The Last Mrs Parrish Liv Constantine.

Publication Date: January 11th 2018 from Harper Collins

Source: Review Copy

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her husband, Jackson—the beautiful philanthropist and the confident real estate mogul—are a golden couple straight out of a fairytale, blessed with two lovely young daughters.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrish family, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces. 

I LOVED “The Last Mrs Parrish” it was so totally addictive, once I started reading Amber’s story I just could not put it down – she’s one of those characters you love to hate as she slowly and insidiously starts to insert herself into another woman’s life with the express purpose of stealing that life for herself.

Be careful what you wish for, especially when what you are wishing for belongs to somebody else – still, Amber was a highly engaging, intriguing character who managed to get a few flashes of sympathy from me even during her total bitch moments of which there were many. As she plans and adjusts and reads the signs in order to capture Jackson’s attention there are cleverly placed layers that allow the reader  to see things Amber does not. It makes you keep turning and turning those pages to see whether or not she succeeds in her dastardly plan.

Descriptively speaking this is a joy – the authors do a truly excellent job of describing the life of the rich and privileged and offsetting that against Amber’s less pampered existence – seeing things through Amber’s eyes allows for a truly voyeuristic vibe that is genuinely compelling. There are twists and turns along the way and a pitch perfect ending that gets the blood up – The Last Mrs Parrish is a tale of actions and karmic consequences – whether everyone in this novel eventually ends up with the life they deserve, you’ll have to read and find out. Trust me, you’ll have a lot of fun doing that.

A genuinely riveting psychological thriller. Highly Recommended.

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Whiteout Ragnar Jonasson – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda Books

Source: Review Copy

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kalfshamarvik.

Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thor Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier.
As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.

Book 5 in the Dark Iceland series (UK publication not in exact order)  from Ragnar Jonasson and they just get better – tense, atmospheric, with beautifully descriptive setting and terrific sense of character.

In a small isolated village a girl has been found dead at the foot of the cliffs where her mother and her sister had earlier died – was this suicide or something more sinister?

What I love about this series is the old school feel brought to the writing – like if Agatha Christie were writing Icelandic Noir right now – that and the incredibly immersive settings as Ragnar Jonasson brings Iceland to beautiful, stark life – despite it being fictionally dangerous (always a body!) you want to visit and drink it all in. The prose is so good you almost can without even leaving your house…

The mystery elements are beautifully layered and Ari  as ever is utterly compelling – I’m going to miss that guy with his little quirks of personality, in this story about to become a father – I have to give a  shout out to the amazing Quentin Bates who has translated all of these perfectly –  the series has been entirely absorbing, a literary delight that is perfect for curling up with on those chilly winter nights.

I always read these in one sitting. So immersive, the plotting taut and darkly devilish, the characters engaging and full of depth and I can’t recommend these highly enough for fans of literary crime with a cleverly addictive tone.

Go get ’em!

 

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Top Ten of 2017 – How did that happen already?

It is a little insane that we are here again already. But the end of another reading year approaches and as I always do at this time I’ve picked a Top Ten for the year. This is my reading year not necessary the publishing calendar so you may have to wait for some of these should you be encouraged to read them – but all are books I’ve read and reviewed this year.

It was an extremely difficult one. My Best of the Rest post earlier this week encompassed 30 books that could easily be Top Ten. Since I locked this list down I’ve read several that are in the running for next year, every time I struggle with what goes in what stays out. But in the end I go for a mixture of the books that I have completely and utterly adored during 2017 and my No 1 is the one that made me go wow the most times before I finally put it away.

Before we get to that that though I’m giving a shout out to 5 books that in a lesser reading year would quite definitively be in this top ten and I can’t end the year without mentioning them. Louise Beech’s beautiful family drama “Maria in the Moon” made me weepy and I HATE (love) being weepy over a book. Mike Carey’s “The Boy on the Bridge” had such beautiful writing for such a very dark tale and took me back to the world of The Girl with All the Gifts (A top ten book in it’s year). Rachel Rhys (or Tammy Cohen as she is also known) wrote the book that stole a weekend of my life with “A Dangerous Crossing”. Then we have Michael Malone and his BRILLIANT gothic psychological thriller “House of Spines” and last but by no means least the work of utter utter genius that is “Gnomon” by Nick Harkaway. Great books all and all offering something a little different.

So with that slightly guilty feeling of having left so many wonderful books out, here are my Top Ten for the year for your reading consideration…

Ten.

Khurrum Rahman’s East Of Hounslow  was a purely brilliant read that crept up on you with that brilliance, telling the story of Jay, drug dealer but randomly good guy as he gets caught up in an attempt to bring down extremists and struggles to asses the world around him. It is both witty and hugely thought provoking, with an ending that will resonate and the authors ability to draw deep, divisive and cleverly layered relationships between his characters is second to none. I genuinely cannot wait to see more from this author. You can READ MY REVIEW and/or Purchase East Of Hounslow by clicking the links.

 

Nine.

Sylvain Neuvel’s follow up to Sleeping Giants was a huge hit with me this year, not least because he absolutely BROKE MY HEART with one particular plot twist and I still haven’t forgiven him. That aside though, Waking Gods is a dream of a read, fast, funny, incredibly imaginative and it has robots. I mean what more could you POSSIBLY want? You can read my review and purchase Waking Gods HERE.

 

Eight

The Woman in the Window is a book I read really early but it is due out soon and comes HIGHLY recommended from me. An ode to Hitchcock with beautifully immersive writing, an engaging main protagonist and a voyeuristic twist that really resonates, The Woman in the Window was another book that I devoured in short order this year and one of those I wish I hadn’t read yet so I could read it again for the first time. You can read my review and purchase The Woman in The Window here. 

 

Seven.

I was introduced to the writing of Jamie Sawyer this year with  the start of a new series – The Eternity War: Pariah was utterly gripping, excellent world building and a thrill ride of a plot with some divisive and brilliantly drawn characters.  At the end I was hanging off the edge of my seat and I’m telling you I’m going to be going after that Nazia for the next book in the series with the passion of the newly converted. You can read my review and purchase The Eternity War: Pariah here.

 

Six

Poor Evelyn Hardcastle gets both 7 and 71/2 deaths depending on where you are reading it but either way the poor girl is NOT having the best day. Plus it’s like Groundhog Day on acid so she’s not getting out anytime soon. Stuart Turton’s speculative and extraordinarily clever novel is out next year and although I have not yet given it a full review yet, it HAD to be in my Top Ten simply because it’s a work of genius that you should all immediately put on pre-order. Or something. Just don’t ask me how the author managed to keep it straight and ultimately work, this is a puzzle piece that will grip you from the very first page. A teaser review here or purchase The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle HERE. 

 

Five.

As soon as I put “The Feed” down I KNEW it was going to be in my Top Ten. A speculative post apocalyptic joy to read, you will I promise NEED THE FEED next year when you can get your hands on this. I adored it, it was ludicrously addictive and brilliantly paced – you’ll be breathless and possibly slightly emotional by the end of it. You can read my review and purchase The Feed here.

 

Four

Cold Desert Sky is a book I read so early that there is not even a definitive cover for it yet and you can’t read my review because I haven’t written one – but having obtained Rod’s permission to include it in my Top Ten nonetheless here it is. In a year of brilliant reading, this was dazzling – as I’ve come to expect – the 3rd Charlie Yates novel and by far the best one yet, with mobsters and missing girls and Las Vegas you’ll be hook line and sinkered. Absolutely I’m very pleased to be able to put it well onto the reading radar here and sometime next year (I want to say July but don’t quote me) you should dive into this one and live in the 40’s for a while. God knows we all need a little escape from the modern world right now. You can purchase Cold Desert Sky here. 

 

Three

Dark Pines has definitely earned its place here -I loved this book, atmospheric, beautifully drawn characters, a setting to die for (literally for some) and another book I devoured in short order, drawn into the life of main protagonist Tuva and the world she lives in. Clever and entirely addictive Dark Pines is simply an amazing debut and you should all give it a go. You can read my review and purchase Dark Pines here. 

 

Two

Anatomy of a Scandal was NEARLY my No 1 this year but got usurped by my actual No 1 – still Sarah Vaughan’s debut is one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year – beautifully written, socially relevant and absolutely gripping, I don’t even know what words to say to make sure you pick this one up. A genuinely talented writer telling a deeply disturbing yet hugely realistic story I’m going to be fully reviewing this one upon publication. A teaser is here and you can purchase Anatomy of a Scandal here.

So that is 10-2 then so what did make it into the No 1 spot this year? Well I’m about to answer that question and the very MINUTE I put this novel down after holding onto it for ages not wanting to let it go, I knew that it would be in my No 1 spot.

 

 

ONE

Eva Dolan’s “This Is How It Ends” was simply an incredible piece of writing, not only in style but in substance – It is almost impossible to describe how much this one struck me, not only was the plotting absolutely cleverly divine and a work of pure genius but the characters literally come alive on the page. Not conventionally told, but all the more gripping for it, this book above all the others this year made me go Wow. Then made me go wow again. Then a few days later when I thought back on it made me go Wow AGAIN. Honestly deserving of my top slot this year this is Eva showing us what she’s truly made of. I cannot WAIT to see what she does next. You can read my review and purchase This Is How It Ends here. 

 

That is IT for another year then. My word what a reading year it has been and next year is shaping up beautifully.

Great books next year including the best Marnie Rome yet from Sarah Hilary and of course Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold which I devoured recently and I can tell you it’s going to be the biggest hit of the Red Rising saga yet – plus many I probably don’t even know about yet, I can’t wait.

Hope you’ve found something here to love and have a great end of 2017 and a thrilling 2018.

 

So this IS how it ends….

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

The Best of the Rest – Top Ten Teaser.

Well it’s that time of year again – on Friday my Top Ten will post but honestly I’ve read SO MANY great books in 2017 I thought I’d do a quick round up of the best of the rest to get the bookish juices flowing. Since I cut off my top ten considerations and locked it down, I’ve read even MORE great books – not the least of which was Sarah Hilary’s Come and Find Me – so already the list for next year is looking difficult to manage. But it’s what we live for right?

I will have missed books that I adored. The only way to get everything in that I would like to mention would be to relist nearly everything I’ve read this year, I haven’t honestly had that many misses – but I will, of course at the time, have written my true feelings review so if you are not on this list or the next one it is not indicative of anything. I would like to shout out a HUGE thanks to all the brilliant authors whose words I have devoured this year so far. And I still have a month to go.

So the best of the rest:

Well of course in any normal year the undoubtedly talented Chris Whitaker would have my no 1 spot because nobody NOBODY writes like he does. Tall Oaks had my No 1 last year – this year, our friendship having developed to the point that putting All The Wicked Girls in my Top Ten would feel like nepotism, instead I’m giving him the first and the most important best of the rest spot. All the Wicked Girls is quite simply a stunning piece of literature. Read it, love it, you won’t be able to help it. Read my review here.

 

Our Kind of Cruelty from Araminta Hall is my pick of the psychological thrillers I’ve read this year, a twisted tale with a sympathetic yet dangerous main protagonist and a book that makes you think it is doing one thing when actually it is doing quite another. Out in 2018 any fan of this genre should be putting it on their must have list. Read my review here.

 

 

Matthew Blakstad’s Lucky Ghost is another rock and roll novel and a truly brilliant follow up to Sockpuppet – I call him the punk rocker of the writing world because the prose is banging good, the storytelling addictive and clever and if you haven’t read these yet then you should. Any other year of course this would be top ten…but every year those decisions get harder. Don’t miss Lucky Ghost though. Read my review here. 

 

I read both of this books within this year’s time frame and the Matt Hunter series from The Rev (as I call him) Peter Laws is definitely one to watch. Scary, witty, dark as you like, you should read these with the lights on or preferably during the day if you can – otherwise you never know what might jump out at you. These come very highly recommended from me. Read my Unleashed review here.

 

Colette McBeth’s An Act Of Silence is an intuitively insightful piece of storytelling that has a psychological thriller tone but actually does so much more than that. Her best novel to date, I devoured it in huge chunks of reading time and it was an emotionally affecting read that has stayed with me. Read my review here.

 

 

Sarah Stovell’s “Exquisite” IS Exquisite both in writing and in immersive, cleverly obfuscated plotting with two dangerously engaging women playing a cat and mouse game that is totally unpredictable. Read it in one sitting then ponder it for days. That is how it gets you. Don’t miss it. Read my review here.

 

Three top Fantasy reads right here – each one getting my blood up at various times of the year. LOVED them all and I wish that I could just put them all in the top slots but I can’t (Maybe I’ll do a top 100 next year!) Different reasons but same recommendation here. Age of Assassins and it’s top notch plotting, Godblind and it’s tendency to make you grimace whilst desperate for the next chapter and The Tethered Mage with it’s brilliantly drawn politics are just simply wonderful reads.

 

 

Three of the twistiest tales for you now – Gillian McAllister’s brilliantly speculative sliding doors with death novel Anything you Do Say, Corrie Jackson fast catching up to the queen of the twisty tale Sophie Hannah with her brilliantly unpredictable “The Perfect Victim” and of course then Sophie Hannah herself with the undoubtedly clever Did You See Melody? 

 

 

Three literary delights for you now – The emotionally resonant and beautiful “The Immortalists” from Chloe Benjamin, M L Rio’s Shakespearean inspired dark tale “If We Were Villains” and Paul Bassett Davies with the darkly comic “Dead Writers in Rehab” – honestly don’t miss any of these.

 

 

The Young Adults have had a great year – here are three of my top picks but I could have had many many more.  Sara Holland’s Everless is so addictive and promises much more to come, Emily Suvada’s  This Mortal Coil was fast, furious and brilliant and Karen M McManus wrote the twistiest tale I’ve ever seen outside of adult psychological thrillers with the genuinely unpredictable “One Of Us is Lying”  Whatever age you are go pick at least one of these up!

 

 

The best of the rest of the best of the rest in crime for me this year – Amer Anwar’s incredibly insightful and highly entertaining “Western Fringes” then Emma Viskic’s “Resurrection Bay” which had me sitting engrossed for an entire afternoon and has a terrific main protagonist and I CERTAINLY couldn’t do a top book round up without including James Hazel’s “The Mayfly” which may make you shiver and is probably my favourite one sitting read of the year. You just can’t look away!

 

 

Need a thrilling thriller? Look no further. Adam Hamdy’s follow up to Pendulum which is twice as fast and ups the ante “Freefall” will have you on the edge of your seat. Haylen Beck (AKA Stuart Neville) and the psychological thrill ride that is Here and Gone will steal a few hours of your life and finally batten down the hatches with one from my favourite thriller series featuring the extremely cold but really very hot anti-hero Victor, Tom Wood’s “The Final Hour”. 

 

 

Some top legal eagles now with lawyers turned writers who are in my top “most entertaining reads” category when it comes to crime – Try William McIntyre’s “Last Will” with his funny Scottish main protagonist and wittily brilliant plots, then of  course I cannot EVER miss the incredibly talented Steve Cavanagh and Eddie Flynn with The Liar another edge of the seat rock and roll legal thriller – finally well we know he’s one of my top 5 favourite authors when he’s behaving himself and Neil White’s “From the Shadows” started off his new series in his usual indomitably excellent style.

 

 

Wow. That’s 28 brilliant reads. No wonder my Top Ten was so hard to pin down this year. Perhaps then just two more to round it up to a even 30 I mean why not? Maybe a couple that I just fell in love with for no really good reason whatsoever…

Rowan Coleman broke my heart and made me melancholy happy with her brilliant, gorgeous and heartfelt tale “The Summer of Impossible Things” – then we have Matt Haig’s “How to Stop Time” which is a wonderfully full of heart story about a man who lives a long long long life. These two actually go together well – I could easily recommend that you pick them both up and hunker down for a weekend in front of the fire and just lose yourself in the beautiful writing and magical heart of both these stories, written by true storytellers.

There that is your lot for now. Find out on FRIDAY which books made my top ten reads of 2017 – although like this list, you’ll have to wait to get your hands on one or two – It was genuinely almost impossible to pick both those and these – every year the talent grows, the reads get better and if you search for my “Ones to Watch in 2018” posts you’ll get a feel for how difficult it will be to pick next year too. Every single book mentioned here could easily have been in my Top Ten and many that are not mentioned here could have been too. But this is Best of the Rest – I hope you find something to love.

Happy Reading!

 

Latest Reads: Clockwork City Paul Crilley

Publication Date: 14th December from Hodder and Staughton

Source: Review Copy

Cop. Drunkard. Low-grade magic user. My name is Gideon Tau, but most people just call me London.

Three years ago, someone killed my daughter. I sacrificed everything to learn his name – and then allowed that knowledge to be erased from my mind.

It was for a good cause: I was saving the world, after all.

But now I have to start over from scratch, with only my boss and my dog to help me find my daughter’s killer. The reanimated corpse of my boss, and my alcoholic, foul-mouthed demonic sidekick dog, that is.

Our journey will take us from Durban, South Africa to London, England.

And once we’re there… well, if things seemed dark before, they’re about to get a lot darker.

I LOVED Poison City the first novel in the “Delphic Division” series from Paul Crilley – but now I’ve read Clockwork City and I loved that more. MORE. It was pure, utter brilliance.

Fiendishly funny, yet incredibly dark, Paul Crilley is the king of dastardly dialogue and brilliantly awe inspiring action, all tempered with an emotional core that really digs into your heart. Clockwork City is fast and furious, set in a world where a wary peace is kept between humans and others by the Delphic Division – a force for good or, erm, a kind of rash and random group of people who do their godarn best.

We follow Gideon (more commonly known as London because that’s where he’s from, clever huh?)  and his Dog (Oh Dog please come and live with me) plus some usual suspects from Poison City and a few new faces as they attempt to save actual London from a rather nasty looking doom. A missing oracle, some nefarious Faeries, a city in magical mayhem and an attempt to open a jail that really should stay shut are all in the mix here and it is beautiful, madly addictive, incredibly well written chaos.

The characters pop from the page, they are all so brilliantly drawn, I especially adore Armitage, but Gideon Tau is a truly remarkable creation, with his quest to find his daughter whilst trying not to destroy the world in the process . That theme continues in Clockwork City, all interspersed with the current big problem, some foreshadowing and an ending that made me practically leap from my seat – YOU CAN’T DO THAT – but yeah he just did, so my loyalty to this particular series is now solidly set – please don’t make me wait too long for more I shall get incredibly grumpy.

Creative, hilarious and dastardly – that is Clockwork City. Don’t miss it.

Highly Recommended.

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Happy Reading!