My Book of the Month for December 2014

Out in January, my final Book of the Month choice for 2014 is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

My review is here.



Die Again by Tess Gerritsen. Read December 2014.

Tess Gerritsen at her breathtaking, entertaining best.
“In Boston, Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are investigating a bizarre murder. A man has been found gutted and hanging in his home. When the remains of another victim are found, it is clear that this murderer has been at work for years, and not just in Boston.”
I’ve recently rediscovered this series, reading the latest four books in the last few weeks. Now I keep asking myself why I ever allowed myself to fall behind and it certainly won’t be happening again.
This latest instalment has action based in Boston as usual but also takes us to Africa where the members of a safari tour are thrown into their own nightmare,
The insights into the home lives of Rizzoli and Isles continue to develop their characters and make us care about where they’re headed. This is one of the author’s great talents – keeping a dramatic storyline going whilst reminding us that the protagonists are human.
I’d recommend Die Again to crime fictions fans who love an exciting plot with an unusual focus and a rich depth of research.
Thank you to the publisher for my advance copy e-book via Netgalley.


Blood-Tied by Wendy Percival. Read December 2014.

This is a cracking mystery story that I quickly became entangled in and didn’t come close to solving.
“Esme Quentin is devastated when her sister Elizabeth is beaten unconscious, miles from her home. Two days later Esme discovers that Elizabeth has a secret past. Desperate for answers which the comatose Elizabeth cannot give, Esme enlists the help of her friend Lucy to search for the truth, unaware of the dangerous path she is treading. Together they unravel a tangle of bitterness, blackmail and dubious inheritance, and as the harrowing story is finally revealed, Esme stumbles upon evidence of a pitiful crime.”
I loved the character of Esme and will definitely be putting her next adventure on my wishlist. Genealogy is an intriguing subject in itself and with the added elements in this story it made for a very satisfying read.
At times I got a bit lost as to how all the characters fitted in, but otherwise I found Blood-tied highly enjoyable. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good mystery that presents you with a challenging puzzle.
Thank you to the author for the review copy of the book.


Ten of the Best of 2014

A quick round up of ten of the books I enjoyed most during this year (in no particular order):

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
My review is here.


The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill
My review is here.


The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
Review Here


Say You’re Sorry by Michael Robotham
My review is here.


This Is The Water by Yannick Murphy
My review is here.


Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
Review Here


Want You Dead by Peter James
My review is here.


Precious Thing by Colette McBeth
Review Here 20140429-132823.jpg

Death Can’t Take A Joke by Anya Lipska
Review Here


Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly.
This one gets my ‘Cover of the Year’ award!
Review is here


The Liar’s Chair by Rebecca Whitney. Read December 2014.

It’s rare to read a book where none of the characters is likeable but this is definitely one.
“Rachel Teller and her husband David appear happy, prosperous and fulfilled. The big house, the successful business . . . They have everything.
However, control, not love, fuels their relationship and David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. When Rachel kills a man in a hit and run, the meticulously maintained veneer over their life begins to crack.”
I like dark psychological thrillers and I raced through the first two-thirds of The Liar’s Chair. The writing style has a rich use of language and the reader can luxuriate in the descriptions of complex relationships and plot. After that though I thought the story lost its way a little and I had to suspend disbelief at Rachel’s behaviour in order to enjoy the conclusion. Having said that it may be that I’ve had too sheltered a life to appreciate her motivation.
I’d recommend this book to readers who enjoy unpredictable and complicated plots and who aren’t easily shocked.
Thank you to the publisher for my advance reading copy of the book.


The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. Read December 2014.

I can’t say this book was unputdownable – at times I had to put it down so I could catch my breath and get my head around what was happening.
“Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck…Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed.”
It’s hard to review this book without risking spoilers so I’ll keep it brief. The author’s writing style is perfect for this kind of fast-paced thriller.
The first person narrative alternating between the main female characters made me feel like a mutual friend of each woman. Sure that they had my sympathy they were confiding in me, not realising that with a turn of the page I’d switch allegiance.
For the first time in a while I found myself suspicious of almost every character involved in the main plot, so I can hardly take credit for guessing the ‘big reveal’. I’d recommend The Girl on the Train to lovers of psychological thrillers that don’t pull any punches.
Thank you to the publisher for the advance reading copy.


Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year 2014

Peter James’ gripping psychological thriller Want You Dead has been crowned eBooks by Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year 2014. The bestselling author emerged victorious following a month-long national competition to uncover the UK’s favourite digital read.

In its second year, the eBook of the Year award is designed to let readers decide their stand-out “screen turner” of the year – the eBook that has kept them glued to their eReaders. The public was given a longlist of over 150 titles to choose from, spanning a range of genres; from biographies to women’s fiction and thrillers to non-fiction; and eBooks by Sainsbury’s has spent the last month collecting the votes.

Author of Want You Dead, Peter James, also authored the world’s first eBook. The gripping thriller saw off esteemed literary talent in the shape of The Story of Us by Dani Atkins, Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm, Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch and Lee Child’s Personal to win the prize.

The tenth novel in Peter James’s Brighton-based detective series, which has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, is a transfixing and harrowing tale recounting how a promising online romance turns sour. For the protagonist, Red Westwood, infatuation becomes terror as she begins to see an increasingly darker side to the man she has let into her life. It becomes evident that he is not only obsessed with her, but determined to destroy everything and everyone she has ever known and loved.

Peter James said: “I’m really thrilled to have won this award from such a brilliant retailer. Over the past few years Sainsbury’s has established their books division as a major platform of the book trade. It means a very great deal to me to have won this highly prestigious award, and I believe that the support of Sainsbury’s is an invaluable endorsement of the importance of books and reading to us all.”

My review of Want You Dead is here.


Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan. Read December 2014.

The follow up to Long Way Home.
“In the second book from a rising star of crime fiction, Detectives Zigic and Ferreira must investigate a hit-and-run that leaves two migrant workers dead and a series of horrific killings, seemingly with a Neo-Nazi motivation, captured on CCTV.”
Anyone who’s read Long Way home will agree that this is the most original and engaging crime fighting duo in, well, ever.
We see much less of Zigic’s home life this time, which underlines that the Hate Crimes team is overworked and under-resourced. Their exhaustion and dedication form the backdrop to the investigation of some truly distressing crimes that the reader can’t help but become emotionally involved with.
I was impressed by the author’s depth of research into a topical political scene and events that echo those we see all too regularly on the TV news.
Two books into this series I hesitate to describe this as an enjoyable read, but it is certainly gripping, gritty and satisfying. Book 3 is already on my “unmissable” list.
Thank you to the author and publisher for the advance reading copy.