Weekly Wrap-Up (June 2)

I refuse to believe it’s June. Absolutely refuse. I only just got used to writing 2019 everywhere and we’re almost halfway through the year. What is happening?!

Hey, guess what? Weather update! 😉. I am roasting! Out of nowhere, we suddenly have 30°C temperatures today and now I’m impersonating one of those old farts that complain about it being too hot to go outside! There’s just no pleasing me, is there? I have no problems being outside all day in this kind of weather in Italy but here? Not so much.

Speaking of Italy, three months to go and I’m off! Not that I’m counting down or anything.

This week has mostly been spent digging up old Playstation games and having a blast. You might be surprised to hear that I did manage to read though. Not a lot, by my standards anyway but it is what it is and I’m not fretting. Yet.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Three is the new seven (or eight). I’m actually quite enjoying this change of pace and I’m still ten days ahead of the schedule so I will actually have some time to squeeze in one (or two) of my 20 Books of Summer books this week too. As soon as I can decide which one to start with, that is. I just need two or three books in a row to really pull me back in and I’ll be off so watch this space. Might even manage four books read next week 😂

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Oops. Not entirely sure what happened here. Not to worry though. I’m sure this is just a blip. 😉

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

With thanks to Titan, Endeavour and Transworld. Two for blog tours, one I just couldn’t resist when it was offered to me. That’s The Colorado Kid. Although I must admit there was some pressure from the other half to accept it. Not entirely sure why. I mean, it’s not like HE will read it! 🙄

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles

Wednesday : Shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Nothing

Friday : Posted my 20 Books of Summer Challenge list

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Someone is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst and posted my weekly wrap-up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Probably nothing

Tuesday : There may be a review. Or not. We’ll see.

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Extract | The House On The Edge Of The Cliff by Carol Drinkwater

Friday : Blog tour | Review | Wolves At The Door by Gunnar Staalesen

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Please tell me it’s obvious that I did make a conscious effort at some point to slow down with the blog tours? 😂 Can I keep it up though?

Question of the week : Likeable versus unlikeable characters. Do they make a difference to your reading experience? For example, Skin Deep by Liz Nugent features the most unlikeable main character ever but it’s one of my favourite books. Some people were put off though. Some people need a likeable character to get behind and I understand that completely. It makes no difference to me though. I often find I lean towards to the unlikeable characters instead because they always intrigue and fascinate me more. Thoughts?

The other half is off with his former army buddies for the day and I have the whole house to myself! I’ll be catching up on some reviews, maybe read a little but most of all, try my hardest not to melt.

Hope everyone has a fabulous week and I wish you all lots of happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (May 29)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

‘Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They’re here. They’re-‘ 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband. 

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected. 

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son. 

What if they could have both?

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

One dark January night a car drives at high speed towards PI Varg Veum, and comes very close to killing him. Veum is certain this is no accident, following so soon after the deaths of two jailed men who were convicted for their participation in a case of child pornography and sexual assault … crimes that Veum himself once stood wrongly accused of committing.

While the guilty men were apparently killed accidentally, Varg suspects that there is something more sinister at play … and that he’s on the death list of someone still at large.

Fearing for his life, Veum begins to investigate the old case, interviewing the victims of abuse and delving deeper into the brutal crimes, with shocking results. The wolves are no longer in the dark … they are at his door. And they want vengeance.

Anything catching your eye? What are you reading this week? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson | @Author_Dave @bonnierbooks_uk @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #bookreview #recommended #YourDeepestFear

Thrilled to host a stop on the blog tour for Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson today! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : David Jackson
Title : Your Deepest Fear
Series : DS Nathan Cody #4
Pages : 400
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

‘Sara! Remember! Victoria and Albert. All I can say. They’re here. They’re-‘ 

These are the last words Sara Prior will ever hear from her husband. 

As DS Nathan Cody struggles to make sense of the enigmatic message and solve the brutal murder, it soon becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. Taking the investigation into her own hands, Sara is drawn into a world of violence that will lead her in a direction she would never have suspected. 

For Cody, meanwhile, things are about to get personal in the darkest and most twisted ways imaginable . . .

| MY THOUGHTS |

Your Deepest Fear is the fourth instalment in the DS Nathan Cody series and … bloody hell! I’m in need of a drink. Or an oxygen tank. I feel absolutely drained.

This book is a little different from its predecessors, in that it isn’t all about Cody. Sara Prior’s estranged husband is found brutally murdered at his home, his naked body nailed to the floor. Due to events from the previous books, Cody finds himself somewhat sidelined in this investigation but not to worry, because we have a kick-ass and fierce Sara Prior who will dig deep and try to figure out what happened to her husband.

Meanwhile Cody is being taunted by his biggest nemesis. The clown. This person is by far one of the creepiest and most chilling characters I’ve ever met. Manipulative, pulling Cody’s strings and playing games … there is just no way of knowing what he’ll do next. Only that it won’t be anything good.

I do so love it when an author has no qualms whatsoever in putting their main character through the wringer, and the reader right alongside with him. After three books, I, as the reader, have become incredibly invested in Cody. The reader is aware of his struggles and issues and to see him suffer even more, to be pulled down to the depths of despair, utterly broken … well, it hurts. Now, don’t despair! If you’re new to this series, you can read this as a stand-alone. There is enough background to fill you in on what went on before but not so much that it’ll bore fans of the series to tears. It’s a tough balance to achieve but I feel David Jackson managed it perfectly.

I kept expecting Sara’s and Cody’s investigations to converge at some point but when they did, I was not at all prepared for what happened. Mind blown to smithereens! Just awesome! Part of me was happy in finally getting some answers, the other part has so many questions that I don’t even know where to start.

Your Deepest Fear is dark, disturbing and insanely tense. It’s so fast paced, it almost felt relentless at times and left me in desperate need of a breather. My heart was pounding, my hands were clammy and I was trying extremely hard to figure out how it would all end. Obviously I’m not telling you that but I will say that it has left me wanting more and I have no doubt it will have the same effect on you!

What an incredible addition to an already outstanding series! I dare say this is even the best one yet and I urge you all to read this series, if you’re not doing so already. I highly recommend it and I can’t wait to see where David Jackson takes DS Nathan Cody next.

Your Deepest Fear is available in ebook format. Other formats will follow soon, which you can of course pre-order.

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

While you’re there, why not pick up the previous books in the series if these are missing from your bookshelves 😉

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

David Jackson is the bestselling author of Cry Baby. His debut novel, Pariah, was Highly Commended in the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Awards. He lives on the Wirral peninsula with his wife and two daughters.

This Week in Books (May 22)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

Will Trent is undercover at Fort Knox. His assignment: to investigate a twenty-two-year-old murder. His suspect’s name: Jack Reacher.

Jack Reacher is in Fort Knox on his own mission: to bring down a dangerous criminal ring operating at the heart of America’s military. Except now Will Trent is on the scene.

But there’s a bigger conspiracy at play – one that neither the special agent nor the ex-military cop could have anticipated. And the only option is for Jack Reacher and Will Trent to team up and play nicely. If they can…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mother. On a job, his brother stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead—and the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation, unless he drags her down, too.

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

‘…They’re here. They’re-‘

The message on Sara Prior’s phone contains the last words she will ever hear from her husband. Racing to find him, she discovers he has been brutally murdered.

While the police struggle to uncover evidence around this shocking crime, it becomes clear that Sara is no ordinary bereaved wife. And she is not the sort of woman to let things lie. Following a hidden clue in her husband’s last desperate phone-call, Sara follows the trail to the house of the last person she’d expect . . .

Meanwhile DS Nathan Cody finds himself drawn into the darkest and most twisted case of his career. And this time things are about to get very very personal.

The reading slump continues. Cleaning The Gold is a mere 80 pages. It took me an entire afternoon to read and it’s the only thing I’ve read since Saturday. Send help! 😂

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 (part one)

What an incredible year for books 2018 has been! I remember back in January already thinking compiling these end-of-year lists would be an impossible task. So just like last year, I’ve split things up. My favourite stand-alones will follow at a later date but in this post, I’m focusing on my favourite series. At least it will give me the opportunity to highlight more books.

Some of these may not have been published this year but since I read them this year, I mention them anyway alongside their most recent additions.

Because the list is so long (I had no idea I read so many series!), I’m splitting this post up into two parts.

So, in random order, My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 – Part One!

| Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome |

I said it last year and I’ll say it again : Sarah Hilary’s writing just keeps getting better and better and this series is one of the strongest out there! [my review]

| Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanach |

Again, a corker of a series! I’ve loved this series from the very beginning and any crime fiction fan, of the not faint-hearted variety, should most definitely be reading this! [my reviews here and here]

| David Jackson – DS Nathan Cody |

An absolutely brilliant addition to an already outstanding series that I feel more people should be talking about! [my review]

| Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone |

Was there ever any doubt these would be on the list? Still going utterly strong after nine books and still a series I’ll happily drop everything for when a new book publishes. [my review here and here]

| J.D. Barker – 4MK |

I’ve found that I’m leaning more towards books set in England lately but I gladly make an exception for the 4MK Thriller series because it just blows my mind! I’m incredibly excited to see how J.D. Barker wraps things up in the final instalment. [my review for The Fifth to Die]

| Johanna Gustawsson – Roy and Castells |

Modern crimes combined with historical fiction? Don’t mind if I do! If you’re looking for addictive page-turners, this is it! [my review]

| Cara Hunter – DI Adam Fawley |

One of those series that just hooked me from the first page. I thought Close To Home was amazing but In The Dark was even better! I can’t wait for book three! [my review for Close to Home]

| Sarah Ward – DC Connie Childs |

I’ve been reading this series from the beginning but have never reviewed it. These books tend to be published right before I leave on holiday in September and they are the first book I pick up when I’m settling down by the pool in Tuscany. I can never find the words to them justice and so don’t review them but consider them my very own special treat. So good!

| Alison Weir – The Six Tudor Queens |

Few people do Tudor fiction the way Alison Weir does and The Six Tudor Queens brings that era to life in the most fascinating way. [my review]

| Daniel Cole – Detective William Fawkes |

Slightly misleading to call it the second book in the Detective William Fawkes series since he’s not actually in it. Personally I didn’t really miss him all that much because of another character but I know other people did. Still, another gripping and exciting book that makes you anxiously await the next instalment. [my review]

So there we have it. Part one of my favourite series of the year. Anything here you’ve read as well? Enjoyed? Didn’t like at all? I’d ask you to mention which books you’d add to the list but since there’s more to come, we’ll leave that for now. Be sure to come back tomorrow for part two! 

Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson @Author_Dave @BonnierZaffre

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Author : David Jackson
Title : Don’t Make A Sound
Series : DS Nathan Cody #3
Pages : 400
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : May 3, 2018

aboutthebook

You can’t choose your family. Or can you?

Meet the Bensons. A pleasant enough couple. They keep themselves to themselves. They wash their car, mow their lawn and pass the time of day with their neighbours. And they have a beautiful little girl called Daisy.

There’s just one problem. Daisy doesn’t belong to the Bensons. They stole her.

And now they’ve decided that Daisy needs a little brother or sister.

D. S. Nathan Cody is about to face his darkest and most terrifying case yet.

mythoughts

Did you hear that thud? That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. Good grief.

The third instalment of the DS Nathan Cody series starts off innocently enough but after just a few pages, the whole scene is tilted onto its head so hard that my eyes almost popped out of my head and I wondered how I would survive the rest of this book without taking something that would provide some sort of calming effect. Talk about having the rug pulled from underneath you. Bloody hell!

I don’t want to give anything away about this terribly exciting plot, other than to say it deals with a missing child. Stories involving children are always rather tough to read, I find, and David Jackson made that experience even worse (in a totally good way) by actually offering the reader a missing child’s perspective. It’s uncomfortable, frightening and utterly heartbreaking to find yourself in that horrible situation with them.

Don’t Make A Sound is intensely gripping, utterly addictive and I devoured it in one glorious sitting. It’s a dark, disturbing and a brilliantly relentless page-turner that kept me having to remind myself to keep breathing. The banter between Cody and Webley offers some much needed relief at times, making me chuckle in the midst of all this evilness. We even learn a little something new about Blunt, which I’m desperately hoping will be explored further.

I don’t normally like mentioning endings. I always find it’s something like that “twist you won’t see coming” bit where you rush to get to the part everyone is talking about. Know what I mean? Obviously I don’t want you to rush to get to the end of this story (seriously, slow down, enjoy the thrilling ride) but boy, did that blow my mind or what?! Didn’t see that coming at all and it seriously messed with my head! Just awesome!

What an absolutely brilliant addition to an already outstanding series! You’re all reading these, right? If not, I highly recommend you head out out to pick up your copies right now? When you’ve finished catching up, I’m sure you’ll join me in eagerly awaiting the fourth book in the series. I can’t wait to see what David Jackson has in store for the team.

Don’t Make A Sound is out now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

 

This Week in Books (May 2)

this-week-in-books

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

37662025

This is a love story. Mike’s love story.

Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.

It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue.

The book I’m currently reading

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What would you do if the love of your life had no memory of you?

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

What I’m (definitely) reading next

37651602

You can’t choose your family. Or can you?

Meet the Bensons. A pleasant enough couple. They keep themselves to themselves. They wash their car, mow their lawn and pass the time of day with their neighbours. And they have a beautiful little girl called Daisy.

There’s just one problem. Daisy doesn’t belong to the Bensons. They stole her.

And now they’ve decided that Daisy needs a little brother or sister.

D. S. Nathan Cody is about to face his darkest and most terrifying case yet.

page-divide_12_orig

I’m way behind on my reading so I’m not around as much as I normally am. Hopefully regular service will resume soon.

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Hope to Die by David Jackson @Author_Dave @BonnierZaffre

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Author : David Jackson
Title : Hope to Die
Series : DS Nathan Cody #2
Pages : 416
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : September 21, 2017

aboutthebook

On a snowy December evening, Mary Cowper is walking her dog through the churchyard of Liverpool Cathedral – and that’s when the killer strikes.

Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, Mary seems to be almost angelic – no-one has a bad word to say about her, let alone a motive for such a violent murder.

And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever close, and – still bearing the physical and mental scars – it’s all he can do to hold onto his sanity.

And then the killer strikes again.

mythoughts

A few months ago, I raved about the first book in the DS Cody series and I’m kicking myself for taking this long to finally read the second one. Follow-ups are always tricky but I can safely say Hope to Die is even better than its predecessor!

Cody’s having an absolutely horrendous time. Not only is there the investigation into the murder of teacher Mary Cowper, which seems to be going nowhere fast, but he has a lot of other things to deal with as well. His relationship with Megan is at an all-time low, he suffers from nightmares and his past is getting ever closer. One word : creepy! Is he suffering from hallucinations again or is someone playing a game with him?

If all that isn’t gripping enough, David Jackson throws in utterly heartbreaking and harrowing chapters that nearly broke me. They are vital to understand where the killer is coming from but boy, did they make for some highly uncomfortable reading. These had me guessing until the end, trying to figure out the whodunnit and, as per usual,  getting it completely wrong.

There’s also the introduction of a new member of the team, Grace. She’s a computer geek, desperate to prove herself and quiet frankly, she gives me the heebie-jeebies! And yet, she’s sufficiently intriguing in that overwhelmingly weird sort of way that makes me look forward to learning more about her.

There’s a lot going on in this story and all its various layers held my attention throughout. Well-paced, intricately plotted and brilliantly written, I found Hope to Die totally unputdownable. The DS Cody series is another one to watch out for. It has a fascinating and gripping backstory that is still haunting Nathan Cody, as you will find out yourself when (not if!) you read this series and I can’t wait for more of that in book 3!

Hope to Die was published in September and is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

 

A Tapping At My Door by David Jackson @Author_Dave @BonnierZaffre

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Author : David Jackson
Title : A Tapping At My Door
Series : DS Nathan Cody #1
Pages : 384
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre
Publication date : April 7, 2016

aboutthebook

A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She’s disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven, and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes.

DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case. But the police have no leads, except the body of the bird – and the victim’s missing eyes.

As flashbacks from his past begin to intrude, Cody realises he is battling not just a murderer, but his own inner demons too.

And then the killer strikes again, and Cody realises the threat isn’t to the people of Liverpool after all – it’s to the police.

mythoughts

A few months ago, many of my fellow book bloggers were talking about the second book in the DS Nathan Cody series, Hope to Die. So obviously I bought the first one because as I’m sure you all know by now, there should be a law against starting a series anywhere else but with book one. 😉

I’m not sure why I’d never heard of David Jackson before. It’s a travesty and I’m glad I was made to see the error of my ways. A Tapping At My Door has everything I look for in a good book. A damaged protagonist with what promises to be an exciting backstory, a murder or two, a fascinating killer and brilliant writing! Also, birds. Not so good. I mean, I don’t mind birds. Just not in this instance. You’ll see why when you read the book.

The story begins with a tapping at the door and it’s a deliciously creepy way to reel the reader in from the get-go. Since I was reading this in the dark, while home alone, I have no shame in admitting that it made me feel extremely nervous. The scene was set perfectly with a fantastic reference to Edgar Allen Poe and at that point, I already knew I was going to enjoy this one.

I love this author’s writing style. It flows well and feels completely natural. I’m also very partial to the shorter chapters, especially when the action starts to ramp up and you begin to flip the pages faster and faster. I found myself so utterly engrossed that I forgot to take notes for my review and I stayed up well past my bedtime in order to finish. Worth it.

I thought Nathan Cody was extremely likeable, despite quite obviously being damaged goods. Something bad happened to him in the past but what that may be is revealed quite slowly and had me utterly hooked. This backstory is incredibly promising for the next book and I can’t wait to see where it takes him.

This is one heck of a thriller and a must-read! Fast-paced, brilliantly executed with an exciting hunt for a killer. In case you couldn’t tell, my first introduction to David Jackson went extraordinarily well, I must say. So much so that I have every intention on catching up on his other series as well, which features Callum Doyle. Quite frankly, so should you!

A Tapping At My Door was published in 2016.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository |Goodreads