Top 15 Favourite Series of 2019

It’s that time of year again, when I look back on all the brilliant books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. December seems to be coming around faster and faster. As predicted, 2019 was a fantastic year for books and putting these end-of-year lists together was tough!

Like last year, I’ve split my favourite books of the year up into two different posts. Today, the focus lies on additions to series. I seem to have read less of them this year, hence the slightly odd number of 15. But they’re all corkers!

So here we go, in random order : my 15 favourite series of 2019.

| Victoria Jenkins – Detectives King & Lane |

The fourth and final book in the King & Lane series. Back when I picked up the first book, The Girls in the Water, I just knew I was in for something special. There was something about Victoria Jenkins’ writing, the incredible plotting and the absolutely fantastic main female characters that got my pulse racing. Every book since then just got better and better and now here we are, at the end. It’s been an incredibly thrilling ride and if this is the end, then it’s a fabulous way to go.

| Rachel Abbott – DCI Tom Douglas |

The Shape of Lies is book 8 and another fantastic addition to the DCI Tom Douglas series. Full of suspense and intrigue, it makes for one gripping and tense read. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Tom and Becky again and I hope to see them back again soon. In the meantime, you have time to get caught up if you haven’t done so already because this truly is a fantastic crime series that should be on everyone’s radar and Rachel Abbott is an author who should most definitely be on your bookshelf.

| David Jackson – DS Nathan Cody |

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. 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.

| Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanach |

Honestly, if you’re not reading this series, I am judging you like a big, bad judging thing! This is one of the best crime fiction series out there and you are sorely missing out! And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

| Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone |

The writing machine that is Angela Marsons struck again in 2019 with no less than THREE additions to the brilliant DI Kim Stone series. Still going strong, still insanely gripping and addictive and now with the added bonus of a prequel to find out where it all began.

| Stephanie Broadribb – Lori Anderson |

This series has been a total blast from the very first book and Deep Dirty Truth is without a doubt THE BEST ONE YET! Oh yes! I said it! Fast-paced, with characters to get invested in and root for and edge-of-your-seat action galore, this is sheer entertainment of the highest level! Stock up on snacks and maybe an oxygen tank and enjoy the rollercoaster ride! Your legs may feel like jelly at the end of it, but it’ll be worth it!

| Karin Slaughter – Will Trent |

If there’s a Karin Slaughter book, you’d better believe it will make my list. It’s been quite the wait for a new addition to the Will Trent series but it was worth it. Karin Slaughter firmly cemented her spot as my favourite author and The Last Widow is taught, sharp and with a focus on hard-hitting and tough topics.

| Cara Hunter – DI Adam Fawley |

If you’re sitting there wondering if you need another crime fiction series in your life, the answer is “yes” and this right here is that series. I highly recommend you add this one to your shelves. It is one of the best crime fiction series out there and a definite must-read! Just so you know, book four is published in January and available for preorder. I have no doubt you’ll be seeing it here at some point.

| Matt Wesolowski – Six Stories |

Changeling was one of my most anticipated releases this year and it did not disappoint! If you’re not familiar with the Six Stories series (OMG WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!), it’s centred around a true crime podcast in which Scott King investigates cold cases. Changeling is book 3 in the Six Stories series and it is one of those stories that worms its way under your skin, one that will just not let you go. Dark, disturbing and chilling, Changeling had my heartbeat racing throughout and I was gripping the pages so tightly that my knuckles turned white! This tremendously addictive page-turner is insanely thought-provoking and also absolutely terrifying, though possibly not in the way you might expect.

| Will Dean – Tuva Moodyson |

Nothing is quite what it seems in Red Snow. With intriguing and complex characters and a deliciously intricate plot, this novel had me staying up way too late in a desperate attempt to finish it. But I just had to know what was going on. I didn’t count on Will Dean’s devious mind though, which meant that the final pages came at me like a knockout punch to the gut that left me winded but also caused so much adrenaline to course right through me, I felt like I could have gone out and run a marathon! I can’t wait for Tuva 3, out in March!

| Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome |

Please tell me you are reading this series. It’s been absolutely outstanding from the very beginning and I don’t know how she does it, but Sarah Hilary manages to outdo herself time and time again, bringing each book in this series to a whole other level. At the risk of repeating myself, because I’m pretty sure I say this every time, this is the best one in the series yet and Sarah Hilary is an author who deserves all the praise. She continues to impress me with her remarkable storylines, utterly brilliant character development and fantastic writing. There are so many lines I could quote but I won’t because I’d be here all day and obviously you just need to read this book (and the rest of the series) for yourself.

| Bella Ellis – The Brontë Mysteries |

The Vanished Bride is the first book in a brand-new series by Bella Ellis, which is a pen name for the incredibly amazing Rowan Coleman. I knew the minute I started reading this book that it would make my list. I absolutely can’t wait to hang out with these three delightful characters again.

| Johana Gustawsson – Roy & Castells |

Few crime fiction series leave me feeling like I’ve been punched in the gut numerous times, wanting to curl up into a tiny ball under my duvet, but Johana Gustawsson manages it every single time. Johana Gustawsson is a remarkable talent and I continue to be absolutely impressed by the way she manages to combine modern crime fiction with some of history’s most shocking eras and the atrocious things humans are capable of. I can’t recommend this powerful read, and this entire series, enough and I absolutely can’t wait for more! 

| Joseph Knox – Aidan Waits |

This series is one I’ve been with from the beginning. In fact, Sirens was the book that first made me start thinking about blogging because I needed a place to shout about its awesomeness. Since then, Joseph Knox has been raising the bar, with each book being even stronger than the previous one. Like its predecessors, The Sleepwalker is masterfully plotted, immensely dark, extremely gritty and completely engrossing from start to finish. Joseph Knox is an incredible talent and the Aidan Waits series is absolutely outstanding. Every single one of these books has caused a massive book hangover and The Sleepwalker is no different. I can’t recommend these books enough! They NEED to be on any crime fiction fan’s bookshelf. I promise you, you will not regret it for one second!

| M.W. Craven – Washington Poe & Tilly Bradshaw |

How can someone be both dead and alive at the same time? This intriguing question is for Poe and Tilly to find out in Black Summer, the incredible follow-up to The Puppet Show. It doesn’t matter whether your Team Poe or Team Tilly but you should most definitely be Team Craven. A truly gripping, addictive page-turner, Black Summer is sure to leave you wanting more and as luck will have it, book 3 will be out next year. I, for one, can’t wait!

And there you have it. The series that made my heart beat that little faster, made my hands go clammy and that left such an impression on me that adding them to this list was a total no-brainer.

Now is your chance to kick my bum (virtually, thank you) and tell me which series I’ve left out. Are there some you don’t agree with? Are there any you can’t wait to read? 

Hope you find something you like here and I’ve given you some ideas. Next week, I’ll be sharing my list of favourite stand-alones of 2019. Until then, I wish you lots of happy reading! xx

The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox | @josephknox_ @TransworldBooks @alisonbarrow | #TheSleepwalker #RandomThingsTours #recommended

Absolutely thrilled to bits to be kicking off the blog tour for The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox today! Huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!

Author : Joseph Knox
Title : The Sleepwalker
Series : Aidan Waits #3
Pages : 390
Publisher : Transworld
Publication date : July 11, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

As a series of rolling blackouts plunge the city into darkness, Detective Aidan Waits sits on an abandoned hospital ward, watching a mass murderer slowly die. Transferred from his usual night shift duties and onto protective custody, he has just one job…

To extract the location of Martin Wick’s final victim before the notorious mass murderer passes away.

Wick has spent over a decade in prison, in near-total silence, having confessed to an unspeakable crime that shocked the nation and earned him the nickname of TheSleepwalker.

But when a daring premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead and another one fighting for his life, Wick’s whispered last words will send Waits on a journey into the heart of darkness…

Manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, and under investigation from his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black, Waits realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work.

Can Aidan Waits solve his last case before fleeing justice?

Or will his name be next on the hit list?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Goodness gracious me! Please tell me you’re reading this series. If you are, let me tell you, The Sleepwalker is the best one yet! If you’re not, go forth and correct the error of your ways immediately because you are seriously missing out!

Martin Wick has spent the past twelve years in prison, convicted of the murders of Margaret Moore and her three children. Martin is now dying and has been moved to hospital, where DI Suthcliffe and newly promoted DS Aidan Waits take turns in sitting by his bedside, in the hope that Martin will reveal where the body of Lizzie Moore might be found. But things do not go exactly as planned. A brutal premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead, one fighting for his life and Martin Wick’s last words will send Aidan Waits on a path he really doesn’t want to be traveling.

If you’ve met Aidan Waits, then you know he’s flawed, extremely damaged, has some serious issues and is most definitely not detective hero material. By now, he’s just utterly broken. Having been moved from the nightshift to the dayshift for a change, he’s forced to work with DS Naomi Black but he isn’t sure if he can trust her and having her constantly nearby, watching him, is messing up some of his plans. There is a lot more to this story than meets the eye but I won’t get into that as I feel you need to discover that for yourself but let’s just say, Aidan might need an escape plan.

Despite all of Aidan Wait’s issues, there is something rather likeable about him, something that makes you root for him, something that makes you want to reach out and help him somehow. He is by far one of the most complicated and multi-layered characters I’ve ever encountered. Yet, he also manages to make me chuckle from time to time because his sense of sarcasm knows no other. And let’s not forget to mention the setting, with the city of Manchester almost acting as a character all on its own, oozing atmosphere and providing the most delightful noir vibe throughout.

This series is one I’ve been with from the beginning. In fact, Sirens was the book that first made me start thinking about blogging because I needed a place to shout about its awesomeness. Since then, Joseph Knox has been raising the bar, with each book being even stronger than the previous one. Like its predecessors, The Sleepwalker is masterfully plotted, immensely dark, extremely gritty and completely engrossing from start to finish. It has desperately left me wanting more!

I’ve said it before and I’ll gladly say it again, Joseph Knox is an incredible talent and the Aidan Waits series is absolutely outstanding. Every single one of these books has caused a massive book hangover and The Sleepwalker is no different. I can’t recommend these books enough! They NEED to be on any crime fiction fan’s bookshelf. I promise you, you will not regret it for one second!

The Sleepwalker will be published on July 11th.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London.There he worked at head office Waterstones selecting the crimethrillers and classics for focus attention across the company.

Now writing full time, he runs, writes and reads compulsively.
His debut novel Sirens was a bestseller. The Sleepwalker is the third book in the DC Aidan Waits series.

This Week in Books (July 3)

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 |

London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer.

In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back.

Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

As a series of rolling blackouts plunge the city into darkness, Detective Aidan Waits sits on an abandoned hospital ward, watching a mass murderer slowly die. Transferred from his usual night shift duties and onto protective custody, he has just one job…

To extract the location of Martin Wick’s final victim before the notorious mass murderer passes away.

Wick has spent over a decade in prison, in near-total silence, having confessed to an unspeakable crime that shocked the nation and earned him the nickname of TheSleepwalker.

But when a daring premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead and another one fighting for his life, Wick’s whispered last words will send Waits on a journey into the heart of darkness…

Manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, and under investigation from his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black, Waits realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work.

Can Aidan Waits solve his last case before fleeing justice?

Or will his name be next on the hit list?

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

When Lydia and Josh Green walk into Karen’s office one rainy February morning, Karen sees a couple under stress, almost at breaking point. But working with struggling couples, finding out more about their problems, helping to save their marriages, is what Karen does. 

But as Karen spends more time with Lydia and Josh, her sense of unease grows… 

Lydia is something more than just a woman whose marriage is in trouble. She seems frightened for her safety. 

Josh is angry, grief-stricken and seems to be hiding a dark secret. 

And soon Karen herself is afraid – there is something about the behaviour of this couple that recalls traumatic incidents from her own past. There is something there that may be the key to saving them, if Karen can only unlock it in time… 

Wimbledon is seriously messing up my reading plans. I can already tell I won’t be reading 7 books this week. 😂

What are you reading? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 (part two)

Welcome to part two of my favourite series of 2018. If you missed part one yesterday, you can find it here.

Let’s get to it. Once again, these are in random order. Except for the last one which is most definitely my favourite this year. 

| Stuart MacBride – Logan McRae |

No list is complete without the inimitable Stuart MacBride. This one is incredibly dark, disturbing and harrowing. Yet true to form, MacBride manages to infuse a healthy dose of humour that had me chuckling at the most inappropriate moments and that’s exactly what makes him stand out from the crowd. [my review]

| Fredrik Backman – Beartown |

Sheer magic. The Scandal was my favourite book last year and my expectations for this follow-up were insanely high but boy, did Backman deliver. [my review]

| Carol Wyer – DI Robyn Carter |

I’m not sure what I can say about Carol Wyer that I haven’t said before. I’m just such a fan of her writing and her dark side and this series will always remain a firm favourite. [my review]

| Matt Wesolowski – Six Stories |

Without a doubt, one of my most anticipated books of the past year, which was luckily published back in January because the wait would have been excruciating. Fiction with such a creepily delicious true crime feel to it, it left me reeling for days! [my review]

| Joseph Knox –  Aidan Waits |

Joseph Knox’s debut told me he was an author to watch and with this second book, he firmly cemented my belief and put himself out there as one of the best crime writers of today. [my review]

| Steve Cavanagh – Eddie Flynn |

This book probably deserves the award for best tagline of the year. It’s also the reason I grabbed this one as soon as it was available, not realising at the time it was part of a series. Thankfully, it read perfectly well as a stand-alone and I had no doubt it would end up on my list at the end of the year. [my review]

| Rachel Amphlett – Detective Kay Hunter |

No list is complete without the fantastic Rachel Amphlett and her brilliant Kay Hunter series! [my reviews here and here]

| Steph Broadribb – Lori Anderson |

Hard-hitting action from beginning to end with a kick-ass female protagonist! What more could you possibly want? [my review]

| Thomas Enger – Henning Juul |

The final instalment in the fantastic Henning Juul series can’t be missing from this list. Such a bittersweet moment, seeing everything coming together masterfully but also realising I was at the end of the line with this series! Thomas Enger was my first introduction to the Scandi-Noir genre and for that reason alone, the Henning Juul series will always hold a special place in my heart.  [my review]

| Sharon Bolton – The Craftsman |

This one was initially way up on my other list of favourite books until I realised it is the first one in a trilogy so it made its way onto this list instead.  The Craftsman is without a doubt my most favourite book from a series this year and Sharon Bolton firmly holds on to her spot on my list of go-to authors. Needless to say the follow-up, The Poisoner, is one of my most anticipated books of next year. [my review]

And there you have it. My favourite series of the year. 

Now is your chance to kick my bum (virtually, thank you) and tell me which series I’ve left out. Are there some you don’t agree with? Are there any you can’t wait to read? 

Hope you find something you like here and I’ve given you some ideas. Next week, I’ll hopefully be sharing my list of favourite stand-alones of 2018. That one is still a work in progress.

Until next time! Happy reading! xx

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox @josephknox__ @TransworldBooks

34847044

Author : Joseph Knox
Title : The Smiling Man
Series : DC Aidan Waits #2
Pages : 416
Publisher : Transworld Digital
Publication date : March 8, 2018

aboutthebook

Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift. An endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends. Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to The Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city.

There they find the body of a man. He is dead. And he is smiling. The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life…

But even as Waits puts together the pieces of this stranger’s life, someone is sifting through the shards of his own. When the mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move.  And to discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.

mythoughts

Sometimes I wish I could get away with a one sentence review. This one would say : Drop whatever it is you’re doing and grab yourself a copy of this right now!

When I read Sirens last year, I wanted to shout about its awesomeness from the rooftops.  I didn’t have a blog yet at the time, but that book was one of the reasons I started considering one. From the setting to the fabulous cast of characters, from the writing to the plot, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that Sirens was a debut. But I did know that Joseph Knox was an author to watch and with The Smiling Man, he firmly cements his spot amongst the best crime thriller writers because this one is even better than the first one!

If you’ve read Sirens (and if not, you really should), then you know Aidan Waits has some serious issues. He’s flawed, damaged and most definitely not your typical detective hero material. Aidan is currently working the nightshift, sinking his teeth into incredibly fascinating investigations like … dustbin fires. Until there’s a call from The Palace, a former hotel, currently empty awaiting new owners.

A body has been found. A body that yields no clues whatsoever. No identification, tags removed from clothing, teeth filed down and replaced and even the fingerprints have been removed. Who is this man and how did he end up at the disused hotel? As Aidan and his partner Sutty try to figure things out, Aidan’s past comes a-knocking as well and he is forced to face his demons. This gives the reader the chance to get to know Aidan better, know where he’s coming from and why he turned out the way he did. It’s not pretty.

I found myself gripped from the first page, so utterly immersed that the outside world ceased to exist. Yet again, Joseph Knox delivers a gritty, compelling and dark story that has left me begging for more. And somehow, between all the disturbing things people do, I found myself chuckling at the humour and sarcasm. While the various threads may seem disconnected at first, they come together perfectly and the varied cast of characters is so life-like, you almost expect them to jump out of the pages. The Smiling Man has a taut and complicated plot with the setting again almost being a character all on its own. I could hear the sounds, smell the scent of summer and feel the heat.

Joseph Knox is an incredible talent and if you are not reading the Aidan Waits series, you are missing out immensely! This is a deeply engrossing page-turner, one I knew would cause a massive book hangover. I felt sad when I got to the last page and realised I had a long wait for the next book in this series. I can’t bloody wait!

Like I said at the start : Drop whatever it is you’re doing and grab yourself a copy of this right now!

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