Conviction by Denise Mina | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Denise Mina
Title : Conviction
Pages : 372
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Denise Mina is a name I’ve seen mentioned quite a lot but I had never read any of her books before. Her latest release, Conviction, seemed like a good place to start.

When Anna’s husband leaves her for her best friend and takes the kids with him, the only thing that’s able to distract Anna from the shambles of her life is a true crime podcast. This podcast tries to find the answers to the mysterious sinking of a yacht that left three people dead. When Anna realises she actually knew one of the victims, she is convinced she knows what happened and sets out to investigate.

I’ve never listened to a podcast in my life. But I sure do love reading about them. They’re a really interesting way of getting a story across, giving you the facts and the questions that need answering. The podcast chapters in this book were my favourites to read. But I struggled with the rest of the story. I didn’t particularly like Anna, which felt immensely wrong considering her past and the secrets she’s hiding.

Some of the events that happened seemed somewhat over the top to me, yet the search for the truth kept me hooked and I couldn’t at all figure out what or who had caused these deaths. But for some reason, I wasn’t entirely convinced. Sure, there’s a well-crafted plot and Denise Mina is obviously a very skilled author but something was lacking for me and I can’t quite put my finger on what that was.

Furthermore, this finished hardback was riddled with mistakes. Now quite clearly that is not the author’s fault but it did have a huge impact on my reading experience. I often found myself utterly annoyed by the errors which took away my focus of the story. All in all, my first introduction to Denise Mina didn’t go down so well but I do still plan to read another one of her books in future.

Conviction is available to buy!

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

Book 11 from my 20 Books of Summer

Invisible Blood : 17 stories of murder and mystery edited by Maxim Jakubowski | @TitanBooks @Sarah_Mather_15

Author : Various, edited by Maxim Jakubowski
Title : Invisible Blood
Pages : 400
Publisher : Titan Books
Publication date : July 23, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Open the files on seventeen new crime stories to probe the brutal and complex hearts of criminals. Watch as a secretive group of intelligence community officers traces Jack Reacher’s steps through Heathrow airport in Lee Child’s “Smile”. In Mary Hoffman’s “Fallen Woman”, a journalist on the trail of a secretive drug lord gets caught up in the violent suicide of a young woman in Siena. And in Jeffrey Deaver’s “Connecting the Dots”, detectives follow the trail of clues in the brutal killing of a homeless man, wherever it may lead… Invisible Blood is a gripping collection of the compulsions of the criminal mind. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

I must admit that I’m not normally a fan of short stories because well, they’re short, and just when I feel I’m about to really sink my teeth into the story, they’re over and done with and we move on to the next one. But when Titan offered me Invisible Blood for review, I gladly accepted. I’m always looking for new crime authors and a short story collection like this one is the perfect way to discover some I’m not familiar with, or whose work I’ve never read.

So, 17 short crime stories in one go. I never know how to tackle these. Do I pick and choose? Do I start with an author I know? Or one who’s not known to me at all? Do I read from beginning to end? Never knew I could be this indecisive. As it is, I decided to just start from the beginning and a good choice that was too.

The first story is by Denise Mina, an author I’ve seen mentioned numerous times but I’ve never read any of her books. Lo and behold, her short story was one of my favourites and I’ll definitely be reading more by her in future. Lee Child pops up with a new Jack Reacher story and we also get one by one my favourite Orenda Books authors, Johana Gustawsson, that chilled me to the bone.

Short these stories may be. Some are a mere 20 pages long. But boy, do they pack a punch. My favourites were by Denise Mina, Lee Child, Johana Gustawsson and Jeffrey Deaver. The reader travels to Spain, where washing lines play an important part; to Italy on the trail of a drugs dealer; to America where a homeless man is found murdered and to the UK, where airport security is apparently flawed.

Murder, mystery and blood from seventeen fantastic crime writers all combined into one book makes Invisible Blood the perfect collection for any crime fiction fan. Or for someone like me, who’s on the look-out for new authors.

My thanks to Titan for the review copy!

Invisible Blood is available to buy!

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

Contributing authors : Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Stella Duffy, Lavie Tidhar, R. J. Ellory, Christopher Fowler, Lauren Henderson, Jason Starr, Stella Duffy, James Grady, Johana Gustawsson, Denise Mina, Bill Beverly, Ken Bruen, Cathi Unsworth, John Harvey, and A. K. Benedict.

Edited by Maxim Jakubowski

Weekly Wrap-Up (July 14)

Hello, Sunday. Is it it me or are you coming around faster and faster?

Not much to report this week. The socialising last Sunday went a tad overboard and I felt it on Monday, so that was a waste of a day 😳. The rest of the week was full of wonderful tennis. Today is the men’s final. Guess what I’m doing? If your answer is : “watch it”, you’d be wrong because the in-laws invited themselves and scuppered my plans. FFS. 🙄

Have I managed to squeeze in any books? Why, yes, I have. But erm … well, let’s see.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

My reading is obviously as hormonal as I am 🤣. Still, three is better than nothing and I’m still ahead of my blog tour schedule and have even managed to read 12 (that’s right, twelve!) books from my 20 Books of Summer list. Feels like I’m winning, doesn’t it? 😉

In case anyone wants to guess : there was only one of those three I really enjoyed. Dun, dun, duuuuuun.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

This was a preorder that arrived on Friday. Of course, I’ve bought a few more in the meantime but since they’re not here yet, they don’t count. Do they?

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

With thanks to Transworld and Titan Books. One for a blog tour and one for review. Really looking forward to both!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Kicked off the blog tour for The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox

Tuesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for A Fatal Game by Nicholas Searle

Friday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for I Looked Away by Jane Corry

Saturday : Shared my review for Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Review | Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | Child’s Play by Angela Marsons

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Guest Post | Author Andrew Joyce

Friday : Blog tour | Review | The Last Stage by Louise Voss

Saturday : Taking the day off because everyone and their dog will be at Harrogate 😂

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

That’s not too bad. This is the quiet before the storm. I may need an oxygen tank to survive the week that comes after this one.

Question of the week : Dust jackets! I saw this topic on twitter a while ago and had no idea it was so controversial. So I’m putting the question to you, dear blog readers. Do you remove the dust jacket from a hardback when you’re reading it? I do. Because I don’t want to ruin the jacket, as that is what you see when the book is on a shelf. As soon as I put the book down or finish it, obviously, the jacket goes back on. Over to you!

That’s it for this week. Hope you all have a great one! Until next time. Happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (July 10)

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 |

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…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anything else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swore it was over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.

Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And for just a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. The accident that happens will change her life forever.

Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.

And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…

[I’ve been reading this one since Saturday. Socialising (subsequent hangover 😳) and Wimbledon are throwing a massive spanner in the works. It’s actually really good too!]

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

[This will be my first ever Denise Mina book and I’m really looking forward to it!]

What does you reading week look like? Do let me know in the comments! Have a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

Weekly Wrap-Up (July 6)

This wrap-up might be somewhat on the short side because I have friends coming over this afternoon and a bajillion things to do.

While I’ve been putting this post together, the other half started vacuuming so now I’m wondering if I just sit here and look busy, if he’ll tackle some other chores from my list. 🤔

This week has consisted mostly of books and Wimbledon tennis. Probably more tennis than books, actually. I have a liiiiitle bit of leeway in my schedule so hopefully I won’t get into too much trouble.

So, what have I read this week?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

I’m okay with that. That could have been a lot worse! One from my 20 Books of Summer list and the others are all for blog tours. Good thing I’m slowing down, eh?

Today’s guessing game : there are two 5 stars reads. Go! 😂

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Oops 😳. I am so running out of room to put all of these. Especially paperbacks. So I often tell myself “self, we should read more paperbacks” and thus we choose another hardback because that’s just how self and I roll. 🤣

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review for Black Summer by M.W. Craven

Tuesday : Reviewed The Friend Who Lied by Rachel Amphlett

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Closer I Get by Paul Burston and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Reviewed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Reunion by Guillaume Musso

Saturday : Shared my review of The Island by Ragnar Jónasson

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Get me posting every day of the week!

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | A Fatal Game by Nicholas Searle

Friday : Blog tour | Review | I Looked Away by Jane Corry

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Yep, slowing down is working like a charm. 😂

Right, that’s it. Hope everyone has a brilliant week! See you next time. Happy reading! xx