My Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2018

What an absolutely amazing year for books it has been! 

Just like last year, I thought splitting things up between series and stand-alones would help narrow down the list but nope. A Top 10 was never going to happen here. Despite the fact that my reading mojo was up and down like a bloody yo-yo all year, I still managed to read 250 books. Sure, that’s 50 less than last year but do I care? Clue : no, I don’t 😉

Anyway, I present to you My Top 20 Favourite (stand-alone) Reads of 2018. With apologies to the authors/books I had to drop from the list.

In no particular order, except for the Top 5, here we go!

Phoebe Locke – The Tall Man [my review]
Louise Voss – The Old You [my review]
Linwood Barclay – A Noise Downstairs [my review]
Mark Edwards – The Retreat [my review]

Ane Riel – Resin [no review]
Joanna Cannon – Three Things About Elsie [no review]
Gillian McAllister – No Further Questions [my review]
Shari Lapena – An Unwanted Guest [my review]

Lesley Kara – The Rumour [review to follow]
Karin Slaughter – Pieces of Her [my review]
SJI Holliday – The Lingering [my review]
Elly Griffiths – The Stranger Diaries [review to follow]

Gill Paul – The Lost Daughter [my review]
Louise Beech – The Lion Tamer Who Lost [my review]
Rachel Rhys – Fatal Inheritance [my review]

Top 5

5. C.J. Tudor – The Chalk Man [my review]
4. Ruth Ware – The Death of Mrs Westaway [my review]
3. Liz Nugent – Skin Deep [my review]
2. Elizabeth Haynes – The Murder of Harriet Monckton [my review]

My favourite book of the year is …

I don’t think this comes as a huge surprise. When I read this back in February, I said it would take something insanely special to knock this off the top spot. Skin Deep and Harriet Monckton came awfully close but in the end, “Agatha Christie on crack” won out. [my review]

A massive thank you to all the authors, publishers and Netgalley for making 2018 so spectacular! And to you, my fellow bloggers and readers, huge thanks for the support, for visiting and for commenting! ❤️

Him by Clare Empson @ClareEmpson2 @orionbooks #Him #NetGalley

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Author : Clare Empson
Title : Him
Pages : 352
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : August 23, 2018

aboutthebook

Catherine has witnessed something so traumatic that she can’t speak. Or won’t speak.The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past.

Catherine needs to start with HIM .

Fifteen years ago she met Lucian at university and fell into a passionate love affair. They were meant to be together forever. But something happened. Something that destroyed them.

Catherine married someone else. Had two children. She moved on – or so she thought. Now Lucian is back, showing her how different life could have been.

But going back to the beginning won’t change the ending.
In fact, it might be the thing that finally breaks her…

mythoughts

This didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would. I was expecting a psychological thriller and while it does have some of the elements of that genre and a bit of a mystery to solve, at its core Him is a love story gone badly, oh so badly, wrong.

Catherine doesn’t talk. She suffers from elective mutism after witnessing a traumatic event. It all has to do with “him” but the why takes a while for the reader to discover.

Fifteen years ago, Catherine met the dashing Lucian at university. Theirs was a passionate love affair but then Catherine breaks up with Lucian. No explanation or anything. She just disappears and refuses to talk to him ever again, leaving Lucian utterly devastated.

But her obsession with him and what life could have been like by his side continues through the years, through a marriage and the birth of her children. This is a love that can’t be forgotten or denied, but also one with devastating consequences. What exactly happened when Catherine met Lucian again four months ago?

This story switches back and forth between events from fifteen years ago, four months ago and the present day. This may sound a little all over the place but it’s really not. It’s done incredibly well and never gets confusing. Slowly but surely, the pieces of the puzzle come together.

I found the characters hard to connect with though. Lucian and his friends are an elitist and snobbish club of rich and privileged people that Catherine never really quite fits into. Yet some are drawn to them like moths to a flame. And while Catherine wonders what her life would have been like had she stayed with Lucian, I was wondering how different her life with her husband, Sam, could have been had she been able to let Lucian go. To be honest, Sam was the only person I was able to muster up any kind of sympathy for.

Him is a dark and tragic tale of love, obsession and guilt. Despite it’s relatively slow pace, this character-driven story is rather gripping and at times incredibly sad. I was desperate to know why Catherine stopped talking and if she’d ever utter another word again. I enjoyed it but I found the psychological thriller label a tad misleading so my advice to you is to go in with an open mind and let Catherine take you on a moving journey through her memories.

My thanks to the publisher for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

Him is published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh #20BooksofSummer

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Author : Steve Cavanagh
Title : The Defence
Series : Eddie Flynn #1
Pages : 306
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : February 18, 2016

aboutthebook

The truth has no place in a courtroom. The truth doesn’t matter in a trial.

The only thing that matters is what the prosecution can prove.

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.

It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter Amy.

Eddie only has 48 hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

Lose this case and he loses everything.

mythoughts

As soon as I finished Thirteen, which I didn’t realise was the fourth book in a series at the time, I knew I would go back and catch up on the previous ones as soon as I could.

In The Defence, we are introduced to Eddie Flynn, one-time conman and lawyer, although the two seem remarkably interchangeable. Once a hustler, always a hustler but Eddie is quite the likeable one and in The Defence we learn how events led him to making that step from conman to lawyer with the help of Judge Harry

The action pulls you in from the first page when Eddie is faced with a gun pointing at his head during a trip to the restroom in a restaurant. The Russian mob needs his help but they have a funny way of asking for it. Not only does Eddie find himself with a bomb lined in his jacket, his daughter has been kidnapped as well. Eddie has no choice but to cooperate. Preferably without being responsible for a whole bunch of dead bodies and even more preferably, with his daughter and himself safe from harm.

Eddie soon realises though he’s not being told the whole story. We’re dealing with the mob after all. Backstabbing, rivalry, corruption and a dead body here and there … it’s all in a day’s work really. Can Eddie figure out what’s going on? Can he save his daughter? And himself?

The tricks Eddie has learned in his “previous life” sure do come in handy, as do connections on the other side of the law. More than anything, Eddie is brilliantly clever, fiercely determined and incredibly resourceful. The Defence is intense, action-packed and hugely entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed going back to the first book and having the opportunity to fill in some of Eddie’s background. I’ll definitely be catching up on the other books in this series when I have the time.

The Defence is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

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Book 16 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

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I, Witness by Niki Mackay @NikiMackayBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orion_crime #blogtour #IWitness

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for I, Witness by Niki Mackay! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

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Author : Niki Mackay
Title : I, Witness
Series : Madison Attalee #1
Pages : 352
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : April 19, 2018

aboutthebook

They say I’m a murderer.

Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was found holding the body of her best friend; covered in blood, and clutching the knife that killed her.

I plead guilty.

Kate has been in prison ever since, but now her sentence is up. She is being released.

But the truth is, I didn’t do it.

There’s only one person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attalee, the first officer on the scene all those years ago.

But there’s someone out there who doesn’t want Kate digging up the past. Someone who is willing to keep the truth buried at any cost.

mythoughts

Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was sent to prison for the murder of her best friend, Naomi. Despite pleading guilty, Kate says she’s innocent. She returns to her home town, the scene of the crime, and enlists the help of private investigator, Madison Attalee, to find out what really happened that night.

Boy, oh boy, I do so enjoy stories involving dysfunctional families and this one really takes the cake. With family secrets galore and skeletons in various closets, I quickly found myself caught up in a web of deceit and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for a number of characters and all the things they went through.

I took to Madison Attalee right away. Recently divorced and having lost custody of her daughter, everything is pretty much a struggle. But despite the immense load of baggage she’s carrying around on her shoulders, she’s quite a no-nonsense character with a potty mouth, who made me chuckle quite a bit with her self-depricating and dry sense of humour.

The theme of motherhood and bad parenting is woven throughout the story. I sometimes found myself getting increasingly frustrated with some of the characters’ behaviour concerning their children. Ah, the longstanding nature versus nurture debate. That’ll never get old.

I don’t believe in evil people as such. I don’t think it’s born, which means it must be created.

There were quite a few perspectives in this story and part of me feels maybe things would have benefited a bit more from having a few less. That is not to say it wasn’t executed well or broke the flow in any way. It’s more of a personal preference. Nevertheless, all these chapters give an incredible insight into how pretty much everyone is affected by the choices that were made in the past.

I, Witness is incredibly suspenseful and intriguing. The chilling prologue pulled me in right away. It took me a while to figure out how to fit the pieces of the puzzle together but it all led to the most satisfying conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed this first instalment in the Madison Attalee series and I can’t wait to see what kind of case will land in her lap next.

I, Witness is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

I am a writer and a bookworm. I studied Performing Arts at the BRIT School. It turned out I wasn’t very good at acting but quite liked writing scripts. I went on to take a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Drama. I later won a full scholarship for an MA in Journalism.

I love words in many varied forms, and read widely, but my first love is crime-fiction. I am interested in people and what makes them tick: class, prejudice, and feminism. My debut novel ‘I, Witness’ is out on the 19th April 2018 with Orion. It is the first in a series featuring private Investigator Madison Attallee and is set in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Author links : Goodreads | Twitter

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A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay @linwood_barclay @RebeccaGray @orion_crime #mustread #20BooksofSummer

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Author : Linwood Barclay
Title : A Noise Downstairs
Pages : 336
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : July 12, 2018

aboutthebook

EVERY STEP…
Paul Davis forgets things – he gets confused, he has sudden panic attacks. But he wasn’t always like this.

TAKES YOU CLOSER…
Eight months ago, Paul found two dead bodies in the back of a co-worker’s car. He was attacked, left for dead, and has been slowly recovering ever since. His wife tries her best but fears the worst…

TO THE TRUTH…
Therapy helps during the days, but at night he hears things – impossible things – that no one else can. That nobody else believes. Either he’s losing his mind – or someone wants him to think he is.

Just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean it’s not happening…

mythoughts

Oh, what a delightfully devilish tale this is!

I lost track of Linwood Barclay there for a while but I will not be making that mistake again because A Noise Downstairs is an absolutely fantastic stand-alone thriller that will make you paranoid and eye your inanimate objects suspiciously for weeks to come.

Eight months ago, Paul Davis was hit over the head with a shovel when he stumbled upon a co-worker with two dead bodies in his car. Paul’s recovery has been immensely slow. He has panic attacks, gets confused and forgets things. Therapy helps, as does his wife. But when Paul starts hearing a noise downstairs in the middle of the night, nobody believes him. Is he paranoid? Finally losing his mind? Or is something else going on?

Even though I thought I’d figured a wee something out, most likely because I’m immensely suspicious by nature and maybe read too much, when the pieces of the puzzle finally came together, I was completely thrown for a loop.  For once, there actually was a twist I didn’t see coming and the sheer unexpectedness filled me with glee and at the same time left me gobsmacked! It completely changed the storyline from something that could have been predictable to something that blew my little pea-sized brain to bits and turned the whole story upside down.

A Noise Downstairs is one of those books where I kept telling Myself “I’ll just read one more chapter”, which resulted in staying up way too late just so I could finish the novel in one go. The fast-paced and massively clever plot just lends itself to it and it’s impossible to put down!  So intelligently crafted and so brilliantly written. Compelling? Check! Engrossing? Check! Addictive page-turner? Absolutely check!

I’ve read quite a few books by Linwood Barclay over the years but this one is most definitely his best one yet. In stepping away from what he’s done before, A Noise Downstairs feels incredibly refreshing and I can’t wait to see what’s next! Go grab yourself a copy, devour it and enjoy it. You can thank me later. 😉

My thanks to Rebecca Gray at Orion for my review copy!

A Noise Downstairs is available to buy!

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

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Book 7 on my 20 Books of Summer list.

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Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh @SSCav @orion_crime @Tr4cyF3nt0n #blogtour #ThatBookThatHook

Thrilled to bits to have the opportunity to repost my review for Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh today on the blog tour to celebrate the paperback launch! Huge thanks to the publisher and Tracy Fention for the invitation to join!

If you missed it, I bought and enjoyed the ebook back in January which is when this review was originally written. I still stand by every word and Thirteen is still waaaay at the top of my list of books of the year!

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Author : Steve Cavanagh
Title : Thirteen
Series : Eddie Flynn #4
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : January 25, 2018 (ebook) | June 14, 2018 (UK paperback)

aboutthebook

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

mythoughts

The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury.

Okay, seriously? Best tagline ever!!! Ever since I saw it, I had my eye on this book and just like that it shot up my list of most anticipated books of the year. How could it not? How can anyone resist? It’s safe to say my anticipations were incredibly high.

Now, I didn’t know this is actually the fourth book in a series since I’d never heard of Steve Cavanagh before, so I accidentally broke my own rule of never ever starting a series anywhere else but at the beginning. Luckily for me, this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. There’s enough information to get to grips with the character of Eddie Flynn and where he comes from. Yet it’s also intriguing enough to make you want to pick up the previous books. Which I’ve already bought, in case you wondered.

Actor Robert Solomon is charged with the murder of his wife and his security guard. All the evidence points to Robert being guilty as sin but then things start to happen that don’t seem all too coincidental anymore and Eddie Flynn feels there may be something far more sinister going on.

I am a huge fan of legal thrillers and court drama. For the longest time, I got my fix by way of John Grisham. But well, let’s just say, I’ve felt like he’s been losing his touch for quite a while now. Enter Steve Cavanagh and all is well again in my legal thriller world. Especially as Thirteen combines all the things I love in a story. A great hook, crime fiction, fabulous characters, a serial killer and a bunch of murders, lawyers and their shenanigans, involving the FBI … I could go on.

This original premise makes for one insanely gripping and addictive tale. Not only is the court case fabulously compelling but the serial killer is one of the most fascinating and intriguing characters I’ve ever met. He’s meticulous, organised, adapts easily to various circumstances. Quite frankly, a bit of a genius, but in the psycho kind of way. And as for our main character, Eddie Flynn, I warmed to him from the start.

What more can I say? I absolutely loved this one and I can’t recommend it enough. Another one to add to my list of top books of the year and I can’t wait to get stuck into the other books in this series.

Thirteen is available to buy! Run! Don’t walk!

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

abouttheauthor

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases. Selected for the Amazon Rising Stars programme 2015. ACES award winner 2015 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Defence is his debut novel.

Author link : Twitter

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The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton #MustRead

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Author : Sharon Bolton
Title : The Craftsman
Pages : 432
Publisher :  Trapeze Books / Orion
Publication date : May 3, 2018

aboutthebook

August, 1999
On the hottest day of the year, Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, the convicted murderer she arrested thirty years earlier. A master carpenter and funeral director, Larry imprisoned his victims, alive, in the caskets he made himself. Clay effigies found entombed with their bodies suggested a motive beyond the worst human depravity.

June, 1969
13-year- old Patsy Wood has been missing for two days, the third teenager to disappear in as many months. New to the Lancashire police force and struggling to fit in, WPC Lovelady is sent to investigate an unlikely report from school children claiming to have heard a voice calling for help. A voice from deep within a recent grave.

August, 1999
As she tries to lay her ghosts to rest, Florence is drawn back to the Glassbrooks’ old house, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where she once lodged with the family. She is chilled by the discovery of another effigy – one bearing a remarkable resemblance to herself. Is the killer still at large? Is Florence once again in terrible danger? Or, this time, could the fate in store be worse than even her darkest imaginings?

mythoughts

Drop everything and pick up a copy of this one right now! You can thank me later!

Sharon Bolton has been on my list of go-to authors for as long as I can remember. As a massive fan of her work, The Craftsman was one of my most anticipated books of the year. So much so that I pre-ordered it the second that was possible, without even knowing what it would be about. Would the unthinkable happen and would I be left disappointed? Ha! Of course not!

The proof that I’d be hooked as always was right there on the first page. It is a rare feat to find yourself so utterly gripped by just the author’s foreword alone. It even took me a second to realise this wasn’t actually part of the story.

I read this one a bit slower than I normally read. Even when it seems there’s very little happening, Sharon Bolton’s writing is so intensely captivating that it has me focusing on every single word, soaking it all up, enjoying it to the fullest. Sometimes even taking the time to read a sentence twice because it’s just that good!

I read The Craftsman together with Janel at Keeper of Pages. This is the perfect choice for a buddy read. We came up with theories like crazy. Some so ridiculously far removed from what actually happened, it was almost embarrassing. Sharon Bolton definitely kept us guessing until the very end. And what an ending it is too! I stayed up way past my bed time to finish this and was left gasping and reeling.

Set in the 1960’s and 1990’s, this story flows effortlessly and seamlessly between the two timelines, oozing atmosphere all the time. I was so utterly engrossed, it almost felt as if the author had put a spell on me. The Craftsman is incredibly well-plotted, surprising, intriguing and impossible to put down. It is original, creepy, chilling and immensely addictive.

This review has been such a struggle. I’ve been messing around with it for weeks and I’m not at all happy with it but I just can’t find the words to say how much I loved it. You will undoubtedly be seeing this title when I compile my “books of the year” list in December and it’s fair to say that no matter where Sharon Bolton goes, I will follow. Not in the stalker kind of way. This is an author who should be on everyone’s go-to list and bookshelves.

So I’m sure you have no problems imagining my sheer delight and excitement when I realised this is actually the first book in a trilogy! I absolutely can’t wait for The Cunning Wife to arrive! Is it May yet? How about now?

The Craftsman is available to buy!

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

Hangman by Daniel Cole @Daniel_P_Cole @TrapezeBooks

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Author : Daniel Cole
Title : Hangman
Series : Detective William Fawkes #2
Pages : 304
Publisher : Trapeze / Orion Publishing
Publication date : February 8, 2018

aboutthebook

How do you catch a killer who’s already dead?

Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind remain.

DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting with US Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA. There, she is presented with photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly on the other side of the world, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest.

As the media pressure intensifies, Baxter is ordered to assist with the investigation and attend the scene of another murder to discover the same word scrawled across the victim, carved across the corpse of the killer – PUPPET.

As the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, the team helplessly play catch up. Their only hope: to work out who the ‘BAIT’ is intended for, how the ‘PUPPETS’ are chosen but, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings.

mythoughts

Hangman is the second book in the Detective William Fawkes series, although that’s slightly misleading as it’s not exactly been a well-kept secret that *gaps*, he’s not actually in it. Shock, horror! Still, don’t let that put you off as Hangman is brilliant and you really don’t want to miss out, do you? No, you don’t.

It’s been eighteen months since events in the previous book, Ragdoll. Which I’m sure you’ve all read by now. If not, for crying out loud get your act together! Personally, I don’t feel you should treat Hangman as a stand-alone. Especially not as it’s obvious from notes at the back of the book, that this was meant to be a trilogy and you want all the information available, right? Yes? Good.

In that time, there’s been a spate of copycat killers. The latest one has happened on the other side of the Atlantic and DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting involving US Special Agents Curtis of the FBI and Rouche of the CIA. There are two victims. Both have words carved into their chest. One has “bait”, the other “puppet”. As the bodies start to pile up, the race is on to figure out who’s pulling the strings.

There’s something I quite like about investigations taking place on two different continents, involving various different law enforcement agencies. Things aren’t always done the same way and often there’s that level of competition even though everyone is working towards the same goals. On top of that, Emily Baxter doesn’t exactly play well with others.

I really liked Emily in this story, though. More so than in the previous book. She still has the scars, physically and mentally, from the Ragdoll case and has some serious trust issues. Obviously she carries quite a lot of baggage around with her but she’s fierce, determined and makes some fantastic retorts. The stand-out character for me though was most definitely Damien Rouche. I absolutely loved him. He’s a bit odd, quirky if you like, but incredibly relaxed. Despite a heartbreaking background story, he made me laugh on numerous occasions.

Set in two major cities, London and New York, this dark and disturbing tale was a thrill a minute. Stuffed full of action, it had me utterly absorbed and glued to the pages. Sometimes a tad gruesome, sometimes even pulling at my heartstrings and yet somehow infused with humour. It doesn’t seem like it would work but it actually does and I wholeheartedly approve of funny banter or one-liners bringing some relief.

Hangman is an incredibly gripping and compelling book that I just couldn’t put down. Second books are always so tricky but I must say that I enjoyed this one even more than Ragdoll and I can’t wait for the third instalment in this series and see where Daniel Cole takes the team, and the reader, next. Exciting times are ahead, I’m sure!

Hangman is available for purchase!

My thanks to the publisher for my review copy!

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

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh @SSCav @orion_crime #Thirteen

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Author : Steve Cavanagh
Title : Thirteen
Series : Eddie Flynn #4
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : January 25, 2018 (ebook)

aboutthebook

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

mythoughts

The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury.

Okay, seriously? Best tagline ever!!! Ever since I saw it, I had my eye on this book and just like that it shot up my list of most anticipated books of the year. How could it not? How can anyone resist? It’s safe to say my anticipations were incredibly high.

Now, I didn’t know this is actually the fourth book in a series since I’d never heard of Steve Cavanagh before, so I accidentally broke my own rule of never ever starting a series anywhere else but at the beginning. Luckily for me, this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. There’s enough information to get to grips with the character of Eddie Flynn and where he comes from. Yet it’s also intriguing enough to make you want to pick up the previous books. Which I’ve already bought, in case you wondered.

Actor Robert Solomon is charged with the murder of his wife and his security guard. All the evidence points to Robert being guilty as sin but then things start to happen that don’t seem all too coincidental anymore and Eddie Flynn feels there may be something far more sinister going on.

I am a huge fan of legal thrillers and court drama. For the longest time, I got my fix by way of John Grisham. But well, let’s just say, I’ve felt like he’s been losing his touch for quite a while now. Enter Steve Cavanagh and all is well again in my legal thriller world. Especially as Thirteen combines all the things I love in a story. A great hook, crime fiction, fabulous characters, a serial killer and a bunch of murders, lawyers and their shenanigans, involving the FBI … I could go on.

This original premise makes for one insanely gripping and addictive tale. Not only is the court case fabulously compelling but the serial killer is one of the most fascinating and intriguing characters I’ve ever met. He’s meticulous, organised, adapts easily to various circumstances. Quite frankly, a bit of a genius, but in the psycho kind of way. And as for our main character, Eddie Flynn, I warmed to him from the start.

What more can I say? I absolutely loved this one and I can’t recommend it enough. Another one to add to my list of top books of the year and I can’t wait to get stuck into the other books in this series.

Thirteen is now available as an ebook.

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

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

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3*

aboutthebook

Two sisters and one betrayal that will carry across generations.

In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begin – the story of Adele and Amelia, and the heartbreaking betrayal that will divide them forever. Decades later, the efforts of one reckless act still echo – but how long will it be until their past returns?

mythoughts

The Returning Tide is a heartbreaking story about love, loss, betrayal and regrets.

Twin sisters Amelia and Adele have always been close. Until one day, one of the sisters commits the ultimate betrayal.

And that is probably the shortest breakdown about a book, ever! But I can’t say much more because it would give the entire plot away.

This is an emotional read and while the sisters and their story may be fiction, some key events are actually based on historical research and there’s something really striking about having a place as beautiful as Cornwall connected to something as horrible as a war. It’s clear a lot of research has gone into this book and the author knows what she’s talking about.

Liz Fenwick has a beautifully descriptive writing style which truly captivated me. However, I feel like I would have enjoyed the story far more if it had just been from Adele’s point of view, past and present. I didn’t really have a need for Lara’s chapters, although I do understand the motivation behind them. But I ended up speed-reading those, because I wanted to get back to Adele and the mystery, even if that in itself was somewhat predictable. Overall, while I did enjoy some parts of it, I’m not sure if this was the right book for me.

The Silent Tide was published on March 23rd.

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