Weekly Wrap-Up (June 16)

Halfway through June and still no sign of Summer. This past week, we had so many thunderstorms I lost count. I have no idea what’s going on but I do not approve.

What’s a girl to do when the weather is crap? Well, in hindsight, I suppose I could have done some ironing. Oops. Instead, I read. There was a bit of a wobble mid-week, when two books made their way onto the DNF pile. One I gave a go twice in the last few months. Seems safe to say it’s not for me. It was one of my 20 Books of Summer too, which means it’ll need replacing.

Anywho! What did I read this week? And did I manage to read more than 3 books this time around? Let’s find out!

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Well, would you look at that!!!! I’m too impressed with myself to say any more than that 😉. Probably all downhill from here again though. 🤣

Spoiler : one of those is currently my book of the year. It’ll take something special to knock if off that number one spot. Yes, you’re allowed to guess. No, there won’t be a reward. 😜

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Karin Slaughter!!!!!!! I couldn’t possibly be more excited! It arrived early too (yesterday instead of Monday/Tuesday) so obviously I’m already reading it. It’s SO GOOD! I’m incredibly annoyed that I have to go and be social today or I would have stayed up all night reading it, instead of going to bed and get some sleep in order to look halfway decent today. (Didn’t work, should have just kept reading 😂)

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Titan Books be spoiling me. A Shroud of Leaves is the second book in a series, which I wasn’t aware of. So naturally, I’m going to have to get the first one first because I just can’t help myself. 🙄

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review of All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride

Tuesday : Posted an extract for my stop on the blog tour for What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for A Modern Family by Helga Flatland and shared my Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Friday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Without A Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Busy, busy. Good thing that reading slump is a tad less hormonal than a few weeks ago 😂

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor

Tuesday : Blog tour | Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry

Thursday : Review | The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor

Friday : Blog tour | Review | The Whisper Man by Alex North

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Want to know something? I have read all of those! I know, right? Go me! I do still have two reviews to write but hey, can’t have everything. Besides, that’s not my fault but Karin Slaughter’s 😉

Personally, I think this entire wrap-up is most impressive. If you’d like to shower me with prizes, I won’t say no. 😂

That’s it for this week. I am now going to spend an insane amount of time staring at my wardrobe, trying to figure out what to wear for this lunch I am forced to attend. There will be wine! I’ll be raising a glass to my granddad, who would have turned 100 years old today, if he had still been with us.

Enough babbling. Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx

Without A Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch | @carissaannlynch @KillerReads | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Without A Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for the review copy!

Author : Carissa Ann Lynch
Title : Without A Trace
Pages : 230
Publisher : Killer Reads
Publication date : June 13, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

A little girl has gone missing.

Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.

Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his “little bunny” back for good?

At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…

Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Nova Nesbitt and her four year old daughter, Lily, arrive in a small town in the middle of nowhere, desperate to escape Nora’s abusive husband. But when Nora checks on her daughter the next morning, the little girl has gone missing. Convinced her husband has already found her and has taken her daughter, Nora calls the police. Officer Ellie James attends the scene. She assumes this is a clear custody battle but after searching the log cabin and interviewing Nora, Ellie starts to wonder if Lily even exists.

This story is told through three women : Nora, the mother; Ellie, the rookie cop; and Clara, the neighbour and owner of the log cabin. Ellie seems pretty straight-forward, but both Nora and Clara come across as rather unreliable, though both for very different reasons. Clara quite obviously has something to hide, a secret she’s desperate to protect. Nora is a nervous wreck, which is understandable considering her daughter has gone missing. Yet, just like Ellie, I couldn’t help but feel there was something a tad off about her.

This well-paced and quickie read has some surprises in store. If at any point I thought this would turn out into something a bit predictable, I was quickly proven wrong. I couldn’t at all figure out if Lily was real or not. If she was, what had happened to her? If she wasn’t, what on earth was going on?

Apart from maybe one or two characters, the men in this story don’t exactly make a good impression. Ellie faces a daily struggle with her colleagues, especially after an incident involving a senior male officer. But more than that, this story deals with domestic abuse in all its ugly forms and the resilience, strength and determination of the women trying to make a change in their lives.

Without A Trace took me by surprise. It is a tense and gripping story, with quite the chilling undertone to it. It’s a story that will have you rooting for the women, while flipping the pages faster and faster to reach the conclusion. I had no idea where things would end up and the author kept me guessing until the end. Without A Trace is a twisty and suspenseful book that will keep you on your toes.

Without A Trace is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Carissa Ann Lynch resides in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with her husband, three children, and a massive collection of books. She has a degree in psychology and worked as a counsellor. 

Sister Of Mine by Laurie Petrou | @lauriepetrou @noexitpress | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Laurie Petrou
Title : Sister of Mine
Pages : 250
Publisher : No Exit Press
Publication date : June 20, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Penny and Hattie are sisters in a small town, bound tight to the point of knots. They share a secret they cannot escape, even while it pulls them apart. 

One night, a match is lit, and Penny’s terrible husband is killed – a marriage going up in flames, and offering the potential of a new life. The sisters retreat into their family home – a house of secrets and memories – and try to live in the shadow of what they put in motion. But Penny’s husband is not the only thing they are hiding, from the outside world and from each other.

Under a cloud of long-held resentments, sibling rivalry, and debts unpaid, the bonds of sisterhood begin to crack. How long will Penny and Hattie demand the unthinkable of each other? How often will they say, “You owe me,” and when will it ever be enough? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

There is always something quite fascinating about the relationship between sisters, for some reason. However, the relationship between Penny and Hattie is a tad on the dysfunctional side.

The two sisters have always found themselves on the outside of the small community where they’ve lived their entire lives. As a teenager, Hattie makes a break for freedom but young love and the lure of her hometown soon bring her back home. After Hattie’s husband dies in a fire, the sisters retreat to their family home and try to live with a massive secret. Sibling rivalry is a dangerous thing, however, and cracks start to appear in their relationship.

Sister of Mine makes for some compulsive reading. While relatively on the slow side, I found myself glued to the pages; wondering what would happen, all the while feeling it couldn’t be anything good. These two characters don’t exactly come across as particularly likeable. Is one a good sister and the other a bad one? Are they both bad? I had a heck of a time trying to decide. Yet, having a younger sister of my own, there were some moments I could absolutely relate to.

There’s a rather great sense of claustrophobia throughout this novel. It’s not only brought on by the small town feeling, where everybody seems to know your business, and no matter how hard you try there doesn’t seem to be any escape. It’s also in the relationship between the sisters themselves. This secret they both keep is an explosive one. One that could change their lives if it ever came out. If you’re not entirely sure the other person will keep their mouth shut, there’s little you can do but constantly keep an eye on them, ultimately putting your own life on hold.

Sister of Mine is a tense and character-driven psychological thriller that really brings to the fore how thin the line between love and hate can be. There are no dazzling twists or shocking surprises but there didn’t need to be. This dark story is all about the complex characters and how far they will go to test the bond between them and this gripping tale of sisterhood will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the domestic family genre.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Author, Professor, PhD, drinker of tea.

Most of my adventures take place inside books. I am, I think, part Hobbit: I love my books, my armchair, my garden… but I am not at all stealth (was once described as a Clydesdale for the way I clomp around the house).

 My 2nd book, Sister of Mine, won the inaugural Half the World Award, and was on a number of Best Of lists, including the Top 100 Books of 2018 of the Globe and Mail (2nd time running). 

This Week in Books (June 12)

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 |

I disappeared on a Tuesday afternoon. I was there one minute and the next I was gone. They’ve never found my body…

It’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.

Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.

When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.

But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside.

But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read.

In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past.

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when the queen’s spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a dangerous world of zealots, charlatans and fanatics. As their own lives become increasingly at risk, they find themselves confronting the greatest treason of all: the spectre of a bloody war between the faiths…

From a psychological thriller to true crime to historical fiction. You won’t be seeing that often 😄

What are you reading this week? Do let me know! I feel like buying some books so I need suggestions 😉. Happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (June 5)

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 |

Penny and Hattie are sisters in a small town, bound tight to the point of knots. They share a secret they cannot escape, even while it pulls them apart.

One night, a match is lit, and Penny’s terrible husband is killed – a marriage going up in flames, and offering the potential of a new life. The sisters retreat into their family home – a house of secrets and memories – and try to live in the shadow of what they put in motion. But Penny’s husband is not the only thing they are hiding, from the outside world and from each other.

Under a cloud of long-held resentments, sibling rivalry, and debts unpaid, the bonds of sisterhood begin to crack. How long will Penny and Hattie demand the unthinkable of each other? How often will they say, “You owe me,” and when will it ever be enough? 

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

We all know them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our neck. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . . 

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

When Liv, Ellen, and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s 70th birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce. Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.

For those who follow my Sunday wrap-up posts and are keeping track of my reading, I would like to point out that I am currently reading my third book of the week. If you have any bets going on how many books I’ll read this week, now might be the time to have a think on wether or not I’ll get to four (or higher) by the weekend 😉😂

Anything here you’ve read and loved? Anything you’d like to read? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Someone is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst | @JennyBlackhurst @headlinepg @annecater | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #bookreview

Delighted to join the blog tour for Someone is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for the review copy!

Author : Jenny Blackhurst
Title : Someone is Lying
Pages : 318
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 31, 2019 (ebook)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

One year after Erica Spencer trips and falls down a flight of stairs at a lavish Halloween party, the residents of the exclusive gated community where she lived have comes to terms with her death and moved on with their lives.

Until one day, a post on the school’s website announces there will be a podcast to expose what really happened on the night of the accident. Six suspects are named, with the podcaster promising to reveal the murderer by the end of the series.

Everyone in this community has secrets to keep, and one of them is already a killer…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Jenny Blackhurst’s books are always such a treat and I was so excited when Someone Is Lying landed on my doorstep that I threw my entire schedule out of the window so I could start reading this one immediately. It’s a good thing I had no plans for my afternoon because from the very first page I was absolutely hooked and there was no way I was going to put this one down for something pesky like getting dinner on the table.

One year ago, Erica Spencer was found dead at the bottom of a treehouse during a Halloween party. The residents of the community where she lived have tried to put the whole thing behind them and have moved on with their lives. Until a podcast is announced, one that will dig deep into the lives of the community residents and reveal what really happened to Erica and who was responsible. There’s a killer hiding in the middle of this gated community but who is it and why did they feel Erica had to die?

For the most part, I felt Someone Is Lying had a bit of a Desperate Housewives meets Gossip Girl vibe to it, but way more tense and compelling, and I actually quite enjoyed that. This group of characters that seem to get along like a house on fire but when one of them isn’t around, the catty remarks pop up. And then there is someone who’s ready to blow the lid off the whole thing because this seemingly perfect community hides many lies and secrets and for one that is supposedly as close as it proclaims, there’s quite a lot the residents don’t know about each other. I also enjoy this type of setting, a closed neighbourhood, in this case a gated community. You’d think having a short list of suspects would make it easy to predict the outcome but it isn’t and I was quickly proven wrong.

With many different personalities and intriguing characters, I found it impossible to figure out what had truly happened to Erica or why someone was so desperate to have the truth be revealed. Knowing all these characters have something to hide made it rather hard for me to find any of them particularly likeable but that didn’t bother me one bit. It wasn’t necessary to like them and they represent many types I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with. From the pushy mum to the narcissistic mum, the gossips and the pretenders and the always seemingly absent fathers. Those who’ve had the “pleasure” of standing around at the school gates surely recognise the types.

With plenty of surprises, twists and turns, Someone Is Lying is extremely entertaining from the first page to the last. There isn’t only the mystery surrounding Erica’s death to solve. There is also the impact these podcasts have, not just on the adults but also on their children. You can always count on Jenny Blackhurst to deliver a well-paced and thrilling psychological thriller and Someone Is Lying is most definitely that. A delicious and additive page-turner, just like I’ve come to expect from this author.

Someone Is Lying is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Jenny lives in Shropshire where she grew up dreaming that one day she would get paid for making up stories. She is an avid reader and can mostly be found with her head in a book or hunting Pokemon with her son, otherwise you can get her on Twitter @JennyBlackhurst or Facebook. Her favourite film is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, but if her children ask it’s definitely Moana.

Weekly Wrap-Up (May 26)

I know I keep complaining about the weather like some old woman but seriously, what is going on? It doesn’t feel like May at all! One day I’m outside in a short-sleeved t-shirt basking in the sunshine and the next I’m having to turn on the heating.

The reading slump, I’m sad to say, continues. When pulling weeds in the garden sounds more appealing than a book, I know I’m definitely in trouble. So, I watched The Hobbit trilogy. Yes, again. And the behind the scenes footage as well. I’m not even sorry!

Am I getting in trouble with my schedule? Why, yes but also no. There’s nothing quite as stressful as finishing a book the evening before your blog tour stop and writing your review the morning of, though, is there?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Utterly pathetic 😂. The Slaughter / Child collaboration doesn’t even count. It’s only about 85 pages. At least I’ve not missed a tour stop so far. Yet. I was hoping to add another one to that, which is for tomorrow’s blog tour but I’ve not finished it yet 😳

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I really enjoyed Alice Feeney’s previous book so I Know Who You Are was a no-brainer. And I’ve been hearing so many good things about The Dangerous Kind that I just had to buy it.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

One for a blog tour, one a proof copy. With thanks to Michael Joseph and One World Publications.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Nothing

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Breakers by Doug Johnstone

Friday : Forgot what I wanted to post here so didn’t post at all 🤣

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Anyone else missing the days where I posted every day like a mad woman? Just me? Okay then.

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Nothing

Friday : 20 Books of Summer Challenge

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I have a few busier weeks coming up the next few months but not as particularly crazy as I’ve been known to do. Which is good thing because as you can see from Friday’s post, I will be joining in the 20 Books of Summer Challenge again this year and I will, like last year, be reading those 20 books on top of my other commitments. Nothing like living a bit dangerously, especially in the middle of a reading slump 😂

This afternoon, I shall be finishing the book I’m currently reading for tomorrow’s blog tour. And then I’ll probably not be picking up another book for a few days and try not to worry about that or my schedule. But first, it’s civic duty time and voting.

Question of the week : Another easy one for you this week. What is your favourite book so far this year? I’ll even allow you to split your choices up into genres, if need be.

For me, it would be “The Taking of Annie Thorne” and in the historical fiction genre “Finding Dorothy”. Your turn!

That’s it! Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

Breakers by Doug Johnstone | @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #bookreview #RandomThingsTours

Delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Breakers by Doug Johnstone alongside my blog buddy Yvo. Make sure you check out her review too! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Doug Johnstone
Title : Breakers
Pages : 230
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

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.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Every once in a while, it really hits home how hard this reviewing malarkey can be. Especially when you come across a book like Breakers. While I was reading, I already realised there was no way any of the words I could possibly come up with would do this book justice.

Having only read Doug Johnstone’s previous book, Fault Lines, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Breakers but it soon became apparent Johnstone is seemingly somewhat of a chameleon who can seamlessly switch genres. In this case, from a dystopian novel to a psychological thriller. But not just any psychological thriller. This is one with a difference, incredibly original and with an amazing level of depth to it that you don’t always find in this genre.

Seventeen year old Tyler lives in Edinburgh with his mother and his seven year old sister. Life is hard in one of the most depraved areas of this city and Tyler is being bullied by his older half-brother into burgling houses of the more affluent residents. But one night, things go horribly wrong when a homeowner returns home unexpectedly and Tyler’s brother stabs her. Unbeknownst to them, this woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt, and he is not a man to be messed with.

This isn’t an easy story to read. It’s at times massively uncomfortable and immensely sad. Tyler’s circumstances are extremely heartbreaking and I really felt for him and everything he had to deal with on a daily basis. His love for his sister, Bean, and his fierce determination in protecting her and keeping her safe almost brought a tear to my eye. Stuck in this cycle of poverty, addiction and violence, Tyler goes out of his way to somehow create an environment of normalcy for his sister, a routine, all the while doing whatever he can to shield her from the things that are really going on around her.

A little beacon of light comes from a somewhat unlikely source when Tyler meets Flick. Flick is posh, goes to an expensive boarding school and drives a flashy car. She seems to have everything Tyler wants from life but looks can be deceiving. Watching their friendship develop was truly heartwarming. Flick sees Tyler the same way I, as the reader, did. As a young man who is good, who does good, but is also forced to do bad and unable to see a way out.

Breakers is quite dark and gritty. It’s tense and constantly has this sense of impending doom. I kept feeling deep down this couldn’t end well but was utterly unable to see how things would turn out. Tyler is one of those characters you become completely invested in, one you’ll root for all the way. This gripping, compelling, raw, sometimes brutal and utterly thought-provoking novel will make you reel against the injustice, will make you feel helpless, will put your own life into perspective and appreciate what you have. Breakers is a story that will stay with me for quite some time to come and I’m secretly hoping for a follow-up to see what becomes of Tyler and Bean.

Breakers is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh.
He’s had nine novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous
novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime
Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and
bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies
and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow.

He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative
writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors.
He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and
regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald | @FitzHelen @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #bookreview #recommended #RandomThingsTours

Author : Helen Fitzgerald
Title : Worst Case Scenario
Pages : 200
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line.

Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists.

Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Whatever you think this book will be about, set your thoughts aside. This is nothing like I expected and that’s a marvellous thing because Worst Case Scenario is incredibly original, refreshing and just an all-round fabulous surprise.

Just look at this opening line!

Every time Mary tried to relax in the bath, a paedophile ruined it.

Meet Mary Shields, a criminal justice social worker. Mary is awfully moody, menopausal, has a bit of a drinking problem, likes the occasional joint and is just plain fed up with her job and ready for retirement. She is also one of the most fantastic characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and she had me chuckling from the very first page, even when at times it didn’t seem all that appropriate. You know how you sometimes laugh out loud and then quickly cover your mouth with your hand because it feels wrong? Yes, that. Then Liam, a man who spent time in prison for murdering his wife, is released on licence into Mary’s care. How could anything possibly go wrong?

Worst Case Scenario is often witty but also dark and moving. It’s extremely easy to imagine the frustration these social workers go through on a daily basis. With mountains of paperwork, flexitime and criminals that need constant supervision who keep finding ways to break the restrictions that have been put upon them, it’s a small miracle these social workers don’t go absolutely insane. Heck, I’d be drinking!

I’m trying to keep this vague because you should experience Mary’s turmoil for yourself. There are some tough topics along the way, all too realistic and believable and ultimately also thought-provoking. While part of me kept thinking there was no way things could possibly end well, shit hits the fan in a way I couldn’t have predicted at all. But I loved everything about it. I was quite sad to see my journey with Mary coming to an end and I’m secretly hoping she will be back some day.

I knew I’d enjoy this one, because Orenda Books never lets me down, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I’d absolutely love it. Gripping, addictive, impossible to put down and with an incredible female protagonist you can’t help but root for, Worst Case Scenario is responsible for one of the best afternoons I’ve ever had. As such, this moves straight onto my list of books of the year. A list which Orenda Books may just end up dominating at this rate. Highly recommend you check this one out!

Worst Case Scenario is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Helen FitzGerald is the second youngest of thirteen children. She grew up in the small town of Kilmore, Victoria, Australia, and studied English and History at the University of Melbourne. Via India and London, Helen came to Glasgow University where she completed a Diploma and Masters in Social Work.

She works part time as a criminal justice social worker in Glasgow. She’s married to screenwriter Sergio Casci, and they have two children. 

Weekly Wrap-Up (May 19)

*insert long rant about how crappy this week has been here*

Thank you for all the well-wishes on twitter. I’m fine. There is just a whole lot of family shit going on, which came at me like a speeding train and I felt completely overwhelmed by everything. On top of that, I seem to have landed myself in a reading slump and I’m suffering from a crisis in confidence, partly brought on by being the only blogger who wasn’t thanked by an author for her review on a blog tour. I know I shouldn’t let that get to me but man, it’s hard not to take that personally. (Thank you, shallow tribe! You know why! 😘)

Luckily, Line of Duty came to the rescue. I binge-watched all 5 seasons and am all caught up, ready for more! What a brilliant show. I can’t believe it passed me by all this time. It’s extremely impressive how a show where lots of scenes are just played out around a table can be so bloody thrilling!

Those wonderful days were quickly followed by picking up numerous books, reading a few pages and putting them back on my shelf. Nothing, absolutely nothing was grabbing me. No reading for me today as I have company and for once I’m actually glad about that. But tomorrow, I’m going to have to force myself to read a book for a blog tour and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried.

So, what did I read this week?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

I don’t even care. I’m okay with this. That could easily have said just the one book, which I needed to read for a tour.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Adding some more books to my Harlan Coben collection. These have the most wonderful colourful spines and look so pretty on my bookshelf. Little Darlings was one I’ve been waiting for and should hopefully get around to reading soon. (That’s actually one I picked up and put back after 10 pages 😳) The other one, I don’t have a clue where I saw it or why I wanted to buy it, but since I wrote it down I must have had a reason so here it is. 😂

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Courtesy of Avon and Orenda, both for blog tours.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for Tell Me Where You Are by Moira Forsyth

Friday : Shared my review for Anna of Kleve by Alison Weir

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Nailed it 🤣

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Nothing planned

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | Breakers by Doug Johnstone

Friday : There may be something but probably not

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Note to self : This is good. We like this. Try and keep it up. Even if we still have to read the one for Thursday 🙄

Fun little question this week because I’m curious as heck about the answers that’ll pop up. Brought on by little old me saying she’d never read a Michael Connelly book before Dark Sacred Night.

Name an author (or two) whose books you’ve never read. If any of you say Karin Slaughter, I might just hurt you! 😂

My answer would be : Lee Child. It’s a name I see mentioned quite a lot, yet somehow it’s not one that’s made its way onto my bookshelves. Have you read any of his books? Am I missing out something extraordinary?

That’s it for this week’s wrap-up. Wishing you all a fabulous week, preferably with sunshine (not looking good here). Until next time. Happy reading! xx