A brief summary of some of the books I have read so far this year!
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara
One of the best books I have ever read. Brilliant words, astonishing story, unnerving reality.
Normal by Graeme Cameron
What a book! I never thought I would read a book with the tones of Hannibal Lector again – with a touch of Dexter in places also. It is definitely not for the squeamish – with its witty, very dark humoured remarks. But if that’s what you want from your fiction, this would be right up your street. I felt that the story had a very refreshing and clear focus to it, whilst keeping the reader guessing. Kept me thinking right up until the end.
The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards
I picked this book up last summer on a visit to a local independent bookshop in Ironbridge. With the book being based in Ironbridge and the surrounding Shropshire area, and the book being of my favourite genre – mystery/murder/thriller – it was definitely a must buy.
The book revolves essentially round a small family – a father and son – who find their lives turned upside down. Alongside this, a spate of murders are committed in the local area, which over time appear to be linked to the family.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, from the writing style through to the essence of the story. With chapters taking turns with each characters thoughts, the reader is kept thinking about the ‘who did it?’. Some parts were a little predictable, however, for me, this only added to the believability and authenticity of the story.
Overall, I found this to be a very therapeutic and relaxing read – even though it wasn’t my quickest read, with some lulls in places – I found myself being gently lead through the story by the author. It was definitely a good weekend read choice for myself!
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/out of five.
The Fear by C.L. Taylor
Well I didn’t finish it in one day – but I did finish it within 24 hours. I really did enjoy this book. Each chapter kept me reaching for the next.
I found it to be a story of three women – each with a different background, of a different age, and each with their own voice – but they were united in their experience, their fear, their monster.
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/out of 5.
One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
I wasn’t sure about this genre – young adult – when I first picked this book up. However, after the first appeal of the cover and reading the back I thought I’d give it a whirl.
It is very much based on a stereotypical American high school and it’s students. Fans of Riverdale this would be your bag! With a group of students who get caught up in a mysterious death, the story takes a lot of twists and turns.
The storyline did drag for me in places, but it sure did go out with a banger at the end. The book also touches upon a lot of relevant and important topics for young people, and society as a whole, today – and I massively applaud the manner in which this was done.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys American high school based dramas and stories – generally this is not my preferred genre which is reflected in my verdict.
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/out of five.
The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
I don’t really know where to start. This was not a book which I quickly devoured. It was a book which I wanted to savour. The characters were rich and the story was very engaging. I adored the inclusion of the Pendle Witch Trials, and for someone who had never heard about this before, I found it very interesting. But do not be fooled – the story is very authentic – not all witches and wizards!
For me it was a story of a strong woman, who refused to play by everyone else’s rules.
I will genuinely miss reading this book and I think it will stay with me for at least a few days.
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/out of 5.
The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
A book about a serial killer with a complex history.
I must say I enjoyed this book more than The Girl In The Ice. I found the story clearer and sharper, whilst the characters remained just as superbly strong as the last book. I loved how the start dove straight into the story, as I found Girl In The Ice did linger a little before it hooked me. This has definitely got me eager to read the rest of the series.
Definitely recommend to fans of M.J. Arlidge.
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/out of five.
You by Caroline Kepnes
I really don’t know how I’m going to do this book justice. During reading it I made four pages of notes which is unheard of for me!
Fresh, brutal, cold yet passionate, methodical, intelligent, raw, sinister, dirty, young, clever, twisting – all words which come to mind when I think of this book now. I very much found the main character, Joe, to be a Ted Bundy style manipulator and serial killer. He is repulsive yet approachable as a character, which is always a challenging combination for a reader. On the other hand, Beck’s character is shallow and aspires to a life more grand than the one she was given.
In many ways you could believe that each of their lives should be being lived by the other – Beck the bookseller and Joe the academic – I’m sure both would be more suited to this.
I found the story to be timeless, even with its inclusion of social media, and a true classic. Written in such an original style that the story does cling onto you. The story of a modern serial killer in New York.
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/out of five.
Rattle by Fiona Cummins
I am going to start this review by talking about the end of this book – wow what a twist! This book was packed full of storylines and the way it was all woven together throughout the book was exceptionally beautiful – absolutely beautiful writing.
The main character is very much stereotypical of the genre, with a little added complexity with regards her background. The other characters at the forefront of the story are vivid, real and memorable.
Essentially the book is about a missing child case which takes a very sinister turn. I loved it!
A definite recommendation to anyone who is a fan of the mystery and thriller genre.
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/out of five.
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
I had been looking forward to reading this book for such a long time and it was so worth the wait!
The book starts with a shocker of chapter – where we first encounter Joshua Kane. This character is so well developed and complex – I absolutely loved the unravelling of his history throughout the book, which forms the main story.
I must say I very much enjoyed the whole of this book – characters, storyline, writing – from start to finish. It was fast paced and kept me guessing right until the last page! This is the best legal thriller I have ever read!
Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/out of five. *FAVOURITE BOOK STATUS*