In January I managed to read and review eight books:
The Good People by Hannah Kent (Picador) – My first review of January was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. Set in nineteenth century Ireland and inspired by true events from the time, The Good People is a moving, evocative story of belief, love and devotion. It is a compelling story of three women and their journey to save a child, in a world where the harsh realities of nineteenth century life combine with traditional Irish folklore.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Pan Macmillan) – Uprooted is an enjoyable fantasy story which kept my interest throughout with its intriguing characters and elements of dark magic and fairy tales. It follows the story of Agnieszka, a teenage girl who lives in a peaceful village in the shadow of a mysterious forest. She is awaiting the day her friend is taken from her, by a wizard know as the Dragon, who chooses a girl to serve him in exchange for his protection over the village. But when Agnieszka is chosen instead, she finds herself in a strange and dangerous world.
The Fractured Life of Jimmy Dice by Ronan Ryan (Tinder Press) – This novel begins with the birth of Jimmy Dice and his twin, who unfortunately dies at birth. From this point, the fascinating, tragic life of Jimmy is narrated by his lost twin, who is able to see the workings of Jimmy’s mind – and that of those around him. I really enjoyed reading Jimmy Dice’s story, and with its unusual narrative voice I found it to be a compelling read. It is a story which contains issues that affect us all, alongside those we may not see, but as these events and moments are pieced together Ronan Ryan has provided a fascinating glimpse into an extraordinary life.
Wait For Me, Jack by Addison Jones (Sandstone Press) – Inspired by the longevity of her parents’ marriage, Addison Jones tells the story of a marriage that has stood the test of time. Jack and Milly meet in the 1950’s and we see the pair over sixty years after their marriage as they reflect on life and deal with the challenges associated with growing older. This is a brilliantly observed novel which provides insight into men and women and their attitudes to marriage. And whilst the couple at the centre of this story have been through a lot, their story is told with warmth, and a little humour. I also featured an extract from Wait For Me, Jack as part of the blog tour.
The Eleventh Letter by Tom Tomaszewski (Dodo Ink) – The Eleventh Letter was a complex, surreal story that was an enjoyable read. Events begin in 1986 in Pisa where psychotherapist Chris Katiwa is investigating a murder case. In his Harley Street office in 2010, he find himself in the company of a mysterious woman who discovers tapes featuring interviews from the time in which Chris interviews a young woman named Louise, questioning her involvement in the case. At the time Chris defends her innocence, but as he revisits the past and memories creep to the surface, things appear to not quite be as they first seemed.
Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb (Orenda Books) – Deep Down Dead is an enjoyable, fast paced debut that will appeal to fans of action packed thrillers. In it we meet Lori Anderson, a strong, fearless protagonist – a mother and a bounty hunter. Desperate to raise funds to pay for her ill daughter’s medical bills, she takes on a job which will make her the money she needs, and fast. But when she sees who and what this involves, she realises that this job is going to be particularly difficult as the man she seeks is the one who taught her everything she knows, the one who knows her secrets. And forced to bring daughter Dakota along for the ride, she finds herself in a fast paced, dangerous journey to seek justice, and to keep her daughter safe.
Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent (Penguin Books) – Lying In Wait is a gripping novel filled with suspense and secrets which I found difficult to put down. Liz Nugent has created an impressive psychological thriller which delves deep into the minds of its troubled narrators, and looks at just how far people may go to seek what they desire the most. Lydia is a woman who appears to have it all, but there is something missing from her life to make it complete. In her pursuit of this, Lydia and her husband find themselves involved in the murder of a woman named Annie Doyle, and questions are raised about how Annie became the victim of such a crime. Alternating between the perspectives of three narrators, we delve into the minds of these characters, their emotions, and the secrets they hold.
Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson (Orenda Books) – The fourth in the Dark Iceland series translated by Quentin Bates, this is a haunting, atmospheric thriller. Policeman Ari Thor is investigating a mysterious case from decades ago which has remained unsolved alongside reporter Isrun who is investigating another chilling case. And when a child goes missing in broad daylight, the town is filled with fear and uncertainty. A beautifully written, tense thriller.
You can read full reviews of all of my January reads by clicking the links in the titles above and they can also be found in my January 2017/Book Reviews archives. Also this month, I unboxed the January Fairy Loot subscription box (Mystery and Mischief)
As always, I would like to thank everyone who has read and shared my blog posts this month. I really appreciate the support and hope that you enjoy the blog!