Well, during my hiatus from the blog I also wasn’t reading much, but the books were still arriving. So tragically the TBR has rocketed up by a horrifying 15 to 205! In my defence the vast majority of the new arrivals were unsolicited books sent by publishers, so I don’t feel I can be held wholly responsible, m’lud…
Nose to the grindstone again then – must get back under that 200 mark asap! Here’s a few that I should be reading soon…
Winner of the People’s Choice Poll
Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson
Gosh, it was a close vote this month! Three of them were neck and neck most of the way through, with only The Sea languishing behind. But in the end, the winner pulled ahead by a margin of just a couple of votes. An excellent choice, People – I should be reading this one in October, theoretically, though I’m so far behind it may drift a little.
The Blurb says: On the shores of a tranquil fjord in Northern Iceland, a man is brutally beaten to death on a bright summer’s night. As the 24-hour light of the arctic summer is transformed into darkness by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption, a young reporter leaves Reykajvik to investigate on her own, unaware that an innocent person’s life hangs in the balance. Ari Thór Arason and his colleagues on the tiny police force in Siglufjörður struggle with an increasingly perplexing case, while their own serious personal problems push them to the limit. What secrets does the dead man harbour, and what is the young reporter hiding? As silent, unspoken horrors from the past threaten them all, and the darkness deepens, it’s a race against time to find the killer before someone else dies …
Dark, terrifying and complex, Blackout is an exceptional, atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland’s finest crime writers.
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Midsummer Mysteries by Agatha Christie
Courtesy of HarperCollins. This is a gorgeous hardback edition of a new collection of some of Christie’s short stories, all set in summer. Glancing at the index, I’ve read several of them before but there are a few titles that don’t ring a bell, and anyway I can re-read Ms Christie endlessly…
The Blurb says: An all-new collection of summer-themed mysteries from the master of the genre, just in time for the holiday season. [FF says: Not really all-new – I think they mean these stories haven’t been put together as a collection before, but they’ve certainly all appeared before in other collections.]
Summertime – as the temperature rises, so does the potential for evil. From Cornwall to the French Riviera, whether against a background of Delphic temples or English country houses, Agatha Christie’s most famous characters solve even the most devilish of conundrums as the summer sun beats down. Pull up a deckchair and enjoy plot twists and red herrings galore from the bestselling fiction writer of all time.
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I, The Jury by Mickey Spillane
One from my Classics Club list. I read and enjoyed a few Spillanes many decades ago, so I’m hoping the old magic will still work. He wrote one of my favourite lines in all crime fiction, describing one of his femmes fatales – “She walked towards me, her hips waving a happy hello.” Doesn’t that just conjure up a wonderful image?
The Blurb says: When Jack Williams is discovered shot dead, the investigating cop Pat Chambers calls his acquaintance, and Jack’s closest friend, PI Mike Hammer. Back when they fought in the Marines together, Jack took a Japanese bayonet, losing his arm, to save Hammer. Hammer vows to identify the killer ahead of the police, and to exact fatal revenge. His starting point is the list of guests at a party at Jack’s apartment the night he died: Jack’s fiancée, a recovering dope addict, a beautiful psychiatrist, twin socialite sisters, a college student and a mobster.
But as he tracks them down, so too does the killer, and soon it’s not only Jack who is dead . . .
And now Hammer is firmly in the killer’s sights.
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Worst Idea Ever by Jane Fallon
Courtesy of Penguin Michael Joseph UK via NetGalley. Another in my attempt to read more new releases, I picked this because I’ve heard a lot of praise for this author around the blogosphere over the years. I can only hope the style of writing will be rather more literate than the style of the blurb – a true contender for Worst Blurb of the Millennium. FF muses: Do young people not get taught about paragraphs any more? 👵
The Blurb says: Best friends tell each other everything.
Or do they?
Georgia and Lydia are so close they’re practically sisters.
So when Lydia starts an online business that struggles, Georgia wants to help her – but she also understands Lydia’s not the kind to accept a handout.
Setting up a fake Twitter account, Georgia hopes to give her friend some anonymous moral support by posing as a potential customer.
But then Lydia starts confiding in her new internet buddy and Georgia discovers she doesn’t know her quite as well as she thought.
Georgia knows she should reveal herself, but she’s fascinated by this insight into her friend’s true feelings.
Especially when Lydia starts talking about her.
Until Lydia reveals a secret that could not only end their friendship but also blow up Georgia’s marriage.
Georgia’s in too deep.
But what can she save?
Her marriage, her friendship – or just herself?
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Nada by Carmen Laforet
One for my Spanish Civil War challenge. This isn’t specifically about the war itself though – it is set a few years later, during Franco’s early regime, but it shows up regularly on SCW book lists and is considered a classic.
The Blurb says: Eighteen-year old orphan Andrea moves to battle-scarred Barcelona to take up a scholarship at the university. But staying with relatives in their crumbling apartment, her dreams of independence are dashed among the eccentric collection of misfits who surround her, not least her uncle Roman. As Andrea’s university friend, the affluent, elegant Ena, enters into a strange relationship with Roman, Andrea can’t help but wonder what future lies ahead for her in such a bizarre and disturbing world.
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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.
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