Top Ten Reads of 2019

It’s that time of the year again and we’re nearly into a new decade. It’s crazy isn’t it? New Year’s Eve 2009 only feels like yesterday to me.

Over the last twelve months, these ten reads have really stayed with me, long after I’ve finished reading them, which is why they are included here. This year, so far, I’ve read 131 books, and it has been really hard to pick my top ten.

So without any further ado, here are my top 10 reads of 2019.

10.

The Guilty Party by Mel McGrath.

The Guilty Party: Dive into a dark, gripping and shocking psychological thriller from bestselling author Mel McGrath by [McGrath, Mel]

This is the second book I’ve read by Mel McGrath and I felt it was a masterclass in plotting and suspense. I had no doubt at the time I read it, that it would be in my top ten reads this year. You can read my review by clicking here.

9.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it didn’t disappoint. Alex North created such a chilling atmosphere in this book. You can read my review by clicking here.

8.

A Window Breaks by C.M. Ewan

A Window Breaks: A family is pushed to breaking point in this addictive, pulse-racing, emotionally-charged thriller by [Ewan, C. M.]

This was a fast and furious read that literally had me turning the pages well into the night. You can read my review by clicking here.

7.

Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen

This was one of the most unique thriller’s I’ve read this year which is why it thoroughly deserves a place in my top ten. You can read my review by clicking here.

6.

Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear

Stone Cold Heart: the addictive new thriller from the author of Sweet Little Lies by [Frear, Caz]

I was eagerly anticipating the return of Caz Frear’s detective, Cat Kinsella. Caz’s writing is so addictive and I finished it in just a couple of days. Read my review by clicking here.

5.

Violet by SJI Holliday

Violet by [Holliday, SJI]

This was another book I found to be really original. SJI Holliday takes us across Asia in her latest book and both the settings and the characters, to me, is what made this book stand out. You can read my review by clicking here.

4.

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

Nothing Important Happened Today by [Carver, Will]

There isn’t a writer out there, who I have come across, who writes quite like Will Carver. Whatever Will Carver publishes next, I know it’s always going to be straight at the top of my list. You can read my review by clicking here.

3.

The Neighbour proves that Fiona Cummins is a writer at the top of her game. This is her best book to date. You can read my full review by clicking here.

2.

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

This was an absolutely terrific debut which takes us back to a dark time in Britain’s and the world’s history. You can read my full review by clicking here.

1.

Breakers by Doug Johnstone

Breakers by [Johnstone, Doug]

This is a read that will really pull at the heartstrings and it made me feel so tense as I was reading this. This book has remained my favourite read of the year. You can read my review by clicking here.

 

And that’s a wrap for another year.

I hope you have a great Christmas and a great 2020 filled with brilliant books!

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver #bookreview blog tour @will_carver @OrendaBooks @annecater

It’s my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour today for Will Carver’s, Nothing Important Happened Today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.

How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

MY THOUGHTS

Will Carver is a writer, unlike any writer I have read before. Last year I read Good Samaritans, and it was my top read of 2018. I couldn’t stop talking about it and recommending it. And Will Carver has pulled it off again with Nothing Important Happened Today. Although I found it a little slower paced than his previous book, it was still very intriguing, and the voice of the narrative made it really gripping. It is a very unique book that you won’t be forgetting about any time soon after you read it.

This book also sees the return of Detective Sergeant Pace who featured in Good Samaritans. The police are investigating nine suicides. Nine people have thrown themselves off Chelsea Bridge. They are called ‘The Chosen Ones.’ The morning of their suicide, they each received a letter with four words written on it, nothing important happened today. But what compelled them all, nine strangers, to meet at the same place, at the same time and throw themselves off a bridge? Are they members of a cult? Who is behind sending the letters out to the individuals? It soon becomes clear that this won’t be the last time such an event happens.

Will Carver does have a very dark mind. I thought this when I read his last book, but the darkness is turned up a notch in his latest. As the story gets going, I wanted to know what was going on in the background and why the nine strangers all decided, on the same day, to commit suicide. It almost seemed as though they had been programmed to do it. I wanted to know who was behind the letters. Will Carver cleverly brings this together at the end in a nail-biting finale. I could never quite pinpoint who I thought was responsible for what was happening, and when it finally dawned on me who it was, it was a mind-blowing moment.

Although there was very little dialogue in this book, I found the narrative so strong. We don’t get to spend an awful lot of time with the victims, but when Will Carver does allow us a peek into their lives, I felt as though I really connected to them. I couldn’t understand why they were planning to kill themselves, and this was what made me even keener to find out who was behind this. I wanted to know how they had come to be in this position in the first place.

Will Carver writes very unique books. He tackles some uncomfortable and sometimes distressing subjects, but his writing is utterly addictive and he makes his books so fascinating.

Nothing Important Happened Today is a book about how a person’s mind can easily be manipulated, and it makes it quite scary to see how this can happen.

Very dark, unsettling but very intriguing.  You won’t find another writer out there who writes like Will Carver.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 14th November 2019

Print length: 276 pages

If you would like to purchase Nothing Important Happened Today, you can do by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

nothing happened poster 2019

December @1stMondayCrime Mick Herron, Erin Kelly, John Marley, Will Carver and Kevin Wignall

Some people may already be fed up with thoughts of Christmas. Shops round by me have had Christmas trees up since October 1st. Now as much as I love Christmas, that for me is far too early. But with Christmas being just around the corner, also brings excitement as it means the First Monday Crime Christmas special is just a week away. Last year’s Christmas special was so much fun and this one promises to be a belter, and there are five brilliant authors attending. So let’s have a look at who is coming along and I’ll be sharing all the details about where you can reserve your FREE space below.

ERIN KELLY

First up we have Erin Kelly, who’s latest novel is He Said She Said, a tense, unpredictable court room drama that I thoroughly enjoyed. She has a new novel coming out next year called Stone Mothers, and I have already heard brilliant things about it, so I can’t wait to read her next book.

MICK HERRON

Mick Herron’s spy series, which began with Slow Horses, has won lots of critical acclaim from top authors and reviewers. This is a series that I have had my eye on for a while now, I really must get round to reading these books. The latest book in the series is called The Drop.

JOHN MARLEY

John Marley’s latest book is Godsend which is the sequel to his previous novel Standstill, both of his books feature Danny Felix who has just pulled off the robbery of his life which almost brought London to a standstill. John’s books definitely sound intriguing.

And finally we have Will Carver, who’s brilliant new novel, Good Samaritans was published by Orenda Books in November this year, which I have to say, is one of the most original crime novels I’ve read. He is also the author of the bestselling January David series, which I have added to my ever expanding TBR pile after reading his latest book.

Doesn’t the panel look great? The panel is also being moderated by author Kevin Wignall. If you’re interested in coming along, First Monday Crime is taking place on Monday, 3rd December 2018 from 6.30 p.m. at City University, London. The nearest tube stations are Farringdon and Angel. And like last year, there is a special event taken place Christmas Blind Book Date featuring: Susi Holliday, Katerina Diamond, Claire Seeber, Steph Broadribb, Angela Clarke, J.S. Law, Chris Whitaker, Paul Burston, Simon Booker and Kevin Wignall. I hope to see you there.

You can click HERE to reserve your FREE space.

#GoodSamaritans by Will Carver blog tour #bookreview @will_carver @OrendaBooks #SixBottlesOfBleach

image (1)

BLURB

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

MY THOUGHTS

Why have I not come across Will Carver’s name before??? Good Samaritans is one of the most original, and captivating crime novels I’ve read this year, I did not expect to fly through it as quickly as I did. I think perhaps, that this, for me, is my top read of the year. It is an absolutely cracking thriller that had me hooked! It is smart, edgy and full of surprises and very, very dark.

When we think of The Samaritans, we think of kind hearted, helpful people, who go out of their way to make a difference in someone’s life. This is the idea that Will Carver explores in this book, when a young, distressed woman, Hadley Serf, calls The Samaritans, and a crossed line means she ends up talking to someone else, Seth, who is unhappy in his marriage to his wife, Maeve. When Hadley enters his radar, his world begins to change. What follows on from here is an intense, mind-blowing read that will have you turning those pages in record time.

If you are looking for a fast paced novel, you need look no further than this book. There are short, snappy chapters, and we are introduced to five different characters that are all linked in some way. One character who I was rooting for throughout the book, was Detective Sergeant Pace, we don’t learn quite as much about him as we do the other characters, but I really wanted him to get to the bottom of what was going on, and as the plot began to unfold, I wanted him to get to the right answers in time, especially when the shocking truth emerged.

This book also showcases a unique style of writing which really sets Will Carver apart. There was always something interesting happening on each page, giving us new insights into each of the characters, and I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to them and who the culprit behind the disturbing murders was. There are some explicit and quite graphic scenes, so I would say that this book may not be for everyone, but it is for you if you like your crime fiction dark and gritty.

I will be recommending this book to everyone I know who loves crime fiction. I think all I can say now is buy it, you won’t be disappointed. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 27th September 2018

Print length; 320 pages

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Final Good Samaritans BT Poster