THE BOOKS I READ IN 2017

I read 57 books during 2017 after having given myself a target of 24, sometimes things work out like that. The link below will take you to a PDF of my full list. The book covers below are those books I have written about in this blog.

Top rated books:

I Let You Go, Clare McIntosh; The Nature of the Beast and A Great Reckoning, Louise Penny; The Mother, Yvette Edwards; The Childfinder, Rene Denfield; Lillian BoxfishTakes a Walk, Kathleen Rooney; The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter; Hortense and the Shadow, Natalia O’Hara;

Val McDermid was my most read author with four books and consistent high ratings:

Out of Bound; The Last Temptation; Wire in the Blood; Crack Down

Genres: Crime Fiction; Poetry; Children’s Fiction; Literary/General Fiction

2017 books

 

 

Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes

Hell Bay will be published in hardback and kindle on January 25 by Simon & Schuster

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Description

Hell Bay is the first book in a new series of thrillers featuring Ben Kito, 34, an ex-Met DI who has returned to his native Scilly Isles.

Review

Ben, a DI in the Met, travels home to the Isles of Scilly to reconsider his resignation after the death of his police partner for which he feels responsible. Soon after his arrival on Bryher a girl goes missing. Ben gets himself into the investigation as SIO. He is given an inexperienced police officer, Eddie, to work with. Two more young people go missing in the course of the book There are several threads. The first teenager is found dead. It’s now a murder investigation and the murderer is on the island which goes into lock-down. Ben and Eddie start to whittle down the list of suspects. Drugs, intimidation and some strange characters help to murky the waters along with various attacks on Ben, his friends and others. Time is running out as a suspect is taken into custody and the powers that be want to close the case. Ben is quite dogged and continues to look into the case.

Will he find the killer?

This is a good book, well written and the characters are terrific. In the end it’s not a book that will leave you cheering the hero DI ‘getting his man’ it is quite sad as the guilty party is discovered. I am pleased with the way in which Kate Rhodes deals with Bens relationships in the book especially not letting them overshadow the investigations.
This is the first in a new series from Kate Rhodes and it looks like there will be lot’s of interesting stories to be had from DI Ben Kitto on the stunning backdrop of Bryher.

Rating: 4*

Information

With thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for an eARC of this book in return for an honest opinion.

Simon & Schuster UK | 432 pages | ISBN 9781471165399 | January 2018
http://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/Hell-Bay/Kate-Rhodes/9781471165399?intcmp=

Auther: http://katerhodes.org/Kate_Rhodes/home.html

Setting: https://www.visitislesofscilly.com/

 

 

A Margret Christmas (and other stories) by Georges Simenon

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Description
Three seasonal stories set in Paris at Christmas, from the celebrated creator of Inspector Maigret. It is Christmas in Paris, but beneath the sparkling lights and glittering decorations lie sinister deeds and dark secrets… This collection brings together three of Simenon’s most enjoyable Christmas tales, newly translated, featuring Inspector Maigret and other characters from the Maigret novels. In ‘A Maigret Christmas’, the Inspector receives two unexpected visitors on Christmas Day, who lead him on the trail of a mysterious intruder dressed in red and white. In ‘Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook’, the sound of alarms over Paris send the police on a cat and mouse chase across the city. And ‘The Little Restaurant in Les Ternes (A Christmas Story for Grown-Ups)’ tells of a cynical woman who is moved to an unexpected act of festive charity in a nightclub – one that surprises even her…

Review:

I was sent an eARC but it only contained the first of the three stories which I understand make up this book.

‘A Maigret Christmas’

I enjoyed the fact that this story, indeed the Maigret books, are set in a time when there is still much merit given to the art of detection. Here the story is laid out before you – a child wakes to find Santa Claus in her room ‘making a hole in the floor to travel downstairs…’, he signals her to stay quiet, gives her a doll and exits through the door. Maigret is told this and requested by a neighbour and, more reluctantly, the aunt of the child to look into it. It is Christmas Day – a little bored and now with his interest piqued he decides to do a little, unofficial, sleuthing. Mrs Maigret features as do several colleagues.

This is a well written gem of a story. I have not read any Maigret books so this was a good introduction and one that made me want to read more. I enjoyed the recent Maigret series on TV and do recall the original TV version (my parents liked to watch it). Having now read this short story I am sure I would enjoy the books.

It also gave a fascinating insight into Christmas Day in France, well Paris, at that time with shops opening for such items as croissants, taxis available and the train station open.

Rating: 4*

I was sent an eARC but it only contained the first of the three stories which I understand make up this book. Since then I have received a revised copy and, I’m glad to say, the other two are equally as good.

Information

With thanks to Penguin Classics via NetGalley for this eARC in return for an honest review.

For more information on Penguin UK, follow us @PenguinUKBooks on Twitter or visit our website http://www.penguin.co.uk. Details of our new titles can be found at http://www.penguincatalogue.co.uk

A Note From the Publisher
Be the first to hear about all of our latest publishing from Georges Simenon and sign up to new release alerts at inspectormaigret.com.

Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #AmaigretChristmas #NetGalley

Available Editions
EDITION Other Format:  ISBN 9780241282151

Return of the Magi by P J Tracy

EBOOK AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 15 – AMAZON US/AMAZON UK

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Warm your heart this Christmas with this wonderful festive tale from bestselling author P.J. Tracy – perfect for fans of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street.

Emil Rice has a silver tongue and sticky fingers, the only problem is that his charm always gets him into trouble and he’s never been very good at not getting arrested. Twenty-two times he’s been caught and twenty-two times he’s sworn never to steal again, but it’s on his twenty-third arrest when Emil realizes he may have picked up more than he bargained for. Sentenced to community service at a secure mental health facility, Emil is unwillingly befriended by two elderly female patients who believe he is the final part of a big cosmic plan that will change their lives forever…

This heartwarming Christmas tale of kindness, friendship and redemption will be perfect for the cold winter nights!

Review:

What a charming, heartwarming and delightful tale from P J Tracy. Just what you want to read as Christmas approaches. Emil is given yet another chance to sort himself out after violating his parole when the Judge assigns him to a care facility instead of back to jail. There he meets two sisters who believe they are two of the Magi and that Emil is the third and so begins a journey to put a smile on your face and a story to bring some Christmas cheer.

Rating: 4* Recommended

Information

Thanks to Penguin Books for eARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Penguin Books is part of the Penguin Random House group of companies whose addresses can be found at global.penguinrandomhouse.com

This ebook first published in Great Britain by Penguin Books 2017

Copyright © Traci Lambrecht, 2017 The moral right of the author has been asserted ISBN: 978-1-405-93453-4

Author: http://pjtracy.com/

Joy – Ed. Christian Wiman

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CHRISTIAN WIMAN is the author of numerous books, including My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer. He is Professor of the Practice of Religion and Literature at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

Review

Christian Wiman wants to explore through poetry the meaning, or perhaps rather our understanding, of Joy.  He wants the reader to feel what joy is through his chosen poems in order to gain that understanding. He does not give definitive meanings.  Opening the book with his comments on how difficult it is to define Joy.

I was attracted to this book because of that word – Joy. It’s a favourite of mine, it makes me smile. Yes a three letter word makes me smile. There are other words that do this too.  Also I like poetry and don’t read enough of it. So there I am hooked.

And this book is full of poetry. Poetry that is expected to evoke joy. Well some of it did for me, not all of it because well we can’t connect with every poem in the way we’re supposed to simply because some just won’t resonate as others do.  That’s not to say that they aren’t good, or that we don’t enjoy them on a different level just that they did not all evoke joy for me.  You will read it and perhaps find all encompassing joy or, like me,  experience some joy. It may be with the same poems or different poems. I hope you do find joy among these pages.

With thanks to Yale University Books for this e-ARC via NetGalley

Rating: 3.5/4*

Information

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780300226089

Publisher: www.yalebooks.com

Links
Visit the book’s page at yalebooks.com

 

Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O’Hara, Lauren O’Hara

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Description
“Through the dark and wolfish woods, through the white and silent snow, lived a small girl called Hortense. Though kind and brave, she was sad as an owl because of one thing . . . Hortense hated her shadow.” A beautifully illustrated dark fairy tale that will remind you of the fables you read as a child. A treasure not to be missed.

Hortense hated her shadow. Everywhere she went, it went. Everything she did, it did. And every time night fell it grew, tall and dark and crooked.

So Hortense decided: the shadow must go! Only later, alone in the wolfish woods, she learned that a girl without a shadow is far smaller… a fairy tale about light and shadows.

Lauren and Natalia O’Hara are two sisters from the north of England. In the daytime, they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairy tales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. This is their first picture book.

Review

A wonderful story which reminded me of the fairy tales I read, or was read to, as a child and so enjoyed.  Although it had a slightly scary side it was no more and perhaps not quite as dark as, for example, Hansel and Gretal.

The story was beautifully illustrated throughout.

I hope the author and illustrator, who are sisters, produce more books of this quality.

Highly recommended.

With thank to the publishers for an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5*

Information

Publishers: Penguin Random House UK Children’s Fiction

For more information on Penguin Random House Children’s Publishers, follow us @PuffinBooks on Twitter, or visit our website https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/

Author and Illustrator: http://nataliaandlauren.com/

Pub Date 05 Oct 2017
EDITION Hardcover:  ISBN 9780141374024
PRICE £10.99 (GBP)
Available from:
Amazon
Waterstones
All good book stockists