Thursday, 27 August 2015

August Books

Here's what I've been reading this month:

Death Row Chaplain - Unbelievable True Stories from America's Most Notorious Prison by Rev Earl Smith*Former criminal Earl Smith was a Chaplain at San Quentin Prison for 23 years. He got to know the men inside and guided them, negotiated truces between rival gangs, played chess with Charles Manson and heard the final thoughts of those on death row. An interesting memoir.

The Venus Trap by Louise Voss - At 16 Jo Atkins lost her dad, was assaulted by a stranger and had her heart broken.

In the present day she's still getting used to being a divorced single mum. She enters into the dating game and meets Claudio, a former classmate when she was at school. She dates him a few times before deciding he's not for her. 

Claudio however has no intention of letting her go. He drugs her and she wakes up in her bedroom handcuffed to the bed. He gives her a week to tell him she loves him...or he'll kill her.

He finds Jo's diary when she was at school in 1986 and makes her read passages out loud to him. When she's alone in her room she ponders her life with her ex Richard and her fling Sean. A really creepy read which I couldn't put down!

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica* - Heidi sees a girl on the train platform in the pouring rain with a baby and can't get her out of her head. When she sees her again she invites her to stay with her family until she can get straightened out. Heidi's husband and daughter are not impressed with a stranger living with them and Heidi is drawn further into helping Willow out. and she is obsessed with the baby. We learn about Willow''s past and Heidi wonders if inviting her into her home has been the right thing to do...A great read.

Chance by Peter Dudgeon - A missing convict, a young woman assaulted and killed and an old man murdered in different areas of the city. Nine year old Cassie Janus knows there is a connection. She suffers from epileptic seizures and when she is out she is the killer in her nightmares. She confides in her friend Aaron and her Social Worker Laura but is not sure they believe her. A fast paced and brilliant read which I couldn't put down. Only thing I didn't like was we have to wait for the conclusion in the sequel. Would recommend though.

Sewing the Shadows Together by Alison Baillie* - The rape and murder of Shona McIver 30 years ago still haunts her brother Tom and her best friend Sarah. Modern DNA shows that the man who has been incarcerated for 30 years is innocent. Sarah is married to confident and self-obsessed Rory a TV Chat Show host and mother to grown up twins. She also has a demanding mother who expects her to drop everything to tend to her needs.

Tom having returned to Scotland from South Africa to scatter his mother's ashes attends the school reunion and finds he has a strong bond with Sarah. The race is on to find the murderer in their midst. A brilliant debut with interesting characters who all have secrets and I liked that the novel was partly set where I live!

Follow you Home by Mark Edwards - it was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime before settling down. Daniel and Laura are thrown off a train in the middle of Romania with Alina a girl they met on the train. Their passports, rail card and money has been stolen. To get to the nearest town they need to travel through a dark and creepy forest. 

Alina stops for the call of nature and disappears... They search for her and come across a house in the middle of the woods. What they see in that house totally freaks them out and will haunt them forever.

They return to their lives in London but struggle to put what they saw in Romania behind them. An edge of the seat novel with a twist I didn't see coming until it was upon me!

Eden by Candice Fox*I simply loved this stunning second novel by Candice Fox which follows on from Hades (Book 1). Frank Bennett & police partner Eden Archer are in therapy before they can get back on the job. Frank has let himself go after the death of his girlfriend and Eden wants Frank to get his mind fixed on finding what happened to three missing girls who are connected to a remote farm and it's owner. Eden goes undercover to try and find out more while Frank is helping Hades find out who is stalking him. In the story we learn about Hades's upbringing which cleared up a few questions from book one.  

A fast paced and thrilling book which I was unable to put down. Highly recommend.

Hanover House by Brenda Novak* - WOW! This prequel to the new series by Brenda Novak is an amazing read. It features Psychiatrist, Dr Evelyn Talbot and State Trooper Sergeant Amarock. Evelyn has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the psychopathic mind after being kidnapped, tortured and left for dead by her psycho boyfriend when she was 16. 

She is the driving force behind a new facility in Hilltop, Alaska where the worst of the worst killers will reside. Sergeant Amarock and Evelyn have a connection but she is too scared to become involved with him especially after she is attacked again...A brilliant taster and looking forward to Whiteout #1 out autumn 2016.

Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes* - This was my first read by Elizabeth Haynes (I've since learned there is a first book featuring DCI Louisa Smith which I'll definitely be reading).

Ten years ago Scarlett Rainsford vanished while on a family holiday in Greece. She is unexpectedly found in a brothel back in her hometown and DCI Louisa Smith finds she has been trafficked. It seems that two other cases the team are working on are linked. The story goes between the time when Scarlett is trafficked and what happens to her and the present day. Fast paced and un-put-downable. I'll definitely be seeking out more of Elizabeth's books.

What have you been reading this month?

*complimentary e-books from Netgalley


  1. These all sound like brilliant reads! I've not been getting through as many books recently, unfortunately, but I'll definitely be adding quite a few of these to my Goodreads to-read shelf :)

    Jess xo

    1. They were all great. You'll get back into it I'm the same sometimes x