Still never enough hours in the day to read as much as I’d like to but nonetheless I’m content with the amount of books I managed to finish during June and July. Time for a recent reads roundup – I’m not going to waffle – lets get straight into the books! (This post contains affiliate links)
If you are looking for other books suitable for reading over summer, you might like to check out another recent post – 5 Brilliant Summer Reads for less than £1. The prices of these books may have changed since this post was published but they are still great books!
Thin Air – Lisa Gray
This book has been advertised all over Amazon so I felt obliged to download it. (Such a marketer’s dream!)
Jessica Shaw is a private investigator pursuing the case of a murdered woman and her missing toddler some years ago. The premise of the story was quite good and there were points in the book that I was hooked. Unfortunately though, I just didn’t feel very connected to Jessica’s character. I’ve read quite a few thriller investigations and feel more strongly about others than Jessica. She’s trying to be harder than she actually is but maybe this character would develop if a second book in a series was published.
The Burning (Maeve Kerrigan #1) – Jane Casey
Now I really like Maeve. A different take on the usual female police character. She gets frightened, sometimes a little intimidated but still does her job brilliantly. The sexism she encounters at work is horrendous but I fear all too real. There’s even some romance in this book which gives you all the feels.
The first part of the story seemed like a bit of a red herring and by the time I had got to the end of the book, I’d forgotten all about it. Doesn’t take away from a brilliant book though – I loved the dual investigations going on into the murder of several women.
Very happy to have discovered yet another great series to read my way through.
What You Did – Claire McGowan
I got this book free from Amazon First Reads. A selection of books that Prime members can chose 1 from each month ahead of their publication the following month. For a one off, we were allowed to download 2 books during July and What You Did was one of my better choices.
A group of friends from university get together for a BBQ after 25 years at Ali’s house. All goes wrong when Ali’s best friend, Karen is raped and points the finger at Ali’s husband Mike.
Its a story of divided loyalties and uncovering secrets and done so well. This book is described as a pyschological thriller which I’m not sure is quite the right genre – more a suburban whodunit but I loved it.
Safe With Me – Amy Hatvany
An easy read – better than ok but not mind blowing. The coincidence between Hannah and Olivia/Maddie meeting was just too convenient for me but then again I’m not a fan of having to suspend reality due to coincidence.
Warning:there is violence in this book – some readers might find it a bit too brutal.
I liked the character of Maddie – too often teenage girls and overly nice and lose their sparkle but Maddie was realistic and knew her mind.
Verity – Colleen Hoover
This was my book of the last 2 months – So different in feel to other books around.
Lowen is a struggling author when she gets the chance to finish an acclaimed author’s book who has been in a tragic accident. Lowen stays with Verity, her husband Jeremy and son. She very quickly begins to discover secrets in a diary that lead her to question everything she was previously told about Verity.
God, this book was good. Its definitely a page turner and the ending is pure brilliance. Its one of those books that I find myself reading that I cannot believe how fortunate I was to come across it.
Warning: It is rude though – there are several steamy scenes which after a while feel a little unnecessary as the story is strong enough to carry the book on its own.
Chestnut Street – Maeve Binchy
I opted for a bit of a retro read as I discovered that there are a couple of Maeve Binchy books that I haven’t read. I was hoping to be transported back into my teenage bedroom, reading by the light of the lampost as my lights should have been out hours ago. Sadly, that magic didn’t quite come back.
The voice of Maeve Binchy is definitely still there and I did get a warm fuzzy feeling. The book just seemed so long and slow though. I’ve realised she is much more about developing the characters rather than an exciting storyline. Due to this book being a series of short stories all focused around people who have a relationship with Chestnut Street, it took me some time to feel connected to the characters.
The Woman I Was Before – Kerry Fisher
With elements of Desperate Housewives, this made for a quick summer read. Great for holidays!
Kate & her teenage daughter move into a cul de sac and are soon introduced to the neighbours. Gisela is the life & soul of the street – loves to host parties and very giving. But is her life as perfect as it appears?
Sally and her husband seem so close – the perfect life with no kids to tie them down & both with jobs that have them flying all over the world. But again, is everything as smooth sailing.
I do feel that Kate’s life was tied up a bit too conveniently. Considering she was so scared of being discovered at first, she seemed to get over her fears pretty easily.
Easy to read and rather compelling. Great summer read.
Unnatural Causes – Dr Richard Shepherd
I like to slot in some non-fiction at least every month and as regular readers will know, I’m a sucker for a medical memoir. This is the career of Richard Shepherd, a well known forensic pathologist (which incidentally is the job that Mr C would have loved to do if he wasn’t a barber!)
This is a fascinating book. Richard Shepherd has a great way with words and what could ordinarily turn out quite a dry book, was compulsive to read. Its not a quick read but that’s because there’s so many incidents to report. Its incredible how many memorable disasters Shepherd becomes involved with, from The Marchioness disaster, Hungerford and Stephen Lawrence. As with any book of this ilk, there will be some level of squeamish scenes but actually they didn’t affect me as much as one would think. I put this down to the explanations of procedures and that so much more of the book is about the story behind why a post-mortem was necessary and the ensuing enquiries afterwards.
We learn about the effect on Richard Shepherd’s mental health of dealing with so much death and how his job (One that he had always wanted to do and loved for so long) impacted on his family life.
The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks
I wish I had enjoyed this book more than I actually did. It cam highly recommended by family and friends and indeed, there were points that I really did like. A month on from reading it though, I’ve completely forgotten most of it which I never consider a good sign.
A story of a marriage and a future wife. We are told there are twists galore but I found myself wondering if the book would have felt better if I didn’t know to expect twists. I’m finding that quite a lot lately. The trend is definitely for inserting something in a story that makes you think differently about characters or a situation.
The text in this book was tiny which made it feel so much longer than I expected (perhaps that’s another twist 😉 )
It is readable though – a modern suburban thriller with a true baddie. I’ll try another Greer Hendricks as I think there’s definitely something appealing about her writing.
One Foot Wrong – Sofie Laguna
I heard about this book from watching one of my new favourite Book-Tubers from Australia. Nathalie from My Reading Days raved about it and the emotions of the book really came across.
It’s not an easy read though – Hester is an only child, living with extremely religious parents. She is kept captive and given no freedom. Warning: There are scenes of abuse in this book