Reading Round Up – January 2020

2020 got off to a great start reading wise. I’ve read four fantastic books this month, here are my reviews:

Black Summer by M. W. Craven
Poe and Tilly are back in the follow up to The Puppet Show. Still socially awkward but determined to help Poe, Tilly sets about finding how something supposedly forensically impossible, has been made possible.

The case being investigated is complex but Craven, through Poe, takes you through it step by step. Poe’s friendship with Tilly really works, although you’d think it shouldn’t based on their different personalities and outlooks on life. They always have each other’s back though, and sometimes in funny ways.

Keaton is a great antagonist. Self absorbed and a narcissist, he thinks he’s covered all bases to protect himself, but he never banked on Tilly’s research and investigative talents.

Although not as emotive as The Puppet Shoe, I enjoyed this case just as much and look forward to number three.

 

The Whisper Man by Alex North
I like crime thrillers and I’m partial to a touch of the supernatural, and this book combines the two perfectly. There has been a lot of praise for this book so I began reading it hoping it would live up to the hype. It did.

The kidnap and murder of two young boys 20 years apart are leaving the police of Featherbank frustrated. They are struggling to do their job and have run out of leads. Tom and his son Jake move to Featherbank after the death of Jake’s mum, Rebecca. There is much about the village they don’t know about until a gruesome discovery is made.

Jake was my favourite character and the father-son relationship was well done. The little misunderstandings between them are realistic, as are both their uncertainties about their new life. Jake’s relationship with his imaginary friend gradually develops through the story until the significance of his ‘friend’ is revealed. This revelation is emotive as is the very end of the book.

An excellent thriller that has lived up to the hype and then some!

In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone
This is one of those books where you finish reading it and you know it’s going to be in your head for a long time. There are many things in the story that get you thinking – about actions and consequences, right and wrong and how some people can’t see what they’ve done is evil.

When John’s mother has a stoke and is in a care home, he begins to sort through her house ready to sell it and finds things he wasn’t expecting. The resulting search for answers leads to shocking and emotional revelations that also put him in danger.

I read this book quickly as Malone is an excellent author who maintains the suspense. If you like an emotive read then this will have you rooting for the three main characters and hoping for justice. This is the third book by Malone I’ve read, and my favourite.

 

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver
I can remember when this book was published and how many of the book bloggers helping with its blog tour, had trouble expressing their thoughts about it. Now I know how that feels.

Mass suicides. A cult. People in a cult, but don’t know they are, and the others – those who would rather stick their phones in the air and video events rather than wonder what the hell is really going on.

That was another thing about this book. There were so many aspects of it that will make you think about yourself, your actions and your morals. Where is society going? Do you want to be part of it or would you rather be dead? Strange that, because it’s those seeking help because they want to die who are saved. Saved how? Well that would be giving too much away.

I like the structure of the book. Characters are numbered, never named, each with their own small chapters. The story keeps moving along until that ending. What an ending.

Original, thought provoking and a very honest portrayal of modern life. My favourite line from it is: ‘A full bank account is no substitute for an empty soul.’

 

I’m currently reading The Escape by C. L. Taylor and Would You Die for Her by Linda S. Prather. I’m enjoying them both so far. What have you read this month? What would you recommend?

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

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