Reading Round Up – February 2020

I’d read some excellent books in February. Here are my reviews.

Would You Die For Her by Linda Prather.
Dakota has been through a terrible ordeal that has left her broken, both physically and mentally. In an effort to forget what happened to her she’d built walls to protect herself, but when other young women begin being treated like she was, she vows to track her tormentor down.

This book was perfectly paced. There was always something happening, something new discovered about what Dakota had been through. As the walls she built begin to crumble she wonders if she can trust herself. I really liked the four main protagonists, and also thought that the contradictions in Christian’s personality were really well done.

As I got further and further into the book and found out Dakota’s plans, I kept thinking (and hoping,) that surely that won’t happen. But it did. This was a great read and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast paced, action packed and dark, crime thriller.

In The Woods by M. K. Farrar
Throughout most of this story the main character, Cass, is alone after being abducted and chained/handcuffed to a tree. Although alone, Cass has support from an unexpected source.

This book, at times, did remind me of Gerald’s Game (by Stephen King,) due to how, Like King, Farrar manages to keep you interested in just one character for so long. Both books focus on a lone female being left in a dangerous situation but manage to maintain the tension.

I like the supernatural edge to the story and how it enabled Cass to give a voice on behalf of other women. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m interested to see what else she has written.

The Escape by C. L. Taylor
Parents Jo and Max both say that they only want what is best for their 2 year old daughter, Elise, but they disagree on what that ‘best’ should be.

Jo is threatened by a woman who seems to know too much about her her and then things go down hill fast as Jo battles to keep Elise with her.

This story moves along at a good pace and there’s plenty of times that things were revealed that I didn’t see coming. The chapters from the POV of someone following Jo work well to increase the tension.

This was a really good thriller in which I didn’t know what I thought of Jo and Max until near the end – I kept changing my mind. The ending gathered all the threads of the story together nicely.

 Into The Darkness by Sibel Hodge
I was pleased to discover that both Mya and Mitchell feature in this story after meeting them in Untouchable. It was nice to see how they both were, but this novel can still be read as a stand alone.

Mitchell is called to track down Toni, his best mate’s teenage daughter. He soon realises that she is in danger. At the same time the police are looking into the murder of an elderly couple. How are the cases linked?

I liked Mitchell’s personality in Untouchable and still do. We’re on the same page with how we see many things. The chapters from Toni’s point of view give glimpses of what she’s about to endure and how she deals with it. These chapters are very tense.

I don’t think there’s any chance of me having a look into the darkness. Hodge has done a great job highlighting the dark web and all the dangers of getting lost in it. Highly recommended.

You by Caroline Kepnes
I’d watched the Netflix series based on this book and then wanted to see how the book compared.

Joe falls in love with Beck at first sight and then makes it his life’s mission to keep an eye on her and remove toxic things from her life. The book is written from Joe’s POV, so every thought and conversation he has makes it into the story.

I liked how the book examines Joe’s motivations, morals and thoughts about relationships. There were times that I found myself agreeing with him even though he is portrayed as the antagonist.

I didn’t like Beck in the TV series, and my opinion wasn’t changed by the book! She’s selfish and just out for what she get, and I kept wondering what the hell Joe saw in her.

Some of the language is coarse and seemed to be used a little too much, but overall this is a well written and thought out psychological thriller.

 

What have you been reading recently? What would you recommend?

Thank you for the continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

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!

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Tilbury Talks To… Amy May Smith

Welcome to my first post of 2020. Today I’m talking with Ami May Smith. Welcome Ami, please introduce yourself.

Hi, I am Ami from Reading Through The Pain. I am a chronic illnesses warrior and reading has helped me through my mental illness and chronic pain since I was a teenager, although I started reading much earlier. My reading buddy is my cat Shyla.


You can visit Ami’s blog by clicking on the above image.

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
To be honest I can’t remember. I have loved reading since I was a young girl, it’s always been my therapy. Before and After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and M.E\CFS, I could no longer do the hobbies I used to do I.e sewing, knitting, card-making etc. I used to have a sewing blog. I got back into reading and I saw that you could become a book blogger\book reviewer. So I thought Why not?

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Best: Meeting authors, meeting new authors, friendships, early access to books etc.
Worst: I don’t think there is a worse only those I put on myself. Getting overwhelmed,  losing my reading mojo.

How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
Virtually straight away or a couple days after once its settled and I’ve thought about it.

Have you met any fellow book bloggers in ‘real-life’ and what were they like?
Nope unfortunately but I don’t and cant travel very far from my little town due to my illnesses I.e bpd, anxiety, fibro etc. I would love to one day.

If you’ve not met any other book bloggers in ‘real-life’ yet, who would you like to meet and why?
Oh golly gosh there are so many I couldn’t name one or 100. But there are some amazing people I’ve met online. So I would say meet them all and because many of them of my people who also do blogging\reading due to chronic illness.

Have you met any of your favourite authors? Did the experience meet your expectations?
I’ve met Elly Griffiths, Sarah Ward, Stephen Booth and William Shaw. And yes definitely and more!

Think of the worst antagonist you’ve ‘met’ in a book. If you could dish out your own justice on behalf of their victims, who would it be and what would you do?
Ha-ha being a crime, true crime, serial killer fanatic I’m afraid what I would dish out would not be appropriate here or anywhere on the internet. But I think most of us have the same ideas some mild and some extreme.

In your opinion which book should everyone read at least once, and why?
I’m not into classics but a book that has stuck in my mind the most this year is The Puppet Show By M.W.Craven. Its frankly bloody EPIC!

Who are your 3 favourite authors and what makes them stand out?
You of course Mark, amazing books but a genuinely amazing person who has so much love and support for bloggers/Readers.
Ooo two more this is sooooo hard. But I would say Mel Comley and Emmy Ellis. Again as well as incredible authors they are the nicest women.
But honestly I have so many favourite authors which are exceptional so it’s so very hard to pinpoint them and think of reasons.

 

Thank you Ami for taking the time to answer my questions. I agree with you about The Puppet Show, it’s an excellent book.
You can find Ami across social media. Here on her Facebook page, and via her Twitter handle @RTTPBookBlog 

Thank you for continued support into the new year.

Best wishes,

Mark.

Tilbury Talks To… Emma Smart

Today, Tilbury Talks To… Emma Smart. Thank you for agreeing to take part today Emma and welcome to my site. Would you let everyone know a little about you?

Hi everyone thanks to Mark for letting me answer these questions for you. Here’s a little something about myself. I am a full time carer for my disabled husband and a mum of to 2 boys, and reading is my escapism and it helps with my mental health as well.

Emma’s two reading companions.

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
Not much really I saw how well the blogging world is and I thought I have time and have always left a review of books on the various sites what I buy books from. So I thought to have some me time away from my home life I thought it would give me a hobby as that’s what it is for me really.

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Worst thing being a blogger is not enjoying the book and then you worry off upsetting the author because end of the day it’s the authors pride and joy that they have spent time on and the good points is finding new authors you didn’t know about and adding to your mountain off books that you have piled high LOL.

How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
I try and write it as soon as I finish the book but half of time my family life gets in the way so as soon as have a spare hour I will try and get the review done. Continue reading

Tilbury Talks To… Kate Noble

Today on Tilbury Talks To…I’m delighted to welcome Kate Noble. Thank you for agreeing to take part today Kate. Would you let everyone know a little bit about you?

 I’m a mum, wife and proofreader as well as book blogger and have managed to amass a wonderful collection of books that I wouldn’t want to part with. Rather proud to say that my daughter is also turning into quite the little bookworm. I try to juggle reading and knitting by using a kindle wedged between cushions but occasionally this leads to dropped stitches or me completely abandoning the wool and needles in favour of my book. My go to reads are usually crime and historical thrillers but I do like to challenge myself with something different now and again.

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
It was a way to give my time some shape whilst my baby napped initially. I’ve always been a reader and shared my thoughts on books with family and friends, but a book blog seemed like a good way to keep track of my thoughts on books in one place. Initially, it was just for me, but soon I found out that other people were interested in “hearing” my thoughts on books and so I began posting my reviews on to social media for others to read too.

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Best would probably be the connections you can make through the book blogging community. There are a whole raft of people out there who love books and aren’t afraid to shout about books. The friendships I’ve made through blogging are wonderful, bloggers are a great bunch who put their hearts and souls into what they do and in turn, offer advice, friendship and comradery.

Worst would probably be learning the hard way that I cannot read every book that I want to, no matter how much sleep I lose. I hate to let people down and feel awful when I have to turn down a review request, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

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