So, I realised rather belatedly that I hadn't done my 'best of' lists and surprisingly the Crime and Thriller genre was easy. This genre? Not so much! I realised that there were numerous books I had LOVED this last year and managed to get the first draft in at 16 books. Thankfully I realised that I had read 3 books by the wonderful Nigel May and all 3 were excellent so I managed to knock another 2 off, and then slowly by going over each one I managed to narrow it down! So here goes, in no particular order is my top ten books from last year, and all well worth a read!
» Listings for January 2017
So once again it's that time (well a little bit late for me but better late than never) where I review the books I have read in this genre over the course of 2016 and try to pick my ten favourites. I absolutely refuse to list them in any order, I just select 10 of my absolute favourites. These are books I would highly recommend.
Once upon a time, Ellen Woods had her 'happily ever after' moment when she married her beloved Nick. But fifteen years later her husband's tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son and a mountain of debt.
On the verge of losing the family home Ellen decides to rent out some rooms, and all too soon a whole host of characters enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. But will this be enough to pull her out of her grief so she can learn to live – and love – again?
Kat's Rating: 5/5
Kat's Review: Ellen Woods is recovering from the sudden death of her husband Nick. Her soon to be teenage son Charlie is also struggling to find what is normal. However Ellen has bigger problems to deal with and it involves money, she just doesn't have any. It seems the only way she can possible even consider keeping her home is to find herself some lodgers. With the help of her sister Hannah, before long Ellen has taken in 3 lodgers. The three lodgers consist of Lads Magazine writer Matt, the German lady Sabine who is recovering from her own marriage issues and the seventy something romance writer Allegra Howard.
I instantly liked Charlie, Ellen's son, however I struggled to get to know Ellen initially as it is quite clear she is still somewhat adjusting to the life of a widow. As soon as Allegra, Matt and Sabine show up I just knew I was going to love this book as all three of them bring something brilliant to the story. Allegra and Ellen strike up an unlikely friendship which to be frank is wonderful. The lady who says it as it is and Ellen walking round slowly adjusting to having a friend. Matt brings the humour to the book in spades and I loved how he was such a cheeky chappie, but one with a heart. And finally the no-nonsense Sabine who would demand that Ellen sort herself out.
I don't want to mention anything about the plot as part of the beauty of this story is how each thread unravels, and although it was maybe there all along it was discreet and not noticed. As the layers are revealed another one appears and it almost feels as though the characters are stripped bare and we have to watch to see if they can build themselves back up. I read much more Crime and Thrillers and like to break it up with something light. I wouldn't say this was necessarily a 'light' read as it deals with some serious heart wrenching issues, but is done in a way that is pure magic. An absolute joy to read, and one I would recommend to somebody looking for something that little bit different!
Synopsis: Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.
In a sleepy town in Hertfordshire, Katy has worked hard to rebuild her life after leaving behind everything she knew. But when her past catches up with her, and her young son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.
A home should be a safe place, shouldn’t it?
But sometimes it is hard to know who you can trust…
London’s murder investigations team returns in the second novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows.
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents' summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie's flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it's not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn - one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It's all there for the taking.
And then, all of sudden, Christie's world is turned upside down.
Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses.
Synopsis: After being cheated on by her ex, Leanne Riley is trying her hardest to get her life back on track, which isn't easy without a job and living in a bedsit surrounded by a junkie and a mad woman.
On a night out with her best friend she meets Jake, a face from her past who has changed beyond all recognition. Jake is charming, handsome and loaded, a far cry from the gawky teenager he used to be. Weary of men, Leanne isn't easy to please, but Jake tries his best to break through the wall she's built around herself.
But good looks and money can hide a multitude of sins. Is that good-looking face just a mask? And what's more, what will it take to make it slip, and who will die in the process . . . ?
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Sharlah Nash knows that the first time her brother killed eight years ago, he did it to save their lives.
Now retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner have offered Sharlah a new life of safety. She desperately wants to believe this is her shot at happily ever after.
Then two people are murdered in their local convenience store and Sharlah's brother is identified as the killer.
Telly Ray Nash is on the hunt for Sharlah and as the death count rises it becomes clear that nothing and no one, including Pierce and Rainie, will stop him getting to her.
Now, Sharlah has one chance to take control.
She can run for her life... or turn and face the danger right behind her.
Kat's Rating: 3/5
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Quercus (6 April 2017)
Synopsis: A SADISTIC KILLER IS ON THE LOOSE IN GLASGOW. Thomas Boag escaped from his first court appearance facing charges on a brutal murder. He's suspected in the disappearances of two other people. Now he's out for revenge.
Rosie Gilmour, crime reporter, helped put Boag behind bars. It was her investigation that provided enough evidence to arrest him. Now she's watching her back.
Rosie tries to distract herself with a new story: refugees trafficked into Glasgow and used as modern-day slaves - or worse. But this investigation soon leads her into dangerous territory as it takes her up against some of Glasgow's nastiest characters, and all the while, somewhere out there, Boag is laying his trap...
Kat's Rating: 5/5