December 31

My Favourite Audiobooks – 2017

Earlier this year my day job changed and my daily commute suddenly involved 5 hours of driving. This ate into my reading time but a subscription to Audible meant I could listen to all the books I wasn’t getting a chance to read.

So after six months and many, many miles I thought I would share the books I enjoyed the most.

It should be noted that three audiobooks made it into the list of My Ten Favourite Books of 2017 it should come as no surprise that they are also included here (the first three).

 

 

Whiteout – Ragnar Jonasson

Whiteout sees the return of Jonasson’s popular Icelandic cop Ari Thor What made Whiteout special for me was the way the author took the smallest cast of possible suspects and made a brilliant “whodunnit” murder mystery. I have compared Ragnar Jonasson’s works to that of Agatha Christie in the past…Whiteout only reaffirms my assertion.

 

 

 

The Beauty of Murder – AK Benedict

The audiobook of The Beauty of Murder was recommended to me by JS Law (author of The Dark Beneath). Boy did he call that right! The Beauty of Murder is a serial killer story in which the killer has the ability to travel through time. Loved that twist and it gave The Beauty of Murder an edge which most books simply didn’t have. The time travel is not just a clever gimmick though, this is a wonderfully compassionate and clever story. With much of the action taking place in and around Cambridge University (with a Philosophy Lecturer as a lead character) it throws up some interesting discussion points too. Hugely enjoyable but with one of the saddest moments of my reading year too…

 

Block 46 – Johana Gustawsson

I was captivated by this tale which takes the reader from WW2 concentration camps to present day and shows how a serial killer was able to stay hidden for decades.

Two narrators on the audiobook really highlighted the “then” and “now” side to Block 46 and the story was outstanding.

 

 

 

 

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

I generally don’t read non-fiction, however, both my parents worked for the NHS and I grew up hearing about life in and around hospitals. When I learned of Adam Kay’s “secret diaries of a junior Doctor” I knew I had to read this book.

It was magnificent. I laughed, winced and shed a tear over his tales. Dr Adam narrates his own book and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Funny, graphic, sweary and over all too soon – I loved this!

 

 

Dark Suits and Sad Songs – Denzil Meyrick

My first DCI Daley thriller and I have already bought more in the series.

An explosive opening throws Daily into a political thriller which will have him facing unknown foes both from home and from far overseas.

With his home life in a shambles, his oldest friend and colleague battling a drink problem and an international hitman loose in his home town Daley is going to have a busy few days.

All with added UFO sightings too!

 

 

From The Cradle – Louise Voss & Mark Edwards

A chilling kidnap tale which kept me hooked.

The heart of the story is the investigation into the missing children and it was great following the ebb and flow of their enquries.

Louise Voss and Mark Edwards kept the twists and surprises coming throughout the story and it had an ending I would never have seen coming.

 

 

Storm Front – John Sandford

I love John Sandford’s books and the Virgil Flowers series (of which Storm Front is one) are well worth seeking out.  They are consistently great crime thrillers yet Flowers brings the humour to his investigations which made Storm Front great listening.

 

 

Quieter Than Killing – Sarah Hilary

I am a huge fan of the Marnie Rome series but this was the first time I had “met” Marnie in audiobook.  The narration by Imogen Church was fantastic, bringing much loved characters to life.

Quieter Than Killing is a great read but then I have never been disappointed in a Sarah Hilary novel – she writes stories with an edge.

Marnie is investigating a series of vicious beatings across London but she cannot tell if she is hunting a single person or a vigilante group. It is not long before the stakes are raised and danger will lie ahead.

 

The Girl in the Ice – Robert Bryndza

The first Erika Foster thriller and a dark and murderous tale from a frozen London. This was one of the first books I listened to (two more in the series soon followed) and I became a firm fan of Robert Bryndza’s wonderful thrillers.

 

Chase – Shaun Hutson

My last pick was the chilling Chase. I love a horror tale and Mr Hutson writes some of the best. An English couple are on a driving holiday in remote USA but the trip will bring them face to face with forces they could not have ever envisaged. Their dream holiday, tinged with tragedy even before they set off, becomes a nightmare roadtrip.

After rescuing a young girl from two killers the couple flee to keep the girl safe – the killers are in pursuit and they know the area far better than the holidaymakers.

Chilling and as nasty as I had anticipated – great listening.

 

 

 

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December 11

Top Ten Reads of 2016

Time to wrap up another year. Before I get to my selections I need to thank the authors and publishers who have entrusted me with their books, invited me to join blog tours and shared my reviews. Their ongoing support keeps this blog running and I am eternally grateful. I would also like to thank my fellow bloggers who help my reviews reach a wider audience, provide guidance and helpful encouragement (seemingly at any time of the day or night) and who understand my overwhelming need to talk about amazing books.

20161211_202549The books I have selected are the titles which had the most memorable impact. They had a punch or a twist which stood out. They are the stories I still think about months after returning the book to the shelf or they are the books I put into the hands of friends who ask me to recommend something to read. My first “short list” had over 30 titles and I had to narrow that down, I feel bad for leaving some out and I hope that my reviews through the year have reflected how many brilliant books I have had the opportunity to read this year.

 

Sleeping Giants10 – Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel

“This book is just WOW. Sleeping Giants was an absolute gem, it made me laugh, it kept me hooked, I had no idea where it was heading and some scenes actually made me stop reading and double back thinking ‘Wait! What just happened’?”

My original review: http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1552   and you can order the book here.

 

 

 

Killer Instincts9 – Killer Instincts – Linden Chase

 

Drop a journalist onto a prison island inhabited only by murderers and task him with finding out who runs the facility and how it operates.

He is more concerned about surviving.

 

My original review: http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1951  and you can order the book here.

 

 

 

My Best Friend's Exorcism8 – My Best Friends Exorcism – Grady Hendrix

It’s an 80’s horror tale. I was not prepared for how dark this tale of two high-school friends would become but it totally captivated me and had some really nasty twists.

My original review:  http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1944  and you can order the book here.

 

 

 

a-suitable-lie

 

 

7 -A Suitable Lie – Michael J Malone

A Suitable Lie is an intense read which is highlighting a topic which is a far bigger issue than most realise. It is a story that will stick with you for a long time to come and it is important that it does. Not to be missed.”

 

My original review: http://grabthisbook.net/?p=2130 and you can order the book here.

 

 

Stasi Child6 – Stasi Child – David Young

Delightfully different. David Young takes us into 1970’s East Berlin, a time I normally associated with spy novels.  But this is a gripping police thriller and shows how life may have been “behind the Wall.”  Karen Muller is tasked with investigating a murder but may have her work cut-out as there is political pressure on her to find the “right” outcome.

My original review http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1336 and you can order the book here.

 

 

 

Exposure5 – Exposure – Ava Marsh

I loved Exposure. It’s not going to be for everyone as there are frank and graphic descriptions of porn shoots. But if you go into the story knowing it tackles real life issues and avoids sensationalising porn or making it seem that Kitty is living a 24/7 glamourous existence then you will get the best of Exposure.

This is a “must read” book

 

My original review  http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1772 and you can order the book here.

 

 

Hex4 – Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Another horror tale and this one is a belter. The town of Black Spring are hiding a secret – a Witch lives in their midst.  A 17th century woman, her eyes and mouth are sewn shut and she can appear in the middle of the night by your bedside. Disaster will befall the town should someone open her eyes – you can guess what happens next!

Terrifying reading.

My original review http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1668 and you can order the book here.

 

 

Jonathan Dark

 

 

3 – Jonathan Dark and the Evidence of Ghosts – A K Benedict

A crime thriller and a clever ghost story too.  I loved AK Benedict’s approach to this story and I long to read more Jonathan Dark stories. When I first reviewed it I said: I wish that every book I read was as enjoyable as Jonathan Dark and the Evidence of Ghosts

My original review http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1415 and you can order the book here.

 

Streets of Darkness

2  – Streets of Darkness – A A Dhand

Back in June I got the chance to read Streets of Darkness and it blew me away. I couldn’t put it down and I am desperate to read more from AA Dhand.

In my original review I said: it is a debut of some note.  An absolute cert for a 5/5 review score, I tore through it and felt drained at the end.

My original review: http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1762 and you can order the book here.

 

 

Epiphany Jones A/W.indd1 – Epiphany Jones – Michael Grothaus

 

Disturbing, hilarious, tragic and utterly compelling. I never quite knew where Michael Grothaus was taking us next when I read Epiphany Jones but I loved every step of the journey.

My original review:  http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1748 and you can order the book here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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