Book Review: Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Name:  Twisted
Author:  
Steve Cavanagh
Number of Pages:
352 (Paperback)
Published:
May 21st 2019 by Orion
Genre:  Thriller, Mystery

Goodreads

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK
I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:
1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.
After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…


My Rating:

My Thoughts:

I picked up Twisted, glanced at the brief synopsis and ventured online to try and find out more before I started reading. As it happened, quite a few reviews said this thriller worked best the less you knew, and I decided to stop looking before I ended up tripping over inevitable spoilers. Guess what? They were right! The less you know, the less you see coming and that makes for an enjoyable read.

It makes Twisted a great book to recommend, but a little tough to review, so I have a feeling this will be fairly short, but that by no means reflects on the book at all. I just don’t want to risk giving anything away…

Twisted is about books, writing, hidden identities, betrayals and deceptions, and that’s about all I’ll say in terms of plot. It’s cleverly plotted and perfectly titled, for just when you think you’re getting a grip on the ‘who’, the ‘how’ or the ‘why’, there’s the next twist, delivered at the perfect time to leave you reeling and rethinking your ideas as you read on.

Twisted certainly delivers a fast-paced thriller. It is a page-turning read that builds the suspense and raises the stakes right through to the very end. It draws you in and keeps you guessing. This is the first Steven Cavanagh book I’ve read, but I already have a copy of Thirteen and after enjoying this one so much I can’t wait to discover more of this author’s work.

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Book Review: A Book of Bones (Charlie Parker #17) by John Connolly

Name:  A Book of Bones (Charlie Parker #17)
Author:  
John Connolly
Number of Pages:
720 (Hardback)
Published:
April 18th 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton
Genre:  Thriller, Mystery, Supernatural

Goodreads

The new thrilling installment of John Connolly’s popular Charlie Parker series.
He is our best hope.
He is our last hope.
On lonely moor in the northeast of England, the body of a young woman is discovered near the site of a vanished church. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull.
Each is a sacrifice, a summons.
And something in the darkness has heard the call.
But another is coming: Parker the hunter, the avenger. From the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast this world into darkness.
Parker fears no evil.
But evil fears him . . .


My Rating:

My Thoughts:

A Book of Bones is the 17th in the Charlie Parker series, but only the second book I’ve read after picking up The Woman in the Woods earlier this year. What a find this series is! I don’t know how I missed it for so long. The stories offer a wonderful mix of crime and supernatural and some memorable characters. This story begins shortly after events of The Woman in the Woods, and I am glad I read that book first.

A Book of Bones follows Charlie Parker and his allies Louis and Angel, along with rare book expert Bob Johnston who is knowledgeable in the ongoing search for the Fractured Atlas, an old book said to have enough power to alter the world forever.
Parker is in pursuit of the lawyer, Quayle, and his sidekick, a woman known as Pallida Mors. When last we saw this pair Quayle believed his search for the scattered pages of the Atlas was almost complete and that everything was about to change.

The search for this dangerous duo takes our heroes across Europe and to Britain, where a series of murders is keeping the police occupied. We follow D.I Nicola Priestman and her team as the body count rises, each being discovered at a site of historical significance.

There are stories within the main story, historical events of a strange nature, from a disappearance from an archaeological expedition to a murder in Whitechapel, and these tales added atmosphere and creepiness to the modern-day search for Quayle and Mors. I loved these interludes almost as much as the main narrative.

A Book of Bones is a vast and epic tale, and one that draws you in right from the start. Towards the end I couldn’t stop reading ‘just one more chapter’, but I didn’t want it to end either! At least I have the rest of the series to discover whilst eagerly awaiting the next chapter of Charlie Parker’s story.

Booking Ahead: July 2019

Booking Ahead is a feature on Pages and Tea where I glance through my never-ending TBR list/pile and select a few potential reads for the coming month. If I’m not reading books I love talking about books I’d like to read, so this post is a perfect excuse to do just that.

A new month, another chance to explore my TBR list/pile, and June must have been a month where I read really slowly because this month many books are making a reappearance!  So, here are a few of the books I’d like to read throughout July…

New Books

A Book of Bones by John Connolly – The latest addition of the Charlie Parker series. At 700+ pages I think this one is going to keep me occupied for quite a while! Can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next after enjoying The Woman in the Woods.

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Books from the Backlist

A Poirot novel by Agatha Christie, possibly Peril at End House or Death on the Nile – I’m continuing my exploration of the Poirot novels, and both of these titles are just waiting on my TBR pile.


What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read of my picks, and if so what did you think?
See you again next month for another Booking Ahead.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Summer 2019 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Click on the link for more info and to find out about future topics.

This weeks theme is:  Books on my Summer 2019 TBR


A Book of Bones by John Connolly – I’ve only very recently discovered the Charlie Parker series. I started with The Woman in the Woods as some of the themes/plots carried over into this latest book, so I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen next. At 700+ pages this one should keep me occupied for a while, and when I’m done I’ll hopefully be able to go back and read earlier books from this series.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – I’ve just watched the tv series and it definitely left me wanting to read the book. It was just so different, and I can’t wait to see the similarities/differences with the original story. I also can’t believe that this will be my first Terry Pratchett book.

Tomorrow by Damian Dibben – A 217 year old dog seeking his master across various points in history. Sounds pretty unique to me.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I’ve seen so many good reviews for this one that I’m intrigued already.

Circe by Madeline Miller – The number of times I’ve mentioned this book previously and I still haven’t read it!

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie – Continuing my discovering of Christie books, Death on the Nile feels like a good choice for summer reading.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – There’s a new series based on this book I think, and I wonder whether I’ll end up watching that before I finally read the book. That’s what usually happens!

I’ll probably try and read at least a couple of Thrillers over the summer months and Twisted by Steve Cavanagh and Conviction by Denise Mina have both caught my eye recently.

More Fantasy definitely needs to feature in my summer reading too, but at the moment I’m not sure what to read. All suggestions welcome…


So, have you read any of the books that made my list this week?  If so, what did you think of them? See you again next time for another Top Ten Tuesday.

Book Review: The Woman in the Woods (Charlie Parker #16) by John Connolly

Name:  The Woman in the Woods (Charlie Parker #16)
Author:  
John Connolly
Number of Pages:
496 (Paperback)
Published:
February 21st 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton (First published April 5th 2018)
Genre:  Thriller, Mystery, Supernatural

Goodreads

The new thrilling instalment of John Connolly’s popular Charlie Parker series.
Charlie Parker aids the police when a buried, semi-mummified body of a woman is discovered. She apparently died of childbirth. Parker has to find out who she was and what happened to the child.


My Rating:

 

My Thoughts:

Better late than never, as they say. This is the first John Connolly/Charlie Parker novel I’ve ever read, and I’m so glad I did. It’s not all bad, coming late to a series, because this being book 16, I have a whole back catalogue to discover at my leisure.
I actually started with The Woman in the Woods because the latest instalment, A Book of Bones caught my eye thanks to the striking cover, but I went on to read reviews saying it wasn’t really a book to begin with as it featured themes covered in previous stories, so The Woman in the Woods became my starting point.
Obviously I don’t have the familiar feeling of returning to well-known characters that comes with being a long-term reader, but I don’t feel anything was lacking, or that I struggled to keep up by delving into the series so late, and there’s a summary at the back of the book (I read the paperback) of Parker’s previous adventures for those who don’t want to go in totally blind.

The Woman in the Woods offers a wonderful mix of thriller, mystery, murder and something a little spooky and supernatural, a great mix that kept me turning the pages long after I should have put the book down. The plot is complex and engaging, featuring multiple storylines and many colourful characters. The supernatural element was wonderfully written, just the right amount of eerie without being too scary.
Parker becomes involved in the case of a corpse found in the woods. A huge tree has fallen, apparently without reason, and unearthed human remains. When it becomes apparent that the woman had recently given birth, the fate of the child, whether alive or dead becomes of interest to several parties, not all of them good.

There are adversaries in the form of the creepy lawyer Quayle and his associate Pallida Mors, the strange woman with her grey appearance and unpleasant smell who kills without qualms or mercy. What a duo. They’ll stop at nothing in their aim to find out what happened to a woman called Karis and her child, and when Quayle and Parker become aware of each other, you can imagine there’s going to be a scene at some point.

As for Parker’s allies, I loved Louis with his recently discovered joy of reading and list of top 100 books to read. His partner Angel is recovering in hospital after surgery, and as Louis thinks anxiously of the future he still throws himself into helping Parker with his latest case.
I also liked Moxie Castin, the man driven to discover what happened to the woman found in the woods, and Parker’s daughter Jennifer, a ghostly presence with whom Parker speaks and who plays her own role in the case of the Woman in the Woods.

As the story progressed the search for missing book pages was mentioned, which was fascinating. I believe this may carry on in the following book, so I’m glad that I read The Woman in the Woods first, to have a little background information. I won’t say more as I’m close to spoiler territory possibly here.
The whole idea of this book and what it may potentially do, and the way another book is incorporated is creepy and a little magical.

The Charlie Parker series is definitely one I’m glad to have finally discovered. I don’t know why these books have never caught my attention before, but I recommend this one for anyone looking for an exciting story, great writing, characters to love and hate, and a great deal of suspense. I cannot wait to start A Book of Bones and see what’s next for Charlie Parker and his allies and enemies.

 

Booking Ahead: June 2019

Booking Ahead is a feature on Pages and Tea where I glance through my never-ending TBR list/pile and select a few potential reads for the coming month. If I’m not reading books I love talking about books I’d like to read, so this post is a perfect excuse to do just that.

A new month, another chance to explore my TBR list/pile, which is, as usual, far too long and always expanding! Here are a few of the books I’d like to try and read this month.

New Books

A Book of Bones by John Connolly

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Conviction by Denise Mina

The Furies by Katie Lowe

Books from the Backlist

Circe by Madeline Miller – I’ve had this one on my TBR pile for so long that it’s moved from the New Books into the Backlist section! I have no excuse for why it’s never found it’s way to the top of the pile yet, because it sounds so good.


What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read of my picks, and if so what did you think?
See you again next month for another Booking Ahead.

Book Review: A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher

Name:  A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World
Author:  
C. A. Fletcher
Number of Pages:
365 (Hardback)
Published:
April 23rd 2019 by Orbit
Genre:  Post Apocalyptic

Goodreads

When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and The Girl With All the Gifts.
My name’s Griz. My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football.
My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.
Because if we aren’t loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?


My Rating:

My Thoughts:

At the beginning of A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is a note asking readers not to reveal any of the secrets found within the story. Call me instantly intrigued. I couldn’t help but wonder what I was about to read, and more to the point, how I would be able to write about the book and stay true to this request? Well, here goes my attempt…

The world as we know it has gradually petered out as people stopped being able to reproduce. Everything seems to have ended quietly as the last generation aged, with no new generation to take their place. Griz has always lived on an island with his family – parents, siblings and dogs. They’re surviving, having endured various tragedies and joys along the way.
Then someone new arrives, and suddenly Griz is thrown into chaos when the stranger steals Griz’s beloved dog Jess.
With little thought for anything else, Griz goes in pursuit, determined to take back his dog and return home to his family. But the adventure will take him a long way from home.

For a world left desolate and mostly empty there is still a great deal of wonder to discover, and when Griz reaches the mainland a whole world beyond anything he’s read about in books opens up. There’s such atmosphere in the locations, they’re so vivid in their solitude and ruination as nature takes over where humans have long since departed. So many images stuck in my mind, abandoned places and remnants of the way life used to be.

Griz has a wonderful imagination and loves books and stories, and there’s a great sense that the stories of bygone times survived even where the people could not, and that stories still have power, even in a world that has fallen apart.
His own story is written in a notebook to an unknown boy in a photograph that Griz found whilst scavenging. It gives him some focus as to who he’s telling his tale to, even though the two have never met and never will.

There’s a bleakness to much that Griz finds, but also something very hopeful about the journey, and the world that remains. In a dangerous situation, there’s appreciation of the small things – a temporary safe haven, the chance to listen to music, or to find something new to read, and meeting new people, although they are few and far between and don’t always have the best of intentions.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is a book to lose yourself in. Melancholy, dangerous, a difficult venture with the odds stacked against Griz, it still offers hope, courage, friendship and plenty of surprises and revelations along the way. It’s a book you really should experience for yourself, and one you’re not likely to forget quickly.