I haven’t done that much reading recently. It has been exam times but that isn’t what has stopped me. I don’t have many books that are tickling my fancy. I’ve picked a couple of books up in the supermarket and in charity shops but they are failing to do it for me. I need a book I can get lost in, totally lose who I am in, to completely absorb me. I have been watching a tonne of TV but I just can’t seem to find any books that I want to read.
I’m hoping to source out a few really good read before heading to the USA in June, for the plane and any downtime I may get. So if anyone has any books that you enjoyed, please let me know! Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter because honestly, I’m at in a stale mate when it comes to finding books at the moment.
I did however manage to find a few books in the last little while which I have enjoyed, so here is everything I have been recently reading.
A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
I picked up this in a charity shop alongside Bridget Jones’s Diary when I decided I needed to read more and it MUST happen now. I haven’t picked it up until recently as uni got in the way and I had to read boring books about whether or not Umbricius’ tirade of Rome in Juvenal’s Satire 3 is a credible portrayal of daily life in Rome (spoiler: it is but he’s a dick). I read this book in a single day. One super sunny Sunday I treated myself to it and got sucked in straight away. To be honest, I did kind of see the ending coming once you got past the first big reveal at the end of the book but I was still hooked all the way through. It took me ages to realise the main character Kinsey was a girl and not a guy (my bad) but apart from that hiccup on my behalf, it got my old brain cells working on the murder mystery. The plot is pretty simple: Kinsey Millhone is a private investigator hired by a woman who has been convicted and done time for the murder of her husband to find out who really did it. Kinsey then unearths a connection a similar murder in another town and whole web of truths get uncovered!
These are some of my favourite books to read (unless they are super graphic and chilling because then I have nightmares, Kathy Reichs books give me the fear) and I was super excited to realise that this is the first book in a whole alphabet of Kinsey Millhone novels! Whilst I won’t be rushing out to buy the next one, I’ll definitely buy it if I see it in a book shop or charity shop in the future!
The Serial Killers Club by Jeff Povey
After finishing A is for Alibi, I was a bit of a loss for what to read. I have nothing unread in my bookcase which appealed to me so a quick browse in the BHF on Byres Road led me to this £2. I was instantly drawn it due to the peculiar cover and obviously the name! As crime loving gal, I knew I would enjoy this and I was surprised at how much. It is a dark comedy and I found myself theorising storylines the whole way through. Was it him? Was it her? Why were they doing that? It constantly kept me guessing right until the end and I didn’t see the twist coming, I was convinced that I knew who it was!
The book follows a club of serial killers who use old Hollywood names to identify themselves with who are infiltrated by someone posing to be a serial killer. Our protagonist doesn’t kill the innocent, he kills other members of the club and this all thrown into turmoil when an FBI agent cottons on to what he is doing. A larger story arc that is running is who is the Kentucky King Killer? This name is an infamous serial killer with almost 300 kills and his involvement in the club brings more mystery and of course, death! It’s such a dark topic and whilst I did find myself jumping a little bit in the dark after finishing it at 12.30am, it is threaded with humour so carefully and I really enjoyed reading it!
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
This was another charity shop find which I got v v v excited about. It is a practically brand new copy and I am so excited to find out this book was part of a trilogy. One of my friends raved about it and it definitely deserves all of its praise. This is a fantastic story about peculiar children living in the 1940s on an island of mainland UK, governed by Miss Peregrine and haunted by the stuff of nightmares: wights and hollowgasts. Enter Jacob: the disillusioned grandson of a peculiar named Abe who was a friend to these children but left their world to hunt down said terrifying creatures and Jacob becomes our reluctant hero in this fight of good vs. evil (the classic!) Woven into the story is a selection of antique photographs, some charming and some a little disturbing, which brings the story to light in a whole new way.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
After devouring the first book in the series, I was desperate to find the sequel and after being left disappointed when having no such luck in Waterstone’s, I came across it in WH Smith’s. I didn’t go through it as quickly as I did with the first one as I just couldn’t get sucked into it as quickly. The story picks up immediately after the ending of the previous and soon our group find themselves en route to London. There is a plot twist at the end which I did not see coming and it was really interesting to see more of the peculiar world. I can’t wait to see how the final book in the trilogy wraps itself up.
The Woman In Blue by Elly Griffiths
This is one of the books I received from my Granny and it has been sitting unattended to in my bookcase ever since. It is the kind of book I like: a sleepy town, a smart and intelligent heroine and a grumbly detective. And a murder. This was a really intriguing read, lots of twists and turns and a handful of very curious characters. There was a religious element to this story, lots of conflicts between Catholics, Church of England and pagan beliefs. Women priests, hateful letters, archaeology and a rehabilitation centre. Such a complex set of factors which bind together this story and I was very satisfied with who the culprit was. I didn’t realise it was a part of a series, the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries, and I would definitely read more of these if I crossed paths with them again.
Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
After my final exam on Thursday, I found myself in the British Heart Foundation on Byres Road searching for something to read. There were two Kate Mosse books sitting right in the middle of the shelf, both very sizeable and in bright colours, red and blue. Their size and colour stood out to me and I decided one of these would be my next read. I ended up going with Sepulchre over Labyrinth but after finishing Sepulchre, I will be returning for Labyrinth.
Stories like this are my favourite. One of my most favourite books ever, The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, is told in a similar fashion. Two stories entwined but set decades (or centuries) apart. The usual suspects in a good story: love, murder, mystery. Truths that can’t be explained, decades deep family mystery and secrets, someone who is lost searching for answers. Sepulchre was all of this and more. It follows the stories of Leonie Vernier in 1891 and Meredith Martin in 2007. Two women separated by more than a century but both chasing the same answers and facing the same problems. The storytelling flits seamlessly between the two protagonists, adding in extra elements from Paris to coincide with the events at the Domaine de la Cade. Everything is set up perfectly, not detail is left untold or unanswered. It fulfilled all my expectations of an intriguing and endearing mystery and more so. Definitely one to read if you expect to find yourself lying on a sun lounger for a week or so because it will suck you right in and keep you there.