Dead Tide by Fiona McIntosh is the fourth in the popular DCI Jack Hawksworth series and when it opens Jack is lecturing at University while recovering from injuries resulting from his last outing.
Like several other books I’ve read recently Denizen by James McKenzie Watson was an award-winner before it was even published, winning the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize
I only belatedly requested a review copy after seeing others rave about it following its July 2022 release. And it’s certainly a brilliantly-written book. A confronting and challenging read in some ways and the second I’ve read in a row that tackles mental illness and self-harm.
In naming his third novel Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone, I think Benjamin Stevenson might have been attempting to rival Adrian McKinty’s Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly. When it comes to book title length I mean!
I’ve very much enjoyed Stevenson’s previous novels, Greenlight and Either Side of Midnight. They both featured a crime documentary-maker and were set in TV land. The lengthily named Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone is a departure, but almost certainly my favourite (of his) to date and I can’t imagine it not being one of my favourite books of the year. And that’s all because of its telling.
Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh is the third in the series featuring Scotland Yard detective Jack Hawksworth, promoted here to Detective Superintendent.
I’ve commented in my review of the two previous books that I very much like that McIntosh presents Jack as a likeable boss and his own supervisor is also a good friend of his. It’s a nice change from the usual bastard-like guv’ners we meet in most novels featuring police personnel.
Australian author Katherine Firkin introduced readers to Detective Emmett Corban in Sticks and Stones. At the time I expected it would become part of a series and – as always – I was right. (Why doth thou doubt me?! Or something.) It doesn’t matter if you missed the first book however as, though I re-read my old review for context, only a few characters are featured here and there’s no background required.
I really liked our lead, Emmett in the first novel, here however it was the plot that interested me the most – particularly the events of twenty years earlier which set up an intriguing cold case mystery.
Benjamin Stevenson’s second book, Either Side of Midnight again features (former) true-crime documentary-maker Jack Quick which I assumed meant I needed to refamiliarise myself with his character.
Deep diving into our past (mine and Jack’s), ie. reading my review of Greenlight, reminded me I really enjoyed the book and found Jack to be a bit of an enigma. However I also discovered I’d cunningly kept spoilers out of my review. Spoilers that obviously included VITAL information about Jack and the events at the end of that book. (Well, shit!)
Thankfully, Stevenson recaps pretty quickly here and I was reminded that, in Jack, we’re offered a rare insight into a really fragile and complex male character.
I’d requested The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland for review but unfortunately didn’t receive it. I have a rule that I’m not allowed to buy any books until the end of the year and then I’m only allowed to buy those that might make my ‘best of the year’ post. My weird logic is two-fold. I’m not really working at the moment so can’t justify buying many books PARTICULARLY when I receive so many for review. And my to-be-read (TBR) pile stresses me and I don’t want or need to add to that guilt – although there are quite a few books on there I’ve not requested and are outside of my usual reading genre.
Anyhoo, I’ve really loved Lisa Ireland’s last two books The Shape of Us and The Art of Friendship and met Lisa and also really like her. (I’ve mentioned before if I tend to like someone in person I generally find I like their writing!) So, when a friend suggested I borrow her copy of The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan I jumped at the chance. And thank god I did as I loved it! In fact it’s probably my favourite of the three (of Lisa’s books) I’ve read.
I feel like I’m a latecomer to Riptides by Kirsten Alexander as it seems to have been out for a while, though really it’s only been a month or two. It’s been hugely popular however and (I understand) already reprinted twice.
Alexander offers readers a challenging narrative as we wonder what we’d do in a similar situation but I must admit what I loved most about this book was the trip down memory lane as it’s set in 1974-1975. I would have only been six years of age at the time but it brought back far more memories than I expected.
I hadn’t requested this book when it was first offered as I think I assumed it was a romance novel or about babies / childbirth. Both of which are kinda sore points for me much of the time.
It wasn’t until later I discovered it was about the recipient of a heart transplant and the wife of her possible donor. It’s a subject I know a little about as my father had a heart transplant (in December 2000) when he was 61, and it gave him 11 additional years with us until he passed away in late October 2011.