I was very excited to see Judgement Prey by John Sandford pop up for review that I let it leap-frog over a heap of other books. And I’m even blessing it with a review on my much-esteemed website 😉 rather than just on Goodreads even though I only had an electronic copy. Because I freakin’ loved this book. I’m almost tempted to give it 4.5 stars except I was a smidge disappointed by the actual ‘who’ part of the whodunnit. It wasn’t left-field but let’s just say we weren’t given some of the clues we needed earlier and I do prefer an even playing field when it comes to the big reveal / finger-pointing thing.
I enjoyed Louise Candlish’s The Other Passenger, published in 2020. It proved popular, as did Our House, published in 2018 and since made into a four-part miniseries. I missed her 2021/22 book The Heights but happily dove into her latest release, The Only Suspect. Like The Other Passenger, here Candlish offers up a twisty tale with a narrator (well, two in fact) we’re not sure we can trust.
Nicci Gerrard and Sean French (writing together as Nicci French) are back with another standalone thriller, The Favour. And I enjoyed this even though the protagonist – Jude, a young geriatrician – annoyed the crap out of me, making one bad decision after another. I still liked her but groaned each time she entrenched herself more deeply into the world her former high school boyfriend and his very unorthodox group of friends lived.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware is an absorbing read. It unfolds in the past and present, both via our narrator Hannah. In the past she’s starting out at Oxford University, climbing out of her public school past and and navigating the quagmire that is university life – grappling with study and new friends (which I remember as if it wasn’t 35 years ago 🙄 ). And in the present, she’s married, living in Edinburgh and working in a bookshop – never having graduated from university.
Ware doesn’t keep us guessing why as the book opens with Hannah finding the body of her best friend and room-mate April but we’re then taken back to their meeting and the weeks and months leading up to April’s murder.
Reputation by Sarah Vaughan is the third book I’ve read by the former English political correspondent. I enjoyed her the popular Anatomy of a Scandal which has been adapted for television and coming to Netflix in April 2022. I wasn’t as enamoured with Little Disasters which had a stronger parenting focus as – regular readers of my reviews will know – my eyes glaze over at the mention of judgmental parents and parenting wars and the like.
She’s returned to what she knows best here however and the focus is very much on the world of politics. (And the private lives of those who run for office and the media reporting on them.)
I thought I’d only missed the most recent Stephanie Plum adventure but according to Goodreads the last I read was #25. And in the two books I’ve missed Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur has been married and widowed. Again.
Things seem to have progressed with one of Stephanie’s love interests as well. Though here, it’s not the Ranger vs Morelli dilemma we’re used to, but someone called Diesel raises his apparently handsome head. And I found myself wondering where he fits into things, though have a vague memory of him – perhaps in a different series or a standalone book?
House of Correction by Nicci French is the latest standalone by the married couple Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. It’s an interesting book. I initially engaged with our lead Tabitha though was a little baffled by her naiveté about her predicament (ie. in jail on remand but assuming ‘the truth will set her free’). Then we see a side of her that had me realising she was perhaps not entirely a nice person. And – though I can cope with unreliable or unlikeable narrators if they’re psychopaths or sociopaths, I wasn’t sure I’d cope with one who was just a bitch.
I’ve been reading so many twisty books lately. I mean, I know I read a lot of novels of suspense and psychological thrillers so it’s what you expect, but authors are obviously working a lot harder to keep we readers guessing.
I’m usually pretty good with the whodunit stuff, but I’ve floundered a bit lately and Catherine Steadman’s Mr Nobody was very much like that.
This is the second book of Steadman’s I’ve read and her 2018 novel Something in the Water was chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s popular book club.
I was surprised to read this was the first Nicci French (Nicci Gerrard / Sean French) standalone novel in 10 years. I’ve got quite a few on my bookshelves so it made me feel a little old. Of course I’ve not really been smitten with the Frieda Klein series, though have enjoyed the last few more than the first couple.
And I really enjoyed much of this novel and (unsurprisingly, cos I’m not great at delaying instant gratification) read it in a sitting. I was a tad disappointed with the end as it felt a little anti-climatic but I’d enjoyed everything that came before.