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Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

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We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Thriller, Literary fiction, Crime fiction

Pages: 344 pages (Kindle)

Published: 26th March 2020 by Zaffre


Melancholic, compelling, and so beautifully written.

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Book Review: The Captive by Fiona King Foster

Book Review: The Captive by Fiona King Foster


The Captive by Fiona King Foster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, Ecco, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Captive is a compelling, intriguing thriller. The plot moves along quickly. Rustic noir isn’t a subgenre I’ve come across before, and that mixed with the slightly dystopian setting kept me interested. The writing was solid. Unfortunately, it left me dissatisfied.

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Book Review: Rose Madder by Stephen King

Book Review: Rose Madder by Stephen King


Rose Madder by Stephen King
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This is one of those King books I honestly didn’t expect much from. It’s not one commonly listed as a favorite, or even mentioned that frequently from among his works. I can’t say I would’ve thought to pick it up had I not been so invested in the extended reading list for the Dark Tower. But it was next on that list, so I found myself a copy. Now I’m incredibly glad I picked it up. Though not perfect, Rose Madder is now one of my favorite King novels outside of The Stand and the main Dark Tower series. Talk about a protagonist you can root for.

“It ain’t the blows we’re dealt that matter, but the ones we survive.”

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Book Review: Insomnia, by Stephen King

Book Review: Insomnia, by Stephen King


Insomnia by Stephen King
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This isn’t my favorite King novel I’ve ever read, but it was a fun, very interesting ride. If you’re planning on a journey to King’s Dark Tower, this one is absolutely essential. Not only are the concepts of ka and ka-tet integral to the plot of the novel, the Tower itself makes brief appearances. And while I didn’t look it up for fear of having important future plot points spoiled for myself, I’m almost positive that two important new characters in the main series were introduced in this book.

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TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)

TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)


2020 has so far been a truly strange, stressful and complicated year, but reading wise it has been pretty incredible for me.  I’ve read/listen to 73 books during this first six months of the year and quite a sizeable chunk of these garnered 4-stars and above.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf in the same period of time.  If you’re interested, you can see my year in books for 2020 right here.

Similar to my previous list, I do not limit this to only books released this year.  There are simply too many great books that have been published prior and that I’ve yet to read, so there will always be older books included.  Below are the parameters that I’ve set for the list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • Not limited to books which are released this year.

None of these are ranked except for the top three, of which two are tied for first place.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  All of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads.

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Book Review: The Labyrinth of the Spirits (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Book Review: The Labyrinth of the Spirits (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #4) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Cover illustration by: Matt Duffin

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 6 of 5 stars

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Book #4 of 4)

Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Translated Edition Published: 2018 by Weidenfield & Nicholson, Orion Books (UK) & Harper (US)


The Labyrinth of the Spirits is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It has it all – evocative history, engrossing mystery, atmospheric setting, compelling characters, incredible emotional depth – wrapped up in writing so beautiful that it moves your soul.

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Book Review: The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Book Review: The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Book #3 of 4)

Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Translated Edition Published: 2012 by Weidenfield & Nicholson, Orion Books (UK) & by Harper (US)


The Prisoner of Heaven was another captivating entry in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books that provided a more balanced tone of light and dark.

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Book Review: The Angel’s Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Book Review: The Angel’s Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Book #2 of 4)

Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Translation Edition Published: 2009 by Weidenfield & Nicholson, Orion Books (UK) & 2009 by Doubleday (US)


The Angel’s Game was equally as spellbinding and bewitching as The Shadow of the Wind, but in a totally different way.

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Book Review: Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Book Review: Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

 

Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the wrong hands a secret is a weapon.

Caroline Corsham’s life is forever altered the night she stumbles over the brutalised body of a woman she thought she knew…and hears her dying words. Caro can’t get the tortured whisper of ‘he knows’ out of her mind. Could it be about the secret she holds close? But then everything changes. It stuns her to discover that her ‘friend’ was not an Italian noblewoman, but a high-class prostitute. One with dangerous acquaintances in both high and low society. It’s clear that the police intend to brush the murder aside. After all, who cares about a dead whore? But Caro isn’t the type of lady to let things slide. Hiring the thief-taker Peregrine Child to assist her enquiries, she sets out to discover what happened in the bower of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens that evening. And it turns out that there are, in fact, a good number of people taking an interest in this murdered girl, because they all have something to hide. To bring the killer to justice, Caro is going to have to put everything she has on the line…

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Book Review: The Holdout by Graham Moore

Book Review: The Holdout by Graham Moore

 

The Holdout by Graham Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: 20th February 2020 (Orion)

Being a juror on a high profile murder case has got to be a thrill ride and a half: looking at the bloody evidence and weighing witness statements, the savage craziness of the media interest, then finally getting to decide the fate of a man charged with murder. It’s got to be just like tv, right? Exciting. Maybe even a shot at your own fame… 15 minutes or otherwise.

But what Maya Seale got wasn’t quite fame, it was INFAMY. Not convinced of Bobby Nock’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, she campaigned for a Not Guilty verdict and eventually persuaded, or wore down, all the other jurors. The result was spectacularly unpopular, provoking uproar in both the courtroom and the real world, and changing the jurors’ lives forever.

Now it’s 10 years later and they’re back together again. Apparently there’s new evidence to consider and more questions to be asked. Everyone wants to know if they got it wrong. But when one juror ends up dead, it looks like someone’s willing to kill to keep their secrets buried for good.

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