BOOKS READ MAY TO JULY

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Books I read during May to July of 2019. I am still struggling with health. As much as I love going to the library. Now I only have brand new unreleased novels on my reservation list at the library. I am trying to read and declutter books of my seven bookshelves. They decide to either keep or pass onto charity

May

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Book three of Stephanie Garber Caraval series. Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun; with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time, only those who will win, and those who will lose everything. Welcome, welcome to the Caraval’s Finale. All games must come to an end. I have so enjoyed this series. I would also love to see a film based on these three books.

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Welcome to the life of a junior doctor; 97 hours weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward. This was a good book and I did enjoy this.

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Book four of the Jane Hawk series, The Forbidden Door. She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills – and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice – Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal. But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden, for now. As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives, against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door. This to me, felt like a filler book, and it was similar to the others. The last one is due out in July and I wanted to get this read.

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This came through the library very quickly. The first of another series. Captain Amy Cornwall’s family is missing. She will do whatever it takes to bring them home. In her career as an Army intelligence officer, Amy Cornwall has seen haunting sights half a world away. None compare to the chilling scene at her Virginia home. It is empty. A phone rings with a terrifying ultimatum; locate and liberate an unnamed captive in forty eight hours, or her kidnapped husband and ten-year-old daughter are dead. Now, and in open defiance of Army Command, Amy must employ every lethal tactic she has to save them. To succeed, she must discover not only who dispatched her on this mission, but why. Without her family, she’s dead anyway. This was not bad, and I would definitely read another one, if this does turn into a series. I will not be buying as a kindle though.

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Another library book, another new series from James Patterson. In the Carnival days leading up Mardi Gras, Detective Caleb Rooney comes under investigation for a murder he is accused of committing in the line of duty as a Major Crimes detective for the New Orleans Police Department. Has his sideline at the Killer Chef food truck given him a taste for murder? While fighting the charges against him, Rooney makes a pair of unthinkable discoveries. His beloved city is under threat of attack. And these would be terrorists may be local. As crowds of revelers gather, Rooney follows a fearsome trail of clues, racing from outlying districts into city centre. He has no idea what or who, he will face in defense of his beloved hometown, only that innocent lives are at stake. I struggled to read this book. And when finished, I just did not like this. Therefore, I will not be reading any more from this series.

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One of my favourite authors is Linda Fairstein. Alex Cooper takes on the case of a young woman who testified years earlier at a landmark Federal trial and now reveals that she was sexually assaulted by a prominent law enforcement official during that time. As the case grows more complex, Alex, along with NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, find themselves in uncharted territory within Manhattan’s Rockefeller University, a research institute born of tragedy that has evolved into a premier scientific facility, hospital, and cornerstone of higher learning. But when dark secrets of the century-old institution intersect with life-threatening events, the experience may just help determine whether Alex will keep her job, or throw her hat in the ring to become the next district attorney of New York County, if she can survive that long. But during this month I watched a series on Netflix called ‘When They See Us‘  It shows the true story of a notorious case of five black teenagers who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. And the person who put this boys are some were only 14 years old was Linda Fairstein. This blew my mind. And I could not finish the book. It shock me to my core, that she did this. This book was put back in the box for a long time.

June

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This I found by chance on amazon. A short story containing two favourite characters; Jack Reacher and Will Trent. This was brought with a voucher for the cost of £1.49. Will Trent is undercover at Fort Knox. His assignment: to investigate a twenty-two-year-old murder. His suspect’s name: Jack Reacher. Jack Reacher is in Fort Knox on his own mission: to bring down a dangerous criminal ring operating at the heart of America’s military. Except now Will Trent is on the scene. But there’s a bigger conspiracy at play – one that neither the special agent nor the ex-military cop could have anticipated. And the only option is for Jack Reacher and Will Trent to team up and play nicely. If they can. This was finished quite quickly and left me wanting more. But who know if the authors ever will collaborate again.

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Then back to Michael Connelly, this book seven and is A Darkness More Than Light. Terry McCaleb’s enforced quiet lifestyle on the island of Catalina is a far cry from the hectic excitement of his former role as an FBI profiler. However, when small-time criminal Edward Gunn is found dead, McCaleb becomes embroiled in a disturbing and complex case leading him to cross the path of Harry Bosch. This infamous detective has always teetered on the brink of darkness in order to get inside the head of the killer. Is it possible that he has stepped across that finely drawn line and embraced darkness? This took me a long time to finish. I think that I am not a fan of the Terry McCaleb character but I was glad to have this out of the box.

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Cleaning, aka hinching, does not have to be that job you dread, not when Mrs Hinch is here to show you her sparkly ways. At over 2 million followers and counting, she has taken the nation by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever tidying tips and passionate belief in cleaning. Mrs Hinch invites you into her home and while inside you’ll discover how a spot of cleaning is the perfect way to cleanse the soul. She’ll even share the story of Mr and Mrs Hinch and their ‘gorgeous’ boy, Henry. Their dog. Inside you’ll find out:

– How cleaning can soothe anxiety and stress
– Mrs Hinch’s must-haves
– Step-by-step guides to hinching your home
– And so much more!

With the help of her cloth family, Mrs Hinch will help you turn your house into a home. Whether you’re a daily duster or looking for a monthly makeover, Hinch Yourself Happy shows you how to create not only a cleaner house, but a calmer you. This I borrowed off my sister. Some thing lighter to read.

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The next Harry Bosch is book eight. When the bones of a boy are found scattered in the Hollywood Hills, Harry Bosch is drawn into a case that brings up dark memories from his past. Unearthing hidden stories, he finds the child’s identity and reconstructs his fractured life, determined that he won’t be forgotten. At the same time, a new love affair with a female cop begins to blossom until a stunningly blown mission leaves him in more trouble than ever before. The investigation races to a shocking conclusion and leaves Bosch on the brink of an unimaginable decision. This I enjoyed and read a lot faster than the previous novel.

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I then read a new James Patterson book, Unsolved. FBI analyst Emmy Dockery’s unique ability to uncover the patterns that others miss has brought her an impressive string of arrests. But a new case, unfolding across the country, has left her looking for something which may not exist. The victims all appear to have died by accident, and seemingly have nothing in common. But this many deaths can’t be a coincidence. Can they? Emmy’s instincts tell her this is the work of a terrifyingly intelligent serial killer and she is determined to prove it. When her obsession with the crimes raises flags within the FBI, she’s in danger of becoming a suspect herself. But someone else is watching Dockery. Studying, learning, waiting. Until it’s the perfect time to strike. This is another book series, the Invisible series. I got this brand new from the library. And really enjoyed it.

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This is a collection of all eight Ghosts of the Shadow Market stories, along with two brand new ones, about characters from Cassandra Clare’s internationally bestselling Shadowhunters series. The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets they do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah is sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jem Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray. Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealing and festival, Anna Lightwood’s doomed romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no-one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah. The series features characters from Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, Dark Artifices and the upcoming Last Hours series. I am a fan of Cassandra Clare and I wanted to read this. But I struggled to read this. I started this three times, and just could not get into this. Glad it came from the library and I did not buy this.

July

Registered dietitians Rosie Saunt and Helen West are the founders of The Rooted Project, set up to translate the latest research direct to your plate, and make evidence-based nutrition accessible and engaging. In this book, they explore everything from the danger of anecdotal evidence and unsubstantiated ‘facts’ about food to the real science behind the nutrients we consume every day. They explain why there is nothing to be feared from fat or carbs, or for the vast majority of us the much-maligned gluten, as well as probing the murky depths of the diet industry to explore the latest links between diet culture and weight stigma. They take a deep-dive into gut health, look at the emerging science of the connection between food and mood and examine differences between allergies and intolerance’s. This book is both a reference guide and a narrative to relish: it debunks the myths that dominate the food and wellness industry and offers the right tools and knowledge to allow readers to take control of their own health. Evidence-based, body positive and practical, Is Butter a Carb? is the modern must-have nutrition book for everybody interested in food, health and pop science. I found this so interesting and would recommend this to everyone interest in nutrition.

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I went back to my book challenge This is book nine, Lost Light. Harry Bosch has retired from the Los Angeles Police Department, but the discovery of a startling unsolved murder among his old case files means he cannot rest until he finds the killer. When he left the LAPD, Bosch took a file with him: the case of a production assistant murdered four years earlier during a movie set robbery. The LAPD thinks the stolen money was used to finance a terrorist training camp. Thoughts of the original murder victim were lost in the federal zeal, and when Bosch decides to re-investigate, he quickly falls foul of both his old colleagues and the FBI. When the private investigation enables him to meet up with an old friend, shadows from his past come back to haunt him.

Another favourite author is Karin Slaughter. It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air. A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens. Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind. I have all the books in hardback and do enjoy this series. I will continue to buy them if the quality keeps up. And if they are about my favourite characters.

Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking, the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers, brings a comforting sense of home. So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little tea shop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium. Luckily she soon makes friends including a Grecian god-like neighbour who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairy tale of Alice’s life to come, but can she find her happily ever after? I wanted to read something different and found this at the library. It was on sale as kindle for 99p, but sometimes you just want to read something completely different and not buy them. The beauty of the library.

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Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory. When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation. Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set on the spectacular Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, cut off from the English mainland by a tidal causeway. This was a good book, that I really enjoyed. It is another crime series of at least sixteen books. I brought this for £1.99. I have ordered the next one from the library. But if I earn another swagbucks voucher first, I will buy the next books.

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Naomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world. Now, at last, she has decided to put down roots. The beautiful old house on Point Bluff needs work, but Naomi has new friends in town who are willing to help, including Xander Keaton, gorgeous, infuriating and determined to win her heart. But as Naomi plans for the future, her past is catching up with her. Someone in town knows her terrifying secret,and won’t let her forget it. As her new home is rocked by violence, Naomi must discover her persecutor’s identity, before it’s too late. Another library book, I really enjoyed this.

Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family’s resort in Western Montana, there just aren’t enough hours in the day – for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn’t have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time. But when a young woman’s body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine’s family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine’s Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice’s mysterious disappearance? As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth, before the sun sets on their future together. Sounds very dramatic doesn’t it, but they never really are with these books. Another library book, as a few of them caught my eye when I was looking for someone else. But I did not enjoy this one and glad I did buy this.

This is the last of the Nora Roberts books that I had read from the library. When the shots rang out in the shopping mall, Simone Knox knew what to do. Shelter in place. That’s what they taught you to do in the event of a mass shooting. So on that terrible, hot summer day in 2005, Simone was lucky. She escaped death. But she would never be the same again. More than ten years later, Simone still struggles with grief, trauma and the misplaced guilt of a survivor. She spends much of her time alone on Tranquility Island – a quiet, artistic community off the coast of Maine. But she is transforming, shaping herself the way she shapes her extraordinary and highly prized sculptures. As she heals herself, she opens up to Reed Quartermaine, who survived the shooting himself and has become a detective. But someone has been watching all the survivors of the DownEast Mall massacre. They have spent years perfecting a plan to finish what was started that day. Now that Reed and Simone have found each other, they are in more danger than they can possibly imagine, from a killer who will not, and cannot stop. Was not a fan of this one either. Too long winded for me. And thankfully I did not buy this one !

I took advantage of am Amazon Kindle Unlimited Prime Day deal. Three months free, as I knew that this series was available on Kindle Unlimited and I wanted to read them all and not wait for the library. When I find a good author, my patience goes and I just want to read them all. Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan’s job to piece together her past. Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable. Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian’s Wall country in Northumberland.

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Another favourite author is Angela Marsons I am a big fan of this series. So this is book eleven, Child’s Play I read this straight away on release day. Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica. Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event. With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killer’s they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades. Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late? This was another brilliant story, this is one of the few authors I will buy straight away or until the stories change for the worse. This is book eleven and I loved it. I can not wait to see what happens next.

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Book three in this series, that I am really enjoying. Aiming to read them all if they continue to be good. When a man is found dead at the remote church of Heavenfield, DCI Ryan is the only other person for miles around. The police have no weapon, no motive and no other suspects. Already suspended from Northumbria CID, Ryan must fight to clear his name. But soon, more than his career is at stake when prominent members of the mysterious ‘Circle’ begin to die. Somebody wants Ryan’s name to be next on the coroner’s list and to survive he must unmask the devil who walks among them before it is too late. Unfortunately for Ryan, the devil looks just like everybody else. Another great read, I am so enjoying this author stories.

After a turbulent time, DCI Ryan’s life is finally returning to normal and he’s looking forward to spending an uneventful Easter bank holiday weekend with his fiancee.  Then, on Good Friday morning he is called out to a crime scene at one of the largest cemeteries in Newcastle. The body of a redheaded woman has been found buried in a shallow grave and the killer has given her wings, like an angel. Soon, another woman is found at a different cemetery, followed quickly by another. Panic spreads like wildfire as a new serial killer is born, and Ryan’s band of detectives must work around the clock to unmask him before he can strike again. Another great story. I am so enjoying this author.

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend, Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend? There’s a nationwide manhunt underway but the trail has gone cold and fear spreads like a virus. Ryan and his team must find The Hacker before he takes another life – but are they too late? The clock is ticking. Another very good story.

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at twenty seven, she has barely stepped outside the small mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she’ll see it all for herself. When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy. As Angie sets out to find the truth, about her family, her past and who she really is. Will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way? This came from the library and was okay. I am glad that I did not buy this.

After his climactic battle with notorious serial killer The Hacker, DCI Ryan is spending the summer with his fiancee within the grounds of Cragside, a spectacular Bavarian style mansion surrounded by acres of woodland. When they are invited to attend the staff summer party, a Victorian murder mystery evening.It is all a joke until the lights go out and an elderly man is found dead. It looks like an unfortunate accident but, as the dead man’s life begins to unfold, Ryan and his team of detectives realise that all is not as it appears. When a second body is found, terror grips the close knit community and Ryan must uncover the killer who walks among them, before they strike again. Another good story. I am thinking of buying these series as I am enjoying and think I will want to re-read them again.

One fateful, starry night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant until now. Detective Chief Inspector Ryan returns from honeymoon to face danger from all sides. In the depths of Kielder Forest, a murderer has escaped justice before and will do anything to protect the secrets of the past. Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, an old foe has taken the helm as Superintendent and is determined to destroy Ryan at any cost. Repeating myself, but another great story.

It’s been five months since a killer walked free and DCI Ryan is preparing to leave Newcastle to hunt him down, this time, for good.
But Ryan’s plans are scuppered when events take a dramatic turn and he is forced to stay and face his past one last time, or watch a friend suffer the consequences. Amid the chaos, another killer is preparing to strike. When the Tyne Bridge explodes, Ryan’s team are faced with a frantic race to uncover a deadly foe who won’t stop until every bridge is burned, along with everybody on it. This one was another good story.

When an old man is found dead inside the ancient hermitage at Warkworth Castle, Northumbria CID are called in to investigate. With no apparent motive, it’s their job to unravel why he was murdered,  and this time they’re forced to do it without their star detective. DCI Ryan is thousands of miles away. He’s tracked a killer across Europe and has sworn not to return until he has his man in custody. Nathan Armstrong is a dangerous psychopath but there’s just one problem, he’s also an international celebrity; a world-famous thriller writer with money and connections. Ryan is a stranger in a foreign land, but he knows one thing, he will never give up. Another great story.

Viking treasure is discovered beneath the icy waters of the North Sea and local historian Doctor Anna Taylor is called in to help catalogue the most exciting hoard in living memory. But when a shipwreck diver washes up dead, she’s soon out of her depth. Luckily, she knows just the person to call. When DCI Ryan arrives at the picturesque fishing town of Seahouses, he’s faced with an impenetrable wall of secrets and lies. As he juggles marine archaeology and the cutthroat world of shipwreck diving, another murder blows the case wide open. To uncover the truth, Ryan must delve deeper into the hearts of those around him to find what lies beneath. Another good story. I have been to a few of the places mentioned in this book series and it has made me think of visiting more of them.

This is the prequel to Holy Island, book one in this series. In the stifling summer heat of 2014, a killer has been stalking the streets of Newcastle causing city-wide panic. When the officer in charge of the case turns up dead, it falls upon Detective Chief Inspector Ryan to take up the baton and find the person responsible.​ To the close-knit team of police in Northumbria CID, Ryan is still an outsider; aloof and uncompromising. He’s lived a charmed life and has an unbroken track record to match. But, as The Hacker’s death toll rises, Ryan realises this is one adversary he’ll never bring to justice on his own. Another good story, a bit darker and I did miss a character that Ryan was introduced too in the first book.

When a ten-year-old girl turns up on DCI Ryan’s doorstep to tell him she’s witnessed a murder, he has no idea he’s about to step into his most spellbinding case yet. The circus has rolled into Newcastle upon Tyne, bringing with it a troupe of daring acrobats, magicians, jugglers and one of them is a killer. Ryan and his team must break through their closed ranks to uncover a secret which has lain buried for eight years, before the killer strikes again this time, to silence the only living witness. Another good story and now have to wait twelve days for a brand new one to released. I cannot recommend this author enough. I have really enjoyed this series.

A new series I found in the library. This is the first of twelve. When she’s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants – not quite earth, not quite sea. When a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice. The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory and in serious danger. Not bad and I have reserved the next ones from the library.

Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child minus the skull beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate. The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before, a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death.

I have wanted to read this since 2017. I had this book stored in a book list since then and just thought just get it and read it. Michael Tanner is heading home from a business trip when he picks up the wrong laptop at airport security. The computer he takes home belongs to US senator Susan Robbins, and it contains top secret files that should never have been on there in the first place. With her career in politics on the line, Senator Robbins is determined to get her laptop back, whatever the cost. Tanner is now a hunted man. But with the government against him, who can he trust to help him? Pleased that I finally read this.

Dr Ruth Galloway is called in by a team of archaeologists investigating coastal erosion on the north Norfolk coast, when they unearth six bodies buried at the foot of a cliff. They seem to have been there a very long time. Ruth must help discover how long, and how on earth they got there. Ruth and DCI Nelson are drawn together once more to unravel the past. Tests reveal that the bodies have lain, preserved in the sand, for sixty years. The mystery of their deaths stretches back to the Second World War, a time when Great Britain was threatened by invasion. Ruth thought she knew the history of Norfolk, she’s about to find out just how wrong she was, and how far someone will go to keep their secrets buried. Another good series, I have asked for the book set of ten for my birthday, looking forward to reading the others.

Jonathan Quinn is the best at what he does: making bodies disappear. Within the espionage world, his reputation is impeccable. There was a time, though, when that reputation was still being built under his mentor, Durrie. A time when the very man who had taught Quinn all he knew could have derailed the young cleaner’s future. Fifteen years ago, Quinn was offered a job. On the surface, a straightforward mission to stop a terrorist. But the client gave Quinn the additional task of taking on Durrie as his number two, as a last chance for the veteran agent to be rehabilitated. Durrie had been on a downward spiral, going from being a highly respected operative to an unreliable has-been. These changes threatened to destroy everything—not only in Quinn’s life, but Orlando’s, too. She was Durrie’s girlfriend, and Quinn’s best friend. Both she and Quinn were desperate to help Durrie return to the person he once was.They hoped this job would be the answer. Durrie had other plans. I am a fan of this series, and I read this for free during my three free months, I will be buying this as a kindle one day.

This I found in the library, another new series. A band of magicians who served together in World War II track a killer who’s performing their deadly tricks. Brighton, 1950. The body of a girl is found cut into three pieces. Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is convinced the killer is mimicking a famous magic trick; the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old war friend of Edgar’s. They served together in a shadowy unit called the Magic Men, a special ops troop that used stage tricks to confound the enemy. Max is on the traveling show circuit, touring seaside towns with ventriloquists, sword-swallowers, and dancing girls. He’s reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate but advises him to identify the victim quickly, it takes a special sidekick to do the Zig Zag Girl. Those words come back to haunt Max when the dead girl turns out to be Ethel, one of his best assistants to date. He’s soon at Edgar’s side, hunting for Ethel’s killer. Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max are sure the answer to the murders lies in their army days. And when Edgar receives a letter warning of another “trick” on the way – the Wolf Trap – he knows they’re all in the killer’s sights. I did like this, and ordered the rest of the series from the library.

Brighton, 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the snowy pier, with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin. But Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance of two local children. With fairy tales in the air, it’s not long before the press have found a nickname for the case: ‘Hansel and Gretel’. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The missing girl, Annie, used to write plays and perform them with her friends. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished and rather disturbing  last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime? For Stan (aka the Great Diabolo), who’s also appearing in Aladdin, the case raises more personal memories. Back before the Great War, he witnessed the murder of a young girl while he was starring in another show, an event which has eerie parallels to the current case.  Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But with both distracted by their own personal problems, neither can afford to miss a trick. For Annie and her friend, time is running out. Another really good story and I am surprised that I am enjoying a series set in the 1950s.

‘The boy who had been abused and strangled in that hideous little room looked so like her, he could have been her brother..’ A teenage boy is found mutilated and murdered in a Glasgow flat. Forensic scientist Rhona Macleod is called to the scene, but her grim task is made even more unsettling than usual by the boy’s remarkable resemblance to her — and the fact that she gave up a baby boy for adoption seventeen years before. Racked with guilt, she sets out to find the boy’s killer and determine whether he is her long-lost son — but in doing so, she immerses herself in the sinister world of an internet paedophile ring. Some very powerful men have a lot to lose if she succeeds, and everything to gain if she dies. Another series, I came across at the library. I saw that I could get the first eight free with my kindle unlimited deal.  So I thought lets see if this is any good. This book I finished quite quickly so I downloaded all that I could get to see if I liked them.

When a young homeless girl dies in the latest of a string of arson attacks, Dr. Rhona Macleod is called in. But the chief fire investigator is the hot-tempered misogynist Severino Macrae, and he doesn’t like to lose face. As the attacks escalate, will the strain in their relationship distract them from the murderous arsonist who seems to be infiltrating both their personal lives and their work? This was one was good too. I love finding new authors.

“The left foot had been severed from the leg ten centimetres below the patella. Both fibula and tibia bones were divided at the same place. All the toes were intact, although the nails had disintegrated or been eaten off during the foot’s time in the water.” Dr Rhona Macleod travels north to investigate a grisly discovery – a severed foot, caught in a fishing net off the Isle of Skye. Where is the rest of the body, and who is the dead man? What links him to a sinister secret society in America? And why is the Ministry of Defence so keen to shut down the case? Rhona’s investigations embroil her in an international conspiracy from which she will be lucky to escape unharmed. I am enjoying this series. Onto the next one !

Book 4 in this series. ‘..the face that stared at him through the glass was his mum’s, but it didn’t look like her. Stephen’s mouth dropped open and real fear grabbed his stomach. His mum’s face was chalk white, her mouth twisted in pain. Behind her was a dark shadow. Stephen dropped the bones. ‘ A six year-old boy has vanished, his mother and grandmother horrifically murdered. At the scene, forensic scientist Rhona Macleod finds a chilling African talisman, made from the bones of a child. Can she decipher its meaning and track Stephen down before he becomes the next link in the killers’ chain? Another good story.

Then this book came from the library. When detective Maggie Oliver first discovered that children as young as 10 were being groomed, abused and trafficked for sex by gangs of men in the Rochdale area, she felt like a lonely voice calling for people to act. Banging on closed doors, it seemed that nobody was able or willing to help her save these vulnerable girls, but she couldn’t just sit back while countless lives were being destroyed forever in plain sight. Instead, she launched a one-woman campaign to bring down these sickening gangs. This is the heart-breaking and shocking story of how the actions of one determined detective secured convictions in what is now one of the most notorious grooming cases in the UK. Along the way Maggie discovered countless examples of how the authorities were letting down our most vulnerable children. She blew the whistle, losing her job and at times her mind at times, in a bid to stop others from experiencing the same. This is the first ever account from a police insider on the endemic problem of child sexual exploitation across the nation and how these cases are handled by the authorities put in place to protect us. It tells the story of a woman brave enough to speak out and a group of girls who found the strength to fight for justice after having their lives completely shattered by their abusers; together they show in shocking detail why this must never happen again. This was horrible to read. I never saw the BBC series and only knew what I had read online. I was shocked at the failing of both the Labour, Conservative and Police Forces.

Elizabeth II’s coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright’s possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are for Stephens and Mephisto to be summoned to the case. Edgar’s ongoing investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show – and his television debut – so it’s Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He’s on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone silences him first. It’s Edgar’s colleague, DS Emma Holmes, who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day. Now it’s up to Edgar, Max and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who’s been dealing the cards. Again I really enjoyed this series.

Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less than savoury support act: a tableau show of naked ‘living statues’. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens’ current case of the death of a quiet flower seller, but if there’s one thing the old comrades have learned it’s that, in Brighton, the line between art and life and death is all too easily blurred. Another good story, and I am pleased that I am up to date with this series. The next one is not out until October 2019.

A young woman, a prostitute has been brutally slain and left across a grave in Glasgow’s sprawling cemetery, the Necropolis. Rhona Macleod, called in to carry out forensic investigations, has no doubt that the depraved killer’s motives were sexual. When the removal of the girl’s corpse from the city of the dead reveals another woman buried secretly underneath, the case takes on a disturbing new dimension. This man has killed before and will again. When another girl is reported missing, Rhona knows she has to track him down and stop the pattern from repeating itself. Another good story.

Where the hell had the kid found a human skull? McNab heard an intake of breath behind him as someone else made out the shape in the torchlight. A metre away now, McNab crouched on a level with the child. ‘Where did you find that, Emma?’ he said softly. She stared at him. ‘I was lost. I heard them calling me.’ When Claire regains consciousness after a stranger causes her car to crash in a snowstorm, she is frantic to discover her nine-year-old daughter Emma missing from the back seat. Then Emma is found in the woods nearby, unharmed but cradling a child’s skull. She claims it ‘called to her’ and she can hear another voice nearby. Meanwhile, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is trying to discover the identity of a corpse found badly burned in a skip. The body is wearing a soldier’s ID tag, but DNA tests show it’s not him. When DS Michael McNab asks for her help identifying the remains Emma found, they discover the two cases are linked in ways they could never have imagined. This was so good and the ending was what. Imagine having to wait a year to see if someone is still alive. I know it is just a character. But when you like them. Onwards to the next one.

The clown suddenly appeared beside a group of kids at the candy floss van, bringing Kira to an abrupt halt. Then it began. The rapid heartbeat, the burst of perspiration, the gasping breath. The baby lurched inside her, as though sharing her panic. When the body of a pregnant teenager is found in a Hall of Mirrors with the full term fetus surgically removed, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is called in to assist the police. Suspicion falls on Jeff Coulter, a psychotic inmate at a nearby hospital whose hobby is making Reborns, chillingly realistic baby dolls intended for bereaved parents or those unable to conceive. But how could he have orchestrated the murder from a secure mental facility? The investigation leads to a group of teenage girls who seem to have all got pregnant at the same time. Then a Reborn doll is discovered near the crime scene and a second girl from the group is found dead.

She began to scrape at the mortar. A few minutes later she was able to prise the edge of the brick loose. The resulting rush of foetid air made her gag, but she focused her torch beam on the enlarged hole and peered inside. Her eyes widened in horror. When art student Jude Evans vanishes on a photographic visit to a derelict Glasgow cinema, her friend Liam enlists the help of his birth mother, forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod, in his search for her. Visiting other cinemas on her list, they find clues to her disappearance and to the horrifying secret she may have discovered behind those walls. Throughout the investigation, Rhona must deal with the news that a face from her past is literally back from the dead, but for how long. Another good story. I am really enjoying this series. Now have to get the rest from the library.

It is Halloween night, and the local museum in King’s Lynn is preparing for an unusual event, the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But when Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise, she finds the museum’s curator lying dead beside the coffin. It is only a matter of time before she and DI Nelson cross paths once more, as he is called in to investigate. Soon the museum’s wealthy owner lies dead in his stables too. These two deaths could be from natural causes but Nelson isn’t convinced. When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth’s friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, she and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling and the mystery of The Dreaming may hold the answer to these deaths, and their own survival. This was a good story too.

It is three days before Christmas and a bitter wind is blowing across Norfolk. Until her daughter was born, forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway didn’t do Christmas, but now that Kate is a year old, she wants it to be special. She must get a tree, shop for food, clean the house, buy presents, including one for her new boyfriend, who she isn’t even sure is her boyfriend and remember to get the turkey out of the freezer. But time is rushing by and the best laid plans don’t always work out. This is a novella that I found with my kindle unlimited deal. My library did not have this.

A brand new book from the library, I do like this series. Prison is a dangerous place for a former cop, as Harriet Blue is learning on a daily basis. So, following a fight for her life and a prison wide lock down, the last person she wants to see is Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Woods. The man who put her inside. But Woods is not there to gloat. His daughter Tonya and her two-year-old child have gone missing. He’s ready to offer Harriet a deal: find his family to buy her freedom. I did enjoy this, and hope they continue these characters in other stories.

I have read so much, I am still trying to read two book series that I have from the library. And then I am determined to get back to my book challenge and finish sorting out the books that I want too.

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