February 25, 2022 at 2:27 pm #305579
I’ve decided to keep a record of the books I read this year, and will add them to a new post once I’ve finished them. I won’t write any reviews, but will add the blurb. To get the ball rolling –
A Book of Bones by John Connolly:
He is our best hope.
He is our last hope.
On a lonely moor in northern England, the body of a young woman is discovered. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull.
Each is a sacrifice, a summons. And something in the darkness has heard the call.
Charlie Parker has also heard it and from the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast the world into darkness.
Parker fears no evil; but evil fears him.March 9, 2022 at 1:23 pm #305600
A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw:
Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Often hired by families as a last resort, he takes on the case of Maggie St. James–a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books–and is soon led to a place many believed to be only a legend.
Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.
Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease–rot–into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed–and that darkness takes many forms.
Note – this isn’t officially released here in the UK until May (library binding) and September (paperback), but I was able to order a copy through Amazon before Christmas.April 28, 2022 at 1:08 pm #305677
Absynthe by Brendan P. Bellecourt
Some it kills. Others it transforms. See beyond the illusion.
The Great War has been over for years, and a brave new world forged. Technology has delivered the future promised at the turn of the century: automata provide, monorail trains flash between mega-cities, medicine is nothing short of magical.
Liam grew up poor, but now working for one of the richest families in Chicago, he reaps the benefits of his friendship with the family’s son and heir. That’s why he’s at Club Artemis. It’s a palace of art-deco delights and debauchery, filled to bursting with the rich and beautiful – and tonight they’re all drinking one thing. Absynthe. The green liquor rumoured to cause hallucinations, madness, even death.
While the gilded youth sip the viridescent liquid, their brave new world is crumbling beneath its perfect surface. Their absynthe is no mere folly. Some it kills, others it transforms. But in Liam something different has taken place. A veil has lifted and he can see the world without its illusion – and it isn’t the perfect world the government want the people to believe.May 4, 2022 at 12:08 pm #305687
Hold My Place by Cassondra Windwalker:
Obsession never dies.
When librarian Sigrun falls head-over-heels for the sophisticated and very married Edgar Leyward, she never expects to find herself in his bed—or his heart. Nevertheless, when his enigmatic wife Octavia dies from a sudden illness, Sigrun finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance worthy of the most lurid novels on her bookshelves.
Sigrun soon discovers Octavia wasn’t Edgar’s first lost love, or even his second. Three women Edgar has loved met early deaths. As she delves into her beloved’s past through a trove of discovered letters, the edges of Sigrun identity begin to disappear, fading into the women of the past. Sigrun tells herself it’s impossible for any dark magic to be at play—that the dead can’t possibly inhabit the bodies of the living—but something shadowy stalks the halls of the Leyward house and the lines between the love of the present and the obsessions of the past become increasingly blurred—and bloody.
Mixing lyrical prose with simmering terror, Hold My Place is a modern gothic horror worthy of Shirley Jackson’s nightmares and Daphne DuMaurier’s dangerous lovers.May 9, 2022 at 8:00 am #305695
Daughters of the Oak by Becky Wright:
The English Civil War. The Royalists of King Charles I and Cromwell’s Parliamentarians battle, both eager to lay claim to a tattered country, where life has become cheap and death trivial.
Though, for the lowly commoner, a greater, far more devious war rages. It threatens the souls of the weak, timid, and needy. Seeking refuge in the Lord’s word, God-fearing folk employ the skills of one man, the Witchfinder. His success speaks of his talent to seek out, punish and rid the countryside of Witches, the Devil’s Whores.
2016 – A paranormal team are called to investigate, as poltergeist activity brings terror to one family. Under the cover of darkness, in silent suburbia, an endless night of battle against evil ensues, until finally, a new day dawns.
Lies, secrets, and treachery, it seems, are never forgotten… Welcome to Manningtree.May 17, 2022 at 11:45 am #305708
The Tangle Box by Dave Kavanagh:
At the centre of this novel is a suppressed memory of the day Maria and Caroline O’Neill disappeared. In returning to his childhood home, Dan O’Neill attempts to recall what happened there and the consequences that followed.
At its heart, The Tangle Box is a story of hope and triumph, that has captivated its early readers. One reviewer said of it, ‘once started, I couldn’t put this book down.’
The Tangle Box is a tightly written debut, narrated in first person by the protagonist and takes us on a journey that begins on a day when Dan O’Neill heard a scream and saw blood, but beyond that, he remembers nothing.
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