I completely missed a month! It ended up getting so late in the month that it seemed silly to do September round-up post, so I thought I’d stick all of the books from September and October into one post.
The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent *
I’ve read a lot of psychological thrillers this year; we’re in the throes of quite the glut of this kind of novel right now. I don’t mind; when they are written well, they are very enjoyable, and the very best thrillers can give me a physical reaction when the outcome is finally revealed.
This is another story told from the perspective of a woman dealing with a crisis in her life. In this case, it’s Fran, who discovers her husband’s dead body one night. In the subsequent days, as she attempts to help the police discover what happened to him, she has to come to terms with the fact that she didn’t really know him at all. It’s a gripping enough story, with a great setting; the gloomy winter in the fens really adds to the sense of foreboding and claustrophobia. But ultimately it fell short of being a great book for me. There was just something about the final reveal that didn’t set my world alight.
Remix by Non Pratt
I read this because I heard Non Pratt talking about it on the same YALC panel as I heard Sophia Bennett and Chris Russell talking about their books featuring music. This is the story of a pair of best friends at a music festival, coming to terms with their respective relationships breaking up, how their friendship is going to survive their recent different exam results, and general teenage drama. It’s well written, and though a lot of it is about boys and relationships, it’s also about teenage friendship. I liked it a lot.
The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe *
You can read my full review of this here; it’s set almost entirely on a train travelling between Manchester and London, and each section of the chapters is told from the perspective of a different character. As you would expect from a train-full of people, they are a mixed bag, from single mum on a business trip, to young man heading to a job interview, with a family man and an older couple, amongst others, thrown in for good measure. The most significant character is Saheel, who is carrying a bomb that he intends to detonate when he reaches his destination. It’s an enjoyable story that I have been thinking about for a few days since finishing it; it has some very well-written characters, and juggling the multiple perspectives can’t have been an easy task, but is handled with aplomb.
Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling
These new Harry Potter short Kindle books come hot on the heels of The Cursed Child, and as big a Harry Potter fan as I am, I have to say that even I am wondering if it’s ever going to stop any time soon. But that being said, I enjoyed all three of these, as they pick up where the old Pottermore site left off in giving extra information about the characters we all know and love. I don’t necessarily need new stories, but any additional information about the stories I am so fond of? I’ll accept that gladly.
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling
I’m not going to lie, these three Pottermore books have largely merged into one, and I’m struggling to remember the defining stories and information contained in them individually. But I do know that this one was my least favourite of the three, given that it contains rather a large amount of information about old Ministers for Magic that we have never heard about before, and other characters I care less for than others.
Death at the Seaside by Frances Brody *
You can read my full review of Death at the Seaside here; I have been offered the chance to review three Kate Shackleton mysteries for three years in a row, and it’s always a pleasure to read them! This one follows amateur detective Kate as she holidays in Whitby, and of course, because crime follows her around, she finds herself investigating both the murder of a local jeweller, and the disappearance of her goddaughter. I genuinely had no idea which way the story was heading until it went there, and though it’s a gentle journey, it’s no less enjoyable that something that’s a bit more thrilling. I can heartily recommend this series of books if you like a cosy crime novel, and I really must check out the earlier ones in the series that I have missed.
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling
I finished this one while I was on holiday; I was only there for four days (one of which was spent at a wedding), so I didn’t get a lot of reading time, but this was another easy read. I liked this one, though I had already read some of the chapters when they were included on the old Pottermore site. I loved reading about how Lupin became a werewolf, and how ultimately he was just grateful to have anyone who wanted to be his friend, and also about Professor McGonagall, and how devoted she was to the school. All good stuff, and I would happily accept a full encyclopedia if Rowling ever wanted to write one.
Books in 2016 – 40