Monday, September 30, 2019

Giveaway - Dark Water - Robert Bryndza

Thriller fiction fans, I've got a great giveaway for you - the latest in Robert Bryndza's Detective Erica Foster series - Dark Water.

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Robert Bryndza is back again with the third book in the thrilling, crime series, starring Erika Foster, which has sold over 2 millions copies worldwide.

When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news when she vanished twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she discovers a family harbouring secrets, a detective plagued by her failure to find Jessica, and the mysterious death of a man living by the quarry.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth." Read an excerpt of Dark Water.

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestselling Detective Erika Foster series. Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages. He is British and lives in Slovakia.You can connect with Robert on his website andfollow him on Twitter.

And if you'd like to read Dark Water, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends Oct 12/19.

Friday, September 27, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #282

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
Nicci French's Freida Klein series ended last year. I wondered what she would write next. Well, its The Lying Room, a stand alone novel. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. And I've added it to my TBR pile! Two 'dark' looks this week. The US cover has us looking out of a window in a house towards a window in another house. The obligatory dark and foreboding tree is present. And the sense of spying on someone is transmitted. The UK cover also has someone spying - this time looking through a keyhole into what seems to be a bedroom. Maybe it's the room in the US cover? In terms of grabbing my attention, the UK cover does that with the stark black and placement of  the title around the keyhole. I find the purple and grey to be a it meh. A bit too busy. So an easy UK for me this week. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Lying Room?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Testaments - Margaret Atwood

Well, has there ever been a more anticipated sequel? Thirty five years on, Margaret Atwood has penned The Testaments - the follow up to The Handmaid's Tale.

Made into a Hulu series, The Handmaid's Tale has reached new generations, both on the screen and on the written page. That first book took us to Gilead, a regime where men ruled, women were chattel and handmaids were there to breed. All under the umbrella of religion.

Fifteen years have passed when The Testaments opens. There are three narratives. I as quite surprised to see that Aunt Lydia (if you've read The Handmaid's Tale, you'll know who this is) is the primary voice. "But among these bloody fingerprints are those made by ourselves, and these can't be wiped away so easily. Over the years I've buried a lot of bones; now I"m inclined to dig them up again - if only for your edification, my unknown reader." And turned what I had thought about this character upside down.

There are two other testaments - that of Witness 369A and Witness 369B - both young women from different sides of the 'border' - one living in Gilead, one safe in Canada. "We were the beneficiaries of the sacrifices made by our forebears. We were constantly reminded of this, and ordered to be grateful. Bbut it's difficult to be grateful for the absence of of an unknown quantity."

How those narratives weave together and what will happen will keep readers up late at night. And as more and more is revealed and the underlying plan becomes visible, I couldn't put the book down. And, as I don't want to provide any spoilers, I'll leave it at that. But suffice to say, I loved it.

Atwood's imagining of such a world is not so far fetched. I leave you with this....:Atwood reiterated that "each detail is plucked from reality" so nothing she wrote has not occurred already, whether it be in this climate or previously before." Scary huh? Read an excerpt of The Testaments.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Over the Counter #419

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner?

American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts by Chris McGreal.

From Public Affairs Books:

"A comprehensive portrait of a uniquely American epidemic–devastating in its findings and damning in its conclusions.

The opioid epidemic has been described as “one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine.” But calling it a mistake is a generous rewriting of the history of greed, corruption, and indifference that pushed the US into consuming more than 80 percent of the world’s opioid painkillers.

Journeying through lives and communities wrecked by the epidemic, Chris McGreal reveals not only how Big Pharma hooked Americans on powerfully addictive drugs, but the corrupting of medicine and public institutions that let the opioid makers get away with it.

The starting point for McGreal’s deeply reported investigation is the miners promised that opioid painkillers would restore their wrecked bodies, but who became targets of “drug dealers in white coats.”

A few heroic physicians warned of impending disaster. But American Overdose exposes the powerful forces they were up against, including the pharmaceutical industry’s coopting of the Food and Drug Administration and Congress in the drive to push painkillers–resulting in the resurgence of heroin cartels in the American heartland. McGreal tells the story, in terms both broad and intimate, of people hit by a catastrophe they never saw coming. Years in the making, its ruinous consequences will stretch years into the future."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Institute - Stephen King

Yes, I'm a Stephen King fan.....and I've liked some of his books better than others...but....I really liked this latest - The Institute.

I always like opening that first page, listening to that first chapter, wondering what King has in store for me. The first chapter of The Institute introduces us to Tim, a man not sure where he's headed next. This is what I love about King's storytelling. Rich, full descriptions, well developed characters and that wonderful frisson of what is going to happen next, how all the pieces will come together.

Well, next we leave Tim and meet Luke - as he is being kidnapped.  Luke wakes up in a room that looks similar to his bedroom, but isn't. When he ventures from the room, he meets a bunch of other kids. From them, he begins to piece together what has happened to him - and those who have come before. "They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

What do they all have in common? Abilities - telekinesis or telepathy. And the adults at The Institute? Oh, you're going to love to hate them.

Ahh, you can see it now can't you? Nobody does good vs. evil like King. And kids battling that evil? Even better. (Shades of Firestarter!) King has created a fantastic core of main players. They too, are so well developed. The listener will feel like they're part of the group. (although you definitely wouldn't want to be - the adults are truly despicable.)

And as the book progressed, I wondered how was Tim going to figure into this tale? All tales of good vs. evil need the heroes to make a stand.....

I chose to listen to The Institute. The reader was Santino Fontana and his performance was excellent! His voice is clear and so easy to listen to. He enunciates well and modulates his speed. The voices he's chosen for the characters are just right. The voices of the children are individual and believable and matched the mental images I had for them. Those nasty adults? Excellent interpretation as well, with the inflection and tone emphasizing, as my gran used to say, what 'pieces of work they are'. There's lots of action and tension in this book and Fontana captures that as well. See for yourself - listen to an excerpt of The Institute.

Did you watch Stranger Things? Yes? Well, you'll want to listen to The Institute. I loved it and binge listened (yes it's a thing) any chance I got. But even at 19 delicious hours of listening it was done way too quickly. Sigh...I'll be eagerly awaiting the next marvelous tale from Stephen King!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Giveaway - Imaginary Friend - Stephen Chbosky

Stephen Chbosky is the author of the bestselling coming of age story -  The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Twenty years later he's written something very, very different -- Imaginary Friend releases on October 1/19 and I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader. (The title and cover look so creepy!)

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"Christopher is seven years old.
Christopher is the new kid in town.
Christopher has an imaginary friend.

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Twenty years ago, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower made readers everywhere feel infinite. Now, Chbosky has returned with an epic work of literary horror, years in the making, whose grand scale and rich emotion redefine the genre. Read it with the lights on." Read an excerpt of Imaginary Friend.

"Stephen Chbosky is the author of the multi-million-copy bestselling debut novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In 2012, Chbosky wrote and directed an acclaimed film adaptation of his novel, starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. He also directed the acclaimed 2017 film Wonder starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. Imaginary Friend is Chbosky’s long-awaited second novel." You can connect with Stephen Chbosky on Twitter.

And if you'd like a chance to win a copy of Imaginary Friend, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends October 5/19.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Over the Counter #281

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

Add caption
UK cover
Oh, I am looking forward to C.J. Tudor's forthcoming book - The Other People. It's going to be a bit of a wait - Jan '20 is release date. It's been added to my TBR list. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. So, the car headlights on the US cover suit the premise of the book. Searching....I also like the fractured font used on the title. The UK cover continues the 'look' of Tudor's previous two books with the stick figures. The faded out figure speaks to something gone of missing. And the title set on pieces of paper reminds me of ransom notes. Hmm, I'm torn this week, but if pressed to choose, I think I will go with the US cover this week. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Other People?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Short and Sweet - #6 - The Hunting Party - Lucey Foley

What? Well, time flies and sometimes I just seem to run out of it! So, Short and Sweet will be just that - some brief thoughts on books I've read or listened to. And when you see S and S, chances are I'm either busy, tired or on vacation!

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley.

From the publisher, William Morrow:

"All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

“A ripping, riveting murder mystery — wily as Agatha Christie, charged with real menace, real depth. Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware.” – A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirty something friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Don't be left out. Join the party now." Read an excerpt of The Hunting Party.

My thoughts:

I was hooked  immediately. What's not to like? Isolated lodge, snow storm. old friends - and a 'locked room' murder. Foley does a fantastic job drawing her characters - particularly Miranda - the "queen bee." Her sense of entitlement, manipulation and downright nastiness is exceptionally done. And she's not the only one - each of the old friends has their own memories, resentments and secrets. And let's not forget the small staff at the lodge......

Delicious! I love a good whodunit - and there are many choices in The Hunting Party. Foley keeps the reader guessing with each new revelation. I was kept guessing right to the end. Excellent!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Over the Counter #418

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? There have been many, many books from other countries on how to be happy. How about one book covering many philosophies?

The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to be Happy by Helen Russell.

From Running Press:

"A fun, illustrated guide that takes us around the world, discovering the secrets to happiness. Author Helen Russell (The Year of Living Danishly) uncovers the fascinating ways that different nations search for happiness in their lives, and what they can teach us about our own quest for meaning.

This charming and diverse assortment of advice, history, and philosophies includes:

Sobremesa from Spain, Turangawaewae from New Zealand, Azart from Russia, Tarab from Syria,
joie de vivre from Canada and many more."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Rabbit Hunter - Lars Kepler

The Rabbit Hunter is the latest (6th) book in the Joona Linna series from husband and wife writing duo Lars Kepler.

Followers of the series will know that things went sideways for now ex-Detective Joona and two of his coworkers in the last book. Joona shouldered the blame and has now been in prison for two years.

But when a high ranking Swedish official is brutally murdered, Joona is offered a deal. Help find the killer and be pardoned. Joona takes the deal - yes, he wants out of prison, but solving crimes is what drives him.

The opening prologue sets the tone of the book. A particularly brutal murder of a particularly loathsome man. (Gentle readers - there are graphic scenes and plot devices in this book.) The killer is given a voice and his chapters are quite chilling.

Saga Bauer is back and she is one of my favourite characters, on par with Joona. She's tough, driven and highly intelligent - just like Joona. The time in prison has given Joona time to think about his personal life. This release will give him time to pursue it. Many of the relationships in the book are fractured - and this ties in with the main plotline.

The pace is quick, the action is constant and the tension rises. Although I expected a dark read, this one was really dark - some of the story seems like oddly gratuitous sex (Jeanette in the bathroom?!) and violence that has no bearing on the case. The last page had me wondering if I had a page missing in my copy. It ends a bit abruptly, but sets the stage (and crime) for the next Joona Linna book. If you like dark Scandi noir, this is a series for you. Read an excerpt of The Rabbit Hunter.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Their Little Secret - Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham has just released the sixteenth book in his DI Tom Thorne series - Their Little Secret. DI Nicola Tanner has been added to the series title in the last few entries.

Thorne is currently assigned to the Homicide Assessment Team - a mobile unit that attends sudden death cases to see if they are suspicious and need investigation. A seeming suicide by train looks to be an open and shut suicide case, but Thorne thinks may be more to it. And indeed there is. Billingham's plot for this latest mystery is dark and twisted. (most of them are!) Or to quote Thorne: "The truth was, there was very little about this case that wasn't weird. Off-kilter, unnatural. It felt as though something misshapen had woken and begun crawling towards him into the light...."

The reader has a window into both Thorne's investigation and the killer's thoughts, actions and moves. In this case, knowing who the killer is doesn't detract from enjoying the book at all. It only ramped up the tension and had me hooked. Thorne's dogged pursuit of answers and results isn't always by the book. Sometimes that works for him, other times not so much. But, I do love a driven, rebellious lead - and that is most definitely Thorne. Tanner and Thorne are complete opposites and as such, play incredibly well off each other. Different strengths, styles and outlooks.

Now, Billinham's plotting is always great and his prose are a treat to read. But, what I really enjoy are the recurring characters. Their Little Secret picks up just after the last book. Now, not to spoil anything but there were some lines crossed by Thorne, Tanner and coroner Phil Hendricks in the last book. The undercurrent of those actions runs just under the surface and the effects are telling nine months later. Thorne's personal life has fallen apart - again. And Tanner's as well. Funnily enough, the 'wild card' of the bunch (Hendricks) has found solid ground.

Billingham throws a curve into the last few chapters that I didn't see coming at all. And there's one unanswered question that will be perhaps answered in the next book?

This is one of my favourite series and Their Little Secret is yet another excellent read from Mark Billingham. See for yourself - here's an excerpt.

Friday, September 13, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #280

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

US cover
UK cover
Paul Daly is a British writer - her latest book is Clear My Name. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Well....two quite different presentations this week. The title font on the US cover does convey a bit of a darker tone. But, the image used? Boring and I've seen it too many times. Women on a cover. Now, the UK cover interest me more. I like the red font and how some of the letters are starting to blur. The choice of words at the top easily lets you know there's a mystery inside. And the subtle bars in the background adds to that feel. So, an easy choice for me this week - UK. What about you? 
Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Clear My Name?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Over the Counter #417

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? I was completely unaware of the benefits of bean water......

Aquafaba: Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free with the Magic of Bean Water Paperback by Zsu Dever.

From Vegan Heritage Press:

"This groundbreaking cookbook is the first to explore the many uses for aquafaba – a miraculous plant-based egg replacer made from simple bean liquid.

The bean liquid we used to throw away turns out to be one of the most astonishing culinary discoveries of the decade. With its amazing egg-replacement abilities, miraculous "aquafaba" can be used as an egg-replacer to make everything from French toast to lemon meringue pie. Aquafaba can be used as a binder in both sweet and savory recipes and is a boon to vegans, people with egg allergies, as well as anyone interested in innovative cooking with a magical new ingredient.

Aquafaba includes the story of how the bean liquid properties were discovered, how to use it, and how to make fabulous recipes, including: waffles, crepes, quiche, burgers, macarons, marshmallows,.
Aquafaba can even be used to make dairy-free cheese, ice cream, butter, and so much more. The book also includes a chapter filled with recipes that use the chickpeas and beans that remain after using their liquid to make aquafaba.

The latest title by San-Diego-based author Zsu Dever (author of Vegan Bowls and Everyday Vegan Eats), Aquafaba features Zsu's signature photography, her easy-to-follow instructions, and metric conversion charts."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Last Widow - Karin Slaughter

I am a big fan of Karin Slaughter's writing. I've enjoyed the last few stand alones, but have been waiting for a new Will Trent/Sara Linton book. It's here! The Last Widow. With every book, I say to myself oh, that's the best one yet, but I think Slaughter has outdone herself with The Last Widow - it's an amazing read. I literally couldn't put it down.

Slaughter starts off with a prologue guaranteed to hook the reader. A woman out shopping with her daughter is snatched from a parking lot. A month later she is still missing.

Will and Sara are at Sara's parents when a car collision sends them running to the street to help. But there's something off about it....And then the unthinkable happens - Sara is taken as well....but who? why? where?

And where Slaughter takes her plot from there is not so far removed from today's headlines. The current climate of hate, supremacists and domestic terrorism are the basis of Slaughter's intricate plot. The mind set, thought processes and violence of the characters of the alt-right group are frighteningly real.

I was so happy to reconnect with Will and Sara and see how their relationship was progressing. The romantic sub plot that has been building as the series progresses is done so well. Believable and not over the top into saccharin territory. But as the danger to both lead characters increased as the story progressed, I started to worry that Slaughter would do something. (Yes, she has surprised me (and not in a good way) in previous books). And I stayed up very, very late frantically turning pages to make sure that didn't happen. Action packed doesn't even begin to describe this book!

Recurring characters also return. Oddly, I am growing quite fond of Will's boss Amanda, despite her single mindedness. And I've always liked Will's partner Faith. Motherhood is examined through the eyes of many women in this novel.

Slaughter's writing is addictive and The Last Widow is no exception. If you've not read this series before, I encourage you to go back to the beginning and discover the players right from the start.

How many stars? An easy five. Sooooooo good. Read an excerpt of The Last Widow.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Possession - Michael Rutger

The Possession is the second book in Michael Rutger's The Anomaly Files series.

I quite enjoyed the first one - The Anomaly. (my review) This description had me pick up that first book...."If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore - a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the "real" experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists."

And it was catching up with the characters and seeing what new 'unknowns' Nolan and company would discover that had me happily picking up this next book.

Sidekick Ken is back as well as other supporting players from the first book. Hunting for a story (okay, really Nolan knows his ex-wife is on a story there herself and wants to see her) the crew find themselves in Birchlake, California. The story? Walls - stone walls seemingly randomly built. They start and stop at odd spots, the height on most of them won't keep anything in or out and many of them are in the forest. Rutger references many sites that had me firing up a browser to check them out. And yes, this is a real thing - the Nazca Lines, the Sajama Lines and Gungywamp are just a few examples of this phenomenon. But there is much more going on in Birchlake - add in a missing girl and some unusual townsfolk - and you've got yourself a multilayered story.

What's not to like? A mystery, the unknown, snappy (and humorous) dialogue and lots of action. The setting is really well done - I could absolutely imagine being caught up in the fog, the odd buildings and the dark forest. There are some creepy moments when I wanted to shout - No, don't go there to our intrepid crew! I must admit, I had to do some mental gymnastics to keep up with the last few chapters. The story flips back and forth between two groups. And up and down as the 'anomaly' and the present collide.

Although this is part of a series, The Possession can absolutely be read as a stand alone. Here's an excerpt of The Possession. I did like the first book a bit better, but this reader is looking forward to the third entry in this series.

Friday, September 6, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #279

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Lisa Jewell's newest book, The Family Upstairs, is already released in the UK, and comes out in November in North America. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. The UK cover takes the title quite literally in this cover shot. Dark rooms in a multi leveled building with one lit window. The dark tones say something's not quite right. And if you're not sure, there's a nice blurb from Ian Rankin.  Although I must say, I am a bit tire of 'scary house' pictures. Now - the US cover has no house in sight. It's dark, but that winding vine is quite ominous looking as it twists through the title. And the one bright spot is that magenta blossom. Maybe it's a poisonous plant? I find the US cover much more sinister and interesting - so that's my vote this week. What about you?
Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Family Upstairs?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Knife - Jo Nesbo

Knife is the twelfth book in Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series. I have to say, I think it's one of the best.

Harry is drinking again - it's a reaction to his wife Rakel kicking him out. But he's s been given another chance with the Oslo Police and is now assigned to cold cases. He finds a few that can possibly be tied to a heinous criminal he put behind bars ten years ago. The man has just been released. But before Harry can get into that investigation, his world is rocked by the murder of someone close to him. (Faithful readers - you will be very surprised, as was I) And though he shouldn't be anywhere near the case, there is no stopping Harry Hole.

I love square peg, round hole lead characters and Harry is most definitely that. He's a dark, dangerous, conflicted and complicated protagonist I can't get enough of.

Nesbo's descriptions of place conjure up vivid pictures of the settings. As with most of Nesbo's books, social commentary on the state of politics, corruptions, crime and the social welfare of Norway is woven into the plot. Harry's philosophizing will have you stopping to think.

Nesbo's plotting is intricate and multi-layered with many threads. How those threads are joined changes many times over the course of Harry's investigation. I absolutely bought in to the offered possibilities, only to be found wrong. Harry's memory is fallible due to the drinking. He often can't remember whole chunks of time. But his deductive reasoning is second to none. I was stunned as the book headed towards the final whodunit. Didn't see that coming! I love being unable to predict where a tale is going to go. Nesbo has surprised me with almost every book. And the ending? Oh, it leaves the door open for another Harry book!

The book is translated from Norwegian by Neil Smith. It's been done very well, reading smoothly with no choppiness or stilted feeling. Read an excerpt of Knife.

Those new to Harry Hole may want to start with an earlier book to truly get to know Harry and how life has led him to this time and place.

(And anyone with a hard copy of Knife - have a look at the author photo on the back - Nesbo is exactly how I picture Harry)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Over the Counter #416

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? I saw this one on a coming soon list...

My Penguin Year: Living with the Emperors by Lindsay McCrae.

From William Morrow:

"An unprecedented portrait of an emperor penguin colony in Antarctica, generously illustrated with the author’s breathtaking photography.

For 337 days, award-winning wildlife cameraman Lindsay McCrae intimately followed 11,000 emperor penguins amid the singular beauty of Antarctica. This is his masterful chronicle of one penguin colony’s astonishing journey of life, death, and rebirth—and of the extraordinary human experience of living amongst them in the planet’s harshest environment.

A miracle occurs each winter in Antarctica. As temperatures plummet 60° below zero and the sea around the remote southern continent freezes, emperors—the largest of all penguins—begin marching up to 100 miles over solid ice to reach their breeding grounds. They are the only animals to breed in the depths of this, the worst winter on the planet; and in an unusual role reversal, the males incubate the eggs, fasting for over 100 days to ensure they introduce their chicks safely into their new frozen world.

My Penguin Year recounts McCrae's remarkable adventure to the end of the Earth. He observed every aspect of a breeding emperor's life, facing the inevitable sacrifices that came with living his childhood dream, and grappling with the personal obstacles that, being over 15,000km away from the comforts of home, almost proved too much. Out of that experience, he has written an unprecedented portrait of Antarctica’s most extraordinary residents."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Turn of the Key - Ruth Ware

I absolutely love Ruth Ware's writing! I have been eagerly waiting for her newest - The Turn of the Key.

The cover image makes me wonder what's on the other side of the door and the title itself hints at things hidden away. The premise builds on that initial impression.....

Childcare worker Rowan is looking for a job change. When she sees an ad for a live in nanny for the Elincourt family, she applies - and to her surprise gets the job. One catch - she must start asap. Did I mention that Heatherbrae House is quite isolated out in the countryside? And that it is a 'smart' house - controlled by an app? A Gothic feel with a side of modern.

We know that something has gone very, very wrong right from the beginning of the book. Rowan is writing a letter to a lawyer, explaining what happened and I was caught up in the tale immediately.

Rowan is left in charge of the four daughters right away as Mr and Mrs Elincourt must travel to a convention for work. This was unexpected for Rowan. And the children do not seem to want her there. But is it just the children? The house seems to have a mind of its own as well.....

Ruth Ware is a master at building the suspense. Everyday occurrences take on a malevolent air - items misplaced, unexplained drafts and noises and more. The tension grows and grows - and I found myself mentally shouting at Rowan to just leave the house. The movie equivalent of don't go in the basement applies to the attic in this case.

Ware's description of the house made it easy to imagine the setting. Making the house a 'smart' house adds a layer and more questions to the story. I appreciated the many what if's and possibilities afforded by the isolation and the electronics - and the history of the house and previous nannies. Let alone the family - there are secrets in this house, and Rowan hints at one in her own as well.

The ending provides a twist - one I hadn't thought of, but the finale wasn't the outcome I had imagined.

I chose to listen to The Turn of the Key. Imogen Church was the reader and she was brilliant! Her interpretation of Rowan's fear, frustration and anger are so well done. Listening drew me into Rowan's state of mind and amplified the tension. The description of events was so creepy - I will never hear the word 'creak' again without hearing her voice. I simply couldn't stop listening. I've said it before and I'll say it again - listening immerses me in a book. And The Turn of the Key was a standout! Well done! Listen to an excerpt of The Turn of the Key.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Giveaway - Old Bones - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I've got a great giveaway for you today! Old Bones is new from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - and it's the first book in their new Nora Kelly series!

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"#1 bestselling authors Preston & Child bring the true story of the ill-fated Donner Party to new life in a thrilling blend of archaeology, history, murder, and suspense.

Nora Kelly, a young curator at the Santa Fe Institute of Archaeology, is approached by historian Clive Benton with a once-in-a-lifetime proposal: to lead a team in search of the so-called “Lost Camp” of the tragic Donner Party. This was a group of pioneers who earned a terrible place in American history when they became snow-bound in the California mountains in 1847, their fate unknown until the first skeletonized survivors stumbled out of the wilderness, raving about starvation, murder-and cannibalism.

Benton tells Kelly he has stumbled upon an amazing find: the long-sought diary of one of the victims, which has an enigmatic description of the Lost Camp. Nora agrees to lead an expedition to locate and excavate it-to reveal its long-buried secrets.

Once in the mountains, however, they learn that discovering the camp is only the first step in a mounting journey of fear. For as they uncover old bones, they expose the real truth of what happened, one that is far more shocking and bizarre than mere cannibalism. And when those ancient horrors lead to present-day violence on a grand scale, rookie FBI agent Corrie Swanson is assigned the case…only to find that her first investigation might very well be her last." Read an excerpt of Old Bones.

And if you'd like to read Old Bones, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends Sept 14/19.