What I've Been Reading Recently #6

My new job means that I'm now commuting half an hour to and from work. It also means that I'm reading a lot more and I'm now picking up new books on a weekly basis. 

I can't help myself. If you read a lot like me, the best place by far to pick up books is charity shops. Not only are they cheap and go towards a good cause, but they also seem to have pretty new releases and popular books that I've wanted to get my hands on. It also pushes me out my comfort zone, making me pick up books I might not try before! 

Anyway, here are a few books that I've picked up recently. 

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena 

'Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realised. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?'

After reading the front of this book and seeing the words ‘the most talked about thriller of the year’ on the cover, I couldn’t help but grab it as soon as I could. 

It’s basically about a 6-month baby that goes missing from her cot, whilst her parents are at a party next door. Although they’re checking on her intervals, they go home to find her no longer in their home. The book is all about finding out what happened to her. 

The one thing I found with this book is that it moves extremely quick. The story is set over a few weeks, but there’s no slowing down at all. I found this a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. 

The good was that it gripped me, it was non-stop and I didn’t want to put the book down. 

The bad was that it seemed rushed. Each scene had something significant happening, like it was crammed into the book. There wasn’t a breather. As all the scene’s seemed rushed the twists and turns didn’t surprise me much. There was no build up or tense situations. Even the dramatic ending seemed completely rushed, leaving me feeling empty and disapointed. 

But, it was called the ‘most talked about thriller of the year’ so maybe I’m simply missing something. 

I’d be interested to know if you’ve read this book. 

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton 

'On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways' 

Okay, so this is different to the books I normally read! 

I heard so many amazing things about this book when it first came out, however, I've never got round to picking it up. When it saw a hardback book in the charity shop for a tiny 95p, I couldn’t grab it quick enough. 

I have to point at the beautiful cover. There’s something about pretty covers that draw you into a book andthere’s a lot of prep that’s gone into this book that makes it looks lovely on a bookshelf. 

Now on to the book itself. It was okay. 

That’s all I can say about it, it was just meh. 

It was a different story and something I’ve never read before. But, it didn’t completely grip me. To start with, I couldn’t find any attachment to the characters, so when things started to happen, I just found myself not really caring or being disinterested in how the characters were feeling or what they were going through.  

The book isn’t as much about the Miniaturist, but more about the characters in the book. The Miniturist seems irrelevant when everything is kicking off and didn’t particular add or take away anything away from the story. 

I’d describe this book more of a drama/romance than anything else, I thought it might be a bit fantasy in nature, which is a genre I’ve never really explored before, but I was slightly disappointed! 

Again, I’d be interested in your thoughts! 

The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons 

'A band of vigilante executioners roam London's hot summer nights, abducting evil men and hanging them by the neck until dead.

As the bodies pile up and riots explode across the sweltering city, DC Max Wolfe hunts a gang of killers who many believe to be heroes.

And discovers that the lust for revenge starts very close to home ...

I’ve heard a lot about Tony Parsons, but it’s an author I’ve never read a book by before. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve always been reluctant to read detective series novels. However, there are many exceptions to the rule (including one I’m about to mention below) and I’m hoping this one is too. 

It follows DC Mex Wolfe as he hunts a gang of killers who are seen as heroes to society for killing those who are evil in society i.e. crimes against children. 

It’s a strange one as in most books you find yourself feeling sorry for the victims and their families, but this book is the opposite. The book doesn’t mention the victims of the vigilantes, but the more the victims of those who have been sentenced to death and the reason why this has happened. You find youself cheering on the gang like everyone else as they try and do good in society. 

So basically, you don’t feel sorry for them. It’s really intersting to see how it all pans out because at this moment, you don’t want these group of killers to get caught! 

Karin Slaughter 

I haven’t read a lot of Karin Slaughter books before, however my gran has always raved about her. It wasn’t until I picked up the book The Kept Women (which I’ve now given away so I can no longer photograph!) that I realsed I was missing out, I was completely hooked from the get go. n. 

But, this review isn’t about that book. It’s about the 2 other books I’ve written about here. 

What I can say about both the books is that there’s something so gripping about the writing. It’s a page-turner for sure, but also one that’s really easy to follow. The story is normally set over a few days, but there’s constant developments, information coming out and plot twists. 


'The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it's only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer's brutality becomes clear. '


'When a teenage quarrel in the small town of Heartsdale explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton - paediatrician and medical examiner - finds herself entangled in a horrific tragedy. And what seems at first to be a terrible but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications when the autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse and ritualistic self-mutilation.'

This was my favourite of the two books I read, just because I simply was not expecting the ending! To be fair, most of the plot twists I didn’t see coming in the slightest. They was a few shocks and I couldn’t help but get completely gripped by the story.

You can read these books in any order, so if you read one, I’d recommend it be this one! 

The Accident by C.L Taylor 

'Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.
Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past.
Sue will do anything to protect her daughter. But what if she is the reason that Charlotte is in danger?'

Okay, so I haven't started reading this one, but it’s crime/thriller. Shock horror. It’s another 95p bargain and it sounds like a typical thriller style book. 

I will let you know how I get on with this one! 

Disclaimer by Renee Knight 

'When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up and begins to read.

But as she turns the pages she is horrified to realize she is a key character, a main player.

This story will reveal her darkest secret.  

A secret she thought no one else knew'

Again this is another book I haven't read yet, but I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into it! It sounds like something I'd definately enjoy.  Again, I'd be interested to know if you've read this and I'll let you know how I get on with ti!

Have you read any of these before?

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