Top Reads & Characters in 2017
By Kelly Lacey
I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas time. This will be my final post of 2017, it’s exciting to think what wonderful adventures lie ahead in 2018. But it’s magical to reflect and remember the journies that 2017 contained. Who would have thought that book blogging could save a wandering soul? As I created my little blog at the beginning of the year, I had no clue of the doors it would open for me, the friends I would make and the magic it put back into my life.
I also want to thank, Kimberly Livingston, J A Warnock for all their contributions to the Love Books Group blog over the past year. You gals are amazing and I am very grateful to have you on board. Also lovely to have a new member of the team, Linda Tilling. I look forward to your reviews in 2018.
I thought on this final post of the year I would show my all-time favourite books of the year.
First I want to tell you my three favourite characters from the year. A great idea created by @grabthisbook
D.I. Callanach ~ Perfect Prey By Helen Fields ~ Helen_Fields
Stella Moon ~ The Confession of Stella Moon By Shelley Day ~ @PascaleBientot
Loveday Cardew ~ Lost For Words By Stephanie Butland ~ @under_blue_sky
My Favourite Reads of 2017 by Kelly
My Favourite Reads of 2017 ~
Perfect Remains By Helen Fields
I had hit a wall with crime fiction and couldn’t find my way back until I read Perfect Remains. With such gritty dark content, I couldn’t help but grab the book and hold on for dear life. The book reignited my passion for crime fiction and Helen’s characters (well the good ones I mean, the bad ones frequent my nightmares) will always have a placeon my bookshelf!
On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.
In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness…
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
Cross Purpose By Claire Macleary
When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour Big Wilma. And so an unlikely partnership is born. But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers. Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds.
The Joyce Girl By Annabel Abbs
This is a hugely impressive debut. Annabel Abbs has brought to life an extraordinary cast of characters – Joyce, Beckett et al – and painted their rackety, bohemian world in vivid technicolour. (Lisa O Kelly, Literary Editor, The Observer)
Here is a powerful portrait of a young woman yearning to be an artist, whose passion for life and rage at being unable to fulfil her talent burns from the pages. (Anita Sethi, The Observer)
The best 20th-century fiction of the year (Historical Novel Society)
Avant-garde Paris is buzzing with the latest ideas in art, music, literature and dance. Lucia, the talented and ambitious daughter of James Joyce, is making her name as a dancer, training with some of the world’s most gifted performers. When a young Samuel Beckett comes to work for her father, she’s captivated by his quiet intensity and falls passionately in love. Persuaded she has clairvoyant powers, Lucia believes her destiny is to marry Beckett. But when her beloved brother is enticed away, the hidden threads of the Joyces’ lives begin to unravel, destroying Lucia’s dreams and foiling her attempts to escape the shadow of her genius father.
Her life in tatters, Lucia is sent by her father to pioneering psychoanalyst Carl Jung. For years she has kept quiet. But now she decides to speak.
Inspired by a true story, The Joyce Girl is a compelling and moving account of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father.
You can buy your copy below:
The Confession of Stella Moon By Shelley Day
1977: A killer is released from prison and returns home to a decaying, deserted boarding house choked with weeds and foreboding. Memories of strange rituals, gruesome secrets and shame hang heavy in the air, exerting a brooding power over young Stella Moon. She is eager to restart her life, but first, she must confront the ghosts of her macabre family history and her own shocking crime. Guilt, paranoia and manipulation have woven a tangled web of truth and lies. All is ambiguous. Of only one thing is she certain… Stella Moon killed her own mother.
Alfred Warner in Six Days By Juliet Conlin
Approaching 80, frail and alone, a remarkable man makes the journey from his sheltered home in England to Berlin to meet his granddaughter. He has six days left to live and must relate his life story before he dies…
His life has been rich and full. He has witnessed first-hand the rise of the Nazis, experienced heartrending family tragedy, fought in the German army, been interred in a POW camp in Scotland and faced violent persecution in peacetime Britain. But he has also touched many lives, fallen deeply in love, raised a family and survived triumphantly at the limits of human endurance. He carries within him an astonishing family secret that he must share before he dies…a story that will mean someone else’s salvation.
The Mountain By Luca D’Andrea
A CURSED PLACE. A COLD CASE. A KILLER WHO LEFT NO TRACE.
The huge International bestseller.
Jeremiah Salinger blames himself. The crash was his fault. He was the only survivor. Now the depression and the nightmares are closing in. Only his daughter Clara can put a smile on his face.
But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach – a canyon in the Dolomites rich in fossil remains – he overhears by chance a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985 three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found.
Salinger, a New Yorker, is far from home, and these Italian mountains, where his wife was born, harbour a close-knit, tight-lipped community whose mistrust of outsiders can turn ugly. All the same, solving this mystery might be the only thing that can keep him sane.
Perfect Prey By Helen Fields
Your new addiction starts here: get hooked on the #1 bestselling series. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge.
Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.
In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.
The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.
D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.
You can buy your copy here:
The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick
I loved this book so very much. I don’t have a physical copy so couldn’t take one of my photos. But it’s most definitely in my heart and I have never felt so emotionally exhausted by a book. But in a very good way, it was extremely therapeutic and I learned a lot too.
Two sisters and one betrayal that will carry across generations . . .
In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins – the story of Adele and Amelia, and the heart-breaking betrayal that will divide them forever. Decades later, the efforts of one reckless act still echo – but how long will it be until their past returns?
Thank you so much for all your blog visits, shares and likes. You make my dreams come true on a daily basis and I am so very grateful for all the blog love this year.
I am excited for what lies ahead in 2018. Can’t wait to share and talk books, theatre and more with you then.
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