7 February 2021

Read In Jan 2021

I didn't know whether to bring back my monthly roundups of books I've read but it's such a good way of keeping track of what I've read (I am also on Goodreads though). My mum also uses it to work out what to read next so I guess it's here to stay. I've started off the year well with 6 books under my belt so hoping to keep it up and smash my goal of 80 books this year (you can check out my faves from last year as well). Anyway, here's what I read last month. As usual, they are all murder related. 

Collage showing the book covers for Wildflower Graves, Gone before and the wicked sister

Wildflower Graves by Rita Herron* - #2 Detective Ellie Reeves 


Ellie heads to the mountains to get away from her life and escape the constant whispers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the escape she was looking for. Following a trail of flowers, she comes across the body of a young woman. To make matters worse she receives a picture of her colleague and good friend, Shona, from a mystery sender challenging her to find her before it’s too late. With the threat of a new body every 24 hours the hunt is on and Ellie needs all the help she can get. 

Really enjoying this series. Ellie’s character has definitely grown with this book and I love the chemistry/awkwardness between her and Derrick. Her complicated family also really adds to the story. This is a great read full of suspense and I spent the whole book suspicious of many characters but constantly switching who I thought the bad guy was. The ending was full of drama and I definitely hadn’t predicted any of it. Shona's abduction really adds to the tension making it impossible to put down. I hope we have more of this series to look forward to. 

Gone Before by Sam Hepburn


15 years ago 5 year old Maya Duncan disappeared without a trace. Now Phoebe is stood on Kay Duncan's doorstep clutching a hat with Maya’s name in it. She’s convinced she is Kay’s daughter, missing Maya. The reunion is going well until an event causes Kay’s death by suicide. Phoebe feels guilty and unbelievably lost. In an effort to work out who she is she digs into Kays life and discovers life threatening secrets. 

When I read the synopsis of this book I thought it sounded so interesting. It’s such an intriguing premise. Unfortunately, it fell short. It started off well but after Kay’s death it massively slows down with a lot of chapters just about how Phoebe is feeling. Then is gets bizarre. The middle has a side plot linked to the abduction but there’s so much going on (including two different cults) that it gets confusing and doesn’t really add anything to the story. The pace picked up at the end and everything is explained but it was a bit disappointing to find out I had worked everything out. 

The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne


Rachel has kept herself locked in a psychiatric facility for 15 years because she believes she accidentally shot and killed her mother which caused her fathers suicide. She can’t remember much about that day but knows she deserves to be locked away. That is until she learns more about her parents' deaths. She returns home to try and uncover the truth but the truth is home isn’t and never was safe. 

I did enjoy this book and it’s a good psychological thriller, I just found it slow in places and thought it was pretty predictable. That being said I did really enjoy the ride and the controversial world of child psychopaths and if people are born evil is such an interesting topic. The characters are written extremely well and you really get a feel for their personalities. Some chapters are written from Rachel’s mums POV in the past so we get to see what it was like for the family as the kids grew up which definitely added to the story. If you love psychological thrillers and don’t mind knowing the general gist of what is going to happen then definitely check this one out. 

Collage showing the covers of Written in Blood, Be mine forever and Alone in the woods

Written in Blood by Chris Carter
- #11 Robert Hunter


Angela is a pro pickpocket and decides to teach a rude old man a lesson by stealing his bag. It contains a notebook and when Angela flicks through it she immediately regrets taking it. This is the biggest mistake of her life and it could be the last one she ever makes. 

I love the Robert Hunter series but this one wasn’t my favourite. It’s a fantastic series so obviously, my expectations are always high. I just found there was a lot of long winded descriptions/explanations about things that didn’t really matter like what different departments do and what building they’re in etc. There also wasn’t as many twists and turns and the ones that did come were a bit predictable. That being said it is still a great read and the murders are just as gruesome as ever. Definitely not one for the faint hearted. I wish we got to see more of Garcia as this one focused more on Hunter but I love their relationship and Garcias humour. Angela’s character was also a great addition and I loved seeing her test Hunter. 

Be Mine Forever by D.K Hood* - #11 Detectives Kane & Alton 


When cheerleader Laurie goes missing Jenna discovers her home life is far from ideal and wonders if her father is involved. After her body is found abandoned at an old mine shaft another girl is taken and it looks like someone is working their way through the cheerleaders. 

I love this series. We’re 11 books in and they are all a fantastic read. Jenna does get on my nerves sometimes and she comes across a bit pathetic and like she needs the men to tell her how to do her job even though she is a badass in her own right. Apart from that though there are so many amazing characters that all bring something different to the story and I love seeing them all work together and be a family. It’ll be interesting to see how the newcomer fits in. The ending definitely had me on the edge of my seat as did a certain part in the middle. I held my breath a lot. As usual, this book kept me guessing until the very end and I was suspicious of everyone. 

Alone in the Woods by Charly Cox* - #3 Detective Alyssa Wyatt 


Alyssa is called out to the murder of Gabriel and his wife. The police were alerted by a call for help from their 17 year old daughter but by the time they get there her and her best friend are missing. The only trace of them is their mobile phones abandoned on the floor. The girls wake up in a cabin in the middle of the woods. Alyssa has to work out why the family was targeted before she can even think about the who but time is running out for the girls. 

Charly Cox really knows how to write a thriller that sucks you in and keeps you hooked until the very last page. I didn’t have a clue who the bad guy was and it’s not very often I’m shocked at a reveal. There are subtle hints though that make you think how did I not see that coming. Alyssa and her team have great chemistry and I also love the fact that one team member is a wheelchair user. He’s just another member of the team and his disability isn’t a major character trait. It’s not very often you get a disabled character whose disability isn’t the plot point. I also love that Alyssa is a cop with a loving husband and she dotes on her family. It makes a change from the usual single and hardened copper. 

What have you been reading recently?


* This book was gifted via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, however, it does not affect my views and the opinions expressed in this post are independent and my own

**This post contains affiliate links. This does not cost you anything but means I get a small amount if you purchase anything. 

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