What I’ve Been Reading – January 2015

FRIDAY 30th JANUARY 2015

Happy Friday folks!

I’ve managed to take a break from the day job today (I’ve had to wait in for someone from Sky) so it’s meant that I’ve spent all day reading and writing – yey!

This month, I’ve tried to read a bit more than just a couple of chapter’s a night. So instead of watching the TV, I’ve had my head in a book.

January’s reading list has consisted of the following books:

Stephen Booth – Dying To Sin

Paula Daly – Just What Kind Of Mother Are You?

Lee Child – One Shot

Stephen Booth – Dying to SinDying to Sin

Synopsis

For decades, Pity Wood Farm has been a source of employment for poor workers passing through Rakedale, migrants with lives as abject as the labour they sought. But now it seems a worse fate may have befallen some of those who came upon this isolated community.

Routine building work at the farm has unearthed a grisly discovery: a human hand preserved in clay. When police dig up the farmyard, they find not one, but two bodies – and several years between their burials.

With pressure from a new superintendent and scant forensic evidence to aid them, DS Fry and DC Cooper have only the memories of local people to piece together the tragic history of the farm. 

In a case as cold as the ground, Cooper finds himself drawn to a desperate theory: that somewhere, there lies a third body which holds the key to these dreadful crimes.

Thoughts:

I’ve read a Stephen Booth book before – back in October 2011 –  Scared To Live (read blog post here). I’m a scatty reader when it comes to his and James Patterson books. I never seem to read them in the right order in the series. But that’s the beauty of writers like these – they write in such a way that you can just pick up – say book eight – and off you go. No real need to have read the previous book in the series. You get the gist.

For me, Dying To Sin is not one of the fastest paced novels I’ve read – but it’s not the slowest. I know that’s a vague description but that’s how I felt about it – vague. I like Stephen Booth’s style of writing – I really did feel like I was out in the Peak District, shivering with Fry and Cooper as they try to piece together what’s happened. I was a bit slower reading this – I spent most of January with Dying To Sin. It had a slow start and I felt the story went on quite a bit, as if I was waiting for something to happen. But I persevered as I’ve experienced this before with James Patterson’s Beach Road. I didn’t connect with that book to start with and I had similar feelings with Dying To Sin. However, I learnt to always give books the benefit of the doubt – and the last 100 pages of Dying To Sin did pick up pace and did leave me satisfied. But it’s not one of my favourites.

Paula Daly – Just What Kind Of A Mother Are YouPaula Daly Just What

Synopsis

Your friend’s child is missing. It’s your fault.

No family is perfect.

A husband, three children and a full-time job, so many plates to keep spinning.

No wonder you forgot you were supposed to be looking after your friend’s daughter.

But no one has seen her since yesterday.

And she’s not the first to go missing from your small town.

So who’s hiding something?

Thoughts:

I LOVED this book! Unfortunately you will have to wait until next month to hear more about it as Paula Daly has kindly agreed to take part in ‘Cuppa and a Catch-Up’ (thanks Paula!) But all I can say is that this book is on par with when I read The Hunger Games. A real page-turner – I didn’t want to put this one down and it really was a case of ‘just one more chapter’. I started it Saturday and finished it Monday. It’s gripping and it gets inside your head as you think ‘oh god, it could potentially happen.’ I’m not a mother so I can only begin to imagine what it would feel like. But the author brought that all to life for me. I laughed and I cried at this book. I’ve got her next one lined up Keep Your Friends Close (thanks Tammy Exton – check out her blog here).

Lee Child One ShotLee Child – One Shot

Synopsis

Six shots. Five dead.

A heartland city thrown into terror. But within hours the cops have it solved. A slam-dunk case. Apart from one thing. The accused gunman refuses to talk except for a single phrase:

Get Jack Reacher for me.

Reacher lives off the grid. He’s not looking for trouble. But sometimes trouble looks for him. What could connect the ex-military cop to this psychopathic killer?

 

Thoughts:

I’m 198 pages into this book at the moment. I loved the last Lee Child book that I read (Worth Dying For) so when I inherited this book from the Harvey’s, it was a must. Although it’s not as good as Worth Dying For which I couldn’t put down. One Shot I’m not so fussed about. It does have me hooked as to how the story is going to pan out. Lee Child’s style of writing is fast-paced and very visual. A lot happens at the start of the book and he brings this to life very well. Of course, all is not as it seems and Jack Reacher gets called in. That’s when the real mystery starts to unravel. Again I’ll persevere with this one as I may be pleasantly surprised. I think it’s had a hard act to follow when I’ve fallen so deeply in love with Paula Daly’s novel.

On that note, I’ll go and read a couple more pages …

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

The Golfer and The Writer: A Trip to Anstruthers, Center Parcs and a Lee Child’s novel

SUNDAY 12th OCTOBER 2014

St. Andrews Golf Course

St. Andrews Golf Course

Today is my last day of annual leave sob! After fifteen days off from the real world, I’m back to the day job tomorrow. The last two weeks have been very family orientated; the first week was a holiday to Anstruthers with the in-laws, followed by a week at Center Parcs with my family.

Lt Waters

Damian Lewis at the driving range at Carnoustie

On Sunday 28th September, the hubby and I packed up the car and made the three and a half hour trip to Anstruthers in Scotland, where we joined some close family and stayed at the gorgeous Cairnhill cottage. Anstruthers is an old fashioned fishing village along the Fife coast, located south of St Andrews. It boasts welcoming pubs, an amazing Indian restaurant, quirky little shops and fantastic fish and chips.

The holiday was centred around watching a couple of days of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship golf. We spent the Thursday at St. Andrews Golf Course, where the hubby managed to see some professional golfers and I got to swoon at celebs like Jamie Redknapp and Michael Vaughan.

On the Friday, we visited Carnoustie golf course. We had been very fortunate weather-wise until this day, waking up to heavy rain and blustery winds so I (rather excitedly) put on my waterproofs. Feeling like I was a human duvet all snug and warm against the slanted rain, I was content to celeb-spot with the likes of Hugh Grant (who I just adore! It took me all my might to stop shouting ‘I loved you in Bridget Jones – and Love Actually!), Greg Kinnear (Friends/You’ve Got Mail), Kyle Machlachlan of Desperate Housewives fame, Damian Lewis of Homeland and Band of Brothers aswell as the number one golfer himself – Rory McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy at Carnoustie

Rory McIlroy at Carnoustie

During the stay at Cairnhill, there was the opportunity to really relax as the hubby watched the Ryder Cup and played golf with our future brother-in-law and my father-in-law. On that particular Ryder Cup Sunday, I picked up a copy of Lee Child’s ‘Worth Dying For’ from a shelf in the cottage. I sat out on the patio in the glorious late September sunshine with endless cups of tea and found that I couldn’t put this book down!

I read it in two days.

It’s my first Lee Child’s book – and won’t be my last.

He has an incredible way of writing factual information into the storyline and characters without you even realising it.  I love the structure of the story in this book; a lone guy who is hitch-hiking his way to Virginia, stops at a motel in rural Nebraska. What trouble could he possibly get caught up in from overhearing a drunken doctor’s phone call in a bar?

lee childIt’s a fast paced novel filled with suspense – definitely one of those ‘just one more chapter’ books. Jack Reacher manages to get caught up in a web of criminal activity as a result of the decision he makes that night in the bar. Who knew that accompanying the doctor to tend to a female victim of domestic violence would lead to solving a historic crime?

He could have just gone to bed and continued hitch-hiking the next day.

But that would make for a very boring story indeed.

Another feature I loved was how Lee Child doesn’t use the doctor (or his wife’s) name in the book, referring to them as ‘the doctor’ and ‘the doctor’s wife.’ By leaving them nameless it established the importance of their roles in the story.

sunset walk

Sunset walk to the pub in Anstruthers

An absolute must-read.

nephew nicec

My three little munchkins

The latter part of our holiday was spent in Sherwood Forrest Center Parcs with my dad and his partner, my two sisters, another future brother-in-law, my two nieces and nephew. It was amazing spending time as a family doing activities with the kids. This is the fourth time I’ve been to a Center Parcs; all other three occasions were at the Whinfell Forrest, two were for hen do’s and the other for my father-in-law’s sixtieth birthday. As they were all quite grown up events, it was great to see Center Parcs from the family perspective. We went swimming, walking, played on the park, visited the soft play (which was right next to the sports bar so incredibly handy!) did pottery painting and managed to squeeze in some bowling. There’s still so much more to do so we’ve vowed to make it an annual event.

 

Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday evening.

 

Love Missuswolf xxx