I spotted this whilst browsing on Netgalley and thought it sounded right up my street so downloaded it ready for a recent trip away.
The Hike starts with four friends who get together for an annual trip away and a catch up. In a change from their usual spa weekend this time they decide on something a bit more adventurous, a Norwegian Mountain Hike. They intend to spend two days hiking up a mountain from their base in a back packers lodge. However when they arrive they soon realise that the Mountain is not as idyllic as it seems and people on the trail will go to any lengths to protect their secrets.
The Hike was an interesting tale that I enjoyed despite some bits seeming a little bit far fetched. I enjoyed the characters of the four contrasting friends, each so different from each other as only those in novels can be.
The setting of this novel was really good. The descriptions of the area were vivid and gave a real sense of atmosphere and menace to the story. The contrast between the friendly cosy lodge and the harsh conditions in the Wilderness where conditions can change in minutes were stark.
This was a book that started slowly as the characters are introduced and we find out what brings them to the point we meet them. But the tension soon starts to ramp up as they head further along the trail into the Mountains. I enjoyed the cast of characters and like any good story there are plenty of twists and red herrings throughout.
The ending wasn’t as dramatic as some but it did tidy everything up nicely without leaving loads of loose ends so was satisfying. If you like a story of tested friendships set in bleak surroundings then this is the book for you.
I am a big fan of Will Carver and so was delighted to be invited onto the blog tour for his latest novel Suicide Thursday.
In Suicide Thursday Eli has a job he wants to resign from, has a girlfriend he wants to break up with and has a novel he wants to write but can’t get past the first chapter. He also has a big problem in separating fact from fiction in his life. When his best friend kills himself, it motivates Eli to try and finally finish something himself, with the help of his therapist.
Suicide Thursday was another terrific read from an author that never ceases to amaze me. It’s difficult to describe the book as there is so much in it. There often feels to be a lot of elements that just don’t fit but that is part of the writing style that I really enjoy wondering where all the threads will end up, trying and failing to guess where everything is heading.
I love Will Carver’s novels but will admit that they are not always easy reads. It’s not only the fact they deal with big issues, but also the way of writing. The stories are character led and everything is told from the point of view of the characters meaning that every word is important. There are no long descriptions of places and cities, just the thoughts and feelings of the characters which gives a really unique feel to it.
Most of the story is told from the point of view of Eli. He has an inability to finish anything, hence his first chapter library where he stores over 700 first chapters of novels he has written, none of which he’s even written the words Chapter 2 on. Eli was an interesting if unlikeable character. He seems to spend a lot of his life blaming everyone else for his failure to finish anything. Yet there was still part of him that I felt sympathy for, as his life seems to spiral.
There are also interludes from other characters in the story, including girlfriend Jackie who was also friends with Eli’s best friend Mike, we meet the two Ted’s and also Eli’s work colleagues. The change of viewpoint is done rapidly backwards and forwards between Eli and the others which adds to the unnerving and disorientating atmosphere of the book.
Whilst the story is dark, there is an element of comedy running throughout that will in turn make you laugh out loud, and gasp in shock. I absolutely cannot recommend Suicide Thursday highly enough!
Find out what others thought of the book by visiting the other stops on the blog tour.
I find that often because I read so many new and debut authors I can often ignore established writers, especially those with long running series where I have probably missed out on a few of the books. Ann Cleaves is one of those authors but when I was offered a copy of her latest Vera novel I decided to give it a go, and I most certainly wasn’t disappointed.
In the Rising Tide we are transported to the Holy Island of Lindesfarne which is one of my favourite places. A group of friends are gathering for their regular reunion to remember a friend they lost during their first visit there fifty years ago. When one of the group is found hanged Vera Stanhope is called to investigate. The dead man had recently been fired from a very public role for misconduct and Vera soon realises that the friends are all hiding secrets.
This was an absolutely fantastic read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I had forgotten how much I love Vera Stanhope as a character. Her gruff exterior belies a heart that does really care and this case will test her resolve, especially at the heartbreaking finale. Vera is such an iconic character loved by everyone that it must be difficult to write her without having that always in the back of your head but Ann Cleeves manages to write a character that is both flawed and wonderful at the same time.
The story itself is intriguing. I enjoyed the mix of characters and liked the fact that we were introduced to them all individually at the beginning which gave us a real sense of who they all were. Ann Cleeves has a superb way of writing that absolutely flows of the page. There is a real sense of place about the books, and I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of Lindesfarne. It’s a beautiful place but within it is a real sense of menace and danger that comes from living somewhere that is cut off for a lot of the time.
The Rising Tide was a great read that was absolutely enthralling. I had forgotten what a superb author Ann Cleeves is and what a fantastic character we have in Vera!
Find out what other bloggers on the tour thought by visiting the stops below
Having spent part of my childhood living near the seaside town of Cromer I have always had a bit of a fascination with coastal places, especially the disconnect between the holiday sunny ideal and the reality of seasonal living. Therefore when I was asked to review a true crime book focusing on murders in seaside towns I jumped at the chance.
Murder by the Sea is a companion to the CBS Reality true crime documentary series of the same name, and features 10 of the series stories with extra material that couldn’t be in the show, including interviews with detectives and witnesses.
This was a fascinating book with 10 hideous crimes all set in British Seaside Towns. Some of the stories you may know, for example that of John Cooper who was portrayed in the TV drama series The Pembrokeshire Murders. There are also others that I hadn’t heard of such as Mathew Hardman who killed Mabel Leyshon in Anglsey, or Malcom Green who murdered Gleys Johnson and Clive Tully nearly twenty years apart.
Murder By The Sea gives an interesting insight into the crimes and both the murderers as well as the victims but it also paints a picture of the coastal towns that goes against the postcard pictures usually seen. I really enjoyed the way this book was written. Each of the ten stories are well researched and have enough details to keep you interested but equally each chapter is relatively short so it keeps you reading.
A must for fans of true crime and a good read whether or not you have seen the TV series.