A Little Peculiar

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Books: Lockdown Reads

Not that I was ever the most outgoing person, but having an actual valid reason to stay at home all the time has been quite beneficial in someways - Although quite difficult in others I will admit. When lockdown kicked in all those many years (months) ago, I was determined to make the most of my time and turn my life around. I was going to spend more time writing, exercising, and reading all the books I keep buying. It sounded perfect. 

Now let's just pretend for a moment that I did manage to get myself into a great routine of waking up at 7am, going for a run, spending a couple of hours working on my novel, and then reading a book a day. Let's pretend that I haven't spent the past few months absolutely hooked on Warzone and constantly trying to improve my KD and then rage quitting cause hackers. 

Anyway, so in lockdown, I did manage to catch up on a bit of reading. In fact, even before lockdown started I had managed to get back into the habit of reading a lot more. I thought I'd share on my blog a few of my top reads, who doesn't love an excuse to buy a new book? I sure do. 

Dan Scottow - Damaged


Let me start off with Damaged by Dan Scottow. What a read. Dan is my cousin, so when I saw he'd had his first book published and that it was a phycological thriller (my favorite) I had to get my hands on a copy. I actually bought a few copies and made everyone I could read it. 

Blurb:

"Do you believe everything you’re told? 

Journalist Emily Blake is sent back to her hometown to investigate the disappearance of a young girl called Becky Clarke. Emily takes the assignment willingly as the case echoes the disappearance of her childhood friend, Alice Abbott, twenty-five years earlier.

Returning to the village, Emily renews old acquaintances and rivalries. She reconnects with her estranged brother Adam, who has never quite recovered from tragic events from their past.

While she looks into the disappearance of Becky Clarke, Emily revisits Alice’s case but not everyone welcomes her investigation. 

As lies that have been told for twenty-five years surrounding Alice’s disappearance begin to unravel, Emily is drawn deeper into the mystery. 

What happened to Alice? 
Will Becky ever be found? 
And do the answers lie closer to home than anyone ever imagined?"

This story had my flicking through the pages eager to find out what happened. I'm not even being dramatic when I say I flew through this book - I was hooked. I spent the whole way through the book trying to guess whodunnit and when I got to the end I was stunned to find out I was quite far off, even though I thought for sure I knew who it was. 

David Wong - What the Hell Did I Just Read


I picked this one up before lockdown started, back when wandering around bookshops was relaxing and not an obstacle course. We'd popped into Waterstones to just browse, but before I knew it I had a stack of books in my hand. I had to make tough decisions that day, but after finishing this book I knew it was the right one. 

Blurb: 

"It's the story "They" don't want you to read. Though, to be fair, "They" are probably right about this one. No, don't put the book back on the shelf it is now your duty to purchase it to prevent others from reading it. Yes, it works with ebooks, too; I don t have time to explain how.

While investigating a fairly straightforward case of a shape-shifting interdimensional child predator, Dave, John, and Amy realized there might actually be something weird going on. Together, they navigate a diabolically convoluted maze of illusions, lies, and their own incompetence in an attempt to uncover a terrible truth that they like you would be better off not knowing.

Your first impulse will be to think that a story this gruesome and, to be frank, stupid cannot possibly be true. That is precisely the reaction "They" are hoping for."
I don't even know how to explain this book. It had me wondering where it was leading the whole way through, it had me laughing and cringing and feeling sick at how graphic and gory some of it is. But I absolutely loved it and ordered the first book in the series as soon as I finished this one. Yes, that's right, this isn't the first book from the series - It's the last. I didn't realize that when I bought it, but it still made sense (as much as it could) without the first two. 

After reading What The Hell Did I Just Read I went on to read other books from David Wong and I have just fallen in love with his writing. It's like he doesn't give a shit about it, but at the same time it's so well written and funny - I'm now a big fan. 

Kate Summerscale - The Suspicions of Mr.Whicher


I didn't buy this one, I commandeered it from my boyfriend - It is now mine. I won't lie, I chose this one because of the cover. It looked interesting, and it did not disappoint. Although, it wasn't what I was expecting at all. 

Blurb:

"It is a summer night in 1860. In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet. Behind shuttered windows, the Kent family lies sound asleep. At some point after midnight a dog barks. The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them. Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects. The murder provokes national hysteria. The thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes - scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing - arouses fear and a kind of excitement. But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is uproar and bewilderment. A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life."
This book is actually based on a real-life event and follows the case, presenting you with all the facts and evidence that were found in an unsolved case. It's actually very fascinating to read, as it was one of the UK's first 'whodunnit' kinds of cases that caught the publics' attention. It even inspired a lot of detective stories that we love and enjoy still now. If you find those kinds of things interesting, you should definitely give it a read. Plus, I enjoyed trying to figure out who I thought did it. 

Stuart Turton - The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle


I got this one for my birthday and struggled to put it down once I'd started it. I even bought my dad a copy so he could be just as excited about it as I was, only to get a "yeah it was good" back from him when he'd finished it. That was to be expected. 

Blurb:

"Somebody's going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won't appear to be a murder, and so the murderer won't be caught. Rectify that injustice and I'll show you the way out.'

It is meant to be a celebration, but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden - one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party - can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath...."
What a rollercoaster this book was. Transforming personalities and perspectives each night to find out who the murderer was - Stuart had me guessing a new culprit in every chapter and I was so far off when I got to the end. Which actually seems pretty normal for me, I'll make sure  I never become a detective. 

This book is so brilliantly written and such a great and intricate story, far from your ordinary murder mystery. He has a new book out in October and I can't wait to pick it up. 

Holly Jackson - A Good Girl's Guide to Murder 


Last but not least we have A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. I ordered this one because I fancied a bit of a lighter read but also one that would have me hooked. Holly managed to check all the boxes with this one. I will say though, it is very much a YA book. Which I love, but I know some people like murder mysteries a bit darker and more disturbing. 

Blurb:

"The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?"

Holly has made sure this book is full of unexpected twists and turns that will keep you guessing right up until the end. It's such an easy book to read, and the story is brilliantly thought out. If you're looking for an easy-going mystery, then this one is perfect for you.

  

Comments

  1. Haha, I've totally enjoyed staying home too but also not exactly been able to get in a routine! I have the best intention but spend way too much time faffing on my phone. I've not managed to read many books either as it just makes me need a nap. Maybe tomorrow...?

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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