The Book Corner: Recent Reads 2017, Part 2

Look at that, it’s the end of April already?! How did that happen? We cannot be a third of the way through 2017 already, I will not allow it… Although at least there’s a bank holiday to enjoy – I’m going to take my treats where I can get them! Anyway, today marks part two of my recent reads in 2017 posts. As I’ve mentioned previously, I absolutely love writing these posts. I enjoy looking back at each book that I’ve read and putting down my thoughts about it here, for all to see. So without further ado let’s dive into this list of eight recent reads.

Arrowood by Mick Finley

I absolutely adored this book. Set in Victorian London this is the story of Arrowood, a private detective working in South London. Arrowood and his trusty sidekick solve crimes for those that can’t afford Sherlock Holmes. Instead of clues and deduction Arrowood uses psychology to solve the cases. For someone who studied psychology this is possibly my favourite type of crime novel so obviously I was hooked from the start. The story is full of intriguing characters, intricate plots and mad dashes to save the day. I also enjoyed the political and historical intrigue of the whole thing and it had me yearning to learn more about this time in history. This book leaves me with such hope for an exciting new crime series.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

Next up on the recent reads list is book three in the Throne of Glass series. This one picks up where Crown of Midnight left off, with our main character meeting a whole host of new characters. I don’t want to give anything away but it’s another epic tale from Maas, and I was hooked from the first page. The storytelling in these books is epic, there’s so many plot twists and turns, and Maas manages them in a remarkable way. I can’t wait for book four. Except I am waiting, as I don’t want this series to be over too soon.

The Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine

Book three in the Sinclair Mysteries series. This was another excellent mystery set in the world of Sinclair’s department store in Edwardian London. I always love reading about Sophie, Lil and their band of investigating friends, and the story in this one did not disappoint. In this book we are introduced to Lil’s brother and his art school friends when a painting goes missing from inside a locked room at the department store. Seriously, who doesn’t love a good locked room mystery? Also this one has two dogs in it too, which I loved. Once again the Baron is drawn into the story and I am so intrigued to find out who this man is and how he’s connected to Sophie. Bring on book four asap I say!

The Missing by C. L. Taylor

I had a bit of a Kindle splurge in March, and this was one of the books I ordered. In The Missing we meet Claire whose fifteen-year-old son Billy has been missing for six months. Claire is sure Billy is still alive and she’s trying to figure out where Billy is. We all know that I love a good psychological thriller, but I just wasn’t really feeling it with this one. The book has all the right ingredients; a crime to solve, missing memories and people with secrets and yet I found it hard to get into it. I’m not sure what else I wanted, so maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind at the time of reading this. I don’t know. Just one of those things I guess.

The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay

Next on my recent reads list is another Kindle purchase. Book three in Barclay’s Promise Falls series. I’d read the opening chapter of this one at the end of the previous book, so I knew it opened with a bang. The town is still reeling from a succession of horrific events; a suicide, murders and a bombing when one morning people across the whole town appear to have been poisoned. As the day, and then week, unfolds we watch the events play out across all of the stories. I am slightly confused as this is the series finale, and yet when the book ended I could easily see some open stories that could be used in a follow-up. Maybe that will happen, but for now, this was exactly what I wanted it to be, a good fast-paced thriller.

Nasty Women by 404 Ink

This book started of as a Kickstarter project for a collection of essays on what it’s like to be a woman in the 21st Century. Obviously I jumped right on board with this project and sent my funds straight away. And this book is the outcome. As you would expect there are essays on a variety of subjects, not all were relevant to me, but all were fascinating insights to living in this today’s world. I dipped in and out of these essays over a couple of weeks, reading the ones that took my fancy or seemed the most relevant for that particular day. 

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

I absolutely loved The Girl of Ink & Stars so I was super excited to read the second book by this author, especially when I read the back page. The main character Ami lives with her mother on Culion, an island off the coast of The Philippines. One day, out of the blue a government official arrives to turn the island into a leper colony, sending Ami to live on a separate island. We then follow Ami on two journeys; the first when she heads to the new island, and the second as she travels back to her family.

It didn’t take me long to be utterly hooked and in awe of this book. It’s a beautiful story of friendship, family and overcoming bigotry. The last few pages were told from a different character perspective, and if there’s anything I would have like to be done differently, it’s that this section wasn’t explored further. I could have read another 100 pages from this character’s perspective, basically because I didn’t want the book to finish!

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I finished Jodi Picoult’s latest book a couple of days ago and I keep finding myself thinking about it. My brain will inexplicably land on particular chapters or lines from it at the oddest of times.

The story follows Ruth, a nurse who is charged with killing a baby. The story weaves through prejudice, racism and the white supremacist movement in America, and it is a good story. There are a lot of twists and turns, which have you turning the pages faster and faster. And of course the ending is all neatly tied up in a bow, but, I think, maybe too much. There’s a twist at the end which I don’t think is relevant. It annoys me that we need this big moment for the characters to realise they are in the wrong and to change their ways. Maybe the big moment is the most believable way for people to change their minds that quickly, but it doesn’t sit well with me. I think I would have preferred the ending to be left open instead.

So there we have it, part two of my recent reads for 2017. You can find Part 1 of my 2017 recent reads over here, or head to GoodReads for more recent reads. And if you have any book recommendations please send them my way. I’m always keen for new books to add to my TBR pile.

Laura xx