2019 Reading Challenge: Book Reviews 1-5!

In 2018, I read 37 books for pleasure, narrowly missing my challenge of reading 40 books in a year. However, I am again aiming to read 40 books throughout 2019 – here are the first five. Follow my reading challenge on Goodreads!

The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker

The sequel to The Fourth Monkey, The Fifth to Die follows the aftermath of Anson Bishop’s (the 4MK killer) dastardly, yet moral in his own mind, targeted killing spree. Detectives Porter, Nash and Norton are now faced with a new riddle to puzzle out as a teenage girl’s body is found frozen in a lake wearing another missing girl’s clothes. At first, there is no seeming link to this crime and Bishop, but as the investigation continues, yet more murders give the detectives and the FBI agents searching for Bishop cause to join forces.

Touted as a ‘gripping, twisted thriller’, this book certainly lives up to the hype. I was so disappointed that it ended on a cliffhanger though as I was desperate to read more!

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Immediately funny and identifiable in both characters and situations, Mhairi McFarlane has produced yet another thoroughly entertaining and addictive story. I whizzed through it in a few days, both wanting to know what happened yet not wanting it to end!

Georgina and Lucas met at six form college. Years later, Georgina, who is definitely not fulfilling her ‘most likely to…’ potential is offered a barmaid’s job by Devlin who, unbeknownst to her, is old flame Lucas’ brother, made even more awkward by the fact that Lucas doesn’t even recognise her!

As a reader, you root for Georgina throughout, relating to all her neuroses and empathising with her difficult relationships whilst wishing desperately for her happy ending. Does she get one? Read it to find out – this book is brilliant!

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

As a massive fan of Liane Moriarty’s previous books, I expected big things and Nine Perfect Strangers did not disappoint. This chunky book remained £9.99 on Kindle for so long I had to wait to use a giftcard and buy it as a treat!

The story revolves around nine strangers who visit Tranquillum House, a luxury spa retreat known for its unorthodox yet brilliant treatments.

Masha, the eccentric owner of Tranquillum House welcomes middle aged romance writer Frances, millennial couple Ben and Jessica, ex-sportsman Tony, devastatingly handsome lawyer Lars, the Marconi family, and mum of four Carmel to her special spa hotel. Liane Moriarty expertly reveals the events that follow, as well as the characters’ motives for wanting, and needing, the sanctuary of Tranquillum House. Will they all find what they’re looking for?

The Rumour by Lesley Kara

Joanna hears a rumour that child killer Sally McGowan is ensconced in a seaside town in witness protection after killing Robbie Harris when she was ten and he was five.

Joanna, her son Alfie, and Alfie’s dad Michael now live in such a seaside town and as the rumour spreads, speculation grows between all the residents as to Sally McGowan’s true identity, and whether she is actually living in their midst.

As Joanna and journalist Michael do some further digging into the rumour, they reveal some shocking truths, much closer to home than they could ever have imagined.

This book is written in the classic formulaic structure of a whodunit featuring a cluster of suspects and red herrings, which is exactly my cup of tea. Although I guessed who Sally McGowan really was, there was a extra twist too! I enjoyed this book so much it inspired my novel experiment which you can read about here!

You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke

Elle Fielding lives in a brand new, beautiful, three storey house by the sea in Cornwall, designed and built thanks to the amazing success of her debut novel. Unfortunately, her writing success results in mounting pressure to deliver a second book as successful as the first, a deadline that Elle begins to struggle with. That, combined with her marriage troubles and her neighbours’ resentment of her imposing new house, as well as a secret from her past, challenges Elle to breaking point. Can she deliver her new novel despite everything, or will Elle’s past and present collide in ways she could never anticipate?

It took me a little while to get into this book (due to the accumulated book hangovers from the previous brilliant books featured in this review!), but after a few chapters I was hooked. Another great story!

*****

Have you read any of these books? If so, let me know – I’d love to hear what you thought of them!

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