Books

June Wrap Up | Books and Baking

So I read a total of 7 books in June which is crazy! I am naturally quite a slow reader but I have been reading so much more recently and have been enjoying so many books which makes reading even more enjoyable.

June is also my birth month and I have been lucky to have been gifted some amazing books from my family and friends, so I am looking forward to reading more in July! I loved every book that I read in June which is positive, and I am hoping to read more thrillers in July as they are my favourite thing ever!

Below are the books I have read in June along with a summary and a few of my thoughts on them:

The Lost by Claire McGowan

Rating – ★★★★

Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire returns to her hometown that she left many years ago without any intention to return. But when a serial killer is on the loose, Paula digs into the lives of the victims and that of herself. She has been fighting her own demons ever since her mother went missing years ago, and when she finds links to disappearances in 1985, she knows she’s on to something. But sometimes things are better left lost… as not everyone who is missing is truly lost.

I really enjoyed the fact that Paula was a forensic psychologist as I don’t think I have ever read a thriller from that kind of perspective. I also really liked how realistic Paula was, she was wonderful and flawed and just a very interesting character. For me, the plot was well thought out and I loved the many layers that McGowan weaved together! I wasn’t aware that this was the first in a long series of novels featuring Paula Maguire, but I am definitely going to read them as I loved The Lost!

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Rating – ★★★★

This domestic thriller is every parent’s worst nightmare. Anne and Marco Conti are at a dinner party next door, with the exception of their six month old baby as their hostess cannot ‘stand her fussing’. But when they arrive home in the early hours of the morning, their worst fear is realised. Their baby is missing. When Detective Rasbach arrives at the house he can sense that the parents are hiding something. But are their secrets more important than the safety of their daughter?

This was a rollercoaster ride full of twists, betrayal and secrets. I really enjoyed the novel as a whole and did rate it 4 stars. I particularly liked the writing and definitely need to pick up another novel by Shari Lapena! This story is full of theories and although I did figure it out before the end, it was only in the final chapters!

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Rating – ★★★★.5

The serial killer isn’t on trial, he is on the jury. When Robert Solomon is charged with the murder of his wife his celebrity status makes it the trial of the century. His defence only want the best on the team, and the best is Eddie Flynn con-man turned lawyer. All the evidence is pointing to Robert’s guilt but is someone framing him? And the real question is, just how close to the case are they? This is a MUST read!

Has a blurb ever intrigued you so much that you just had to buy it? For me, this was that book! I have never read anything where the killer is on the jury and I really liked the courtroom style of the thriller as I haven’t really read anything like that before. I initially rated Thirteen 4 stars but I think I’m going to have to change it to 4.5 stars as I just did not see that ending coming! This novel is full of twists, and I loved that Eddie Flynn is a former con-artist turned lawyer. I really don’t want to give anything away. If you read any of the thriller’s I’ve mentioned this needs to be it! And this I found after I read it, is actually the fourth in the Eddie Flynn series, but can be read as a stand alone! I can’t wait to read the others.

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Rating – ★★★★

A woman plans her own funeral. Six hours later she is strangled. A private detective called Hawthorne is called in to investigate it and decides that he wants an author to write his investigation as a story. But Hawthorne and Anthony’s problems begin way before they set out to solve the mystery. Can you work with someone who you have nothing in common with?

In my review of Thirteen I said that I picked it due to the blurb and this was another book that did that for me! The premise of a woman dying six hours after she planned her own funeral was very intriguing and I enjoyed reading this thriller. I was confused at first as the main character is the author himself and it took me a while to get used to that but the story was good and I did not guess the ending!

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Rating – ★★★★

This is Poirot’s first novel where he is a refugee of the Great War in England. He settles near Styles Court, the country estate of his benefactress, Emily Inglethorp. When Emily is poisoned, Lieutenant Hastings asks Poirot to figure out what happened. But with a house full of suspects, will Poirot figure out the truth? The Hastings and Poirot team begins here and I loved to see how Poirot’s ‘little grey cells’ work.

I listened to this on an audiobook and David Suchet was narrating for Poriot, who in my opinion is the best Poirot!! I really enjoyed the audiobook and getting to hear the other voices, it really made the story come alive. I loved the story and in true Agatha Christie form, did not guess the ending!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Rating – ★★★★★

After surviving another horrible summer at the Dursley’s, Harry Potter cannot wait to return to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s preparing to return, he receives a warning from Dobby, a house elf who tells him that danger awaits him at Hogwarts. And it does. Harry’s second year is full of horror and a series of petrified students (not to mention Filch’s cat Mrs Norris!). Someone is haunting Hogwarts and it isn’t the ghosts! Will the infamous trio figure it out before more danger strikes?

I absolutely LOVED this book. I am a lover of the Harry Potter films but have not read the books! (Quite shameful, I know!) But I have made a goal of finishing them before the year is up. I really love Harry, Heromine and Ron’s friendship and how it develops over the course of the book. I could not rate it any lower than 5 stars. Time to re-watch the film again I think!

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Rating – ★★★★

Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living her life and dealing with the ups and downs of culture, relationships, friendship and of course, the commute to work. She works at a newspaper where she struggles to find her own voice and often compares herself to her white middle class colleagues. Queenie suffers a break up from her long-term boyfriend and tries to seek comfort in many ways, and wrong places. This honest story is about the search for finding yourself when the world seems to be crumbling around you.

I just finished Queenie and wow. This is such a relatable story regardless of many differences. This I felt, was engaging and Queenie was a lovable character. I identified with her struggles in many ways, particularly with what it feels like to be female in a contemporary society. It did take me a few chapters to get into it but I am glad I stuck with it, this is a MUST read!

Please let me know if you have read any of these novels! I enjoyed all of them.

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