This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.

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About the Book.

This explosive, emotional, page-turning debut about a high school held hostage is told from the perspective of four teens each with their own reason to fear the boy with the gun.

My Review.

I have read a few books that are categorised as YA this year. This novel about teenagers is one that is more geared towards adult fiction than the rest.
There has been a shooting at a high school, both teachers and students have been held hostage at gunpoint in the assembly hall. Four different students are describing the events as they happen. Two of them are inside and two of them outside, all of them have a connection to the killer and they reveal how as the story unfolds.
All four accounts are frightening, but for me the most chilling accounts were told from the two who were outside and trying to get help without putting more people in danger. Some scenes were upsetting to read, especially the ones concerning the boy with the gun. I would have liked to read what he was thinking and the thoughts of the police sent to the scene, but it stays with the four students. I found it quite convincing and realistic but it was disturbing book. I was relieved that it wasn’t a long novel.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy via Netgalley.

My Top Ten Books – 2016.

Its the time of year again when a lot of people reveal what books they have enjoyed most throughout the year. Last year I didn’t have a clear favourite. This year I have two, both completely different to each other and I can’t choose between them. The other eight are in no particular order.

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The Last Night by Cesca Major.

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In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

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Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

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The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland.

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The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah.

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The Trespasser by Tana French.

And now for my two favourite books of the year. I really need to read more by both these authors again.

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No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien.

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The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace.

The Book Trail Advent Day Three.

 

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During December The Book Trail Advent is taking place and Liz, Kate and I are all taking the place of “The Three French Hens” You can read the post here

I had a great time answering these questions and spending time in such fabulous company.

Thanks Susan x

The Mine by Antti Tuomainen Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. Can he uncover the truth before it’s too late? In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life. A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir.

My Review

I have read a few Nordic novels this year and this one is slightly different to the rest. It’s not a detective novel but tells the story of a journalist who is trying to uncover the truth about a mine in the Northern Finland. His account is portrayed alongside that of an assassin who is on a killing spree. Both stories are connected but it is not clear at first how and why.
The me, the investigation into the mine wasn’t as captivating as Janne’s personal life. It was like he pressed the self -destruct button. How his own childhood, not having his father present was influencing his own role as a father. He knows that he was risking his own family life by following the story but he couldn’t stop himself, getting the story of his life and the fame that went with it, or doing a job that he will hate but having the family life he craved.
The assassin’s story was chilling, the level of violence was sharp when inserted into a story that was mainly quiet. It’s a novel where all the characters are believable even if some were not particularly likeable. The isolation and loneliness that the characters experienced were all very convincing. Remote villages, completely cut off from the cities. Some scenes were quite cold, not just because of the weather with its eye watering amounts of snow but also attitudes with the need to keep the truth about the mine quiet. The ending was a little unexpected, but after digesting it for a few days I think it worked very well.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

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First Monday Crime with Mark Billingham.

On Monday Mark Billingham will be taking part in one of the two panels at the December First Monday – Christmas Special that is being held in Browns – The Judges Court. The event is sold out but you can read all about it here
It looks fantastic, it would be great to be able to go one of these events one day.

About the Author

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Mark Billingham is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular crime writers. A former actor, television writer and stand-up comedian, his series of novels featuring D.I. Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year Award as well as the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective and been nominated for seven CWA Daggers. His standalone thriller IN THE DARK was chosen as one of the twelve best books of the year by the Times and his debut novel, SLEEPYHEAD was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade. Each of his novels has been a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.

A television series based on the Thorne novels was screened in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and series based on the standalone thrillers IN THE DARK and RUSH OF BLOOD are currently in development with the BBC.

About the Book

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Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about addiction. There they share their deepest secrets: stories of lies, regret, and above all, shame.

Then one of them is killed – and it’s clear one of the circle was responsible.

Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner quickly finds her investigation hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these people and their therapist together. So what could be shameful enough to cost someone their life?

My Review:

It’s a while since I read a Mark Billingham novel and Die of Shame was a welcome reminder of how good they are and a slap on the wrist for falling behind. It’s a stand-alone novel that concentrates on a group of people who all suffer from an addiction. Most of the novel focuses on the group instead of the detectives who are investigating the case.
All of the group had different addictions and there were times when I had sympathy for all of them but this feeling diminished the further I read, when I knew them better. There was one exception though. I’m not saying who they were, you will have to make up your own mind.
The surprises started straight away. The identity of the victim isn’t revealed immediately and it wasn’t who I expected it to be. You are given no clue why the individual was killed and I couldn’t work out who had killed them. Each chapter focused on a different person, their problems and the relationship that they had with each other and the victim. Every time I finished a chapter there was something to convince me that they were the murderer.
At first I was a little unsure about the ending but a couple of days after finishing it I decided it worked and I liked it a lot. It’s a great novel, one that somebody new to his work would enjoy, but I can certainly recommend his previous novels. I now need to work out which of the Inspector Thorne books I’ve not read.

With thanks to the publisher for a copy received.