Audiobook Review: Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney

“Everyone’s always going through something, aren’t they? That’s life, basically. It’s just more and more things to go through.”

Published in 2017, Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney follows twenty-one-year-old Frances, a student in Dublin and an aspiring writer. At night, she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend. When they befriend Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to actor Nick, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence. But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the emotion-averse Frances is forced to honestly confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.

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BOOK TOUR EXTRACT: The Island by Adrian McKinty

Set to be published on 26th May, The Island by Adrian McKinty follows Heather, her husband Tom, and Tom’s young son and teenage daughter on a working vacation in the Australian outback. It’s the perfect way to bring the new family together. So when they discover a remote island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family take a chance on an adventure. But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers. Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

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Book Review: Magpie by Elizabeth Day

Published in 2021, Magpie by Elizabeth Day follows the perfect couple, Marisa and Jake, and their new lodger, Kate. She’s the perfect roommate – and not just because her rent payments will give them the income they need to start trying for a baby. But no one is perfect, as Jake and Marisa’s relationship is put to the test with Kate’s boundary-pushing and obsession – with Jake, with Marisa, and with their future child. Who is this woman? In her quest to find out who Kate really is, Marisa might destroy everything she’s worked so hard to create. Jake doesn’t know the half of what Marisa has created and what she stands to lose.

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Book Review: The Book Of Baku by R.L. Boyle

“There’s only so much horror and pain any living creature can take before it loses its mind.”

The Book Of Baku by R.L. Boyle follows teenager Sean who hasn’t spoken a word since he was put into care. When he is sent to live with his grandad, a retired author and total stranger, Sean suddenly finds himself living an affluent life, nothing like the estate he grew up in, where gangs run the streets and violence is around every corner. Sean embraces a new world of drawing, sculpting and reading his grandad’s stories. But his grandad has secrets in his past. As his grandad retreats to the shed, buried at the end of his treasured garden, The Baku emerges. The Baku is ancient, a creature that feeds on our fears, and it corrupts everything it touches. Plagued by nightmares, with darkness spreading through the house, Sean must confront his fears to free himself and his grandad from the grip of the Baku.

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Book Review: Divine (Divine #1) by M.J. Woodman

“What if Rome never fell?”

The first book in a planned series, Divine by M.J. Woodman is set in an alternative reality where the Roman Empire never fell. Present-day Appia, real-world North America, fractured by a mythical war in recent history has been divided into five Imperial fortress states.

On the cusp of womanhood, Electa faces an uncertain future in Latia, the capital state in Appia. Feeling suppressed by her society’s rules and expectations, she rebels quietly in the only ways she knows how – drinking, smoking, fighting, and partying. Her youthful but futile resistance cannot last for long. Her seventeenth birthday looms and with it, the Choosing. This rite of passage promises wealth and happiness for a chosen few but Electa, as a plebeian faces an almost certain fate – expulsion from her Haven and homeland.

Electa’s fate takes an unexpected turn when, against all the odds, she is Chosen to compete in Imperial Panore, a once in a generation event to find a wife for the future Emperor. But when a mysterious terror organization, Spartaca, recruits her to bring down the Empire from the inside, she must learn to adapt to the politics and power her new life brings. To win the competition, she must first seduce the Prince, and future Emperor, Asher Ovicula. Then she must defeat the other competitors in a series of brutal gladiatorial games. Why did Spartaca choose her? The truth will change Electa’s world forever.

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Book Review: The Mirror Man (Joona Linna #8) by Lars Kepler

“IF YOU SEE HIS REFLECTION
IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE . . .”

Set to be released on 26th May, The Mirror Man by Lars Kepler is the eighth book in the Joona Linna series which follows the case of Jenny Lind who, five years ago, was abducted on her way home from school. Now, her lifeless body is found hanging in a playground. But there is no evidence and only one witness – a man who cannot remember what he saw. With Detective Joona Linna and the police scrambling to find a lead, another girl goes missing. And as they close in on the killer, they discover that the Mirror Man’s crimes are more shocking than they ever could have imagined…

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Book Review: The Island by Adrian McKinty

“IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.
A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.”

Set to be published on 26th May, The Island by Adrian McKinty follows Heather, her husband Tom, and Tom’s young son and teenage daughter on a working vacation in the Australian outback. It’s the perfect way to bring the new family together. So when they discover a remote island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family take a chance on an adventure. But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers. Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

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Audiobook Review: Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

“Everyone is a hundred different things, but in other people’s eyes we usually get the chance to be only one of them.”

The second book in the Beartown series by Fredrik Backman and published in 2017, Us Against You follows the citizens of Beartown after everything they have gone through, who struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the former Beartown players who now play for a rival team in Hed. But when a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach, a new team starts to take shape.

As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.

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READALONG: The It Girl by Ruth Ware

“Everyone wanted her life. Someone wanted her dead.”

Due to be published on 8th August, The It Girl by Ruth Ware follows Hannah and Will who, relieved to put their past behind them, are expecting their first child. But when Hannah finds out that the man convicted of killing her best friend from university over ten years ago has died, Hannah’s world is rocked. April was vivacious, bright, and the ultimate It girl. But by the end of the second year, she was dead. Now, Hannah’s recollection of the night is brought into question, when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that he may have been innocent all along. But if it wasn’t him, who did kill April?

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Book Review: The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

“Three words, large enough to tip the world. I remember you.”

Published in 2020, The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab follows the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue who, in 1714, bargains to live forever in a moment of desperation. But her bargain wasn’t a fair one, and she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

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Audiobook Review: Summerwater by Sarah Moss

“And the waves, of course, have almost gone here in the shelter of the island and the peninsula where even today there are cars glinting wet through the trees, people desperate enough to walk in the rain or some of them just seem to drive to the end of the road and park and sit there, newspapers and tea from a flask and it makes him itch everywhere at once just thinking of it, people sitting in parked cars, the windows steaming up, waiting for minutes to pass, for their lives to drip away.”

Published in 2020, Summerwater by Sarah Moss is set on the longest day of the summer, when twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents.

One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others. Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls.

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Book Review: One Of The Girls by Lucy Clarke

“ONE IS A LIAR.
ONE IS A STRANGER.
ONE IS A CHEATER.
WHO IS A KILLER?”

Set to be released on 26th May, One Of The Girls by Lucy Clarke follows a group of six friends who arrive on a beautiful Greek island, dreaming of sun-drenched beaches and blood orange sunsets, ready to lose themselves in the wild freedom of a weekend away with friends. On the first night, they swam under a blanket of stars. On the second night, the games began on our clifftop terrace. On the third night, the idyll cracked. And by the final night, there was a body on the rocks below…

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Book Review: Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

“Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?”

Set to be released on 12th May, Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister follows mother and wife Jen who witnesses her son commit a terrible crime: the murder of a complete stranger. It’s every parent’s nightmare. She doesn’t know who her son has killed, and she doesn’t know why. She only knows that her teenage boy is in custody and his future is lost.

That night, she falls asleep in despair. But when she wakes, it’s yesterday. And every morning after that, she wakes up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lie the answers, and Jen doesn’t have a choice but to find them.

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Book Review: The House With The Golden Door (The Wolf Den Trilogy #2) by Elodie Harper

“Freed from Pompeii’s brothel. Owned as a courtesan. Determined to have revenge. Her name is Amara. What will she risk for power?”

Set to be released on 12th May and the second book in Elodie Harper’s The Wolf Den Trilogy, The House With The Golden Door follows the story of Amara, after being freed from Pompeii’s most notorious brothel. Now owned as a courtesan, she has a house, fine clothes, and servants – but all of these are gifts from her patron, hers for as long as she keeps her place in his affections.

As she adjusts to this new life, Amara is still haunted by her past. At night she dreams of the wolf den, and the women she left behind. By day, she is pursued by her former slavemaster. In order to be truly free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is. Amara knows she can draw strength from Venus, the goddess of love. Yet falling in love herself may prove to be her downfall.

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Book Review: Dark Pines (Tuva Moodyson Mystery #1) by Will Dean

“An isolated Swedish town. A deaf reporter terrified of nature. A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest. A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.”

The first book in Will Dean‘s Tuva Moodyson Mystery series and published in 2018, Dark Pines is set in an isolated Swedish town where a deaf reporter, Tuva Moodyson, begins investigating a series of murders in a dense spruce forest. It soon becomes clear that this could be the story that will make Tuva’s career, as she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take their eyes? Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.

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BOOK TOUR: The Trapped Ones (Nikki Hunt #5) by Stacy Green

The fifth book in Stacy Green‘s Nikki Hunt series, The Trapped Ones sees Special Agent Nikki Hunt called to a homicide at a farmhouse surrounded by thick, dark woodland. A mother and father have been stabbed, their son is fighting for his life, and a young woman’s body is lying near the front door, her wrists bound. Nikki has never seen such a complex scene, but despite recovering from her own painful loss, she will do whatever it takes to bring this killer to justice.

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Book Review: The Executioner (Robert Hunter #2) by Chris Carter

“He’ll scare you to death.”

The second book in the Robert Hunter series and originally published in 2010, The Executioner by Chris Carter begins inside a Los Angeles church where, on the altar steps, lies the blood-soaked, decapitated body of a priest. Carefully positioned, legs stretched out, arms crossed over the chest, the most horrifying thing of all is that the priest’s head has been replaced by that of a dog. Later, the forensic team discover that, on the victim’s chest, the number 3 has been scrawled in blood.

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

“Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action. If you do nothing, you’ll be sending a clear message: that you’re stronger than they think you are. Not to mention a lot classier. Think about it.”

Originally published in 2013, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan follows New Yorker Rachel Chu who agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young. She envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry, but Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

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Book Review: The House Next Door by James Patterson

Published in 2019, The House Next Door by James Patterson is a collection of three short stories.

The House Next Door follows a married mother of three who is thrilled when her new neighbour invites her on some errands. But a few quick tasks became a long lunch-and now things could go too far with a man who isn’t what he seems.

The Killer’s Wife follows Detective McGrath’s investigation into the disappearance of four girls. He knows the only way to find them is to get close to the suspect’s wife… maybe too close.

We. Are. Not. Alone sees the first message from space, the undeniable proof of alien life. Disgraced Air Force scientist Robert Barnett found it. Now he’s the target of a desperate nationwide manhunt, and Earth’s future hangs in the balance.

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Book Review: The Beekeeper Of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

“In the midst of war, he found love.
In the midst of darkness, he found courage.
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope.”

Published in 2020, The Beekeeper Of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri follows beekeeper Nuri and his artist wife, Afra. They live a simple life in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all, they must journey to find each other again.

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