Welcome to this weeks ‘This Week in Books’, it’s my third instalment which must mean that I’ve been an official blogger for three whole weeks (give or take a few days!) Thank-you to everyone who reads and interacts with my posts! I have also met some wicked bloggers on this little journey of mine. Okay, that’s all of the touchy feely stuff out of the way, now lets talk books! I’ve read three books this week. One was for an impromptu read-along with a fellow book blogger, for Will Carver’s Good Samaritans (excellently superb piece of literature!) You can find out how this rule – breaking readathon came to be by clicking here, you can also read my wonderful (I’ve been told, although *beware spoilers*) review here.
If you’re asking yourself what is this darkly, sexy thriller you speak of? Here’s the downlow (I shame myself on how uncool I actually am!)
“One crossed wire, three dead bodies, six bottles of bleach”
That is all! Now go check out my blog links and all will be revealed!
“Any book that starts off with a fight club quote has just heightened the bar in which it can be judged, that being said Good Samaritans completely exceeded that expectation within the first chapter or so” – me
This was my first read of the month and it was absolutely fabulous! 5 / 5 stars! Round of applause for Will!
The second book of the month was a collection of short stories by Nathan O’Hagan. I was lucky enough to review Nathan’s newest short story collection ‘Everything Falls Apart’ last month and thoroughly loved it. It’s one of my top reads this year. This 45 page set of stories is called ‘Purge’. The collection includes six stories tackling issues, such as paranoia, suicide and alienation. Nathan also delves in deeper to unmask the thoughts and perceptions of those in marginalised society. (Image below… yes they are very lovely Beauty and Beast pjs, I am not ashamed). This read may be short but it is most definitely not sweet. One thing that I love about Nathan’s work is his ability to make the reader think and feel such raw emotions about the realities in which he writes. I’m repeating a phrase from my review of ‘Everything Falls Apart’ but Nathan is a story writing chameleon!
I enjoyed this read because it shone some light on some major issues that globally seem to be over – looked, such as suicide in men and the poor and wealth divide, which gets larger everyday, but no-one is ever happy at where they are in life. This is some amazing work, again. I could read Nathan O’Hagan’s story collections for days! If you’re interested in any of his work, just click here, here and here, you will be transported to the land of Amazon to complete your purchase! Again, five stars from me!
*Drumroll* The final read of this week was The Small Hand, a ghost story written by Susan Hill. You’re wondering where else you’ve seen this book title? It was one of the fantastic books purchased, that I talked about in the post My December Book Haul. My golly aren’t I happy that it followed me home!
Just for a recap, here’s the blurb; don’t ever say that I don’t give you anything!
“Late one summer evening, antiquarian bookseller Adam Snow is returning from a client visit when he takes a wrong turn. He stumbles across a derelict Edwardian house, and compelled by curiosity, approaches the door. Standing before the entrance, he feels the unmistakable sensation of a small cold hand creeping into his own, ‘as if a child had taken hold of it’.
At first he is merely puzzled by the odd incident but then begins to suffer attacks of fear and panic, and is visited by nightmares. He is determined to learn more ‘about the house and its once-magnificent, now overgrown garden but when he does so, he receives further, increasingly sinister, visits from the small hand.”
I was in the process of being taken over by the dreaded book affliction; The Book Slump… duh duh dum.
As I stood before my bookshelves, my soul cried out for a book that would drag me away from my readers doom. That’s when I picked this read up. It’s small (204 pages) and the chapters are short. Just what the book doctor ordered *my soul cheered* And let’s just agree right now, ghost stories and Christmas go together like cookies and milk!
The Small Hand follows the story of antique bookseller Adam Snow, who when lost travelling to visit a client, comes across a derelict abandoned house. His curiosity peaks, he decides to go and investigate the overgrown gardens. As he stands there looking at the neglected garden, a hand slips into his, that of a child’s. But he knows that no matter how real the hand feels, it is not actually there. *Large intake of breath*
The Small Hand, I found, had quite an eerie feel about it, quite like The Haunting of Hill House when the main character Eleanor becomes addicted to the house. Adam has become somewhat addicted to the small hand; intrigued by it. I think that this ghost story hasn’t been the strongest that I’ve read, although like haunted houses, contain chilling cold spots. I was more engrossed within the story of Adam visiting a sanctuary of Monks as part of a business quest. For me Adam’s business felt more thought out than the overall story.
I felt that The Small Hand’s ending was quite anti-climatic and I wished it had been more hold your breathe spectacular, like one area of the novel. This novel is more of a slow burner ghost story, for readers who prefer a low-key style heebie – jeebie feeling (I love these words!) Even a possible young adult read!
Overall, The Small Hand was beautifully written, there were no potholes in the story and the majority of small hand interactions left me with a goose-pimple feeling. Susan Hill’s ability to create a story is undeniable. The storyline was not overcomplicated, but the problem with this is that it became quite predictable. Although this novel was not for me completely, I did appreciate some aspects of the writing.
I will recommend this book for readers who are looking for a light ghost story, I will also like to read Susan Hill’s other books including Dolly and Woman in Black. My star rating is 3.5 / 5.
I am currently reading a proof copy of Blood and Sugar written by Laura Shepherd – Robinson, that I was provided with by Tracy Felton who is a blogging machine, and Mantle Press Books, available to pre – order now for it’s release on the 25th of January 2019. Look at this WONDERFUL blurb (*from Amazon obviously):
“June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.
Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .
To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.
And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford . . .”
My review will be available for your viewing pleasure the week of publication, so tune in then and see what I thought! Let me know what did read this week, or if you’ve read these books, what did you think? Until next time…..