I am delighted to welcome author Jackie Baldwin to damppebbles today. I read and reviewed Jackie’s debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, towards the end of last year and I absolutely flipping loved it. Click HERE to read my review. Jackie has kindly joined me on the blog today to share her three recommended reads published in 2017.
#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I ask book bloggers and authors to recommend three must-read titles. I have only one stipulation and that is the books must have been published in 2017. Easy, right?
Here are Jackie’s recommendations…
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
I loved this book principally because it was like nothing else I have ever read. The ending made me gasp and it really demands to be put away for a few weeks before the exquisite delight of reading it again. Right from the first page I was sucked in to the world of the characters. Louise was warm, funny and engaging and Adele, well she was something else! A character with more layers than an onion and incredibly complex. I don’t think I have ever been so intrigued by a character or so eager to get to the bottom of a mystery. The pace never flags, cranking up throughout until you are almost unbearably tense. Totally lived up to the hype!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I have read so many books but this one I am confident will stay with me forever. I loved Eleanor to the extent that I felt a strong urge to be her friend and protect her. Super intelligent, friendless, spiky and scarred she determinedly navigates her way through a confusing world anchored by her unyielding routine and a vodka habit. Her world slowly starts to tilt when she helps an elderly man who has collapsed and as a result is drawn inexorably towards abandoning her life of careful solitude and confronting her painful past. For me, it was in turns, tragic, funny, touching and ultimately uplifting. A celebration of what it is to be human and how we all need to love and be loved.
The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
This had an intriguing premise. A loved up newly married couple are offered a strange wedding gift which is membership of a club that promises its couples will never divorce. They sign The Pact and are in awe of the glitzy parties and prestige that membership conveys. Things quickly turn dark, however, when one of them breaks the rules. The punishments for infringement become more and more severe until they are trapped in a living Hell rather than the marital bliss promised. They can either conform and stay safe or fight the club to live their marriage on their terms. Their very lives could be at stake. This was an intriguing premise and an exciting rollercoaster of a read. I read it really quickly as I couldn’t bear to put it down. In some ways it made me think about a film I’d enjoyed called The Box in that from the moment they signed on the dotted line, things quickly spiralled out of control and about how one decision can have devastating and unforeseen consequences.
Thank you so much, Jackie. Brilliant recommendations. I have ‘Behind Her Eyes’ on the TBR and I’ve added ‘The Marriage Pact’ to my wishlist! EDIT: Having written this post a week or so ago, imagine my surprise when I received a NetGalley email offering me a copy of ‘The Marriage Pact’ (which I obviously accepted!). Anyone else ever feel like you’re being watched….?!
If Jackie has managed to tempt you too, or if you would like to find out more about the books she has mentioned, please click the following amazon.co.uk links:
Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins.The second in the series is due out in the Spring.
About Dead Man’s Prayer:
A dark and gripping crime debut, the first in an exciting new series. Eighteen years ago, DI Frank Farrell turned his back on the church. But when an ex-priest is murdered in his hometown, he has no choice but to delve into his past. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.
Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.
With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when a pair of twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?
As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.
If you are a book blogger or an author and would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2017, please complete the form below (last chance to join in! Form closes Sunday evening GMT):