The damppebbles Top Ten(ish!) of 2022 #amreading #amreviewing #amblogging #Bestof2022 #TopReadsof2022 #BookRecommendations #bookblogger #BookTwitter #damppebbles

Hello and welcome to my final post of 2022, my top ten(ish!) books of the year. ‘Ish’ because, as in previous years, I hope you can’t count 😂. It’s been a cracking year for books with record numbers of five star reviews featuring on the blog. The debuts have been killing it once again this year but for me, the established authors have also had an incredible year. Clare Mackintosh’s first police procedural became a firm favourite of mine. M.W. Craven treated fans to another utterly absorbing and cleverly written tale where Poe and Tilly shine (the latest release from this author is THE highlight of my bookish year!). And a new-found favourite author of mine, Ronald Malfi, delivered another creepy, character-driven full-length tale as well as publishing a collection of impossible-to-put-down short stories. What a superb literary year it’s been! I cannot wait to see what 2023 brings.

So without further ado and in no particular order (apart from the last one which is my book of the year), here are my top ten(ish!) books of 2022…

The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh
 I loved The Last Party and I hope this is only the start of DC Ffion Morgan’s adventures. Everything about this book worked for me. The plot is incredibly gripping and hugely compelling – I had to know what had happened to Rhys Lloyd and why, the setting is beautifully drawn by the author, and the characters are some of the most memorable I’ve met this year. In fact, I would go as far as saying that something about this book reminded me a little of when I first met M.W. Craven’s Tilly and Poe. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is but I think this series could be something quite special. The first book has certainly left its mark on me and I am excited to read more, that’s for sure! Masterful storytelling, jaw-dropping twists and turns and a cast that I pretty much fell in love with.
My Review of The Last Party

The Botanist (Washington Poe #5) by M.W. Craven
The Botanist is a superb addition to an outstanding series which I believe every crime fiction fan needs on their bookshelf. Tense, gripping, clever, hugely compelling, truly divine characterisation, beautifully paced and darn well perfect in every respect. What more could you want? Tilly and Poe are the ultimate crime fighting duo, you won’t find another pairing like these two and I love that! The Botanist is without a doubt a sure-fire five-star winner for me and will definitely be featuring in my favourite books of the year list [taddah, here’s the proof!]The Botanist, along with the other books in the series, are a must read. Incredibly well-written and head and shoulders above others in the same genre.
My Review of The Botanist

Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi
Black Mouth is a captivating, emotional, yet creepy story of childhood trauma and how, as we get older, the nightmares we faced as children can still be just as frightening, the memories just as destructive. The characters are sublime, the setting was perfect and the writing is divine. Completely absorbing, totally immersive, I was addicted to this book from the moment I cracked the spine and I now feel bereft that my time with Jamie, Mia and Clay, and of course the pure delight that is Dennis, is over. I’m so excited to see what’s next for the author. You can be sure of one thing, I’ll be at the front of the queue!
My Review of Black Mouth

Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor
Dirt Town is a very atmospheric, incredibly readable tale which I enjoyed every dark and desolate moment of. The setting is exactly the kind of setting I want in my crime fiction novels – a small town on its last legs. I loved the vivid descriptions the author uses to set the scene, putting the reader right there in the middle of things. But the characters were EVERYTHING. Multi-layered, completely believable and totally unforgettable. It’s hard to believe Dirt Town is a debut and I’m excited to see what Scrivenor delivers next.
My Review of Dirt Town

Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber
I loved Out of Her Depth. It’s a highly addictive, sophisticated and atmospheric thriller that has left its mark on me. The characters felt real, their interactions were very convincing, the setting – well, I’m booking my holiday to Florence this year! – and the plot drew me into the story, and kept me within the pages even when I should have probably been cooking dinner for the kids (don’t worry, they were fed 😂). I loved this book and will be recommending it to everyone, starting with YOU! If you enjoy psychological thrillers featuring toxic friendships then you need this book in your life. It was a thrilling, uncomfortable, unnerving, tense joy to read and I highly recommend it.
My Review of Out of Her Depth

Sundial by Catriona Ward
Sundial is highly original, darkly compelling and totally twisted (in the best way possible). The pressure really was on for the author following the huge success of The Last House on Needless Street but by George, she’s gone and done it again! Sundial is a very different beast to its predecessor but I think I preferred it ever so slightly. Both books are superb but I think this one, for me, takes the edge. The setting is very well drawn, I could feel the heat of the Mojave Desert blistering my skin. The characters have real depth and I felt as though they were living and breathing in front of me. The plot flowed beautifully, keeping me within the pages and occupying my thoughts when I wasn’t reading. Addictive, uncomfortable at times but truly stunning in concept and delivery. Psychological horror at its absolute finest and this book firmly puts Ward on my ‘must read’ author list. I’m excited to see what Catriona Ward delivers next!
My Review of Sundial

One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke
I loved One of the Girls and I’ll probably re-read it in the future as I’m keen to return to Aegos and be reunited with this fascinating, eclectic group of women and their complicated friendships. The setting was exquisite (yes, I’m desperate for a holiday!), the plot was so well drawn and thought out but the characters absolutely did it for me. They felt like real people and I was watching an edge-of-your seat TV drama play out before me. Clarke is such a talented writer and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next. A hugely compulsive read featuring divine characters and their bubbling resentments which I couldn’t get enough of. Totally addictive. I loved it!
My Review of One of the Girls

Outback by Patricia Wolf
Outback is such an accomplished, compelling debut which I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. I loved the characters. In particular the working relationship between DS Walker and Barbara Guerra. It was a real highlight for me as not only am I fan of Australian crime fiction I also love German crime fiction too, so Outback really was a joy for me to read with influences from both. The plot was fascinating and drew me into the story. I was keen to discover what had happened to Rita and Berndt, which kept me turning the pages. I adored the setting with its wide horizons and emptiness which despite being vast still felt oddly claustrophobic. The author paints a beautifully vivid, atmospheric picture for the reader which I can’t help but applaud. All in all, I loved Outback and would recommend it not only to fans of Australian crime fiction but to anyone who enjoys a well written mystery full of suspense.
My Review of Outback

Nasty Little Cuts by Tina Baker
Nasty Little Cuts is a hugely compelling unravelling of a marriage gone wrong. It’s pretty bleak and brutal at times. I don’t feel the author has held back at all, which I am grateful for, as it’s a shocking tale told in glorious, unflinching technicolour. A toxic relationship at breaking point, fuelled by the past and heading towards catastrophe. Will it be for everyone? I’m not sure, but if you’re a fan of domestic suspense done INCREDIBLY WELL then yes, you must read this book! A gutsy, brave story from an author who is now on my ‘must read’ list. Deliciously dark, disturbing and oh so good!
My Review of Nasty Little Cuts

Little Nothings by Julie Mayhew
I ADORED Little Nothings. Everything worked for me. The characters stood tall from the page and I don’t think I’ll forget any of them in a hurry. The pace of the book made sure that I was turning the pages late into the night – way past my bedtime. The setting was perfect and the descriptions were beautifully vivid enabling me to picture the scene with ease. I loved everything about this book. Every last little detail.
My Review of Little Nothings

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez
More Than You’ll Ever Know is a superbly written debut. The unravelling of the mystery drew me into the story, the true crime element worked beautifully, the settings – both Mexico City and Loredo, Texas – were vividly drawn by the author and I could picture the scenes unfolding clearly in my mind. I loved the dual timeline where the reader gets to meet Lore and Cassie in the present day but we also get to sneak a look behind the curtain with flashbacks to Lore’s life in 1985/6 and the path she took to the ultimate deception. Plus, of course, the night of the shooting. The entire book worked for me. But the characters, they were EVERYTHING. More Than You’ll Ever Know is a sublime novel which, if you’re a fan of beautifully written literary mysteries you will devour. I was completely entranced and captivated by this stunning novel.
My Review of More Than You’ll Ever Know

And my book of the year is….

WAKE by Shelley Burr
WAKE is an absolute corker of a novel which I immersed myself in completely. It consumed my thoughts whilst reading it and I still, weeks later, think about it more than any other book I’ve read recently. Absolutely, categorically, my favourite book of the year so far. This is the type of crime fiction I want to read. WAKE is such a compelling, intriguing mystery with superb characters and a vividly drawn, remote setting. I lived and breathed this book alongside Mina and Lane, gripped by the mystery of what happened to Evie McCreery. Every single little thing worked. Beautifully tense, truly unforgettable and the ultimate page turner. A magnificent debut and I’m excited to see what the author has in store for us next. Gosh, I really loved this book!
My Review of WAKE

So there you have it. Lashings and lashings of gorgeousness in one glorious post (even if I do say so myself 🤣). It’s a darn fine looking bunch of books, I think you’ll agree. Ten (😳) truly amazing books which you should do everything in your power to get hold of.

Have a peaceful and safe New Year, bookish lovelies, and I will see you on the other side. Providing I can remove myself from my post Christmas mince-pie induced haze I will be sharing my first review of the New Year with you on either Monday or Tuesday of next week (giving myself a little leeway, just in case 😜). Thank you for your support over the last year. 2022 is officially damppebbles’ most successful year since the blog started in 2016 and that’s all down to YOU! You are AMAZING! Stay safe, stay bookish and keep reading. Lots of love, Emma @damppebbles x

Fancy purchasing one of the books on my top ten(ish!) of the year? Then please check out my bookshop.org and amazon shops (please note, the following link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | damppebbles bookshop.org shopdamppebbles amazon.co.uk shopdamppebbles amazon.com shop |

The damppebbles Top Ten(ish!) of 2021 #amreading #amreviewing #amblogging #Bestof2021 #TopReadsof2021 #BookRecommendations #bookblogger #BookTwitter #damppebbles

Hello bookish friends, I’ve missed you! After posting every day for fifty-three days straight, when you don’t post, it feels a little…odd. Like you’ve forgotten to do something really, REALLY important! Anyway, it’s only been a week and a smidge since I last officially posted and I have lots of reviews coming your way starting the first week of January so we’ll be back in the swing of things soon.

Welcome to my final post of 2021, my top ten(ish!) books of the year. ‘Ish’ because, as in previous years, I hope you can’t count 😂. It’s been a cracking year for books and in particular, debuts. Time and time again, the debut authors have absolutely hit it out of the park and I’m excited about what 2022’s debut authors have to offer. No pressure though, lol!

So without further ado and in no particular order (actually, tell a lie, they’re in the order I read them starting with the earliest!), here are my top ten(ish!) books of the year…

Shiver by Allie Reynolds
I loved Shiver. The dangerous and atmospheric setting of the Alps ensured I was hooked from the very start. I wanted to return again and again to my copy of the book. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about the story. Trying to work out how things were going to turn out, picturing the snow covered mountains and the pure terror of being trapped in such a hostile, unforgiving environment. Absolutely flipping marvellous. I lived and breathed Shiver.
My Review of Shiver

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
I’ve never read such a tense, compelling novel before. My heart was in my mouth from the very start and it stayed there throughout. I was living the story alongside the characters, like a movie playing in my mind. And the terror felt real. It was insane how deeply this book burrowed its way into my being. It was such an intense, emotional experience.
My Review of Three Hours

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey
From the opening chapters this book had a hold over me and I savoured every moment I spent with it. It’s such a beautifully written piece of fiction which managed to completely entrance me. Tall Bones is a haunting, beautiful but ultimately dark read which I read with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. An astonishing debut.
My Review of Tall Bones

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird
Oh.My.Goodness! This book is incredible. Absolutely superb and frighteningly real. The End of Men is a must read for all. Intelligent, poignant, devastating and totally absorbing. The true definition a page turner. I couldn’t put this book down as I was desperate to find out what revelation the author was going to share with me next.
My Review of The End of Men

The Hunger by Alma Katsu
Like nothing else I have read before. I found The Hunger to be a completely engrossing and spell-binding read which I heartily recommend to horror fans. The ending was perfect and took my breath away. I adored this book. Something truly special which has left its mark on me.
My Review of The Hunger

Falling by T.J. Newman
Falling is a superb debut. Tense, scarily real and absolutely relentless. The book starts with a bang. Highly, highly entertaining. I was completely captivated from that blisteringly good start to the heart-stopping, ‘read behind your hands’ end. Shedloads of suspense, a fast and pacey plot and a cast of characters I felt fully invested in. Sublime!
My Review of Falling

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker
I devoured The First Day of Spring. When I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about the characters. Chrissie broke my heart time and time again. The author’s writing is immersive and totally believable which made Chrissie, Julia and Molly come to life before my very eyes. I don’t think I’ll be able or willing to forget The First Day of Spring. Haunting, compelling and utterly devastating.
My Review of The First Day of Spring

The Beach House by Beverley Jones
The Beach House is a gripping tale of secrets, lies and obsession and I gobbled it up in a couple of short sittings. I found Grace, as the book’s lead character, to be intriguing and utterly captivating. I think I’m a little bit in love 😳. As the story unfolds, the tension ramps up with a dramatic and thrilling denouement which I thought was a perfect conclusion to Grace’s story.
My Review of The Beach House

Survive the Night by Riley Sager
I loved Survive the Night. Everything about it was perfection on a page. The twists are weaved into the story masterfully. There are lots of other really clever little details thrown into the story to keep you gripped and turning the pages. Sager has excelled himself. I feel as though I lived this book alongside the characters. Absolutely bloody marvellous! Tense, all absorbing and utterly captivating.
My Review of Survive the Night

Good Neighbours by Sarah Langan
Good Neighbours is a deliciously dark, visceral tale of suburbia which I devoured with utter glee. It’s so beautifully sinister, so packed full of menace, it was impossible to tear myself away from it. I was fully immersed in the drama of Maple Street. The ending was perfect. The whole darn book was pretty perfect.
My Review of Good Neighbours

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
I adored spending time with Downing’s characters, I could happily have read another 500 pages of Teddy’s nefarious goings on (and it’s not a short book at 400 pages for the hardcover!). For Your Own Good was a dark and devious joy to read. Totally absorbing, exactly the type of book I love to lose myself in. I will be shouting about this one for a long time to come.
My Review of For Your Own Good

Come With Me by Ronald Malfi
Emotional, edgy and dark. It ticked so many boxes for me and I struggled to be parted from it, needing to find out how things would turn out for Aaron. As for the ending, it blew my mind and made a book I was really enjoying hit new heady heights. A memorable story the reader can truly invest in. Perfectly pitched and expertly written.
My Review of Come With Me

So there you have it. Lashings and lashings of gorgeousness in one glorious post (even if I do say so myself 🤣). It’s a darn fine looking bunch of books, I think you’ll agree. Ten (😳) truly amazing books which you should do everything in your power to get hold of. I said it earlier but I’ll say it again, the debuts have absolutely stolen the show this year. I think five of my, ahem, ten are debuts which is incredible, right? The future for us booklovers is looking very bright indeed.

Have a peaceful and safe New Year, bookish lovelies, and I will see you on the other side. I’ll be sharing my #R3COMM3ND3D2021 After-Show Party post in January which will feature all 130 books chosen, along with the winner (OR winners!), so keep an eye out for that. Thank you for your support through a second difficult year. You are AMAZING! Stay safe, stay bookish and keep reading. Lots of love, Emma @damppebbles x

Fancy purchasing one of the books on my top ten(ish!) of the year? Then please check out my bookshop.org affiliate page (please note, the following link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): damppebbles bookshop.org shop

#CaseClosed: #June2020 #amreading #amreviewing #bookblogger #damppebbles #booklove #20booksofsummer20 #R3COMM3ND3D2020

Ah, it’s been a long time since I last wrote an end of the month #CaseClosed post. Will I remember how to do it? Will this post be a lot of bumbling around and unnecessary waffle? Most likely. But that’s nothing new 😂

At the end of May when I posted my 20 Books of Summer sign up post, I mentioned doing a monthly wrap up so….TA-DAH! This is my progress check. My attempt to keep me on track with the challenge (you can find out exactly what it’s about HERE). I have completely failed the 20 Books of Summer challenge two years on the trot now but that will NOT be the case in 2020, no siree!

So, one month in, how’s it all going? Well….

I’M ONLY FLIPPING READING MY TENTH BOOK OF THE CHALLENGE AND THERE ARE STILL TWO WHOLE MONTHS TO GO 🎉🎉

I’m a little bit happy.

But I know what you’re thinking. It probably involves the words: chickens, counting, hatched and don’t. Right? Hmm, you’re probably right but….YAY!!!

I have read nine books in June which, for many of my fellow bloggers, isn’t a lot, but it’s shedloads for me! Here’s how my 20 Books of Summer list currently looks (not all reviews are live at the moment but most are written):

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia
The Guesthouse by Abbie Frost (currently reading)
The Home by Mats Strandberg
The Search Party by Simon Lelic
The Shadow Friend by Alex North (review will be published on 9th July)
Midtown Huckster by Leopold Borstinski
Blood Lines by Angela Marsons
Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan (review will be published on 14th July)
Her Last Breath by Alison Belsham
The Secret by Katerina Diamond
The Betrayals by Fiona Neill
Written in Bones by James Oswald
The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser
Her Husband’s Lover by Julia Crouch
Tattletale by Sarah Naughton
Last Breath by Robert Bryndza
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Halfway by B.E. Jones
The Proposal by S.E. Lynes
The Killer You Know by S.R. Masters

I feel as though I’ve made a really positive start to the challenge. I’m trying to read at least 25% of a book every day to keep me on top of things. So far, so good (but please keep everything crossed for me!)

So here’s to month two and lots more absolutely cracking books!

Are you taking part in 20 Books of Summer? How are you getting on?

On a slightly different note, we’re in July now so it’s time to start thinking about #R3COMM3ND3D2020 (stop it, I can hear some of you groaning 😂….)

If you’re new to the blog you may be wondering what #R3COMM3ND3D is, so allow me to explain. It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published this year in 2020.

I realise there’s still a lot of 2020 left but for the early birds, here’s the sign-up form:

I’ll do an official post at the start of September but if you want to get in quick, here’s your chance. Places are limited to 57 so please don’t miss out!

That’s all from me. Have a marvellous July, stay safe and keep sharing the book love 🖤

#BookReview: Slash by Hunter Shea @flametreepress #Slash #damppebbles

9781787581791.jpg“Five years after Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith. With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains.

What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims.

The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing what they expected.”

Hello bookish friends and welcome to damppebbles. I am delighted to be sharing my review of Slash by Hunter Shea with you today. Slash was published by Flame Tree Press on 24th October 2019 and is available in hardcover, paperback and digital formats. I chose to read and review an eARC of Slash but that has in no way influenced my review.

Holy moly, this is a cracker of a book! If you’re a regular visitor to the blog then you may know that I love the horror genre as much as I love crime fiction! I’m particularly fond of the ’80s slasher movie’ novels and tend to turn to horror when my reading mojo ups and leaves. I asked for recommendations a few months back and the lovely Sharron at booksbehindthetitle suggested I gave Slash a go as she’d recently read it and thought it would appeal. She was 100% right. I devoured this book. Slash has everything I look for in a horror novel but with so much more dolloped on top (in a steaming, festering, bloody pile).

Ashley King was the sole survivor of the Hayden Resort Massacre five years ago. Yup, she’s a Final Girl. Todd Matthews, her fiancé, returns home one day to find her lifeless body hanging in the basement. Heartbroken and grieving for his lost love, he returns to the site of the massacre to find out what really happened that fateful night. A serial killer named ‘The Wraith’ has always been held responsible for the murders and Todd, and his totally unprepared band of friends, want answers. But what they find living in the ruins of the Resort is a whole lot more than they ever expected….

This is Shea’s homage to slasher movies and I really enjoyed the high-stakes terror and the unashamed gore fest of Slash. But all is not what it first appears. This is the second book I’ve read by Hunter Shea – the first being Creature which is also well worth a look – but I get the feeling that Shea (and this really is just a feeling having read only two of this author’s books – don’t hate me if I’m wrong) has a very distinct style, which Slash benefits from. The story really ramped up a number of notches and was given an almighty gut pulverising twist.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. This is a blood soaked, rip roaring ride of a book and I loved every minute of it. If you’re not a fan of gore in your novels then perhaps this isn’t for you. But if you’ve got the stomach, this is one that shouldn’t be missed. It ticked so many boxes for me and I’m adding Shea’s previous books to the TBR.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Slash. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Slash by Hunter Shea was published in the UK by Flame Tree Press on 24th October 2019 and is available in hardcover, paperback and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.comWaterstones | Book DepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

hunter sheaHunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. He’s a bestselling author of over 13 (lucky number!) books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

Author Links: | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Author photo and bio © https://huntershea.com/

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Nicola Smith (@ShortBookScribe) #ShortBookandScribes #damppebbles

Hello and welcome to the blog. It’s Monday which means it’s time for another completely brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post! Today I am delighted to welcome fabulous blogger Nicola Smith to damppebbles to share her three #R3COMM3ND3D picks. Nicola blogs over at the brilliant Short Book and Scribes so why not head on over and pay her a visit. You won’t regret it!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018? What’s that all about then? Allow me to explain. #R3COMM3ND3D is where I invite bookish types; book bloggers, authors and publishers to tell us about three books they think the rest of us MUST read. Any author, any genre, any publisher but with one proviso…the three choices must have been published in one year.  At the moment we’re concentrating on 2018 but from 1st November #R3COMM3ND3D will be all about the 2019 book love.  If you fall into one of the above categories then have a look at Nicola’s recommendations then head down to the bottom of this post to pick three reads from this year you loved and want to share with the rest of us.

Without further ado, here are the books Nicola chose…

the lido.jpg

The Lido by Libby Page
It’s a beautifully written story of friendship and loss. It left me in floods of tears.
http://shortbookandscribes.uk/reviews/bookreview-the-lido-by-libby-page-libbypagewrites-orionbooks-blogtour/

the perfect girlfriend

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
This for me was a standout psychological thriller with a very disturbed, yet compelling, protagonist.
http://shortbookandscribes.uk/reviews/bookreview-theperfectgirlfriend-by-karen-hamilton-kjhauthor-wildfirebks-headlinepg-blogtour-loveyoutodeath/

appetite.jpg

Appetite by Anita Cassidy
It’s shocking and thrilling, tackling issues of desire and greed in a very honest way.
http://shortbookandscribes.uk/reviews/bookreview-appetite-by-anita-cassidy-anitacassidy76-reddoorbooks-blogtour/

Thanks so much, Nicola. Great choices. I think this is the second (maybe third…? but I’d need to check) mention for The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton. I have a copy on my TBR and I can’t wait to read it!

If Nicola has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Lido by Libby PageThe Perfect Girlfriend by Karen HamiltonAppetite by Anita Cassidy |

About Nicola:
I’m Nicola and I blog at Short Book and Scribes. My blog is 2 years old and I love being able to read and review some of the amazing books out there. I have a son who is almost five and I work as a church administrator. It was very hard to limit myself to three books for this feature!

Nicola’s Social Media Links:
Short Book and ScribesFacebookTwitter @ShortBookScribe |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BookReview: I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney @HQStories #IKnowWhoYouAre #damppebbles

I know who you are.jpg“Aimee Sinclair: the actress everyone thinks they know but can’t remember where from. But I know exactly who you are. I know what you’ve done. And I am watching you.

When Aimee comes home and discovers her husband is missing, she doesn’t seem to know what to do or how to act. The police think she’s hiding something and they’re right, she is – but perhaps not what they thought. Aimee has a secret she’s never shared, and yet, she suspects that someone knows. As she struggles to keep her career and sanity intact, her past comes back to haunt her in ways more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.

I Know Who You Are will leave your heart pounding and your pulse racing. This is the most twisted thriller you’ll read all year.”

Welcome to damppebbles today and to my review of Alice Feeney’s I Know Who You Are which I read in instalments via The Pigeonhole in May.  My thanks to The Pigeonhole for the free copy which has in no way influenced my review.  I Know Who You Are was published in paperback and eBook format by HQ on 16th May 2019.

I read Alice Feeney’s debut, Sometimes I Lie in 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed it.  When this book appeared on my social media feed I knew I had to read it and I’m delighted I did.  As a small sidestep, this was my first experience of reading a book via The Pigeonhole which I enjoyed for several reasons.  The first, I was able to read two books at once which is something I NEVER do.  Having a short ‘stave’ to read each day kept me focussed and when I had finished that days section I went back to my ‘normal’ read.  Secondly, the anticipation was heightened a little as when we got a cliffhanger I HAD to wait until the next stave arrived the following day.  However, what I struggled with, and I think it’s particularly prevalent whilst reading I Know Who You Are which is bursting with red herrings, wrong turns and possible outcomes, was one of the other readers managed to guess the big twist.  If you haven’t read a book with The Pigeonhole before, you and other readers can comment on the text.  My nosiness got the better of me so I had to check each comment as and when they appeared.  One reader put their thoughts forward and after that, I couldn’t unsee what I had seen.  They were very close to being correct and this did take a lot of the oomph out of the ending for me.  Nothing really to do with the book but the experience did influence my read so I wanted to include my thoughts.  In future, I would probably not bother looking at the other comments in case someone comments with something which later turns out to be a spoiler.

I really enjoyed this book although it did feel a little far fetched at times.  Set in 2017 and the late 80s, this is Aimee Sinclair’s story.  Aimee is an emerging actress, on the brink of becoming a household name but she’s not quite there yet.  One day she returns home from filming to find her husband missing.  His keys, wallet and phone are discarded on the table – there’s no sign of a struggle – and Aimee has an ominous feeling so she calls the police.  They start to investigate but before long Aimee is their number one suspect.  Not helped by the circumstantial evidence they have collected including photos of Aimee withdrawing £10.000 from their joint account, which she has no memory of.  Aimee was diagnosed with transient global amnesia as a child which the police repeatedly throw back in her face.  But she knows now what she knew then – that diagnosis was a lie.  That’s not the only lie in Aimee’s life though, there are many others and as the police step up their investigation Aimee will need to work even harder to make sure her secrets stay buried.  But someone knows who she REALLY is…

The flashbacks to 1980s Essex are harrowing.  I found myself getting very angry with one of the characters who made my skin crawl more often than not.  A terrible, despicable person who blew from hot to cold in the blink of an eye.  I don’t want to give too much away as you need to read this book and find out for yourself so I’ll just say that Aimee ends up far away from home and my heart ached for her.  Throughout these chapters, I questioned the history of these people and what had gone before.  I just had to know!

I found it impossible to say at any given point in this book that I knew 100% what was going on and where the story was going (even with the other reader’s suggestions there were other storylines in play which completely flummoxed me and it certainly didn’t cover all of the twists – there were more to come).  Feeney is a master of the unreliable narrator.  I didn’t trust what Aimee was saying, doing or feeling at any point.  Everyone is a suspect, everyone is telling their own version of the truth and as the reader, you just don’t know who to believe.  I’ve grown to love novels like this over the years.  I don’t want the plot to be obvious, I want to doubt the opinions I form and I want a twist that knocks me sideways.  Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, the twist had a little of the oomph taken out of it but it was still shocking, disturbing and totally memorable (if a little far fetched).

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes.  A very compelling read which keeps you on your toes from start to finish.  I felt dizzy with the lies, the suspicion and the red herrings and I loved it!  Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free eARC of I Know Who You Are.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney was published in the UK by HQ on 16th May 2019 and is available in paperback, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

alice feeneyAlice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent 15 years at the BBC, where she worked as a Reporter, News Editor, Arts and Entertainment Producer and One O’clock News Producer.

Alice is has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her husband and dog.

Sometimes I Lie, her debut thriller was published around the world in 2017.

Author Bio © https://www.alicefeeney.com/

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter |

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger H.C. Newton (@HCNewton) #TheIrresponsibleReader

Happy Friday everyone. I hope those of you who were celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday had a wonderful day and you’re all keeping your eyes peeled for those Black Friday bargains today! Personally, I’m checking out the Kindle accessories……

I am delighted to welcome a blogger to damppebbles who I suggest you follow RIGHT NOW, HC Newton of The Irresponsible Reader. I discovered HC’s blog earlier this year and I absolutely love it. Honestly, give him a follow. You won’t regret it.

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for bookish folk to share the book love and shout about three books they think the rest of us should read. Any three books, any three genres but there’s a catch! All three books must have been published in 2018.

Here are HC’s choices…

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Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott
It’s funny, great concept, erudite and silly in the same breath — completely unique.
https://wp.me/p3z9AH-3xP

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Everything is Normal by Sergey Grechishkin
This memoir isn’t perfect — but it’s a surprisingly fun look at life in Soviet Russian in the 80s. Even in the dystopia it was — his childhood had fun and wonder, but Grechishkin is honest about the struggles and pain.
https://wp.me/p3z9AH-3hy

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Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
It’s an entertaining spoof of fantasy tropes and cliches while telling a pretty solid fantasy story as well.
https://wp.me/p3z9AH-3pZ

Thanks for your choices, HC. I’ve only heard of one of them and that’s Dear Mr Pop Star which was all over the blogosphere for a time. I’m really intrigued by it and will be adding it to my wishlist.

If HC has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books he recommends then please see the following links:

| Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott | Everything Is Normal by Sergey Grechishkin | Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne |

About HC:
Just some guy who reads a lot.

HC’s Social Media Links:
| The Irresponsible Reader | Twitter @HCNewton | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D is full for this year but make sure you check back tomorrow when I will be welcoming another awesome blogger to share their #R3COMM3ND3D2018!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Meggy Roussel (@choconwaffles) #ChocolateNWaffles

First of all, I would like to wish all of my American readers a very happy Thanksgiving. May you all have a wonderful day full of happy memories!

Now I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say, ‘how is it possible to have so many favourite bloggers?’. Am I right? Well, the book blogging world is full of incredible people and I count myself lucky to call many of them friends. Today’s #R3COMM3ND3D2018 guest is no exception. I am delighted to welcome the incredible Meggy Roussel of Chocolate’N’Waffles to damppebbles to share her three must read titles of the year. If you don’t follow Meggy’s blog then you and I need to have words!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for book bloggers, authors and those in publishing to declare their love for three brilliant books. I don’t mind if they’re romance, sci-fi or anything else for that matter. All I care about is that the three books selected must have been published in 2018.

Here are Meggy’s choices…

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Perfect Silence by Helen Fields (DI Callanach #4)
I can’t get the story out of my mind!
https://chocolatenwaffles.com/2018/08/28/needles-and-thread-perfect-silence-by-helen_fields/

keeper

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson (Roy & Castells #2)
The most outstanding novel I’ve read this year.
https://chocolatenwaffles.com/2018/04/20/dartense-part-2-keeper-by-johana-gustawsson-jogustawsson-orendabooks-review/

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In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards
The author pushed me to my limits and I LOVED it!
https://chocolatenwaffles.com/2018/10/03/hidden-in-the-dark-in-her-shadow-by-mark-edwards-mredwards/

Awesome choices, Meggy, thank you. I have the first of Helen Fields’s DI Callanach series on my TBR. I’m thrilled to see the phenomenal Keeper make its second appearance and I very much enjoyed In Her Shadow.

If Meggy has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following links:

| Perfect Silence by Helen Fields | Keeper by Johana Gustawsson | In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards |

About Meggy:
Publishing graduate 📚 Redhead 🧚🏻‍♀️ Book blogger 💻 Crazy about books 💛 Warrior 👊🏻 Reviews in Eng+Fr

Meggy’s Social Media Links:
| Chocolate’N’Waffles | Twitter @Choconwaffles | Facebook |

Don’t miss another selection of fantastic books as recommended by another brilliant book blogger tomorrow!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Jessica Johnson (@JessReadingRoom) #JessicasReadingRoom

A very warm bookish welcome to damppebbles today and to Tuesday’s #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post!  We’re 20 days in and by the end of this post we will have had a whopping 56 book recommendations!  Fifty-six brilliant books; all with something special, something memorable about them.  Wow! Joining me today to share the book love is the lovely Jessica Johnson of Jessica’s Reading Room.  If you haven’t discovered Jessica’s blog yet then you must!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for book bloggers, authors and those who work in publishing to shout about three books they absolutely love.  There are no rules regarding genre, author or method of publishing (traditional, indie or self-published books are all game!).  The only rule is that the books must have been published this year in 2018.

Here are Jessica’s three choices…

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How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
This is one of my top reads for this year and I was very surprised with it. It starts out as the best day ever for Margaret Jacobsen and quickly becomes a nightmare. This is one that is about overcoming what life hands out to you.
http://jessicasreadingroom.com/how-to-walk-away/

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Sadie by Courtney Summers
This one is very unique! If books are heading this way in the future I look forward to it. There is a podcast that corresponds with this one.
http://jessicasreadingroom.com/sadie-by-courtney-summers/

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Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
Neal Shusterman is a genius and I can not wait to read more of his novels! Thunderhead is the second in the Scythe series. His books really leave you thinking afterwards. I look forward to the final in this series which should be coming out early in 2019!
http://jessicasreadingroom.com/jessicas-thoughts-on-thunderhead/

Thanks for your choices, Jessica.  All brand new titles to me but they sound really interesting.

If Jessica has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the titles she recommends, please see the following links:

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center | Sadie by Courtney Summers | Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman |

About Jessica:
My name is Jessica and I live in Georgia in the USA. I am married and we have two precious cat furbabies named Sage and Curry. I work a full time job, so I do my best with my site in the time I have.

I don’t read one particular genre. If I am interested in it I will read it, and I will read most genres.

Jessica’s Social Media Links:
Jessica’s Reading Room | Twitter @JessReadingRoom | Facebook | Instagram |

Submissions for #R3COMM3ND3D are closed for this year but don’t let that stop you from returning to damppebbles tomorrow when I will have more fabulous bookish treats from another brilliant book blogger!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Zoé O’Farrell (@zooloo2008) #ZooloosBookDiary

A very good morning to you all.  I hope your Monday is looking to be a good one and the week ahead full of wonderful bookish delights.  A very warm welcome to today’s #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post.  I am delighted to welcome the fabulous Zoé O’Farrell of the brilliant Zooloo’s Book Diary to the blog today.  I haven’t been following Zoé’s blog all that long really but it has fast become one of my favourites.

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for book bloggers, authors and those who work in publishing to share the book love.  Are there three books which immediately spring to mind?  Three books you think everyone else MUST READ?  That’s what #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is all about…providing the three books you choose were published this year in 2018!

Here are Zoé’s choices…

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The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech
OMG why wouldn’t I recommend this book? Anyone who has read the review I wrote would see I was just in tears throughout.  In fact, I do not even know if my review makes sense, I just cried when I wrote it. It is such a beautiful love story, I am really protective over Ben and Andrew, they are my happy place for sure.
http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/bookreview-of-the-lion-tamer-who-lost-by-louise-beech-louisewriter-orendabooks-teamorenda-liontamerwholost

medium wave

Medium Wave by Rose Zolock (Becky Moran #1)
This is the first blog tour I ever took in so it will always have a special place in my heart. It was a supernaturally one and I was hooked by this book, I even got to chat the author a little on Twitter about it! This book gave me the biggest shivers and goosebumps…still just thinking about it! I can’t wait for the second book in this series!
http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/bookreview-of-medium-wave-by-rose-zolock-rosezolock-rararesources

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Do No Harm by L.V. Hay
This was a toss-up between two books that have given me book hangovers..and I highly recommend both can I name the other one?! [Sorry Zoé, only three!].  Anyway, this book gave me such a hangover it chilled me to the core! I actually wanted to cancel my weekend plans just to keep reading this (I didn’t but it was close!) This book is just unbelievable so many red herrings and when you get to the end….well jaw stayed on the floor for a few days! OMG left my mouth quite a lot.
http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/bookreview-of-do-no-harm-by-lv-hay

Great choices, thanks Zoé.  I loved seeing the reactions to The Lion Tamer Who Lost, there was so much love!  Do No Harm is on the TBR and I’m really looking forward to reading it as I thoroughly enjoyed The Other Twin by L.V. Hay.

If Zoé has managed to tempt you with her recommendations, or if you would like to find out more, then please see the following links:

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech | Medium Wave by Rose Zolock | Do No Harm by L.V. Hay |

About Zoé:
Well, I am human and I go by the name of  Zoé (Zooloo being the nickname), a mother to a gorgeous little spitfire who is 4 years old and she definitely keeps me on my feet!

I am a wife to a soldier and have had to move around with him, but in his current posting we have found home surrounded by the White Cliffs of Dover and I have a cat which I am slightly obsessed with.

I could list the “normal” interests that everyone has like ‘listening to music’, ‘watching sports’, ‘watching TV and movies’ or ‘socialising with my friends’ but in truth, these are my interests outside of reading. I am OBSESSED with TV and movies, in another life, I would be a movie critic. I LOVE music, and I do love a good gig (I could bore you more!). I am an AVID sports watcher, football season ticket holder for Watford FC (promise they are real), and probably more boring watching the cricket. Finally, I do love socialising with my friends which is how my blog started…..I think they got bored with me talking about books…or generally talking!

Zoé’s Social Media Links:
Zooloo’s Book Diary | Twitter @zooloo2008 | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads |

#R3COMM3ND3D is full for this year so I’m sorry to say I’m not taking any more submissions.  Fret not though, #R3COMM3ND3D will return next year in the guise of #R3COMM3ND3D2019.  But until then we have lots more book recommendations to come.  If your TBR ends up touching the ceiling then don’t say I didn’t warn you…