Reading roundup 21/02/18

I have had mixed success with my book choices this week. Because I have been so ill, I have been struggling to concentrate so have rejected anything that hasn’t gripped me within the first 30 or 40 pages. Is that too harsh!

Cibola Burn by James S A Corey

Cibola Burn by James S A Corey

My first book was #04 in The Expanse series: Cibola Burn by James S A Corey. Here is the blurb:

The gates have opened the way to thousands of habitable planets, and the land rush has begun. Settlers stream out from humanity’s home planets in a vast, poorly controlled flood, landing on a new world. Among them, the Rocinante, haunted by the vast, posthuman network of the protomolecule as they investigate what destroyed the great intergalactic society that built the gates and the protomolecule.

But Holden and his crew must also contend with the growing tensions between the settlers and the company which owns the official claim to the planet. Both sides will stop at nothing to defend what’s theirs, but soon a terrible disease strikes and only Holden – with help from the ghostly Detective Miller – can find the cure.

And this is the four star review which I wrote on Goodreads:

I am loving this series and have already requested the next two books after this one. They are now waiting at the Library for me to pick up and I can’t wait to read them. This story was based on one planet and its orbit, rather than huge sweeping journeys across space. Again, we are brought into conflicts between human beings and how they deal with fear, sudden change and imminent destruction. How people cope and create division into “tribes” so that they can face the thought of killing each other for some kind of higher purpose or for their own and their loved ones survival. Big questions, big events and a big, meaty read. Loved it 😍.

This book almost deserved five stars, but I reserve that accolade for my most favourite reads.

All Day and a Night by Alafair Burke

All Day and a Night by Alafair Burke

My next book was a solid three-star read: All Day and a Night by Alafair Burke, #05 in her Ellie Hatcher series. This is the blurb:

A murder case with ties to a convicted serial killer leads a young defense lawyer and an NYPD homicide detective into parallel investigations with explosive and deadly results in this superb mystery.

The latest story dominating the tabloids – the murder of psychotherapist Helen Brunswick-couldn’t be further from Carrie Blank’s world handling federal appeals at an elite Manhattan law firm. But then a hard-charging celebrity trial lawyer calls Carrie with an offer she can’t refuse: Anthony Amaro, the serial killer police blamed for the murder of Carrie’s older sister, Donna, has new evidence related to Brunswick’s murder that he believes can exonerate him. Determined to force the government to catch Donna’s real killer, Carrie takes on Amaro’s wrongful conviction claim.

On the other side of Amaro’s case is NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher, who, along with her partner, JJ Rogan, is tapped as the “fresh look” team to reassess the investigation that led to Amaro’s conviction. The case is personal for them, too: Ellie wonders whether they got the assignment because of her relationship with the lead prosecutor, and Rogan has his own reasons to distrust Amaro’s defense team.

As the NYPD and Amaro’s lawyers search for certainty among years of conflicting evidence, their investigations take them back to Carrie’s hometown and secrets left behind there. And when Carrie falls victim to a brutal attack, it becomes clear that the young attorney got too close to the truth.

And this is my short review:

Good, entertaining read. Although it is #05 in a series, I didn’t feel that this created any issue with enjoying the plot. I will definitely read others in the series if I come across them at the Library, although I won’t make any great effort to do so. Worth picking up.

In fact, I may pick up another book by Alafair Burke when I visit the Library this week 😊.

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

A new ebook popped into my BorrowBox account, Perfect Remains by Helen Fields, #01 in her new DI Callanach series, so I turned to that next.

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.

In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

This was another book to which I gave three stars, rather than four. The review explains:

Read this all in one sitting. Ebook from the public library’s digital catalogue. Good, gripping and exciting crime novel. Interesting main characters with backgrounds to be further developed in the series, I hope. A bit different to most books in this genre in that we already know who the killer is right from the beginning, but that makes it interesting when the police get things wrong for a while. Would have been four stars except for two issues, which I cannot explain without spoilers, so I won’t!

And, no, I won’t explain that last sentence here either, as it would give too much away! The book is still worth reading even if a couple of issues raise my Radfem hackles – now that really is quite enough.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

The last two of my library book pile were both Young Adult. As some of you know, I have found it really difficult to read this genre since I retired from working as a school librarian. It feels almost painful, as I loved reading YA so much. Well, my tiny experiment in reintroducing myself was spectacularly unsuccessful. I tried to read Veronica Roth’s new book, Carve the Mark, but gave up after about 40 pages as I simply couldn’t carry on. I did write a short Goodreads review, but won’t copy if here as it was pretty uncomplimentary. I then tried to tackle another YA, but called things to a halt even more quickly. It was probably me, rather than the book, so I won’t say which one it was because that would be unfair.

So, as I have now finished all of the library books I chose a few weeks ago, and I am waiting until Friday when I will select my next batch, I will enjoy serendipitously wandering around the ebook catalogue and see what comes up.

Until next week, Happy Reading.

Best wishes,


About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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