‘October Mini Reading Wrap-Up’

October was a good reading month, 16 books read and here’s my brief thoughts on them:

The Six‘ by Luca Veste – an enjoyable thriller that has a central puzzle to solve, and a murder mystery plot that breaks up a group of friends who are endeavouring to find out the dangerous truth. 4 stars.

Soon‘ by Lois Murphy – I enjoyed this creepy, ghostly tale built around an isolated town threatened by a deadly mist each night. 4 stars.

The Mercies‘ by Kiran Millwood Hargrave – I really enjoyed this Norwegian crucible story, set in a bleak Norwegian island in 1617. 4 stars.

The Royal Wedding‘ by Melanie Summers – easy, funny light-hearted romance read. 3.5 stars.

All the Rage‘ by Cara Hunter – Tips into 5 stars, and the best of the series so far; it’s the fourth book in the D.I. Adam Fawley series, and this time the team face quite a puzzle to solve!

Perfect Kill‘ by Helen Fields – I really enjoy this DI Callanach series set in Edinburgh. I think these books are best read in series order, as there’s a lot of relationship developments to follow. This plot centres around human trafficking, a particularly brutal sex trade and kidnapping. Violent and brutal throughout. 5 stars.

The Body in the Garden‘ by Katharine Schellman – a light-hearted period murder mystery with a female ‘Sherlock’, it was okay. 3 stars.

Vengeance of Hope‘ by PJ Berman – a privately published epic fantasy novel and the first of a series. Heavy and detailed – great for fantasy lovers. 4 stars.

Sherlock Holmes and The Christmas Demon‘ by James Lovegrove – a beautifully bound book and a great read. This would make a great Christmas gift for a bibliophile. 4.5 stars.

Serpent & Dove‘ by Shelby Mahurin – a YA fantasy read, well executed and generally a fun read. 4 YA stars. First in a series.

Zemindar‘ by Valerie Fitzgerald – an epic novel set in India before, during and after the Indian Mutiny of 1857. I really enjoyed this. 5 stars for the sheer scale of the story-telling.

The Crown Agent‘ by Stephen O’Rourke – a debut novel and the first in a series about a new unconventional spy; a pacey historical adventure. 4 stars.

Unnatural Causes‘ by Richard Shepherd – 5 stars. A fascinating and absorbing read about the life of a forensic pathologist – from the Hungerford Massacre, to Princess Diana to 9/11. Hard reading at times but compelling.

Safe House‘ by Jo Jakeman – a psychological thriller puzzle read, enjoyable. 4 stars.

Dark Matter‘ by Michelle Paver – what a great read; not much happens (in a good way) but it’s absorbing and creepy. Always a fan of Paver’s writing style. 4.5 stars.

I Will Miss You Tomorrow‘ by Heine Bakkeid – I’m on a blog for this later in the month. It’s the first in a new Norwegian crime series about a damaged and tormented police detective, as he begins to search for a missing man. I enjoyed it.

#BlogTour ‘Safe House’ by Jo Jakeman.

I’m really pleased to be on the blog tour for ‘Safe House’ – this is a twisty new psychological thriller by Jo Jakeman, her second book following her debut novel ‘Sticks and Stones’. Huge thanks to Mia for asking me to join the tour.


The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.

Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. This sacrifice cost her everything.

And now she has a chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really paid the price for what she did.

My thoughts

‘Safe House’ is a thriller read that explores the idea of guilt and revenge; it centres on a young woman who, through flaws in her character and a controlling situation, has made a bad decision by providing a false alibi to a murderer, enabling him to kill again. The novel explores the reasons for this decision, the personal cost to her and if she can ever leave the past behind and start again.

I really enjoyed the narrative puzzle to the writing, from an unnerving prologue, to the past and voices of the present, which eventually pull together. I quickly became obsessed with turning the pages to see where the story was taking me. After a relocation to the tiny seaside community of Penderrion in a rather dilapidated house, Charlie tries to rebuild her life. But with all thriller plots, it soon becomes apparent that this is not going to be easy; threat, fear and echoes of the past soon invade her privacy and threaten her life.

I enjoyed the mix of characters in the village and trying to work out who Charlie could trust, there’s a few red herrings along the way, but I think you are drawn to a particular person quite early in the novel. I enjoyed the creepy isolated setting of the house but there’re also some lovely heart-warming relationships developing which add nice depth. This is a mix of pacey and sedate reading; the ending all happened rather quickly, for me, but all the loose ends are nicely tied up.

‘Safe House’ is a well-crafted thriller that twists and turns rapidly as we slowly uncover the danger and the reasons for it. Tension and turmoil in abundance with enough layers to keep you guessing! An enjoyable atmospheric thriller read.

Look out for more fab blogs about ‘Safe House’ on the below tour poster.

Click on the below link to purchase – there’s a fabulous 99p Kindle offer throughout November 2019: