Six In Six – A Look Back At Some Of My Top Books Of 2017 So Far…

6 I saw this over at Cleopatra Loves Books, and thought it was a great idea to look back at books read so far in 2017. Hosted by Jo’s Book Journey, the idea is sharing 6 books, in 6 categories from the first half of the year. So here’s my choices:

6 Books I Have Enjoyed The Most 



6 Psychological Thrillers I Have Read & Enjoyed 



6 New To Me Authors 



6 Covers I’ve Loved



6 Books Which Took Me To The Past 



Six Books I Own & Can’t Believe I Haven’t Managed To Read Yet 


Blog Tour Book Review: I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

Komméno Island, Greece: 
I don’t know where I am, who I am. Help me. 
A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: 
Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.
Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget? 

The truth is found in these pages… 

Published 15th June by Harper Collins (UK) 

So, amnesia related psychological thriller books seem to be a bit of a thing at the minute, and I absolutely love them- a narrator with memory loss adds in an extra layer of mystery and intensity. But then along comes I Know My Name by C.J Cooke with a book that is so completely not what you expected, it blows you away.

This one is going to be very tricky to review without giving anything away, so apologies now for any vagueness. It’s told from two points of view: Lochlan – a successful business and family man, who receives a call while away on business from a neighbour to say his wife has disappeared and his four year old son and twelve week old baby have been left alone. Lochlan’s desperate search for his wife is alternated with the story of a woman, washed up on a Greek Island who has no idea who she is or why she’s there.

C. J Cooke deftly keeps the reader guessing as to what’s going on, with my suspicions switching with each chapter. The reader learns more about Eloise along with Lochlan, as it transpires he didn’t really know at her at all. Yet, truths are revealed about him too which cast my doubt his way before diverting it somewhere else.

What I wasn’t expecting was the emotional and tragic story found at the heart of this book. I Know My Name explores the effect of trauma on the human mind and the lengths our subconscious can go to protect ourselves, while marveling at the strength of human spirit to conquer demons and continue to hope. I Know My Name is cleverly complex and thought provoking as well as being a compulsive page turner and comes thoroughly recommended.

(I read an advance proof copy courtesy of the publisher)

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour… 

Book Review: The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

There’s trouble in paradise. . .

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?  

Published 1st June 2017 by Penguin (UK)  

Tina Seskis’s ‘When We Were Friends’ was one of the few books I managed to squeeze in in 2015, between full time work/parenting and completing my degree, and I really, really enjoyed it. At that time, my mind was so completely taken up with the billion other things I had going on, that it had to be an unputdownable, gripping plot that managed to hold my attention – and this one really did the trick. So I had high hopes for Tina’s latest novel, The Honeymoon, especially after reading some raving reviews.

I’m so pleased to say that The Honeymoon was every bit as compelling and gripping as I’d hoped. It was impossible to stop reading right from the very first page. It begins with the disappearance of Jemma’s husband while on honeymoon in the beautiful island setting of the Maldives, and with a multi split narrative, details the time period immediately before his disappearance, early in the relationship and after –  all drip feeding snippets of information to the reader, building tension and averting suspicion this way and that throughout.

As we learn about Jemma’s relationship, it becomes clear how complex it actually is. This isn’t a fairytale romance – it’s messy, dark and abusive. Only it’s constantly difficult to pin down where the blame lies. Is Jemma hiding something? Are there other people involved? I wondered many times why the hell these two people had come to be honeymooning at all – the relationship is so dysfunctional and they don’t even seem to like each other. At one point in the book I began to think this was even effecting my enjoyment and belief in the situation, but stick with it – as secrets are revealed it all starts to make sense.

The Honeymoon is packed with twists and turns meaning I never knew which way the book was going to go, despite my best attempts at guessing. And when the final twist comes ….believe me, there’s no way you’ll see it coming. It’s a shocker! Tina Seskis turns everything you think you know and expect about this genre in just a couple of paragraphs. I could not have predicted it at all.

With its stunningly beautiful and luxurious setting contrasting with a dark, claustrophobic mystery, this is a book that conjures atmosphere, intensity and intrigue by the bucket load. Tina Seskis’s writing is evocative and compelling, holding me firmly in its grip until I’d finished the very last page. I only wish I’d been reading it on a heat soaked beach myself – this book is a must for your summer holiday reading this year.

(I read an advance e-book courtesy of the publisher and netgalley)