In the last few months, I was lucky to take part in my first readalong and to interview an author live on Instagram, all thanks to One More Chapter. Thank you for your trust, and for the fun we had!
Those two novels were amazing discoveries for me and they would make amazing gifts, either to yourself or to someone you care about, so here are my mini reviews, focusing mainly on how the books made me feel!
Nothing had prepared me for the warmth in this book. Finding Henry Applebee is a hug in pages.
An old man finally gets the chance to solve the mystery of his life, a very young adult is on a mission, and a young man is following his own path. Nothing links them at first sight, yet, struck by fate, they met on their way to Scotland.
The novel tells the tale of two journeys, a literal one from London to Edinburgh, and a figurative one, walked by each character throughout the book.
I think one of the reasons I felt so connected to the book is: the locations. I was a Londoner, and Ariel’s thoughts on the city got to me. Celia Reynolds truly captured what this gigantic place does to you. The buzz of London, the loneliness that may engulf you when surrounded by nine million people, the resignation of commuters waiting for the Tube. I was hit by a wave of nostalgia, and then brought to London with young adult Ariel and Henry. King’s Cross was the last place I saw before leaving, and this is where they meet. This book really is special to me. How do two souls find each other in a crowded and impersonal place like a train station? A place of beginnings and endings. There is poetry both in the author’s prose and the characters’ lives.
On the train, Ariel and Henry meet the last part of this incongruous trio: Travis, musician from the US. Their friendship spark grows as the train rushes on the rails. You get to walk down memory lane, get to know each one of them better as the landscape changes and snow invites itself. Here again, I’d love to quote the book about meetings in train, but I’ll leave them for you to discover.
Once in Edinburgh, dots slowly connect, and each chapter had me “Oh so that’s…” Now, I know it worked very well for many readers, but this is where I felt myself taking a step back. Too many crime shows and novels have turned me into a skeptical woman who doesn’t believe in coincidences. If I was not convinced by the ending, I will admit its execution brings happiness, it wraps you into a blanket of bookish joy.
Henry, Ariel, and Travis will stay with me. I must thank the author for offering such a comforting read with deliciously spot-on remarks and descriptions.
He loved that about returning to places he’d visited before: the sense of belonging, of temporary citizenship that comes from knowing the location of the nearest drugstore; where to grab a coffee and a decent bite to eat late at night.
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A completely different genre! My favorite genre, actually.
‘People are as twisted as pretzels.’
None of my skeletons had ever stayed in the cupboard but leapt out and did a rumba just when I least wanted them to.
See those quotes? They give you the tone of the book. It is BRILLIANT. Simply real, authentic, hilarious at times, but in the right way. It is not easy to find fun in thrillers, but here, oh my goodness, here? You get all the fun blended with the seriousness of a big case. Joss Stirling is a new author to me but I am definitely going to read more from her. I’m already eager to read what’s next in the series! In fact, I bought the second book and the third is also on my Kindle.
What Joss Stirling did is amazing. She’s managed to take the best of the different genres she’s ventured into and created a thrilling series using all of those tools to bring to life fantastic characters. Jess Bridges is a colorful character, one you can’t forget! I warmed to her so easily that I surprised myself! Deadpan humor, a clever plot, interesting characters, Black River has it all.
When you think of the Thames, what comes to mind?
Before this book, I used to think of my walks on the embankment. I had no idea where the Thames began and the city it visited.
Now I know more about geography, but most importantly, I know that the Thames is a great playground to leave dead bodies!
I adored learning more about Oxford, the places around the water, the history and stories around this famous river.
Imagine joining a book club, having a good time and ending up … naked and with a dead body. There’s nothing more I can say. Buy the book, get the feels, the accurate observations, the roll-your-eyes moments (yes, thinking of you, Jago!) the cute cop who I may have a crush on.
There is nothing that is not to love with this book. I may have mentioned things that could make you think this is a lightweight crime novel. It’s not! The plot is flowing like a river (see what I did there?) and it takes smart kickass protagonists to drive through the twist and crack the case.
Few thrillers have had this effect on me. I think because this book is filled with everything life has to offer, including death, and not just a grim investigation, I finished it feeling satisfied, happy, and with a new favorite series on my list!
Grab your copy! (all ebooks in the series are only 99p at the time this post is scheduled)
This post is not affiliated with One More Chapter. The links are affiliate links, though. I would like to thank One More Chapter again, and more particularly Claire Fenby for two great reads!