A Change of Circumstance by @susanhillwriter

Simon Serrailler finds himself in devastating new territory as a sophisticated drugs network sets its sights on Lafferton and the surrounding villages.

DCS Simon Serrailler has long regarded drugs ops in the Lafferton area as a waste of time. Small-time dealers are picked up outside the local secondary school, they’re given a fine or a suspended and away they go. And rinse and repeat. But when the body of a young drug addict is found in neighbouring Starly, the case pulls Simon into a whole new way of running drugs. The foot soldiers? Vulnerable local kids like Brookie and Olivia, who will give Simon a bitter taste of this new landscape…

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January, and Christmas vanished without a trace.

ONE

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(@vintagebooks, 4 August 2022, paperback, 320 pages, copy from the publisher)

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I’ve read a few books in this series so I was really looking forward to A Change of Circumstance which lived up to my expectations. This a bit different from other books in the series as it deals with drugs and the exploitation of vulnerable teenagers and young adults. There are some harrowing moments as Simon struggles to solve the case and stop anyone else from dying. I thought this was gripping and intense. I liked it a lot.

Three by @valerieperrin_

1986: Adrien, Etienne and Nina are 10 years old when they meet at school and become inseparable. They promise each other they will one day leave their provincial backwater, move to Paris, and never part.

2017: A car is pulled up from the bottom of the lake, a body inside. Virginie, a local journalist with an enigmatic past, follows the case. Step by step she reveals the extraordinary bonds that unite the three childhood friends. How is the car wreck connected to their story? Why did their friendship fall apart?

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This morning, Nina looked at me without seeing me.

1

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(@EuropaEditions, 5 May 2022, ebook, 630 pages, copy from the publisher, translated by Hildegarde Serle)

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I really enjoyed Three. It is a dense novel and it’s been ages since I read a proper door-stop so it took a few chapters for me to relax into the rhythm of the book. I really enjoyed the fact the story moves back and forth in time. I love a non-linear narrative as you’re never sure where the next chapter will take you. I loved the way the author depicts the friendship between Adrien, Etienne and Nina and explores this across years. The book does have some dark moments when the body is found in 2017 and the impact of this on the three friends now and the secrets at the core of their shared past. This is mesmerising.

The Phantom of the Opera by @cavanscott

From the original libretto of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s world-famous, multi-award-winning musical that has been playing continuously around the world for 33 years comes this fully authorized graphic novel adaptation.

In 1881 the cast and crew of a new production, Hannibal, are terrorized by the Phantom of the Opera, a mysterious, hideously disfigured man who lives beneath the Paris Opera House. Hopelessly in love and obsessed with one of the chorus singers, the Phantom will stop at nothing to make her the star of the show, even if that means murder.

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Sold! Lot 664 then, ladies and gentlemen: a wooden pistol and three human skulls. From the 1831 production of ‘Robert Le Diable’ by Mayerbeer.

PARIS, 1905

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(@ComicsTitan, 11 January 2022, hardback, 112 pages, copy from the publisher)

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I’m a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera so couldn’t wait to read the graphic novel version. I wasn’t disappointed and loved it. It’s a high quality hardback with thick pages and full-colour illustrations. It even has song lyrics for the most famous numbers. I’ve been driving my other half nuts by singing bits of it at random intervals. This is an impressive, hugely enjoyable book.

Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf by @Jody_Houser

When searching for his next adventure, the Eighth Doctor meets a strange young woman from another universe… Rose Tyler. He has no idea of the destiny they share, but makes it his mission to discover what brought her here, and how to get her home.

Meanwhile, the Eleventh Doctor is summoned by a mysterious empress plagued with visions of another life. It’s Rose Tyler, but not the one he knows! Hailing from an alternate timeline and trapped here alone, she has become a liberator, conqueror, and now empress. And when she finds out she’s not the only Rose in this universe, something must be done…

All hail the Bad Wolf!

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Once upon a time there was a girl who learned how to run.

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(@ComicsTitan, 24 May 2022, paperback, 112 pages, copy from the publisher)

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I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who, the reboot anyway. I’ve never seen the classic series. I enjoyed Empire of the Wolf a lot. You need to have at least some knowledge of the show and the significance of Bad Wolf to fully understand the story. Like the best Doctor Who episodes that was confusing and crazy at times and a lot of fun. The full-colour illustrations are well done and impressive.

Horizon Zero Dawn 2: Liberation by @amely & @ben_mccaw

A brand new graphic novel expanding upon the story of the epic video game Horizon Zero Dawn, and its highly anticipated sequel, Horizon Forbidden West.

Horizon: a far-future Earth full of epic natural beauty and forgotten ruins, where awe-inspiring, animal-like machines are the dominant species and humans struggle to survive in pre-industrial tribes.

Set during the events of Horizon Zero Dawn, Erend and Aloy are on the hunt for the killer of an important member of the Oseram tribe, fending off deadly machines along the way. As the hunt progresses, Erend reveals the sweeping tale of the liberation of Meridian, and how his sister, Ersa, Captain of the Carja Vanguard, was murdered.

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Blast it! We just missed Korl.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@ComicsTitan, 1 March 2022, paperback, 112 pages, copy from the publisher)

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Liberation takes places during a different timeline than the first comic book, The Sunhawk so it took a few pages to ground myself in place. I enjoyed this book a lot. The book covers two stories, Erend and Aloy hunting down a killer and seeking revenge and Erend telling Aloy about his sister’s murder. The book balances both stories perfectly. The illustrations are lush and impressive. This is an immersive reading experience.   

Horizon Zero Dawn 1: The Sunhawk by @amely

Horizon: a far-future Earth full of epic natural beauty and forgotten ruins, where awe-inspiring, animal-like machines are the dominant species and humans struggle to survive in pre-industrial tribes. In the aftermath of a titanic battle that almost laid waste to the capital of Meridian, Talanah, one of the greatest machine-hunters in the land, struggles to find her place in the rebuilding effort. Making matters worse, Aloy, her trusted friend and confidant, has disappeared. When a new threat emerges in the hinterlands, she must decide how best to serve her tribe, her friends and herself.

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Meridian was saved.

CHAPTER ZERO

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(@ComicsTitan, 25 November 2020, paperback, 128 pages, copy from the publisher)

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I’m a fan of the Horizon Zero Dawn game even though I haven’t completed it. I really enjoyed this book. I thought the full-colour illustrations throughout were well done and visually impressive. They really brought the story to life. The book includes enough back story about the world so you don’t need to know anything about the game to enjoy it. I found the story engaging and compelling.

Rivers Of London: Body Work by @Ben_Aaronovitch

Grant is part of a very special London police unit. Full-time cop and part time wizard he works on rather unusual crimes – those that involve magic and the general weirdness that permeates London’s dark underbelly.

His latest case begins with a perfectly innocent car on a homicidal killing spree – without a driver. But the, before you know it, there’s a Bosnian refugee, the Most Haunted Car in England, a bunch of teenagers loaded on Ketamine and seemingly-harmless wooden bench with the darkest of pasts…

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They say life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

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(@ComicsTitan, 6 July 2021, hardback, 256 pages, copy from the publisher)

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I’m ashamed to admit I’ve only read one book in the series. I jumped at the chance to read Body Work because I’ve always wanted to read more. This graphic novel uses an unusual structure, the illustrations are on one side and the original script and directions are on the other. It took a few pages to get use to the layout. I really enjoyed this book. The story reminded me a little of Christine by Stephen King only a little less graphic and horrific. I also enjoyed reading the original script and notes.

Gun Honey by @CharlesArdai

Award winning Charles Ardai, co-founder of Hard Case Crime, brings his noir expertise to the fore in his debut graphic novel about a sexy weapons smuggler.

She’ll get you the weapon you need, when you need it, where you need it — no matter how impossible.

But when a gun smuggled into a high-security prison leads to the death of dozens and the escape of a brutal criminal, Joanna Tan is suddenly forced by the U.S. government to do a job for them: find the man she set loose and bring him down. 

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Nice catch today.

CHAPTER ONE

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(@HardCaseCrime, 19 March 2022, paperback, 112 pages, copy from the publisher)

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Gun Honey is a debut. I really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next. I read this in one setting. I read graphic novels now and then and the blurb made this sound like something I’d enjoy. I liked the colours and illustrations; they are done really well and bring the book to life. Joanna is a great character, larger than life. I found this very entertaining. I’d recommend Gun Honey.

May God Forgive by @AlanJParks

Glasgow is a city in mourning. An arson attack on a hairdresser’s has left five dead. Tempers are frayed and sentiments running high.

When three youths are charged the city goes wild. A crowd gathers outside the courthouse but as the police drive the young men to prison, the van is rammed by a truck, and the men are grabbed and bundled into a car. The next day, the body of one of them is dumped in the city centre. A note has been sent to the newspaper: one down, two to go.

Detective Harry McCoy has twenty-four hours to find the kidnapped boys before they all turn up dead and it is going to mean taking down some of Glasgow’s most powerful people to do it . . .

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McCoy was almost at Wilson Street when he started to hear it.

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(@EuropaEditions, 28 April 2022, ebook, 371 pages, copy from the publisher)

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This is a new author for me. I decided to read May God Forgive as its set in Glasgow, where I lived for almost 18 years until 6 months ago. I really enjoyed this book. It contains a lot of what you’d expect from a gritty crime novel; fast pace, diverse, larger than life characters and plenty of action. Glasgow comes to life between the pages and I felt like I was really there. This is a compelling crime novel. I’d recommend it.

A Sister’s Story by Donatella Di Pietrantonio

From the internationally acclaimed author of A Girl Returned, a spellbinding story about family, memory, love, and the relationships that define us.

It’s the darkest time of night. Adriana, a baby in her arms, hammers on her sister’s door. Who is she running from? What uncomfortable truth is she carrying with her? Like a whirlwind, Adriana upends her sister’s life bringing chaos and cataclysmic revelations.

Years later, the narrator gets an unexpected, urgent summons back to Pescara, her hometown. She embarks on a long journey through the night, and through the folds and twists of her memory, from her and her sister’s youth, their loves and losses, secrets and regrets. Back in Borgo Sud, the town’s fishermen’s quarter, in that impenetrable yet welcoming microcosm, she will discover what really happened, and attempt to make peace with the past.

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The rain poured down on the celebration without any warning; thunder; none of the guests had seen the clouds thicken above the darkly wooded hills.

1

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(@EuropaEdUK, 19 April 2022, 170 pages, copy from the publisher)

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This is a new author for me. I liked the premise of the book. I really enjoyed this book. It’s more of a novella at less than 200 pages but felt so much more than the sum of it’s parts. I felt like I was reading a thick door-stop book. I enjoyed the way the book explores family and the relationship between sisters, how Adriana and her sister are so different. The book is incredibly sad at times as both sisters confront dark secrets and loss. I was engrossed reading it. I’d recommend this.

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