Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blog Tour: Into the Valley by Chris Clement-Green

ARC clearly defined in accordance with review policy here


I get regular emails asking if I'd be interested in reading all kinds of books. Normally, I'll have a quick glance at the summary and that's it - but with this one, it reeled me in from the first page. I'm delighted to be hosting the second stop on the blog tour for Chris Clement-Green's memoir, Into the Valley. 

In 1984, Chris Clement was working in a bookshop when she saw an advertisement in the newspaper looking for recruits to the Thames Valley Police service. Aged 24, Chris applied - and was accepted. This is the story of her training and career - the cases that have stayed with her, the interesting characters she encountered, and her experience of working in an incredibly male dominated environment. Sexism, racism and homophobia were rife - being a woman in the force was, in itself, an obstacle. This memoir takes us through Chris' career via witty, engaging anecdotes.

I'm a fan of biographies or autobiographies, I think that every person has a unique story to tell. This book is every bit as engaging and interesting as some of the "celeb" memoirs I've read, Chris has a great way of telling a story and pulling the reader in. I flew threw this, I really enjoyed the setting. Each chapter is almost like a short story - some of the anecdotes were hilarious, others heartbreaking.

I'm also a fan of Police procedurals - I think that fellow fans of The Bill, Ashes to Ashes or Happy Valley would really enjoy this. Chris is a fascinating person and has led a really interesting life. Anyone with an interest in London in the 1980s would also like this. References to race riots, protests and the fear surrounding the AIDS epidemic remind us of how far we have come as a society (not far enough, but it's a start).


Into the Valley is published by Mirror Books and is available at Amazon

Thanks to Laura, the Mirror Books team and the author for granting me access to the book, and for having me on the tour. For author interviews, giveaways, excerpts and more you can check out the other stops here:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Books I Read in October

ARCs clearly defined in accordance with review policy here
Links to buy are affiliate links.


October was a month full of Halloween crafts and planning for me, plus I've a couple of other things on at the minute (this isn't one of these "I've something really exciting coming up but I can't tell you until 2019" things, just personal stuff) so my reading took a bit of a back seat.

That being said, I managed to finish six books - a paperback, a hardback, an eBook and three audiobooks.


I finished three audiobooks in October, all borrowed from the library via the Borrowbox app.


All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
This is about a young woman, Nicolette, who has to go back to her hometown to sort out some family matters. A young woman has gone missing - but it's not the first time. Years ago, another young woman went missing, and both were known to Nicolette. Are the two cases connected?
This is interesting because it's told backwards - we start at the end and work our way back to the start. If that sounds confusing, don't worry - it takes a little while to get used to and it's different, but it really works. It's very clever, and I really liked how little bits of information were revealed slowly.
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

The One by John Marrs
Imagine a dating app that not only matched people using algorithms or interests, but through their DNA. In this book, it's a reality - thousands of people are using this service to find their true love, or to determine if their partner is their true DNA soulmate. This story follows five very, VERY different characters as they use it - it's twisty, it's brilliant, it's clever, and the ensemble cast were really enjoyable. I'd highly recommend seeking this one out in audio format. One of my favourite books of the year.
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Thirst by Benjamin Warner
I'm a sucker for any kind of weather-related dystopia, so I was attracted to this because of the mysterious drought that has suddenly swept through an entire community. Unfortunately - that's the whole plot. There's a drought, and people don't know why. It's an interesting look at what people will do when they're under pressure, but it got a little far-fetched for me at times and I found it a slog to listen to. I think I would have enjoyed this more had I read it. A book with a similar premise, but a much more enjoyable read, was We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly.
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


December Girl by Nicola Cassidy
I was part of the blog tour for this, so it's reviewed in full here. It's a wonderful story about a young Irish woman and how a tragic event affects her life. Molly Thomas is distraught when her baby son is kidnapped, will she ever find him? I thought about Molly for days afterwards, I'd really recommend you check this one out.
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

In addition to the audiobooks, I also borrowed two physical books:


All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
This was one of the Rick O'Shea Book Club picks over the past few months. It's not something I'd ever choose - it's about time travel, and I don't fare well with books like that. Tom Barren comes from the 2016 we were supposed to have - flying cars, no wars, total equality. But when something he's involved in goes terribly wrong, he finds himself trapped in our imperfect world. Will he want to go back? Is it even possible?
I really enjoyed this. It was different to anything else I had read, and even though some of the in-depth time travel stuff went over my head a bit, I thought it was a really good book.
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
This is the story of Tom Hazard, a man with a very rare genetic condition. Tom doesn't age like the rest of us, so while he may appear to be in his forties, he is hundreds of years old. Every 8 years, Tom must move around to avoid detection - but what would happen if he found something he didn't want to give up?
I really enjoyed this, it was a sweet and heartwarming book. I did find the conclusion a bit rushed, but I'd recommend it if you're looking for something non-depressing and easy to read.
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

And that's it! It's the leanest round-up I've done so far this year, but usually when I'm busy I abandon books altogether so I'm delighted I managed to add another six to the yearly total.

Have you read any of these? Or anything good you'd like to recommend?

As always, you'll find clickable covers on my Books 2017 page if you want to read my full (non-spoiler) Goodreads review for any book mentioned.