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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Hush by Dylan Farrow, Dead Wicked by Helen H. Durrant, and Trust No one by Debra Webb

From description: In the land of Montane, language is literal magic to the select few who possess the gift of Telling. This power is reserved for the Bards, and, as everyone knows, the Bards have almost always been men.

Seventeen-year-old Shae has lived her entire life in awe of the Bards—and afraid of the Blot, a deadly disease spread by ink, which took the life of her younger brother five years ago. Ever since, Shae fears she’s cursed. But when tragedy strikes again, and her mother is found murdered with a golden dagger—a weapon used only by the Bards—Shae is forced to act.

Language as a curse and a weapon sounded fascinating!  Unfortunately, the book doesn't live up to the concept. It feels as if the author rushed through to get to a certain point, but by rushing, failed to establish ample world-building, character development, and motivation.

I won't be looking for the next book.

NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Fantasy/YA.  Oct. 6, 2020.  Print length:  364 pages.  

Dead Wicked is the 10th book in this series by Helen Durrant, and I have not read any of the previous books.

The fist victim is found on waste ground. His tongue has been cut out and stuffed down his throat.
Then another body is found dumped in a lake up in the hills. The same gruesome murder method is used.
And guess who the detectives’ new boss is? The incredibly difficult Stephen Greco.
Meanwhile Ruth Bayliss’s personal life is falling part and someone is targeting local businesses with ransomware.
The prime suspect is a criminal Calladine thought he’d seen the last of.
I think not having read the previous books kept me from enjoying this one as much as some other readers.  I didn't have the feeling of reconnecting with various characters which is often a crucial element of liking a series book.  

This isn't to say I didn't enjoy it, I did like the characters.  The villain was fairly easy to spot early on, and eventually DI Calladine's suspicions prove true.  Predictable, but if I'd had a relationship built on previous books, I might have liked it better.

NetGalley/Joffe Books
Police Procedural.  July 2, 2020.  

Trust No One by Debra Webb  is a complicated case of revenge and secrets.  It is also the beginning of a series featuring Detectives Kerri Devlin and Luke Falco.

from description:  A double homicide and a missing woman lead a detective to unearth disturbing secrets in this gripping thriller from USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb.

It’s the worst possible time for Detective Kerri Devlin to be involved in an all-consuming double-homicide case. She’s locked in a bitter struggle with her ex-husband and teenage daughter, and her reckless new partner is anything but trustworthy. 

Although I did not like the prologue, the book eventually pulled me in.  There are a few things the reader knows from the very beginning, thanks to the voice of the missing wife which appears every so often, but keeping track of all the connections that branched out with every interview the two detectives conducted kept me deeply involved as I read.  

While it is a contrived plot, especially the way connections also lead to Devlin's family, it was certainly an engrossing labyrinth of an experience.  I look forward to more of Devilin and Falco.

Kindle Unlimited/Thomas & Mercer
Police Procedural/Thriller.  August 1, 2020.  Print length:  427 pages.

It is hot here, and I'm still staying home.  Reading.  A lot.  Reviewing.  Not so much. 

A lot of the books I've been reading won't be published for months, but I'll tell you that I loved the new Jane Casey, Sherry Thomas, Val McDermid, and M.R. Carey books!

Underneath the bird feeders, I've been leaving the sprouting sunflower seeds. I even like the buds, but best are the blooms. :) 


  1. I'm so bummed about Hush -- its premise sounds brilliant! :(

    1. I know! Such an intriguing premise! I was disappointed that I didn't like it better.

  2. I've thought about reading a book by Helen Durrant, but it's a longer series that I haven't started as yet. Her books are always suggested when I'm checking out one by Joy Ellis. Anyway, I'll keep it in mind. Your upcoming publication books look wonderful. Looking forward to the new one by Sherry Thomas and already have the Jane Casey book (unread as yet). Lovely sunflower! Goodness, it's been hot - 107 or so here. Supposed to be better in the next few days - dropping down all the way to 95 or so. LOL

    1. On the upcoming publications--these authors are gold-standard for me and for different reasons. I loved the new additions!

  3. Too bad Hush wasn't better. But that sunflower blossom is gorgeous! Hope you manage to stay cool this week despite the heat. :)

    1. Hush was so promising, I am sorry I couldn't have liked it more. Sunflowers are so bright and hopeful, aren't they? Whew, half the country is suffering from the heat wave. Good time to stay in and read. :)

  4. What you said about having some experience with the characters of a long series is very true. I've jumped into series seven or eight books deep and almost gave up on the whole series because I didn't get the proper feel of the characters. It was only after going back and reading one or two of the first books from the series that I saw why longtime fans appreciated the books so much.

    1. Right, some series work well even when jumping in, but others depend a great deal on your previous familiarity with characters and events. Sometimes, even in a beloved series, there is a less than stellar book--and I don't care because I feel like I've had a reunion with the characters.

  5. That's too bad that Hush didn't live up to the concept. The premise sounds interesting, though. I haven't read anything by Helen Durrant so I'll keep in kind to start the first book should I want to read this series.

    Love that sunflower and hopefully the weather gets cooler!

    1. Yeah, I was looking forward to more about the language as magic and curse in Hush. As for the weather, temperatures are about the same, but the humidity is a little less--and that's an improvement! :)

  6. Beautiful sunflowers - how wonderful that you have those in your garden! On to the books... too bad that Hush didn't live up to its potential. Sounded so good. Durrant and Webb I've read before so I would be curious to check out these.

    1. I'm enjoying these sunflower volunteers! They are a cheerful addition to the garden. :)

  7. Every summer I mean to plant sunflowers and then I forget. They are so stunning. Many of my neighbors grow them.

    You are reading a lot! That's exciting. It is interesting what you wrote about Trust No One, that though the plot is contrived, you were still engrossed in the story. I hate being pulled out of a story because something seems implausible, but when I don't notice because I want to find out what happens next, I forgive everything!