Category Archives: Meg Gardiner

My #TopReads of 2018 by the book review café #MustReads

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I know some people think it’s too early to be sharing a top reads post before the end of 2018, but I’m taking some time off from my blog until the new year so it’s now or never.

I have been blogging for just over three years now and yet I’ve never done a top reads post and now I know why😂  I have read some fabulous books this year and trying to narrow it down is nigh on impossible. If you read my book of the months post you will know I can’t even manage to choose ONE book of the month! So I set myself an impossible challenge or so I thought, but then I had a brainwave “why not share all the books I gave a gold star too” simple eh?

So my top read list consists of all the books I gave this award to, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grips until I reached the very last page. So here are those books in no particular order.

Links to my reviews can be found under each set of books I’ve included

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/02/02/unsub-by-meg-gardiner-bookreview-duttonbooks-meggardiner1-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/01/06/blog-tour-hydra-by-matt-wesolowski-orendabooks-concretekraken/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/02/27/thehunger-by-alma-katsu-mustreads-almakatsu-poppystimpson-transworldbooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/04/09/blog-tour-keeper-by-johana-gustawsson-bookreview-

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/04/23/the-key-to-deaths-door-by-mark-tilbury-bloodhoundbook-mtilburyauthor-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/11/dying-truth-by-angela-marsons-bookreview-writeangie-bookouture-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/25/dont-make-a-sound-by-david-jackson-bookreview-mustreads-author_dave-bonnierzaffre/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/30/thepuppetshow-by-m-w-craven-mwcravenuk-littlebrownuk-mustreads/

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/15/cross-her-heart-by-sarah-pinborough-sarahpinborough-harpercollinsuk-mustreads-donttrustherbooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/07/blog-tour-th1rt3en-by-steve-cavanagh-sscav-orion_crime-lauren_bookspr-tr4cyf3nt0n-thatbookthathook/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/19/thislittlepiggy-by-rob-ashman-blogblitz-robashmanauthor-bloodhoundbook-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/22/the-old-you-by-louise-voss-bookreview-mustreads-louisevoss1-     

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/07/06/the-lion-tamer-who-lost-by-louise-beech-summermustreads-louisewriter-orendabooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/07/16/in-the-dark-by-cara-hunter-mustreads-carahunterbooks-penguinrandom-penguinukbooks/?preview=true&iframe=true

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/08/21/blog-tour-beforehereyes-by-jack-jordan-jackjordanbooks-corvusbooks-must-reads2018/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/09/10/blog-tour-the-hangmans-hold-by-michael-wood-michaelhwood-killerreads-harpercollinsuk-

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/08/23/truthandlies-by-caroline-mitchell-caroline_writes-mustreads-newcrimeseries/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/10/04/blog-tour-the-murder-of-harriet-monckton-by-elizabeth-haynes-elizjhaynes-myriadeditions-harrietmonckton-

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/11/27/the-liars-wife-by-samantha-hayes-samhayes-bookouture-blogblitz-

And finally just when I thought I had completed my top reads  post I read Skin Deep by Liz Nugent which blew me away, and now it’s firmly one of my top reads of 2018. 

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#SkinDeep by Liz Nugent #BookReview #MustReads @lizzienugent #IrishBookAwards @PenguinBooks

And there you go my 19 top reads of 2018, are any of my choices included in your top reads of 2018? Do you want to share your top reads of 2018?  I would to love to know so please feel free to leave a comment in the post.

I’m ashamed to admit I only read 104 books in 2018 not as many as I hoped (Holds head in shame) but hey ho hopefully next year will be better, here are the books I read……..

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Some of the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2019….

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To all the fabulous publishers and authors who have sent me ARC’s, it’s an honour to get so many awesome books, but it’s not something I’ve come to expect or take for granted so a huge thank you to each and everyone of you x x 

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Finally I would like to wish my followers, those who constantly share my posts, book bloggers,  publishers, authors and readers a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year,  And thank you for all your support 😘

 

Into The Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner #Unsub2 @DuttonBooks @MegGardiner1 #MustReads

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Into The Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2018, especially after reading the first book in this crime series Unsub, which by the way is already on my top reads of 2018. Before I share my review I would like to say thank you to fellow book blogger Janel who blogs over at the fabulous https://keeperofpages.wordpress.com/ (if you don’t already follow her blog it’s a MUST) for her overwhelming generosity in sending me her copy of Into The Black Nowhere, just because she knew how much I loved Unsub. Before I share my review here’s the book description to whet your appetite…….

Book description

Inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, an exhilarating thriller in which FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer

In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.

Caitlin and the FBI’s serial crime unit discover the first victim’s body in the woods. She’s laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style–posed like Snow White awaiting her prince’s kiss.

To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology–that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy–dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.

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Into The Black Nowhere opens with the chilling and shocking disappearance of mother Shana, and from there on in Meg Gardiner keeps the reader in her clutches. Into The Black Nowhere is the second book in the Unsub and although it could be read as a standalone I would urge you to start at the beginning as it has all the hallmarks of an unmissable crime series. I’m not going to rehash the plot as pretty much all you need to know is in the detailed book description, suffice to say Caitlin Hendrix is back and now working as an FBI Profiler tracking the Saturday Night Killer in Austin, Texas, where women keep disappearing. Caitlin with the help of a legendary FBI profiler piece together a profile that will lead them to focus on one particular suspect.

Inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, Meg Gardiner manages to create a serial killer who is charming, confident, and yet is merciless when it comes to his victims, very much in keeping with Ted Bundy’s MO this fact alone makes the killer all the more credible which in turn made this book all the more chilling to read. Caitlin is a character who intrigues me, a character with many sides she’s committed to her job, but you sense a darker side to her character which I hope the author explores further at some point.

Although not as fast paced or as heart pounding as Unsub, which is partly due to the fact the killers identity is revealed fairly early on in the book, Into The Black Nowhere has its own merits the author ramps up the tension tenfold with a game of cat and mouse between Caitlin and the killer, making this a very worthy addition to the series. If anything the change in pace and direction actually make you more excited about the Unsub series, as you aren’t sure which direction the author will take with the next book in the series.

Unlike most crime thrillers Into The Black Nowhere stands out because the focus is on profiling rather than police procedures. It’s a subject that really intrigues me, and Meg Gardiner’s impeccable detailed explanations regarding profiling integrated with a suspense filled plot with believable characters make this one of the best crime thriller books I’ve read this year, and I’m already excited to see where the author takes the Unsub series next. Highly recommended.

Buying links :   Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: Dutton Books (30 Jan. 2018)

 

UNSUB by Meg Gardiner #BookReview @DuttonBooks @MegGardiner1 #MustReads

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Book description

A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier.

Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB—what the FBI calls an unknown subject—the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case.

The Prophet’s cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack’s failure to solve the series of ritualized murders—eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh—was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career.

Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father’s failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession.

Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father’s warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father’s mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?

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First of a huge thank you to Janel over at Keeperofpages, whose fabulous review convinced me I needed to read UNSUB ASAP!

Hells bells if you consider yourself to be a crime thriller lover then you MUST read Unsub by Meg Gardiner, it’s not just good it’s a flipping fantastic book and I would go as far to say it’s probably one of the best crime books I’ve read EVER. I read so many crime thrillers it takes a lot to scare me but this book unnerved me to the extent I had to keep checking that the doors were locked and the lights were on. Unsub caused my heart to thump and my pulse to race pretty much throughout. Drawing inspiration from the Zodiac Killer, and likened to Se7en, and Silence of the Lambs this is one book you don’t want to miss if you like your crime thrillers graphic and disturbing.

As you can see this book comes with a pretty lengthy book description, so I don’t feel the need to rehash the plot in my review. I do enjoy a crime thriller with an intriguing serial killer at the heart of the plot, and Meg Gardiner has created a fascinating one, the Unsub aka The Prophet taunts law enforcement with his gruesome murders and his cryptic messages, he thrives on mind games and generating fear in a city where people are advised to be vigilant, no one knows who his next victim will be or why. I think The Prophet makes a very credible character I feel this is because as the reader you are aware the author drew inspiration from the very real Zodiac Killer, making him that much more terrifying and convincing.

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Meg Gardiner has done a superb job with character development, building her grisly psychological thriller around detective Caitlin Hendrix, whose father failed to catch the killer decades earlier. Caitlin Hendrix is probably one of the most exciting protagonists I’ve come across in a long time the author has breathed life into her, you feel her frustration, her empathy for the victims and her complex relationship with her father make her someone that I WANT to know so much more about. Unsub is an unforgettable book, fast paced, chilling and downright frightening but I loved every page of this gripping crime thriller. Every scene, every word written is pivotal to the plot and the tension that radiates throughout definitely make this one of my top reads of 2018. Now I really can’t wait to read the sequel Into The Black Nowhere. In case you haven’t already guessed I would highly, highly recommended Unsub.

Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Paperback: 420 pages

Publisher: Dutton Books; Reprint edition (2 Jan. 2018)

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to see I’m giving UNSUB the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page and plus this one gave me a #Major #BookHangover something I don’t suffer with very often!

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