Category Archives: SJI Holliday

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

8E258DEB-1E1A-4B5F-B34A-A92F0A13CEC9

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. 

5bf77817-eb39-4108-9279-4e8354fc329a

#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……..

7955780D-EB9D-4518-AD90-80762023AE29

4263B740-0810-4217-9C1E-84DDF830885B

B1580B8F-7AA0-47A1-8E29-101DECA9453C

52FA73AE-AAC3-4892-8D9C-1DEAB60C04B9

7A6900FF-9CD8-4F0C-82B2-3CF6EBBBB2A4

2B536981-6269-4EBB-BFE9-C9F5FA327942

376EC0A4-6332-4629-9BEC-ACE45390918C

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

11834698-6DC1-4CE5-9E83-B8368D927A33.jpeg

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 

F6A2B885-82FC-4F17-83CA-D1C781A5653D

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 😘

 

#TheLingering by SJI Holliday @OrendaBooks @SJIHolliday #MustReads #BookReview

 

Today I’m sharing my review for The Lingering by SJI Holliday, it’s a book that’s full of suprises and a book that’s certainly going to be on my top reads of 2018 list. Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……  

5F28D0BF-CB98-466C-8313-23C5A17D6FDA

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

E1F3660A-E5FA-4419-8451-16F1D13B7348

When I pick up a novel I’m always looking for a read that will captivate my imagination, a novel that leaves me breathless, one that will unnerve me and one where I reach the last page I immediately want to read it again, novels that make me feel like this are a rare breed indeed, well up until now that is. I’m not going to beat about the bush I loved The Lingering by SJI Holliday, it was the perfect read for me, I found it to be creepy, and very, very dark. Part ghost story, part domestic thriller, the author  tantalises the reader with the mystery surrounding Rosalind House and its occupants, when you add to the mix odd occurrences and strange sightings well let’s just say “this novel made for a disquieting, but oh so thrilling read”.

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardner are seeking a fresh start and decide to move to  Rosalind House a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, but what dark secrets are the couple hiding? Once they arrive it’s not long before the couple experience ghostly happenings, and that’s when this novel gets bone chillingly creepy.  Rosalind House, an abandoned asylum is the perfect setting for this novel, it hides a tragic past, where secrets and passed misdoings are hidden in the very fabric of the building. It’s a building steeped in myths and legends where bad things happened, and as the author slowly reveals its dark and deadly secrets I found myself becoming more fearful at each turn of the page.    

The characters in The Lingering are fabulously depicted, rich in personality, and complex. Jack and Ali Gardner what a couple, their relationship is one based on coercion and control, a relationship that’s shrouded in lies and deceit. You know from the beginning the couple are hiding something BIG, and that alone adds an over whelming sense of uneasiness that intensifies as the Gardner’s dark secrets are slowly revealed.

I guess the spooky supernatural element might not suit all crime fiction fans, but if like me you read The Lingering with an open mind I’m sure you will end up loving it as much as I did. The Lingering explores the nature of true evil, the psychological aspect of this novel is dark in tone as the author delves into the minds of a very disturbed couple. This novel is exceptionally well plotted, original, creepy and very disturbing and yet it is one of the most compelling novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in a long time, and definitely a contender for my “book of the year”. Highly, highly recommended.

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving  The Lingering  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 read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

IMG_3573

  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (30 Sept. 2018)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

7E420FF5-5DCA-4EBF-B963-DA12AED44B4E

**My A-Z Books Tag**

image

I’ve seen numerous book bloggers use My A-Z Books tag, so I figured I’d take part as well!

Author you’ve read the most books from:

It’s got to be Kimberley chambers I’ve read every book she’s written so if my memory serves me correct that’s 12 books, Peter James is a close second I’ve read everyone of the Dead series featuring Roy Grace so that’s 11 books plus I have his new one Love You Dead to read.

image

Best Sequel Ever:

Hmmm this is a difficult one but it’s got to be Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, I loved Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, and I use to read both books to my son when he was growing up.

Currently reading:

The Safe Word by Karen Long, as I’m on the blog tour for it in June

Drink of choice while reading:

More often than not coffee and my husband Andy makes a mean caramel sticky toffee coffee which I’m addicted to, who needs Starbucks?, or if I’m pushing the boat out I might have a Pepsi Max….I’m so rock and roll 😂

image

E-reader or physical book:

I love both an E-reader is convenient for carrying around and it’s great to get ARCs delivered to your device straightaway, but you can’t beat the smell and feel of a real book (and no I don’t crack the spines!)

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:

I dated my husband in high school, and we’re still together 36 years later, so I wouldn’t have wanted to date anyone else 💞💕💞💕

Glad you gave this book a chance:

Hot House Flower by Lucinda Riley, as I usually crime/psychological thrillers this book was right out of my comfort zone but I loved it and when I finished it I bought all her books. I love how her books are written and they go between the past and present day, and she weaves such an intricate plot

Hidden Gem book:

Hmmm this is a hard one I would probably say Go Ask Alice by Anon, I read it at school (OMG30 years + ago), it’s about a young girl who starts taking drugs and it’s very sad and has always stuck with me

image

Important moment in your reading life:

It has to be when I started blogging, when I started I expected a few people to look at my reviews, but it has gone from strength to strength, and I’m still amazed when publishers/authors get in touch with me, asking me if I would like to review their book. I’ve also come across lots of fellow book bloggers who are a very friendly bunch and feel like friends.

Just finished:

Chosen Child by Linda Huber, which I really enjoyed.

Kind of book you won’t read

I’m not a fan of erotica although I did read 50 Shades, and then wondered what all the fuss was about.

Longest book you’ve ever read:

The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley at 702, but I get so wrapped up in her books it seems much less

Major book hangover:

The Twighlight series by Stephenie Meyer, I read the books back to back and felt bereft when I finished them

image
Number of bookcases you own:

NONE… Yes you read that right, at the moment my books are all over the place, in cupboards, the spare bedroom, on my coffee table, but I’m hoping to rectify that soon and get a bookcase, so I can have all my books in one place.

One book you’ve read multiple times:

I don’t reread books as there are so many books I want to read, and there’s not enough time to read them, let alone go back and read a book I’ve read

Preferred place to read:

In my lounge sat in my recliner, I can’t read in bed as I can never get comfy

Quote that inspired you/ Gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

image

 

Reading regret:

Like a lot of book bloggers and readers it’s got to be spending time reading books that I didn’t enjoy when I could have been reading a book I loved would be a reading regret, and also not having enough time to read the books I want to read.

Series you started and need to finish:

I really can’t think of a series I need to finish, as if I love a book enough to read a series then I tend to binge read the whole series

Three of your all time favourite books:

This is a hard question! I’ve loved so many books that it’s impossible to choose three so I’m afraid I’ll have to skip this question!

Unapologetic fangirl for:

Ohhhh another hard one but I would have to say Kimberley Chambers I absolutely love her books, she has such a unique way of writing that makes her characters come to life, her books are very entertaining and I always learn a few new swear words from them 😂😂

image

Very excited for this release more than all others:

I’m a huge fan of James Carol and the thrillers featuring former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter, he’s written a standalone thriller under the pseudonym JS Carol for one of my favourite publishers Bookouture . The first of these is Tick Tick Boom, which is being published in July 2016, so I’m really looking forward to reading it

Worst bookish habit:

Spending to much time reading, when I should be doing something else

X marks the spot- start on the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:

Criminal Shadows: Inside the Mind of the Serial Killer Paperback – by David Canter

image

Your latest purchase:

Love You Dead by Peter James
Willow Walk by SJI Holliday
Outside Looking In by Michael Wood
Anything For Her by Jack Jordan

Zzzzz Snatcher book (the book that kept you up way too late):

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

I hope you have enjoyed reading my A-Z of books tag and please feel free to leave me a book related comment