Books roundup – April/May

Blimey, June already? Where has the year gone?

When I sat down to do my May catchup, I realised that I’d not done a post of the books I read in April. Ooops. Bad bookblogger. Double dose then.

I thought I’d not read much recently, but both April and May saw me get through six books each, after only three in March (and one of those was in audiobook)


April kicked off with MR Carey’s finale of his superb Ramparts trilogy, the Fall of Koli. A fitting end to a brilliant set of books.

Next up was Blackstoke, by Rob Parker. Delightfully spooky goings on in a new housing estate. Not for the faint hearted!

These Lifeless Things, by Premee Mohamed is a superb little novella about an alien invasion, told through the journal of Eva, a survivor of the invasion, found by Emerson a young anthropologist sent to study the ruins of our former civilisation.

Then we had Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder, by TA Willberg. Intriguing premise and location – a secret detective agency beneath the streets of London, full of traps and dangers and murder. It just didn’t quite grab me, though I did finish it.

Strong contender for the book of the year list, Louise Beech’s This is How We Are Human is just stunning. I finished it in an afternoon. Be warned, you’ll need tissues.

Another contender for The List is Black Reed Bay, by Rod Reynolds. Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of Reynold’s books, from his Charlie Yates trilogy to his more modern, London-based Blood Red City. In Black Reed Bay we’re back in America, present day. A young woman dials 911 from an exclusive beachfront community, then promptly goes missing. Proper page-turner crime. Highly recommended.


Started May with a couple of excellent non-fiction books. Run Walk Crawl: Getting Fit In My Forties, by Tim Lebbon was great (and included cake).

As was Peaks and Bandits, by Alf Bonnevie Bryn. The tale of a young Norwegian climber who set off to Corsica in his Easter holidays in 1909, it’s packed full of amusing anecdotes, including a snake called James, and an incident with a quart ceramic jar of Crosse & Blackwell marmalade that they persuaded someone to carry up a mountain. Oh, and they meet some bandits, of course. 

Dead Ground, by MW Craven was one of my much anticipated books of the year, and it’s another cracking outing for Poe and Tilly. Book four in the series, well worth a look.

Eye of the Sh*t Storm, by Jackson Ford is the third in his Frost Files series, and he’s managed to turn the action/adventure/snark dials up even further. Splendid entertainment, and hugely recommended.

A Numbers Game, by RJ Dark is one I’ve had my eye on for a while. I had a peek at a super-early version of the book a couple of years ago. Luckily RJ Dark ignored all of my feedback and produced a superb little crime thriller set on an estate in Yorkshire. Mal and Jackie are your new favourite duo, trust me.

Rounded out the month with Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education, which I really enjoyed. It’s a tale of a magical school, but unlike any you’ve seen before. Education really is deadly at the Scholomance, there are no teachers, no friendships other than strategic ones to help you graduate. And not everyone will make it through lunch, let alone the year. Highly recommended.

Phew. That was April and May. Some great books in there. Have you read any of them? Any take your fancy? Do let me know, and let me know what you’ve read recently that you think I’d enjoy!

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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