Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2020 #amreading #bookblogger #FridayReads

It’s nearly Christmas and the end of another year, one I think we’ll all be glad to say goodbye to. But on a brighter note, it’s also favourite books of the year time.

As always it’s a difficult choice but despite my reading being a little hit and miss this year I’ve read some fabulous books. So in no particular order, and not necessarily published this year, here we go…

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The Searcher by Tana French ~ Set in Ireland ~ Character Driven #LiteraryFiction #Audiobook #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Tana French

Performed by Roger Clark

Released: November 2020 by Penguin Audio

Category: Murder, Mystery, Literary Fiction, Audiobook, Review

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Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.

Cal Hooper, retired from the Chicago PD after 25 years, relocated to the rural west coast of Ireland after the break up of his marriage and having become disenchanted with the way things were going in America.

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The Visitor by @TerryTyler4 ~ There’s a killer on the loose… #PostApocalyptic #MurderMystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Terry Tyler

Kindle Edition

Category: Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Murder Mystery, Book Review 

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In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.

The year is 2024, four years after the coronavirus pandemic, when the world is hit with a far deadlier virus. There was no way back from this one, it was fatal. If you caught it you died, unless you were one of the lucky ones who were vaccinated. At least in 2020 people still had their home comforts and there was a good recovery rate. This was a whole different ball game, bringing death and destruction on a massive scale. For those who survived, life was a struggle fraught with danger.

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The Survivors by @janeharperautho #ContemporaryFiction set in Tasmania #MurderMystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Jane Harper

Narrated by Stephen Shanahan

Published: September 2020 by Hachette Audio UK

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Audiobook Review

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Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea, that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

The Survivors is a story of family, secrets, lies and friendships and takes place in the small, fictional coastal town of Evelyn Bay in Tasmania. Kieran, along with girlfriend Mia and baby daughter Audrey, have returned to their home town from Sydney, in order to help Kieran’s mother pack up and move his father to a nursing home in Hobart. 

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Fame & Fortune: The Victorian Detectives by @carolJhedges #BookReview for #RBRT #FridayReads

Author: Carol Hedges

Published: August 2020 by Little G Books

Category: Historical Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

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London, 1867. When the body of a man is discovered hanging from a Thames bridge, Detectives Greig and Cully, two of Scotland Yard’s finest crime-solvers, are called in to investigate the mysterious circumstances of his death. Their inquiry will lead them into a world of extortion, robbery and human trafficking, and at its centre, the Black brothers, Munro and Herbert, London’s most evil and ruthless individuals, who will stop at nothing to keep their position at the top of London’s criminal underworld.

Fame & Fortune is the eighth outing for DS Jack Cully, DI Lachlan Greig and DI Leo Stride, otherwise known as the Victorian Detectives. Carol Hedges immerses us once again in a London peopled with the sad and the bad, the rich and the poor, and the evocatively described back alleys, slums and more fashionable thoroughfares they inhabit.

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After The Fire (Inspector Tom Reynolds #6) by @SpainJoanne ~ Nobody was supposed to get out alive… #Irish #CrimeFiction #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Jo Spain

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Released: June 2020 by Quercus

Category: Irish Crime Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Audiobook, Review

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On a Dublin city street, packed with afternoon shoppers, a young woman appears, naked, traumatised and bearing burn marks.

Tom Reynolds, now Chief Superintendent, is no longer head of the murder squad. But when it transpires the woman escaped from a house fire started deliberately and that there are more victims, Tom is sucked in. What begins as a straightforward case of arson, soon becomes something much more sinister.

After having a quick catch up with his daughter Maria, a junior doctor, Chief Superintendent Tom Reynolds was about the leave the hospital where Maria worked, when he overheard snippets of a conversation between two porters. A naked and distressed young woman covered with burn marks and signs of smoke inhalation, was seen walking through the city centre and had been brought to the hospital.

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The Body in the Dumb River by George Bellairs ~ British Library #CrimeClassics #Murder #Mystery

Author: George Bellairs

Published: August 2019 by British Library Publishing

Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

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Jim Teasdale has been drowned in the Dumb River, near Ely, miles from his Yorkshire home. His body, clearly dumped in the usually silent (‘dumb’) waterway, has been discovered before the killer intended — disturbed by a torrential flood.

With critical urgency it’s up to Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard to trace the mystery of the unassuming victim’s murder to its source, leaving waves of scandal and sensation in his wake as the hidden, salacious dealings of Jim Teasdale begin to surface. 

First published in 1961, The Body in The Dumb River has been reissued by the British Library Crime Classics. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of these classic crime novels, this is the first by George Bellairs. I didn’t realise the Littlejohn books were such a long running series but this book quite easily reads as a stand alone.

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The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side by Agatha Christie #ClassicCrime #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Agatha Christie

First published in 1962

Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

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One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?

Marina’s frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation – into human nature.

Having veered more towards the books featuring Hercule Poirot, I don’t think I read this one. Although I did see and enjoy the film adaptation with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson the outcome escaped me, and I enjoyed the book more even more.

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The Art of Dying (Way of All Flesh #2) by Ambrose Parry #HistoricalFiction based on fact #Medical #Mystery @ambroseparry

Author: Ambrose Parry

Published: August 2019 by Canongate Books

Category: Historical, Medical, Mystery, Crime, Book Review

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Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson – a whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.

In this sequel to The Way of All Flesh, which I really enjoyed, we find Will Raven in Europe, studying and learning, becoming a fully qualified doctor.

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I Am Dust by Louise Beech ~ A Haunted Theatre, A Murdered Actress @LouiseWriter #Murder #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Louise Beech

Published: February 2020 by Orenda Books

Category: Psychological, Thriller, Murder, Mystery, Supernatural, Book Review

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The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

I Am Dust is a story of two halves which are brought together seamlessly as the story evolves—the events of 2005 and the impact they have on the present day. During that summer three friends and aspiring actors played a dangerous game, experimenting with an Ouija board, while rehearsing for their school production of Macbeth.

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