It’s been a while since I did little book haul post. Mostly because I just get them, forget to do anything other than read and review, and then get hit by the same forgetfulness next time.
A few new titles came into my hands recently so thought I’d show them off to the world. It’s a mixture of audio and regular books and also a mixture of freebies and paid.
Sent to me:
Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove
Technically I’m cheating by putting this on as I already read and reviewed it here but I love the cover so it’s going on.
It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe – eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty – is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.
Her late mother told her terrifying tales of the sinister Black Thurrick, and Eve is sure that she has seen the creature from her bedroom window. What is more, she has begun to receive mysterious parcels of birch twigs, the Black Thurrick’s calling card…
Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something – or someone – is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion.
Periphery by Michael Winter
Always willing to give spooky-sounding cosmic horror a go. So long as Lovecraft didn’t (badly. Good god he was terrible with a pen) write it.
From the Corner of Your Eye to the Focus of Your Fear
Tampa Fire Rescue paramedic Andrew Tate thought he had put all of his father’s crazy nonsense behind him. Twenty years ago, John Tate had been the respected dean of biology at the University of Tampa, a coolly intellectual researcher and devoted family man. Certainly not the type prone to outbursts of hysterical dementia. Then one summer afternoon he returned home covered in blood, ranting about bizarre creatures hiding in plain sight and declaring his intention to move out in order to protect his wife and son from the horrors now stocking him.
For the past two decades, the senior Tate has lived at the periphery of his son’s life, making only occasional contact while conducting what he calls “research” into his discovery. It’s an uneasy relationship, but Andrew is thankful his deranged father has chosen to remain at arm’s length.
All that changes, however, after Andrew is drawn into a hostage standoff. During the course of a tense negation with the captor, he beholds something that seems to validate his father’s claims: a living nightmare exposed for all to see and yet strangely camouflaged, both there and not there. It will be the first in a series of unwanted discoveries that will lead Andrew to the realization that a barely-glimpsed world exists at the edge of our awareness, a shadow ecosystem populated by terrifying denizens lurking in the light, awaiting the return of something vast and ancient and malevolent.
Dark Harvest by Josh Reynolds
I love Josh’s work so can usually go in blind knowing his writing will be top notch. My favourite setting in warhammer has always been their darkest fantasies. So hopefully this one ticks that box. It’s also one hell of a dark cover. How could I say no?
Harran Blackwood was a priest of Sigmar, full of righteous fury and zeal. Now, he’s an embittered drunk, scraping a living on the edges of society. Blackwood haunts the back-streets of Greywater Fastness, offering his services to those who can’t – or won’t – go to the proper authorities. While Blackwood’s faith has long since guttered to nothing, he still retains his knowledge of the workings of evil, something that comes in handy on the fringes of society.
Blackwood receives a letter from an old friend – a plea for help to find his friends missing daughter. So begins Blackwood’s journey to the isolated village of Wald, a community unwelcoming of outsiders and with secrets to hide. What Blackwood finds there threatens more than just his life – it threatens his very soul…
Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove.
More Sherlock and more cosmic horror.
It is the autumn of 1880, and Dr John Watson has just returned from Afghanistan. Badly injured and desperate to forget a nightmarish expedition that left him doubting his sanity, Watson is close to destitution when he meets the extraordinary Sherlock Holmes, who is investigating a series of deaths in the Shadwell district of London. Several bodies have been found, the victims appearing to have starved to death over the course of several weeks, and yet they were reported alive and well mere days before. Moreover, there are disturbing reports of creeping shadows that inspire dread in any who stray too close.
Holmes deduces a connection between the deaths and a sinister drug lord who is seeking to expand his criminal empire. Yet both he and Watson are soon forced to accept that there are forces at work far more powerful than they could ever have imagined. Forces that can be summoned, if one is brave – or mad – enough to dare.
Paid/free credit purchases on Audible:
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
I have heard so many good things, and with a blurb like the one below … sounds fantastic. A steal at £1.99.
‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder, and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’
It is meant to be a celebration, but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.
The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath …
Lightning by Dean Koontz
Pretty much everything I said about the above audio book applies here.
A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. But even more mysterious was the blond-haired stranger who appeared out of nowhere – the man who saved Laura from a fatal delivery.
Years later – after another bolt of lightning – the stranger returned, again to save Laura from tragedy. Was he the guardian angel he seemed? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond time and space?
Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey
I really enjoyed Leviathan Wakes so downloading this was a natural choice. I have finished it, just not got around to reviewing yet.
For someone who didn’t intend to wreck the solar system’s fragile balance of power, Jim Holden did a pretty good job of it. While Earth and Mars have stopped shooting each other, the core alliance is shattered. The outer planets and the Belt are uncertain in their new – possibly temporary – autonomy.
Then, on one of Jupiter’s moons, a single super-soldier attacks, slaughtering soldiers of Earth and Mars indiscriminately and reigniting the war. The race is on to discover whether this is the vanguard of an alien army or if the danger lies closer to home.
Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey
I am getting through this one slower than the previous two. Not because it’s bad, but because I’m having sci-fi and audio book burnout. So Hopefully I’ll get past it soon.
For generations the solar system–Mars, the moon, the asteroid belt–was humanity’s great frontier. Until now. The alien artefact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has emerged to build a massive structure outside the orbit of Uranus: a gate that leads into a starless dark.
Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artefact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.