#5Books: Book recs and … where am I?

#5Books for the week ending 29 April 2018

So I got invited to the NSW Premier’s Awards, which is right over here.  It’s a night of celebrating all things literary in NSW, with titles I’ve heard of and some I haven’t. And there will be a cocktail dress involved and shoes that are going to be hellaciously uncomfortable, I imagine.

It’s quite exciting, to say the least, and I will be tweeting up a storm about it — so keep an eye out on my Twitter feed!

The Way of All Flesh

A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh, from husband-and-wife writing team Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman

Edinburgh, 1847. City of Medicine, Money, Murder.

Young women are being discovered dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. In the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson.

Simpson’s patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of his intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education.

With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.

So. I’m being ambitious here in saying this is my cup of tea, but Benedict Cumberbatch has the rights to this, and yes, I am entirely intrigued by him in this role, and that’s why this is here. 

In Her Skin

Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest scam of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.

When Jo takes on Vivi’s identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.

This sounds so promising – I’ve attempted reading this premise before, but the book wasn’t that memorable. I think there’s a book with a male teen in a similar situation, but I haven’t read that either. Maybe third time’s the charm?

Gale Force

For all lovers of maritime adventure comes an electrifying thriller of treachery and peril on the high seas featuring a dynamic new heroine, from multi-award-nominated suspense star Owen Laukkanen.

In the high-stakes world of deep-sea salvage, an ocean disaster can mean a huge payoff–if you can survive the chase.

McKenna Rhodes has never been able to get the sight of her father’s death out of her mind. A freak maritime accident has made her the captain of the salvage boat Gale Force, but it’s also made her cautious, sticking closer to the Alaska coastline. She and her crew are just scraping by, when the freighter Pacific Lion, out of Yokohama, founders two hundred miles out in a storm.

This job is their last chance–but there is even more at stake than they know. Unlisted on any manifest, the Lion‘s crew includes a man on the run carrying fifty million dollars in stolen Yakuza bearer bonds. The Japanese gangsters want the money. The thief’s associates want the money. Another salvage ship, far bigger and more powerful than Gale Force, is racing to the rendezvous as well. And the storm rages on. If McKenna can’t find a way to prevail, everything she loves–the ship, her way of life, maybe even her life itself–will be lost.

Filled with bravery, betrayal, sudden twists, and pure excitement, Gale Force is a spectacular new adventure from the fast-rising suspense star.

A female ship captain? I can honestly say I haven’t read a maritime adventure like this. Wait, does anyone sail? (I get seasick, so this is the only way to enjoy boats)

Little Sister

If you can’t trust your sister, then who can you trust? A gripping, twisty thriller about family secrets and betrayal for fans of CJ Taylor, Katerina Diamond and Lisa Hall.

After sixteen years apart sisters Jessica and Emily are reunited. With the past now behind them, the warmth they once shared quickly returns and before long Jess has moved into Emily’s comfortable island home. Life couldn’t be better. But when baby Daisy disappears while in Jess’s care, the perfect life Emily has so carefully built starts to fall apart.

Was Emily right to trust her sister after everything that happened before?

So what happened before, and what happened now? Not to mention, would the answer NO to that last question be too easy?


Facing life alone, they turned to crime together.

Dolly Rawlins, Linda Perelli and Shirley Miller are left devastated when their husbands are killed in a security van heist that goes disastrously wrong.

When Dolly discovers her husband’s bank deposit box containing a gun, money and detailed plans for the hijack, she has three options. She could hand over the ledgers to the Detective. She could hand them over to the thugs who want to take over Harry’s turf. Or, she and the other widows could finish the job their husbands started.

As they rehearse the raid, the women discover that Harry’s plan required four people and recruit hooker Bella O’Reilly. But only three bodies were discovered in the carnage of the original hijack – so who was the fourth man, and where is he now?

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to ALL the female heist movies and TV there is, and for right now I mean Ocean’s 8 and this because it’s being made into a movie with Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cynthia Erivo as the Widows. I don’t know anyone but Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez. Give me all the powerful women in book and screen, working together, thank you. (and yes, this is an oldie, but a goodie and I was thoroughly excited at the prospect of the movie so it’s on this week’s list).

Voila! What are you looking forward to this week?!


  • I am really interested in In Her Skin! I’d love to check that one out sometime!

  • Jen Mullen says:

    I’ve read a couple of books by Christopher Brookmyre but none in which he collaborates with his wife. And I like the premise and the setting for The Way of all Flesh. In Her Skin sounds like a suspenseful read, too!

  • Kelly says:

    The awards sound like a fabulous night Verushka darling, will be following via Twitter and hope you have a fabulous time! Widows hands down, for the win. These women have already been through so much and not that I condone a life of crime, I’m hoping like hell that they’re able to pull it off. It definitely has the Ocean series vibe, which I absolutely loved.

    In Her Skin is familiar and I’ve read quite a few similar books over the years but there’s one in particular that has an almost identical scenario and I CAN’T THINK OF THE NAME AND IT’LL KILL ME. Damn, I won’t be able to function until I find out what it’s called.

  • Congrats on the invite – sounds fun and I can’t wait to hear all about it. I’ve heard good things about In Her Skin and hope to grab it from the library eventually. I’m also interested in Widows. Sounds like a fun female-centric tale. Thanks once again for my growing TBR 😉

  • In Her Skin sounds like a good one, so does does Widows too.

  • Angela says:

    In Her Skin sounds interesting, although pretty similar to another book I read last year. It kind of had the same premise, someone pretending to be a missing girl come home.

  • AngelErin says:

    I loved In Her Skin and the rest of these sound great too! 😀😀

  • Ooh congrats on the invite. I hope you have a blast. I’ve only heard of In Her Skin. But I’m curious about the one Cumberbatch owns the rights too!


  • Greg says:

    Ooh congrats on the invite! Gale Force sounds really good to me.

  • Daniela Ark says:

    I’m glad you are giving In Her Skin a try (even though you ave tried that before and didn’t work.) because I really want to hear what you think of it! I’m interested! It’s set in Boston and Lovecrafts! YESSSSS!

  • Congrats on getting invited to the NSW Premier’s Awards. Sounds so exciting!

    Widows sounds fantastic and immediately made me think of Ocean’s 8, which I also can’t wait to see!

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