#5Books: Book recs and a long, long, lonnng week

#5Books for the week ending 20 May 2018

Last week was definitely one of those weeks — the neverending kind. I was out at two events this week, so I’m behind in some deadlines and to top it off, a friend of mine — the lady I started work with left to go to another job — a good one, or so we’re all hoping for her. But you know how some people are just a ray of sunshine in an office? That was her.

Since we’re a slowly dwindling team at the moment, it feels like all we are doing is saying goodbye to people these days — so all of this made Friday a bit of a sad day.

So what else have I been doing? Started watching Safe  and  am quietly impressed with Dexter’s English accent. I forget his real name, and I never watched Dexter, but I know of the show, I guess. Is anyone else watching it?

Actually I should have asked did anyone watch the Royal Wedding? I feel so bad for Meghan M. and all the nonsense her family is putting her through, so I hope she really does have the happily ever after she — they both — deserve. And I know it’s weird, but I totally got into it — totally started reading all the articles, and wanting desperately to see the dress. What can I say, it’s a thing!

Along with these things, here are the books that have been on my mind

The Greater Good  

He had never killed anyone who hadn’t deserved it. The means always justified the end. He didn’t need forgiveness. He needed justification. The greater good.

Battered war correspondent John Bailey is a man living on the edge. He’s haunted by nightmares of being kidnapped and tortured in Iraq and he’s drinking too much to drown the memories. As he battles to get his life back together, a story breaks that will force him back into the spotlight – and into the crosshairs of a deadly international player.

When a beautiful prostitute is found murdered in her luxury Sydney apartment, Bailey is ordered to cover the story by The Journal’s editor and his old friend, Gerald Summers, because he can’t trust anyone else.

One of the victim’s clients, a key advisor to the Defence Minister, is chief suspect in her murder and he’s on the run. When he contacts Bailey, claiming to have information that will bring down the government, the stakes become deadly. To complicate matters,the investigating police detective is the woman Bailey walked out on a decade ago.

When a ruthless CIA fixer turns up, followed by a murderous Chinese agent hot on his trail, Bailey realises he has stumbled onto the story of a lifetime – one that he may not live to tell.

If a tagline says who needs Jason Bourne when we have John Bailey, I am instantly going to want to know more, and also fervently hope that very big claim holds up. In addition, an Australian journalist investigating a — very complex murder? I totally want to try this! The author has been a journalist for 20 years and works for the public broadcaster here, basically the place you go to for news, without the spin. 

District VIII

Life’s tough for a Gypsy detective in Budapest. The cops don’t trust you because you’re a Gypsy. Your fellow Gypsies, even your own family, shun you because you’re a cop.

The dead, however, don’t care. So when Balthazar Kovacs, a detective in the city’s murder squad, gets a mysterious text message on his phone, he gulps down his coffee and goes to work. The message has two parts: a photograph and an address. The photograph shows a man, in his early thirties, lying on his back with his eyes open, half-covered by a blue plastic sheet. The address is 26 Republic Square, the former Communist Party headquarters, and once the most feared building in the country. But when Kovacs arrives at Republic Square, the body is gone…

Inspired by true events, the novel takes the reader to a hidden city within Budapest and an underworld that visitors never get to see: the gritty back alleys of District VIII; the endemic corruption that reaches deep into government as officials plunder state coffers at will; a rule of law bent to serve the interests of the rich and powerful; the rising power of international organized crime gangs who use the Hungarian capital as a springboard for their European operations; and a troubling look at the ghosts of Communism (and Nazism) that still haunt Budapest.

So Gypsy isn’t the right term to be using, is it? It’s Romani? I’m not entirely clear on this. But Balthazar’s position in Budapest does prove interesting doesn’t it? And complicated — it reminds me a little of Harry Virdee series, where Harry is torn between his family and his job as a cop, which is an absolutely brilliant series. Here Balthazar and Budapest are both drawcards for me, but also, I wonder what true events inspired this? 

Like Never and Always

On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.

Is that not a mindf**k – for Liv especially. I like the complexity of this, and the insight in promises into two different characters.

The President is Missing 

President Bill Clinton and bestselling novelist James Patterson have written a spellbinding thriller, The President is Missing.

As the novel opens, a threat looms. Enemies are planning an attack of unprecedented scale on America. Uncertainty and fear grip Washington. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the cabinet. The President himself becomes a suspect, and then goes missing…

Set in real time, over the course of three days, The President Is Missing is one of the most dramatic thrillers in decades. And it could all really happen. The President Is Missing is Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s totally authentic and spellbinding thriller.

I am entirely, absolutely just curious. Also Dennis Quaid is doing the audiobook, so there’s another reason to check this out heh.

A Cast of Vultures

Amateur sleuth Samantha Clair returns in the newest novel from Judith Flanders, the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author of A Murder of Magpies.

There was every possibility that I was dead, and my brain hadn’t got the memo. Or maybe it was that I wished I were dead. On reflection, that was more likely.

Usually clear-headed editor Samantha Clair stumbles through her post-book-party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. But before the ibuprofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbors, suspected arson, and strange men offering free tattoos.

By the time the grisly news breaks that the fire has claimed a victim, Sam is already in pursuit. Never has comedy been so deadly as she faces down a pair from Thugs ‘R’ Us, aided by nothing more than a Scotland Yard boyfriend, a stalwart Goth assistant, and an unnerving knowledge of London’s best farmer’s markets.

From the acclaimed bestselling author Judith Flanders, A Cast of Vultures continues the sharp-witted series starring book editor and amateur sleuth Samantha Clair.

A book editor sleuth. I mean how did I not know about this before?


  • Greg says:

    I liked watching the royal wedding, and I saw Safe showing up on Netflix, but haven’t watched it yet. I’ve been watching Hotel Beau Sejour, a Belgian show about a murdered girl who only some people can see. Pretty good!

    Like Never and Always definitely sounds like a mindf*ck- imagine waking up to THAT. Yikes. And A Cast of Vultures and Distric VIII sound great too!

    • Verushka says:

      Oh, that’s interesting — A murdered girl only some people can see? It sounds creeepy! ILike Never and Always sounds like it’s got the potential for some delicious goodness so here’s hoping it comes through!

  • Silvia says:

    I feel like I should watch Safe and, I gotta be completely honest, I’m with Greg on Like Never and Always . . . So of course I wanna read it! *smirks*
    P.S. The Royal Wedding was simply beautiful, and I got quite emotional <3

    • Verushka says:

      I sat and watched it from beginning to end, and I don’t actually think I did that for Wills and Kate lol Safe is pretty good — I haven’t gone past ep 2 yet, but I like it!

  • Laura says:

    Those are some good recs. I’ve read Cast of Vultures and enjoyed it. Adding others to my tbr list. Thanks!

  • I always watch royal weddings and get excited by the royal births…I’ve been watching lots of documentaries this week as royal fever took hold! I like the arrivals and then the parade at the end. The gospel choir were amazing and I’m glad poor Meghan looked so happy after what the markles have put her through.

    • Verushka says:

      I lovvved the gospel choir as well! And every time the camera focused on Meghan you could see her mother in her seat, reminding everyone of the better parts of her family — the less said about the rest of them the better.

  • Angela says:

    Ooh, Dennis Quaid doing the audio?? Might have to check that one out!

    I totally watched the royal wedding, I am kind of royals-obsessed. Her family was so embarrassing, though!

    • Verushka says:

      Meghan’s family made me cringe — I felt for her and her mum with what they put them through. YES! That Dennis Quaid is doing the audio kind tipped me over into wanting this one — his voice is DAMN good!

  • Once again there are some pretty good looking books here. I haven’t started Safe yet but will probably do so eventually. I actually started watching Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why yesterday. I didn’t watch the royal wedding and admit I was kind of tired of hearing about it. Now if I lived there, I could see where it would be more relevant to me. Of course, growing up I never dreamed about a huge and fancy wedding so maybe I’m just an oddball.

    • Verushka says:

      What did you think of 13 Reason, Barb? I was reading Twitter and following some spoilers about the ending, and I was surprised and dissapointed at the tone of the show about it’s storyline.

  • I saw the first episode of Safe and definitely want to continue but haven’t had the time yet. SOON, THOUGH!

  • I really want to watch Safe! It is good to know that Michael C Hall is doing a good job with it. I am a huge Harlan Coben fan so I have to check it out. The Clinton/Patterson book just seems so strange. I am intrigued that Dennis Quaid is doing the audio for it.

  • I didn’t watch the wedding live but watched the coverage afterwards. I was so appalled by the way Meghan’s family was behaving in the lead up to the wedding. They clearly just wanted their 15 minutes of fame, even if it came at the expense of embarrassing her.

    I’m with you on being so curious about The President is Missing just because Bill Clinton is involved in it, although you mentioning Dennis Quaid definitely gives it some added appeal, lol.

  • I enjoyed watching the Royal Weather. I never realized they have such extravagant weddings, it was just gorgeous! And I loved her dress too!

    I dont’ which one of your recommendations I want to read more! Thanks for sharing them.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    I have enjoyed the books in Judith Flanders’ series and look forward to A Cast of Vultures. District VIII sound interesting, too. (I liked Hotel Beau Sejour, too! Definitely a binge-worthy show.)

  • Hey! Trying to catch up a bit and I’m sorry I’ve been so absent but I’m back now and trying to catch up. Sounds familiar, right? ? I did watch parts of the wedding but it wasn’t intentional – my friend’s mom had it on and I was out visiting the family and co for a day of brunch and horse riding so we caught a bit of it.
    We’ve started this year’s MKR – late yet again. Only watched the first couple of episodes so far.
    I’m sorry about your co-worker. That is sad. I hope this week was better and that next week is a good one.
    Have a great weekend V and hope to catch up soon.

  • Sam@WLABB says:

    I am interested in the Aguirre book. Like you said, it sounds like it will be a head trip, and I have read and liked some of her previous books. I did not watch the royal wedding, but going through my social media feeds on Saturday, made me feel like I had.

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