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What Bethan read in 2023


Hi guys! Happy New Year!



As 2024 begins, I thought I'd share some of the books I read in 2023. If you are a member of our Facebook group you may have seen my ad-hoc posts about what I have been reading, and I thought I could go one step further and make this a quarlterly blog post. I'm hoping this could be a good place to compile a list of recommendations...



There will be a mix of non fiction (probably True Crime!) as well as a lot of fiction and for this first blog I'm just choosing the books I hope you will read too, going forwards I'll be mentioning & reviewing them all.


Get involved in the comments if you have read any of these, or if I have inspired you to pick any of them up, and please do send me your recommendations if you have any.


 

The Third Wheel – Michael J Ritchie

This is a new author’s debut novel and it is BRILLIANT. It’s a beautiful discussion about love and friendship somehow set in an end of the world situation. I don’t want to give too much away about the storyline, but I only purchased as it was a new author and I wanted to support them, aliens are not my usual go to, but this is less science fiction and more a study of human nature. I couldn’t put it down, and would LOVE if anyone else bought it so we can discuss it!  



To Hunt a Killer – Julie Mackay & Robert Murphy

This is the gripping true story of how Detective Superintendent Julie Mackay brought Melanie Road’s murderer to justice. We were next to Robert at our stand at CrimeCon and LOVED talking to him, you can really tell the passion which went into this book. Alongside the True Crime element, where we learn about the case and investigation, we also get an insight into Julie’s life as a detective sergeant, including being a single parent and juggling her career with her life. This reminded me a little of how I feel whenever I read on of Colin Sutton’s books; I love getting an insight into policing but especially when it is a good, honest, hardworking investigator.



The Paris Apartment – Lucy Foley

After absolutely loving the Hunting Party and The Guest List by this author, I was a bit disappointed that this didn’t grab my attention as quickly. However, after leaving the book in my work locker for a few months I picked it back up and boom I was hooked. Weirdly it just wasn’t the right time for me. I would probably recommend one of the other titles by her first, however I did enjoy all of them. I know she has another out in the summer so I will be excited to read that.



The Last Passenger – Will Dean

This is hard to review without giving anything away so I am simply going to give you the tag line that grabbed my attention, and tell you to give it a go. It reminded me a little bit of Stephen King’s The Running Man, and I felt like it was an incredibly unique idea for a story. So here is what I read on a book shop Facebook page that made me stop what I was doing to buy it:

“A luxury cruise liner, abandoned with no crew, steaming into the mid-Atlantic. And you are the only passenger left on board.”



Babes in the Wood – Graham Bartlett & Peter James

This non-fiction book is the story of how Russell Bishop was finally brought to justice for the murders of two 9 year old girls. The book sees former senior detective Graham Bartlett and bestselling author Peter James (anyone else also love his novels?) tell the compelling inside story of the investigation with access to the police who worked the case. We read this for book club and I found it absolutely incredible.



Murder in the Family – Cara Hunter

This book is so much fun! It is an unusual format, where the story is told through newspaper articles, reports, messages, emails, etc. It’s fiction but reminded me of writing an episode- piecing together the information from a mix of different sources. The premise is that 20 years previously a man was found dead, no one was charged with his murder, and 2 decades on his step son asks a true crime series to reevaluate the information and evidence. I’d recommend you read this in a physical format rather than on a kindle, I had it on both and struggled a little to follow it on my kindle.



Web of Lies – Sally Rigby

So last year I found a new author and a new detective series to read. These are the novels featuring Detective Sebastian Clifford & Detective Constable Bird, this is such a classic theme where you have two characters who shouldn’t work well together but do. I have really enjoyed the stories and twists and turns of these novels. Sally Rigby has written a number of murder investigation books so I am excited to keep reading her.

A Game of Lies – Clare Mackintosh

I have been a huge fan of Clare’s for years, and in 2023 I was super excited to get to one of her talks at my local indie book shop, where I got a load of my books of hers signed. This is the 2nd in her series featuring DC Ffion Morgan, and it is a twisty-turny thriller based in her fictional Welsh mountain village. I’d recommend you read The Last Party first, as whilst they are independent novels you would get more of an idea of the characters this way. I also read her book Hostage in 2023 I think! perhaps 2022) and this was incredible too.



Only the Truth – Adam Croft

I love Adam Croft. He is a great author and his novels are gripping and full of shocking twists. This was particularly interesting, you meet the main character Dan who is shocked to find his wife dead in his hotel bathroom when on a solo business trip. You follow him as he panics and goes on the run.



This is by no means an exhaustive list, in fact I'm sure I'll hit publish and realise I've missed something amazing. Happy reading!


Bethan x

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