BEST OF 3: My Orenda Christmas, Year 2

Want to see my Orenda Christmas Year 1? Then CLICK HERE


Long term readers of this blog know I started a tradition last year … My Orenda Books Christmas. It’s very simple – during the break, I try and read as many books by my favourite publisher as possible! (Now, of course I am biased – Orenda is *my* publisher for The Other Twin, after all – but it’s worth noting I went after Orenda BECAUSE I was such a fan in the first place!).

On the surface, I thought I didn’t do quite as well as last year … I only managed 3 (I did 6 last year) … But then I checked my Goodreads 2017 and realised 2 of them weren’t actually read in 2016! Shock! So in real terms, I’m only down 25% this year, which makes me feel a bit better – especially as I smashed all my reading pledge targets for this year, plus I read and reviewed 10 more books than 2016. For more details on all this, CLICK HERE.

But since Best of 3 reading recommendations is a LONG TERM tradition of the blog, I thought I’d take a look at the 3 Orenda titles I devoured during Christmas break. All got FIVE STARS from me, though for different reasons. Ready? Let’s go …

1) Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb

First on the list, plus it’s my stop today as part of the Deep Blue Trouble blog tour. I really enjoyed Deep Down Dead, but I think this one in the Lori Anderson series is EVEN BETTER. Following the fates of Lori Anderson, a female bounty hunter who is also a single Mom to Dakota, 9, Lori has to get her mentor and lover (and Dakota’s dad) JT out of jail by doing a dodgy job across the Mexico border for equally dodgy FBI agent Alex Monroe. The prose is lean, the characterisation layered, the tension and mystery taut and suspenseful as hell. You gotta read this!!! Check out my review on Goodreads, HERE.

2) Reconciliation For The Dead by Paul Hardisty

I normally don’t read thrillers set in war, the 80s OR Africa – so I knew I would have to gird myself to read Reconciliation For The Dead, which is all three! True to form, this is a BRUTAL story that spares NOTHING … The true horrors of war are laid out, but not in a sensational or nasty way, more matter of fact; it’s really authentic, you can tell Hardisty is an ex-soldier himself. There were times I wanted to stop reading, but I knew I couldn’t: I had to know how the story played out. Hardisty’s prose is literary and brought to mind Terry Hayes’ I Am Pilgrim, especially how Straker is essentially reminiscing what happened in his youth and is now looking back on his own actions (some would say crimes). That sense of ‘looking back’, plus the transcripts of Straker’s testimony in court, bring a sense of pathos to the story which is heart-breaking. Can’t stop thinking about this one. Read my Goodreads review, HERE.

3) Sealskin by Su Bristow

I read A LOT of crime fiction, so I like to read something outside the genre from time to time as ‘a palate cleanser’. Sealskin was the perfect choice: a haunting, lyrical retelling of the Selkie myth, Bristow adds her own take to it that feels truthful and really adds something. Donald’s terrible actions when he meets Mhairi are not glossed over: he must confront his own guilt and learn to  deal with it by becoming a better man. And that ending! Bristow really nails it. Read my Goodreads review, HERE.

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