Friday Finds | 20th April

Friday Finds (1)

So it’s been a very long time since I’ve done one of these posts! Sorry about that!

Sometimes, leaving these posts for close to a month is fine because recently I’ve only been adding 2 or 3 books to my TBR shelf each month, however, since getting more involved in the community and reviews (due to my Favourite Reviews of the Week posts) I’ve managed to accumulate a whopping 10 new books! Oops!

So I’ll stop rambling and get on with the post, because it’s going to be a long one.


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Manson by Jeff Gunn

Synopsis: Based on new interviews with previously undiscovered relatives and filled with revelations and unpublished photographs, this is the most authoritative account of the life of Charles Manson.

The most authoritative account ever written of how an ordinary juvenile delinquent named Charles Manson became the notorious murderer whose crimes still shock and horrify us today.

More than forty years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson Family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person on the property where the murders occurred was spared.

Manson puts the killer in the context of his times, the turbulent late sixties, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege. Guinn shows us how Manson created and refined his message to fit the times, persuading confused young women (and a few men) that he had the solutions to their problems. At the same time he used them to pursue his long-standing musical ambitions, relocating to Los Angeles in search of a recording contract. His frustrated ambitions, combined with his bizarre race-war obsession, would have lethal consequences as he convinced his followers to commit heinous murders on successive nights.

In addition to stunning revelations about Charles Manson, the book contains family photographs never before published.

~

Why don’t we start off with the book with the longest synopsis! This is a really interesting sounding novel all about Charles Manson to further fuel my not-so-secret obsession with serial killers and cults!


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A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

Synopsis: College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s “normal” existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .

~

Ooh, well we’re competing here for the longest synopsis. This is a novel I added because of Chelsea’s review. I’ve never read a Barclay novel before, but her review made a great case as to why I should pick one up. This book sounds deliciously creepy!


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The Pharmacist’s Wife by Vanessa Tait

Synopsis: Love. Desire. Vengeance. A deadly alchemy.

When Rebecca Palmer’s new husband opens a pharmacy in Victorian Edinburgh, she expects to live the life of a well-heeled gentlewoman. But her ideal turns to ashes when she discovers her husband is not what he seems. As Rebecca struggles to maintain her dignity in the face of his infidelity and strange sexual desires, Alexander tries to pacify her so-called hysteria with a magical new chemical creation. A wonder-drug he calls heroin.

Rebecca’s journey into addiction takes her further into her past, and her first, lost love, while Alexander looks on, curiously observing his wife’s descent. Meanwhile, Alexander’s desire to profit from his invention leads him down a dangerous path that blurs science, passion, and death. He soon discovers that even the most promising experiments can have unforeseen and deadly consequences…

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This is another bookish find thanks to a great review by What Cathy Read Next! I had avoided adding this book on my TBR because I wasn’t really sure whether it was going to be a good historical novel or not, but Cathy’s review assured me it was worth putting on my list!


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Out of Thin Air by Anthony Adeane

Synopsis: Every Icelander knows about the Gudmundur and Geirfinnur disappearances.

1974. In two separate incidents, two men vanished into thin air. Then, out of it, came six murder confessions and six convictions. Yet, in the decades that followed, these too evaporated.

Anthony Adeane explores the stranger-than-fiction story that has unravelled in Iceland across forty-five years. He provides the first full account of the case, paints a fascinating picture of the country, and places each development in the contexts that shaped them: from the Cod Wars to the Cold War, the 2008 economic crash and beyond.

Using unprecedented access, and exploring his own personal obsession with the case, he exposes the mistakes that were made, the lives that were ruined, the questions that remain unanswered, and the headlines that continue to be printed.

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OK, so I realise now that most of these books are ones I found through people’s reviews! This one came from a review on What’s Nonfiction’s blog, her review isn’t totally glowing, the book does seem to have t’s problems, but I’m always a sucker for a true crime novel.


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Summer of Night by Dan Simmons

Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic middle-childhood. But amid the sundrenched cornfields their loyalty will be pitilessly tested. When a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the townsfolk know it marks the end of their carefree days. From the depths of the Old Central School, a hulking fortress tinged with the mahogany scent of coffins, an invisible evil is rising. Strange and horrifying events begin to overtake everyday life, spreading terror through the once idyllic town. Determined to exorcize this ancient plague, Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen, and Kevin must wage a war of blood—against an arcane abomination who owns the night…

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So I’m not sure if there was a specific reason I added this novel to my TBR, and if there was, I’ve totally forgotten it! But I’ve got other novels from this author on my TBR that’s I’m eager to read and I love have plenty of horror options on my shelves.


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Our House by Louise Candlish

Synopsis: On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue.
Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it.

For better, for worse.

When Fi arrives home to find a removals van outside her house, she is completely blind-sided. Trinity Avenue has been her family’s home for years. Where are all her belongings? How could this have happened? Desperately calling her ex-husband, Bram, who owns the house with her, Fi discovers he has disappeared.

For richer, for poorer.

The more Fi uncovers, the more she realises their lives have been turned upside by a nightmare of their own making. A devastating crime has been committed, but who exactly is the guilty party? What has Bram hidden from her – and what has she hidden from him?

Till death us do part.

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So I already had a bit of interest in this novel ever since seeing it on Netgalley but I didn’t actually add it onto my list until I read Linda’s Book Bag’s review for it. Then I saw the hardback in Tesco for £5 and I just had to buy it because I love the cover sooo much!


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One Way by S. J. Morden

Synopsis: It’s the dawn of a new era – and we’re ready to colonize Mars. But the company that’s been contracted to construct a new Mars base, has made promises they can’t fulfill and is desperate enough to cut corners. The first thing to go is the automation . . . the next thing they’ll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they’ll send to Mars, when there aren’t supposed to be any at all.

Frank – father, architect, murderer – is recruited for the mission to Mars with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. But as his crew sets to work on the red wasteland of Mars, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspect grows shorter, it’s up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it’s too late.

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I’ve seen a few reviews for this on the blog, but it was specifically For Winter’s Nights review that got me to add it to my TBR. A murder mystery in space? Wtf!!!, sounds amazing.


The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit's Most Notorious Serial Killer

The Kill Jar by J. Reuben Appelman

Synopsis: Four children were abducted and murdered outside of Detroit during the winters of 1976 and 1977, their bodies eventually dumped in snow banks around the city. J. Reuben Appelman was six-years-old at the time the murders began and had evaded an abduction attempt during that same period, fueling a lifelong obsession with what became known as the Oakland County Child Killings.

Autopsies showed the victims to have been fed while in captivity, reportedly held with care. And yet, with equal care, their bodies had allegedly been groomed post-mortem, scrubbed-free of evidence that might link to a killer. There were few credible leads, and equally few credible suspects. That’s what the cops had passed down to the press, and that’s what the city of Detroit, and J. Reuben Appelman, had come to believe.

When the abductions mysteriously stopped, a task force operating on one of the largest manhunt budgets in history shut down without an arrest. Although no more murders occurred, Detroit and its environs remained haunted. The killer had, presumably, not been caught.

Eerily overlaid upon the author’s own decades-old history with violence, The Kill Jar tells the gripping story of J. Reuben Appelman’s ten-year investigation into buried leads, apparent police cover-ups of evidence, con-men, child pornography rings, and high-level corruption saturating Detroit’s most notorious serial killer case.

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Another killer (he-he) synopsis. I loooove true crime so much so I love finding new book in the genre! This sounds terrifying. I’ve never heard of this story before so it will be interesting to read about. Thanks for the recommendation Netgalley!


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The Turnaround by George Pelecanos

Synopsis: On a hot summer afternoon in 1972, three teenagers drove into an unfamiliar neighborhood and six lives were altered forever.

Thirty five years later, one survivor of that day reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. But another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.

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Thanks to Sharon’s Writers Tidbits for introducing me to this novel. It sounds really interesting and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it so I’d like to see how I get on with it.


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With You Always by Rena Olsen

Synopsis: In the wake of a painful breakup and struggling to prove herself at work, Julia feels adrift. When Bryce blows into her life, he seems like the perfect anchor. Handsome, charming, secure, and confident, Bryce brings out the best in Julia, sweeping her off her feet with attention and affection while grounding her with his certainty and faith. Together they embark on a path guided by the principles of his family and their church, each step a paving stone leading to happily ever after.

But this is no fairytale.

Step by step, one small concession leading to another, Julia is slowly isolated from her job, her friends, and her family, until she comes to find that her dream come true is a cage. Then one day everything changes . . . and Julia is faced with no choice but to find a way out.

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Firstly, let’s talk about the cover of this one! I luuuurv it!
Secondly, I’m so excited to see a new novel from Rena Olsen – The Girl Before came out in 2015 and it was amazing, I’ve been craving more of her writing ever since!


So there we have it! Those are the 10 books I’ve added to my TBR since last doing this post. If you’re still here reading, a big thanks to you for sticking with me!

What books have you discovered recently? And have you read any of

9 thoughts on “Friday Finds | 20th April

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