Book Reviews – June 2022

Some books were gifted in return for a review (marked with *) | All opinions are my own | Post contains affiliate links

Well, this has been the month for audiobooks – as you will soon see! I love an audiobook and listen while I am getting ready, driving or cleaning – basically any chance I get when I can’t hold a physical book in my hand to read!

This month I have a good selection of thrillers and true crime which as you know – are pretty much my two favourite genres, plus an autobiography from one of my favourite comedians! What is your favourite genre? Let me know in the comments below and I hope you enjoy these reviews.

The Audacity (Audiobook)

by Katherine Ryan

The Blurb

‘A fearless origin story’ Caitlin Moran
‘Outrageously brilliant! I’m buying this for all my friends’ Laura Whitmore


‘I’ve come to accept that being audacious is a gift I can’t escape.’

People ‘know’ my on-stage comedy persona or my scripted ballsy characters and wrongly assume that at home, I must stomp around all day in designer dresses eviscerating those who dare to cross my path and denouncing the existence of men in general. But mostly, I’m just sat eating pickles and being nice to some dogs.

Whatever strangers think of me is fine with me. How audacious is that? I can always take a joke, I don’t waste time worrying about things I can’t control, and I have zero anxiety. I embrace the reality that you just can’t please everyone, so you might as well put yourself out there and have a laugh. As my mother always said, ‘Katherine, if we all liked the same thing, we’d all be married to your father’.

I’m often asked how I developed my lurid level of courage and assurance and for tips on how others can match. The Audacity is my chance to share my blueprint for just that. You will learn:

How to Become The Most Popular Girl in School
How to Waste All Your Money on Designer Dogs
How to Attract Toxic Men… AND Keep Them Interested!

And so much more… Plus, secrets! Secrets are my favourite things to be told and I figured I’d better tell a few juicy ones myself. Why not? No matter what I do, there will always be something about me that reads as simply, outrageously audacious. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What I Thought

I love Katherine Ryan so was excited to listen tot his! I love it when an author reads their own book, as they know the story the best and how it happens, how things were said etc. and that is definitely a big positive for this one!

The book is candid, honest and obviously very funny! I love the tales about her life, growing up, how she became a comedian and about her own family. The chapters where she talks about losing her babies nearly bought me to tears and it was nice to have an update about that area of her life, which was added before the book came out.

I am a huge fan of The Duchess – her series on Netflix which I also highly recommend – and while she says people expect her to be the same as her character in that and are disappointed, I saw some quite big similarities! I loved listening to this and her message about being audacious, and why we all maybe should be a little more!

Where To Buy

Buy in my Amazon shop

The Couple At No.9 (Audiobook)

by Claire Douglas

The Blurb

When Saffron Cutler and boyfriend Tom move into 9 Skelton Place, they didn’t expect to find this.

Two bodies, buried under the patio over thirty years ago.

When the police launch a murder investigation, they ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – Saffy’s grandmother, Rose, whose Alzheimer’s clouds her memory.

But it is clear she remembers something . . .

What happened thirty years ago?
What part did her grandmother play?
And is Saffy now in danger? . . .

What I Thought

While a little confusing at times, this ended up being a great thriller which kept me on the edge of my seat.

I haven’t come across this author before but really enjoyed the story and will look out for more from her in future. I could see where some of her inspiration for this book came – the case of Mary Bell and a recent Netflix documentary mini-series about an infertility clinic popped into mind while reading. Once able to get grips with the many characters and how they fit together, I found I really liked some of them and enjoyed reading their stories, the author doing a good job of making them all individual and interesting in their own ways.

This book is choc full of twists and turns and really keeps your interest piqued. Perfect for any thriller fans!

Where To Buy

Buy from my Amazon shop

Caught (Audiobook)

by Harlan Coben

The Blurb

Haley McWaid never gave her parents a moment’s worry. Until one morning her mother wakes to find that her seventeen-year-old daughter didn’t come home the night before.

The community is stunned by her loss. Three months pass without a word and everyone assumes the worst.

Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission: to identify and bring down sexual predators. Her latest target is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens.

But Wendy soon realises she can’t trust her own instincts – or the motives of the people around her – and that this story is more twisted than she could have imagined…

What I Thought

After watching some of the Netflix series based on Harlan Coben’s books (I recommend Safe, Stay Close and The Stranger for a watch too), I decided to give one of his books a go.

The narrator is an important part of an audiobook and I feel that that is what let this book down. It wasn’t so bad I had to stop listening (which I have had to with a couple of others before) but I just felt the voice wasn’t right for the story.

However, the book was great and the storyline kept me gripped until the end. It is easy to see why his books are being picked up to be turned into mini-series – they have great characters, interesting plots and plenty of twists and turns.

If I was going to read this again I would definitely pick up the physical book and I will listen to more of his books that haven’t yet been turned into series, as long as they have a different narrator!

Where To Buy

Buy from my Amazon shop

True Crime Stories You Won’t Believe*

A Cavalcade of Chaotic Justice

by Romeo Vitelli

The Blurb

Here is a collection of true crime stories from different countries and time periods that defy simple description. They include:

* The strange tale of a psychotic geisha who severed her lover’s genitals to carry as a token of her love and who inspired a cult following

* How a small-town murderer helped inspire the movie Psycho and left his hometown with a reputation they never lived down

* A father who sacrificed his daughter to prove his faith in God and his followers who fully expected her to be raised on the third day (she wasn’t)

* A Sorbonne graduate student who killed and cannibalized the woman he loved and went on to become a bizarre media celebrity

* A 19th century serial killer who earned the title of “the worst women in the world” by killing a series of husbands for profit

* The assassination attempt on John F. Kennedy you never heard about but which very nearly succeeded.

* George Stinney, the fourteen-year-old child who died in the electric chair for a crime he didn’t commit.

* Joseph Vacher, the “French Ripper” whose crimes shocked France but tried to blame it all on the rabid dog that bit him.

* How mob boss Vincent Gigante earned himself the nickname of “the Oddfather”

* Leonarda Cianciulli, the Corregio “Soapmaker” who killed three women as a sacrifice to protect her own children.

These stories, and more, are all featured here making this book a must for any connoisseur of true crime and bizarre justice.

What I Thought

As you may know, I am a huge fan of true crime and this book did not disappoint! Full of interesting cases, some of which I had come across before and some I hadn’t, the author did a good job of explaining the cases in a simple, but interesting way.

Most of the stories contained are from the 18 and early 1900’s and I am looking forward to future books in this series and possibly some more modern crimes. True crime fans will definitely enjoy and if you want to dip your toe in, this is a great book to do so as the cases are covered in just enough detail, but aren’t overly gory or grisly.

Where To Buy

Buy from my Amazon shop

I Found You (Audiobook)

by Lisa Jewell

The Blurb

Everyone has secrets. What if you can’t remember yours?

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’

Lily has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night, she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one.

Alice finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement, she invites him into her home.

But who is he, and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?

What I Thought

I have read previous books by Lisa Jewell and really enjoyed them, and this one was no different. Both the storyline and narrator were great and kept me hooked on listening.

While not a complete thriller, there is an undercurrent of uneasiness as you listen/read to this one, which keeps you hooked. I really liked the characters, particularly the main character, Alice, who seemed down to earth and relatable. Each chapter was told from the viewpoint of a different character, in different times, which helped the story and the history come together nicely. Again, there were plenty of twists and turns which kept me guessing until the end.

Another gem from Lisa Jewell, I will definitely keep reading her books in the future!

Where To Buy

Buy in my Amazon shop

I hope you have enjoyed the offerings this month and will check some of them out! If you want to try audiobooks, I suggest giving Audible a try. For a monthly fee, you receive one book and the monthly fee is often much less costly than buying an audiobook itself. Let me know were you listen to audiobooks in the comments – I would love to hear some weird and wonderful places! Take care and keep safe,

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