Welcome to What I’ve Been Reading Lately, a feature where I’ll be giving short reviews of what I’m currently reading:
Those People Next Door by Kia Abdullah
Salma Khatun is hopeful about Blenheim, the safe suburban development into which she, her husband, and their son have just moved. The Bangladeshi family are in desperate need of a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like just the place.
Soon after they move in, Salma spots her white neighbor, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner her son put in the front garden. Choosing not to confront Tom, Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window instead. But the next morning, she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint.
This time she does confront Tom, and the battle lines between the two families are drawn. As racial and social tensions escalate and the stakes rise, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming…
And someone is going to get hurt. (Credit: HarperCollins UK)
This is my first Kia Abdullah book and a domestic thriller in a while and I’m loving this one so far! It’s already a tense story that Abdullah has created and I am enjoying how I am being drawn into it.
Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati
As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…
You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own. Because this was not the first offence against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot.
But when your husband returns in triumph, you become a woman with a choice.
Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands in the game of retribution. For you understood something long ago that the others never did.
If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself. (Credit: Sourcebooks Landmark)
I did not know much about Clytemnestra when I was first taught Greek Mythology but I wish I had these retellings because they just put a whole different perspective on these myths and Casati’s beautiful storytelling is just the ticket.
Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World by Emma Gannon
Disconnected is a little book about reclaiming our humanity in our increasingly digitized, monetized world. Our focus on community and real connection has been sent off-course, and we’re becoming more aware of how the algorithm manipulates us and how our data has made us a product to be sold. So, where do we go from here, and how can we get back on track? Disconnected examines these topics and offers tangible tips and advice for those of us who might feel a little lost and are looking to find our real-life selves again. (Credit: Andrews McMeel Publishing)
Red Queen by Juan Gómez-Jurado
Antonia Scott–the daughter of a British diplomat and a Spanish mother–has a gifted forensic mind, whose ability to reconstruct crimes and solve baffling murders is legendary. But after a personal trauma, she’s refused to continue her work or even leave her apartment.
Jon Gutierrez, a police officer in Bilbao–disgraced, suspended, and about to face criminal charges–is offered a chance to salvage his career by a secretive organization that works in the shadows to direct criminal investigations of a highly sensitive nature. All he has to do is succeed where many others have failed: Convince a recalcitrant Antonia to come out of her self-imposed retirement, protecting her and helping her investigate a new, terrifying case.
The case is a macabre, ritualistic murder–a teen-aged boy from a wealthy family whose body was found without a drop of blood left in it. But the murder is just the start. A high-ranking executive and daughter of one of the richest men in Spain is kidnapped, a crime which is tied to the previous murder. Behind them both is a hidden mastermind with even more sinister plans. And the only person with a chance to see the connections, solve the crimes and successfully match wits with the killer before tragedy strikes again…is Antonia Scott. (Credit: Minotaur Books)
Such a fast-paced and action packed thriller with a female character that I find similarities with Sherlock Holmes! I feel like I’m reading a movie and that is not necessarily a bad thing!
What I Plan to Read Next:
The Khan by Saima Mir
US Release Date: August 1
Successful London lawyer Jia Khan is a long way from the grubby Northern streets she knew as a child, where her father, Akbar Khan, led the Pakistani community and ran the local organized crime syndicate. Often his Jirga rule – the old way – was violent and bloody, but it was always justice of a kind.
Now, with her father murdered, Jia must return to take his place. The police have always relied on the Khan to maintain the fragile order of the streets. But a bloody power struggle has broken out among warring communities and nobody is safe.
Justice needs to be restored, and Jia is about to discover that justice always comes at a cost. (Credit: Agora Books)
Bad Kids by Zijin Chen
Expected Publication Date: June 6
THE PERFECT CRIME DOESN’T EXIST…One beautiful morning, Zhang Dongsheng pushes his wealthy in-laws off a remote mountain.
It’s the perfect crime. Or so he thinks.
For Zhang did not expect that 3 kids would catch him in the act while they’re working on a photography project. When an opportunity for blackmail presents itself the trio start down a dark path that will lead to the unravelling of all their lives.
This dark and grizzly story, where no one is innocent, is perfect for fans of Keigo Higashino and Un-Su Kim. (Credit: Pushkin Vertigo)
Gay Club by Simon James Green
Expected Publication Date: June 6
Barney’s a shoo-in for his school’s LGBTQ+ Society President at the club’s next election. But when the vote is opened up to the entire student body, the whole school starts paying attention. How low will the candidates go to win? Buckle up for some serious shade, scandals and sleazy shenanigans. It isn’t long before it’s National Coming Out Day – for everyone’s secrets!
But when the group faces an unexpected threat – and a big opportunity – can the club members put politics aside and stand united? (Credit: Scholastic Press)
Where The Light Goes by Sara Barnard
To the world, Lizzie Beck is a superstar: famous, talented and beloved.
To Emmy, she is simply Beth: her brilliant older sister, her idol.
But then Beth takes her own life, and all the light in the world disappears.
Now Emmy is lost. Amidst the media storm and overwhelming public grief, she must fight to save her own memories of her sister – and find out who she is without her. (Credit: Walker Books UK)
Board to Death: A Board Game Shop Mystery by CJ Connor
Expected Publication Date: August 22
Back in his hometown of Sugar House running his family’s board game shop and cafe, Ben Rosencrantz just can’t seem to get his life to pass go, much less collect $200. Once he was a happily married English professor in Seattle. Now he’s a divorced caregiver, looking after his ill father and a chihuahua named Beans while still figuring out the rules of retail management. At least the town has become more LGBTQ+ friendly than when Ben was a teenager–and that flower shop owner Ezra McCaslin enjoys flirting with him.
But despite his usual clientele of gamers, Ben is barely earning enough to keep the store running and stay on top of his father’s medical bills. Then a local toy and game collector named Clive offers him a winning strategy–to purchase a turn-of-the-twentieth-century edition of The Landlord’s Game, the realty and taxation game that inspired Monopoly, at a tenth of the rare edition’s true value. Suspicious of Clive’s shady, low-priced deal, Ben turns the offer down.
Then Clive turns up dead in the dumpster behind Ben’s shop and a backpack full of $100 bills appears on his doorstep. Now Ben is the #1 suspect in Clive’s death, and unless he and Ezra can prove his innocence and find the real killer, he’ll go to jail for murder–and no amount of double dice rolls will set him free . . . (Credit: Kensington Cozies)