The 2018 Quick Reads Launch by The Reading Agency

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The 2018 Quick Reads Launch by The Reading Agency

Thursday 1st February 2018.

 It is a great honour to have been asked by Annabelle Wright to be a part of the promotion to launch the 2018 Quick Reads by The Reading Agency with the Official Launch Day being today 1st February.

Reading has been my life and at one point even saved my own life when I hit the lowest point of my life some years ago. Evidence shows that reading is a vital part of our mental and physical wellbeing. Reading can take us to many places and even walk in other people’s shoes.

In recent years I have made a point of handing out books to homeless people who sadly do not get access to books. Also handing out books to patients in hospitals and also to those living in sheltered accommodation. In recent years it has been a real privilege to go into some schools to help some children with reading difficulties.

With the ever present threat to our much loved local libraries, reading and access to books is now more important than ever before. By sharing my passion and also my love of books and reading can help spread the word of just how important reading is in today’s world.

You can follow Quick Reads on Twitter using the Hashtag #QuickReads 


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The Six Titles that make up the 2018 Quick Reads by The Reading Agency released today. Each copy will cost £1.00 and will consist of around 100 pages.

Cut Off by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown): A punchy, taut urban thriller about that moment we all fear: losing our phone! For Louise, losing hers in a local café takes a sinister turn. Billingham has sold five million copies of his novels and has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Award for Crime Novel of the Year.

 The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton (HarperCollins): As the sun sits high in the sky over Cornwall, and the sea breeze brings a welcome relief to the residents of the seaside village of Trevay, a stranger arrives in need of a safe haven. The former presenter of This Morning, Britton is now a Sunday Times bestselling author and this story is full of her usual warmth and wit.

 Clean Break by Tammy Cohen (Transworld): A dark and twisty portrait of a marriage coming to its bitter end, from the mistress of domestic noir. Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late? Cohen’s acclaimed novels include The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives and Someone Else’s Wedding.

Inspector Chopra and the Million-Dollar Motor Car by Vaseem Khan (Hodder & Stoughton): An enchanting Baby Ganesh Agency novella from the bestselling Khan set in the bustling back-streets of Mumbai. Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick have two days to solve the mystery of a missing – and very costly – car for its gangster owner, or there’ll be a heavy price to pay.

The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson (Arrow): A gripping short read featuring a wedding, family drama, and old secrets. Tessa is thrilled when her daughter arrives in Ghana to get married but memories of the last time she was there haunt her; can she lay the ghosts of the past to rest or will they come back to haunt her daughter’s future? Koomson is the bestselling author of 12 novels including The Ice-Cream Girls, My Best Friends’ Girl and most recently The Friend.

Six Foot Six by Kit de Waal (Viking): A charming novella from Costa First Novel Award shortlisted author de Waal about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places. Everything changes for Timothy, a 21-year-old with learning difficulties, when local builder Charlie calls on him for help. De Waal worked in criminal and family law and was a magistrate for many years before her international bestseller, My Name is Leon, was published.

Free to enter Prize Draw.

I am delighted to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of Cut Off by Mark Billingham and also Six Foot Six by Kit De Waal just head to my Twitter page at @thelastword1962 and Follow and also RT the prize draw message to stand a chance of winning both copies. Very sorry but this is a UK prize draw only. Draw will close at 7pm Friday 2nd February. Prize will be sent via Sent via Annabelle Wright at ed Public Relations.


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Cut Off is by the number one bestselling crime writer Mark Billingham

 It’s the moment we all fear: losing our phone. Leaving us cut off from family and friends. But for Louise, losing hers in a local café takes her somewhere much darker.

After many hours of panic, Louise is relieved when someone gets in touch offering to return the phone. From then on she is impatient to get back to normal life.

But when they meet on the beach, Louise realises you should be careful what you wish for….

112 Pages

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Six Foot Six by award winning author Kit De Waal and author of My Name is Leon

It’s an exciting day for Timothy Flowers. It’s the third of November, and its Friday. And it’s his twenty-first birthday. When Timothy walks to his usual street corner to see his favourite special bus, he meets Charlie. Charlie is a builder who is desperate for Timothy’s help because Timothy is very tall, six foot six inches. Timothy has never had a job before – or no work that he’s kept for more than a day. But when Timothy and Charlie have to collect money from a local thug, things don’t exactly go according to plan….

Over the course of one day, Timothy’s life will change forever.

73 Pages.

My thanks to Annabelle Wright for the invitation to help with the launch of the 2018 Quick Reads titles through The Reading Agency.

 The 2018 Quick Reads titles are launched by The Reading Agency and are published on 1st February 2018 and are available to through W.H. Smith and many local book shops.

The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday



The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday


What is the attraction of a Christmas crime novel that we all seem to enjoy reading? Those of us who enjoy a cracking crime read look forward to the festive period when we can relax with a killer of a crime novel. But Susi Holliday has taken this to a new level with a crime novel based around something a lot of homes will have on display at this time of year the traditional advent calendar. When I read the blurb for the storyline my thought was ‘why has no-one come up with this before’ and The Deaths of December really is the perfect Christmas crime read.



There has been a serial killer on the loose for twenty years and this killer has fallen under the radar. His methods do not follow a pattern which makes it difficult for this killer to be caught and at the same time this killer is clever with it. It is fast approaching Christmas and at the local police station a mysterious gift has arrived. At first no-one suspects and think it is a harmless gift. It is an advent calendar. But closer inspection suddenly gets everyone’s attention. Behind every window lies a shocking discovery. No festive cheer here these are photos of murder scenes and they are real taken at the time of the murder. So who is behind sending the advent calendar and what is their motive. More urgently is who are the victims. Some of the windows on the calendar have been left blank. This is now a real concern as this could mean the killer is not finished and wants to fully complete his own macabre advent calendar of murders.

We are now introduced to an exciting new detective partnership in DS Eddie Carmine and DC Becky Green to race against the clock before another window is filled with another murder. These two detectives clearly have a real chemistry and really do appeal to the reader. There are a number of intriguing characters that you are introduced to ‘The Photographer’ and ‘Carly’ so the story is more or less told by the leading characters. There is something about Carly that when you read this book you will find out for yourselves. Well done to Susi Holliday for creating such great characters and how she teases us with information through the book.

The is a totally compelling and gripping read. There are times when the action becomes rather tense and you just know the clock is ticking down and just when you think they are getting close the killer is getting closer. This is the perfect Christmas fireside read. Switch on the tree lights turn the phone off and get yourself a drink and settle down and enjoy this festive crime thriller. But lock the door! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Merry Christmas!

384 Pages.

The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday is published by Mulholland Books and was published on 16th November 2017 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.