Author: louisesr

Book Tour/Review – Their Final Resting Place by BR Spangler

Posted February 22, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Book Tour/Review - Their Final Resting Place by BR Spangler

Book Tour/Review – Their Final Resting Place by BR SpanglerTheir Resting Place by BR Spangler
Series: Detective Casey White #8
Published by Bookouture on 21 Feb 2023
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 257
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


Out in the field the tall stalks sway in the breeze, hiding a girl lying on the ground as if asleep. But she doesn’t stir when rain falls from the gray sky and lands on her soft cheeks. Her beautiful dark eyes stare up, unseeing, as her blood mingles with the rich brown earth.

When a member of Detective Casey White’s team turns up at her door begging for help, Casey races to find the broken body of twenty-year-old Charlie Robson abandoned in a sunflower field. Yellow petals and broken stalks scatter the ground—and Casey immediately recognizes the red markings all over Charlie’s body as arrow wounds. Heartbroken, Casey vows to find the monster who would hunt Charlie down like this.

Interviewing Charlie’s distraught mother, Casey’s blood turns to ice when she learns about a tightknit group of Charlie’s best friends who once called themselves The Sunflower Girls. They met in archery club and have drifted apart since high school. Casey knows the killer is sending a message with arrows… could the other girls be next?

But as Casey instructs her colleagues to track down the five remaining friends, another girl’s body is found, shot with arrows in her own home. Clutched in her hand is a broken sunflower petal. Turning the house upside down Casey finds a bone-chilling, one-word note: Guilty.

Someone is picking off The Sunflower Girls one by one. But why? Interviewing the four remaining girls, Casey is certain they are hiding a dark secret that stretches back to their school days. Trusting no-one, Casey will have to risk everything to track down a deadly killer… but with her own team keeping secrets too, could the real danger be much closer to home?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I swore I wasn’t going to read another book in this series until I’d gone back to the beginning and read the rest of the series. But when Bookouture asked if I wanted to be on the tour for his new novel I just couldn’t say no.

Bodies found in sunflower fields, shot with arrows, no evidence left behind. Who l would want to kill off a group of friends who haven’t seen each other for years, and why?

I loved this book just as much as the previous one in the series and the mix of Casey’s personal life alongside the investigation cemented why I need to go back to the start and read all of these from the very beginning, even though I know where the relationships are now and I’m loving watching them grow, I want to read more details of how they got to this point.

There were so many clues and blind spots in this book, hinting to who the killer may be, I definitely didn’t have it all figured out but it had me captivated from beginning to end.


About BR Spangler

B.R. Spangler is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Mysteries and Crime Thrillers.

A resident of Virginia with a wonderful family, including five cats, two birds and a lizard. During the day, the hours are filled with engineering work. Off hours, time is spent writing, editing, and thinking up the next great story.

With too many stories to write, books are split across pen names, writing crime thrillers, science fiction, horrors, paranormal and contemporary fiction.


John Marrs books reading order

Posted February 20, 2023 by louisesr in Book List / 0 Comments

Click on the book name to be taken to the Amazon UK page (his psychological thrillers are available on Kindle Unlimited at the time of writing this). Where I have reviewed I will also link to my review. Where I haven’t reviewed, it’s on my TBR


Although standalone books, they are better to be read in this order due to the occasional “Easter Egg”

When You Disappeared

The Vacation

The Good Samaritan

Her Last Move

What Lies Between Us

Keep It In The Family


All standalone but set within the same world with occasional references and spoilers between books if not read in the following order

The One

The Passengers

The Minders

The Marriage Act


Review: Silent Little Angels by Jennifer Chase

Posted February 17, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Silent Little Angels by Jennifer ChaseSilent Little Angels by Jennifer Chase
Series: Detective Katie Scott #9
Published by Bookouture on April 19, 2022
Genres: suspense
Pages: 378
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


The water ripples as the girl's body escapes the reeds and floats silently upwards. Her beautiful face-blue eyes frozen open, skin as white as snow-breaks the surface. But it's too late, this innocent soul has taken her final breath...

When camp counselor Carolyn Sable's body is found floating in a lake beside Eagle Ridge Summer Camp, Detective Katie Scott must dig deep to stay focused. As a child, Katie spent many happy weeks at that camp toasting marshmallows on the fire with her best friend Jenny... until the day Jenny disappeared. The loss will always haunt Katie, but Carolyn's inconsolable family need answers.

Searching the area, the devastating discovery of two more bodies sends the case into a tailspin. Suddenly on the hunt for a serial killer, Katie's blood turns to ice when she finds newspaper clippings about her own past cases planted near one of the bodies. Was this twisted killer banking on Katie taking the lead? And why?

Carolyn was adored by children and staff at the camp, so Katie thinks her sudden resignation is key to cracking the case. Uncovering a tragic accident involving a group of children the weeks before Carolyn left, Katie knows she's getting close.

But when the carefully laid trap Katie sets to catch Carolyn's killer backfires, Katie finds herself in unthinkable danger and unable to even trust her own team. Can she stay alive long enough to crack the toughest case of her career, and how many more innocent lives will be lost before she does?

When I chose this book I didn’t realise that it was part of a series (have you noticed I seem to say that a lot, I really should pay more attention). I saw the cover, thought it looked nice and then read the synopsis, I don’t think that I missed out on anything because I’d not read the earlier books in the series, but I am going to go back and start this series from the beginning.

I liked Katie as a detective, she’s a military vet which is mentioned a number of times but I didn’t think that her character really showed this off (other than in one incident towards the end of the book), if she had been a male character I felt that this would have been made more evident throughout the book rather than her constantly having to point it out to the male characters who were trying to mollycoddle her (is that a universal term?)

I did also like McGaven and thought they had a great relationship, although it was s bit weird that sometimes she seemed to be giving him orders and at others he seemed to be ordering Katie around.
I’d have liked Cisco to have featured a bit more prominently. He’s a great addition to the team.

I had my suspicions about a lot of characters throughout the book, and hadn’t guessed who the bad guy was (although I was certain who it wasn’t) and some of my suspicions did prove to be correct.

All in all a solid read and I’m excited to read the rest of the series


About Jennifer Chase

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning author and consulting criminologist. She has authored eight crime fiction novels, including the multiple award-winning Emily Stone thriller series along with a screenwriting workbook.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in police forensics and a Master’s degree in criminology. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Jennifer Chase was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats. In addition to writing and consulting, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.


Review: False Witness by Karin Slaughter

Posted February 15, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: False Witness by Karin SlaughterFalse Witness by Karin Slaughter
Published by HarperCollins on June 24, 2021
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


The stunning new thriller from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling authorTwo sistersOne secretSomeone knows what they did...

Leigh doesn’t like to talk about her sister.

About the night that tore them apart.

About what they did.

But someone else is about to.

How far will Leigh go to protect her family?

As with all Karin Slaughter books, this isn’t one for the faint hearted, it is very graphic. If you have any triggers – this isn’t the book for you. The opening chapter is graphic, and it doesn’t let up as the book progresses.

One trigger that I am going to mention is that this book is set in 2020, it reflects the reality of 2020. If that is a year and a situation you would rather forget or you aren’t yet ready to read about then this book isn’t for you.

I really warmed to both Leigh and Calli, as sisters they couldn’t be more different, they’ve taken what has happened in their lives and it has pushed them both in completely opposite directions but at the same time they are there for each other, and always have been. I loved that the book reflected the inner turmoil that the characters face; Leigh in protecting her family and her career; Calli in fighting her need for drugs, her love for her family, her feelings of worthlessness. My heart breaks that she feels like she has nothing to give and yet she gives so much more to Leigh than you can ever imagine.


About Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe, her 22 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, PIECES OF HER, and FALSE WITNESS. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her stand-alone novel PIECES OF HER is now streaming on Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Will Trent series are in development for television.


Review – One by One by Chris Carter

Posted February 13, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review – One by One by Chris CarterOne by One by Chris Carter
Series: Robert Hunter #5
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 31, 2013
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 512
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

'I need your help, Detective. Fire or water?' Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD's Homicide Special Section receives an anonymous call asking him to go to a specific web address - a private broadcast. Hunter logs on and a show devised for his eyes only immediately begins. But the caller doesn't want Detective Hunter to just watch, he wants him to participate, and refusal is simply not an option. Forced to make a sickening choice, Hunter must sit and watch as an unidentified victim is tortured and murdered live over the Internet. The LAPD, together with the FBI, use everything at their disposal to electronically trace the transmission down, but this killer is no amateur, and he has covered his tracks from start to finish. And before Hunter and his partner Garcia are even able to get their investigation going, Hunter receives a new phone call. A new website address. A new victim. But this time the killer has upgraded his game into a live murder reality show, where anyone can cast the deciding vote.

I’m a member of a few book clubs but I think my favourite one is the one we have affectionately named The F*cked Up Detectives book club. We read a lot of Chris Carter and Karin Slaughter. The Robert Hunter and Will Trent series are 2 of my favourite series out there. I’m not sure what that says about me.

I’m actually questioning my sanity in having read this. It took me weeks to read, where usually a book takes me a couple of days. This wasn’t the fault of the book but I read this while I was sick. You’d think this would have given me more time for reading, which theoretically it should have, but an inablilty to focus as I was so heavily medicated to stop the pain and a constant feeling of nausea stopped me making much progress. And this is where my sanity comes in to question.

Is it a good idea to read a book about a sadistic serial killer who tortures his victims while feeling nauseas? In all honesty, no. I had to put it down on a regular basis. Now, I read this with the book club mentioned above and the general feeling was that this wasn’t the most graphic or grotesque book that Carter has written, so I’m thinking this is very subjective and was probably influenced by my current state of mind.

Anyway, the storyline… As I mentioned before we have a sadistic serial killer who tortures and murders his victims. He enjoys involving Hunter and Garcia in his crimes and taunts them throughout. Although Hunter is always the star of the show, Garcia is my favourite character. He reminds me more of myself and more “normal” human beings, in how he reacts to the crimes. Whereas Hunter seems to be able to take them more in his stride.


About Chris Carter

Biographies can be an absolute drag, so I won’t bore anyone with a long life story.

I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school, I moved to the USA where I studied psychology with specialization in criminal behaviour. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.

I worked as a criminal psychologist for several years before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several well known glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of famous artists. I toured the world several times as a professional musician.

A few years ago I gave it all up to become a full time writer.


Review – Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Posted February 9, 2023 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review – Twisted by Steve CavanaghTwisted by Steve Cavanagh
on April 4, 2019
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.



1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you've found me. I'm coming for you next.

After you've read this book, you'll know: the truth is far more twisted...

We’re only in February and I’m already massively behind on my reviews. One of my bookish New Years Resolutions was to post reviews of every book I read so I figured I’d better make a start.

In my defense I have been very sick since mid-December which has meant I’ve had periods where I’ve struggled with reading and where making the effort to actually sit down and write a review has been more than I could think about. And, although I’m not yet better, I do have enough medication to ease the pain and I should hopefully be having surgery in a few weeks which will make a huge difference to me – and give me a couple of months off work to allow me to recuperate (and read more). I have such a huge list of books I want to get through while I’m off!

For me, this is a really good example of why you should never judge an author by just one book. I absolutely love Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn series, having read a couple of the later books I have recently done back to the start to read them all in order. I had such high hopes for this stand alone novel, I love a twisty thriller. Yet, it wasn’t for me.

I know it’s called Twisted but I found that there were just too many twists for me to believe and there was a cast of characters that I didn’t like. There was nobody to root for. I think, in essence, that this is where I struggle with some books. I need to have a character that I can get behind, someone that I want to come out on top and that was just missing from this book.

I will also add that I seem to be in the minority with this. The average rating on Amazon UK is 4.3 and on Goodreads it’s 3.95, other people appear to love this book. Maybe it’s because Eddie Flynn so much that my expectations were set too high and couldn’t be met. Maybe it’s because I was ill and grumpy when I read it. I don’t know. But it definitely won’t stop me from reading more Steve Cavanagh books and sharing my Eddie Flynn love.

About Steve Cavanagh

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases. Selected for the Amazon Rising Stars programme 2015. ACES award winner 2015 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Defence is his debut novel.


New Book Releases 2nd – 8th January 2023

Posted January 2, 2023 by louisesr in Book List, Features / 0 Comments

I’m starting off the year with good intentions and organisation. Let’s see how long it lasts!

One of the things I would like to do is highlight to you each week a number of new releases that are coming out in the next 7 days. I’m going to try to share a variety of genres so that there is something for everyone. If by some miracle I’ve managed to read them ahead of publication date then I’ll share my review, however, I know my limitations. I may have good organisational intentions but reading to a schedule hasn’t worked well for me in the past!

Code Name Blue Wren by Jim Popkin

The incredible true story of Ana Montes, the most damaging female spy in US history, drawing upon never-before-seen material and to be published upon her release from prison, for readers of Agent Sonya and A Woman of No Importance.

Just days after the 9-11 attacks, a senior Pentagon analyst eased her red Toyota Echo into traffic and headed to work. She never saw the undercover cars tracking her every turn. As she settled into her cubicle on the 6th floor of the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, FBI Agents and twitchy DIA officers were hiding in nearby offices. For this was the day that Ana Montes–the US Intelligence Community superstar who had just won a prestigious fellowship at the CIA–was to be arrested and publicly exposed as a secret agent for Cuba.

Like spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen before her, Ana Montes blindsided her colleagues with brazen acts of treason. For nearly 17 years, Montes succeeded in two high-stress jobs. By day, she was one of the government’s top Cuba experts, a buttoned-down GS-14 with shockingly easy access to classified documents. By night, she was on the clock for Fidel Castro, listening to coded messages over shortwave radio, passing US secrets to handlers in local restaurants, and slipping into Havana wearing a wig.

Montes didn’t just deceive her country. Her betrayal was intensely personal. Her mercurial father was a former US Army Colonel. Her brother and sister-in-law were FBI Special Agents. And her only sister, Lucy, also worked her entire career for the Bureau. The highlight of her distinguished 31 years as a Miami-based language specialist: Helping the FBI flush Cuban spies out of the United States. Little did Lucy or her family know that the greatest Cuban spy of all was sitting right next to them at Thanksgivings, baptisms, and weddings.

In Code Name Blue Wren, investigative journalist Jim Popkin weaves the tale of two sisters who chose two very different paths, plus the unsung heroes who had to fight to bring Ana to justice. With exclusive access to a “Secret” CIA behavioral profile of Ana, family memoirs, and Ana’s incriminating letters from prison, Popkin reveals the making of a traitor–a woman labelled “one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history” by America’s top counter-intelligence official.

After more than two decades in federal prison, Montes will be freed in January 2023. Code Name Blue Wren is a thrilling detective tale, an insider’s look at the clandestine world of espionage, and an intimate exploration of the dark side of betrayal.

Amazon | Goodreads

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Could you brave the wilderness with your HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS and UNFAIRLY CUTE ex-best friend?

BRADLEY GRAEME is pretty much perfect: he’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough) and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with CELINE BANGURA.

They used to be best friends, until Brad decided he was too cool for conspiracy-theory-obsessed Celine and abandoned her for the popular kids’ table. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.) These days, there’s nothing between them but insults and academic rivalry.

So when Celine signs up for a two-part survival course in the woods, the last thing she expects is to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win the grand prize, Celine and Bradley must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. As this adventure brings them closer together, they start to remember all the good parts of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

Amazon | Goodreads

In The Time of Our History by Susanne Pari

Inspired by her own family’s experiences following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Susanne Pari explores the entangled lives within an Iranian American family grappling with generational culture clashes, the roles imposed on women, and a tragic accident that forces them to reconcile their guilt or forfeit their already tenuous bonds. Set between San Francisco and New Jersey in the late-1990’s, In the Time of Our History is a story about the universal longing to create a home in this world – and what happens when we let go of how we’ve always been told it should look. 

Twelve months after her younger sister Anahita’s death, Mitra Jahani reluctantly returns to her parents’ home in suburban New Jersey to observe the Iranian custom of “The One Year.” Ana is always in Mitra’s heart, though they chose very different paths. While Ana, sweet and dutiful, bowed to their domineering father’s demands and married, Mitra rebelled, and was banished.

Caught in the middle is their mother, Shireen, torn between her fierce love for her surviving daughter and her loyalty to her husband. Yet his callousness even amid shattering loss has compelled her to rethink her own decades of submission. And when Mitra is suddenly forced to confront hard truths about her sister’s life, and the secrets each of them hid to protect others, mother and daughter reach a new understanding–and forge an unexpected path forward. 

Alive with the tensions, sacrifices, and joys that thrum within the heart of every family, In the Time of Our History is also laced with the richness of ancient and modern Persian culture and politics, in a tale that is both timeless and profoundly relevant.

Amazon | Goodreads

Loathe to Love You by Ali Hazelwood

Three irresistible short stories by the global phenomenon Ali Hazelwood, now available together in paperback for the first time, with an exclusive bonus chapter.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract, and rivals make you burn….

Under One Roof
An environmental engineer discovers that scientists should never cohabitate when she finds herself stuck with the roommate from hell – a detestable big-oil lawyer who won’t leave the thermostat alone.

Stuck with You
A civil engineer and her nemesis take their rivalry – and love – to the next level when they get stuck in a New York elevator.

Below Zero
A NASA aerospace engineer’s frozen heart melts as she lies injured and stranded at a remote Arctic research station and the only person willing to undertake the dangerous rescue mission is her longtime rival.

Amazon | Goodreads

Love, Clancy by W Bruce Cameron

From the internationally bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Way Home comes Love, Clancy: Diary of a Good Dog, a deeply moving story with a brand new cast of characters, including one very good dog.

You’ve probably never met someone like Clancy. He’s keeping a diary, he’s falling in love, there are rivals for his affections, he lives with his best friend and his worst enemy – even taken together, these factors are maybe not that unusual, except that Clancy is a dog. His point of view is therefore perhaps . . . different.

Told in W. Bruce Cameron’s signature style, a tremendous cast of wonderful characters find themselves jointly and separately navigating the challenges of life, of love, and . . . other pets, including Clancy’s “worst enemy” – one very disdainful cat. It’s a lot to keep track of, especially when things start to spin hilariously out of control, but fortunately, we’ve got the observations of Clancy, a very good dog, who shares a valuable perspective on what is really important.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black

A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.

Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth, has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.

Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world, where she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.

Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she had left behind.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

Note: The ebook releases in January but the hardcover isn’t out until February

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set at an Italian villa with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.

Amazon | Goodreads

Without A Trace by Danielle Steel

Without a Trace is a moving tale of second chances and creating a life worth living from the Number One bestselling author, Danielle Steel.

Charlie Vincent feels trapped in his treadmill of a life. He’s wealthy and successful doing a job he doesn’t want to do, in a marriage to a woman where the romance died many years ago. All that interests Isabelle is his money to fund her extravagant lifestyle. The children have left home and there is nothing for him to look forward to.

One Friday evening he leaves work in Paris after yet another row with his CEO, to head to their Normandy chateau where Isabelle has invited guests for the weekend. He’s been working late every night, he’s tired and he’s not concentrating. Just an hour away from the chateau, his car veers off the road, down a cliff and into the sea. The accident should’ve killed him and he almost felt ready to die. However, he does escape the vehicle and he somehow finds the strength to climb to safety. The area is remote but in the growing darkness he sees a light on in a cottage in the woods. He knocks on the door and is greeted by Aude, an artist who is escaping her own demons.

This fateful meeting will change Charlie’s and Aude’s lives forever.

Amazon | Goodreads


Review: Stranded by Sarah Goodwin

Posted December 14, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: Stranded by Sarah GoodwinStranded by Sarah Goodwin
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on February 28, 2022
Genres: suspense, Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

You'll want to stay. Until you can't leave...

A group of strangers arrive on a beautiful but remote island, ready for the challenge of a lifetime: to live there for one year, without contact with the outside world.

But twelve months later, on the day when the boat is due to return for them, no one arrives.

Eight people stepped foot on the island. How many will make it off alive?

This is such a strange book to review. I really enjoyed it and Sarah Goodwin is a great writer but if I had to provide a summary then in all honesty, I don’t think that much really happened. However, I did really want to read more and struggled to put it down.

This is a novel that shows how one power hungry male, can influence a group to target the weakest member. I’d read a lot of things about this being like Lord of The Flies and so I’d expected a lot more murder amongst them, which we don’t get.

I also really struggled to believe that a reality tv show such as this wasn’t being aired on a weekly basis while it was being filmed, but instead was saved up until everyone left the island to then be edited and broadcast – so not going to happen.


Review: Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Posted December 12, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Shiver by Allie ReynoldsShiver by Allie Reynolds
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on December 28, 2021
Genres: suspense, Thriller
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


When Milla accepts an off-season invitation to Le Rocher, a cozy ski resort in the French Alps, she's expecting an intimate weekend of catching up with four old friends. It might have been a decade since she saw them last, but she's never forgotten the bond they forged on this very mountain during a winter spent fiercely training for an elite snowboarding competition.

Yet no sooner do Milla and the others arrive for the reunion than they realize something is horribly wrong. The resort is deserted. The cable cars that delivered them to the mountaintop have stopped working. Their cell phones--missing. And inside the hotel, detailed instructions await them: an icebreaker game, designed to draw out their secrets. A game meant to remind them of Saskia, the enigmatic sixth member of their group, who vanished the morning of the competition years before and has long been presumed dead.

Stranded in the resort, Milla's not sure what's worse: the increasingly sinister things happening around her or the looming snowstorm that's making escape even more impossible. All she knows is that there's no one on the mountain she can trust. Because someone has gathered them there to find out the truth about Saskia...someone who will stop at nothing to get answers. And if Milla's not careful, she could be the next to disappear...

I seriously loved this book!! Allie Reynolds is a former Snowboarding champion and that really came through in her writing, I don’t think any amount of research would have been able to convey so well the thoughts and fears of a professional snowboarder, yes, they could have wrote about the technical terms but I think you got an added depth to the story from her experience.

I really enjoyed the dual timeline, the present day where someone has called together a group of friends in order to find out what had happened to one of their group 10 years earlier. And 10 years earlier where we see the season leading up to the disappearance of Saskia.

Honestly, when you’re looking for who would have a motive for killing her, you’re not going to be short of suspects. She was one ruthless, evil person. I’d have quite happily buried her under an avalanche by half way through the book.

I think I suspected everyone at some point in this novel. However, the ending was ultimately pretty satisfying for me.

If you liked The Sanatorium, The Guest List or The Chalet then I would highly recommend this. I’ll be looking out for more work by Allie Reynolds.


Review: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Posted December 8, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: The Four Winds by Kristin HannahThe Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group on March 14, 2023
Genres: Historical, Women's
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”

Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.

By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.

In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.

The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it—the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity,

Wow, just wow. This is a book that really gets you in the feels.

I have to admit, I don’t know a lot about American History, there’s a few major political events that I’ve looked up but other than that I’m pretty oblivious. I had no clue about the events leading up to the depression in the 1930’s and so I had no pre-conceived ideas as to what this would actually be about.
Holy shit, bleak doesn’t cover it. Kristin Hannah does such an amazing job of painting a picture of what it was like to live through the drought and the dust storms you can actually feel yourself struggling to breathe.

Elsa is such a wonderful, complex character, she’s not your usual leading lady. Her life is a struggle from the very beginning of the book and life doesn’t really let up on her. But she’s so easy to love, you really root for her, you want her to have the love that she deserves and the life that she deserves.

I really don’t think that anything I write in a review will do this book justice. Kristin Hannah is truly one of the best writers on the market at the moment. In The Four Winds she has taken a bleak period of time and made it accessible to the masses, something that you are desperate to read more about, with a character that you are deeply invested in. This book is historical fiction writing at it’s best.

Kristin Hannah pulls all the punches, her descriptions are so vivid you can really imagine what it was like to live with nothing. Reading this book will make you thankful for what you have, no matter how little you currently perceive that to be.

I read this shortly after reading Firefly Lane and the difference between Elsa and Cloud couldn’t be more stark. Elsa shows us just what a mum is willing to do to ensure the safety of her children and to try and get the best life for them. This is a woman who, when pushed, will give up everything that she loves, if it means a better future for her children. I’m not usually one for posting quotes from books but there is the most wonderful quote about motherhood in here

“A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself. It sounds like motherhood to me.”

5 stars just doesn’t seem to be enough


Book Tour: Dawnlands by Philippa Gregory

Posted November 8, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Book Tour: Dawnlands by Philippa GregoryDawnlands by Philippa Gregory
Series: Fairmile #3
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 15, 2022
Genres: Historical
Pages: 512
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


It is 1685, England is on the brink of a renewed civil war against the Stuart kings and many families are bitterly divided.  Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister Alinor that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant Rowan to join the rebel army. Instead, Alinor has been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save the queen from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.

Alinor’s son, Rob, is determined to stay clear of the war, but when he and his nephew set out to free Ned from execution for treason and Rowan from a convict deportation to Barbados, they find themselves enmeshed in the creation of an imposter Prince of Wales – a surrogate baby to the queen.

From the last battle in the desolate Somerset Levels to the hidden caves on the slave island of Barbados, this third volume of an epic story follows a family from one end of the empire to another, to find a new dawn in a world which is opening up before them with greater rewards and dangers than ever before.

I received this book for free from Random Things Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

So, I’m a little bit disorganised from the fact that I’mm reviewing this book before I’ve posted my review of the previous 2 books in this series. Mainly because I’ve had this series on my TBR for a while and then I got offered this 3rd book to review I had to get a wiggle on and get the first 2 read beforehand. This is not a series where you can delve in part way through and each book is quite a long read. So, over the half term break I have powered through this full series and have to tell you that I love it!

I was slightly wary when I realised that this series is based primarily on fictitious characters, there are many historical characters playing secondary parts but the main characters are “everyday” people.

What I hadn’t expected Gregory to do so well was the parts of the story set in Barbados but these were some of my favourite aspects of the novel.

This book sees the return of a number of the central characters who have been present in the 2 previous books; those who we love – Alinor, Ned, Alys, Rob and those who we love to hate – the treacherous Livia.

As with the previous 2 books, this one ended on a cliffhanger. This leads me to believe (ok, hope) that there will be further books in this series.


Bookouture Tour: The Silent Dead

Posted November 7, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Bookouture Tour: The Silent DeadThe Silent Dead by Marnie Riches
Series: Detective Jackie Cooke #2
Published by Bookouture on 1 Nov 22
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 325
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


She was lying as if asleep on the wooden kitchen floor, beneath the fridge covered with a child’s colourful crayon drawings. But her frozen expression showed she would never wake again…

When Detective Jackie Cooke is called out to the scene, she’s expecting a routine check. The bottle of pills on the kitchen table, next to the note with the single word SORRY written in a shaky hand, make it seem obvious what’s happened. But Jackie is shocked when she recognises her old schoolfriend Claire – and she is convinced Claire would never take her own life.

Determined to dig deeper, Jackie soon discovers evidence that proves her right: a roll of notes has been thrust down the victim’s throat. And when she finds another woman killed in the same way, she realises someone may be targeting lonely single mothers. As Jackie talks to Claire’s distraught children, one of them too young to understand his mummy is never coming home, she vows to find answers.

Both victims were in touch with someone calling himself Nice Guy – could he be the killer? Pursuing every clue, Jackie is sure she’s found a match in dead-eyed Tyler, part of a dark world of men intent on silencing women for daring to reject them. But just as she makes the arrest, another single mother is found dead – a woman who never dated at all.

Forced to re-evaluate every lead she has, with her boss pressuring her to make a case against the obvious suspect, Jackie knows she is running out of time before another innocent woman is murdered. And, as a single mother herself, she cannot help but wonder if she is in the killer’s sights. Can she uncover his true motivation and put an end to his deadly game… or will he find her first?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I read the first book in this series last year and loved it so I was thrilled when the publishers asked me if I would be interested in reading the second book in the series.

This is a great police procedural which hurtles along at a great pace. Without wanting to give any spoilers, this book looks into the murky world of incels, something which seems to have featured in a number of books I’ve read recently and which I find fascinating yet frustrating.

I love the character of Jackie Cooke; she’s determined and commited to her role but as well you see the side of her who doesn’t want to let down her family and who has put them first on plenty of occassions. Although I’m not in the police force I can really understand those competing priorities and it’s very rare that you get an author who really shows it.

I really like the way that just as things are getting very deep and disturbing you get a peek of humour to lighten the load.

These books are available on Kindle Unlimited and most definitely worth taking your time to read. I’m really looking forward to their being more in the series


About Marnie Riches

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in north Manchester. Exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University, she gained a Masters in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser.

Her best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime thrillers were inspired by her own time spent in The Netherlands. Dubbed the Martina Cole of the North, she has also authored a series about Manchester’s notorious gangland as well as two books in a mini-series featuring quirky northern PI Bev Saunders.

Detective Jackson Cooke is Marnie’s latest heroine to root for, as she hunts down one of the most brutal killers the north west has ever seen at devastating personal cost.

When she isn’t writing gritty, twisty crime thrillers, Marnie also regularly appears on BBC Radio Manchester, commenting on social media trends and discussing the world of crime fiction. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Salford University’s Doctoral School and a tutor for the Faber Novel Writing Course.


Book Tour: How To Destroy Your Husband by Jess Kitching

Posted October 28, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Book Tour: How To Destroy Your Husband by Jess KitchingHow To Destroy Your Husband by Jess Kitching
Published by Kingsley on 23 October 2022
Pages: 359
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


Cassie Edwards swore she’d never fall in love… then she met Jamie. He changed everything, and Cassie’s never been happier.

But with less than one month to go to her wedding, Cassie discovers Jamie is cheating on her with his colleague. Blinded by rage, Cassie makes it her mission to seek revenge on the pair.

When Cassie looks deeper into her fiancé’s life, she soon realises being faithful isn’t the only thing he’s lying about.

As her hunt for the truth takes her to some of the darkest corners of the internet, Cassie learns just how little she knows about the man she shares her life with. It leaves her wondering one thing – is Jamie someone she should destroy, or someone she should fear instead?

How far would you go to destroy your husband?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Have you ever been cheated on?

Did you fantasise about how you would show him for a liar and a cheat in front of all his friends and family?

Did you want to plot his downfall?

Could you have seen it through?

When Cassie finds out that her fiance is cheating on her she does what everyone who’s been in her situation dreams of. She doesn’t cancel her wedding. She doesn’t sit sobbing into a vat of icecream washed down with a bucket of wine. No. She plots revenge. And its amazing and scary and wonderful and awful.

When she goes to investigate more about Jamie’s affair with a plan to call him out on their wedding day, Cassie learns that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

This has some amazing twists, some I saw coming, others left me open mouthed.

This will make you question just how well you know the people in your life, how far you’d go to get revenge and ultimately, whether it’s worth it or you’d have just been better cutting all ties and making a run for it.


Childrens Book Tour: Benji and the Gunpowder Plot by Kate Cunningham

Posted October 28, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 2 Comments

Childrens Book Tour: Benji and the Gunpowder Plot by Kate CunninghamBenji and The Gunpowder Plot Series: Time Tumblers #1
on 21 Sept 2022
Genres: Childrens
Pages: 186
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Random Things Tours
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Benji hopes that a trip out on Bonfire Night will add excitement to his normally ordinary life.

However, when he accidentally falls down a time hole he has a lot more adventure than he expected. Who are the strange men in the Duck Inn? Who can he trust What is so important about the letter he has been asked to deliver?

Events will take him to the Globe Theatre, down the Thames rapids and into the heart of Parliament.
London in 1605 is darker, dirtier and more dangerous than home, and Benji has no idea how to get back.

Meet Benji Vent in the first adventure of the Time Tumblers series.

Benji is on the biggest adventure of his life, where his decisions will affect the course of history, and he will find out a lot more about the people in his life, including his mysterious father.

I received this book for free from Random Things Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What a fabulous book!

I have read this with my 7yo and she’s loved getting to learn more about “olden days” especially as we live in Northern Ireland where they don’t celebrate Bonfire Night and don’t learn about Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot. I’m English so I knew all about it from school so I was especially pleased that my daughter was getting to learn about this period.

At the beginning of the book there is a list of characters, it shows you which are real and which are fictitious. As well as Guy Fawkes, and King James I as you would expect in here, the book also features William Shakespeare and his brother Edmund, the Globe Theatre and the plague. Because the story was told from the pov of a child (Benji) it likens things to places that my kids were aware of ie the school dinner hall.

I also loved the fact that the author had chosen a specific font for the book because it was easier for dyslexic’s to read. I hadn’t been aware that such a thing existed. When I first opened the book I was thinking “that’s a bit funky, I hope it doesn’t put my daughter off reading” so to learn that there was a reason behind it that I could explain to her was really good. I will also note that she hadn’t even thought it worth mentioning that the font was different, she’d just accepted it.

We can’t wait to see what’s coming next!


The Fairytale Hairdresser and Rapunzel

Posted September 26, 2022 by louisesr in Age 5-7, Childrens / 0 Comments

The Fairytale Hairdresser and RapunzelThe Fairytale Hairdresser and Rapunzel by Abie Longstaff
Series: Fairytale Hairdresser #1
Published by Puffin on 6 Jan 2011
Genres: Childrens
Pages: 32
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Join Kittie Lacey, as she faces her most hair-raising challenge - an evil witch, a tall tower, and a girl called Rapunzel who is having a very bad hair day. Will Kittie manage to tame unruly tresses that go on for miles, rescue a princess and create a happily ever after?

My daughter loves this series. In this first book Kittie Lacey is called to a tall tower where the witch is complaining she can’t get on with her evil plans as there is hair taking over the tower, Rapunzel is having a bad hair day. Kittie to the rescue!

This features a cast of many favourite fairytale characters who make an appearance to get their locks looked after by the best hairdresser is all the land!