Format: eBook

Review: Retreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo Thomas

Posted September 19, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Retreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo ThomasRetreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo Thomas
Published by Random House on June 1, 2022
Genres: Women's
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
four-stars

Eliza has a full house! When her three children grew up and moved out, she downsized to a smaller property... but now they're all back. Every room in the house is taken and Eliza finds herself sharing her bed with her eldest daughter and her daughter's pug. Combined with the online course she's trying to finish, plus her job to fit in, there just isn't the peace and quiet that Eliza needs.

So when an ad pops up on her laptop saying 'house-sitters wanted', Eliza can't resist the chance to escape. She ends up moving to a rural finca in southern Spain, looking after the owner's Iberico pigs, learning about secret gastronomic societies... and finding a new zest for life and love along the way.

As a “woman of a certain age” this book appealed to me. The idea that you hit your mid forties and realise that you no longer have an identity outside of mum is all too real. As my children are 4 and 6 (hello geriatric motherhood!) I have a long wait until my kids leave home but I can imagine that it’s tiring going from them leaving and being an empty nester to them all returning and upturning your life (again). I don’t know whether my time of life affected my reading, I so understand where she’s coming from in having put everyone else first for so long that it’s hard to remember who you actually were before the kids come along.

Oh to get the chance to house sit in the sun!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having been in the rain of the UK for the past 2 years, this is the closest to a sunny holiday I’ve had in some time. I can’t wait until I’m on Spanish shores again. This has really whet my appetite for it!

The opening to the book was a little rushed; we pretty much had “oh the kids are back, they’re driving me crazy, I need some space, hello house sitting in Spain” which is fair enough as the “meat” of the story happens once Eliza is rediscovering herself (see what I did there, meat – pig farming 🤣)

four-stars
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Review: A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter

Posted September 15, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter
Published by Random House on September 13, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 464
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
four-stars

Unnerving, unrelenting, unputdownable.

Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, is called out to an apparent suicide on the local college campus. The mutilated body provides little in the way of clues - and the college authorities are keen to avoid a scandal - but for Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, things don't add up.

Two more suspicious suicides follow, and a young woman is brutally attacked. For Sara, the violence strikes far too close to home. And as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he discovers that ex-police detective Lena Adams, now a security guard on campus, may be in possession of crucial information. But, bruised and angered by her expulsion from the force, Lena seems to be barely capable of protecting herself, let alone saving the next victim...

You can’t go wrong with a Karin Slaughter book!

As ever, you’re not eased into the storyline slowly, it comes flying at you at 100mph right from page 1. I was sat opened mouthed, texting my reading buddies “why didn’t you warn me!!!”

Lena played a huge role in this book and I loved getting to see how she was (or wasn’t) dealing with the aftermath of her earlier attack.

I felt Sara was relegated to more of a side character in this novel than in previous books, I’d have liked to have seen more of her.

There was a lot of misdirection as to who the perpetrator was, this was a bit heavy handed for my liking. When all signs point to a certain person, you know it can’t be them!

four-stars

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.

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BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

Posted September 13, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie JonesThe Blame Game by Sandie Jones
Published by macmillan, Macmillan Audio on August 22, 2022
Genres: suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Random Things Tours
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Goodreads
four-stars

As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to avoid becoming overly invested in her clients' lives. But after helping Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi worries that she's taken things too far. Then Jacob goes missing, and her files on him vanish... But as the police start asking questions about Jacob, Naomi's own dark past emerges. And as the truth comes to light, it seems that it's not just her clients who are in danger.

Naomi is a psychiatrist who specialises in working with victims of domestic abuse. Throughout this story we only hear from 2 of her clients. Jacob who is suffering from domestic violence and Anna who is having marriage difficulties following the loss of her son a year earlier. We also have a side story from Naomi’s past which gives us some insight as to why she has chosen this career path.

I wanted to like Naomi but I just couldn’t warm to her, she’s a mess. Her past is interfering with her head and she’s incapable of setting boundaries. I appreciate that dealing with victims of domestic abuse must be really hard, it’s not something I could do. BUT, on the same note, this is a job where you cannot take the work home with you – or the clients for that matter. And the lack of boundaries is what is getting Naomi into trouble.

There are a number of happenings around Naomi’s house (which is also where her office is) that sets her on edge. Did she hear footsteps on the stairs? Did she leave her office door unlocked? Where did she put Jacob’s file?

When Jacob decides he can take no more and leaves his wife it’s not long before the police are involved.

This is one where you want to shout at Naomi to just tell the truth, don’t ommit things, don’t spin them. Things would be a lot easier if she told the truth and got on with things. Yes, things would look bad, she’d look like an idiot (she is an idiot, and an annoying one at that) but it would benefit everyone in the long run.

The phrase “there’s two sides to every story and then there’s the truth” is so apt for this book. It perfectly sums it up.

four-stars

About Sandie Jones

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

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Review: Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redlands

Posted September 12, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica RedlandsSpring Tides at The Starfish Café by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on April 5, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 425
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
five-stars

Welcome back to the Starfish Café - where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.

A new season...

As winter turns to spring, Hollie - owner of The Starfish Café - is feeling content as she settles into her new life with her loving boyfriend, Jake, and their adorable dog Pickle.

But when an unwelcome visitor threatens the future of her café, Hollie must stay strong to protect her family's legacy...

A leap of faith...

Emerging from an unhappy relationship, Tori finds herself with nowhere to stay and nobody to talk to. The long-hidden secrets of her past weigh heavily on her until a chance encounter with Finley, struggling to come to terms with his own secrets, provides an opportunity to open up.

Can she find the strength to stop hiding from her past and face up to her family? Especially when that would mean letting her guard down and learning to trust again...

A fresh start...?

Little do Hollie and Tori know that their lives are about to collide at The Starfish Café and they may be able to help each other with a fresh start. After all, with good friends in your life, nothing is impossible...

Jessica Redland does it again! I don’t know how such a prolific writer manages to turn out such quality books, is she the UK’s version of Nora Roberts?

Anyway, as ever I loved this book! I feel that the Starfish Cafe series is that little bit extra special for me as it really resonates with my childhood home town, especially with the inclusion of the RNLI.

Hollie and Jake are such a fantastic couple, I loved getting to know them. Then we have Tori and Finley, from the start you are routing for them. At 20% in I knew what I wanted to happen with them through their relationship and their housing, I wasn’t disappointed!

I love how both Hollie and Tori offer such practical advice and literally spell out what a loving, committed relationship should be like. And that you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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Review: A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Posted September 9, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 2 Comments

Review: A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica RedlandA Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Series: Hedgehog Hollow #4
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on January 6, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 440
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

It's time for the wedding we've all been waiting for...

Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre's bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.

Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha's beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family's secrets continue to drag her back?

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

Love, love, love, love, love. Oh how I love this series. Every time I read it I want to give up my life, move to the country and start an animal sanctuary.

This story is told alternately between Samantha – our hedgehog rescuer – and Phoebe, a member of the Grimes family who’ve been making Samantha’s life a misery.

This book tackles some really heavy subjects; child neglect, abuse, drug use/dealing, theft. And yet, I would still class it as feel good fiction. This is every credit to Jessica Redlands writing talents. She has created a cast of characters that I love, and a few others that I love to hate.

I love how we have seen the characters develop over the course of this series and while this can be read as a standalone (the first couple of chapters recaps on what has happened previously) I would recommend going back to the start and reading the first 3 books in the series before settling into this one.

I was so sad to hear that there’s only going to be another 2 books in this series, I understand why this has got to happen, but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it!

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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Book Review: Triptych by Karin Slaughter

Posted August 29, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 2 Comments

Book Review: Triptych by Karin SlaughterTriptych by Karin Slaughter
Series: Will Trent #1
Published by Random House on August 15th 2006
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 514
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

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Goodreads
four-half-stars

When Atlanta police detective Michael Ormewood is called out to a murder scene at the notorious Grady Homes, he finds himself faced with one of the most brutal killings of his career: Aleesha Monroe is found in the stairwell in a pool of her own blood, her body horribly mutilated.

As a one-off killing it's shocking, but when it becomes clear that it's just the latest in a series of similar attacks, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is called in, and Michael is forced into working with Special Agent Will Trent of the Criminal Apprehension Team - a man he instinctively dislikes.

Twenty-four hours later, the violence Michael sees around him every day explodes in his own back yard. And it seems the mystery behind Monroe's death is inextricably entangled with a past that refuses to stay buried ...

This is the first book in the Will Trent series, I’ve just finished Slaughter’s Grant County series (I recommend you read those books first as this follows on from them) so I was excited to meet a new cast of characters. I went in to this with a vague idea of what I expected, obviously I knew we had a male lead, the entire series is named after him so I went in expecting a bit of a Jack Reacher type character – the all action hero. That is most definitely not what I got!

Will Trent is damaged, not through being ex military or anything like that but from his childhood neglect and being severely dyslexic. I found it really interesting to see the number of little things he does to help him through the day and to be able to do his job. What I also liked was that he’s not like Robert Hunter in the Chris Carter books where he’s just got a brilliant mind. Trent is someone who knows he has limitations and works bloody hard to ensure that they’re not actually limiting. He gets his answers through sheer determination.

While reading this there were a number of assumptions that I made, now granted, Slaughter deliberately led me towards these assumptions and then BAM she ripped them to shreds and I had a Holy Moly moment when I realised what had actually happened – and my stomach churned. I started this book almost feeling sorry for certain characters, believing that they had been badly treated and misunderstood. Then as the book progressed and you learnt more about them, those feelings disappeared. They weren’t misunderstood, they were trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and they deserved all they got.

I’m intrigued to see where this series goes. Here we were introduced to Will and also to Angie, who works in Vice and grew up with Will. They’ve been supportive to each other throughout their lives and have previously had a relationship. I get a feeling we’ll have a will-they-won’t-they, they-do-then-regret-it type of relationship throughout the series.

Although dark and twisted, I didn’t think this was as dark as some other of Slaughter’s books and most definitely wasn’t on the scale of the Chris Carter that I reviewed last week! However, it’s not for the faint of heart.

four-half-stars

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.

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The Daughter Book Review

Posted July 12, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 2 Comments

The Daughter Book ReviewDaughter by Jane Shemilt
Published by HarperCollins UK on 3 March 2015
Genres: Thriller
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

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Goodreads
three-half-stars

A mother driven to the brink by uncertainty . . .
A family that was never quite as perfect as it seemed.

Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to her loving husband, Ted, a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, the seemingly ideal life Jenny has built begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide investigation with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold and the police have more pressing cases to investigate. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from girl she thought she’d raised.

Jenny knows she’ll never be able to find Naomi unless she uncovers the whole truth about her daughter—a twisting, painful journey into the past that will lead to an almost unthinkable revelation .

I’ve got to say I rather liked this book but it didn’t thrill me the way that I expected it to. It’s one of those books that keeps going at a steady pace giving you plenty of detail about the everyday comings and goings in life without there being anything that was terrifically shocking.

“When you are young you have no idea what you will need as time passes or how strong you might have to be.”

There are two main themes in The Daughter; the deceptiveness of teenagers and the blame game on working mothers. Both are things which people bury their heads in the sand about and pretend don’t exist. Both are things that are happening every day in a variety of families throughout the UK (and the rest of the world). I’ve seen a lot of reviewers mark this book down because they don’t believe that teenagers would lie to their parents like that. They’re wrong. I see a lot of parents who think that their children aren’t keeping things from them when the children are having intimate relations and taking drugs. I’ve also seen a lot of people complain about the way that Jenny is treated in this book because she feels guilty for the hours she works as a GP and is also made to feel guilty by her husband and son while they accept the fact that her husband had to work long hours as a surgeon. I wish we lived in a world where this didn’t happen. I wish we lived in a world where women weren’t made to feel guilty for going to work when they have young children. I wish we lived in a world where a man would be asked how he juggles a demanding career and family life. But we don’t.

“The trick was simply to balance it all. Family. Marriage. Career. Painting. If the balance tipped in one direction and work took up more time, no one complained. It sometimes felt as if I was rehearsing for real life, so if it went wrong it didn’t matter. One day I would have it all organized. I would be the perfect mother, wife, doctor, artist. It was just a question of practice. If I made mistakes, I could simply try again.”

Shemilt has done a very good job or portraying family life, the backdrop to this is the disappearance of a family member. She’s done a no hold barred accurate reflection of what happens in a hell of a lot of homes. I’m not saying it should. But it does. For me though, the book falls short in not being pacey enough. It focuses too much on how a mothers grief can weigh her down and because of that a lot of the story feels like swimming through treacle. I still very much enjoyed it but it could have had a far bigger impact.

three-half-stars

About Jane Shemilt

While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a postgraduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol University and went on to study for the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction. Her first novel, Daughter, was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club, shortlisted for the Edgar Award and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and went on to become the bestselling debut novel of 2014. Since then Jane has published three more bestselling thrillers: Little Friends, The Drowning Lesson, and How Far We Fall. The Patient is her first novel with HarperCollins, and will be out in April 2022.

She and her husband, a professor of neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol.

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The Castaways Book Review

Posted June 10, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

The Castaways Book ReviewThe Castaways by Lucy Clarke
Published by HarperCollins on March 1, 2021
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop
Goodreads
five-stars

You wake on a beautiful, remote island.

Sparkling blue seas, golden sunsets, barely a footprint in the sand.

Yet this is no ordinary escape.

Next to the wreck of a plane, a stranger paces. Another sharpens a knife, scoring a list of the dead onto a palm tree. Others watch from the shadows of a campfire – all with untold stories, and closely-guarded secrets...

This is no ordinary holiday.
This is no ordinary island.
This is no ordinary beach read.

Wow! What a book! This was my first book by Lucy Clarke and what an amazing book it was!

Erin and Lori are meant to be having the holiday of a lifetime together, instead the night before they have a row and Erin misses her flight. The plane never makes it to it’s destination.

“For so long I believed that I should only feel pleasure when I no longer feel all the other things: the sadness, the loss, the fear. But emotions don’t come parcelled neatly. They’re shaken together and messy. Happiness laced with sadness. Hope tangled with fear. Love shadowed by loss. It isn’t about waiting until I’m in a better place. Striving for a happy life. It’s about feeling life.”

This is a dual timeline, dual perspective novel. Told from the POV of Erin, 2 years after the plane which was carrying her sister disappered and from the POV of Lori, in the time on the island after the plane has crashed (there is a small amount of the novel covering before the disappearance but all the action takes place afterwards).

Two years after the plane disappears Erin is still looking for her sister, she is sure that she’s still alive, surely she’d feel it if she were dead? She’s also sure that someone is hiding something. Now, I’m not saying that Erin is obsessive but she’s dedicated her spare room walls to the discovery of her sister. I think as well as having been close to her sister and missing her, wanting to know what happened, there is also some survivors guilt in there. Erin should have been on that plane. If Lori is dead, they should have died together, if she’s still alive then maybe whatever predicament she’s in could have been lessened if Erin were with her.

I love how the reader always knows slightly more than the characters, but at the same time, we don’t know everything. I found that I was completely immersed into their world and desperate to know what had happened. Had Lori survived, if so, why hadn’t she made contact with her sister?

“You know that feeling when you read a good book, and you’re totally transported to the world within those pages? Your imagination has travelled there – and yet your body is not fooled: it knows you haven’t left the sofa.”

As a reader we know that Lori survived, the plane crashed and she was on an uninhabited island with the other survivors from the plane. She narrates the first month after the crash. But we’re at 2 years later. What has happened in the mean time? Has her name been carved into the tree showing those on the plane who didn’t survive?

five-stars
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Nine Lives Book Review

Posted June 8, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Nine Lives Book ReviewNine Lives by Peter Swanson
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on May 27, 2022
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke--until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list.

First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor, and they're located all over the country. So why are they all on the list, and who sent it?

FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list herself, is determined to find out. Could there be some dark secret that binds them all together? Or is this the work of a murderous madman? As the mysterious sender stalks these nine strangers, they find themselves constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who will be crossed off next...

Nine strangers, seemingly unrelated. Each one of them receives a list containing their name. Most of them looks at it and promptly forget about it or ignore it, they don’t know anyone on the list apart from themselves so dismiss it. However, they soon start to turn up murdered.

Swanson has stated that he drew inspration from Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for this book and there were definitely some heavy parralels to be found between the two. However, there is a warning to be had in imitating a master of the craft. You’re work, no matter how good, is never likely to live up to the original.

“The awful thing about loneliness, Jack thought, not for the first time, is that it isn’t always cured by other people.”

There are a lot of characters to keep on top of in this, there’s obviously the 9 people on the list, there’s also the murderer and there’s the police who are (not really) investigating. I did find it quite difficult to keep on top of who was who, I didn’t feel that I really got a chance to get to know the characters all that well.

“He’d always wondered what was worse: to feel emptiness and not know what would make it go away, or to feel emptiness and know exactly what was missing. Tonight, for whatever reason, he seemed to have the answer. He understood with evangelical clarity how fleeting our lives are, and how foolish it is to mourn those who’ve left too soon.”

three-half-stars
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The Truth About Unspeakable Things Book Review

Posted May 16, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

The Truth About Unspeakable Things Book ReviewThe Truth About Unspeakable Things by Emily A. Myers
Published by WritePublishSell on April 6, 2021
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Instatours
Buy on Amazon

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Goodreads
four-half-stars

In an emotional, thought-provoking journey filled with secrets and regret, a young woman has a second chance at love after abuse.

Emma Marshall is haunted by the trauma of her past. The night she ended her engagement to cheating fiancé, Beaux, was meant to be the night she took back control, but it was only the beginning of his true hold over her. Nine months after suffering an intimate assault by the man who pledged his life to her, Emma is doing - okay. At least, that's what everyone thinks. No one knows the unspeakable truth of what happened between her and Beaux. It's a secret Emma plans to carry to the grave, until Julian Cole moves in next door and opens Emma's mind and heart to the possibility of love after betrayal. As the reporter and music executive grow closer in the music-filled city of New Orleans, Emma must risk everything to protect her newfound happiness. As Emma embarks on a dangerous journey to bring her ex to justice, the bounds of forgiveness are tested as more unspeakable truths come to light. Will Emma overcome her trauma and have her second chance at love? Or, will her past destroy her and everyone she holds dear?

Trigger Warnings: sexual assault/ rape (depicted), self-harm (referenced), abortion (discussed)

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

I read this book for an Instagram blog tour and wanted to add a bit more detail to my review on here.

I think to say that I enjoyed this book would be incorrect, given it’s subject matter. It was incredibly well written with an engrossing storyline but it has a number of triggers which are the centre point of the plot.

When we open the novel Emma has just returned from a holiday to Greece where she had to make some major decisions around her life and her future following the discovery of her fiance in bed with another woman. She does’t get to have the talk with him about her decision though as he has arranged a surprise party for her return, pulling out all the stops. This got my back up about him from the start, what sort of narcissist knows that his fiancee is likely to leave him and so invites all of her closest family and friends round to try and prevent it from happening.

But this was just the start, Beaux is not a person that you say no to and there are some horrible repercussions for Emma in breaking off their relationship.

From this point on the next few chapters look at Emma rebuilding her life and starting a relationship with her new next door neighbour. At this point I was starting to wonder if I’d inadvertently picked up a romance novel rather than a thriller, in fact, around Chapter 10 I went back to the synopsis to see what I’d thought the book was about.

After this things take on a more thriller journey; Emma learns just what her ex is capable of and what lengths he will go to in order to protect himself.

There were a couple of places where the story jumped around a little bit and things happened a bit too conveniently, but other than that it was one hell of a ride, with twists and turns and OMG moments.

This is a book which is so very relevant to now, it has a very similar theme to another book I’ve recently read which makes me question whether this sort of thing happens more than I’m aware of or expected.

My only negative would be that the final chapter – the epilogue – is a bit of a brain dump of information. I found it really interesting but maybe it shouldn’t have been part of the story but an authors notes at the end of the novel.

four-half-stars

About Emily A. Myers

Emily A. Myers is an author of romantic suspense and mystery, thriller, and suspense. When not writing, Emily enjoys traveling, devouring the latest Netflix series, and scouring the shelves of Sephora.

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In The Dark Book Review

Posted April 29, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

In The Dark Book ReviewIn The Dark by Loreth Anne White
on 01/12/2019
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 319
Format: eBook
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop
Goodreads
five-stars

A secluded mountain lodge. The perfect getaway. So remote no one will ever find you.

The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.

Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.

Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.

What lies do you tell?
Because we all lie.
Every one of us, and whoever claims they don’t is the biggest liar of all.

8 people stranded at a luxury resort, except the luxury resort doesn’t exist and they’ve all been brought there under false pretences.

The police, with the help of search and rescue, battling to find everyone as the weather worsens.

The story is told in two timeframes and from multiple points of view. There was so much potential for this to be a disaster and confusing. Instead it completely drew me in and shredded my nerves. Just when I felt I couldn’t take any more of the lodge storyline and sitting on the edge of my seat, the scene changed to the rescue mission and they built the tension from a different perspective, again I ended up on the edge of my seat.

Rather than just having the “who done it” aspect of this novel there was a whole “why did they do it” running through the first half of the storyline, with all of the potential victims hiding massive secrets from their past, all of which were interlinked. Once we get past the why then you’re left with the who, at various points you think that it’s obvious… and then you change your mind. By half way through I’d known for certain who the killer was 3 different times. Even approaching the end, I wasn’t entirely sure and that NEVER happens with a book.

In The Dark is available for free with Kindle Unlimited, you can sign up for a free trial here

five-stars

About Loreth Anne White

Loreth Anne White is an Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of thrillers, mysteries, and suspense. With well over 2 million books sold around the world, she is a three-time RITA finalist, an overall Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Arthur Ellis finalist, and winner of multiple industry awards.

A recovering journalist who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now calls Canada home. She resides in the Pacific Northwest, dividing time between Victoria on Vancouver Island, the ski resort of Whistler in the Coast Mountains, and a rustic lakeside cabin in the Cariboo. When she’s not writing or dreaming up plots, you will find her on the lakes, in the ocean, or on the trails with her dog where she tries—unsuccessfully—to avoid bears.

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The Serial Killers Girl Mini Review

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

The Serial Killers Girl Mini ReviewThe Serial Killer's Girl Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on 27/04/2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 285
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Lexi Jakes thought she could run from her past.

But when her biological mother is found dead, strangled with a red silk scarf and holding a chess piece, Lexi knows that her worst nightmare has come true. Because the murder has all the hallmarks of her own serial killer father, renown strangler Peter Graves.

Now with her own precious daughter’s life in danger, Lexi will do anything to keep her child safe…she is her father’s daughter after all.

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

I thought this book showed great potential, the premise was really good but I felt it was let down by the execution. I was looking for a book that had me on the edge of my seat and I just didn’t think that this quite managed to pull it off. 

Lexi is the daughter of a serial killer. Following his arrest she was taken into care and changed her name. Now her mother has been killed in a copycat attack. 

Nobody knows who she is. But Lexi is worried, that she or her daughter might be next.

I felt that the suspense was lacking in this, there was too much story around Lexi’s relationship with her husband and not enough excitement. 

three-stars
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