The Uninvited by J.A. Baker @thewriterjude @Bloodhoundbook #BookReview

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Uninvited by J.A. Baker as part of the Blog Blitz with Bloodhound Books. My huge thanks to Emma for the invite and also the author for my copy of this book.

Synopsis:

A fragile woman. An unwelcome intruder. A house full of secrets.

Faye and her husband Hugh have had a traumatic year. Wanting to start again, the couple decides to buy a large rundown property, Cross House in a village in NorthYorkshire, hoping to leave the past behind them.

However, the tranquillity is soon ruined when Faye begins to awake, every night, to the sound of somebody creeping around the bedroom. She tries to explain it to Hugh, frightened for the safety of their children Aiden and Poppy, but Hugh dismisses her claims, thinking she is heading for another breakdown.

But when Faye discovers some diaries that contain secrets about the family that lived in the house before them, she starts to wonder if the intruder might be closer to home than she first thought.

Obsessed with finding answers, Faye is determined to learn about the Wentworth family, a fractured family with a tragic past.

And when she discovers that Hilary Wentworth fell to her death down the stairs in CrossHouse, Faye realises she is in mortal danger…

To purchase :- Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

Faye and Mark, with their children Aiden and Poppy, move into an old, rundown house called Cross House. They have moved here because of past troubles, with a hope that a new house will give them the much needed new start they need. Faye is looking for a place to heal herself emotionally and mentally after being stalked and harassed and wishes to live a normal happy life with the past well and truly behind her.

With a setting of an old and unloved house that has been abandoned and neglected, this story had all the right vibes, and then there is the name of the property… Cross House… It is not long before a nervous Faye starts to hear and feel things, something she is reluctant to share with her husband given her past track record. It is understandable that she would be wary of broaching him given her previous experiences. She herself wonders if she is paranoid and second guesses herself at times, but there are things that cannot be overlooked. When things come to a head it is her husband that that tells her she needs to talk to someone about it, yep… the good old supportive husband and his delusional wife routine… Oh, but how the tables are turned and it was a real pleasure to see him experience things as well. Yes, I admit to taking great delight in this role reversal, maybe it is a bit of a mean streak in me, but I liked the way the author gave a balance and also a sort of support to Faye with this turn of events as things get a little spookier.

There are quite a few snippets and bits of information about other characters and their stories and this is one of those books that I felt that the house itself was a key character. Various revelations come to light that are woven together to provide a story that gave me a sense of chills and suspense in an atmospheric and slightly sinister spooky way.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the property and its gardens and the author made it very easy to visualise aspects from the descriptions given. I do have to admit that as much as I would love to get my hands on the house and bring it back to its full potential, I would be too much of a scaredy-cat to even step foot in it.

Gradually things are teased out and the links and connections are made, it tells a tale of its past inhabitants. A really good hauntingly atmospheric story with a lot of suspense and mystery, One I would recommend.

About The Author:

J.A.BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.

She has a love of local history and genealogy and enjoys reading many genres of books but is an addict of psychological thrillers.

In December 2016 she was signed by BloodhoundBooks who published Undercurrent. 
Her second novel, Her Dark Retreat was published in October 2017 and The Other Mother was published in December 2017. Her fourth novel, Finding Eva was published in August 2018

J.A. Baker has four grown up children and one grandchild. She lives in a village near the river with her husband and madcap dog and when not working part time in a primary school, she spends her days trying to think up new and inventive ways of murdering people.

She can be reached on any of the links below and loves hearing from readers.

Twitter – Facebook – Website


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The Lingering by SJI Holliday @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Lingering by SJI Holliday as part of the Blog Tour with Anne at Random Things Tours and also Orenda Books. A huge thank you to Anne for the invite and to Orenda for my copy.

Synopsis:

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

Purchase your own copy from Amazon UK

My thoughts:

Ali and Jack arrive at Rosalind House, a former psychiatric facility and now a commune for those wanting a fresh, slower paced, quiet and calmer lifestyle. Things at Rosalind is idyllic sounding until the arrival of the newcomers. In an atmospheric setting with an unsettling past history, this is a story with a good deal of psychological suspense.

I have seen some wonderful reviews for this book and, as you can imagine, I was eager to read this book. Things seem okay as I joined Ali and Jack, there is a sense of their apprehension at leaving their old lives behind. I felt that their hope for their new fresh start was tinged with scepticism as they meet the other residents. I did wonder why two professionals would choose such an isolated and complete change to their lifestyle. By the end of the book, I could completely understand why and my wonderings were definitely laid to rest.

From the start, this book developed into a story with a mystery. This mystery gradually grew and evolved as the suspense and that gnawing, haunting feeling grew. What I didn’t expect was the many “bloody ‘ell” and ” Oh! That’s good” that left my mouth along the way. This is a story that turned my initial perceptions of some of the characters on its head, I love this when an author keeps me on my toes like this.

The story is told from the perspective of mainly Ali and Angela. Angela is a fellow resident along with another chapter contributor Smeaton. Scattered through the book are diary entries, these I absolutely loved as they gave an insight into the House when it was still in use as a psychiatric facility. It gave a chilling glimpse into the treatments and problems from days gone past.

These quick chapters gave me a chance to really get to know the characters, their motives… yes there are motives, there are also disasters and chilling turns of event that made for wonderful and addictive reading.

A story that had such an idyllic and simplistic sounding lifestyle change that turns into something very sinister. A disturbing, haunting, psychological, suspense-filled mystery,

A brilliant read and one I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

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S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December. Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.

Follow Susi on Twitter or her Website

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Good Samaritans by Will Carver @will_carver @annecater @OrendaBooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review of Good Samaritans by Will Carver today as part of the Blog Tour with Orenda Books. Huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invite and to Orenda and Will for my copy of this fabulous book.

Synopsis:

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his
phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps
upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to
Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more
for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into
day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into
something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the
scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

My Thoughts:

The Samaritans are a group available to people in need. What happens if a phone call goes beyond a phone call. This story takes a dark look into a sinister world that kept me avidly turning the pages.

This is the first book I have read by this author and good god is it creepy, sinister dark and delicious. Full of twists and turns that left me just a bit shocked. Definitely not what I was expecting, and this is meant in a good way. The synopsis did a great job of getting me hooked, the pages of the story had me addicted.

I am not elaborating on the plot at all because I don’t want to give spoilers. I will say it is clever and has a real sense of suspense, there were times I was wondering where this story was going and how it was going to link up. By the end, I was feeling a little stunned as this disturbing story was revealed, Oh and in a really good way.

The way the book is laid out worked really well, in daily chapters and then broken down into quick sub-chapters. These gave a snappiness to the story as it moved along at a good pace. I would suggest that it would be ideal for picking up reading a couple of sections and then carrying on about your day, but this will not happen as once you pick it up you will not want to put it down.

If there were a limit to words I could use to describe this book they would be: twisted, dangerous, disturbing and sick and that is just some of the characters. You will soon work out who to like and then there are the ones that you want to be nowhere near, not in the same postcode, county or for that matter the same country.

I would say this is definitely a book aimed at adults with shall I say a slightly more open mind, there are a few erm… sexy, dirty bits and you know what it actually worked well and was appropriate.

So if you are after a book that has shocks, thrills, creepiness, and suspense then this is a must read. If you like an edginess that has a realistic feel to it then it is a must read and believe me when I say that you will never look at a bottle of bleach in the same way again…

A book that readers of psychological thrillers, domestic noir, crime, suspense and one I would highly recommend.
Purchase link: Amazon UK

About the Author:

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Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January
David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but
returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He
turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and
television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful
theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while
working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

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Divide and Rule by Rachel Mclean @rachelmcwrites @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review of the second book in the Division Bell Trilogy.

Divide and Rule by Rachel Mclean takes a darker and more sinister turn and I couldn’t wait to read this one and I am really looking forward to reading the final installment. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to the tour and for Rachel Mclean for the e-books.

You can read my review of the first book in the trilogy:- A House Divided

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sinclair’s fight to save her political career, her family and her freedom has failed. Traumatised by prison violence, she agrees to transfer to the mysterious British Values Centre.

Rita Gurumurthy has betrayed her country and failed the children in her care. Unlike Jennifer, she has no choice, but finds herself in the centre against her will.

Both women are expected to conform, to prove their loyalty to the state and to betray everything they hold dear. One attempts to comply, while the other rebels. Will either succeed in regaining her freedom?

Divide and Rule is 1984 for the 21st century – a chilling thriller examining the ruthless measures the state will take to ensure obedience, and the impact on two women.

Purchase Links: Amazon US or  Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

So this is the second book in the Division Bell Trilogy, it takes a decidedly darker and more sinister turn. After her fall from her office and trial Jennifer Sinclair – ex-MP, is sent to prison. She is then given a choice, remain in prison or move to a new center to continue her sentence. In this mysterious center is teacher Rita Gurumurthy, she has been sent there for neglecting the children in her care and thereby failing them.

After reading the first book in this series and, loving it, by the way, I had an inkling of where this next installment was going…HA, yeah right… me and thinking or having an inkling are obviously not on the same page as I was way off the mark. My excuse is I didn’t read the synopsis. This book takes a real 1984 (I love that book) approach, Big Brother is definitely watching. Legislations and laws are laid down by those in power. The center the women are sent to has laws and rules to help them conform, respect and adhere to the British Values that are set out… translation = brainwashing program.

Group therapy and counselor led sessions are supposedly designed to help people see the error of there ways, well this is ok if those people think they are wrong, but what if the truth of your beliefs does not conform the standard that is expected? As I said this book is very different in tone, feeling, and emotion to the first. It is vivid and darkly compelling, the first book held the belief that people can make a difference, this book explores how those freedoms are taken away, rebellion is a no-no, free speech has conditions. “Patients” in the centers are being reformed into what is required by the state.

This is one of those books that gives a terrifyingly realistic glimpse into the possibility of something that could happen in the future, a controlled state, controlled thinking, controlled freedom of speech. It has a convincing storyline that is complimented with characters that have their own traits and beliefs. Some I liked, others I took an instant dislike to along with a definite feeling of mistrust.

A wonderfully addictive and compelling read that continues from the first book really well. I would advise reading this trilogy in order. I am eagerly awaiting the third and final book with anticipation and wondering where and how it will go next, and yep, I’m not going to read the synopsis I am going straight in.

This is a book that will definitely appeal to readers of a dystopian, patriarchal and state-led conforming society. One I would definitely recommend.

 

About the Author:

rachel mclean.jpg I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my Book Club.

Social Media Links –  Twitter – Facebook –  Instagram 

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And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott @RachelAbbott #NetGalley #AndSoItBegins #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review of And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott. My thanks to Headline and Wildfire books for my e-copy that I received via NetGalley.

You can buy this in eBook format now, the Hardback is due to be published on November 15th 2018, with the paperback scheduled for August 8th 2019 ( dates correct at time of writing) Buying link for AMAZON UK

Synopsis:

WHO WILL BELIEVE YOUR STORY IF THE ONLY WITNESS IS DEAD?

‘What a storyteller Rachel Abbott is… I was hooked from the start’ CARA HUNTER

‘A truly compelling, twisty, enthralling and satisfying read… Absolutely AMAZING!’ ANGELA MARSONS

Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

My Thoughts:

Mark, Evie, and Cleo… Mark is a reclusive photographer whose first wife died suddenly. He is coaxed out by Evie who wants a series of photographs taken. Cleo is Mark’s sister and is very protective of him and doesn’t appreciate Evie spending time in Mark’s life… Evie stands trial as this dark and twisted thriller unravels their stories.

Wow…and Wow… and why have I not read anything by this author before…?

This is such an addictive read that really did have me on the edge of my seat. This author really knows how to keep me guessing from the tantalizing few words of the prologue right through to the very end. She had me second guessing my thoughts, the characters, and the motives. When I thought I had a handle on things she managed to twists things and leaving me wondering what was going to come next.

As the stories of each of the three main characters start to open up I was given the chance to see their roots as it were, a chance to get a glimpse into their childhoods and their upbringings. A chance to get into their thoughts and how they worked, but nothing quite prepared me for what was to come.

The trial part of the story was something I really enjoyed and when combined with the police investigations the truth starts to be revealed. Some of these had me squirming and others had me horrified as abusive treatment details came to light.

This book is so well paced and I found myself not wanting to put my kindle down for a single moment. This is a dark and devious psychological thriller that encompasses a crime, with wonderful of courtroom and police procedural elements. A story that delves into family and relationships. This is a real cracker of a read that kept me guessing and one that I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

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Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again and The Sixth Window. Her most recent novel, Come a Little Closer, is available from February 2018.

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages and her books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language.

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel’s website, or follow her on Twitter.

Rachel’s website can be found at – WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitter

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Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner #BookReview

Lies Between Us

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner. Ronnie is a well known and supportive lady in the Book Blogging Community and now she is a Published Author wohooo… Lies Between Us is published by HQ Digital and available as an eBook and audiobook with a paperback due out on 13th December.

When I first saw a post about being part of the Blog Tour for this book I jumped at the chance and so did many others, when I say many others I actually mean many, many, many others… 72 Book Bloggers !!!

Synopsis:

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.
YOU CAN PURCHASE A COPY FROM – Amazon UKGoogle PlayKoboitunes

My Thoughts:

John, Maisie and Miller have a connection they are as of yet unaware of in this psychological, mind-twisting thriller. The story is told from each characters own point of view and in their own timeline.

If you like psychological thrillers then you really do need to give this a read. Each character has their own story and it gave me the chance to get to know them, their friends and family. I have mentioned previously that I like this style of writing as it gives the chance to get inside the thoughts and emotions of the characters, though there are times when this can really give you the creeps.

The characters are very different to each other and also their role in the story, as I read I found that each character had its own set of emotions that ranged from guilt, loss, obsession, grief to name a few. Then the author adds in a good dose of manipulation and an obsessive tendency to give a real page turner of a read.

The psychological aspect of this book was clever and it gave me a twisted reading journey and it took a route that I did not expect. When I thought I was getting to the truth and working things out, this author through a curveball… had me completely hoodwinked.

The story itself… well I’m giving you nothing on it. There are little clues scattered throughout and it’s not until the author starts pulling them together that you start to see the connection.

The story took me a few pages to get into, my fault really as I didn’t pay enough attention to the chapter headings… each chapter has their own timeline, I would advise paying attention to this, as soon as I realised this I found the story much better to gel with.

This is a good solid debut novel from an author that I think, has got her foot well and truly on the ladder to higher things. A psychological thriller that had me guessing, twists, suspense and a great story. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Ronnie’s debut novel, Lies Between Us, will be published by HQ Digital in October 2018.

You can follow Ronnie on –

TwitterFacebookInstagramBlogGoodreads Author Page

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The Cornish Retribution by Amanda James #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Cornish Retribution by Amanda James as part of the Blog Blitz with Emma at Bloodhound Books. My thanks to Emma for the invite.

As soon as I saw an email for the new Amanda James book I didn’t read the synopsis I just grabbed my diary and scheduled the review straight in. I have read a few of Amanda’s books and I have not been disappointed. There are a few authors whose books I will automatically agree to be part of a Blog Tour/ Blitz for and Amanda is one of them 🙂

Synopsis:

After a tragic car accident, Samantha is left widowed and bereft.  Her husband Adam was everything to her. But at least the home they shared together in Cornwall provides her with some security. Or does it?

Upon returning from a school reunion in Sheffield, where Sam met her old friend, Penny, and an old flame from her school days, Dan, she discovers that Adam had invested money unwisely and she is now penniless.

When Penny and Dan, who are now married, arrive in Cornwall to visit Sam, Dan comes up with a way in which Sam can keep the house. He suggests she turns it into a writing retreat. And he is willing to invest.

Despite his wife’s reservations, Dan gets his way but at what price?

Why is Dan so keen to help? Has Sam put herself in harm’s way?

Some relationships are built to last. Others are deadly.

 

My Thoughts:

Samantha (Sam) is recently widowed and struggling to deal with various things. She decides to attend an school reunion and meets up with Penny and Dan. They haven’t seen each other for many years and when Penny and Dan decide to visit. They find Sam isn’t quite as financially secure as she thought she would be and so a business partnership is arranged though not everyone is quite so keen …

One thing I have discovered with this author, no actually there are two things… one is the ability to keep me dangling as she weaves her story and the other is the spectacular setting descriptions.

The setting in this book is the Cornish coastline that provides its own range of characteristics that compliment the characters and the story in the book. The characters themselves are not all they appear to be and take routes I wasn’t expecting. What is a seemingly nice gesture and a friendly helping hand soon turns out to be something quite different.

As I read this book I found my emotions towards the characters changing, one moment feeling sorry for them and at others thinking they’re hiding something or being shocked at their actions.

As the characters were gradually introduced I did wonder how the connections would be made, they came across as nice, normal people…but what is normal? By the end of the book I had been manipulated into various beliefs and thoughts that had me chopping and changing as I read. I have to say the baddie was one that made my skin crawl as I discovered who they were and why they were doing the things they did. You will certainly work out your favourites.

I know this is my usual vague non spoiler review, but it has to be like this. I read this story on one sitting as I got hooked, willing some characters to see sense and hoping others would get their comeuppance. The story line held my  attention throughout and I really enjoyed that feeling of not quite being sure about who I could trust or what the truth would eventually be.

If you are a reader who likes a vividly described, atmospheric read that has a plot that has you guessing as it weaves and twists then this is one you should definitely read. A wonderful crime, thriller novel with a psychological edge, its devious, full of suspense, drama and manipulation and one I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

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Amanda has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published, given that she left school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how to be a nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter was five and eventually became a history teacher. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when her first short story was published. Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published.

Amanda grew up in Sheffield but now has realised her lifelong dream of living in Cornwall and her writing is inspired every day by the dramatic coastline near her home. She has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Four of her mystery/suspense novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie and Rip Current. The Cornish Retribution is also set in Cornwall and will be published by Bloodhound Books in October 2018.

Amanda, known to many as Mandy, spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. She can also usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Links: Amanda’s blog – Amanda’s Blog –  Twitter  –  Facebook

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Vox by Christina Dalcher #BookReview

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I am so delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Vox by Chistina Dalcher. I had originally requested this via NetGalley and was declined by the publisher. I am not a reader who expects all requests to be accepted so, not being deterred at all I treated myself to the hardback copy, it was one I was desperate to read. Also the added bonus is that when my review goes onto Amazon it will be as a verified purchase, so a win for all. One hundred words isn’t a lot, this first paragraph is exactly one hundred words long…

Synopsis:

Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.

Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.

Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.

For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…

My Thoughts:

If you are a female you have 100 words a day that you can speak. You have no bank account. No job. No entitlement. No mail. No nothing. If you have a son, he will have more rights than you, his mother…

Did I mention that as a female you are required to wear a word counter. Oh and it will give a bolt of electricity if you exceed the word count!

Oh WTFlaming Hell….. I can speak 100 words and most of them crap and waffle before I have finished my second cup of coffee in the morning…

This book did such a good job of building up not only the sense of injustice in a patriarchal society but there was such a heartbreaking essence to it as well. As a mother you want to chat to your children about what they did at school, yeah well forget that… Sentences have become condensed to such an extreme, yet the father and male siblings can chat away about anything, laugh and joke about things but you dare not utter a word, as that means you may not be able to Goodnight, or Love You at the end of the day.

It was as if the women became an asset to be managed, a homemaker, cleaner, carer and a quiet one at that. Now we may laugh and joke about people who constantly chatter away, but the author has managed to build a world that has a scary reality to it.

As I was reading through the book and getting to grips with how and why things had changed, the tone and way of the story started to change. This did initially throw me and took me a while to get my head around.

Essentially women played their role in society before the enforced change. They had jobs, responsibilities, they were leaders in certain fields and had in some areas knowledge that few others had. This change of direction in the story, once I had time to get used to it actually made sense. Even though it was worked quite well into the story, it did give the book a feeling of being one of two stories.

This is a book that will possibly divide readers, but for this reader worked so well. I also think it would be a great book for reading groups as there are many possibilities for discussion. I found it quite thought-provoking and there are concepts that I have not touched on as I don’t want to spoil it for other readers.

Ideal for those who like dystopian read with a political aspect, contemporary fiction as well as general fiction genres I would also add that there is a psychological aspect to it. This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like a book with an eerily realistic feel.

It is published by HQ in various formats and available from good book shops and also AMAZON UK.

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You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks #BookReview #NetGalley

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I am sharing my thoughts today on You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks. My thanks to HQ for my e-book I recieved via NetGalley.

Synopsis:

A chilling, gut-wrenching thriller.’ Helen Fields

A bold, sharp, gripping debut about a couple whose perfect life in the Swedish countryside is not what it seems…

A gripping page-turner for fans of The Couple Next Door, Michelle Sacks’s You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darker side of marriage, motherhood and friendship.

Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores baking, gardening, and caring for her infant son, while Sam pursues a new career in film. In their idyllic house in the Swedish woods, they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they’ve built for themselves, away from New York and the events that overshadowed their happiness there.

And then Merry’s closest friend Frank comes to stay. All their lives, the two women have been more like sisters than best friends. And that’s why Frank sees things that others might miss. Treacherous things that unfold behind closed doors.

But soon it’s clear that everyone inside the house has something to hide. And as the truth begins to show through the cracks, Merry, Frank, and Sam grow all the more desperate to keep their picture-perfect lives intact.

My Thoughts:

Husband and Wife, Sam and Merry and their son Connor now live in a remote and idyllic area of Sweden. Merry’s best friend Frank comes to stay, the women have been friends since childhood. All seems good, life appears perfect….but is it really?

This story is told from the perspectives of the three main characters, Merry, Sam and Frank in quick alternating chapters. Merry is looking forward to Frank coming to visit, as Merry is now a stay at home Mum, but she is determined to show Frank that she has a wonderful life, baby and home that everything is perfect. Frank however knows Merry from old, knows how she works, and how she make things out to be rosy, so she is trying to see if things are indeed as rosy as they appear. Sam is trying to get his business up and running so is not home all the time.

The author has taken the concept of marriage, happy families and idyllic home-life and thrown a big old spanner in the works by psychologically manipulating her characters. Friendship is not immune to this spanner either, it doesn’t take long for the pretence of perfect to start showing a few little cracks, as the bonds of marriage and friendship are not as they first appear.

One thing I really loved about this story was the lack of dialogue. Yes you read this right, no dialogue. Instead you are given the perspective from whichever characters head you are in. I got to see and hear the thoughts of past events, conversations and it worked so well for this story. It was easy to follow and it didn’t take long for me to recognise which character was which was which. The voices of the characters came out loud and clear for me. It was a way of seeing behind the mask of the character if you like, hearing their real thoughts rather than saying what they think should be said. It was also a great way to build up the suspense and the tension as the story developed even more, but even though I was in their heads there were still quite a few shocks along the way, and the mistrust built up.

Initially I thought I was warming to the characters, but as things progressed I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about them, I didn’t trust what they thought. I did empathise and feel for them but by the end I was shocked.

This is a clever look at marriage, parenthood and friendship and how each aspect of them fit together, or how they can be forced to fit. A great suspense filled psychological, noir that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Michelle Sacks is the author of the short story collection, Stone Baby (December 2017) and the novel, You Were Made For This (June 2018).

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The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic. Having read Simon Lelic’s previous book The House I was quietly confident that I would also enjoy this one. If you would like to purchase a copy you can do so from good book shops or Amazon UK My thanks to Penguin UK Books for my e-copy that I received via NetGalley.

Synopsis:

ONE ROOM.

TWO LIARS.

NO WAY OUT.

THE NEXT SPINE-TINGLING THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE HOUSE

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life.

It was the only way to keep her daughter safe. But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt. And that’s when Susanna realises she was wrong.

She doesn’t know him.

He knows her.

And the girl he plans to hurt is her daughter.

My Thoughts:

Susanna is a counsellor, well she is now! But she has a past that she is trying to hide from her friends, her daughter and also herself. Adam comes to Susanna as a patient, he has never visited her before but something about him is unsettling.

This is a book that took me a while to get into as I struggled to really find my feet with what the story was about and where it was going. It is only now as I write this review that I realise that this was probably a little bit how Susanna felt when this stranger turned up. What was he about, what was his problem, did he have a problem? But even though it did feel a little slow to get going I was so glad I stuck with it. There was something quietly compelling about it that held my attention.

As the story of not only Susanna but also Adam started to be made known the sense of “there is something going on here” starts to make its shadowy presence felt. All is not as first appears. A lie told years ago raises its head, it was told to protect loved ones, does that make it right? Can telling a lie ever be justified? The author does a great job of teasing and taunting the reader, I felt as if I was being manipulated as the truth of the story gradually snaked its way out.

Even though I felt it had a slow almost vague start I found it compelling and in comparison the latter half of the book really does pick up the pace and the intrigue as well as the sense of danger. The as the dots started to be connected I started to get a better idea of what was going on, in a sense I started to see the bigger picture. It is when I realised how deceptive the story actually was that the author had very cleverly woven.

This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like psychological thrillers with an emphasis on family, secrets, and lies. A book that I think would raise some interesting talking points for Reading Groups.

About the Author:

Simon Lelic is a former journalist and the author of three award-winning literary novels, and The New Neighbors, his first psychological thriller, inspired by a love of Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. Simon lives with his wife and three children.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx