The Cruise by Catherine Cooper @catherinecooper @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam #mystery #suspense #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cruise by Catherine Cooper. I have read one of her other books, The Chalet and her latest one is fabulous as well.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

A glamorous ship. A mysterious cast of passengers. And a New Year’s Eve party that goes horribly wrong…

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, disappears. The ship is searched and the coastguard is called, but there is no sign of her, either dead or alive.

Lola was popular on the ship but secretive about her background, and as the mystery around her deepens, each passenger becomes a suspect. Who was she arguing with the night she vanished? Why did she come aboard the cruise in the first place? What was she running from?

Find out in the twisty new thriller from the queen of glamorous crime, Catherine Cooper.

MY REVIEW

The synopsis gives the basics for part of this novel, there is however another side to it that isn’t mentioned. So, I am going to focus on the part of the story that is mentioned in the synopsis.

The story has a brief intro with the death of a man, then there is a prologue then the story starts. The death of Lola a dancer on a large cruise ship is a shock. When she was last seen she was visibly upset, when she was last heard she was arguing. Why was she upset and who did she argue with?

The author has given a story that had me addicted as I discovered this was one that had a split timeline. The now part deals with Lola, the past is something else entirely. I didn’t work out the connections, yes not A connection, but several connections, until the author dropped the literal bombshells.

The idea of working on a cruise ship is one that has never appealed to me. Being close to people you work with and never having a moment to yourself, always being on call just never appeals to me. The author does give some great info about living aboard a cruise ship and also drops in some really interesting facts that I hadn’t even considered.

The story is one that flits between the timelines and it gradually builds up a picture but one that is not complete until much later in the book. There is a sense of distrust and when a certain few seem to be suspect in the death of Lola the suspicion and suspense of the story build.

There was a lot I didn’t see coming in this story, it is one that took me by surprise and had me eagerly turning the pages to discover the full truth. It soon became obvious to me that this would be a one-sitting read as I needed to know the answers to all the questions.

This is a fabulous story that I adored, full of mystery and intrigue, tension and suspense. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Cooper is a freelance journalist writing for many national newspapers and magazines,
specialising in travel. She also makes regular appearances as a talking head on daytime TV. She lives
in France with her husband and two teenage children.
Her debut thriller THE CHALET was a top five Sunday Times bestseller and spent three weeks in the
Kindle top 100. THE CRUISE is her third novel

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Cat Lady by Dawn O’Porter @DawnOPorter @RandomTTours @HarperCollinsUK #fictionpubteam #contemporaryfiction #family #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Cat Lady by Dawn O’Porter. This is a story that is at times amusing and has some interesting looks at stereotypes and how we can set ourselves targets that are too high.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

SINGLE – INDEPENDENT – ALOOF – CUNNING – AGILE – CANNOT BE TAMED

We’ve all known a cat lady – and we’ve probably all judged her too.

But behind the label – the one that only sticks to women – what if there’s a story worth nine lives?

Told with Dawn’s trademark warmth, wit and irreverence, CAT LADY is a story about defying labels and forging friendships. It’s for the cat lady in all of us – because a woman always lands on her feet . . .

MY REVIEW

I am a dog owner, I know people can have cats and dogs, but for a lot of us, it tends to be one or the other. The author has chosen the cat and a woman for the main focus of her story, there is a certain stigma or stereotype around female cat owners. They are either old or single. or both. This is something that you don’t really see with a female dog owner as much.

Dawn is neither old nor single, she is married, has a successful job and seems settled. The fact that her husband’s ex-wife keeps popping in on a regular basis is annoying, but it is understandable… to a point. The living arrangements in Dawn’s house are somewhat strange, and the author does take the stereotype of a cat lover to a more extreme scenario. It was not until I learnt more about Dawn that I realised how much the cat is her support system and also why.

When I read the synopsis for this book I was interested, it sounded a bit different and quite humorous, which it is. There is also a lot more to this book though that takes a serious look at life, expectations and dealing with hurts and upsets.

Stereotyping is easily done and the author shows this in several scenarios within a group that Dawn attends. Again there is the expectation that someone looking a certain way should be expected to have a certain pet or breed of dog. In fact, our pets, whether they are furry, scaled, feathered or shelled all have a part to play in our lives. For some, a pet can be the only interaction, but for someone like Dawn, she already interacts with her family and her work colleagues. It isn’t until she starts meeting like-minded people and her life takes an unexpected knock, or two, that she finally takes the time to stop and look at her life.

While there are some funny moments, this is also a story of accepting who you are in life and not trying to live up to unrealistic targets in the belief that this will make you successful and happy. The author uses the character of Dawn to show how life has a way of knocking you down and how you respond to this and deal with it. This was a heartwarming read. I really enjoyed it and I would happily recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DAWN O’PORTER lives in Los Angeles with her husband Chris, her two boys Art and Valentine,
cats Myrtle and Boo.
Dawn is the bestselling author of the novels The Cows and the Richard and Judy Book Club pick
So Lucky, and her non-fiction title Life in Pieces was also a Sunday Times bestseller.
Dawn started out in TV production but quickly landed in front of the camera, making numerous
documentaries that included immersive investigations of Polygamy, Size Zero, Childbirth, Free
Love, Breast Cancer and the movie Dirty Dancing.
Dawn’s journalism has appeared in multiple publications and she was the monthly columnist for
Glamour magazine. She is now a full-time writer of eight books, designs dresses for Joanie
Clothing, LOVES instagram, and has a large following on her Patreon blog.

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Welcome to Your Life by Bethany Rutter @bethanyrutter @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam #debut #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Welcome to Your Life by Bethany Rutter. This is the first time I have read a book by this debut author and it was a fabulous one to read.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for squeezing me on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

52 weeks.
52 dates.
52 chances to find love.

Serena Mills should be at her wedding.


Instead, she’s eating an ice cream sundae and drinking an obscenely large glass of wine in a
Harvester off the M25.


Everyone thinks she’s gone mad. She’s jilted the man everyone told her she was ‘so lucky’ to find.
But Serena wants to find love. A love she deserves – not one she should just feel grateful for.
So, she escapes to the big city and sets herself a challenge: 52 weeks. 52 dates. 52 chances to find
love.

It should be easy, right?

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and that is because Bethany is a Debut Author, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really liked the sound of the synopsis. The story is of Serena, and she has just left her wedding and is eating ice cream in a chain restaurant. Oh, and she is by herself!

This is the start of a wonderful story about how Serena tries to decide who she is and what she actually wants from her life. Not being the most confident of people and not willing to go out on a limb means she settles for what she knows. Thank goodness she realised in time that what she thought she wanted in life isn’t actually what she was willing to settle for.

This is a very modern feeling romance, that does have some chuckles but also has a more serious side to it. That serious side is one that many of us have had issues with and that is weight. I love how the author has created characters that are happy in their own skins, but still show how hurtful people can be. It doesn’t matter how confident you come across, the comments do still hurt.

So, for Serena changing not only her future but by taking a look at how she perceives what she should settle for is a huge eye-opener for her. It is hard to see herself as others see her and take compliments that are seriously meant. Serena is 28 and is starting to take steps out of her comfort zone. Living in London has opened up a different world to her, giving her some amazing and tantalising new experiences.

This was such a wonderful read. It is light and fun but also deals with some serious issues and the balance was great. This is a romance with a good amount of humour and there are some rather interesting scenes!!

I was definitely interested in how Serena was changing her attitude and also for those around her to support her when she needed it. I really enjoyed this and it is one I would definitely recommend. I am really looking forward to reading more from this author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bethany Rutter is a writer, podcaster and plus-sized influencer. Her adult
debut, Welcome To Your Life, came to life through conversations with her
friends over drinks in London. Swapping stories of toe-curling online dates,
workplace harassment, new crushes, fashion discoveries and workout
classes, she wanted to write a heroine who turns her life upside-down just
ahead of her thirtieth birthday and is plunged into the wonderful chaos of
contemporary urban life.


In her words: ‘My heroine Serena Mills makes huge decisions. She wants
things for herself, she has Big Feelings, she desires people and is desired in
return. And… she’s fat. Of course, so much about her story has little or nothing to do with her body,
and I hope Welcome To Your Life resonates with you, whatever your body looks like and whatever
you feel towards it. This is just one story that I wanted to tell, where a fat girl gets to be the
protagonist of her own story, rather than a silly footnote in someone else’s.


Welcome To Your Life is dedicated to ‘anyone who’s ever held themselves back’ and encourages
us all to shake off our insecurities and wholeheartedly embrace everything that life has to offer.

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The Castaways by Lucy Clarke @HarperCollinsUK #contemporaryfiction #thriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Castaways by Lucy Clarke. This was a title I was sent an invite to read from Harper Collins UK via NetGalley. I was so glad I did because it was a fabulously twisted and mysterious read.

A SECRET BEACH. A HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME.
WISH YOU WERE HERE?
THINK AGAIN…

It should be like any other holiday.

Beautiful beaches.
Golden sunsets.
Nothing for miles.

You’ll never want to leave.
Until you can’t…

MY REVIEW

What a brilliantly short synopsis for a very addictive book. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I do adore it when a synopsis is short and to the point, You’ll never want to leave. Until you can’t…

Sisters Erin and Lori have always been close, more so since their parents have died. When one of them decides to book an exotic holiday the other will also go, after this is what they do.

The author has created such an addictive story and I am going to be very vague and not give much away about the story itself. It is about the sisters and is told in a duel timeline way, flitting back and forth between the sisters and what is happening to each of them.

The author very cleverly lets nothing slip, no real hints or teasers that helped me maybe have a guess at how things would end. Sometimes I can figure things out, oftentimes not though. It isn’t about being right or wrong its always about the reader’s journey to the truth of the novel. This author seriously gave nothing away!

What the author did give was a very interesting and gripping story. One seeded with doubt and mystery with a constant sense of something going on behind the scenes somewhere. The two timelines running in this story keep you focused on both the sisters and because they alternate often you don’t forget what one is doing while reading about the other.

This is a clever story, it has its twists, it has its emotions and it definitely has its surprises. If you like mystery thrillers then you should have a look at this one. It was fabulous reading and one I would recommend. 

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

Put a Wet Paper Towel on it by Lee Parkinson and Adam Parkison #NetyGalley #nonfiction #education @HarperCollinsUK #humour #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Put a Wet Paper Towel on it by Lee Parkinson and Adam Parkinson. I admit it was the title of this book that definitely caught my eye. I remember that a wet paper towel was used in school for so many things.

A heart-warming and hilarious look at life in the classroom from the teachers who host the most popular UK education podcast, Two Mr Ps in a Pod(Cast).

Have you ever wondered what really happens during the day when your precious little angels are at school?

In this book, The Two Mr Ps will take you on a side-splittingly funny journey through the weird and wonderful world of primary schools. It will also explore the pressures of modern-day teaching, revealing exactly what it takes to wrangle a chaotic classroom (or seven) on a weekly basis. From the absolute characters found in the staffroom to school-trip mishaps and everything else in between, Put A Wet Paper Towel on It is a must-read for teachers and parents alike.

So sit up straight, four legs on your chair, fingers on lips and get ready to take a trip down memory lane. And remember – when in doubt, just put a wet paper towel on it. 

MY REVIEW

This is quite an entertaining book about working in a Primary School in the UK. The title immediately caught my eye as I can remember wet paper towels being used for nose bleeds, cut fingers, grazed knees and many other things.

The authors are brothers, both working in primary Education, one a teacher the other a teaching assistant. The authors provide a background that tells their journey into the classroom, and also rather humorously some of the events that have occurred over the years.

They list various types of personalities that you can find amongst teachers, students and also parents. There are various observations from both about the way the education system keeps evolving and how there seems to be more paperwork than ever before.

Both of the authors have a similar attitude but they also have a very strong ethos when it comes down to teaching and helping those in their care.

While this is a humorous book there are also some very important things discussed and it does highlight the plight of education, schools, politicians and the ever-changing goalposts. This is a nicely balanced book and one that I did enjoy reading. It is one I would happily recommend. 

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

The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake. I requested this via NetGalley from the publisher One More Chapter, a division of Harper Collins.

I do like this author and have always enjoyed her books, she also writes under Julie Caplin.

In the war against Hitler every secret counts…

Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards is a skilled interrogator – her beauty making her a non-threat in the eyes of the prisoners.

Farm girl Betty Connors may not be able to type as she claimed, but her crack analytical skills soon find her unearthing covert connections.

German ex-pat Judith Stern never expected to find herself listening in to German POW’s whispered conversations, but the Nazis took her father from her so she will do whatever it takes to help the Allies end this war.

Billeted together in the attic of Latimer House – a place where secrets abound – Evelyn, Betty and Judith soon form a bond of friendship that carries them through the war. Because nothing is stronger than women united.

Tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House, a grand country estate, stands proudly – a witness to some of greatest secrets of WW2.

Used by the SOE to hold Nazi prisoners of war, this stunning historical novel is inspired by the untold story of the secret listeners of ‘M Room’ who worked day and night to help the Allies win the war. A must-read for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Fiona Valpy, Elaine Everest, Jean Fullerton and Deborah Burrowes.

MY REVIEW


What a fabulous story this was, it does have a mix of historical fact and fiction. This is the story of three women who come from very different backgrounds but have a valuable and important way of helping the war effort. These girls are listeners and secret gathers and what they discover help Churchill and his g3enerals plot and plan to bring down Hitler and end World War II.

Judith is a quiet woman, she isn’t outgoing, more mouselike. She is one of the survivors who made her way to England and is of Jewish descent. Betty is local to Latimer house as she grew up in the village nearby. She has a farming background. Evelyn is from a monied background, private education and believes it is more important to help out where she can rather than gallivant around in social circles.

The author provides a quick intro to each of the women and to what they have been doing up to this part of the war. Each of them has a specialism that is of benefit to the goings-on in Lattimer House. Whether it is the ability to speak German or have lived there or indeed having a memory that makes connections easier.

The author brings these three together and gradually as they begin to get to know each other it is easy for the reader to do the same. It wasn’t long before I could distinguish each character, their personality and their way of thinking. Each one brings sadness with them, this is war and life being life is always going to leave an impression.

The author really does a brilliant job with the characters, the main ones as well as the supporting ones. The story has a fabulous flow and I was able to see the women doing their job and realise what an impact this actually had on them mentally.

The author has included a piece at the end of the story as she describes the role of this large Buckinghamshire house and its part in the war. A place where captured crew and pilots were taken to prior to their transfer to Prisoner of War camps in other parts of the UK. It was interesting to follow up this story by having a browse through the internet to discover more.

I found this book to be addictive and a fabulous read apart from the last 15%, it is hard to read when you have tears in your eyes. This ending was very special and I loved how the author brought the story of the three women to a conclusion. It seemed very fitting and appropriate as well as keeping in with the story.

A wonderful story with fabulous characters and one for fans of historical romance and fiction. It is one I would definitely recommend

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jules Wake’s earliest known declaration that she planned to be a writer came at the age of ten. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands, taking journalists on press trips to awful places like Turin, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and occasionally losing the odd member of the press in an airport. It gave her the opportunity to eat amazing food, drink free alcohol as well as providing opportunities to hone her writing skills on press releases and to research European cities for her books.

Eventually the voices in her head persuaded her it was time to sit down and write the novel she’d always talked about. Her debut novel in 2014, was quickly followed by the bestselling From Italy With Love, published by One More Chapter, HarperCollins, which reached number 1 in the Amazon Kindle charts.

Jules’ book Covent Garden in the Snow was a Kindle Top 2 bestseller and the follow up book Notting Hill in the Snow was nominated for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Her latest books The Saturday Morning Park Run came out in August 2020 and The Spark in December 2020. Her next book will be a complete departure as The Secrets of Latimer House is her first foray into historical fiction.

She also writes cosy romantic fiction as Julie Caplin and the seventh in her popular Romantic Escapes Series, The Little Swiss Ski Chalet was published in January 2021. The next in the series The Cosy Cottage in Ireland comes out in Autumn 2021.

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

Murder: The Biography by Kate Morgan #NetGalley #nonfiction #crime #history #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Murder: The Biography by Kate Morgan. I requested this e-book from the publisher Harper Collins, via NetGalley. It was a book I had planned to read over the summer! Better late than never.

Totally gripping and brilliantly told, Murder: The Biography is a gruesome and utterly captivating portrait of the legal history of murder.

The stories and the people involved in the history of murder are stranger, darker and more compulsive than any crime fiction.

There’s Richard Parker, the cannibalized cabin boy whose death at the hands of his hungry crewmates led the Victorian courts to decisively outlaw a defence of necessity to murder. Dr Percy Bateman, the incompetent GP whose violent disregard for his patient changed the law on manslaughter. Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in England in the 1950s, played a crucial role in changes to the law around provocation in murder cases. And Archibald Kinloch, the deranged Scottish aristocrat whose fratricidal frenzy paved the way for the defence of diminished responsibility. These, and many more, are the people – victims, killers, lawyers and judges, who unwittingly shaped the history of that most grisly and storied of laws.

Join lawyer and writer Kate Morgan on a dark and macabre journey as she explores the strange stories and mysterious cases that have contributed to UK murder law. The big corporate killers; the vengeful spouses; the sloppy doctors; the abused partners; the shoddy employers; each story a crime and each crime a precedent that has contributed to the law’s dark, murky and, at times, shocking standing 

MY REVIEW


This is a really interesting book to read, it documents the history of murder from when it became a recognised crime to what we see today in courts of law in the UK.

There is quite a long introduction that gives a glimpse into the research that has been brought to this book. The author, a lawyer herself, has covered many aspects and crimes to give quite a comprehensive and detailed background as to what constitutes murder. She differentiates between murder and manslaughter and how manslaughter has various differences when it comes to the courts.

This is a well laid out book, there are little stories and snippets of news from the previous centuries to add evidence. These are also really interesting in their own right and could lead you onto further reading if you were interested in learning more.

I really enjoyed this book, it is quite serious but at times there is some humour to it especially when it comes to some of the documented accounts. This is a book that will appeal to fans of history, criminal history and law in the UK.

I enjoyed this and I would happily recommend it. 

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

The Chalet by Catherine Cooper #NetGalley @HarperCollinsUK #HarperFiction #thriller #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chalet by Catherine Cooper. I received an e-copy of this via NetGalley and all opinions are my own.

Let me show you what this debut is all about…

Synopsis…

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is a debut for this author and it had me hooked from the very first page and left me unable to put it down, I read it in one sitting.

The setting is a ski resort in the French Alps and flits back and forth between 2 timelines that are separated by 20-years. I like this back and forth style and the author used it very well to inject a mysterious and intriguing story.

20 years ago there was an accident as two men go out skiing and only one returns. In the present, the author brings in characters that may have a connection to the past, but exactly who they are and what their connection to the past is kept back from the reader.

I did have an inkling about one of the characters but I wasn’t completely sure and what the connection was but the build-up to the conclusion was brilliantly done. The author kept up the air of mistrust and gradually wove more details into the story.

I really enjoyed this story and how the author put it together, it was addictive and a joy to read. There are some serious subjects dealt with in this story and I thought the author dealt with these well. I am very interested to see what this author writes next as I really enjoyed this story.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it to readers who like a mysterious crime story that is full of doubt, mistrust and intrigue.

About the Author…

Catherine Cooper
Image and Bio taken from Amazon UK

I am a freelance journalist living in the South of France with my husband and two teenage children. We moved from London in 2009 so that the children could grow up bilingual and we could all ski more, and to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

I learned to ski on a school trip when I was 14 and have loved it ever since.

I’m an avid thriller reader and have been since I discovered Agatha Christie as a child.

The Chalet is my first published full-length novel, though I have also written several (unpublished) thrillers for teens and a (what used to be called) chick lit novel set in TV production.

Other than skiing and reading I love travel, rollercoaster, and I spend far too much time on social media. Some of my other favourite things include Alan Partridge, sparkly flip flops and salt and vinegar crisps.

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

The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah @HarperCollinsUK #NetGalley #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah. My thanks to the publisher Harper Collins for accepting my request to review this book.

Let’s see what it is all about…

The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot – the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket—returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in 1930’s London.

Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.

Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

Hercule Poirot is accused by four different people of writing letters that accuse them of murder. The problem is that Poirot did not send the letters, he has no idea how sent them, but he does think that something more sinister and dangerous could be afoot…

I have not read the previous two books in this series and to be honest this one reads very well as a stand-alone. I think this mirrors the way Christie herself wrote, each of her books could be picked up and read in any order.

So did this mysterious tale feel right? Actually yes it did, there was a lot of misdirection, clues that only came clear at the end, a series of possible characters who could have dunnit and who had the motive and of course there is a body.

I enjoyed the slower pace of this mystery novel and felt that the author did a really good job of creating a story with the infamous Poirot. Various mannerisms, quirks, and phrases felt right.

The plot is one that I was happy to sit back and watch (so to speak) as it worked its way through to the grand unveiling of the guilty party and the reasons why.

I have read all of Agatha Christie’s books, though it was several years ago now, and I found there were some good similarities between Sophie Hannah’s Poirot and the original. It was an enjoyable read and ones that I think would appeal to fans of cosy mystery and also of Christie fans as well.

Sophie Hannah
Photo taken from the authors Goodreads Page.

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets. 

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or sharing would be great 🙂 xx

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley @lucyfoleytweets @HarperCollinsUK #NetGalley

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. It is hard to miss a cover this bright and also there has been a lot of publicity for this book on social media. These two things are what attracted me to read the synopsis and then to request a review e-copy from the publisher Harper Collins via NetGalley.

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close? 

The synopsis for this book does a really great job. A story of friendship that once held these people together through their younger days but now appears to be heading towards its best by date.

I really enjoyed the style this book has been laid out in. It has quick chapters that flit back and forth between the groups’ arrival at a Scottish Lodge, there pasts and then forward to the day that a body is discovered.

Another alternating factor is that of the characters, as their chapters also change as sections are told from them and fro their own perspective. The gave additional insights into each character, so I got to see them as they think they are seen and also how they are actually seen. The characters give memories, events, relationships and also interactions that gradually builds up a picture of how this group came together and what keeps them in touch with each other.

With all the toing and froing, you would think it would get a little bit confusing, but this is really not the case. I soon discovered that I was able to easily keep up with this and the reading was understandable.

I really liked the way the author kept the ID of the victim secret all the way through the story. This gave me a chance to try and work out who the victim was. I could say that I worked out who it was, but the truth of the matter is that there were several people who I guessed, so in actual fact, I didn’t really guess at all. Oh and the perpetrator, well I didn’t guess that one either.

This is a story that had a feel of Agatha Christie about it, I say this because of its isolated setting and that it was closed off to outsiders which meant it had to be one of the group. Also, there were the pieces of the puzzle being brought together at the end.

I really enjoyed this story, the style in which it was written and it worked really well for me. It is a murder/ mystery/ whodunit/ who was the victim style that I think would appeal to a variety of readers. It isn’t a hard crime book but more towards a cosy mystery. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Lucy Foley
Picture Credit
From the Authors Goodreads Page

I live in London, but love traveling – both in real life and on the page (hence the appearance of some far flung locations in my writing). 

My latest novel is The Invitation – set in the film world of the 1950s, along the Italian Riviera. 

My debut novel, The Book of Lost & Found, published in early 2015.

You can find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter

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