The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly @HodderBooks #NetGalley #mythery #thriller #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and it will not be the last. I am aware that this book is one that is dividing readers!

My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton Publisher for my eARC of this book via NetGalley.

THIS REUNION WILL TEAR A FAMILY APART…

Summer, 2021.
 Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden.

The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.

But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

MY REVIEW

I adored this book and the twisted mystery that the author had woven into it. The basic premise of the story is one that the author explains at the beginning. She refers to the Kit Williams book, Masquerade. The idea of this book was that the reader had to solve clues to discover the location of a golden hare. The book was published in 1979 and I do have a copy of it, I never worked out locations but I adore the artwork.

Frank and Lal have known each other for years. The Golden Bones is a book that Frank is credited with coming up with, but there is more to it than that. The idea is that there are 7 jewels that when found will form a miniature skeleton of Elinore. The book is made up of clues, puzzles, equations and various other brain teasers that lead the treasure hunters to the locations of each of the bones. It has been 50 years since the publication of the book and as interest has dwindled, what better time to spark a resurgence? The final bone is still missing.

The story focuses not so much on the treasure hunt but on how the book has affected the families of Frank and Lal. Both men have had their highs and lows and the author does show these within this timeslip story. She also looks in detail at Nell’s story, she is the daughter of Frank and someone that has been on the negative side of the publicity that the book has had.

The families live side by side, and their children have grown up together and known each other all their lives. But Nell is one that has become more of an outsider, she moves constantly and is always looking over her shoulder. The reasons for this are made apparent in the story.

The author has woven a very twisted and mysterious tale around the book and the families. Things really come to a head when a grand unveiling does not go to plan and old secrets finally start to come out. This is when you finally realise how twisted the older generations in the families are willing to go, and little others are thought about.

This is a glimpse into two very dysfunctional families, based on secrets, fear and control. I really found this to be an addictive read and it was great to be able to see differences of opinion, and how things changed over the years as the author flits back and forth over timelines.

This was a fabulous read and one that I soon found myself very much wrapped up in. It is devious, sneaky and riveting. The pages just disappeared and I didn’t realise how long this book was until I came to write my review, it is 500+ pages and it took me two sittings. Brilliant book and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.

She has written for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.

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The Family Game by Catherine Steadman @CatSteadman @RandomTTours @SimonSchusterUK #fiction #thriller #suspense #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for an absolute belter of a book. The Family Game by Catherine Steadman is addictive, a page-turner and I adored it.

I want to give huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this brilliant book from Simon & Schuster.

I also want to apologise for the lateness of my review. It should have been last week and it wasn’t until I check the poster I realised I had made a scheduling mistake. Better late than never! You should also expect to see this book on my end-of-year Top Reads list 🙂

Harriet Reed is newly engaged to Edward Holbeck, the heir to an extremely powerful American family.
When Edward’s father hands her a tape of a book he’s been working on, she is desperate to listen. But as
she presses play, it’s clear that this isn’t a novel. It’s a confession to murder. Feeling isolated and
confused, Harriet must work out if this is all part of a plan to test her loyalty. Or something far darker.
Because this might be a game to the Holbeck family – but games can still be deadly.
READY OR NOT, HERE THEY COME…

MY REVIEW

Oh my goodness this is a story that took me completely by surprise. It is a mix of several genres so would appeal to readers who like mystery thrillers with a really tense and atmospheric vibe. There are elements of horror and a psychological feel and overall it is an addictive and totally captivating read.

Harry is an author who has has success with her debut book. She has moved in with her boyfriend, Edward, and has yet to meet the rest of his family. Harry doesn’t have any family, and Edwards is huge. Not only huge but rich and influential as Harry soon discovers.

The author has fabulously brought together two opposites with the two main characters. The focus is on Edward’s family and how they interfere in his life, which is why he hasn’t mentioned Harry to them. It is totally understandable, but when he proposes to Harry he informs his family. The initial contact is tentative as Harry meets a sister. The tense feeling is there but all in all, things go well.

As you get further and further into the story you begin to see little signs that this family is far from ordinary. They have an extremely organised and almost compulsive feel to them. This is a family that has traditions that go back generations and while the world has moved on the family is all important and encompassing.

This is one of those stories that I want to shout about, but can’t because it would give away the story, plot and whole thrill of reading the book. It is a deviously twisted and insanely addictive storyline. What I thought within the first few chapters was completely different by the end of the book. In some ways it is a complex story, that is if I were to try and explain it in more detail, but it is one that the author has nailed. It isn’t confusing as you and I adored the way it just flowed from one thing to the next. By the end I was gobsmacked.

I adored this book a lot and it is one that I would very definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Steadman is an actress and author based in
London. She has appeared in leading roles on British
and American television as well as on stage in the
West End where she has been nominated for a
Laurence Olivier Award. Catherine’s first novel,
Something in the Water, was a number one New York
Times bestseller with rights sold in over thirty
territories. It was also a Richard & Judy Book Club
Pick. Her second novel, Mr Nobody, was published in
2020 and her third novel, The Disappearing Act,
published in 2021.

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The Memories of Blood by Guy Cross #GuyCross @ZooloosBT 

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today for The Memories of Blood by Guy Cross. This is a wonderfully creepy psychological thriller that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloos Blog Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my copy.

From the notebook of Gregory Rook: “Sacramental power is born from extremes: obsession, desire, passion, pain, ecstasy, desecration… True holiness transcends morality…”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A stormy night; a hit and run and Stephen Porter unleashes a train of events that delivers him—and his family—into the clutches of a terrifying dark magician…

… whose magick works through the medium of blood – and the innocence of children.

Stealer of souls, shapeshifter devil, how can he be defeated?

The answer lies in the memories of Jonny Sorrell, a teenage boy who has no idea they form the key to ending Rook forever.

The question is, will he realise in time?

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is a wonderful book that definitely has some creepy moments in it. The cover describes this as a psychological horror, and in some way, I do agree, but I would say more psychological than horror. Although there are some nerve-wracking moments and very tense spooky scenes. I don’t read as much horror now as I did when I was a teenager, I think I was much braver then!!!

This is a book that is set around a family, a patient in an institute and has its roots in the past.

The author has used the characters to good effect. Most are actually likeable, but there are exceptions. As the synopsis states, this does use the innocence of children for the blood magick to work, rituals and basically abuse. While the author doesn’t go into detail, thank goodness, the implications are there.

This does have some things in it that I do associate with horror, a priest, a doctor, a family with children, a psychiatric institute and also a remote setting. I suppose it could be seen as slightly stereotypical, but for me, this was great as I found things easier to imagine and associate with as there was a familiarity about some of the aspects.

The characters are really well used, they are a mix of good, bad and evil. There are some characters that randomly appear, this adds to the psychological aspect of the story and it also gives a tense mysterious atmosphere to the story.

I finished reading this book in bed, I had to finish it to make sure things were safe! I told you I wasn’t very brave 🙂

This does have a strong psychological thriller feel to it, and a good horror vibe without being too much horror. I thought it was intriguing and wasn’t sure how things were going to pan out or how some of the characters would be used. I have to say that even though it did creep me out at times, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Guy Cross has been painting and writing from ever since he can remember, leaving a career in teaching to pursue his true loves: writing, painting and making music. His writing is psychologically deep and very dark, reflecting his love of the arcane and occult. Gothic horror is his speciality. 

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We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry @PenguinUKBooks #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #psychological #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry. I really enjoy this author’s books and this latest one is fabulously addictive and has some wonderful dilemmas that would make for great book club questions.

I received my e-copy of this book from the publisher – Penguin UK that I requested via NetGalley.

Emily made a mistake, a mistake midwifes can’t afford to make. Escaping to her dad’s home in Devon to regroup and check in on him – his dementia has been worsening, and her guilt along with it – she is surprised when a beautiful stranger answers the door. Francoise is her dad’s new carer, but Emily’s father seems to have deteriorated under her care.

Emily doesn’t trust Francoise – but she doesn’t trust herself either. Each has a secret. And one of them will kill to keep it . . .

A suspenseful, darkly emotive domestic thriller from the Sunday Times bestseller about what happens when family ties are pushed to breaking point.
 

MY REVIEW

I have read all of this author’s books and I have always enjoyed the unexpected twists that she adds to her stories. This latest book I think may be the most twisted one yet!

Emily has returned to her family home in Cornwall. She is a midwife and there has been a mistake, taking a break at her home and catching up with her elderly father. She is surprised when she is greeted by a young woman. Things have changed since her last visit and it is with the suspicion that she tries to work out why this young French woman is a carer for Harold, her dad.

Francoise is a caring woman and has experience looking after the elderly. She is used to their mood swings and has learnt to be patient with them. She soon realised that Emily doesn’t seem to like her and is on her case.

This was a fabulous read and it is one that does at times flit back from present-day to 1945, this fills.in gaps in Harold’s life while continuing in the present time. The story also alternates between Emily and Francoise. This is a great way of seeing different sides to the women and seeing things from their perspective. Do I g this means the author can sow seeds of doubt for the reader. As I thought one thing, the author successfully turned things on their head and I found myself reevaluating, this is where the twists become more evident and sneaky.

The author does a very good job of going through the various aspects of midwifery and also adult care while weaving in her story of the past and the present. The levels of suspicion increase throughout the story and kept drawing me further and further in. No one is quite what they seem and so the title is very appropriate, yes we all have secrets but some are of can have serious repercussions.

This is a fabulous story and became a one-sitting read for me. It has a good psychological angle as well as mysteries. There is also a nice bit of romance running through this story and again it has roots in the past, with more secrets that are to be revealed. I really enjoyed this and would definitely recommend it.

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Reputation by Sarah Vaughan #NetGalley #thriller #psychological #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Reputation by Sarah Vaughan. This is a fabulous psychological thriller and is the first book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

I requested this book via NetGalley and I was delighted when my request was accepted.

The bestselling author of Anatomy of a Scandal returns with a new psychological thriller about a politician whose less-than-perfect personal life is thrust into the spotlight when a body is discovered in her home.

As a politician, Emma has sacrificed a great deal for her career–including her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, Flora. A former teacher, she finds the glare of the spotlight unnerving, particularly when it leads to countless insults, threats, and trolling as she tries to work in the public eye. As a woman, she knows her reputation is worth its weight in gold, but as a politician, she discovers it only takes one slip-up to destroy it completely.

Fourteen-year-old Flora is learning the same hard lessons at school as she encounters heartless bullying. When another teenager takes her own life, Emma lobbies for a new law to protect women and girls from the effects of online abuse. Now, Emma and Flora find their personal lives uncomfortably intersected–but then the unthinkable happens: A man is found dead in Emma’s home, a man she had every reason to be afraid of and to want gone. Fighting to protect her reputation, and determined to protect her family at all costs, Emma is pushed to the limits as the worst happens and her life is torn apart.

MY REVIEW

This is a story that had me hooked, a story that gives the reader a dilemma as they read it, well it did me! I felt conflicted as I read this story, as part of me wanted one outcome while the other thought another should be right. A sort of head or heart dilemma, and one that made for compelling reading.

The focus of the story is on Emma Webster, a one time teacher and now an MP. She does have an agenda, it is one that the rights and safety of women online. Emma is no stranger to the bad side of social media, threats, trolls and being constantly watched add pressure to an already full work/ home life.

The author uses Emma to highlight problems with society and social media. It is something that is quite timely at the moment with a certain celebrity trial. All you have to do is look on any platform and you will see horrendous comments. There are several points the author makes within the story – public figures should be expected to be trolled with comments and criticism, the tabloids have a right to go after a story that is about a politician, and anyone who has a public profile should be expected to take this and not make a stand. While people are allowed opinions, this story deals with when the opinions go beyond what is acceptable.

Using Emma, the author portrays a woman who wants to make a stand, and help to make new laws but also make a difference. Throughout the story, I got to know Emma, her ethics, her beliefs and also her daughter, Flora. The story is told from both of their perspectives and gives a totally different side to their lives, it helps to put things into perspective.

When Emma is brought to trial, the author does a brilliant job of giving the for and against arguments, it is riveting reading and really ramps the tension level up several notches. This is where the real reader dilemma comes into its own – which way do you think it should go? Well, I am keeping my opinion to myself!

The ending of this story was something else as well, it gave a conclusive ending and one that finally answered some lingering questions and thoughts.

This was a fabulous read and if you have read anything by this author before, then I do think you are going to really enjoy this one. It is one for readers who like thought-provoking, psycholologi8cal thrillers. Brilliant book and one I would definitely recommend. 

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How to Spot a Psychopath by M.Q. Webb @marswebb1 @RandomTTours #psycological #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for How to Spot a Psychopath by M.Q. Webb. This is a very good psychological thriller, the title does kind of give this away 🙂

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.

We’ve all wondered about someone… are they… how do I know?

How to Spot a Psychopath is a thoughtful, intelligent, psychological thriller full of conflicting accounts and sharp turns. How to Spot a Psychopath will keep you questioning who is hiding what, and why.

When four-year-old Mia Edwards goes missing on a play date, everyone suspects that Jessica Green knows what happened to her, especially Mia’s mother, Holly, but Jessica isn’t talking.

Psychiatrist, Dr Oscar de la Nuit, is determined to save Jess from the same mistakes he’s living with.

Will Jess lead to his redemption, or will she be his downfall?

Is Mia safe, and will Jess be able to return to the life she had before?

MY REVIEW


What a great introduction to Oscar de la Nuit the author has created with this first book in the series. It is a series I am looking forward to reading more of.

Oscar is a psychiatrist and he transfers a high profile person into his care as he believes he can help her. The person is Jess, she is accused of killing the missing child Mia, but won’t talk about it. Public opinion and the police have already decided on her guilt, but what exactly is she guilty of, or is she guilty of nothing at all?

This is a wonderfully intriguing and twisted psychological thriller. It is one that is told in a now and then format and I do like this method of storytelling. Information is given from the past when it is relevant to what is happening in the now.

As well as this being a story about Jess, this is also a story of what happened in Oscar’s life. This becomes relevant as he tries to help Jess.

There are several characters in this book and some have a larger part to play than others. There are a couple that felt a little clunky in being there but were needed for part of the story development. On the whole, the characters bring their own traits and agendas, but not everyone plays the role they are supposed to. Not all professionals act professionally.

There is a strong sense of mistrust for many of the characters and I do think this is what really helps the story move along at a good pace. The constant doubting and second-guessing yourself as a reader is brilliant. By the end of the book, I didn’t know who I could completely believe or trust, but I had hoped for a certain outcome.

I really liked this book, it felt full of suspicion quite early on and this carried on through the story. It is a good pace and I did feel it quickened over the latter half. This is one for those who like suspense riddled psychological thrillers and one that I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MQ Webb enjoys writing thrillers, suspense, mysteries and horror. They once worked in an office in a building that was actually an old goal.


How to Spot a Psychopath is the first book in the Oscar de la Nuit series.

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The Haven by Amanda Jennings @HQStories #psychologicalthriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Haven by Amanda Jennings. This is a fabulously addictive psychological thriller.

My huge thanks to HQ Stories for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley.

Two decades ago, Tara and Kit leave everything behind to join a group living in a tumbledown farm on a glorious expanse of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. For Kit, it’s a chance to break away from his wealthy family and the soulless upbringing he loathes so much; for Tara, the chance to give their young daughter Skye everything she never had – a childhood full of nature and freedom. Breathtakingly beautiful and remote, Winterfall Farm provides them all with an idyllic home, a new family and the opportunity to work and live off the land. At first, it seems too good to be true.

But as the seasons change, the behaviour of Winterfall’s charismatic leader, Jeremy, becomes increasingly erratic. Rules and discipline are imposed. The outside world seems increasingly further away, and as new faces arrive at the farm, tensions rise with devastating consequences…

The Haven is a compelling new novel from Amanda Jennings, author of The Cliff House. 

MY REVIEW

What an addictive read The Haven was. It really didn’t feel like 400 pages! The synopsis lays out the basics very well for the story. A couple leaves the rat race and try to live off-grid. Tara, Kit their 6-year-old daughter Skye and good friend Jeremy buy an old farm on Bodmin Moor. Along with a few others with a similar ethic, they start their own commune of sorts. Trying to create their own utopia in Cornwall.

This was such a fabulous story to disappear into and the beginning of the book introduced me to the characters. Then the author delved into their lives and how they decide to make the move to the tranquil Cornish landscape. Leaving behind luxuries that many of us see as necessities.

While many of us may love the idea of living off-grid, I also know that it would be a very real struggle. Having lived a week without a washing machine or vacuum because they have broken, not having heating in the middle of the winter is tough. I live in Cornwall and I know first-hand how bitter the winds can be, how driving the rain can be and how exposed you are to the elements. Bodmin Moor is definitely exposed and it is also beautiful.

I think the author has done such a wonderful job building up this idyllic sounding community. People with similar views want to create something ethical, environmental and most of all free from politics, bureaucracy and rules. The thing is that when people get together, they bring their own shared beliefs but they also bring opinions. For Tara and Kit, their daughter is the only youngster in the group, they are the only parents. They have their own ideas as to what is best for Skye.

Things seem fine until Jeremy brings in another person to the farm. She is an important character and one that comes with her own past. The decision for her to live at the farm divides opinion. This character along with Tara are two of the narrators of the story. Their voices are used to give their perspective of what is happening and it gives insight into their thoughts and feelings. The is a third voice, Kit’s, but this is told in the third person point of view. Kit keeps his feeling close to his chest and this makes for a good balance of opinions.

I adored how things started so well but then the author gradually started to incorporate cracks. She then widens these cracks and soon things start to turn. Views and opinions become more challenging and there are some serious consequences. I also loved how the ending of this story fell.

This is a fabulous read, it is a thriller that gradually increases the suspicions and doubt. As a reader it is good to see things from a distance, it felt as if I was seeing a larger picture while the characters were more tunnel-visioned. This made for an exciting reading experience. There are some shocks and some twists.

This is one that readers of contemporary fiction, thrillers and psychological thriller genres. I thought it was excellent right from the start to the finish and I would definitely recommend it.

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The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen @greerkh @sarahpekkanen @panmacmillan @RandomTTours #psychologicalthriller #domesticthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. This is a fabulous psychological thriller that is twisted and full of secrets. This writing duo definitely do make a Golden Couple!

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

If Avery Chambers can’t fix you in ten sessions, she won’t take you on as a client. She helps people overcome everything, from domineering parents to assault. Her successes almost help her absorb the emptiness she feels since her husband’s death.


Marissa and Mathew Bishop seem like the golden couple until Marissa cheats. She wants to repair things, both because she loves her husband and for the sake of their 8-year-old son. After a friend forwards an article about Avery, Marissa takes a chance on this maverick therapist, who lost her license due to controversial methods. When the Bishops glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.

MY REVIEW

I have just read the synopsis for this book and it reminded me what a concise and interesting one it is. It is definitely what attracted me to this book. It implies secrets, not just from the couple but also from the maverick therapist that they go to see. Why would a couple who appear to be a perfect match, or “Golden Couple” need to see a therapist and why choose one that has lost her license?

I really don’t know who to start with for this review, the Bishops or the Therapist. The therapist is Avery Chambers, and yes she does have secrets, she lives alone and she checks around her very carefully. All the why’s will soon become apparent as the story progresses.

The Bishops, Marissa and Matthew have a son. Both parents work, have an affluent lifestyle, they need to have money to pay the fee to see Avery. Their lifestyle is almost choreographed into things that are “Instgramable”, you know the perfectly decorated house with the right decor. Always dressed smartly and holiday in the best locations. So, what is their secret, who has the secret, and are they willing to let their secret be known?

This was a fabulous read and a first for me from this writing duo. This is a domestic thriller that had me hooked. The authors started the story calmly, made the introductions and then came the first meeting for the Bishops and Avery.

From this point on the pacing gradually picks up, details are given and hints of the past are teasingly dropped onto the pages. I soon started to see the dynamics between this golden couple, Matthew so busy with work, meetings and trips with Marissa being the home organiser and also running her own shop, although she does have help from Polly in the shop. A non-stop world of family, business and travel doesn’t always leave much time for husband and wife time.

I really like the character of Avery, she comes across as being a no-nonsense woman, she doesn’t beat around the bush and wants to get to the bottom of the secrets. She is strong enough in herself to decide which people she will take on, it is almost like people have to pass her interview for her to then see them. She has her own treatment plan, 10 steps that are guaranteed to work!

There are some other players who have smaller roles, and rather than spoil it I will leave them to introduce themselves. Let’s see if you work out the liars from the truth-tellers, the cheaters from the good’uns. I thought I had people sussed! That’s all I am saying about me and my pathetic theories.

This is a tense and tight thriller, it is brilliantly paced and it added an exciting addictiveness to it. I needed to know all the details, the juicy bits, the why’s and wherefores. The author’s collaboration is fabulous and the story flows s well. There is some back and forth between characters and also timelines, this fills in details and makes for some incredible jaw-dropping moments. I didn’t see the final few chapters coming, that caught me on the hop.

If you are a fan of a domestic thriller that is tense and teasingly addictive then you really do need to pick up The Golden Couple. It is a cracking read and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUHTORS

Greer Hendricks spent two decades as an editor. Prior to her tenure in book
publishing, she earned her Master’s in journalism from Columbia University. Her
writing has appeared in the New York Times, Allure and Publishers Weekly. Greer
lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.


Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight
solo novels. A former investigative journalist and feature writer, she has published
her work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many other publications. She is
the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.


Together, they have written the New York Times bestselling novels The Wife
Between Us, An Anonymous Girl, and You Are Not Alone. The Golden Couple is their
fourth novel.

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If She Wakes by Erik Therme @ErikTherme @ZooloosBT #crime #mystery #domesticthriller #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for If She Wakes by Erik Therme. This is the second book in the Harlow series and it works as a standalone very well indeed.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous mystery, crime, thriller story.

Who do you trust when everyone is lying?


My name is Tess Parker.
Two days ago, I was in a car accident with my sister-in-law, Torrie. Before she slipped into a coma, she asked my husband and me to care for her four-month-old son, Levi.


Yesterday, a woman claiming to be Torrie’s estranged sister knocked on our door. But Torrie has no siblings . . . or so she said. She and my brother were only together a short time before he left, and Torrie has clearly been keeping secrets.


Today, another of Torrie’s “sisters” has come to town. Both say the other is lying about who they are.


Neither of them is telling the truth.
Both of them want Levi.

MY REVIEW

This is my first time reading this author and what a really good twisted crime, thriller mystery this book was. It also had a very good psychological edge to it.

The life of Tess hasn’t been the happiest, it has left her mentally and emotionally scarred. She has the support of her husband, and together they are existing in their marriage. When an accident leaves Tess’s sister in law in hospital it is down to Tess and her husband Josh to look after 4-month-old Levi until Torrie is able to leave the hospital.

This started well and the author quickly engaged me with a pretty fast-paced story. What appeared to be a simple story of an accident soon developed into something more twisted. The story of Tess is gradually incorporated into the story and it was definitely needed to explain her state of mind and also the dynamics of her relationship with Josh, Torrie and also baby Levi.

Tess comes across as quite emotionless but as I learnt more about her I realised why. It gave reason to her cold attitude and also to her mental health. This story does touch onto the mental health side of things in various forms and the author has done a wonderful job with this. It gives the overall story a psychological edge to it that makes for a gripping read. It also added several twists, some I saw coming but others I didn’t expect at all.

This is a fast-paced story, it is intriguing and one that I read in one sitting. I was able to see a different side to several of the characters and for some it made me change my view of them. Not everyone is as you think they are.

This is one for those who like a twisted crime thriller and mystery read. It is one I would recommend reading and I look forward to reading more by this author. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harboured runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature. Join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways – HERE

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Remember My Name by Sam Blake @samblakebooks @RandomTTours @CorvusBooks #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Remember My Name by Sam Blake. This is my first time reading this author and I adored this devious psychological thriller.

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

If she’d turned off her phone, instead of listening in, perhaps no one would have died…


When Cressida Howard catches her entrepreneur husband playing away from home, she hires security expert Brioni O’Brien to get the evidence she needs for a speedy and financially rewarding divorce.


But what Brioni uncovers goes beyond simple infidelity. Because Laurence Howard is also in bed with some very dangerous people. Bribery and blackmail are the least of his worries as someone comes after the women in his life – someone who is out to destroy Laurence and his empire, whatever the cost.
And Cressida and her teenage daughter could soon be collateral damage if she and Brioni don’t act fast.

PURCHASE LINK – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read anything by this author so I am pleased to see that there are more books for me to catch up on.

Who would have thought that overhearing part of your husbands’ phone conversation could have such disastrous consequences? Cressida Howard certainly never thought this when she decides it was time to hire someone to see exactly what her husband is up to.

This is a book that I really needed to keep my concentration on as firstly I got to know quite a few characters and the part they have in the story. Then with the ever twisting and evolving plot that seemed to throw up more doubts and questions the further it went. The plot seems quite basic, the wife overhears another woman on her husband’s phone and takes action, but the author has far more levels to her story than the first impression implies.

This is a psychological thriller that is set in Ireland, in a world of high earners and entrepreneurs. What sounds like a fabulous work arrangement is starting to sour. Pressure to join in with another company adds to the risks and there are some topical real-life new links that appear.

This is a good read and one that I found quite addictive, it had many twists and on the whole, I never saw most of them. This felt like a slower-paced book but then as things became established it gradually picked up speed. I found myself avidly turning the pages over the last half of the story to get the connections and the answers.

It is one for those who like devious psychological thrillers and it is one I would recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam Blake has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks and she had an idea for a book. Her debut novel, Little Bones, was No 1 in Ireland for four weeks and was nominated for Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her standalone psychological thriller, Keep Your Eyes On Me, went straight to No 1 and its follow-up, The Dark Room was an Eason Ireland No 1 for three weeks. Sam is originally from St. Albans in Hertfordshire but has lived at the foot of the Wicklow mountains for more years than she lived in the UK.


Follow her on TWITTER. Visit her WEBSITE for news and events and get a bonus free short story in audio & text when you subscribe to her newsletter.

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