Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite #20Booksofsummer #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you for Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite. I have gradually been reading this authors books and I think I have just read my favourite…so far! I still have to get up to date with her books, but my goodness this is an author who is well and truly on my “go to” Author list.By this I mean that when she releases a new book, I will automatically buy it.

Let’s see what Her Last Secret is all about…

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Some secrets you can never tell.

Everyone thinks the Thomases are the perfect family grand London house, gorgeous kids.

They don’t know wife Dominique is a paranoid wreck.
They don’t know husband Ben is trapped in a web of deceit.
They don’t know daughter Ruby lives in fear of the next abusive text.
But someone knows all their secrets.

Can the lies that bind them tear them apart?

This book is beyond awesome! What a devious author Barbara Copperthwaite is!

The synopsis, though brief, is intriguing and as I read it back after finishing the book I realise how clever it is. Just the merest of hints that give nothing away about what it contained inside the cover.

They say that you never know what truly goes on behind closed doors. Those doors in this this story belong to the family home, an office, a bedroom and a flat. The secrets that are contained behind those doors are the secrets of the individuals that occupy them.

I loved the dramatic way the story starts. Its Christmas Day and the police arrive. The story then backtracks for the members of the Thomas family painting a picture of them as a family as well as them individually. The author has cleverly spun a web and added more and more deception until things are brought up to the arrival of the police. Then things slot in place, well almost…

The Thomas family are: Benjamin, the father, an accountant that is in trouble. Dominique is the mum who isn’t quite a in control as she appears to be. Ruby, 15 year old daughter is being bullied and doesn’t tell her family and finally 8 year Amber the youngest, who prefers to hide in small spaces and is called “Mouse” because of this. What appears on the outside to be a successful family is one that behind the front door is one struggling. Their stories about their struggles are individual, but when they come together as a family the dynamic shown is one that is tense and edgy.

Keeping things to yourself and not admitting that you are struggling is something that is at the core of the story. These things become secretive and eventually controlling, it then affects your mood, decisions and how you interact with other people. This is where the author really has played her cards so well in writing this story. She has successfully woven a tale that had me on the edge of my seat and I was powerless to stop reading, I started this book mid evening and turned the last page in the early hours of the morning.

By the end of the book I actually punched the air! What an ending!

This is such a wonderfully wicked, deceptively devious and magnificently manipulative from start to finish. It is a book that I would absolutely recommend!

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

Book 9 of 20

Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks #COMEBACKFORME @HeidiPerksBook @arrowpublishing #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Come Back to Me by Heidi Perks. My huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy for arranging my advanced copy of the book and accepting my request to join the Blog Tour.

Before I go any further, let’s have a look and see what this Psychological Thriller is all about…

A shocking discovery. An island wrapped in secrets.You can bury the body, but the truth will always surface…

A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body. For Stella Harvey, the news is doubly shocking, as the body is found in the garden of her childhood home. The home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.

Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the Dorset island.


But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets. But one thing rings true… You can’t bury the truth forever.

Fans of THE BAY, BROADCHURCH, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR and Lisa Jewell’s THEN SHE WAS GONE will not be able to put this novel down.

Stella loved living on the island of Evergreen, growing up in this isolated community was wonderful. She was heartbroken when her parents decided to suddenly move and Stella not fully understanding why! It is only years later that she begins to learn the truth as she returns to her childhood home to discover who the newly discovered body is! She discovers that it is not the place she remembered it to be, the secrets run deep as the naivety of her childhood is challenged.

This is a story with two timelines and told by two main characters, Stella and her mother and alternates between the present day and back to 1993 when Stella was 11 years old. From these two characters, I gradually learnt about the other family members and friends as the truth of the story began to emerge. The truth is not obvious and the author teased with details, just allowing little snippets and glimpses to be revealed. I was never sure if, or who I could trust anyone, and as this is a psychological thriller, this mistrust works well. Also adding to the psychological aspect is the isolation of the island and also the community. There are only a handful of residents mentioned and they do have their part to play, what they also add is the general feeling of the community.

The setting of this community on an island adds to the air of mystery. It sounds idyllic with its beaches, cliffs and wooded areas. Visited only by tourists in the height of the season, accessible only by boat. This mystery and intrigue is mirrored by the sparse smattering of characters. While I loved the idea of the setting the characters I just could not take to, they felt cold and aloof and, never once did I feel I could trust any of them.

I did think I had this story worked out early on, haha yeah right! Me and thinking I have things right … definitely not a strong point of mine! As I got further in I found I was adding to my original theory as the author gradually teased me with little reveals and revelations along the way. I like this continual seeding of self-doubt and it added to the general feeling of suspense.

If you like psychological thrillers that are all about discovering past truths and uncovering secrets then you will enjoy this one. It has plenty of drama and disfuntional families with a dramatic setting adding to the suspense-filled air.

It is one I would definitely recommend.

Heidi Perks’ debut novel Now You See Her twice reached the Sunday Times bestseller list, first in hardback in July 2018 at No.9 and again at No.6 in paperback in March 2019 where it was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2019. Now You See Her has sold over 120,000 copies across formats to date and has received a staggering 200 five start reviews on Amazon from readers. It has also been optioned for TV from the production company behind BBC One’s ‘The Miniaturist’ and Channel 4’s ‘National Treasure’.

Heidi Perks worked as a marketing director for a financial company before leaving to become a full-time mother and writer. She is a graduate of the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel Writing Course (the only creative writing school run by a literary agency). Follow Heidi on Twitter @HeidiPerksBooks and join in the conversation with #COMEBACKFORME.

You can get a copy from Amazon UK

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Blog Tour…

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

The Rumour by Lesley Kara #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review to day on The Rumour by Lesley Kara. I bought a hardback copy of this book and it is a fabulous read that had me shocked and stunned on more than one occasion.

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed? 

Whenever I finish reading a book I grab a pen and my notepad and make a rough draft of a review. It will have initial thoughts, basic reactions, characters or plot that I liked. Well my rough draft took three attempts, it contained my reactions after reading the last page ” Holy Shit Bags!” “Bloody Hell!” and “Wow” appear a few times. I suppose I should mention that I absolutely adored this book.

So, a rumour about a child killer, Sally McGowan, starts to circulate. It goes that Sally had been re-homed, given a new ID and is living in the neighbourhood. I have to say I think I would be uneasy and I know several other parents would be as well. It definitely made Joanna, the main protagonist, feel uneasy. She and her son Alfie had recently moved back to the area to be closer to her mum.

Jo is finding it quite difficult to fit in with the close knit group of mums, though she does start to make friendships of sorts. I say of sorts because the friendships have a tentative edge to them that play very well into the plot.

Rumours, gossip and general bits of chit chat is part of daily life and is something that most people hear on a daily basis, be in person, via social media or on the news. When Jo decides to add her tuppence worth into the mix, well let’s just say I bet she wished she had kept schtum!

This is a story that had so many moments that caught me by surprise. I wasn’t sure who the child killer could be. Through the story was an underlying series of emotions from various characters that range from anger, grief, revenge, mistrust and guilt.

If you are after a real page-turner psychological, mystery, thriller that drops some great bombshells then this is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing #NowYouSeeHer

Today I am delighted to be part of the Paperback Publication Day Celebrations for Now You See Her by Heidi Perks. My huge thanks to Rachel at Arrow Publishing for accepting my request to review this book and for sending me a paperback copy.

SHE WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. AND NOW SHE’S MISSING.

Unputdownable psychological suspense from an exciting new talent, perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and I Let You Go.

NOW YOU SEE HER
She’s playing at the school fete with your children. You pull out your phone, scroll through Facebook, and look up again.
NOW YOU DON’T

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PUT THINGS RIGHT?

Well, now that synopsis got my attention! It did a cracking job of hinting what I would discover on the ensuing pages. It comes across as intriguing, it has an element of suspense and tension and it hints that there is more to this than meets the eye. Well by the time I finished the book I was right, it did have those elements and a whole lot more.

It’s told in a very easy to follow way with a now and before timeline that alternates between Charlotte and Harriet. During the now sections it is mainly the questions being asked during the police investigations. This has been very cleverly done and in such an ambiguous way. It wasn’t until I had finished the story that I realised how the questioning never let on about how the story panned out. The before sections tell the lead up to the disappearance of CCharlottes daughter and how she was supposed to be the responsibility of Harriet. It delves into the relationship and lives of the two mothers.

I had no idea how this story would pan out until the Author was ready to let me in it. I was really interested in the dynamic and backlash that became part of Charlotte and Harriet’s lives. Imagine losing a child, then imagine losing someone else’s child. The build-up of icy stares, cold shoulders and snubbing were on the ball for me. It showed how a parent automatically gathers her children to her to protect them regardless of being in receipt of all the facts.

This is a clever story that I was immediately invested and drawn into. The author did a great job of dealing with various emotions, she kept the story flowing and my interest deeply rooted in the story. It gave me several Oh! moments as realisations where dropped.

A fabulous psychological thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. A story with quick chapters and a flow that fitted perfectly. It’s one I would definitely recommend.

Purchase a copy of Now You See Her – HERE

Heidi Perks was born in 1973. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and two children.
Heidi graduated from Bournemouth University in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Retail Management, and then enjoyed a career in Marketing before leaving in 2012 to focus on both bringing up her family and writing.
Heidi successfully applied for a place on the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative online Novel Writing Course and after that dedicated her time to completing her first novel, Beneath The Surface.
She has a huge interest in what makes people tick and loves to write about family relationships, especially where some of the characters are slightly dysfunctional. 
Heidi is now writing her second novel

Many thanks for reading my post,

a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas @MichaelJBooks #NetGalley #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas. My thanks to Michael Joseph Books who accepted my request to review this book via NetGalley.

This is the first time I have read a book by this author so I am delighted that she has published other books so I can read more by her.

Could your dream home be your worst nightmare? 

After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family. 
And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic.

But then their first guest arrives.
Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see.
It’s 17 years since she tore everything apart.

Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty’s life?
Is Selena running from something too?
Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?

Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it . . .

The synopsis does a good job of laying the bones for this story and it has a nice amount of mysterious and enticing intrigue to it. I don’t know about anyone else, it worked for me.

The author has set this story at a good pace with a family moving to their new home. They have purchased a rundown property in a Welsh village, a chance to make it into a home and also be run as a guest house. Oh, by the way, I am not mentioning what it resides next to…

Even though it has a good pace, there are also quieter moments to the story. These tend to have a sinister feeling and aspects of a creepy sense start to be felt. I would expect this with an old property, but there is more than that. Adding to this feeling is the way the author has used the surrounding hills with their domineering presence to add an extra chill factor.

Old houses have histories and when they are in village communities they also have secrets, whispers and to some extent mistrust, depending on who you listen to …

As this is also a guest house, there are obviously guests, some are welcomed and some are not. It was interesting to see how things had been manipulated among the residents and how… actually I’m not saying anymore because I don’t want to spoil it… But I will say that there were several truths and revelations that raised my eyebrows.

While this is a psychological thriller, it is not a hardcore bloodfest sort. Yes, there is a body but there is something more sinisterly dangerous and also a vulnerability at play. It also deals with a tough condition that I thought had been done in a very well balanced way.

As for working out the culprit, well here the author outfoxed me, I could have listed several characters, in fact, this is what I believe the author has intended, so well played.

I have been very vague for this review, it is one of those books you need to experience for yourself. A story of family hoping for a new start. Secrets and rumours play a part. Mistrust add to the sense of suspense. A book that I really enjoyed from start to finish and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Image from Goodreads

Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS.

Her second and third novels, LOCAL GIRL MISSING and LAST SEEN ALIVE (Penguin), are Sunday Times bestsellers.

Visit Claire – Twitter

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

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

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

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

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

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

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

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour, this is the 1st weeks list…

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

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).

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

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