The Game by Scott Kershaw @HQstories #NetGalley #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Game by Scott Kershaw. The cover and the snappy synopsis definitely caught my eye when I requested it.

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

The rules are simple. To save their life, you have to play.

[text message]

DEAR PLAYER,

THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER.

TO SAVE THEM, YOU MUST PLAY THE GAME.

THE RULES ARE: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE WINNER.

IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE.

ALL PLAYERS ENTER ALONE.

DO NOT SHARE THIS MESSAGE. DO NOT SEEK HELP.

WELCOME TO THE GAME.

YOU’VE JUST STARTED PLAYING.

[end of message]

MY REVIEW

I have to admit it was the cover that first caught my eye with this book. Snappy title, simple graphic and the line – The rules are simple. To save their life, you have to play.

This is a mystery thriller, that does have a crime element to it, but it is more about the mystery of The Game. What is The Game, who runs it, why is this being done and what would you do to keep those you love safe and alive!

There are 5 players in this game, they are unconnected, they are oblivious to each other and they have travelled from the US, France and Uk to meet up so they can learn more about The Game. The consequences are not as clear cut as I originally thought they might be. There was a curiosity to both stories but I was never fully aware of what was occurring until further into the story. The author does pace this story so well, it is one where some players are on a time limit, and this increases the tension of the story.

There is a lot more to this story than the synopsis gives away. The suspense of wondering if any of the players will do something stupid or brave is an ever[present one.

The players are normal people, with normal lives. Because they have been drawn from different countries it makes any connection unlikely. I liked how the author introduced each player and then kept referring back to things in the past. I soon found that I got to know who was who especially when they do meet up to actually continue The Game.

This is intriguing, I liked the time element and the mystery that was underlying all the way through. It is a thriller and I really enjoyed the story. The characters are not all likeable, but this is down to how the author portrays them. I look forward to reading more by this author and I would happily recommend this book.

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Operation Edelweiss by Justin Kerr-Smiley #JustinKerrSmiley @RandomTTours @UnicornPubGroup #action #histfic #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Operation Edelweiss by Justin Kerr-Smiley. This is a brilliant book and is one for those who like a cracking action, adventure and mystery thriller story.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my PB copy of the book via the Publisher – Unicorn Publishing Group

In 1976, Argentina is governed by a military junta bankrolled by former Nazis. It is the anniversary of a mysterious village fire in the jungle. The lone survivor, a Guaraní boy, is now a Jesuit priest. A Jewish journalist, Ariel Guzman, interviews him at his mission. The man claims Adolf Hitler escaped from Berlin with Eva Braun and made a secret camp near the Iguaçu Falls. The Führer ordered the village’s destruction, but the priest refuses to say why. He mentions the codename Edelweiss and will only reveal the person’s identity if he dies.
Argentina’s most powerful man is billionaire and Waffen-SS veteran Tiago Hecht. He is searching for Edelweiss so that he can establish a Fourth Reich. Hecht now has confirmation Hitler’s son is alive. But so does the Mossad and they have sent an agent to eliminate him. The only sanctuary for ‘Edelweiss’ is at the Vatican, but time is running out.
The hunt is on… 

MY REVIEW

When I first saw this book I knew it was one I wanted to read, there have been many conspiracies and theories following the death of Hitler. Did he really die? Did he get out of Germany? I do love a good conspiracy book and this one sounded right up my street.

The author has taken the concept that Hitler and Eva Braun did indeed survive and made a voyage to start a new life in South America. Many made this journey some for survival and some to escape any repercussions. Many stories have circulated over the years and there is something about a conspiracy that intrigues me.

The story is one that sounds plausible and one that I found extremely addictive. From a journalist taking a statement from a priest to discovering the whereabouts of a secret camp, the political, religious and moral aspects are covered. Set over several years from WWII to the 1970s the story fills in an action-packed adventure style read.

As the synopsis suggests. this book takes in various organisations, including Mossad, the Vatican and a newspaper. Politics are also woven into this as you would expect as well. The author has created a story that flows so well between the many characters and locations. It is one that is taken through scenarios that have implications for the world and for those immediately involved. While the story is about the search for Hitler’s son, the author also includes life in Argentina in the 70s, the political stage.

I found this book to be very well-paced and the tension was amazing not everything turned out as I thought it might. I did like the way the author finished this story, it answered questions raised and felt right in some ways.

This is one for those who enjoy a proper action and adventure style read with conspiracies, secrets, and mysteries that need to be revealed. A fabulous book to read and one that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Justin Kerr-Smiley was born in 1965 and educated at Newcastle University.
As a journalist, he has reported from the Balkans, Northern Ireland, the West
Bank and South America. He has also written for the Guardian, The Times
and The Spectator. He is the author of two previous novels, including Under
The Sun. He lives in London

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The Island by Adrian McKinty #NetGalley #PublicationDay #thriller #action @orionbooks #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island by Adrian McKinty. This is one of those books that crosses many genres so I do think it will appeal to a great many readers.

My huge thanks to Orion Books who accepted my request to read and review this book via NetGalley.

IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

SOON TO BE A HULU ORIGINAL SERIES 

MY REVIEW

It was the cover of this book that caught my eye, I am not going to point out exactly what it was. This is one for those of you who like an intense thriller story and it is one I really enjoyed.

Tom Baxter, his wife Heather and his two children from a previous marriage are hoping to spend some time together. Tom is a Doctor and is in Australia as a keynote speaker. Having the rest of the family join him means they can get some time together as a family.

This family is disjointed, Tom is a busy man and while he does spend time with his children it isn’t enough. Heather isn’t really accepted by the children and there are reasons for that. The children are not a barrel of laughs either, but again there are reasons.

To stop any squabbling Tom and Heather take the children out for a drive in the hope that they will see some of the country’s animals. Taking a trip to an island should be a chance for the children to get photos and also get some good tales, a chance for some family bonding maybe! They didn’t bargain for what they encountered on the island though.

This is a fabulous read and one that I really found myself drawn into. The setting of the Australian Outback is brilliant and having an island makes this an even better scene.

The characters are a mixed bag, they whine, they argue, they try their best and then they have their world turned upside down, and for some of them, this isn’t the first time that they will have to deal with some tough stuff.

I really like the way the author has used the character’s personalities, traits and nuances. This is a great way of keeping the reader on the hoof and I was never quite sure who was really what they appeared. They all have something to hide and some do it better than others, but eventually, things do become clear.

The story is one that I enjoyed, the basic bones of it are about a family that is getting through life but not really doing together. It is a snapshot of an American family that has found themselves in a situation that they never would have imagined themselves in. This is one of those stories that you can imagine a film being made of, and I am not sure that I would actually want to watch it (I don’t do creepy, horror style movies) but I have to say the book was brilliantly done.

From a slower start and getting to know the characters this book gradually built up the pace, it became more intense and it was one of those that had me frantically flipping pages. I thought this was brilliant and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

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The Birdcage by Eve Chase #PublicationDay #NeyGalley @PenguinUKBooks #mystery #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Birdcage by Eve Chase. This is a wonderful suspense and mystery read set in Cornwall.

My huge thanks to Penguin Random House & Michael Joseph Books for granting my request to read this title via NetGalley.

Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father – and a terrible secret.

Each has found their way of burying it. Over the years they’ve grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father’s most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them.

Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept place, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the one subject the family daren’t discuss. And there is someone in the shadows watching the house, their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting. What they did.

The sisters must unlock the truth to set themselves free – and find each other again.

MY REVIEW

Covers are a great way of noticing books and this cover is gorgeous. The cover shows a lovely white house in a cage and as I have now read this book, it is very relevant. The Birdcage is a novel that skips back and forth in time. It has mysterious undertones that are not always obvious.

Three sisters, well half-sisters as they share the same father, but have different mothers. The sisters have been summoned back to the house which has caused painful memories. They have been summoned by their father and it is the first time they have been back for 20 years. The last time was in 1999 for the solar eclipse.

Each sister is nervous as they make their way back to Rock House, each one has something that is easting away at them and each one just wants to get through this reunion and go back to their lives. While they may have tried to put events of 20 years ago behind them, things are certainly going to resurface.

This is a wonderful book that really draws on the wilder side of Cornwall, a country steeped in mystery and one that lends itself to stories like this one so well. The author brings the windswept moors and the crashing seas into the story. In some ways, the unpredictability of the weather also matches the feelings of those in the house.

Each of the sisters has memories from 1999, but some are more deeply hidden than others. The author gives the sisters very distinct characters and personalities, but the one thing they have in common is that they have all drifted. They are not the same people they were and so this becomes a very tentative, stepping on the egg-shells reunion.

I really enjoyed how the author gradually brought in the mystery via each of the main characters, there is a sense of something quite serious happening. When this is finally revealed I sort of didn’t see it coming as such, but it also wasn’t a huge shock as I had realised the author had been very subtly leaving breadcrumbs.

This has a haunting atmospheric feel to it, with the secrets and unsaid things that have lurked in the past. It is one that I think is ideal for those who like family mysteries and secrets as well as contemporary time-slip novels. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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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. 

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You Never Said Goodbye by Luca Veste @HodderBooks #NetGalley #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for You Never Said Goodbye by Luca Vesta. I have seen many good reviews about this author but never read any of his books. I saw this title available for request on NetGalley and was delighted to be approved to read it.

A DEVOTED MOTHER
Sam Cooper has a happy life: a good job, a blossoming relationship. Yet, there’s something he can never forget – the image seared into his mind of his mother, Laurie, dying when he was a child. His father allowed his grief to tear them apart and Sam hasn’t seen him in years.

A LOVING WIFE
Until an unexpected call from Firwood hospital, asking Sam to come home, puts in motion a chain of devastating events. On his deathbed, Sam’s father makes a shocking confession.

A LIAR?
Who was Laurie Cooper? It’s clear that everything Sam thought he knew about his mother was wrong. And now he’s determined to find out exactly what she did and why – whatever the cost.

What happens if you discover you’ve been lied to by your own family for twenty-five years?

Sam Cooper is about to find out. 

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read a book by this author, I have seen many reviews about his books and decided to give his latest one a go.

This is a crime, thriller mystery read that is full of tension and suspense from the very beginning right through till the end. A page-turner for definite and one full of intrigue. As the synopsis suggests it is Sam Cooper who is the main focus of this story. He has not had the best relationship with his father. After an accident in which Sam’s mum and little brother died, all Sam has known is his dad. So when his dad mentions Sam’s mum Laurie still being alive he doesn’t know what to think.

This is a book that starts with Sam, unhappy but getting on with life. After hearing that his mum may be alive he goes through various emotions. Guilt is something he has lived with since the accident, and there is a certain amount of resentment towards his dad.

Sam leaves the UK to travel back to the US, his arrival is something that shouldn’t be fraught with danger. What Sam doesn’t know is the full facts of what went on 25 years ago, and more importantly what preceded the events that led to the accident.

This is a book that I needed to keep my full attention with as I got used to the differing timelines and the characters. Having a timeline that flits back and forth is great for adding detail, and the author does a wonderful job of trickling the information through. It fills in gaps and also leaves questions. This is ideal to keep the story flowing and it definitely kept me engaged.

The pace of this story felt quite quick and it suited the theme as Sam suddenly finds himself in the midst of something he was totally unaware of and definitely unprepared for. The title is so good for this story, it definitely takes on a more sinister message than I originally thought.

This is a tense storyline that explodes onto the page, has the main characters racing and running for answers and their lives. A really good action read with plenty of suspense and one for readers who like a good twisted crime thriller book.

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Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt @HodderBooks #NetGalley #suspense #horror #psychological #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. This is a slow burner but gradually increases in speed. Mesmerising, dangerous and tense. I enjoyed it so much I ordered a copy of his previous book, Hex 🙂

My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the e-copy that I requested via NetGalley. I love the cover of this book. That mountain… 🥶😨

59881065. sy475

It’s One Thing to Lose Your Life
It’s Another to Lose Your Soul

When climber Nick Grevers is brought down from the mountains after a terrible accident he has lost his looks, his hopes and his climbing companion. His account of what happened on the forbidden peak of the Maudit is garbled, almost hallucinogenic. Soon it becomes apparent more than his shattered body has returned: those that treat his disfigured face begin experiencing extraordinary and disturbing psychic events that suggest that Nick has unleashed some ancient and primal menace on his ill-fated expedition.

Nick’s partner Sam Avery has a terrible choice to make. He fell in love with Nick’s youth, vitality and beauty. Now these are gone and all that is left is a haunted mummy-worse, a glimpse beneath the bandages can literally send a person insane.

Sam must decide: either to flee to America, or to take Nick on a journey back to the mountains, the very source of the curse, the little Alpine Village of Grimnetz, its soul-possesed Birds of Death and it legends of human sacrifice and, ultimately, its haunted mountain, the Maudit. 

MY REVIEW

When I read the synopsis for this book ages ago I thought it sounded great. When I started to read it though I didn’t feel it until about a quarter of the way through. Then I think I started to grasp the characters, the basics of the storyline, and the style. By the end of the book, I was so glad I had persevered as it became more and more addictive.

Nick is the adventurous one, he likes the mountains. His other half Sam, not so much, he prefers shopping and the little luxuries. Together they make a great couple. Nick and friend Augustine take on the challenging Maudit Peak in the Mont Blanc region of Switzerland. It was once known as the “cursed mountain” as I discovered after an internet search. This makes the story so appropriate as it gives the sinister vibe that makes up a large part of the story. Nick and Augustine went up Maudit, only Nick returned. He was not the same, he suffered severe facial injuries and he came back with something else. Is it survivors guilt or worse?

Guilt is something that Sam knows all about. He has a secret that he has lived with since he was a young boy. Something he has never told anyone.

The story of Nick’s recovery and the feelings he has after coming back from the mountains are something that he feels haunts him. Sam is aware of this change, but it is darker than he could ever imagine. A series of events leave catastrophic and fatal consequences for those around Nick. It is only when Nick, joined by Sam return to the Maudit, that things become more real, some answers are found and the real horror of the mountain comes to light.

From the slower and for me slightly confusing start, this book then turned into something very addictive. The beginning flitted around a little too much and at times left me feeling a bit confused. As I mentioned earlier, I did persevere and for that, I was definitely rewarded with a story that suddenly started to make sense. Some of the things mentioned at the very beginning started to fit into place, some not until near the end.

The story of the relationship between Nick and what happened on the mountain is so atmospheric, it is haunting and gives some nice horror vibes. It does also have a really good psychological edge to it. Another relationship is that between Nick and Sam, this is one that is sort of like the heart of the story, their love for each other comes through so well amidst the chaos and misery that overshadows them from the mountain.

There is a nice local, village presence to this story, one that is easy to imagine from films, you know the ones where the pub suddenly goes quiet when a stranger walks in. Or where the villagers don’t speak to you, or if they do it is only in menacingly doom and gloom tones. Talking of films, I could see this as being a good idea for a film. I will say that I am not a fan of horror films, so it is a good job it’s in a book format!

This was a really good read, it has a threatening menace that gave a feel of foreboding and danger. It did have the chills for a horror or suspense novel and there is a smidgen of superstition from the local village. An unexpected but satisfying ending and a story that I would happily recommend.

59881065. sy475

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The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @emblabooks #TheMidnightMan #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a book I read at the end of August. The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell is a brilliantly woven crime thriller and I was delighted to get the opportunity to read it via NetGalley from the digital publisher Embla Books.

From number one bestselling author Caroline Mitchell, comes the first chilling Slayton thriller for fans of C. J. Tudor and Stephen King.

If you open your door to the Midnight Man, hide with a candle wherever you can. Try not to scream as he draws near, because one of you won’t be leaving here…

On Halloween night in Slayton, five girls go to Blackhall Manor to play the Midnight Game. They write their names on a piece of paper and prick their fingers to soak it in blood. At exactly midnight they knock on the door twenty-two times – they have invited the Midnight Man in.

It was supposed to be a game, but only four girls come home.

Detective Sarah Noble has just returned to the force, and no one knows more about Blackhall Manor than her. It’s a case that will take Sarah back to everything she’s been running from, and shake her to the core.

Will she be ready to meet the Midnight Man?

PURCHASE HERE – (Publication Day tomorrow 13th Oct 2021)

MY REVIEW

I own several books by this author, and this is the first time I have read one! I know, I know…

Her latest book The Midnight Man is a fabulously addictive crime, thriller and series suspense novel that has its roots based in the past. After a family is murdered an urban legend gradually starts to permeate from the abandoned and creepy Blackhall Manor. Fast forward 25 years and a group of teens decide to follow the rules to summon the Midnight Man. A game, nothing will really happen, but five girls arrive and only four return home again!

Well, this had a very series feeling to it pretty much all the way through. The opening for the story sets the tale that is to follow. I do like the way an old mystery or crime can give credence to a rumour. This sets the atmosphere for the story and with the inclusion of someone who has knowledge of the old manor it also adds secrets.

When the teen goes missing it starts to bring the past to the forefront of peoples minds. This gives the police investigation a nice twist. There is more to Det. Sarah Noble than first meets the eye. She has recently returned to the force and she herself bears an air of mystery.

This is a story that has mystery upon mystery. The author has started with one theme that centres around the Manor, it has then been morphed, twisted and tweaked. This gives the reader a chance to encounter several characters, a few other theories and this leads the reader to start drawing conclusions. I found myself convinced I had this one sussed out, and then I changed my mind, and yep changed it again! I love it when this happens.

As this is the first time I have read anything by this author I found a deeply twisted story that was creepy yes, but not too frightening. It is a mix of crime, thriller, mystery and suspense, it does have an element of police procedural. There is far more to this story than I have hinted at here, and I did find it hard to put down. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Mitchell

USA Today and Global #1 Bestselling Thriller Author.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’. Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer.

Sign up HERE to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. 

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The Farmhouse by L.B. Simpson @stimsonink @QuestionPress @zooloo2008 #TheFarmhouseOfPeaceandPlenty #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today for The Farmhouse by L.B. Simpson. This is an atmospheric, gothic, mystery story that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s BookTours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book via Question Press.

The house, for all of its solitude, seemed incredibly noisy

The Farmhouse, having stood against time and history for nearly 160 years in the Virginia countryside, was forgotten and abandoned until Kyle and Jenny Dowling moved in during the summer of 1972.

The Dowlings, married just a year, were struggling to repair their broken marriage. It was to be the perfect place, away from it all, to heal their relationship. Jenny would write and Kyle would tend to minor renovations. The rent was cheap.

The realtor warned them, however, against staying beyond the final days of fall.

Purchase Link – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW…

This was a wonderfully atmospheric, slightly eerie story that was a quick read at just 125 pages long. The author didn’t hang about with setting the tone, right from the off, there is unease to the house that Kyle and Jenny first view.

For this couple it is the chance to try to rebuild their marriage, Kyle found this run down and unloved farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a rural property that they plan on renting cheaply and decorate so an acceptable level for it to be sold on.

Jenny is a writer and Kyle is an ex-schoolteacher. Jenny is the more sensitive of the two and does notice things, movements on the periphery of her vision, shadows, noises and unexplained things. This adds to the atmospherics as the author focuses on Jenny and the story that the house is seemingly trying to get out.

The isolation of the farmhouse and the general run down and old decor certainly add to the story. The house is actually a character in its own right. I know if this was me, I wouldn’t agree to live here if my husband had suggested it. I wouldn’t have quite said on your bike, I would have grabbed the bike and pedalled away as fast as I could!

While this is a spooky story, I didn’t find it too far up the scare scale, it is a good medium and I think I would say there is more intrigue to the mystery. With a house that is very old, there is going to be a rumour or two. The area is devoid of additional characters so in some respect this does give it the feel of a locked-in mystery and it has been done well.

This was a wonderful read and one that I happily sat and read over 2-3 hours. It has a good suspense feel and is full of mystery. It is one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

L.B. grew up in a one stop-light town in central Idaho. After earning a Bachelor of Art’s degree in cultural anthropology from California State University-Chico, she uprooted herself to begin a new life in Washington, D.C., where she began a varied career in professional communications in private business and education.

“I’ve always had a passion for photography, travel, writing, and history. I am thrilled to now be creating works of fiction that allow me to share these passions with others. One of my favorite parts of the writing process is the historical research required to bring authenticity to my characters’ lives.”

This is her fifth book and the second in her standalone series: Tales from the Parlor Room–a collection of gothic and ghostly tales.

She currently resides in Virginia where she enjoys cemetery walks, visiting abandoned and haunted places and working on more ghostly tales.

Follow her at – Facebook Instagram WebsiteAmazon Pinterest Twitter

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Lethal Ties by Helen J Christmas @SFDPBeginnings @rararesources #mystery #psychologicalthriller #Giveaway (UK only) #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Lethal Ties by Helen J Christmas. This is a very powerful and emotional read and one that does have a chilling edge to it.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot don’t he Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous story.

I do have to mention the cover, it is so appropriate now I have read this story!

Lethal Ties


A haunting vision. A spine-chilling nightmare. A missing boy.


When Joe, Maisie and Sam met in a residential children’s home, they pledged to look out for each other; three friends who were inseparable until the night Sam went missing…


Twenty years later, Maisie suffers flashbacks, unable to understand what lies at the root of her recurring nightmares. Shocked to find Joe, homeless on Bognor seafront, she helps him turn his life around, but it doesn’t seem long before their past comes back to haunt them.


What really went on at Orchard Grange all those years ago?
Where did Sam go?


Only he can provide the answers but they need to find him.

Within weeks of Maisie and Joe being reunited, however, an eerie presence disrupts their world. A mysterious black car is tailing them; a campaign of online abuse makes Joe wonder if his enemies are still around. He has never forgotten Mr Mortimer from the children’s home until a shocking attempt on his life launches a police investigation. 
Lethal Ties is a tense psychological thriller, an untangling of secrets with an utterly chilling twist.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

MY REVIEW…


This is a book that has had me hooked for the past couple of days. It is the story of three children who met while in care. One went to live with foster parents, one disappeared and one ran away. Years later they find each other.

Maisie is the main character of this story and as the synopsis tells, she finds one of her friends Joe. Together they begin to piece together events from the past, the ones that give Maisie nightmares and that Joe finds very difficult to describe. This is a story that involves child abuse, it is a story that is hard reading but has not been over-described.

The story is a mystery, a psychological thriller, it also has a criminal and police procedural aspect to it. The nature of the main theme is gradually brought out as initially Maisie and Joe deal with the past, they make links. It is as their friendship becomes more solid again that then turns this into a psychological thriller.

I am finding this quite difficult to review, I want so much to shout about the various events but can’t as I would give too much away.

Suppressed memories, nightmares and an uneasy feeling of being watched does not help Maisie feel safe, she does however have a good support network, though small, it provides her with the opportunity to voice her concerns. Through talking and through therapy she is able to piece things together. She realises that there is far more she has repressed than she had first realised. The author then adds the twists, the manipulation and also the realisation as things start to come together.

It is a story that the author has done so well considering the content. There is an amazing piece at the end of the book that describes how this story came about and also the people she met. I imagine research for this book to have been difficult but I think the author has done an amazing job.

This is an emotional read and also a very powerful one. Enough detail has been given so you are aware but as I mentioned earlier, there isn’t a lot of detail. I think the author got the balance for this very right. The psychological thriller aspect really builds, and I found this to add more pace to the story as it went on.

It always feels wrong to say that stories like this are wonderful reads, and Lethal Ties was such a wonderful read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

I’ve had a passion for writing since childhood and wrote my first full-length novel in 2011. This grew into a five-book mystery thriller series (Same Face Different Place). I love networking with other authors and the highlight of my writing journey was in 2015 when I was selected as a winner in a short story competition “Write Across Sussex,” judged by Kate Mosse and Peter Lovesey. I love where we live and with a passion for walking and photography, found the inspiration to base my novel in West Sussex.


I am active on social media and have written various articles about my characters on my blog. The underlying premise of ‘Lethal Ties’ is to raise awareness of mental health problems and promote a better understanding of conditions such as Asperger’s.


‘Lethal Ties’ is my first standalone psychological thriller and set in my local town, Bognor Regis.
Social Media Links – Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Website


GIVEAWAY

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of Lethal Ties (Open to UK Only)


*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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