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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The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames @joel_hames @zooloo2008 @SpellBoundBks #mystery #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames. This is a mystery and suspense thriller that is a slower paced one, but also very addictive and intriguing.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my stop on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book.

SHE’S WATCHING YOU,

BUT WHO’S WATCHING HER?



From the bestselling author of Dead North, a tense, claustrophobic psychological thriller perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Claire McGowan and Clare Mackintosh.

Meet Polly.
Meet Emily.
Meet Belinda.

They’re all me.

My name is Lisa and I’m an identity thief. If I’m not inside your system stealing your money, I’ve probably already stolen it. I’m your friend. I’m a thief. I’m gone. I’m in control.

Only now, the tables have been turned. I’m in danger. My son is in danger. And I don’t know where that danger’s coming from.

Any friend.
Any enemy.
Any stranger.
Anyone from the past I’ve been trying to outrun for years.

NOBODY CAN BE TRUSTED.

My Review…

This was a book I took a little longer to read than usual. It is a story that alternates timelines and has several names that I needed to get used to. The names are the different aliases used by the main character, Lisa. She is an identity thief and a mother. Each one of these aliases is used in a different way.

This is a clever and complex story as I followed Lisa and her son Simon. Lisa’s story is told in two parts, the main one is set in a present day setting. The second is in shorter italicised chapters and this is about her time growing up and is gradually brought up to the present. I do like this style as you tend to get stories that are more in-depth giving the reason behind certain behaviour.

As the synopsis suggests, Lisa is definitely stumped when she discovers that someone has done the very thing that she does to others. The story follows true frustrations, struggles, torments and dangers that she now has to face. Thanks, f it was just Lisa she would know what to do, but she has her son to think of.

This is a slower-paced story and one that I was glad to slow my reading speed down for. It gave me the chance to absorb the story more and understand the character. This was clever and I was so intrigued by it. Following Lisa’s reasoning as to who could be after he led me down so many routes and roads. Not once did I have any inkling as to how the end would play out until the author was ready.

A mystery as well as suspense. I do think it is a thriller and psychological element to it as well. It’s a fabulously twisted story that gradually picks up as the story progresses. It is one that really caught my attention and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

A Londoner in exile, Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire with his wife and two daughters.

His works of fiction include the bestselling Sam Williams trilogy Dead North, No One Will Hear and The Cold Years, and the standalone psychological thriller The Lies I Tell.

When not writing or spending time with his family, Joel likes to eat, cook, play the piano, and make up excuses to avoid walking the dog. There’s the MMA thing, too, but he doesn’t like to show off.

You can find out more about Joel and sign up to his mailing list through social media or his very own Website

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The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley @rubyspeechley @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #thriller #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the reviewers opening the Blog Tour and to share my review today for The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley. The cover and synopsis were intriguing when I saw the email for this and joining the Blog Tour. My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy.

They’re in your house.

They want your life.

And now, they have your baby.

To the world, I’m @HappyWife. Online, people only see my picture-perfect home, my handsome husband, Nick, and my beautiful baby, Thomas.

They don’t see the real Gemma Adams. They don’t see my past, the dark secrets I’m hiding in my marriage. They don’t see the fear I live in every single day.

But I know someone is watching me. And now, they’ve taken Thomas.

I just don’t know why.

But I’m going to stop at nothing to get my baby back.

Even if it destroys everything I’ve got to find him.

A compelling thriller, packed with suspense – fans of K.L. Slater and Lisa Jewell won’t be able to put it down.

My Review…

The cover for this book definitely caught my eye. It has an unsettling synopsis and one that made me intrigued before I even started it.

Gemma is married to Nick, and everything about being a mum to Thomas is new. He’s only 5 days old and she is trying to do some shopping. When one of her employees spots her and offers to help, Gemma is only too happy to. After all, she knows this person and trusts them!

This is a suspense novel that is told in differing timelines and from differing perspectives. It caught me initially but as I got to know the characters I was able to differentiate between them.

The author has woven a story that is about a missing baby. It does, however, have more to it than that, it does sound like I am downplaying the severity of the baby, honestly, I am not. The baby is the finale in some ways even though it’s at the beginning. The story that follows is the lead up to that climax and you get all the whys, who’s and where’s.

His was a story that definitely hooked me. Even though you will guess early who he who is going to about the journey that takes place between the characters.

This one was an addictive read as I was so curious. Took a route I didn’t expect and it was a route I enjoyed. This is one for readers who like mystery, intrigue and stories set in a domestic setting. I would happily recommend this book.

About the Author…

Ruby Speechley is the author of four psychological thrillers published by Hera Books. She loves writing about domestic situations with plenty of twists and secrets.

She was born in Portugal but has lived in the UK since she was three months old. She now lives in Cheshire with her husband and two of her three children and two dogs. She has an older son and grandson.

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The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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The Crazy Season by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @zooloo2008 @QuestionPress

I am delighted to share my review today for The Crazy Season by Jim Ody. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and after reading his latest book, it will not be the last time! It was a brilliant read.

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I loved the tense and suspense ridden atmosphere he has created in this first book in the Joel Baxter series. I do own several of this author’s books and it is only now that I have got around to reading one. Yes, I am kicking myself for this lapse!

A journalist, Joel is used to strange and unusual events, it’s what he is known for. So the email he receives really catches his attention. With the help of his best friends sister Melody, they go off in search of the truth behind the curse of The Crazy Season not realising what exactly they are walking into.

Right from the start, this author caught my attention and what a start it was. It sort of sets the feel of the story that follows. It is one with more to it than first meets the eye. As the chapters progressed I discovered more not only about Joel and his wife Cherry but also got more of a glimpse into what exactly Joel does. He is a journalist as such but not the manic story hungry one looking for the latest headlines. He is more about trying to help find the truth and in turn, it helps others. This also helps him. Melody, well Melody is Melody, she is blunt and outrageous in what she says, but underneath her bluster, there is a caring and thoughtful women. I liked her a lot and she made me laugh several times!

The story of the curse is one that was intriguing and the author really knows how to spin a tale. More questions than answers and false leads with the feeling of Joel and Melody going around in circles, hearing similar stories but not quite getting anywhere as far as the truth goes. It’s a mysterious story with plenty of intrigues, to say the least.

The answers, or really that should be the breadcrumbs are not revealed until a lot further into the story. Up until this point, the author gives plenty for the reader to discover and think about. Introducing new characters and adding subtle hints along the way. Once things start to connect you begin to realise how well this story has been thought about. Not only that but there is something else lurking in the background.

This was such a wonderful story to read, mysterious, full of suspense and quite atmospheric. At times it had a noirish tinge to it and I really enjoyed the slower pace of the journey. It is one I would definitely recommend and I will be keeping an eye out for the next one in the series.

About the Author…

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd.  When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

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Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman #Geiger @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman. This is a tense conspiracy thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and is published tomorrow (29th April 2021).

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book via Net Galley.

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For fans of  I Am Pilgrim, GEIGER is set to become the must-read international thriller of 2021. 

The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’. For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making…

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Review…

Well, the synopsis for Geiger is definitely intriguing, well I thought so, it also makes for a very good start to this story.

This is a really good and well-plotted spy thriller that I really enjoyed. There is a blend of past and present that the author links together really well and is full of little subplots. The present is about the death of Stellan, and of his missing wife as well as the character of Sara a police officer with connections to the family. The past is more in the eighties with the fall of the Berlin Wall, German reunifications, USSR, GDR, spies, espionage, theories, politics and various other items of the time.

The mix of historical into this story was the part that I probably enjoyed the most, the cloak and dagger spy stuff if you like. But then I also liked the present story with a more procedural presence to it as you would find in a crime thriller. The idea of having a historical aspect in the story is great as it does add a great amount of intrigue. There is a good amount of detail that emerges as part of the story, this does however slow the pace down. I do like a slower paced book, and it meant I could take my time and not feel rushed while I was reading. I was able to read with the flow of the story and absorb the many details.

The author has a good mix of characters, enough for the different parts of the story and the different subplots, but not too many that I lost track of who was who. I did mention that there is a whole range of different things going on in this story, one of the themes is quite a distressing one and one I didn’t expect. While it is part of the story, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

A story that starts with a murder that then develops into a central European espionage ring, with mentions of family, upbringing and lifestyle there is a lot going on. A really intriguing and interesting read that had me wondering who was who and why they did what they did. I would recommend this for readers who prefer a slower-paced and intense spy-thriller story.

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Prisoner by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross #boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #NetGalley #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Prisoner by Ross Greenwood. I do like this authors books and have read several, Prisoner is a little different and a fabulously addicted read!

My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Behind bars, the rules are different…

Prison Officer Jim Dalton is used to walking the landings on the male side of HMP Peterborough. It’s a dangerous place, fuelled by testosterone-driven violence, but he’s done the job for a long time. He understands the unwritten rules, and he has the prisoners’ respect. 

When a relative is sent to the jail, Dalton is transferred to the female side of the prison. His next shift is so easy, he can’t believe that the officers over there get paid the same wages. He sleeps well for the first time in years.

But when he is assigned to the young offenders’ wing, dealing with female prisoners no longer seems so simple.  As every day passes, and he gets to know the women better, he is slowly drawn in to new temptations, new traps and a new nightmare. One which could destroy everything.

Taking a break from his bestselling DI Barton series, Ross Greenwood returns with this shocking, page-turning and utterly compelling glimpse behind the bars of a women’s prison. From a man who walked the landings himself…

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

I have read quite a few of this authors crime thriller books, his latest release Prisoner is very different to what I have read in the past. Ross uses his working experience in the Prison Service as inspiration and it shows in the writing.

A blend of fact and fiction as the author writes a very compelling story around Prison Officer Jim Dalton. A man who has respect on the male side of the prison from both fellow officers and also inmates. He comes across as a fair person, but one who is struggling in his home life. The stress of the job is telling and his marriage is rocky.

A move from the male wing to the female wing for a short period gives him a reprieve as such. The stress is less and the work more manageable. There are however a different set of unspoken rules for working in the female wing, unfortunately, Jim is a little slow to heed the warnings and see the signs.

I loved the way the author created an understated thriller like this one. There is a good amount of intrigue and suspense and there is a tense vibe and atmosphere to it. The author has created some great characters and making them so believable. Having the experience of working in a prison has definitely added a wonderful balance to the story as he gives a more balanced outlook. Describing the ways in which the psychology of a male or female wing differs.

How the characters of Jim deals with the changes in his role gives a really good insight and shows how easy it is to get caught up in simple things and to fall prey to a lie. While it is obvious that this is an environment where lies and deceit are going to be part of the norm, the author takes a little bit further.

This is such a clever story and one that I adored. There are some very hard to read parts of the story, again adding credibility to an at times harrowing read. It shows the good and the bad as well as the grey areas. If you like prison-based stories then this is one for you. It is a story that sort includes many genres from the obvious crime to the thriller, suspense and also partly psychological. It is a book that I do think will appeal to a great variety of readers. Tense, gritty, absorbing and definitely recommended.

It also includes a very insightful author note as the end. 

About the Author…

Ross Greenwood is the author of six crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough and his first title for Boldwood – the beginning of a series – The Snow Killer was published in November 2019.

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The Island by C.L. Taylor #TheIslandBook #YAThriller @HQStories #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island by C.L. Taylor. It has been a while since I read one of Cally’s books, so I was really looking forward to this one. Aimed at Young Adult Readers it also works very well for Adults as well.

Here’s more…

Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

My Review…

I really enjoyed this YA book and how the author approached fears and phobias through a group of teens alone on an island near Thailand.

The group of 6 have known each other all their lives, they have holidays every year. As they have grown up they have drifted apart somewhat, dynamics between each of them have altered. Tragedy has hit more than one of the group and this leads to a small void starting to encroach on the group.

A holiday on an island, a chance to get away under the supervision of a guide should be good for the group. However, when the guide dies things that had been kept hidden or controlled start to unravel. A sense of seeing beyond the mask if you like as the situation the teens find themselves in changes dramatically.

I really enjoyed the tense suspense of this novel and how the author explored the changing and challenging dynamics of the group. As they find themselves in disarray they also start to suspect that there is a danger stalking them. What or who this is they are not sure, who is to blame, who is playing games and what is to happen are questions that I needed to know the answers to as I read.

The isolation of the island adds to the sense of loneliness and separation. As I got to know each of the 6 better I began to realise that there is more than meets the eye, they are not quite the stable group I initially thought they were.

This is a really good tense, suspense ridden YA thriller and one that I really enjoyed. A good deal of mystery, intrigue and suspicion across the novel gives it that page-turner addiction. One I would recommend.

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The Nesting by C.J. Cooke @CJessCooke @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours @fictionpubteam #mystery #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Nesting by C.J. Cooke. This book has a gorgeous cover and the story inside is just brilliant. Huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for arranging my copy of the book and also for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Synopsis…

It was like something out of a fairytale…

The grieving widower.

The motherless daughters.

A beautiful house in the woods.

Deep in a remote Norwegian forest, Lexi has found a new home with architect Tom and his two young daughters. With snow underfoot and the sound of the nearby fjord in her ears, it’s as if Lexi has stepped into a fairy tale

But this family has a history – and this place has a past. Something was destroyed to build their beautiful new house. And those ancient, whispering woods have a long memory.

Lexi begins to hear things, see things that don’t make sense. She used to think this place heavenly, but in the dark, dark woods, a menacing presence lurks.

With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.

But protect them from what?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

I am going to start with the cover for this book and say that I absolutely adore it. The relevance of the cover image is something that is gradually revealed as the mysterious and atmospheric story unfolds.

The story is about Lexi taking someone’s identity and finding herself in Norway in a remote woodland being a Nanny to Gaia and Coco, Lexi is known as Sophie. The house she stays in is creepy, full of weird noises and there is a certain creepiness to it. Why the need for a Nanny, when Aurelia died Tom needed help to look after his daughters while he was finishing the building the eco-friendly house.

Ecology plays a part in this story as does a folk-lore of the land looking after itself. The author has used her own Scandinavian feeling fairy tales to add a folklore vibe to this story. It gives it a wonderful sense of the old world or ancient woodland that fits in so well with this mystery. The atmospheric air is suspense-filled but not over the top spooky. There is the ever-present presence of something lurking in the background and it does give a certain eerie chill.

The story itself is one that had a lot more than I first expected, as much as it is a story of discovering the mystery it is also about one of the characters discovering herself. In fact, the characters all have something that they hold back, giving tension to the book.

I really liked this book and once I started it I found it difficult to put down. It has the feel of a Scandi-Noir and it does have folklore, gothic feel as well as being a mystery and to a certain extent a mystery thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is one that I would definitely recommend.

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I Am Dust by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks #20booksofsummer #mystery #suspense #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Am Dust by Louise Beech. THis is a book I have chosen to be part of my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and what a wonderful book it was.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis

A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

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My Review

I have just finished reading this book and there are two words that I think sum this book up “hauntingly beautiful” I wish I could leave that as my review, but as a Book Blogger I know I need to add more to it. The synopsis gives a very good idea as to the story, but, Oh there is so much more it than that!

The story is told in a time slip style. The past goes back to when three teens, Chloe, Jess and Ryan use a Ouija board to contact a dead actress. She was murdered while the show Dust was being performed. The now is the DW theatre, not as popular as it used to be, and there is exciting news that the show Dust will be performed once again.

The author did such an amazing job with this story, I loved the haunting atmospherics that added some amazing tension. The story started with some excitement as the teens started to use the spirit board, this was then built on over the course of the story. Mixed into this was the mystery about the dead actress, Morgan Miller, who wanted to kill her and why.

There is another mystery that also comes into play, and that is what exactly happened to the teens when they walked away from the board? Did it change them? Did they follow the warnings? Well these questions are just the tip of the ice-berg as the author took this reader deeper and deeper into this mystery.

I call this a mystery, and in some ways yes it is, but it is also has a wonderful supernatural theme to it, also there is the murder which adds a crime element, then there is the relationships between the teens, oh and there is also a heartbreaking aspect. I think what I am getting at is that this book crosses genres and that makes it a book that will engage so many different readers.

The story gradually wrapped me up, drawing me deeper and deeper into its pages. I found myself addicted and at times when I was not reading it, I almost felt it calling out to me to pick it up again. It is a beautifully written story, that is heartbreaking and haunting. I loved it from start to finish and those last few pages completely broke me and left me a sobbing wreck.

This is a book that I am pretty sure will be on my Top Reads of the Year list. It is an exceptional read and one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out in 2020.

Links – WebsiteTwitterAmazon Author Page

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