They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen @MsTamarCohen @TransworldBooks

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Author : Tammy Cohen
Title : They All Fall Down
Pages : 384
Publisher : Black Swan
Publication date : July 13, 2017

aboutthebook

She knows there’s a killer on the loose.
But no-one believes her.
Will she be next?

Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking.

Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.

The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying.

Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again?

mythoughts

Hannah led a normal life until one day, everything started to fall to pieces. Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. But when two of her friends die and it is said they committed suicide, Hannah knows she’s being lied to. Nobody believes her though and time is running out.

Tammy Cohen’s writing is so incredibly beautiful and strong  that I soon found myself completely engrossed in this brilliantly woven and intricate plot. So much so that it wasn’t until I closed the book that I realised I hadn’t been taking any notes to help me in writing my review.

The author doesn’t rely on all the tricks of the trade, dazzling the reader with a multitude of twists and turns, and she doesn’t need to. That’s not to say there aren’t any twists. Of course there are! But they’re done masterfully and as you get to know the various characters, they actually make sense as opposed to the ones that come out of nowhere like a bolt of lightning.

Delving into the human psyche in an environment like a psychiatric clinic, where every single person is dealing with mental health issues, was already compelling enough on its own. But adding a mystery and a long list of potential suspects brought the story to a whole other level. Is it a member of staff? Is it a client? Is it someone else entirely? Or is Hannah just paranoid? I have unholy love for an author who can keep me guessing like this. While I had an inkling halfway through the book that I knew what was going on, I never felt quite secure in my belief. As it turns out, I was only half right and there was a part near the end that made my jaw drop so hard I think my chin hit the floor.

My list of go-to authors continues to grow at a terrifying pace as I now also add Tammy Cohen and I’m confident that no matter which genre she writes in, I’ll be first in line.

Many thanks to the publisher for my copy, which I received via Netgalley and chose to review honestly!

They All Fall Down is available for purchase now!

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Weekly Wrap-Up (July 30)

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I can’t quite believe July is almost over. Actually, I can’t quite believe half the year is gone already. Where did it go?!

Anyway, I read another 8 books this week.

Books I read this week :

 

Books I bought this week :

My self-imposed buying ban is working like a charm! 😄

 

ARC’s received via Netgalley :

 

This week’s book post :

Unless you count my massive order from last week that was delivered, none. 😢


On the blog this past week :

Monday : Posted my review for Beneath the Surface

Tuesday : Shared my thoughts on The Girlfriend

Wednesday : Reviewed Last Seen Alive

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Red is the Colour

Friday : Joined the blog tour for Till the Dust Settles and reviewed Lines of Enquiry

Saturday : Shared my review for The Upstairs Room

Sunday : Posted my review for Lily Alone

Next week on noveldeelights :

Next week I’ll be hosting stops on the blog tours for Little Bird, Reality Rehab, Her Deadly Secret, The Woman in the Shadows and The Girls in the Water. Busy? Who? Me? Nah! I’ll also be joining a cover reveal which is my first one ever. Eek.

In other news, I’m trying to stay off of Twitter more these days which makes it hard keeping up with notifications. I know, we’ve had these “feeling guilty” discussions in the past but anyway. I just want people to know that I always appreciate any and all shares and RT’s, even if I don’t always thank each and every one of you individually. ❤️

And that’s a wrap! Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

Lily Alone by Vivien Brown @HarperImpulse

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Author : Vivien Brown
Title : Lily Alone
Pages : 416
Publisher : Harper Impulse
Publication date : June 15, 2017

aboutthebook

Lily, who is almost three years old, wakes up alone at home with only her cuddly toy for company. She is afraid of the dark, can’t use the phone, and has been told never to open the door to strangers.

But why is Lily alone and why isn’t there anyone who can help her? What about the lonely old woman in the flat upstairs who wonders at the cries from the floor below? Or the grandmother who no longer sees Lily since her parents split up?

All the while a young woman lies in a coma in hospital – no one knows her name or who she is, but in her silent dreams, a little girl is crying for her mummy… and for Lily, time is running out.

mythoughts

Ruby Baxter is the victim of a hit-and-run accident and ends up in hospital in a coma. With no identification on her, nobody knows who she is or where she came from. And all the while her two year old daughter Lily is home alone.

This scenario is so incredibly scary because it’s sadly all too believable. In this day and age when people mind their own business and a true sense of community like in the old days is long forgotten, it’s perfectly feasible that nobody would notice a child left alone in a flat. These things can and do happen. Lily’s chapters were particularly gripping and tense as the reader spots the dangers but she so very clearly doesn’t. I almost found myself yelling “NO! Don’t touch that!”

The harrowing circumstances Lily finds herself in will change the lives of all those involved and connected to her in some way. But why do they not notice sooner that something is wrong? Where is Lily’s father? Or her grandparents? What about the neighbours?

For some reason I thought this was a psychological thriller. Don’t even ask, I have no idea. It’s not, in case you wondered. It is an incredibly well written domestic drama with a multitude of realistic characters. There’s Agnes, the neighbour, who is old, lonely and suffering from arthritis. Her son William has been at a loss since his divorce. Lily’s father Michael is flying home with his new fiancé Patricia and determined to make sure his daughter is a part of their lives. There’s also Lily’s paternal grandmother, Geraldine. And at the hospital we find Laura, an A&E nurse, Fiona, Gina and also Paul, the hospital chaplain. All these lives will be affected somehow because of Lily’s and Ruby’s circumstances.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story as we explore how one little mistake can have such devastating consequences. The only thing that niggled at me was I sometimes felt Lily sounded older than her years. What two year old knows about scary mummy movies? Feel free to enlighten me. I don’t have children so what would I know?! That’s a small thing though and it didn’t ruin my reading experience at all. Highly recommend!

Lily Alone was published as an ebook on June 15th.

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The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

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Author : Kate Murray-Browne
Title : The Upstairs Room
Pages : 320
Publisher : Picador
Publication date : July 27, 2017

aboutthebook

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners—including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.

mythoughts

Richard and Eleanor sink all their savings into their dream home. But there are strange things afoot. Eleanor thinks the house is making her ill. And her daughter has gone from a little angel to a temper tantrum throwing little devil. While Richard seems to be more occupied with their lodger, Zoë, Eleanor investigates the mystery of the previous owners and why the name “Emily” is found written pretty much all over the house.

I must say, I have some serious mixed feelings about The Upstairs Room but the overwhelming one would probably be slight disappointment. While the chapters about the house were great, there were flashback chapters about life for the inhabitants before they moved into this house and they completely ruined the flow of the story. In an odd sort of way, it almost felt as if they were written by someone else entirely.

I also didn’t really feel like they added anything, other than knowing everyone was miserable and none of the characters could apparently figure out what they wanted in life. There was way too much focus on past and present relationships. At about the halfway mark, I pretty much stopped caring about them altogether. What kept me reading was the mystery surrounding the upstairs room but there were no answers or explanations as to the why, how, or what and none of it was in any way creepy enough. Just when I thought things might finally get interesting and pick up, things fell flat.

Maybe my expectations were too high but all in all,  I’m feeling quite underwhelmed by the whole thing. Even the ending didn’t satisfy me one bit but I’m very picky about endings so that’s probably just me. I was obviously expecting something entirely different from this story than what I got and this book was just not for me. But don’t let that put you off

My thanks to Pan MacMillian for my advanced copy which I received through Netgalley and chose to review honestly.

The Upstairs Room was published on July 27th.

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Lines of Enquiry by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @caffeinenights

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Author : Graham Smith
Title : Lines of Enquiry
Series : The Major Crimes Team
Pages : 104
Publisher : Caffeine Nights Publishing
Publication date : March 5, 2015

aboutthebook

The Cumbria Major Crimes team is under immense pressure to get results. DCI Harry Evans and his subordinates, DS Neil Chisholm, DC Lauren Phillips and DC Amir Bhaki must juggle cases while tragedy stalks them. Up in Glasgow, DI John Campbell is
preparing to replace Evans, whose renegade ways have brought enforced retirement.

Together they must investigate a man killed in his own home, a vigilante group chasing a suspected paedophile, a river dammed for no obvious reason and a woman whose cries of ‘wolf’ turn to ‘rape’. Meanwhile DC Phillips goes undercover off the books.

mythoughts

I don’t normally read novellas because I always feel that just when I’m about to really sink my teeth into the story, it’s over. However, considering this is Graham Smith and how hard I raved about “Watching The Bodies” (which you’ve all read by now, right?!), I decided to make an exception and I’m glad I did.

This isn’t quite like any other novella I’ve ever read, which is a good thing. There may be few pages but they are jam-packed and there’s a lot going on. Not only are we introduced to some of the members of the Major Crimes Unit and offered the chance to get to know them, there are numerous cases being investigated as I assume it would be in “real life”.

This collections of short stories and investigations is a brilliant way of getting the reader acquainted with a number of characters and their backstories so that when you read the first book in the series “Snatched From Home”, you’re already familiar with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting DI Harry Evans and his team and I very much look forward to getting stuck into this series.

Lines of Enquiry was published in 2015.

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Till the Dust Settles by Pat Young @py321_young @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour #guestpost

I’m so very pleased to welcome author Pat Young to the blog today as part of the blog tour to talk about what inspired her to write her debut Till the Dust Settles! Many thanks to Pat Young, Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for the opportunity and my advanced copy.

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Author : Pat Young
Title : Till the Dust Settles
Pages : 306
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : July 27, 2017

aboutthebook

Two women will never meet, but their lives are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent. Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity to start again.

She thought the grass would be greener but starting again is never that simple. And sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.

guestpost

Readers often wonder where writers find their inspiration. ‘How did you get the idea for this book?’ is a question asked at almost every book launch or author interview I’ve ever attended. The responses vary enormously and sometimes the writer doesn’t even know the answer.

I can identify the exact moment in time when I was inspired to tell Lucie’s story. I didn’t know that her name would be Lucie or anything about her or what would happen to her. That came later, once I started writing, but the seed of a plot was planted in my brain one night in September when I was sat in front of the television.

It was the anniversary of 9/11. Perhaps every anniversary is marked with special programs on TV but I had never seen them. My husband was away from home, so I had control of the remote and I was channel-hopping. Three documentaries caught my attention. I watched them back to back.

One was about the dust that shrouded Manhattan after the Towers fell. It was the first time I’d seen images of people caught in the dust shower. I saw how they became completely unrecognisable. It was impossible, in some cases, to say whether a person was male or female, black or white, young or old. They were walking snowmen. No other way to describe them.

The second report was about a woman who pretended to be a survivor, although she was nowhere near New York State on September 11th 2001. This woman, for reasons known only to herself (and her psychiatrist) set up and became leader of a survivors’ group. She made herself so well-known that she ended up standing at Barack Obama’s side at the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial. No one thought to question her. She was accepted as being who she said she was.

The third programme focussed on crime. Apparently, thousands of crimes occur in New York every single day. Anything from shoplifting to murder. Compared to a horrific terrorist attack, every crime seemed petty. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, according to this documentary, many felonies, from the small to the very serious, went undetected, or at least, unreported. As far as the USA was concerned, there was no news, other than the tragedy that had occurred in Manhattan.

A person shrouded in dust beyond recognition, a woman pretending to be someone she was not and serious crime going unnoticed. The three came together and inspired a ‘What if?’ moment. For me that’s the start of every story and it was a great start to this one.

What if a young woman has committed a terrible crime?

What if she’s running away when she gets caught up in the dust storm?

What if such an awful tragedy gives her the chance to take on a new identity?

And so Till the Dust Settles was born.

***

Thank you so much Pat for taking the time to tell us what inspired you to write this story!

Till the Dust Settles was published on July 27th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.

Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.

Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books.

***

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Red is the Colour by Mark L. Fowler @MFowlerAuthor @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour

It’s my turn today to host a stop on the blog tour for Red is the Colour by Mark L. Fowler. Many thanks to Sarah and Bloodhound Books for the opportunity!

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Author : Mark L. Fowler
Title : Red is the Colour
Series : DCI Tyler & DC Mills #1
Pages : 293
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : July 25, 2017

aboutthebook

It is the summer of 2002. The corpse of a 15 year old boy, missing for thirty years, is discovered in Stoke-on-Trent. The city is on the cusp of change and Chief Superintendent Berkins wants the case solved quickly.

DCI Jim Tyler has arrived from London under a cloud, moving to Staffordshire to escape his past. He is teamed up with DS Danny Mills to investigate the case, but there is tension between the detectives.

When the dead boy’s sister comes forward, describing a bright, solitary child, she points a finger at the school bullies. Important careers may be at stake.

Then one of the bullies is found brutally murdered.

As Tyler and Mills dig deeper they start to suspect a cover-up. What is the connection between the death of a schoolboy in 1972 and this latest killing? With the pressure building, and the past catching up with DCI Tyler, will he and DS Mills be able to put aside their differences in order to catch a cold-blooded killer?

mythoughts

DCI Tyler left his previous job under a cloud and now finds himself in Staffordshire. There’s no time to adjust to his new surroundings or circumstances as he’s thrown into a murder investigation right away when the body of a fifteen year old boy, who went missing thirty years ago, is found by a kid walking his dog. It soon turns out the victim, Alan Dale, was bullied horrendously at school. When one of the alleged bullies turns up dead, the case takes a sinister turn. Are these events connected? Were the bullies responsible for Alan’s death? Is there a major cover up going on? DCI Tyler and his new colleague, DC Mills, have their work cut out for them.

Red is the Colour is the first instalment in the DCI Tyler and DC Mills series. It is quite slow and not at all action packed but in all honesty, I thoroughly enjoyed this change of pace. It took me a while to get settled in and get used to the writing style but the case the team is investigating really held my interest throughout.

I felt the story had a bit of an old school vibe to it. No quick fixes by doing internet searches or trawling through various databases but good old fashioned pounding the pavement investigating, interviewing people and trying to figure them and their involvement out. You could almost hear the cogs of the detectives’ brain turning. I think it proved to be a real character study which rather fascinated me. Not only the potential suspects but also in the case of DCI Tyler himself, who’s struggling with his own demons.

As for the murder that’s being investigated, there aren’t necessarily massive twists and turns or red herrings but just like DCI Tyler, I was trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and coming up with nothing. That was me, not DCI Tyler, in case you wondered. Deep down, I never really expected a positive outcome as Alan’s story and ultimate death is quite a heartbreaking one, highlighting the devastating consequences of bullying when those with the power to make a change turn a blind eye. To that end, I think the author brought the storyline to a satisfying conclusion and maybe one of the characters might make a return appearance and still get their comeuppance in future books in this series.

Many thanks to Sarah and Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to join the tour and for the advanced copy!

Red is the Colour was published on July 25th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Mark L. Fowler is the author of the novels Coffin Maker, The Man Upstairs, Silver, and Red Is The Colour, and more than a hundred short stories. His particular interests are in crime and mystery, psychological thrillers and gothic/horror fiction.

A graduate in philosophy from Leicester University, Mark lives in Staffordshire, and is currently writing a follow up to Red Is The Colour. When he isn’t writing he enjoys time with family and friends, watching TV and films, playing guitar/piano and going for long walks.

Twitter | Facebook

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This Week in Books (July 26)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading :

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Two women will never meet, but their lives are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent. Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity to start again.

She thought the grass would be greener but starting again is never that simple. And sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.


The book I’m currently reading :

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When beautiful cloth merchant’s daughter Elizabeth Williams is widowed at the age of twenty-two, she is determined to make herself a success in the business she has learned from her father. But there are those who oppose a woman making her own way in the world, and soon Elizabeth realises she may have some powerful enemies – enemies who also know the truth about her late husband…

Security – and happiness – comes when Elizabeth is introduced to kindly, ambitious merchant turned lawyer, Thomas Cromwell. Their marriage is one based on mutual love and respect…but it isn’t always easy being the wife of an influential, headstrong man in Henry VIII’s London. The city is filled with ruthless people and strange delights – and Elizabeth realises she must adjust to the life she has chosen…or risk losing everything.


What I’m reading next :

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Best friends tell each other the truth – don’t they?

When North Stone’s best friend Kelly Orton is found hanging lifeless in a tree, North knows for certain it wasn’t suicide. Kelly had everything to live for – a loving boyfriend, a happy life, and most importantly of all, Kelly would never leave North all by herself.

The girls have been friends since childhood, devoted to each other, soul sisters, or at least that’s what North has always believed. But did Kelly feel the same way, or was she keeping secrets from her ‘best friend’ – deadly secrets…

When the police refuse to take North’s suspicions seriously, she sets out to investigate for herself. But her search soon takes her to a glamorous world with a seedy underbelly, and before long North is out of her depth and getting ever closer to danger. Determined to find the truth, she soon wishes that dead girls could lie, because the truth is too painful to believe.

***

Which fab books are on your list this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas @Dougieclaire @PenguinUKBooks

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Author : Claire Douglas
Title : Last Seen Alive
Pages : 400
Publisher : Penguin
Publication date : July 13, 2017

aboutthebook

The Hero

Libby Hall never really wanted to be noticed. But after she saves the children in her care from a fire, she finds herself headline news. And horrified by the attention. It all reminds her of what happened nine years ago. The last time she saw her best friend alive.

The Swap

Which is why the house swap is such a godsend. Libby and her husband Jamie exchange their flat in Bath for a beautiful, secluded house in Cornwall. It’s a chance to heal their marriage – to stop its secrets tearing them apart.

The Hideaway

But this stylish Cornish home isn’t the getaway they’d hoped for. They make odd, even disturbing, discoveries in the house. It’s so isolated, yet Libby doesn’t feel entirely alone. As if she’s being watched.

Is Libby being paranoid? What is her husband hiding? As the secrets and lies come tumbling out, is the past about to catch up with them?

mythoughts

Libby and her husband Jamie have had a rough couple of months. So when a leaflet drops into their letter box offering a house swap, they jump at the chance to swap their flat in Bath for a house by the sea in Cornwall. But things don’t quite turn out as expected and even upon their return home, it’s obvious there’s something sinister going on.

First, let me say I’m incredibly wary of the whole house swapping thing that’s been going on the past few years and I would never even consider the thought of having a bunch of strangers loose in my home. And most definitely not based on a flyer in my letter box! You’d think Libby and Jamie would consider that just a liiiiitle bit suspicious. But no, they’re all for it.

Libby has some issues and I really enjoyed trying to figure out if she was a reliable narrator or not. Is she imagining things and terribly paranoid? Or not? Her husband Jamie got on my nerves like whoa and I became increasingly suspicious about his behaviour. With lies and secrets seemingly around every corner, this will keep you guessing all the way. As often happens in this genre, things aren’t what they seem and this brilliantly crafted and gripping plot has some fantastic twists. If you think those will leave you spinning, just wait until you get to the end which is positively fabulous!

This is the third novel I’ve read by Claire Douglas and I think this is her best one yet! I may even go as far as to say I’m adding her to my list of go-to authors.

Many thanks to Sarah Harwood and Penguin UK for my copy, which I chose to review honestly!

Last Seen Alive is available now!

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The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances @panmacmillan

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Author : Michelle Frances
Title : The Girlfriend
Pages : 464
Publisher : Pan Macmillan
Publication date : May 4, 2017

aboutthebook

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

mythoughts

Laura has everything she could possibly want. A successful career, a rich husband, a fancy house and a wonderful son whom she’s very close to. But then her son, Daniel, meets Cherry, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. She’s not had the same opportunities in life having been raised by a single mom who’s worked hard and struggled all her life to keep a roof over their heads. And Cherry is sick and tired of being poor.

Oooh, what a deliciously disturbing and twisted tale this is! The tension builds and builds up to a fabulous climax and I couldn’t at all guess at the outcome. Although I must say, it was highly satisfying.

I won’t be mentioning any names as I feel that would give away too much. Let’s just say that despite a few dubious actions, there was one main character I could absolutely sympathise with and another I completely and utterly despised. This character is incredibly manipulative and vindictive and even after being on the other end of the unforgivable lie that’s mentioned in the blurb, there wasn’t a single moment where I felt sorry for them. I’m honestly not quite sure if I’ve ever had this intense dislike for someone before.

And then there’s Daniel. Insert dramatic eye roll here. Caught up between his mother and his girlfriend, he is completely blind to all the clues and I found him to be quite a weak character. I just felt like grabbing him by the collar and yelling at him to open his eyes!

The Girlfriend is really fast-paced and truly addictive. With a brilliantly executed and clever plot, the author has delivered a gripping, engrossing read and an outstanding psychological thriller that has once again restored my faith in this genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. This is an excellent debut by Michelle Frances and I look forward to her next offering.

The Girlfriend is available now!

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