Apple of my Eye by Claire Allan | @ClaireAllan @AvonBooksUK | #blogtour #AppleOfMyEye

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Apple of my Eye by Claire Allan today. My thanks to Sabah at Avon for the invitation to join and for the wonderful review copy!

Author : Claire Allan
Title : Apple of my Eye
Pages : 400
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : January 24, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When a mysterious note arrives for six months pregnant Dr Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

| MY THOUGHTS |

I really enjoyed Claire Allan’s debut novel, Her Name Was Rose, and have eagerly been awaiting her next offering ever since. And here it is! Second novels are always a tad tricky, or so they say, so I couldn’t wait to see if Claire Allan managed to come up with another brilliant plot.

Eliana is six months pregnant when mysterious notes start to show up, making her question everything about her life. Who is sending these notes and what do they want? Struggling with her pregnancy and unsure about impending motherhood, now she also has to face the fact that her husband may be a cheating you-know-what. And that’s all I’m telling you about this storyline because you really need to discover the rest for yourself.

Now, I read a lot in this genre and I’m also extremely suspicious by nature, which meant that I quite early on figured out what was going on. However, that didn’t impact my enjoyment of this book at all and I was eager to keep on reading to see if I was right or wrong. It’s a testament to Claire Allan’s writing that I never once felt like giving up on it because even though the element of surprise was gone for me, the journey to get there was still just as thrilling.

Apple of my Eye touches on some sensitive topics, like miscarriages and still-births. The impact those have on a character’s life is threaded throughout the story. Watching their struggle made for some uncomfortable reading sometimes and in an odd sort of way, that’s exactly what I like in my psychological thrillers lately. This kind of emotional level you don’t always get, that maybe makes you sympathise with the wrong character because you feel their pain even though you don’t necessarily agree with their actions.

This is another suspenseful, gripping and addictive page-turner from Claire Allan. She’s an author who should be on your radar for sure. Apple of my Eye didn’t disappoint at all with its intriguing characters and compelling storyline. I can’t wait to see what Claire Allan comes up with next!

Apple of my Eye is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Claire Allan is an Irish author who has previously written women’s fiction. Apple of My Eye is her second psychological thriller following 2018’s Her Name Was Rose.

The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott | @RachelAbbott @MauraWilding | #blogtour

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott! My thanks to Maura Wilding for the invitation to join! Do please also make sure you visit Jo at My Chestnut Reading Tree who shall be reviewing the book today. Because over here on my blog, we’re doing something else altogether! It’s time for some fun and games but first, let’s see what The Shape of Lies is all about!

Author : Rachel Abbott
Title : The Shape of Lies
Series : DCI Tom Douglas #8
Pages : 314
Publisher : Black Dot Publishing
Publication date : February 12, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Yesterday, Scott was dead.
Today, he’s back.
And Anna doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Fourteen years ago Scott was Anna’s boyfriend. She loved him, but he ruined her life. When he died, she should have been free.

But today Scott is on the radio, talking about her. Threatening to spill her secrets.

Anna is a mother, a wife, and head teacher of a primary school. And she’s a very good liar. She has been lying about herself for so long, she doesn’t really know who she is any more.

Anna used to think she was a good person. She made one stupid mistake, and now she is having to pay for it – over and over again.

Scott is the only person who knows the truth about her past. But how can Scott be alive?

Soon, DCI Tom Douglas is going to knock on her door looking for answers. But Anna is already running scared: from the man she used to love; the man she watched die all those years ago; the man who has come back to life.

She has one week to find him. One week to stop him.

I don’t know about you but I’m ridiculously excited! This is one of my favourite series and I can’t wait to read this!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Wordery

| THE SHAPE OF TRUTH AND LIES GAME |

To celebrate the publication of The Shape of Lies we are playing a game of truth and lies. Play along, follow the blog tour to collect all the truths and you could be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of The Shape of Lies.

How to play: Rachel Abbott has come up with two big lies and one absolute truth about her life. Can you channel her beloved detective, Tom Douglas, and detect the one truth? Pick carefully, then follow the blog tour to collect all the truths and enter the prize draw. Once you have all seven truths email your answers to rachelabbottcomps@gmail.com

Full T&Cs can be found here. The next round of The Shape of Truth or Lies continues over on Off The Shelf Books tomorrow.

Play the game and be in with a chance of winning your very own signed copy.

Sounds easy enough, right? Are you ready? Let’s play!

Sport

  1. I have done the London Marathon twice, once dressed as a ballerina.
  2. When I was at school I had a trial for the Lancashire netball team. I used to practice taking 100 shots at goal per day (I was Goal Attack). 
  3. Having learned ballroom dancing at Turner’s Dancing School, I was chosen to represent the North West in an under 18s Ballroom Dancing contest in Blackpool. I was runner up, scoring top marks for my cha-cha. I do love a triple shuffle.

Which one is truth? A, B or C? Keep your answer safe, collect the next six truths and send all seven to: rachelabbottcomps@gmail.com

Hm. Not so easy after all. 🤔

Remember to head to Off The Shelf Books tomorrow for the next stop of The Shape of Lies blog tour and the next game of The Shape of Truth or Lies.

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Rachel Abbott, born and raised in Manchester, founded her own interactive media company in the 1980s, before selling it and retiring in 2005. She then moved to Italy where she worked on the renovation of a 15th century Italian monastery, and it was here that, one day, she found herself snowed in and decided to begin writing for pleasure. This became her debut novel, Only The Innocent, which she went on to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, topping their chart for 4 weeks.

A true self-publishing pioneer, The Shape of Lies is Abbott’s ninth novel.

She splits her time between Alderney in the Channel Islands and Italy

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

All The Little Lies by Chris Curran | @Christi_Curran @KillerReads | #blogtour

Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for All The Little Lies by Chris Curran! My thanks to the author for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

Author : Chris Curran
Title : All The Little Lies
Pages : n/a
Publisher : Killer Reads / Harper Collins
Publication date : February 15, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

One email is all it takes to turn Eve’s world upside down. It contains a picture of her true birth mother, Stella, and proves that Eve’s entire life with her adoptive parents has been a lie.
 
Now she must unravel the mystery of Stella’s dark past. But what Eve finds will force her to take enormous risks, which put her – and her new-born baby – in immediate danger…

| MY THOUGHTS |

After having really enjoyed Chris Currant’s previous novel, Her Deadly Secret, I was delighted to be asked to read her next offering and discover what devilish plot she came up with this time.

Eve has always known she was adopted. But when she receives an email from a friend about her birth mother, Eve’s world is completely turned upside down. Her adoptive parents have been lying to her for years and now Eve is determined to find out the truth.

And off we go on a thrilling ride with so many twists and turns, it almost left me with whiplash. There are so many questions that need answers, so many lies that need to be discovered and just when you think there couldn’t possibly be any left, up pop a few more. Nobody in this story can be trusted to tell the truth about anything.

The chapters alternate between Eve in the present day and her birth mother, Stella, in the past. Slowly but surely a picture starts to form of what happened back then and why Eve may now find herself in danger. Because some people will stop at nothing to stop the truth from coming out. Now, I must admit that the chapters filling us in on Stella’s life were the ones that really gripped me. I truly felt for her and all the things she went through and as I am an incredibly impatient person, I just wanted to get to those reveals. That’s not to say Eve’s chapters don’t make for compelling reading either. It’s just the way my brain is programmed.

There was one event I figured out but there was a heck of a lot more that I didn’t see coming at all. All The Little Lies is a well-paced and gripping read full of untrustworthy characters. Maybe not quite for those with trust issues but for those who enjoy a twisty psychological thriller, I have no doubt you’ll enjoy this one.

All The Little Lies is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

All the Little Lies is Chris Curran’s fourth psychological thriller for Harper Collins Killer Reads. She lives in East Sussex and writes, standing up, in a room with no view. When inspiration falters she finds tea (Earl Grey, hot) and a bout of ironing are very therapeutic. In breaks between books she dusts, cooks, walks by the sea and reads – but mostly reads. 

Author links : Instagram | Twitter | Website

Weekly Wrap-Up (February 17)

After the longest January ever, February is positively flying! We’re currently having some lovely sunshine and Spring temperatures and that just makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

I can’t say it’s been a productive week though. Unless you count the three hours I spent on cleaning my oven. Yes, it was necessary. The hubby, who’s also the chef in our house, made a right mess of it. After all these years, I still haven’t managed to add “cleaning” to his list of duties 😉

Reading-wise, well …. why don’t we take a look?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Well. Erm. I don’t even have an explanation. In my defense, I have been listening to an audiobook which takes a lot longer to finish obviously. But somehow that doesn’t seem like a sufficient excuse to end the week with two finished books under my belt. Must do better.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

None. I didn’t even realise until I started writing this post. All the books I really, really, really want to read aren’t published yet.

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

All The Little Lies for a blog tour, courtesy of Killer Reads. My Lovely Wife was a wonderful present from Michael Joseph. I’ve had my eye on that one for a while already so I was very excited to get that one!

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Ooh yes, it was a good week at Casa Eva. Huge thanks to Transworld, Atlantic, Headline, OneWorld and Pan MacMillan. That’s probably it until Summer 😂

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review for The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for East of England by Eamonn Griffin with a guest post by the author.

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Where She Lies by Michael Scanlon and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti

Friday : I was going to post my Silent Patient review but a) I didn’t want to interfere with the blog tour and b) I haven’t actually written it yet. 😳

Saturday : Nothing

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | All The Little Lies by Chris Curran

Tuesday : Blog tour | Truths and Lies | The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Apple of my Eye by Claire Allan

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | My Last Lie by Ella Drummond

Friday : Blog tour | Review | The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber

Saturday : Social Media Tour | Review | To Kill the Truth by Sam Bourne

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s fine! Everything is fine! I have it all under control! 😨😂

In other news, thank you so much to the wonderful person who nominated my blog for the Best Book Blog award at the Blogger Bash thingamajig. It’s very much appreciated and I’m truly grateful. I don’t stand a chance in hell but for once it’s true what they say, being nominated is fabulous enough as it is.

That’s all I have for this week. I have reviews to write (three to begin with) and books to read (also three and that’s just for the upcoming week) so I should probably get to it. Although …. mmmm, lunch. 🤔😂

Wishing you all a wonderful week and lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx

Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti | @orionbooks @wnbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti today. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Ilaria Tuti
Title : Flowers over the Inferno
Series : Teresa Battaglia #1
Pages : 360
Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication date : February 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders.

Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise hard-won from decades of battling for respect in the male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is no ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains are whispers of a dark and dangerous history, possibly tied to a group of eight-year-old children toward whom the killer seems to gravitate.

As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Well, this is a novel experience. After all the Scandi-Noir that’s flooding onto the crime fiction market, Flowers Over The Inferno leaves Scandinavia far behind and takes us south. To Italy, as a matter of fact. Although, the setting is in the Alps so you know, it’s still cold and there’s still snow. But still.

There we meet Detective Teresa Battaligia. If you’re a wee tired of the stereotypical detective in your crime fiction, you’ll absolutely love Teresa. She’s not your average spring chicken being as she’s in her sixties, slightly overweight, definitely a diabetic and also struggling with some other health issues she’s not yet quite ready to face when we first meet her. But Teresa has decades of experience, knows a thing or two about profiling, and is an indomitable force to be reckoned with.

A naked man is found dead in the forest with his eyes gouged out. Teresa’s instincts immediately tell her this is no ordinary case but can she catch the killer before they strike again? A young city inspector, Marini, is assigned to her team to help out but Teresa isn’t sure about him. Despite Marini’s various attempts to win over his new boss, she seems to think he’s the most incompetent person ever.

Most of the action plays itself out in the present day but we also get glimpses into events from the past that are rather harrowing from the get-go. I don’t want to say anything else about that but suffice to say someone’s dark and tragic past will heavily influence the present. These bits of information are fed to the reader throughout the story, always immensely enticing but not giving away too much information so I was trying insanely hard to pick up clues somewhere along the way and true to form, failing miserably. It’s not the easiest of topics and in a somewhat odd way, I was left to sympathise with the wrong characters.

Flowers over the Inferno is intense, gripping and incredibly addictive. It’s easy to see why this introduction to Teresa Battaglia was the biggest debut of last year in Italy. It’s not only the investigation into the murder that keeps the reader’s attention, it’s also the fabulous character that is Teresa herself. While her health may make her vulnerable, she refuses to give in, which makes her someone to be admired and someone you root for.

This is the first instalment in a trilogy and I absolutely can’t wait for the next book and an opportunity to catch up with Teresa again.

Flowers over the Inferno is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

ILARIA TUTI lives in Friuli, in the far north-eastern part of Italy. FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO, her debut novel and the first book in the Teresa Battaglia trilogy, was a top 10 bestseller on publication and the biggest debut of 2018 in Italy.

This Week in Books (February 13)

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 |

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them. 

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

When a mysterious note arrives for six months pregnant Dr Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

One email is all it takes to turn Eve’s world upside down. It contains a picture of her true birth mother, Stella, and proves that Eve’s entire life with her adoptive parents has been a lie.

Now she must unravel the mystery of Stella’s dark past. But what Eve finds will force her to take enormous risks, which put her – and her new-born baby – in immediate danger…

To give you a clue as to how my reading week is going, I finished The Stranger late on Saturday night and started Apple Of My Eye on Monday. Looks like it’s another slow one for me. Oops.

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Where She Lies by Michael Scanlon | @bookouture

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Where She Lies by Michael Scanlon. My thanks to Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for the review copy!

Author : Michael Scanlon
Title : Where She Lies
Series : Detective Finnegan Beck #1
Pages : 327
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : February 8, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

In a town full of liars, who can you trust?

When Detective Finnegan Beck is demoted from his high-powered job in Dublin and relocated in disgrace to the small Irish town of Cross Beg, he predicts boredom will be his biggest threat.

But then a beautiful, local teenage girl is found strangled in the cold, dark woods a mile from town. The prime suspect is the seemingly-gentle drifter who found Tanya’s body.

Beck seems to be the only person who can’t escape the feeling that Tanya wasn’t killed at random. As he digs deeper into the shadows of Cross Beg, he begins to realise it isn’t the sleepy backwater he’d first believed. Everyone here has something to hide. Tanya had a boyfriend, whose name no one knew. A best friend with a loose relationship with the truth. And a habit she thought she’d kept hidden from everyone.

But, just as Beck believes he is making progress, the body of one of the suspects is found drowned in the river. Is the killer just getting started?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Where She Lies is the first instalment in a brand-new Irish crime series featuring Detective Finnegan Beck. A former inspector, Beck finds himself demoted to Sergeant in the small Irish town of Cross Beg. His main objective is to return to Dublin and not get too involved in whatever goes on in Cross Beg. But when a young girl is found murdered in the woods, Beck can’t help digging deeper.

Cross Beg isn’t exactly what Beck imagined it to be. For a town so small, where everyone seems to know everyone else’s business, there are a lot of secrets and skeletons in the closets and everyone seems to have something to hide. The murdered girl too was up to all sorts. She may have had a boyfriend but nobody knows who it is. Is he responsible for her murder? Police zero in on a suspect but when this person is found dead as well, does this mean the case is closed or is it merely the start of something far more sinister?

The investigation is a frustrating one. There are no clues to speak of so where does one even begin to look for a killer? With a lot of the town residents acting shifty and suspiciously, I had no idea whatsoever as to who was responsible or why. I must admit that I didn’t particularly connect to any of these characters. Yet Michael Scanlon managed to hold my attention because he gives very little away and I felt compelled to keep reading until the truth was revealed.

Finnegan Beck stands out from the crowd with an intriguing backstory as to why he ended up in this town in the first place. Beck is damaged, flawed and has a drinking problem. But he also has that fascinating copper’s nose and is immensely perceptive. I think he might be one of those characters that will get increasingly more interesting when the reader gets to know him better.

All in all a solid start to a new series and it’ll be interesting to see where Michael Scanlon takes Beck next.

Where She Lies is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | GooglePlay | iTunes | Kobo

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Michael Scanlon is a civilian employee of the An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), but a life threatening undiagnosed illness that struck while travelling in Spain in 2014 has rendered him on long term sick leave. He is married to Eileen and has a daughter, Sarah. He lives in the countryside outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. The town has arguably the best salmon river in Europe, called the Moy.

You can on connect with Michael via Twitter

East of England by Eamonn Griffin | @eamonngriffin @Unbound_Digital | #RandomThingsTours #guestpost

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for East of England by Eamonn Griffin. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join. Author Eamonn Griffin visits the blog today and shares ten things you didn’t know about him, but first here is what East of England is all about.

Author : Eamonn Griffin
Title : East of England
Pages : 368
Publisher : Unbound Digital
Publication date : January 24, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Dan Matlock is out of jail. He’s got a choice. Stay or leave. Go back to where it all went wrong, or simply get out of the county. Disappear. Start again as someone else.

But it’s not as simple as that.

There’s the matter of the man he killed. It wasn’t murder, but even so. You tell that to the family. Especially when that family is the Mintons, who own half that’s profitable and two-thirds of what’s crooked between the Wolds and the coast. And who could have got to Matlock as easy as you like in prison, but who haven’t touched him. Not yet.

And like Matlock found out in prison, there’s no getting away from yourself, so what would the point be in not facing up to other people?

It’s time to go home.

East of England blends a rural take on the noir thriller with a fascination with the British industrialised countryside that lies east of the Wolds, between the Humber and the Wash. Unlit byways rather than the neon-bright and rain-slicked city. A world of caravan parks, slot machines, and low-rise battery farms.

The flatlands of the east coast; decaying market towns and run-down resorts, and the distant throb of offshore windfarms. Where the smell you’re trying to get out of your clothes is the cigarette taint of old phone boxes and bus shelters, and where redemption, like life, is either hard-earned or fought for, one way or another. 

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

| GUEST POST |

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Me

1. I’m left-handed; we’ve evolved from the right-handers, you know.

2. I used to be in a church choir when I was a kid. There are incriminating photos of a cute nature held in the family archives in case I step too far out of line.

3. I’m a big fan of part time study. Love the Open University.

4. I once had a pee standing next to Antonio Banderas.

5. I don’t drive. I lack the gene necessary to pass driving tests.

6. I’m hard on laptops. I seem to be able to break them with unpractised ease.

7. I was a film extra once. In 1990’s Memphis Belle. I’ve looked, but I haven’t seen myself in the movie, though.

8. My favourite book? Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. It never fails to astonish and amuse me in equal measure.

9. One day I’ll do a photography book about buildings that used to be cinemas. Love former cinemas, both the derelict ones and the refurbished.

10. If I’m caught and sent to the electric chair for my crimes, then my last meal would be sushi. The good stuff.

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Eamonn Griffin was born and raised in Lincolnshire, though these days he lives in north-east Wales.

He’s worked as a stonemason, a strawberry picker, in plastics factories (everything from packing those little bags for loose change you get from banks to production planning via transport manager via fork-lift driving), in agricultural and industrial laboratories, in a computer games shop, and latterly in further and higher education.

He’s taught and lectured in subjects as diverse as leisure and tourism, uniformed public services, English Studies, creative writing, film studies, TV and film production, and media theory. He doesn’t do any of that anymore. Instead he writes fulltime, either as a freelancer, or else on fiction.

Eamonn has a PhD in creative writing with the University of Lancaster, specialising in historical fiction, having previously completed both an MA in popular film and a BSc in sociology and politics via the Open University. He really likes biltong, and has recently returned to learning to play piano, something he abandoned when he was about seven and has regretted since.

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks #mustread #recommended #TheStrangerDiaries

38224624
Author : Elly Griffiths
Title : The Stranger Diaries
Pages : 384
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : November 1, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a short course on it every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

| MY THOUGHTS |

It’s official! Elly Griffiths can do no wrong in my eyes and has found herself a spot on my list of go-to authors. You may be familiar with Elly Griffith’s fantastic Ruth Galloway series (which I really need to get caught up on) or her equally brilliant Stephen & Mephisto series (which I also really need to get caught up on) but The Stranger Diaries is a stand-alone gothic mystery thriller type of thing and it’s bloody awesome!

I was in one of the worst reading slumps I can remember ever being in when I picked up The Stranger Diaries. However, from the minute I started reading, I didn’t look back. There is just something about Elly Griffith’s writing that completely draws me in and I was hooked from the first page, as if a spell had been cast upon me.

It all begins when Clare Cassidy’s colleague and friend, Ellie, is found murdered. Clare is a literary teacher who specialises in the works of gothic writer R.M. Holland. His story The Stranger features heavily throughout the book and often made my spine tingle. And because a line from that story is found on a note near Ellie’s body, Clare swiftly finds herself on the list of suspects.

The story is alternately told through Clare, her daughter Georgia and a detective by the name of Harbinder Kaur. Elly Griffiths manages to give all these characters incredibly distinctive voices, which I felt was particularly evident when switching from the slightly creepy The Stranger narrator to Georgia, the teenager. Harbinder is one of those characters I didn’t particularly like for the longest time. But somehow she grew on me along the way and I always love how an author manages to do that.

This gothic mystery is intensely gripping. I wouldn’t necessarily call it creepy in the OMG-I’m-so-freaked-out-I-may-wet-myself kind of way but it is rather chilling and there is a sort of threatening vibe throughout, where you feel in your bones something is coming but you’re not sure what that will be.

Obviously I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice to say The Stranger Diaries is brilliantly written and oozes atmosphere throughout. This story is utterly engrossing and absorbing and I devoured it in one glorious sitting. I absolutely loved this one and whatever is next from Elly Griffiths, myself and my grabby hands will be right there at the head of the queue.

The Stranger Diaries is available to buy in ebook and hardcover format!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

Weekly Wrap-Up (February 10)

This week’s wrap-up is a bit on the short side as I’m expecting friends really soon and I suspect they’d like me to be dressed in a more appropriate way than I am right now.

Another week of potential tongue-biting but instead I’ve just been rolling my eyes a lot and have found the best way to deal with seeing people showing their true colours, is to laugh about them in private.

Live and let live, people. It’s not rocket science.

Thank goodness for books, eh? I mean, sure, wine provides a good escape too but my liver prefers the book option. 😉

So, how did I do this week?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

And another six books bite the dust. I was aiming for seven. Not entirely sure what happened. 🤔

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Confession time. I just really wanted to buy something. Anything. I wasn’t even picky. In The Night Wood caught my eye because of the cover. A River in the Trees as well but since I’m on a historical fiction kick lately, that was a bonus. The Companion has been on my wishlist for ages so I fixed that.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for You Belong to Me by Mark Tilbury

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for What Happens in France by Carol Wyer

Wednesday : Shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog four The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Friday : Shared an extract from Stalker by Lars Kepler for the blog tour

Saturday : Joined the blog tour for The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : It seems this spot is empty. I’m as surprised as you are.

Tuesday : Blog tour | Guest Post | East of England by Eamonn Griffin

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Where She Lies by Michael Scanlon

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | Flowers over the Inferno by Iliara Tuti

Friday : Review | The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelidis

Saturday : Might take the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Well, that’s a surprisingly quiet week in the midst of the February chaos. Either that or I forgot something. Eek.

Right, that’s it. Told you it would be short today. I haven’t even been able to think of a question of the week. I’ll try and do better next week 😉

Have a fab week and lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx