What a year! This list has been nearly impossible to put together. I’ve read so many incredibly brilliant books in 2019 and it’s been a real battle trying to narrow it down to 20. I do so apologise to the authors whose books I had to drop from the list (not that you know who you are 😂) but lines must be drawn somewhere and I’ve had to be utterly ruthless.
Note : These were all published this year.
So, without further ado, in random order except for the top 4, here are my Top 20 Favourite Books of 2019.
John Marrs – The Passengers [my review] Phoebe Locke – The July Girls [my review] Jo Spain – Dirty Little Secrets [my review] Taylor Jenkins-Reid – Daisy Jones and the Six [my review]
Kia Abdullah – Take It Back [no review] James Delargy – 55 [my review] Søren Sveistrup – The Chestnut Man [my review]
Anita Frank – The Lost Ones [no review] Stacey Halls – The Familiars [no review] Elizabeth Letts – Finding Dorothy [my review]
4. Ruth Ware – The Turn Of The Key [my review] 3. Rowan Coleman – The Girl at the Window [my review] 2. C.J. Tudor – The Taking of Annie Thorne [my review]
| And Novel Deelight’s Book of the Year award goes to ….. |
If you read my review back when I posted it, this will not really come as a surprise. I have to say The Taking of Annie Thorne (!!!!!! infinity) and The Girl at the Window came incredibly close and I almost had to resort to drawing straws to pick a winner. Such a hard choice to make but The Whisper Man just had that little bit of an edge. [my review]
So, there you have it. Thoughts? Suggestions? Criticism? 😂
As 2019 is coming to an end, I want to say a huge thank you to all the fabulous authors and publishers for an absolutely outstanding bookish year! Thank you to YOU, my lovely fellow bloggers and readers for your enthusiasm, your support, your comments and for sharing the book love. ❤️
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you on the other side when I’ll be taking a look at what 2020 has in store for the book world. Until then, stay safe, be merry and keep reading. xx
It’s that time of year again, when I look back on all the brilliant books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. December seems to be coming around faster and faster. As predicted, 2019 was a fantastic year for books and putting these end-of-year lists together was tough!
Like last year, I’ve split my favourite books of the year up into two different posts. Today, the focus lies on additions to series. I seem to have read less of them this year, hence the slightly odd number of 15. But they’re all corkers!
So here we go, in random order : my 15 favourite series of 2019.
| Victoria Jenkins – Detectives King & Lane |
The fourth and final book in the King & Lane series. Back when I picked up the first book, The Girls in the Water, I just knew I was in for something special. There was something about Victoria Jenkins’ writing, the incredible plotting and the absolutely fantastic main female characters that got my pulse racing. Every book since then just got better and better and now here we are, at the end. It’s been an incredibly thrilling ride and if this is the end, then it’s a fabulous way to go.
| Rachel Abbott – DCI Tom Douglas |
The Shape of Lies is book 8 and another fantastic addition to the DCI Tom Douglas series. Full of suspense and intrigue, it makes for one gripping and tense read. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Tom and Becky again and I hope to see them back again soon. In the meantime, you have time to get caught up if you haven’t done so already because this truly is a fantastic crime series that should be on everyone’s radar and Rachel Abbott is an author who should most definitely be on your bookshelf.
| David Jackson – DS Nathan Cody |
Your Deepest Fear is dark, disturbing and insanely tense. It’s so fast paced, it almost felt relentless at times and left me in desperate need of a breather. My heart was pounding, my hands were clammy and I was trying extremely hard to figure out how it would all end. What an incredible addition to an already outstanding series! I dare say this is even the best one yet and I urge you all to read this series, if you’re not doing so already. I highly recommend it.
| Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanach |
Honestly, if you’re not reading this series, I am judging you like a big, bad judging thing! This is one of the best crime fiction series out there and you are sorely missing out! And that’s all I’m going to say about that!
| Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone |
The writing machine that is Angela Marsons struck again in 2019 with no less than THREE additions to the brilliant DI Kim Stone series. Still going strong, still insanely gripping and addictive and now with the added bonus of a prequel to find out where it all began.
| Stephanie Broadribb – Lori Anderson |
This series has been a total blast from the very first book and Deep Dirty Truth is without a doubt THE BEST ONE YET! Oh yes! I said it! Fast-paced, with characters to get invested in and root for and edge-of-your-seat action galore, this is sheer entertainment of the highest level! Stock up on snacks and maybe an oxygen tank and enjoy the rollercoaster ride! Your legs may feel like jelly at the end of it, but it’ll be worth it!
| Karin Slaughter – Will Trent |
If there’s a Karin Slaughter book, you’d better believe it will make my list. It’s been quite the wait for a new addition to the Will Trent series but it was worth it. Karin Slaughter firmly cemented her spot as my favourite author and The Last Widow is taught, sharp and with a focus on hard-hitting and tough topics.
| Cara Hunter – DI Adam Fawley |
If you’re sitting there wondering if you need another crime fiction series in your life, the answer is “yes” and this right here is that series. I highly recommend you add this one to your shelves. It is one of the best crime fiction series out there and a definite must-read! Just so you know, book four is published in January and available for preorder. I have no doubt you’ll be seeing it here at some point.
| Matt Wesolowski – Six Stories |
Changeling was one of my most anticipated releases this year and it did not disappoint! If you’re not familiar with the Six Stories series (OMG WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!), it’s centred around a true crime podcast in which Scott King investigates cold cases. Changeling is book 3 in the Six Stories series and it is one of those stories that worms its way under your skin, one that will just not let you go. Dark, disturbing and chilling, Changeling had my heartbeat racing throughout and I was gripping the pages so tightly that my knuckles turned white! This tremendously addictive page-turner is insanely thought-provoking and also absolutely terrifying, though possibly not in the way you might expect.
| Will Dean – Tuva Moodyson |
Nothing is quite what it seems in Red Snow. With intriguing and complex characters and a deliciously intricate plot, this novel had me staying up way too late in a desperate attempt to finish it. But I just had to know what was going on. I didn’t count on Will Dean’s devious mind though, which meant that the final pages came at me like a knockout punch to the gut that left me winded but also caused so much adrenaline to course right through me, I felt like I could have gone out and run a marathon! I can’t wait for Tuva 3, out in March!
| Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome |
Please tell me you are reading this series. It’s been absolutely outstanding from the very beginning and I don’t know how she does it, but Sarah Hilary manages to outdo herself time and time again, bringing each book in this series to a whole other level. At the risk of repeating myself, because I’m pretty sure I say this every time, this is the best one in the series yet and Sarah Hilary is an author who deserves all the praise. She continues to impress me with her remarkable storylines, utterly brilliant character development and fantastic writing. There are so many lines I could quote but I won’t because I’d be here all day and obviously you just need to read this book (and the rest of the series) for yourself.
| Bella Ellis – The Brontë Mysteries |
The Vanished Bride is the first book in a brand-new series by Bella Ellis, which is a pen name for the incredibly amazing Rowan Coleman. I knew the minute I started reading this book that it would make my list. I absolutely can’t wait to hang out with these three delightful characters again.
| Johana Gustawsson – Roy & Castells |
Few crime fiction series leave me feeling like I’ve been punched in the gut numerous times, wanting to curl up into a tiny ball under my duvet, but Johana Gustawsson manages it every single time. Johana Gustawsson is a remarkable talent and I continue to be absolutely impressed by the way she manages to combine modern crime fiction with some of history’s most shocking eras and the atrocious things humans are capable of. I can’t recommend this powerful read, and this entire series, enough and I absolutely can’t wait for more!
| Joseph Knox – Aidan Waits |
This series is one I’ve been with from the beginning. In fact, Sirens was the book that first made me start thinking about blogging because I needed a place to shout about its awesomeness. Since then, Joseph Knox has been raising the bar, with each book being even stronger than the previous one. Like its predecessors, The Sleepwalker is masterfully plotted, immensely dark, extremely gritty and completely engrossing from start to finish. Joseph Knox is an incredible talent and the Aidan Waits series is absolutely outstanding. Every single one of these books has caused a massive book hangover and The Sleepwalker is no different. I can’t recommend these books enough! They NEED to be on any crime fiction fan’s bookshelf. I promise you, you will not regret it for one second!
| M.W. Craven – Washington Poe & Tilly Bradshaw |
How can someone be both dead and alive at the same time? This intriguing question is for Poe and Tilly to find out in Black Summer, the incredible follow-up to The Puppet Show. It doesn’t matter whether your Team Poe or Team Tilly but you should most definitely be Team Craven. A truly gripping, addictive page-turner, Black Summer is sure to leave you wanting more and as luck will have it, book 3 will be out next year. I, for one, can’t wait!
And there you have it. The series that made my heart beat that little faster, made my hands go clammy and that left such an impression on me that adding them to this list was a total no-brainer.
Now is your chance to kick my bum (virtually, thank you) and tell me which series I’ve left out. Are there some you don’t agree with? Are there any you can’t wait to read?
Hope you find something you like here and I’ve given you some ideas. Next week, I’ll be sharing my list of favourite stand-alones of 2019. Until then, I wish you lots of happy reading! xx
Author : Bella Ellis Title : The Vanished Bride Series : Bronte Mysteries #1 Pages : 337 Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton Publication date : November 7, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson’s daughters–the Brontë sisters–learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.
These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent “lady detectors.” Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, “detecting is reading between the lines–it’s seeing what is not there.”
As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman’s place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril.
| MY THOUGHTS |
For those of who you do not know, Bella Ellis is a pen name for author Rowan Coleman and I’m getting to that stage where I’m beginning to think she can just write me a shopping list and I’ll read it and love every word of it.
A young mother disappears from her home, leaving only a big pile of blood in her bedroom but no clue as to her whereabouts. When word of this mystery reaches the home of the Brontë sisters, they take it upon themselves to go out and try to solve what happened to this young woman.
I was a little wary at first to have these three pretty iconic characters fictionalised as “lady detectors”, investigating a possible crime. But the warmth with which Bella Ellis brings these sisters to life won me over from the get-go. It is abundantly clear from reading this first instalment in the Brontë Mysteries that Bella Ellis deeply loves Charlotte, Emily and Anne and that a lot of research went into this. I soon found myself pulled along in their enthusiasm trying to solve the case of the vanished bride.
But The Vanished Bride is more than just a mystery. It highlights the plight of women in those days; how they were seen as property; how they weren’t allowed their own opinions or were definitely not allowed to voice them; how their place was at home, raising children and most definitely not running wild across the countryside. Some of these women truly suffered but they had no means to escape some of the brutal events they had to endure. These circumstances stand in sharp contrast with the peaceful lives of the sisters.
Beautifully written, hugely atmospheric and with engaging characters, The Vanished Bride made me wish I could run across the fields and the moors along with the Brontë sisters. Each sister has a distinctive voice and with each one of them getting their own point-of-view, it truly allows the reader to get to know them better. Throughout the story, I leaned more towards Emily but at the end, through all the squabbles and disagreements, rivalry and slight jealousy, giggles and love, I realised I adored all three equally. I absolutely loved The Vanished Bride and I can’t wait to spend more time with these three characters, solving the next mystery they are sure to stumble upon.
Author : Ruth Ware Title : The Turn of the Key Pages : 340 Publisher : Harvill Secker Publication date : August 8, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Ruth Ware’s previous book, The Death of Mrs Westaway, was one of my top books last year. So to say I had high expectations for her next offering would be somewhat of an understatement. I couldn’t wait to pick up The Turn of the Key and as soon as I started reading, I just knew this one was going to be another extra special treat.
Rowan Caine answered an ad for a nanny position in the Scottish Highlands. But it’s obvious from the start that things did not go well. A child is dead and Rowan is in prison awaiting trial for murder. What on earth happened and how did Rowan get here?
Oh, what a twisted tale this is. I feel like I didn’t breathe for 340 pages, it’s that tense. The modern gadgetry alone already freaked me out, never mind all the shenanigans that could possibly be caused by ghosts because hey, isolated house in a remote location where a death or two has occurred , it’s bound to be haunted, right? Hugely atmospheric? Check! I mean, there’s even a poison garden! Yikes! And what of Rowan? Reliable narrator or not? I couldn’t quite decide for most of the story and yet, at every turn, I found myself firmly on her side.
Creepy and chilling throughout, I couldn’t at all figure out what had happened and the conclusion left me reeling. Or at least my interpretation of it, which obviously means you should read this novel right now so we can discuss it! Wow. I mean, really, just WOW. I absolutely devoured this novel and as tends to happen with books I loved as much as this one, the words to describe my experience with it just will not come. Also because I’m way too worried I’ll give anything away.
Brilliantly written, immensely engrossing, extremely addictive …. WOW! 😉 This is most definitely Ruth Ware at her best and I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this, because did I mention how utterly brilliant The Death of Mrs Westaway was? The Turn of the Key, you guys, is even better and it shoots right up my list of favourite books of the year! I’ll be recommending this one left, right and centre until I’m blue in the face and I am already eagerly awaiting Ruth Ware’s next book.
Author : Heidi Perks Title : Come Back For Me Pages : 416 Publisher : Century Publication date : July 11, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.
For Stella Harvey, the news is doubly shocking, as the body is found in the garden of her childhood home. The home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.
Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the Dorset island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets.
But one thing rings true… You can’t bury the truth forever.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Heidi Perk’s previous book, Now You See Her, absolutely rocked my socks off so I couldn’t wait to see if her new offering would live up to that one for me.
The story starts off with a bang when eleven year old Stella is forced to leave her childhood home on Evergreen Island in the middle of a storm. Why are her parents so desperate to leave the island in these circumstances? Twenty-five years later, a body is found near Stella’s childhood home. Stella has always wanted to return to the island and this seems like the perfect opportunity. She knows these people after all. But the small community isn’t exactly welcoming and it soon becomes apparent there are a lot of secrets the island residents are keen to protect.
And just like that I was caught up in a murder mystery and the dynamics of a rather dysfunctional family all in one go. Quite clearly, Heidi Perks took a master class in plotting, knowing exactly what to do to keep a reader hooked. With seemingly every chapter ending on a cliffhanger, I couldn’t stop myself from absolutely devouring this book. Every theory I could possibly come up with was blown to pieces and there was no way I was ever going to predict any of the secrets hidden away on this island.
Come Back For Me is immensely atmospheric, compelling and utterly gripping. It’s the kind of book you just can’t put down, that has you flipping the pages faster and faster, desperate to find out what on earth is going on and how all the pieces of the past and the present fit together.
This is the second book I’ve read by Heidi Perks and it went down a treat. Her previous one still remains my favourite by her but she is now firmly on my radar and I absolutely can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. If you enjoy a well-plotted and unpredictable psychological thriller, then this one is most definitely for you!
Author : Shari Lapena Title : Someone We Know Pages : 309 Publisher : Bantam Press / Transworld Publication date : July 25, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Maybe you don’t know your neighbours as well as you thought you did…
“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”
In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses – and into the owners’ computers as well – learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.
Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?
In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .
You never really know what people are capable of.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Someone We Know is one of those books you pick up to read just a chapter or two and before you know it, your entire afternoon is gone. It’s something Shari Lapena does incredibly well, creating this level of suspense that makes you flip the pages faster as you go and thus completely lose track of time.
A quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York will not be quiet for much longer. It’s all happening here. Not only has a teenage boy been breaking into houses to snoop and mess around with computers, one of the neighbours is found murdered. And once again this all proves we never know what goes on behind closed doors. Who killed this woman? What did the teenage boy find? Is he in danger too?
True to form, this neighbourhood and its residents hide a multitude of secrets that are slowly revealed as we follow various characters trying to get on with their lives and keep those secrets hidden, while detectives investigating the murder are doing all they can to uncover every little piece of dirty laundry. You may be thinking to yourself you’ve heard this premise a lot lately and you’d be right. A murder in a nice community, it’s not exactly new. But if you think you’ll know what to expect from this one, odds are you’ll be wrong.
Someone We Know reads like a good old-fashioned murder mystery. There are some twists, of course, but they are not there to dazzle you, which is hugely refreshing. I did figure out quite early on “whodunnit” but that didn’t ruin my reading experience at all. I had to keep reading to see if I was right and there were still a few surprises in store for me.
Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Shari Lapena, although I must admit to having a niggle or two relating to one specific character that has left me with unanswered questions. I’m not one of those readers who always wants everything wrapped up nicely in a bow at the end of a book but here it bothered me somewhat. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read the book. Which you most definitely should. It’s only the second book I’ve read by this author but I have no doubt there will be more.
Author : Chris McGeorge Title : Now You See Me Pages : 302 Publisher : Orion Publication date : June 13, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Six people went in. Only one came out…
Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.
Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.
The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.
Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.
Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?
And how will he solve the insolvable case?
| MY THOUGHTS |
Raise your hand if you love a good mystery! Me! I do! And this one is mind-boggling for sure.
Six friends and a dog travel through a canal tunnel on a boat. But when the boat reaches the other end, only one friend (who’s unconscious) and the dog (who’s absolutely fine) remain. The other five, now known as the Standedge Five, have disappeared. The community is able to keep this mysterious disappearance out of the national media and quickly moves to arrest the remaining friend, Matthew, for murder. Police is convinced he killed his friends and moved their bodies to an undisclosed location.
While awaiting trial in prison, Matthew contacts author Robin Ferringham. Robin’s wife went missing three years ago and Matthew claims to have information about her disappearance but he won’t divulge any of it unless Robin helps him prove his innocence. Can Matthew be trusted? Is he truly innocent? And how will Robin solve a case that looks utterly unsolvable?
Now You See Me isn’t just a whodunnit, it’s also a “how-dunnit” and it genuinely made my head hurt trying to figure it out. I have the frown lines to prove it. How do five people vanish from a canal tunnel?! Were they thrown overboard? Did they pull a Houdini? Did Scotty beam them up? What the hell happened?! I thought I had it all worked out but I was only half right and it was such a thrilling journey to go on.
Chris McGeorge has come up with an extremely clever plot here. Full of untrustworthy and not always likeable characters, the mystery surrounding the Standedge Five had me hooked from start to finish. This is such an addictive page-turner and there was no way I was going to put this book down until I knew what had actually happened. There were a few surprises I didn’t quite see coming, some of them quite shocking and devastating, and it all added up to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and a truly compelling read.
Delighted to join the blog tour for Clear My Name by Paula Daly today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join and to Hayley at Transworld for the fab review copy! Make sure you also check out my dear friend Rae’s review!
Author : Paula Daly Title : Clear My Name Pages : 293 Publisher : Transworld Publication date : August 8, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison.
Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.
Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth.
But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide . . .
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Carrie has been found guilty of murdering her husband’s mistress and is currently three years into a fifteen year sentence. But Carrie has always maintained her innocence. Now her case has come to the attention of Innocence UK, a charity that devotes itself to putting right alleged miscarriages of justice. When Tess is asked to take on Carrie’s case, she realises she may need to face up to things she’s kept hidden for years.
Right from the start, I was hooked on the intriguing premises of Clear My Name. It’s a murder mystery but it’s also a cold case and I absolutely love those. For once it’s not being investigated by a detective or a journalist though, which I found immensely refreshing, even if the intent remains the same. The reader is right there with the team, going back to look at the evidence, talking to potential witnesses and trying to determine if there is even a case here.
This isn’t your fast-paced, action-packed thriller. Clear My Name is relatively slow and extremely character-driven but I found it utterly compelling nonetheless. I couldn’t at all figure out whether Carrie was guilty of this crime or not and could quite easily relate to the frustration Tess and her team went through when it seemed there were nothing but dead ends along the way.
These characters are flawed and in Carrie’s case, especially, I had a hard time figuring out if she was even reliable. But there is more than meets the eye and some of it is quite thought-provoking. There is one question in particular that has stayed with me, which I’m still mulling over in my head. Is it worse to have a guilty person walking the streets or to have an innocent one behind bars? I do so love it when an author makes me think.
I thoroughly enjoyed Clear My Name. It’s suspenseful, gripping and I had a hard time putting this one down, desperate to get to the conclusion. Throw in a rather shocking, and again thought-provoking, ending and you have a well-plotted and twisty story that kept me glued to the pages. I may even go as far as to say this could quite possibly be my favourite Paula Daly book yet.
Paula Daly is the critically acclaimed author of six novels. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books have been developed for the new ITV television series, Deep Water, starring Anna Friel.
She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.
Delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas today! My thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!
Author : Claire Douglas Title : Then She Vanishes Pages : 430 Publisher : Michael Joseph Publication date : August 8, 2019 (paperback)
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.
Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.
Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.
But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.
And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:
What really happened the night Flora disappeared?
| MY THOUGHTS |
That feeling you get when one of your favourite authors has a new book out …. priceless!
Claire Douglas has been on my go-to list for quite a while now. I don’t even need to know what her books are about. I’ll see her name and the book will be in my hands, just like that. So obviously I couldn’t wait to get stuck into Then She Vanishes.
This one starts off with a bang. Literally. A small seaside town is rocked by a double murder. As a reporter, Jess follows the news but in this case even more so, because this is her hometown and the person accused of the murders could possibly be her childhood friend, Heather. Jess hasn’t been in contact with Heather for years. Not since the night she told a lie. Not since the night Heather’s sister, Flora, disappeared.
The story is told via Jess and Heather’s mum, Margot. Jess, who as a reporter but also a former friend who spent a lot of time at Heather’s home, needs to somehow find a way to find a balance between her loyalty towards this family and keeping her boss happy with exclusive interviews. And poor Margot, who already lost a daughter, now needs to face up to the fact she may lose her other daughter as well. Did Heather commit the crimes she’s accused of? If so, what could possibly have driven her to do something like that?
From the very first chapter, Then She Vanishes had me utterly hooked. There was no way I was going to put this book down until I knew what had happened. The road to get to the truth is full of twists, turns and “wait, what?!” moments that left my mouth hanging open in the most un-lady like way. And that doesn’t even take into account the chilling ending! I couldn’t at all figure out how things were connected and wasn’t prepared for how dark things would become.
I’ve read all of Claire Douglas’ books and I have no problem whatsoever in saying that this is her best one yet. It’s immensely gripping and compelling, full of intriguing and believable characters, some unlikeable and hugely unreliable, and an absolute page-turner. I mean, what more could you possibly want? Incredibly well plotted, I found Then She Vanishes massively exciting, suspenseful and thoroughly enjoyable and I can’t wait to see what Claire Douglas comes up with next.
Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS.
Her subsequent novels LOCAL GIRL MISSING, LAST SEEN ALIVE and DO NOT DISTURB all reached the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers list and are published in over fifteen countries. LOCAL GIRL MISSING was the bestselling crime debut of 2018 in Germany. Her fifth thriller, THEN SHE VANISHES is due for release in Ebook end of June 2019 and in paperback August 2019.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Found by Erin Kinsley! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!
Author : Erin Kinsley Title : Found Pages : 368 Publisher : Headline Publication date : July 25, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
When 11 year old Evan vanishes without trace, his parents are plunged into their worst nightmare. Especially as the police, under massive pressure, have no answers.
But months later Evan is unexpectedly found, frightened and refusing to speak. His loving family realise life will never be the same again.
DI Naylor knows that unless those who took Evan are caught, other children are in danger. And with Evan silent, she must race against time to find those responsible…
| MY THOUGHTS |
Claire and Matt are faced with every parent’s worst nightmare when their son, Evan, fails to return from school. Evan was taken from a bus stop in broad daylight. With no witnesses, zero leads and a reconstruction that doesn’t provide any answers, detectives fail to move forward in their investigation.
Months go by, until Evan is unexpectedly found and returned home to his parents. But the damage has been done. Evan won’t talk, will not venture outside and hides himself away in his bedroom. Detectives are desperate to hunt down Evan’s kidnappers for fear they might strike again and kidnap another child but without Evan’s help, they don’t even know where to start.
I must say, this didn’t at all turn out the way I expected it to. This is one of those books that doesn’t quite fit into just any category. There’s the police procedural angle as the reader follows detectives on their frustrating journey to answers. But there is also more of a family drama side to this story as Evan’s family first go through the horrible period of his disappearance and then later need to deal with his return and the changes he’s undergone.
These were the chapters that are still very much at the forefront of my mind. The relationship between Evan and his granddad, especially, really got to me. It was just so warm and genuine, full of love and patience and I adored every minute they spent together. I never really considered that Found would move me as much as it did.
As harrowing as Found’s topic may be, I feel the author really managed to get events across without bombarding the reader with disturbing scene upon disturbing scene. A lot is left up to the reader’s imagination, be that a good or a bad thing. The story is chilling enough on its own, it didn’t need any added shock value and I appreciate that Erin Kinsley shied away from that and dealt with things in an incredibly sensitive way.
Found is a compelling and often devastating read, beautifully written and extremely sympathetically done. A truly impressive debut by Erin Kinsley.
Erin Kinsley is a full-time writer. She grew up in Yorkshire and currently lives in East Anglia. Now writing under a pseudonym, her previous books were published by Bloomsbury. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliot prize amongst other awards, her writing has received glowing reviews across the national press.