Celebrating #Orentober with Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver | @will_carver @OrendaBooks | #recommended

Author : Will Craven
Title : Nothing Important Happened Today
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : November 14, 2019 (UK paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe: a decapitation in Germany, a public shooting at a university in Bordeaux; in Illinois, a sports team stands around the centre circle of the football pitch and pulls the trigger of the gun pressed to the temple of the person on their right. It becomes a movement.

A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.
But how do you stop a cult when people do not know they are members?

One week after the two witnesses jump to their deaths, twenty letters are opened across London that all say the same thing. Later that day, the strangers all know to meet at Tower Bridge. The Teacher will jump first. The Detective will be last…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Holy guacamole! What … the …. flipping … hell … was … this?! 🤯

And breathe. 

Nothing important happened today. And even if it did, I wouldn’t remember because what little brain I have was blown to smithereens from reading Will Carver’s weird and wonderful new book. I don’t know what they put in his breakfast but it sure is providing us with the most exceptional and deliciously dark stories I’ve ever come across.

Nine strangers meet on Chelsea Bridge and jump to their deaths. Thirty-two people on a train witness the event. Two of those witnesses will die next. The People of Choice are here and their movement is growing. It all feels like something from a cult. But how do you stop a cult when people do not know they are members? And how do you find their leader when it doesn’t look like there is one?

This is unlike anything I’ve read before, which I’m pretty sure I said about Will’s previous book too. I was all set to expect the unexpected but I was not prepared for the amount of “WTF’s” that went through my head. Fifty pages in, I was already panicking about having to write this review, wondering what the heck I was reading and how to go about convincing you to pick this one up as soon as you can. I often struggle with reviewing Orenda books but this one? This is the kind of book that makes you want to throw in the reviewer towel altogether and just admit you’re not good enough. WTF and exclamation points abuse seem to be the extent of my vocabulary. Or I could try to say it with emojis, which would look like this 🤨🤔😲🤯

As I’m sure you’ve noticed from the book descriptions, this is not the easiest of topics to tackle. Some of it is heartbreaking, a lot of it is hugely uncomfortable. Nothing Important Happened Today is one of the most dark and disturbing stories out there but it’s immensely compelling from start to finish. All the while, it manages to highlight some of the issues modern society deals with, or doesn’t deal with depending on how you look at it, and it all just pulls you in like a magnet and doesn’t let go. I couldn’t at all figure out what the heck was going on but I enjoyed every bloody single minute of this unique, suspenseful and tense ride.

You know what? I have no idea what else I’m supposed to say. Nothing Important Happened Today is an amazingly original and extremely shocking story of manipulation and a total WTF book from the highest WTF shelf. You should read it, that’s all there is to it. Thank me later.

Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my proof copy!

Nothing Important Happened Today is available to buy in ebook format. The UK paperback will be published on November

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Celebrating #Orentober with Breakers by Doug Johnstone | @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks

Today I’m joining in the Orentober celebrations by re-sharing my review of the immensely thought-provoking Breakers by Doug Johnstone.

Author : Doug Johnstone
Title : Breakers
Pages : 230
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mother. On a job, his brother stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead—and the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt. 

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation, unless he drags her down, too.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Every once in a while, it really hits home how hard this reviewing malarkey can be. Especially when you come across a book like Breakers. While I was reading, I already realised there was no way any of the words I could possibly come up with would do this book justice.

Having only read Doug Johnstone’s previous book, Fault Lines, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Breakers but it soon became apparent Johnstone is seemingly somewhat of a chameleon who can seamlessly switch genres. In this case, from a dystopian novel to a psychological thriller. But not just any psychological thriller. This is one with a difference, incredibly original and with an amazing level of depth to it that you don’t always find in this genre.

Seventeen year old Tyler lives in Edinburgh with his mother and his seven year old sister. Life is hard in one of the most depraved areas of this city and Tyler is being bullied by his older half-brother into burgling houses of the more affluent residents. But one night, things go horribly wrong when a homeowner returns home unexpectedly and Tyler’s brother stabs her. Unbeknownst to them, this woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt, and he is not a man to be messed with.

This isn’t an easy story to read. It’s at times massively uncomfortable and immensely sad. Tyler’s circumstances are extremely heartbreaking and I really felt for him and everything he had to deal with on a daily basis. His love for his sister, Bean, and his fierce determination in protecting her and keeping her safe almost brought a tear to my eye. Stuck in this cycle of poverty, addiction and violence, Tyler goes out of his way to somehow create an environment of normalcy for his sister, a routine, all the while doing whatever he can to shield her from the things that are really going on around her.

A little beacon of light comes from a somewhat unlikely source when Tyler meets Flick. Flick is posh, goes to an expensive boarding school and drives a flashy car. She seems to have everything Tyler wants from life but looks can be deceiving. Watching their friendship develop was truly heartwarming. Flick sees Tyler the same way I, as the reader, did. As a young man who is good, who does good, but is also forced to do bad and unable to see a way out. 

Breakers is quite dark and gritty. It’s tense and constantly has this sense of impending doom. I kept feeling deep down this couldn’t end well but was utterly unable to see how things would turn out. Tyler is one of those characters you become completely invested in, one you’ll root for all the way. This gripping, compelling, raw, sometimes brutal and utterly thought-provoking novel will make you reel against the injustice, will make you feel helpless, will put your own life into perspective and appreciate what you have. Breakers is a story that will stay with me for quite some time to come and I’m secretly hoping for a follow-up to see what becomes of Tyler and Bean.

Breakers is available to buy!

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

Celebrating #Orentober with The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn | @OrendaBooks

Today I thought it might be nice to join in with Orentober. If you don’t know what that is, let me fill you in. For the whole month of October, Danielle and Kelly are putting the fabulous independent publisher Orenda Books in the spotlight. Everyone can join in so do feel free to do so, if you feel so inclined.

I thought I’d re-share my review of the unique and absolutely mesmerising The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn which, in my most humble opinion, isn’t talked about nearly enough.

Author : Agnes Ravatn (trs by Rosie Hedger)
Title : The Bird Tribunal
Pages : 192
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : July 30, 2016

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape.

TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Sometimes you read something quite extraordinary and you have absolutely no idea how to put your thoughts into words. This, for me, is one of those times. However, I can already tell you now that if you’re looking for something a little different that you won’t forget in a hurry, then you should go and pick up a copy right now!

I have blind faith in the books that Orenda publishes and they’ve not let me down yet. But when I started reading The Bird Tribunal, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I may have added a few wrinkles to my forehead from all the frowning I was doing.

I think this is by far the oddest story I’ve ever read. Not odd in the sense of being completely weird, although there is something to be said for that as well, but more odd as in “I don’t have a bloody clue what’s going on!”. And yet, I was so enormously engrossed that I couldn’t stop reading.

I can’t even figure out what genre this belongs to. It is thriller-ish and has tons of suspense, drama and brilliant characterisation. It is gripping and engrossing and I soon found myself on quite a tense ride. This story is eerie, dark and haunting but fantastically well written and executed. There’s a threatening vibe that had me on the edge of my seat. Throughout the story, you know something’s coming but I had no idea what it was going to be.

It’s fair to say I’ve never read anything like it but I loved every word on every page. This story has made an indelible impression on me and I doubt I’ll ever forget Allis and Sigurd. Also, let’s not forget Rosie Hedger for the fabulous translation.

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In The Absence of Miracles by Michael Malone | @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for In The Absence of Miracles by Michael Malone today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for the fabulous review copy and to Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the tour.

Author : Michael Malone
Title : In The Absence of Miracles
Pages : 300
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 19, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about.

A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Michael Malone is an author who is not afraid to tackle the tough topics, the ones that are still somewhat of a taboo and not talked about enough, the ones that are often hard to read and make you feel uncomfortable. If you’ve read A Suitable Lie, then you know this. So, how much further could Michael Malone push that discomfort limit, you wonder? Well, quite a bit, as it turns out.

John Docherty seems like your everyday guy, dealing with everyday issues. His mother has just been moved into a nursing home and John has no option but to sell the family home to pay for the costs. But when he starts packing up the house, he stumbles upon a box which reveals a massive family secret. It looks like John had a brother. A brother who disappeared when John himself was a toddler. A brother who was never talked about again and one John can’t remember at all. What happened to this brother? John’s journey to find out reveals far more than he bargained for.

In The Absence of Miracles is one of those books that doesn’t fit neatly into just one genre. It’s part domestic noir, it’s a whole lot of suspense, it’s a bit crime thriller-ish and offers tremendous psychological insight as well. And at the centre of it all, is one of the most dysfunctional families you’ll ever meet, with characters that are put through the wringer and the reader right alongside with them. I must say I wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact this story would have on me.

As always, there is way more to this story than you’d first expect because that is something this author does extremely well. There are multiple layers that need to be unraveled, pieces of the puzzle that need to be fitted together and a mystery to solve. Throughout it all, I often vacillated from anger to sadness to frustration and back again, and ended up feeling quite drained at the end of it all and in desperate need of something fluffy.

Sometimes shocking, always haunting and immensely compelling, In The Absence of Miracles is another stroke of genius from Michael Malone. Extremely dark with a tough topic, albeit it done with the utmost sensitivity, John’s story is bound to stay with you for a long, long time. Michael Malone is one of those authors who always delivers and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

In The Absence of Miracles is available to buy!

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotlandand Markings

Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s CallA Taste for MaliceThe Guillotine ChoiceBeyond the Rage;The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit.

A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding | #minireview #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Melanie Golding
Title : Little Darlings
Pages : 330
Publisher : HQ
Publication date : April 30, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Lauren’s hopes and dreams of being a new mom are shattered when she encounters a mother’s worst nightmare—someone is threatening to take her children if she leaves them alone. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things. From the stark loneliness of returning home after giving birth to the confines of a psychiatric unit, Lauren’s desperation increases as no one will listen to her. Is she mad, or does she know something we don’t?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Loosely inspired by folktales and the idea of changelings, Little Darlings is an immensely unsettling story. After a traumatic birth experience, Lauren finds it hard to bond with her newborn twins. Then she claims someone tried to steal her babies. Is it postpartum psychosis? Is Lauren going mad? Or is someone truly out to take her twin boys away from her? Nobody believes her but Lauren knows she must do whatever it takes to keep her babies safe.

Suffice to say, Lauren isn’t exactly a reliable narrator and as strange things start to happen, I was left to wonder if Lauren herself was responsible or someone else. With a few red herrings along the way, it was quite hard to figure out what was real and what was not.

But this story is so much more than that. Yes, it’s creepy in places but it’s also amazingly well written with regard to Lauren’s mental state. Not an easy topic to tackle at all but Melanie Golding managed it wonderfully as we follow Lauren into this frightening downward spiral.

Little Darlings is a gripping, dark and suspenseful story and even though I didn’t warm to any of the characters, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. A very impressive debut from Melanie Golding!

Little Darlings is available to buy!

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

Book 20 from my 20 Books of Summer Challenge

Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks | #20BooksOfSummer

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!

Come Back For Me is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
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Book 15 from my 20 Books of Summer list

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena | @TransworldBooks | #20BooksOfSummer

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.

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Book 14 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Torment by Mark Tilbury | @MTilburyAuthor @Bloodhoundbook

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Torment by Mark Tilbury! My thanks to Mark for the invitation to join and for the review copy.

Author : Mark Tilbury
Title : Torment
Pages :
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : August 5, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Who can you really trust?

Beth Cruikshank couldn’t be happier. She is eight weeks pregnant and married to the man of her dreams. But after returning home from a celebratory meal, she finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above the bed and a kitchen knife embedded in her pillow. There are no signs of a forced entry. Nothing is stolen. And no one other than the cleaner has a key to the house.

And then a campaign of terror begins. Beth becomes increasingly paranoid as it becomes clear that someone close to the family is behind these disturbing events.   

But who would want Beth dead?

Can Beth find the answer before it’s too late?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Beth has a lot to to be happy about : a loving husband, a beautiful home and a baby on the way. But thing are about to go horribly wrong. On returning from a celebratory meal one evening, Beth finds a wreath from her sister’s grave hanging above her bed and a kitchen knife embedded in her pillow. With no signs of forced entry, nothing stolen and no suspects, police have nothing to go on and their investigation soon reaches a dead end. Little does Beth know, this is only the beginning.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from reading Mark Tilbury’s books, it’s to expect the unexpected. We don’t call him the sicko author for nothing and to describe his characters as evil would be an understatement. Whomever is giving Beth a hard time is a whole different level of sick and psycho though and their campaign of terror would drive anyone utterly paranoid.

I did figure out some of what was going on but failed to see the big picture. There’s more to this story than first meets the eye. Throughout, it was always obvious things would go from bad to worse, leading to some scenes that may not quite be for the faint-hearted. I was often left completely unsettled. I don’t think I’ve ever checked my doors and windows as much as I did while reading this book because it just felt so plausible. You really never know who you can trust.

Mark Tilbury is an author who knows exactly how to hook a reader from the start and hold their attention until the very last page, as the tension slowly builds up. With twists and turns aplenty and complex characters, this dark and disturbing psychological thriller will leave you wanting to move to a deserted island. Or maybe that’s just me.

Torment is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had seven novels published by Bloodhound Books, including his most recent release, Torment.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.

Clear My Name by Paula Daly | @PaulaDalyAuthor @TransworldBooks @HJ_Barnes | #damppebblesblogtours

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 |

Innocent?

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.

Guilty?

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.

Clear My Name will be published on August 8th.

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

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.

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas | @Dougieclaire @MichaelJBooks @sriya__v | #blogtour

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.

Then She Vanishes is available to buy!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

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.