The Lost Man by Jane Harper | @janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK @GraceEVincent @caolinndouglas | #TheLostMan

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Lost Man by Jane Harper! My thanks to Caolinn at Little Brown for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

Author : Jane Harper
Title : The Lost Man
Pages : 352
Publisher : Little Brown UK
Publication date: February 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle farms under the relenting sun of the remote outback. In an isolated part of Western Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes three hours’ drive apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron, who lies dead at their feet. 

Something had been on Cam’s mind. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

| MY THOUGHTS |

You may be familiar with Jane Harper’s Aaron Falk series but The Lost Man is something altogether different, but no less gripping.

When the body of Cameron is found near a landmark, his death raises a number of questions. What was he doing out there? Was he alone? Did the heat and the environment catch him unawares, despite his experience? Did he take his own life? What really happened to Cameron?

The harsh and unforgiving landscape of the Australian outback plays a huge part in this story. It’s almost a character of its own. With its relentless heat and all-encompassing feeling of isolation, this tough life isn’t for the faint-hearted. When there is no one around for miles, the only people you can truly depend on are those closest to you, even if they are three hours’ drive away. But do we ever really know someone?

None of these characters came across as particularly likeable but I blamed that on their way of life and obviously, the death of a loved one. Yet, I still found it quite hard to sympathise with them. However, I did admire their perseverance. It takes a special kind of person to survive this particular set of hardships, I think, and obviously life isn’t a barrel of laughs and there’s little to be happy about.

Bit by bit, the truth about this family is revealed when family secrets that go back decades are discovered. While The Lost Man is relatively slow-paced, it remains compelling throughout as we delve into the intriguing and complex family dynamics. The mystery surrounding Cameron’s death is a gripping one and I couldn’t figure it out at all.

The Lost Man oozes atmosphere from start to finish and is all about family. This character driven story makes for some compelling reading and if Jane Harper wasn’t on your radar yet, she most definitely should be now!

The Lost Man is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Jane Harper is international bestselling author of The Dry and Force of Nature. Her third book, The Lost Man, will be realised in October 2018.
Jane has won numerous top awards including the Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year, the Australian Indie Awards Book of the Year, the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, and the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year. 

Her books are published in more than 36 territories worldwide, with film rights sold to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. 
Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK, and now lives in Melbourne.

Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox

Author : Candice Fox
Title : Gone By Midnight
Series : Crimson Lake #3
Pages : 384
Publisher : Century
Publication date : January 24, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs.

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing.

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body… 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Gone By Midnight is the third instalment in the Crimson Lake series, a fact I was unaware of when I picked this one up to read. Now, luckily, this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone but I already know I’ll be making time to read the previous two as well because I can’t for the life of me figure out how these evaded my radar.

The premise of the story reminded me somewhat of the McCann investigation. Four eight year old boys are left alone in a hotel room while their parents go out to dinner. But when one of the parents returns to check on them, one of the boys has gone missing. The remaining three boys swear to high heaven that they never left the room and CCTV confirms none of them left the building. So surely the missing boy must be in the hotel somewhere but there is no trace of him.

This is the start of an amazingly intricate and complex investigation. Eight year old boys don’t exactly make great and reliable witnesses. For the longest time, I thought I knew exactly what had happened but I was proven wrong. I do so love it when an author manages to lead me in the wrong direction. Gone by Midnight is super tense, insanely addictive and has an incredibly delicious sting in its tail. Let’s not forget the amazing Australian setting.

I must say that while the search for the missing boy is intensely gripping, it’s the characters that really drew me into this story. Especially, Ted and Amanda. These two work together as a sort of private detective team but their backgrounds are utterly fascinating. I won’t be telling you what those are because I feel you need to find that out for yourself and to get a better picture of them, I recommend you start with the first book in the series. Now, I know I said at the start this can be perfectly well read as a stand-alone and that is still the case. You get plenty of background information so you don’t feel like you’ve missed out on anything. Yet, it’s also so immensely intriguing that the urge to go back and read the previous books to get the full picture is pretty hard to resist.

I honestly can’t believe this is the first time I’ve read a book by Candice Fox. Gone By Midnight had me hooked from start to finish and was just a fabulous treat.

With thanks to the publisher for my review copy!

Gone By Midnight is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul @GillPaulAUTHOR @headlinepg @annecater #blogtour #TheLostDaughter #mustread #recommended

I am beyond delighted and extremely honoured to kick off the blog tour for The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul today! Huge thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

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Author : Gill Paul
Title : The Lost Daughter
Pages : 440
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : October 18, 2018 (UK paperback)

aboutthebook

1918. With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of the Romanov family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria captures the attention of two of the guards, it will lead to the ultimate choice between right and wrong….

Fifty-five years later…

‘I didn’t want to kill her’. With these cryptic words Val’s father dies, leaving her to unravel a mystery which unites two families who have faced unspeakable tragedy and perhaps to finally offer an explanation which has been long overdue.

mythoughts

Gosh, I don’t think I can put into words how much I loved The Lost Daughter. As soon as I finished the final page, I wanted to talk to someone about it, say “Oh my god, this novel, you have to read this now!”. Then I sat down to write my review, and poof, all my words were gone. I couldn’t seem to get past “amazing”, “awesome”, “brilliant” … which are all true but I’m guessing a review should have a few more words, right?

There are a few authors for whom I’d happily drop whatever it is I’m doing or reading and Gill Paul is, without a doubt, one of them. I knew that from the second I discovered her work. Picking up one of her novels always fills me with joy and excitement because I know she will take me on the most delightful journey. High anticipations, you ask? Check! But all of them were met and then some.

In The Secret Wife, Gill Paul already introduced us to the Romanov family and their dramatic circumstances. That story was centred around Tatiana Romanova and if you haven’t yet read it, you most definitely should as it is a brilliant novel. This time around, in The Lost Daughter, the focus is on the middle child of the family, Maria. And it’s an even more brilliant novel! Yes, that’s right, I said it. And used the “brilliant” word again. I must add that I loved how Gill Paul tied these two novels together with little references to Tatiana’s story.

We meet Maria in 1918, a most turbulent time in Russia. There’s been a revolution and people have turned on the royal family. Tsar Nicholas, his wife and children are prisoners of the new regime. Their circumstances are very different from what they’re used to. Maria is nineteen years old and a lovely, bubbly chatterbox who seems to be able to make friends with just about anyone. I warmed to her from the start as she’s a truly likeable character. But what will become of her?

The other thread of The Lost Daughter has us traveling all the way to Australia, where we meet Val. When she gets a phone call from the nursing home where her father is a resident, she decides to visit him although it’s been years since they last talked. But his words “I didn’t want to kill her” leave Val with a mystery to solve and set in motion a lot of changes in her life. Who was her father really? What secrets was he hiding?

From the first page, I found myself transported into the lives of Maria and Val, both extremely realistic and believable characters. I couldn’t quite see how the two threads of the story would come together but the road to get there was just marvellous.

This exquisitely written novel had me utterly engrossed and throughout the story, I often found myself with a lump in my throat. The Lost Daughter is a story across the ages and country borders about love, family, war, loss, survival and hope. But also about the strength of women, in sometimes horrifying circumstances. It is immensely absorbing, moving and powerful and I couldn’t tear myself away. When I flipped the final page, there was a happy sigh, a “wow” and then a little bit of sadness that I had come to the end.

I can’t even begin to imagine the painstaking amount of research Gill Paul must have gone through to come up with this incredibly captivating tale. If you are a fan of this genre, I can honestly not recommend her books enough. This is undoubtedly historical fiction from the top shelf and whenever Gill Paul publishes her next novel, I will be first in line!

The Lost Daughter will be available in paperback on October 18th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history.

She was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty @MichaelJBooks #NinePerfectStrangers #NetGalley

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Author : Liane Moriarty
Title : Nine Perfect Strangers
Pages : 432
Publisher : Michael Joseph / Penguin UK
Publication date : October 4, 2018

aboutthebook

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

mythoughts

This may come as a bit of a surprise considering the genres I usually read but boy, do I love me some Liane Moriarty. I was very excited to hear she had a new book coming out and couldn’t wait to get stuck into it.

Nine Perfect Strangers is rather hard to put a label on. It’s contemporary fiction in the way Liane Moriarty does best, but there’s also a touch of the psychological thriller vibe to it and it had me hooked from the start.

That was mainly due to the fabulous character of Frances, whom I adored from the minute I met her. Frances used to be a bestselling romance author but now she’s lost her way a little bit. Suffering from a bad back, a broken heart, menopausal symptoms and an awful paper cut, she checks herself into Tranquillum House for some pampering and a ten day cleansing. But not even the imaginative Frances could possibly predict the challenges that lay ahead.

There are quite a few characters in this delightful story. On top of the nine guests, we also meet the owner and her staff. Each one of these characters is so brilliantly introduced that it never gets confusing at all, even with chapters switching back and forth between them. Some are likeable from the start, some take a little getting used to but each one comes across as highly realistic and believable.

The guests are there for very different reasons and some parts made me feel quite emotional. It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are some fantastically witty moments and retorts, which made this a highly entertaining and enjoyable read. Even though some of the events involving the owner may have gone slightly over the top, I was so engrossed that it didn’t bother me at all.

I loved Nine Perfect Strangers from the outset. It may not quite have turned out the way I expected it to but I had a fabulous time meeting these characters, sympathising with them, rooting for them and it all leads to a wonderful conclusion. I have no doubt this one will do well and I look forward immensely to whatever Liane Moriarty comes up with next.

My thanks to the publisher for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley!

Nine Perfect Strangers is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

The Memories of Us by Vanessa Carnevale @v_carnevale @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #blogtour

Delighted to join the blog tour for The Memories of Us by Vanessa Carnevale today! My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon UK for the invitation to join and the beautiful review copy!

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Author : Vanessa Carnevale
Title : The Memories of Us
Pages : 336
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : July 12, 2018

One moment can change your life.

When Gracie Ashcroft wakes after a crash with severe amnesia, she must choose whether to live a life through other people’s memories or to start a new life all her own.

Discovering her late mother left her an old flower farm, Gracie leaves her fiancé, best friend and the home full of forgotten memories behind, hoping to learn who she is now.

Torn between wishing she could remember and afraid of losing what she now has, Gracie starts to wonder: if you had your time over, would you live the same life twice?

If the past determines our present, what happens when we lose our memories of who we are? When you can’t remember what you like or love, from breakfast to the man you’re supposed to be marrying?

If memories are the delicate threads that knit our souls together and make us who we are, who can we be without them?

After being involved in a car accident, Gracie wakes up suffering from amnesia. She can’t remember her own name, her best friend or her fiancé. Gracie is adamant nobody should tell her anything about what her life was like. She wants to find things out on her own because suddenly her job as an interior designer, for instance, doesn’t sound so appealing. So with a clean slate, so to speak, will the choices Grace now makes bring her back to the life she used to have or will things turn out completely differently?

Gracie returns to the flower farm her mother used to own. A place that should feel familiar to her but does nothing of the sort. Yet, it’s through the language of flowers, the stunning power of Mother Nature, that Gracie finds out a bit more about herself and may even find love again. I must say, I really enjoyed spending time at Summerhill. The beautiful descriptions almost made it sound magical. I’d move there in a heartbeat!

The Memories of Us isn’t quite my typical sort of novel. But I was swayed by the beautiful cover and the intriguing description. I soon found myself completely immersed in Gracie’s circumstances and I think the author handled the issue of Retrograde Amnesia quite wonderfully. It was easy to sympathise with Gracie, to imagine what her life was now like, how frustrating it must be when you realise you can’t even remember how to tie your shoelaces. Of course, there’s a dash of romance. While this usually makes me cringe, I actually quite enjoyed this part of the story as well and found myself rooting for a happy ending.

A wonderfully warm and beautiful story about love, heartbreak and hope that even almost left me with a lump in my throat. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Memories of Us is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

Vanessa Carnevale is a freelance writer based in Australia, who has contributed to The Green Parent, The Huffington Post, Muse, and Italy magazine, among others. Her debut novel, The Florentine Bridge, was published in 2017 by HQ in Australia. She was a finalist in the Best New Author category for the AusRom Today Readers Choice Awards 2017.

Vanessa is also the host of Your Beautiful Writing Life Retreats held in Tuscany and Australia.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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‘Mine’ by Susie Fox @writerdrfox @Deaco89 @PenguinUKbooks #blogtour

It’s such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Mine by Susie Fox! My thanks to Sam Deacon at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

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Author : Susie Fox
Title : Mine
Pages : 340
Publisher : Penguin
Publication date : June 14, 2018

aboutthebook

The baby in the cot is not your baby.

You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see your child. But when you are shown the small infant, a terrible thought seizes you: this baby is not mine.

They say you’re delusional.

No one believes you. Not the nurses, your father or even your own husband. They say you’re confused. Dangerous.

But you’re a doctor – you know how easily mistakes can be made. Or even deliberate ones.

Everyone is against you; do you trust your instincts? Or is your traumatic past clouding your judgement? You know only one thing.

You must find your baby.

mythoughts

Flipping heck! I was so not prepared for the rollercoaster ride of emotions ‘Mine’ took me on!

Sasha wakes up in hospital after an emergency c-section. When she is finally shown her baby, she’s convinced this tiny infant is not hers. Nobody believes her, not even her husband. With everyone against her, what can Sasha do? Let herself be convinced this child is hers? Pretend to love a child she feels isn’t hers? Or keep searching for the baby she believes truly belongs to her?

Sasha has had quite the traumatic past and so throughout the story you can’t help but wonder if she’s a reliable narrator. As a doctor, she knows mistakes happen in hospitals but could her judgment be clouded? I thought I had a wee inkling as to what was going on but the author managed to keep me second-guessing events at every turn. I may have had a smug grin on my face when it turned out my initial theory was correct but the actual reveal still left me reeling.

This is the stuff of nightmares. I’m not a mother but I had no problems whatsoever imagining how frightening it must be when you think the baby in the cot isn’t yours. How frustrating it must be to realise there’s no-one in your corner. How hard it is when you’ve read all the books, you think you know what it should be like and suddenly this wee bundle of joy arrives and you feel absolutely nothing.

‘Mine’ is super intense from start to finish as it tackles topics like IVF, miscarriages and mental health issues. This incredibly gripping plot had me completely absorbed and I couldn’t help but flip the pages faster to see what would happen next. But it’s also moving and heartbreaking at times and it’s entirely impossible not to become invested in Sasha’s well-being.

It’s quite hard to fathom that this is Susie Fox’s debut novel and this addictive psychological thriller promises nothing but good things from her in the future. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

‘Mine’ is available to buy in ebook format. The UK paperback will be out on June 14th!

Amazon US | Amazon UKKobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Susi Fox studied Medicine at the University of Melbourne. She is the recipient of a 2014 Varuna Fellowship and was part of the 2015 QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program. She lives in Central Victoria, where she works as a GP. Mine is her first novel.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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