She Said, Three Said by David B. Lyons | @TheOpenAuthor @DamppebblesBTs | #blogtour

I’m delighted to kick off the blog tour for She Said, Three Said today! My thanks to Emma at damppebbles for the invitation to join and for the review copy.

Author : David B. Lyons
Title : She Said, Three Said
Pages : 314
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : January 22, 2020

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a juror in a high-profile celebrity trial?

Well.. now you don’t have to. Step inside the jury room to deliberate one of the most talked-about court cases of the decade.

SHE SAID…

…all three men got her drunk, led her to a hotel room and took advantage of her.

THREE SAID…

…she was a willing participant and consented to sex with each of them.

After five-weeks of listening to all of the evidence and all of the arguments in a celebrity rape trial that has gripped an entire nation, the jury sit down to begin their deliberations.

But they don’t know who to believe…

…will you?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Why, yes, I have always wondered what it would be like to be on the jury at a trial but I have to tell you, after reading this book, I can safely say it’s an experience I’m happy to do without.

After five weeks of listening to evidence in a rape trial, jury members start their deliberations but they have no idea who to believe. There is little or no evidence to go on and it’s very much a case of she said, three said. She said three men got her drunk and took her to a hotel room to take advantage of her. The three men say she was willing and everything that happened was consensual. To complicate matters further, one of the three men is a well-known football player.

There are always two sides to every story and the truth is often found somewhere in the middle. But with a case like this, how do you keep a clear head? How do you remain objective? How do you leave prejudice, instinct and personal opinions out of the jury room and merely focus on the evidence in front of you? It’s a hard thing to do and being in that room with the other jury members really brings that to the fore.

Bar one, all jury members remain anonymous for most of the story. No names, no genders. They are merely known by their numbers. It felt a little odd to read the story like that but at the same time, it stopped me, as the reader, to be prejudiced against the jury members. None of that “of course, he’s going to vote not guilty” because you don’t know if the person is male. Personally, I thought that was quite a clever way of tackling things.

The chapters alternate between the deliberations in the jury room and snippets of what actually happened on that fateful night. This allows the reader to try and make up their own mind. Or does it? Because quite frankly, I didn’t have a clue and I kept going back and forth. This isn’t an easy read and at times it made me pretty uncomfortable but it also shows how quickly we can point the finger, see what we want to see and judge a book by its cover. I’m desperately trying not to give anything away here (and hopefully not failing) but sometimes things just aren’t what they seem. And all the while, it is immensely difficult to keep in mind that this is information the jury members just do not have.

In these times of the MeToo movement, this story is incredibly apt and the inclusion of statistics really drives home how tough it is for women everywhere to even get a case like this to trial, never mind about a just verdict. She Said, Three Said is an extremely thought-provoking and compelling story. Days after finishing it, it is still very much at the front of my mind. Who’s telling the truth? Who do you believe? How would you vote? Guilty or not guilty? And once you’ve made that decision, would you be able to live with yourself? I cast my vote, purely based on the evidence in the jury room, all the while ignoring what I was being told in the other chapters. I’m obviously not going to tell you what my verdict was and whether I was right or wrong but do feel free to get back to me when you’ve cast your vote and let’s discuss. Because if there is one thing She Said, Three Said is perfect for, it’s a (book club) discussion. An uncomfortable, compelling, clever story that I won’t forget any time soon.

She Said, Three Said is available to buy.

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

David B. Lyons is an international bestselling author — a writer of psychological thrillers.

He has reached No.1 in charts in Ireland, the UK, Canada and Australia.

David grew up in Dublin – the city his novels are set – but currently spends his time between Birmingham in the UK and the Irish capital. David is married to a Brummie, Kerry, and they have one daughter, Lola.

He has lectured in Creative Writing in colleges and universities in both Ireland and in the UK and coaches people how to write with free tutorials at TheOpenAuthor.com.

This Week In Books (January 29)

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

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a juror in a high-profile celebrity trial?

Well.. now you don’t have to. Step inside the jury room to deliberate one of the most talked-about court cases of the decade.

SHE SAID…

…all three men got her drunk, led her to a hotel room and took advantage of her.

THREE SAID…

…she was a willing participant and consented to sex with each of them.

After five-weeks of listening to all of the evidence and all of the arguments in a celebrity rape trial that has gripped an entire nation, the jury sit down to begin their deliberations.

But they don’t know who to believe…

…will you?

[Review to follow on Friday for the blog tour]

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

[I read this a few years ago but now that I want to get caught up on the rest of the series, I realised I might need to refresh my memory so I’m reading it again.]

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Poppy has a secret. 

It was a whirlwind romance. And when Drew, caught up in the moment, suggests that he and Poppy don’t tell each other anything about their past lives, that they live only for the here and now, for the future they are building together, Poppy jumps at the chance for a fresh start.

Drew says he has nothing to hide.

But it doesn’t take long for Poppy to see that this is a two-way deal. Drew is hiding something from her. And Poppy suddenly has no idea who the man she has married really is, what he is hiding from her or what he might be capable of.

Drew is lying.

Which is more dangerous, a secret or a lie?

[I really enjoyed Rebecca Reid’s debut, Perfect Liars, so I’m very excited to see what she has come up with this time.]

Have you read any of these? Would you like to? What are you reading this week? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

Whatever Happened To Betsy Blake by David B. Lyons | @TheOpenAuthor

Author : David B. Lyons
Title : Whatever Happened To Betsy Blake
Pages : 305
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : March 27, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Betsy Blake was only four years old when she vanished outside her family home in Dublin. 

Her father – wracked with guilt for the past seventeen years – still can’t bring himself to admit the search is over, despite the fact his wife has moved on and police have closed off the investigation. 

When he is informed he must undergo major heart surgery that he only has a fifty percent chance of surviving, Gordon Blake hires a local PI to give the investigation one last try. 

But surely rookie PI Lenny Moon – who has little or no experience in such high-profile investigating – doesn’t have what it takes to make a breakthrough in this case before Gordon is put to sleep. 

…or does he? 

The clock is ticking… 

| MY THOUGHTS |

David B. Lyon’s previous book, Midday, was one of the most surprising books I read last year. So when I was approached to read his next book, I didn’t hesitate, fully expecting another clever and tense plot and that is exactly what I got!

Seventeen years ago, four year old Betsy Blake disappeared. She was never found. Now, her father Gordon is in hospital awaiting surgery. His odds of surviving aren’t exactly great. Gordon’s biggest fear is dying on the operating table, not knowing what happened to his daughter. So he hires a private investigator, Lenny Moon, who has exactly five hours to find out whatever happened to Betsy Blake. Can Lenny achieve what police have failed to do?

The clock is ticking. For real. David B. Lyons manages to ratchet up the tension by having his characters check the time on a regular basis, constantly keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. I can just imagine watching this on tv, with a countdown slowly but surely ticking away the minutes in the corner of my screen.

Some of the chapters are incredibly harrowing and haunting. I often felt quite unsettled and went through a whole gamut of emotions, from anger to sheer sadness. Luckily, there are also a few chuckles along the way. Lenny doesn’t exactly ooze confidence. As a PI whose jobs mostly come from insurance companies trying to catch out frauds, he’s very much out of his depth and it shows. But he’s also extremely likeable and against all the odds, you can’t help but root for him. Gordon too is someone to sympathise with and root for. I can’t even begin to imagine the endless nightmare parents have to live with when their child goes missing.

This is one of those books that has me desperate to read it again because I just know I missed clues left, right and centre! That’s not a bad thing, obviously, because I was left completely blindsided and reeling at the end of it all. David B. Lyons has an uncanny knack for coming up with clever and refreshing plots, in this instance taking something like the disappearance of a child, which has obviously been done before, and turning it completely onto its head. And once again, he managed to pull the rug right from under my feet! Whatever Happened to Betsy Blake is a compelling and addictive story with a few surprises in store and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next!

Huge thanks to the author for my review copy!

Whatever Happened to Betsy Blake is available to buy!

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

This Week in Books (March 21)

this-week-in-books

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

Last book I finished reading 

37656988

As funeral mourners stand in silence at Ragmullin cemetery, a deafening cry cuts through the air. Lying crumpled at the bottom of an open grave is the bloodied body of a young woman, and Detective Lottie Parker is called in to investigate.

Knowing the body can’t have been there long, Lottie wonders if it could be Elizabeth Bryne, a young woman who vanished without trace just days earlier. And with a new boss who seems to have it in for her, Lottie is under pressure to solve both cases quickly.

As two more women go missing from Ragmullin, Lottie and her team fear there is a serial killer on the loose. And the disappearances are strikingly similar to a cold case from ten years earlier. Could history be repeating itself?

The book I’m currently reading

38094667

On a wet road in the black of night, Karl Seabury is driving home to his pregnant wife. Suddenly, caught in his headlights in the middle of the road is a woman shaking with fright.

The woman says her name is Liz Smith, that her home was attacked, and that she was the only one to escape.

In a split-second decision, Karl decides to help her to safety. But Liz is hiding a dark secret and now his good deed has put his family in terrible danger.

What I’m (probably) reading next

38734127

When his alarm goes off at 7 am, bank manager Vincent assumes he is waking up to a regular working day. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Minutes later, one of the most ambitious heists in Dublin’s history is underway — and Vincent finds himself at the centre of it.

While his boyfriend Ryan is held at gunpoint by two aspiring gangsters, Vincent is tasked with entering the vaults of the four branches he manages to steal two million euros from each one. If he doesn’t return by midday with all of the money, Ryan will receive a bullet to the head.

As each minute ticks by, it becomes clear all is not as it seems. But just who is calling the shots? And can Vincent make it back in time to save his boyfriend’s life?

***

Why, yes, these are all for blog tours. Why do you ask? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx