For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter | @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #ForTheMissing #NetGalley

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Lina Bengtsdotter
Title : For The Missing
Series : Charlie Lager #1
Pages : 368
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : December 13, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When a teenage girl goes missing from a small town, the local police start to buckle under the pressure.

Enter Charlie Lager, the brilliant but conflicted Detective Inspector sent from Stockholm to solve the mystery of Annabelle’s disappearance.

Her superiors don’t know that Charlie grew up in this very town – and she’s determined to keep it that way. But as she gets closer to the truth, cracks begin to form in her own lies.

Can Charlie find Annabelle before her darkest secrets are brought to light? FOR THE MISSING, time is running out…

| MY THOUGHTS |

When a young girl goes missing from a small town in Sweden, Charlie Lager and her colleague Anders are sent to help in the investigation. Unknown to everyone, Charlie grew up in this town. She’s determined to make sure nobody finds out but can she keep it up? And can detectives find young Annabelle before it’s too late?

For The Missing is the first instalment in the Charlie Lager series and promises great things for the future. Mostly set in the small town of Gullspång, the atmosphere is quite gloomy and the sense of claustrophobia and isolation is all-encompassing. This small town has very little to offer. To be honest, I can’t fathom at all why anyone would want to live there. There are no prospects, people have a hard time making ends meet and there is very little to do for entertainment. It’s no wonder Charlie made her escape from this place but why? And how will this forced return affect her?

I must admit that this didn’t quite turn out the way I expected it to. Yes, there’s an investigation into the disappearance of a teenaged girl but it goes deeper than that and the actual police work almost takes a backseat. This is very much a character-driven story and a truly fine example of Scandi-Noir, with its main focus on main protagonist, Charlie, and a rather intriguing backstory. In alternating chapters, the reader is introduced to two young girls. These chapters really grabbed my attention and I couldn’t at all figure out how they were connected to anything. And with every resident in Gullspång seemingly having something to hide, finding out who’s responsible for Annabelle’s disappearance is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. In short, there’s plenty on offer here to hold your attention throughout.

This first instalment in the Charlie Lager series won the Crimetime Specsavers Best Debut Award and it’s easy to see why. Gripping and atmospheric, this slow-burner marks the perfect introduction to Charlie Lager. I have no doubt this complex characters hides many more secrets and it’ll be thrilling to find out what those are.

For The Missing is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Lina Bengtsdotter grew up in Gullspång, Sweden. She is a teacher in Swedish and Psychology and has published a number of short stories in various newspapers and magazines in Sweden and the Nordic countries. She has lived in the UK and in Italy and today resides outside of Stockholm with her three children.

FOR THE MISSING is her debut novel.

Agnes Broomé is a literary translator and Preceptor in Scandinavian at Harvard University. With a PhD in Translation Studies, her translations include August Prize-winner THE EXPEDITION by Bea Uusma. 

Halfway by B.E. Jones | @bevjoneswriting @LittleBrownUK| #blogtour #bookreview #Halfway #damppebblesblogtours

It’s a real pleasure to be one of two bloggers kicking off the blog tour for Halfway by B.E. Jones today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

Author : B.E. Jones
Title : Halfway
Pages :
Publisher : Little Brown UK
Publication date : November 1, 2018

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass, deep in the inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, deep in snow, Lee, a student hitching home for Christmas, and Becca, a local nurse, end up knocking on the door as the blizzard takes hold. 

But are they the first to arrive? Why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father, upstairs in bed immobilised by a stroke, trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the nurse is missing she jumps at the chance to escape the boredom and heads out into the snow.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm but soon realise they might have been safer on the road, especially when Lee finds something interesting in the cellar – which is nowhere near as interesting as what’s under the old man’s bed. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas… and if everyone is lying, then who do you trust? 

Ever feel like a book description gives away way too much information? I’m honestly glad I didn’t read the blurb above before I started reading Halfway. I much prefer discovering things on my own and not quite knowing what the book was about allowed me that.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Wales, in the midst of a blizzard, the reader meets a multitude of characters. It’s rather obvious from the start that their paths will cross at some point but how or why remains a mystery for quite a while. There’s the hitchhiker, whose either running away from or towards something. There’s an old man, who has suffered a stroke, stuck in his bed just wanting to be heard. And there’s a police officer, desperate to make a name for herself. 

Out on an isolated farm, there’s been a vicious murder. The police officer is sidelined, not involved in the investigation at all. How is she supposed to move up the ranks if she can’t even get away from her desk? Who’s responsible for the murder up at the farm and why? What’s going on with the sick man in his room? As you can tell, there are a lot of questions that need answers and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to unravel the various threads.

Halfway is one intricately plotted puzzle. For the longest time, I couldn’t at all get a handle on things and didn’t have a clue what was going on. However, I found the chapters and the characters so immensely intriguing that I couldn’t stop reading. This story is very much on the slow side but does a brilliant job of setting the scene and delving into the minds of the various characters. Even if the pace puts you off at the start, stick with it. It pays off in the end when things come together rather cleverly.

Halfway is available to buy!

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

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today. 

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales. 

Halfway, her fifth crime novelfollows the release of Where She Went by Little Brown in 2017.

Bev’s previous releases, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books. 

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

Her Last Move by John Marrs | @johnmarrs1 @AmazonPub @EmmaFinnigan | #HerLastMove #damppebblesblogtours #guestpost

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Her Last Move by John Marrs. My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join. John Marrs visits my blog today to talk about ten things you don’t know about himself and his books. But first, here is what Her Last Move is all about!

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Author : John Marrs
Title : Her Last Move
Pages : 352
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : November 8, 2018

aboutthebook

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

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Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me and My Books

  1. I’ve written six books since 2012 and am currently on draft one of my seventh. One character appears in each of my novels – my dog Oscar. In real life he’s a nine-year-old border terrier who has been with me since he was ten weeks old. In my stories, I’ve twice killed him off, changed his breed, his age and even his sex! 
  1. None of my books are sequels, but there is a little character hopping that happens. For example, the rock star son of Catherine in When You Disappeared appears as a music judge in Welcome To Wherever You Are. The house in When You Disappeared crops up in The Good Samaritan. The psychopath in my latest novel, Her Last Move, was in foster care with Laura, my sociopath from The Good Samaritan. Match Your DNA, the common theme in The One, will make an occurrence in my sixth novel, as yet untitled, which comes out early next year.
  1. My first five books were written on trains. I live in Northamptonshire but until ten months ago, I worked in London so I commuted each day. With round trips and lunch breaks, I had a good four hours a day to write. I’d slip on my headphones, find a moody playlist of music and ignore the world to create my own. Book six is the first one I’ve written completely at home.
  1. The original ending of The Good Samaritan was completely different to the version that appeared in the book. In the first few drafts, it was Laura’s friend Mary who was blackmailing her. My editor wasn’t convinced that was the right way to finish the book, so after much sulking from me, eventually I agreed with her and the ending that’s in the book is so much better.
  1. The first person who reads each of my books is my partner, confusingly, also called John. I also sound out the plots of my stories with him when we take the dog for long walks around the park. For book seven, we plotted the entire thing out while hiking in America’s Yosemite national park. The next reader is my mum, then fellow author Louise Beech before it goes to my editor.
  1. I don’t read half as much as I would like to. I just don’t have the time. I download a lot of audiobooks now which I listen to when I’m at the gym or taking Oscar for a walk. I’ll listen to my own books too when they first arrive. It’s always interesting to hear an actor or actress interpret your words. Some of them I’ve loved, others, well… I’m not so convinced by!
  1. My first novel, The Wronged Sons, was turned down by eighty different publishers and agents in the UK. It became a self-published word of mouth hit before it was taken on by publisher Thomas & Mercer, rewritten, republished and renamed When You Disappeared. In just over a year, it has now sold 250,000 copies. To all you unpublished writers out there – NEVER. GIVE. UP.
  1. My second novel, Welcome To Wherever You Are, is set in a backpacking hostel in Los Angeles and is loosely based on the characters I met there when I was a 21-year-old travelling around America for a year. This summer, I went back to LA and visited it for the first time in 26 years. It was quite a special moment.
  1. The One contains five main characters and their stories when they discover they each have a soul mate somewhere out there in the world. However, there was originally a sixth character. I’d written about 20,000 words of her story when I decided the book was going to be too long so I had to cull someone. She was axed as her story became too violent and I felt with one psychopath in the book, there wasn’t any more room for bloodshed.
  1.  My latest book, Her Last Move, is my first foray into police procedural. I wanted to write a police thriller just to see if I could manage it. I don’t see the point in writing the same kind of book over and over again even if they are hits. I needed to set myself a challenge and push myself and boy, did this push me. Hats off to every writer out there who works in this genre on a regular basis. Thankfully I had some expert assistants to help with the accuracy. And judging by early reviews on Goodreads and NetGalley, people seem to be liking it so far. Phew!

[I hope to get around to reading Her Last Move myself some time soon! Thank you so much for stopping by, John!]

abouttheauthor

John Marrs is the author of The One, The Good Samaritan, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are.

A freelance journalist based in London, England, he has spent the past twenty years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.

He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine and Company.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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One Way Ticket to Paris by Emma Robinson @emmarobinsonuk @bookouture #NetGalley #bookreview #blogblitz

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to the first day of the blog blitz for One Way Ticket to Paris by Emma Robinson! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invite and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Emma Robinson
Title : One Way Ticket to Paris
Pages : 279
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 31, 2018

aboutthebook

When I was a kid and I’d lost something, my dad always said ‘Go back to the place you last had it’. The problem is that what I’ve lost is… me.

Kate loves her family more than anything, but recently she has started to feel invisible. Lying awake at three a.m. as her husband snores, panicking about shopping lists, birthday parties, and the school bake sale…

She finds herself in the kitchen, gulping water, staring at a postcard of the Eiffel Tower from Shannon, her best friend.

Paris, with its red wine, slippery cobbles and curly lampposts. Where the scent of freshly-baked croissants hangs in the air, and Kate last remembers feeling like herself.

The postcard is a year old. It has just one line on it: When are you coming?

mythoughts

I’m sure many of us are familiar with sleepless nights, when the brain just won’t shut down long enough for you to relax, when you maybe start to feel a little punchy and even the most stupid idea suddenly seems like the best one ever.

It is during such a sleepless night that Kate realises she’s lost her way. Married to Luke and a stay-at-home mum to two children, she seems to have forgotten who she truly is. Her dad always told her that when you lost something, you needed to go back to the place where you last had it. So to find herself again, Kate books a one way ticket to Paris to see her best friend, Shannon.

Shannon is having problems of her own though and Kate couldn’t have picked a worse weekend to show up unannounced. Because Shannon suddenly finds herself in a position she’s desperately been trying to avoid. On the Eurostar to Paris, Kate meets Laura and thus, the scene is set for a memorable weekend.

These three women find themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Feelings need to be discussed, secrets need to come out in the open and decisions must be made. One Way Ticket to Paris is a wonderfully entertaining story about love, friendship and how sometimes in the midst of the chaos life throws at us, all you need is some time to just breathe and be yourself again.

This isn’t exactly the type of genre I normally go for but I do enjoy Emma Robinson’s writing. Her characters always come across realistic and believable and I have no doubt some of the things Kate, Shannon and Laura deal with are entirely relatable to some readers. From men with commitment phobias, to dealing with pushy mums at your children’s schools yapping on about bake sales and the like, to not having a minute to yourself, which means a clean and quiet bathroom in a hotel suddenly feels like paradise on earth.

With a few chuckles along the way, likeable characters to sympathise with and root for and a healthy dose of romance, this feel-good story is sure to warm your hearts.

One Way Ticket to Paris is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Emma Robinson thinks of herself as one of the ‘Bridget Jones generation’ – who are now grown up and having children – and writes novels for women who feel the same.

She also has a blog, Motherhood for Slackers, which takes a humorous look at parenthood, and includes poems such as ‘Dear Teacher’ about her son starting school which has been shared around the world. Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

Author links : Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

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The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor

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Author : Sandy Taylor
Title : The Little Orphan Girl
Pages : 358
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : September 24, 2018

aboutthebook

Ireland, 1901: For as long as six-year-old Cissy Ryan can remember, she has been a workhouse girl. Living amongst the other orphan boys and girls, dreaming of a family that might come and choose her for their own.

But the day her real mammy finally comes to claim her is not how Cissy imagined. An unfamiliar woman takes her to a tumbledown cottage in the rural Irish countryside to meet her gruff granddaddy. Settling into the isolated and poverty-stricken village is tough. But Cissy’s blossoming friendship with Colm Doyle and his horse Blue show Cissy the kindness and laughter is possible, even in the hardest of times.

As Cissy grows up, she finds that the world around her is ever changing. When she goes to work at prestigious Bretton Hall, she begins to realise that not everyone has an honest heart…

mythoughts

We first meet Cissy Ryan when, at the age of six, she leaves a workhouse holding the hand of a woman claiming to be her mammy. The workhouse for orphans is the only home Cissy has ever known and her mammy isn’t quite the kind of mother she expected. In fact Cissy was sure her name was Martha and she didn’t even have a mammy. Nevertheless, Cissy moves in with her mammy and her grandfather, a grumpy old man, in a tiny cottage. Life is suddenly very different but there is a silver lining and his name is Colm Doyle.

From these humble beginnings, we follow Cissy as she grows up and goes out into the world to work at prestigious Breton Hall. Here Cissy learns all about the divide between the poor and the rich and that some people aren’t honest or even nice. Their sense of entitlement is remarkable as they go through life without a care in the world for the people who work for them or their circumstances.

Cissy is an absolutely delightful character and I warmed to her immediately, even though she sometimes came across as a little too good to be true and quite naive. Growing up in early 1900’s Ireland was tough and I feel the author really brought that era to life. From poverty to prejudice to the stigma attached to unwed mothers, these weren’t exactly happy times.

The Little Orphan Girl is a beautifully written, though not entirely surprising, historical fiction story about family, love and friendship. Full of wonderful characters, it will have you rooting for them all the way and wishing for a happy ending. Despite the certain level of predictability and the fact that I quite prefer my historical fiction with a bit more depth to it, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Cissy and following her on her journey.

The Little Orphan Girl is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Closer by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #bookreview #Closer #NetGalley

It’s always a pleasure to join a blog blitz for one of K.L. Slater’s books! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley. Here is what Closer is all about!

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Author : K.L. Slater
Title : Closer
Pages : 331
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 24, 2018

aboutthebook

I know my daughter better than I know myself and if there’s one thing I know for sure at this moment: it’s that Maisie is not ok.

My ex-husband Shaun and I are still friends.
We would do anything for our beautiful little girl, Maisie.
But now Shaun has moved in with Joanne and suddenly, Maisie has a brand new family.
And there’s something not quite right about it…I know Joanne isn’t everything she says she is. Yet no-one will listen.
I need to discover what she’s hiding.
Because if I don’t, my daughter will be in terrible danger.

mythoughts

And the award for some of the most unlikeable and infuriating characters ever goes to …. well, pretty much everyone involved in this story except for ten year old Maisie. I dare you to read this and not feel incredibly sorry for her. I just wanted to wrap her up in great big bear hug and keep her safe from harm.

Emma and her husband are separated but still live in the same house for the benefit of their young daughter. Everything seems to be going well until Shaun falls in love with Emma’s boss, Joanne. Talk about making things complicated. But the person suffering the most in these new circumstances is ten year old Maisie. It becomes clear to Emma quite quickly that her daughter is not okay. But who’s responsible for the change in Maisie?

This is quite the slow burner. For the longest time, it felt as if little was actually happening when in fact, the scene is set perfectly for what is to come. With references to events from both Emma’s and Joanne’s past and flashback chapters by an unknown character, K.L. Slater kept me guessing until the end about how things were connected or how they would pan out. There are some incredibly dark secrets to unravel and the tension builds up slowly to quite the shocking conclusion.

Did I mention the unlikeable characters? Joanne irked me from the moment she was introduced to me. And let’s not even waste words on her dreadful daughter, Piper. However, the one I wanted to slap fiercely more than anything was Maisie’s father, Shaun. Either he’s ridiculously oblivious, blind or just stupid. I haven’t quite decided on that bit just yet. I do know he was utterly infuriating.

Full of suspense, this had me hooked from start to finish. Although I must admit it has left me with a few unanswered questions, making me think I missed something along the way. I’ve come to expect solid psychological thrillers from K.L. Slater and this one is no different. In a genre that’s often up and down, K.L. Slater manages to remain absolutely consistent!

So is Emma a reliable narrator or just paranoid? What’s lurking in Joanne’s past? Will Shaun open his eyes? But more than anything, will Maisie go back to the wonderful girl she used to be? If you want to know the answer to these questions, there’s only one thing to do.

Buy your copy of Closer right now as it’s published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer, has one grown-up daughter, Francesca, and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Warning by Kathryn Croft @bookouture #NetGalley #TheWarning #bookreview #blogblitz

It’s a real pleasure to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for The Warning by Kathryn Croft today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the reciew copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Kathryn Croft
Title : The Warning
Pages : 318
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Three years ago, nurse Zoe’s son Ethan was found drowned in a muddy river by their home, along with his best friend Josh. With no witnesses, their deaths were ruled a tragic accident.

Heartbroken, Zoe and her family, move away from her home. They’re just beginning to get back to some kind of normality, when, out of the blue, Zoe receives an anonymous email:

You need to find out the truth about what happened to your son. Don’t let this rest. Don’t believe the lie.

Shaken, Zoe starts an obsessive hunt for the truth. But why is her husband so reluctant to help? And why is Josh’s mother so determined not to believe her?

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Three years ago, Zoe’s fourteen year old son Ethan and his best friend Josh were found drowned in a river. It was ruled an unfortunate accident. Now, Zoe and her family have moved away and are trying to move on from the dramatic loss. But then Zoe receives an email. Was Ethan’s death not an accident after all? What really happened that night? And who is behind these messages?

Well, who indeed. I thought I knew and held on to that belief throughout the story, even when at some point my theory failed to make sense even to me. Kathryn Croft has created an immensely dark and twisted story here and if you manage to figure it out, there’s a whole box of cookies waiting for you right here!

Obviously, the truth about what happened to Ethan is what kept me hooked. But more than that, I felt the author did an incredible job bringing these characters and their struggles to life. Zoe, her husband and her remaining son all have very different ways of dealing with the loss of Ethan and the never-ending grief. The changing family dynamics fascinated me and there are a multitude of lies and secrets to discover.

Kathryn Croft manages to combine a few uncomfortable topics into a twisty psychological thriller. Zoe is stunned to find that Josh’s mother Roberta seems quite reluctant to help her in finding out the truth. After all, she lost her son as well. But there is more than meets the eye and as always, the reader soon finds out that you just never know what goes on behind closed doors.

The Warning is a well-paced tale of love, grief, loss and a mother’s desperate search for the truth with realistic and believable characters. I couldn’t at all predict the outcome. Full of suspense, this psychological thriller will keep you gripped from start to finish.

The Warning is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Kathryn Croft is the bestselling author of six psychological thrillers, and to date has sold over one million copies of her books. The Girl With No Past spent over four weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and her other novels, Behind Closed Doors, The Stranger Within and The Girl You Lost all reached number one in the psychological thriller charts.

Her seventh psychological thriller is due to be released in October 2018.

After six years teaching secondary school English, Kathryn now writes full time and lives in Guildford, Surrey with her husband and young family.

Having always been an avid reader, Kathryn believes in the power of words to entertain, teach and transform lives. She is also a firm believer in following your dreams and says anything is possible if you work hard enough and never give up!

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Our Little Lies by Sue Watson @suewatsonwriter @bookouture #blogtour #NetGalley #OurLittleLies

Delighted to join the blog blitz for Our Little Lies by Sue Watson today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Sue Watson
Title : Our Little Lies
Pages : 347
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 11, 2018

aboutthebook

Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.

Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother early, growing up in foster care. But her husband, Simon, is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France: nothing is too good for his family.

Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline , gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows it’s nothing – she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

In the old days, she’d have distracted herself by excelling at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career when she married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.

It’s almost by accident that Marianne starts to learn more about Caroline. But once started, she can’t stop, because what she finds makes her wonder: is the question she should be asking not ‘should she be jealous’, but… ‘should she be scared?’

mythoughts

You may be familiar with Sue Watson from her Ice-Cream Café series but now, Sue has decided to join the dark side. Our Little Lies is is her first psychological thriller and holy guacamole, is it tense or what? Answer, yes, yes it is.

Marianne seems to have it all. She’s married to a successful surgeon, has three wonderful children and lives in the most delightful house in a wonderful neighbourhood. Until the day, her husband mentions a colleague called Caroline. There is just something about the way he says her name that makes Marianne incredibly suspicious. Bit by bit, Marianne’s perfect life will start to crumble.

Now, prepare yourself to become increasingly angry as the story goes on. There is a vile and despicable character that made me feel quite murderous. Yet, the way Sue Watson tells the story constantly left me wondering if I had the right end of the stick. Is there one unreliable character? Or are there more? Who to believe? I didn’t have a clue! So many lies, so much paranoia, such extreme manipulation … my head was spinning!

It was clear to me relatively quickly that I was never going to figure out the outcome and I didn’t. Up until the final reveal, I still had an idea in my head that wasn’t even close to what actually occurred. I love it when that happens and I breathed a happy sigh of satisfaction. And also one of exhaustion because yikes, the tension was almost so unbearable my heart was racing at a bajillion miles an hour.

This to me is a combination of a domestic noir and a psychological thriller at its finest. I absolutely raced through this extremely gripping and hugely addictive page-turner, as if my own life depended on it. Obviously, Sue Watson should tackle this genre more often! I’ll be waiting with baited breath!

Our Little Lies is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Sue Watson was a journalist then TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.

She’s now written thirteen novels – many involving cake – and her books have been translated into Italian, German and Portuguese. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent procrastinating while eating cake (for research purposes), and watching ‘My 600lb Life,’ on the sofa.

Sue explored the darker side of life for her latest book ‘Our Little Lies,’ a dark, psychological thriller completely devoid of cake. She’s hoping this change in direction will be reflected on the weighing scales.

Author links : FacebookTwitter | Website

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Bring Them Home by D.S. Butler

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Author : D.S. Butler
Title : Bring Them Home
Series : Detective Karen Hart #1
Pages : 304
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer / Amazon Publishing
Publication date : October 11, 2018

aboutthebook

When two young girls disappear from their primary school, the village of Heighington is put on high alert—and not for the first time. Called in to investigate, Detective Karen Hart is sure that parallels with a previous disappearance are anything but coincidental.

DS Hart is still reeling from a case she tried and failed to solve eighteen months ago, when a young woman vanished without a trace. She’s no nearer to the truth of what happened to Amy Fisher, but with two children missing now too, the stakes have never been higher. As she looks to the past for clues, she must confront her own haunting loss, a nightmare she is determined to spare other families.

Hart soon realises that nothing in this close-knit Lincolnshire community is what it seems. Pursuing the investigation with personal vengeance, she finds herself in conflict with her scrupulous new boss, but playing by the rules will have to wait. Because while there’s no shortage of suspects, the missing girls are running out of time…

mythoughts

I do so love storylines involving kidnappings. There’s always this delightful race against the clock to find the victims alive. Tick, tock.

The story starts out exciting enough. Two ten year old girls go missing from school. From the beginning, it’s clear this will be one frustrating investigation. There are no witnesses, no clues and detectives don’t know where to start looking for Emily and her friend Sian. But DS Hart has a suspect in sight early on. Is she distracted by a previously unsolved case though?

Bring Me Home is the first instalment in a brand-new series, featuring Detective Karen Hart. I liked the fact that she isn’t a DI but a DS because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of those around. While a DI might sometimes get away with breaking the rules, DS Hart doesn’t get that opportunity very often, although she gives it a good go, as her boss is always nearby and he’s a stickler for the rules.

Now, as you know, I read a lot of crime fiction and I’m fully aware of the fact that it’s becoming increasingly harder for an author to come up with something new that will either shock or surprise me. So although I thought Bring Them Home wasn’t badly written, it felt a little too much like things that have been done before.

Throughout the story, these characters never really convinced me. On top of that, I found the author tried too hard to dazzle the reader with red herrings and dead ends but deep down, I always felt there was only ever going to be one way the story would end and thus, the conclusion wasn’t unexpected at all.

All in all, a straightforward mystery but to be honest, there are far more better ones out there to sink your teeth into. For me, this ended up being a quick but, sadly, forgettable read.

Bring Me Home will be published tomorrow!

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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!

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