This Week in Books (November 28)

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

People always notice my daughter, Isobel. How could they not? Extraordinarily beautiful… until she speaks. 

An unsettling, little-girl voice, exactly like a child’s, but from the mouth of a full-grown woman. 

Izzie might look grown-up, but inside she’s trapped. Caught in the day it happened… the day that broke her from within. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces.

The book I’m currently reading

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back.

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

What I’m (possibly) reading next

It’s true what they say . . . revenge is sweet. 

1975 
A baby, minutes old, is forcibly taken from its devastated mother. 

2010 
The body of an elderly woman is found in a Dublin public park in the depths of winter.

Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds is on the case. He’s convinced the murder is linked to historical events that took place in the notorious Magdalene Laundries. Reynolds and his team follow the trail to an isolated convent in the Irish countryside. But once inside, it becomes disturbingly clear that the killer is amongst them . . . and is determined to exact further vengeance for the sins of the past.

The Rumour marks the end of my blog tour commitments for the year. Woohoo! Time to delve into my own TBR and Jo Spain’s Tom Reynolds series is the first one I’ve decided to catch up on. 

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (November 7)

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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

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Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

The book I’m currently reading

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A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.

Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime.

But even Hawthorne isn’t prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody…

What I’m (probably) reading next

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Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala.

Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! I don’t want to run out of books! 😉

Happy reading! xx

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia @MejiaWrites @QuercusBooks @ellakroftpatel #blogtour #LeaveNoTrace

Good morning from glorious and scorching hot Tuscany! Today, I’m delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia! My thanks to Ella Patel at Quercus for the invitation to join and for the wonderful review copy!

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Author : Mindy Mejia
Title : Leave No Trace
Pages : 336
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : September 4, 2018

aboutthebook

Ten years ago Josiah Blackthorn and his son trekked into the wilderness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and vanished. Now one of them has returned.

Lucas Blackthorn, the boy who came back from the dead, is nineteen, semi-feral and violent. He is now incarcerated in Congdon Psychiatric Institute and the police are desperate to hear his story. All Lucas wants is to return to his home and his father.

Therapist Maya Stark has her own unfinished business with the Boundary Waters, and as she and Lucas grow closer she sees a chance for them to help each other.

She is prepared to risk everything to get answers to the questions that have haunted her for all her adult life. But sometimes finding out the truth is the worst thing you can do …

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I absolutely loved Mindy Mejia’s previous novel, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman, so I was incredibly excited at being given the opportunity to join the blog tour for her latest release, Leave No Trace. I’ll tell you right now though, this is nothing like her previous novel! I love it when an author takes me by surprise.

Ten years ago, Josiah Blackthorn and his son trekked into the wilderness, only to vanish. But now, Josiah’s son Lucas has returned.  Lucas is now nineteen years old and finds himself incarcerated in a psychiatric institute. He doesn’t talk and all he really wants is to return to his father.

Maya Stark is a speech therapist at the psychiatric institute and it’s her job to get Lucas to talk. Is he keeping quiet because he doesn’t know how to talk?  Or is he just being stubborn? Maya is haunted by past events herself. Will meeting Lucas bring her the answers she has so desperately been searching for?

Leave No Trace is very different from Mindy Mejia’s previous novel but as ever, it’s immensely beautifully written. The vivid descriptions of the Boundary Waters in Minnesota really bring the place to life and almost made me want to go out on a hike or grab a canoe. I say almost, because you know, water and creepy-crawlies. But there’s also the peace and tranquility, not another person in sight, just gorgeous Mother Nature all around you. Bliss. Living off the grid obviously isn’t for everyone but Mindy Mejia took inspiration from people who’ve actually done so, for various reasons, and I do so enjoy it when an author makes me want to google things.

Despite it’s relatively slow pace, I was captivated by the exquisite storytelling. There is some fascinating character development to sink your teeth into and even a few twists and surprises. Some I may have figured out but that did nothing to ruin my reading experience, nor did the fact that maybe a few things might have required me to suspend belief just a tad.  Leave No Trace is a compelling mystery and I was swept away by this tale of love, family and loss from start to finish.

I must say, I’m fast becoming a fan of Mindy Mejia’s work and remain impressed with her excellent storytelling skills. I’m incredibly curious to see what she comes up with next.

Leave No Trace is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn’t have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss.)

Author links : Twitter

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The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth @charduck @QuercusBooks

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Author : Charlotte Duckworth
Title : The Rival
Pages : 400
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : September 1, 2018 (ebook)

aboutthebook

NOW:
Living in her home in the countryside Helena is a career woman without a job and a mother without a baby. She blames Ashley for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley’s fault?

THEN:
When Helena hires Ashley to work with her, she’s startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud – maybe this is the protégé she’s always wanted to have? But soon Helena realises that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley’s drive to get to the top. And when Helena discovers she is pregnant, she quickly realises how vulnerable her position is, with devastating consequences.

mythoughts

When I picked up The Rival I was in the most grumpy mood. I’d had little sleep the night before, my day had been turned upside down by interruptions and distractions and I had a headache. All this meant it took me five hours to read a mere 50 pages. Why am I telling you this, you wonder? Because that extremely grumpy mood only became worse the second I was introduced to Ashley and I’m still not entirely sure if my dislike of her was something the author meant to happen or if I was in the wrong state of mind to form a fair opinion of her.

We meet Ashley on her first day at a new job for a make-up company. It’s obvious from the start that she is a fiercely ambitious young woman. She knows what she wants and she’ll do whatever it takes to get it. Nothing wrong with that. But she also comes across as a bit sneaky, devious, selfish and slightly ruthless. Or does she? Her boss, Helena, initially enjoys working with her. But she soon realises Ashley will stop at nothing to succeed. And when Helena falls pregnant, things take a turn for the worse.

It’s no secret that something happens between these two women. Helena blames Ashley for ruining her life, for being a career woman without a job and a mother without a baby. But what exactly happened? Is Ashley truly to blame?

The Rival is told in three parts, from two points of view and switching back between the past and the present. This works incredibly well and I was trying ridiculously hard to pick up clues and unravel the mystery. But I wasn’t at all prepared for the way events ultimately unfolded and it left me reeling, questioning everything, feeling I’d misjudged some things along the way.

This story of female ambition and rivalry is well-paced and although I wouldn’t call it particularly tense, it is full of intrigue and suspense and part three had me flipping the pages faster and faster. It completely made me forget how tired and grumpy I felt and I was determined to finish it before bedtime. Sure, maybe Ashley has the rather typical background to explain why she is the way she is but that didn’t really bother me.

I think this a cracking debut by Charlotte Duckworth and I loved how it combined a psychologic thriller feel with the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and very much look forward to what this author comes up with next.

The Rival is available to buy!

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

This Week in Books (August 29)

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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

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On her own wedding night, beautiful and complicated Evie White leaps off a cliff to her death.

What drove her to commit this terrible act? It’s left to her best friend and her husband to unravel the sinister mystery.

Following a twisted trail of clues leading to Evie’s darkest secrets, they begin to realize they never knew the real Evie at all…


The book I’m currently reading

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LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I’s control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country’s fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of London, with strange marks that no one can explain.

When idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby finds another body displaying the same marks only days later, he becomes convinced that a killer is at work, preying on the weak and destitute of London.

Determined to find out who is behind these terrible murders, Nicholas is joined in his investigations by Bianca, a mysterious tavern keeper. As more bodies are discovered, the pair find themselves caught in the middle of a sinister plot. With the killer still at large, and Bianca in terrible danger, Nicholas’s choice seems impossible – to save Bianca, or save himself…


What I’m (most definitely
) reading next

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There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths #20BooksofSummer

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Author : Elly Griffiths
Title : The Zig Zag Girl
Series : A Stephens & Mephisto Mystery #1
Pages : 352
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : July 16, 2015

aboutthebook

Brighton, 1950.

When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.

The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another ‘trick’, the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in danger…

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I’m sure many of you are familiar with Elly Griffiths’ other series featuring Ruth Galloway (So behind on that one as well. I’ve only read four 🙈) but this one is very different. I’d heard quite a lot about The Vanishing Box, the fourth book in this Stephens and Mephisto Mystery series but as always, I was compelled to start at the beginning.

When the body of a young girl is found, DI Stephens is immediately reminded of a magic trick gone wrong.  The girl’s body has been cut up into three pieces, just like the Zig Zag Girl trick. DI Stephens calls in the help of his old friend, Max Mephisto, with whom he served in the war. Max is a good old-fashioned magician who is still touring around the country from venue to venue in a world that’s constantly changing and where variety show entertainers may just be a dying breed.

Max is reluctant to help until it turns out the dead girl was known to him. When another body turns up, Stephens and Mephisto become convinced that the answer is to be found in their army days. But can they stop the killer before they strike again?

Set in 1950’s Brighton, The Zig Zag Girl is an incredibly original combination of police work with the intriguing world of magic and variety shows. Now, I did figure it out but that didn’t bother me at all. The atmosphere, the fantastic setting and the fabulously colourful and sometimes quirky characters had me completely enthralled.

This cleverly plotted and addictive story had me utterly captivated and it’s such a delight to step away from the more modern crime fiction. DI Stephens doesn’t have access to all the fancy gadgets and resources that are around these days. No smartphones, no computers, no databases. All he has is his wit and his gut instinct and nobody bats an eyelid when he pulls in an amateur to help out with his investigation.

I’m glad I have this in-built urge to start a series at the beginning, no matter how many books there are already. Granted, I don’t know how the other books progress but I feel I may not have connected to these characters the way I did if I had jumped right into book four. As it is, I’m left wanting more from both of them as I’m sure there is a lot more background to discover about Stephens and Mephisto.

Elly Griffiths’ decision to tackle something completely different sure paid off. I enjoyed this historical mystery immensely and I can’t wait to find the time to get caught up on the rest of the series.

The Zig Zag Girl is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

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Book 15 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

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The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @ellakroftpatel #PaperbackPublicationDay #TheConfession

Happy paperback publication day to Jo Spain for her fab psychological thriller The Confession! To celebrate the launch, I’m reposting my review from January.

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Author : Jo Spain
Title : The Confession
Pages : 416
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : January 25, 2018 (ebook) | August 9, 2018 (paperback)

aboutthebook

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

mythoughts

Here’s a refreshing way to tackle a psychological thriller! Never mind wracking your brain about the who, as that’s revealed from the start. It’s the why that will keep you utterly enthralled until the last page. And if you think that ruins half the suspense, you’d be awfully wrong.

Late one night, banker Harry McNamara is the victim of an incredibly brutal attack. Oddly enough, hours later, his attacker Joe simply walks into the police station and confesses although he claims not to know his victim and that the assault wasn’t premeditated. But surely there’s more to the story? Well, yes, of course there is or this would be one short book. But I’m not going to tell you anything about it.

Obviously I’m not in favour of violence but I must admit that I would quite happily have clobbered Harry to pulp myself. I found him to be highly unlikeable and I also had a hard time mustering up any kind of sympathy for his wife, Julie. We do get an incredible insight into a remarkably flawed marriage which I found every bit as compelling as the investigation into the actual attack.

The Confession has a brilliantly executed and well-paced plot. Full of intrigue, it had me absolutely gripped until the end, not having an inkling what the likely outcome would be. Numerous times I thought I had it all figured out when Jo Spain whacked me in the face with another curveball that left me spinning. This is a complex and thoroughly entertaining psychological thriller with a truly satisfying conclusion. I understand this is Jo Spain’s first foray into this genre and that sounds most promising for the future. I look forward to more!

The Confession is available for purchase now!

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

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This Week in Books (August 8)

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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

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Brighton, 1950.

When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.

The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another ‘trick’, the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in danger…

The book I’m currently reading

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Natalie is desperate to find her little boy. It has been more than three years since she saw Harry. Three long years in prison for a crime she knows didn’t commit.

But her husband believed the police, and took their son.

Who has gone to such great lengths to destroy Natalie’s life? Everyone she once trusted – friends, family, everyone close to her – what secrets do they hide?

If Natalie finds the truth, will she get Harry back, or lose him forever?

What I’m (definitely) reading next

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SOMEONE IS LIVING A LIE… BUT WHO?

Is it Lisa?
Haunted by a tragic past, all Lisa wants is a quiet life with her daughter, Ava. And when she meets a new man, things seem to be falling into place. But Lisa is hiding a secret so momentous it could shatter her entire world…

Is it Ava?
When sixteen-year-old Ava saves a young boy’s life, she becomes a local hero. But never in a million years could she have anticipated the fallout of her actions…

Is it Marilyn?
Marilyn has the perfect life. Her husband, her job, her house—she seems to have it all. But she could never admit to her best friend Lisa the lies she tells herself to get through the day…

One moment will change these three women’s lives forever. And the secrets they’ve been keeping could destroy them all.

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Have you read any of these? If not, would you like to? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Wrong Way Home by Isabelle Grey @IsabelleGrey @QuercusFiction @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

Thrilled to join the blog tour for Wrong Way Home by Isabelle Grey today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation and to the publisher for my review copy!

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Author : Isabelle Grey
Title : Wrong Way Home
Series : DI Grace Fisher #4
Pages : 384
Publisher : May 17, 2018
Publication date : Quercus

aboutthebook

Everyone in Southend remembers the night of the fire. Two lives were saved from the burning Marineland resort, while metres down the beach another was lost when a young woman was raped and murdered. The killer was never found. Now, twenty-five years on, DI Grace Fisher is handed new DNA evidence that could blow the cold case wide open. But what are the chances of really getting to the truth after all this time?

Meanwhile, eager would-be journalist Freddie Craig decides to prove himself by conducting his own investigation and turning his findings into a podcast. It will be good for his CV, and maybe he’ll even make a breakthrough in the case… Experienced hack Ivo Sweatman is flattered when the cub reporter turns to him for advice, but as Freddie becomes more obsessed with the case, Ivo starts to worry that the line between fact and wishful thinking is becoming dangerously blurred.

Just as a series of revelations lead Grace to believe the case is closed, a similar murder is committed. Does she have the wrong man? Or are there two separate killers to deal with?

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How did I not know about this series?!

Wrong Way Home is the fourth instalment in the DI Grace Fisher series, a wee detail I didn’t actually know when I signed up for the blog tour. So once again, I find myself breaking my own rule of never starting a series anywhere else but with book one. Luckily, for me, this reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. There may have been a few tiny references to things I didn’t know anything about but as far as background goes, I’d say Isabelle Grey does a great job of hooking new readers without making them feel they are missing out on a truckload of information.

I came to the conclusion a little while ago that I actually really like reading stories about cold case investigations and this one was truly as gripping as gripping can be! Twenty-five years ago, a huge fire and the murder of a nineteen year old girl rocked the community of Southend. The killer was never caught but now, new DNA evidence may just bring DI Grace Fisher and her team a little closer to finding out what happened that night. But after all this time, is the killer still even alive? And if by chance there were any witnesses, how much do they even still remember?

On that same fateful night, Freddie Craig was born. He seems to feel there is some sort of cosmic connection between his birth and the death of the young woman all those years ago. Through a series of podcasts, he sets out on his own investigation into the murder and the mind of a rapist and murderer. Local reporter Ivo Steadman is happy to help out this budding journalist but things quickly turn rather creepy.

From corruption, to murder, to dysfunctional families, this story offers a lot of juicy stuff to sink your teeth into. What struck me the most though, is how Isabelle Grey never loses track of the victims in all of this. How events have affected them, how they’re dealing (or not dealing) with things. It added an extra layer you don’t always find in this genre, which I found just as absorbing as the actual investigation.

Wrong Way Home is a deeply compelling and engrossing crime fiction story. I really enjoyed my first introduction to DI Grace Fisher, although I must say that for a super investigator, she often seemed to jump to conclusions without any proof concerning more private matters and there was one colleague I felt quite bad for. She and her team work incredibly well together on the whole though, complimenting each other and all the while talking things through. The investigation wasn’t at all as straightforward as I thought it would be when I first started reading. Many times, I was convinced I had the whole thing figured out, only to be proven wrong.

This is a thrilling, compelling and utterly addictive story that I found pretty hard to put down. I’m incredibly glad I discovered this series now and I’m determined to catch up on the previous three books as soon as I can. Even though I really need another series like a hole in the tooth, I’ll gladly make some space on the shelf for this one!

Wrong Way Home is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Isabelle Grey is a television screenwriter whose credits include Jimmy McGovern’s BAFTA award-winning Accused: Tina’s Story as well as over thirty-five episodes of Midsomer MurdersCasualtyRosemary and ThymeThe Bill and Wycliffe.

She has also written non-fiction and been a magazine editor and freelance journalist.

Isabelle’s previous novels include two psychological thrillers, The Bad Mother and Out Of Sight as well as the first three books in the DI Grace Fisher series, Good Girls Don’t Die, Shot Through the Heart and The Special Girls. Isabelle grew up in Manchester and now lives in north London.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **

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Author : Jo Spain
Title : The Confession
Pages : 416
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : January 25, 2018

aboutthebook

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

mythoughts

Here’s a refreshing way to tackle a psychological thriller! Never mind wracking your brain about the who, as that’s revealed from the start. It’s the why that will keep you utterly enthralled until the last page. And if you think that ruins half the suspense, you’d be awfully wrong.

Late one night, banker Harry McNamara is the victim of an incredibly brutal attack. Oddly enough, hours later, his attacker Joe simply walks into the police station and confesses although he claims not to know his victim and that the assault wasn’t premeditated. But surely there’s more to the story? Well, yes, of course there is or this would be one short book. But I’m not going to tell you anything about it.

Obviously I’m not in favour of violence but I must admit that I would quite happily have clobbered Harry to pulp myself. I found him to be highly unlikeable and I also had a hard time mustering up any kind of sympathy for his wife, Julie. We do get an incredible insight into a remarkably flawed marriage which I found every bit as compelling as the investigation into the actual attack.

The Confession has a brilliantly executed and well-paced plot. Full of intrigue, it had me absolutely gripped until the end, not having an inkling what the likely outcome would be. Numerous times I thought I had it all figured out when Jo Spain whacked me in the face with another curveball that left me spinning. This is a complex and thoroughly entertaining psychological thriller with a truly satisfying conclusion. I understand this is Jo Spain’s first foray into this genre and that sounds most promising for the future. I look forward to more!

The Confession is available for purchase now!

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