book review · kidnapping · mystery · NetGalley · psychological suspense · suspense · thriller

Book Review – The Day I Disappeared

A terrifying crime reunites a mother and daughter in a novel of psychological suspense by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Trespassing.

Three months after four-year-old Holly Gebhardt was kidnapped, she was inexplicably returned to the same park from which she’d vanished…with no memory of the ordeal. Though a local handyman was convicted, suspicion also fell on his friend—Holly’s mother, Cecily. The troubling doubts about her involvement shattered the family, forever driving a wedge between mother and daughter.

Twenty years later, another girl goes missing under eerily similar circumstances. It’s just the latest in a series of kidnappings that Detective Jason Guidry thinks Holly can help solve. Though Holly has tried to move on with her life, a young girl’s life hangs in the balance. All she has to do is try to remember…

With her memory still mostly blank, Holly is missing vital pieces of the puzzle, and she believes her mother can put them in place. In desperation and fear, Holly and her mother come together again. But in a chilling rush toward the past, Cecily still has secrets she’s yet to share with her daughter. Should she dare to breathe a word, she could lose Holly all over again.

My Review

“The Day I Disappeared” by Brandi Reeds

It’s been twenty years since Holly Gebhardt was kidnapped as a four-year-old only to be returned to the same park some three months later, physically unharmed but without any memory of who took her or where she’d been.

When another young girl disappears, the clues point to a copy-cat case since Holly’s kidnapper is in jail, having been charged and found guilty of her abduction. But this is not the first case with similarities to Holly’s, although most of the girls taken were either found dead or presumed to be so. Is there a copy-cat or did they lock up the wrong man? And why can’t she remember anything still?

The story is told principally from Holly’s viewpoint as she relives the incident when similarities to her case jolt her memory. But, to her disappointment, it’s all so vague and disjointed.

The other viewpoint character is Holly’s mother, Cecily, who is in hospital in a coma after a car accident. Cecily’s story hints at her knowing more than she told the police. Her to-date untold story gives the reader an insight into what might have happened and why.

Put together, the two perspectives create a suspenseful whole … but not until all of the theories and suspects are eliminated to leave only one possibility. Such is the joy of the unreliable narrator … or, in this case, narrators!

This is more than a story of a child’s disappearance. It strays into the lives of Holly’s parents and neighbours whose past actions make them worthy of suspicion. The story challenges friendships, stirs doubt and raises suspicion all while the hunt continues for the latest missing child. Secrets, affairs, and lies all contribute to a tense and suspenseful read.

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

As always,

 

book review · crime · psychological suspense · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Perfect Couple

The perfect couple…or the perfect lie?

A year and a half ago, Gemma met the love of her life, Danny. Since then, their relationship has been like something out of a dream. But one Friday evening, Gemma returns home to find Danny is nowhere to be seen.

After two days with no word from her husband, Gemma turns to the police. She is horrified with what she discovers – a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol. When she sees the photos of the victims she is even more stunned…the victims all look just like Danny.

But, the detectives aren’t convinced by Gemma’s story. Why has no one apart from Gemma seen or heard from Danny in weeks? Why is there barely a trace of him in their flat? Is she telling them the truth, or are there more secrets and lies in this marriage than meets the eye?
 

Purchase link: Amazon UK

 

 

About the author:

Jackie Kabler was born in Coventry but spent much of her childhood in Ireland. She worked as a newspaper reporter and then a television news correspondent for twenty years, spending nearly a decade on GMTV followed by stints with ITN and BBC News. During that time, she covered major stories around the world including the Kosovo crisis, the impeachment of President Clinton, the Asian tsunami, famine in Ethiopia, the Soham murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Jackie now divides her time between crime writing and her job as a presenter on shopping channel QVC. She has a degree in zoology, runs long distances for fun and lives in Gloucestershire with her husband.

 

Social Media Links

Twitter @jackiekabler

Instagram @officialjackiekabler

Facebook jackiekablerauthor

My Review

4/5 stars

This story immediately drew me in, and kept me wondering what had really happened to Danny until the truth came out. At that point, there were moments that me go …’Er, but …’ a few times. I n particular, I felt to Helena, the DCI in charge was a tad too focused on Gemma being responsible for Danny’s disappearance / death (although his dead body hadn’t been found). When it came to questioning others, especially Quinn, Danny’s cousin, Helena seemed too happy to take any “evidence” that put Gemma in the hot seat. She disputed why he might put himself on the radar, yet never gave the same consideration to Gemma. 

The nature of the story did involve a lot of repetition as stories were told and retold, but that didn’t detract from the pace or the suspense. If any, it set me – the reader – up for some clever misdirection. 

As expected, the ending proved to be a great twist – who’da thunk it? Once revealed, the killer could really only ever have been that individual. It makes perfect sense now. 

Well written, with an easy to follow style, this story really does deliver in terms of the many twists and turns, and once you’re sucked in you won’t want to stop until you know what really happened. 

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.

For more news and reviews, 

book review · crime · NetGalley · psychological suspense · thriller · thriller & crime

Book Recommendation ‘n’ Review – The Good Neighbor

The Good Neighbor

by Cathryn Grant

Sometimes the past just won’t stay buried.

When 14 year old Brittany disappears one night, her parents are devastated, certain she has been taken.

They can’t bear to think about who has done this and what might be happening to their precious girl.

Even worse, the police seem to see them as suspects, implying that they may have had a part in their own daughter’s disappearance. Only their neighbor, Taylor, is a rock. She organizes search parties, feeds the volunteers, works night and day to help them find Brittany.

But as this affluent California community becomes focused on the hunt for the missing girl, it slowly becomes clear that her disappearance is linked to terrible secrets from the past.

Secrets that must be kept hidden at all costs….

The Good Neighbor is a gripping psychological thriller that twists and turns as it races towards its nerve-shredding climax. Perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll and Mark Edwards.

What readers are saying about The Good Neighbor:

‘I don’t even know where to start! This book has left me speechless. I love all of the mystery and drama The Good Neighbor provided.’ – NetGalley Reviewer

‘The Good Neighbor is a thrilling read that will have you gripped right from the beginning till the final page. If you love a story that is full of secrets, mystery, suspense with twists and turns, then this is the book for you.’ – Onceaponatimebookblog.com

‘Omg, this is a totally and utterly AMAZING book. It’s an intense tale of manipulation, lies, suspicion, deception and secrets that poses the question. Is it always best to do the right thing?’ – NetGalley Reviewer

‘Wow! To say this book “packs a punch” is such an understatement – it more ‘smacks you around the head with a 9 iron!’ There were twists and turns around every corner all neatly packaged within this highly readable tale.’ – ReadandRated.com

‘A great, can’t put it down suspense mystery novel. Read it in one day! It is rare to be surprised at how a story twists and turns I highly recommend for a great take on a plot that isn’t predictable.’ – NetGalley Reviewer

‘I loved the characters in this book…The book developed a hold over me…I was drawn into this story from the first word on the first page and Cathryn kept my attention throughout the book…a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.’ – gingerbookgeek.wordpress.com

‘A fantastic psychological thriller. Suspense filled and a very exciting read. Loved it. A good and exciting mystery.’ – NetGalley Reviewer

My Review

Well, am I chuffed to have found this book or what? A very clever story that is both tense and intense.

The Good Neighbor is Taylor Swanick, who just wants to bring some community spirit to the quiet – and frankly, dull – cul-de-sac in which she lives with her husband. Everyone seems to just go about their business, but Taylor wants more from her neighbours; she wants a sense of camaraderie, of pitching in together, sharing and generally being neighbourly.

The latest additions to the street are, however, more reserved and hermit-like than ever. But when, one night, Taylor is woken by someone frantically knocking on her front door, little does she realise things will never be the same again. Careful what you wish for …as Taylor was about to find out.

Her new neighbour, Moira, is screaming hysterically, convinced her daughter Brittany has been abducted from her bedroom. Taylor’s determination to get the whole street involved soon sees them all searching the open space behind their homes. All to no avail. But, Taylor, doesn’t stop there, nor does she do as her husband advises and leave it to the police. She starts a Facebook page, appealing to the public to find Brittany.

Let’s just say, that she doesn’t expect to get so many hoax responses to her plea for help. Nor does she expect to find someone like Crystal who knows Moira and her family all too well. In fact, Crystal knows an awful lot about them, and she’s not going to be hushed this time.

This is a gripping story, and once that humongous twist comes at the halfway stage I can assure you there’s no going back until you finish. The story is filled to the brim with larger than life characters. Not all of them are remotely likeable, and some are definitely not playing with a full deck. Yet, despite that they seem so normal. It’s scary to think that beneath the surface these people are nothing like you could ever imagine. Taylor most certainly was not prepared for what happened …and nor was I.

Don’t be thinking this is just a story about a missing teenager, because it’s way more than that. This is a story about people. Taylor is just looking for a sense of community; Moira and Alan are looking to stay under the radar, and Crystal is after the truth and justice. The story is told primarily from the viewpoints of Taylor and Moira, but also includes young neighbour, Luke, as well as some insight into who Brittany is and the life she has been leading thus far.

This is a well-paced story that hooked me early on, and included some major curve balls that blew me away. I’ve not read anything by this author before, but I surely will look out for her other work from hereon.

I received a copy from Netgalley, and wish to thank the author and her publishers for making it available.

As always,

blog tour · book review · British · dystopian · Giveaways · psychological suspense · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Hope (with Giveaway)

Hope.jpg

Hope by Terry Tyler has been snapping up 5 star reviews all over the place, which is why I’m thrilled to share it with you all today!

Welcome to the blog tour for Dystopian Psycho-Thriller, Hope!

Cover.jpg

Hope

Publication Date: May 24, 2019

Genre: Dystopian/ Psychological Thriller

Terry Tyler’s nineteenth published work is a psychological thriller set in a dystopian near future – the UK, Year 2028.

Blogger Lita Stone and journalist Nick Freer live and work online, seeing life through soundbites, news TV and social media. Keeping the outside world at bay in their cozy flat, they observe the ruthless activities of the new PM and his celebrity fitness guru wife, Mona (hashtag MoMo), with the mild outrage that can be quelled simply by writing another blog post.

Meanwhile, in the outside world, multinational conglomerate Nutricorp is busy buying up supermarket chains, controlling the media, and financing the new compounds for the homeless: the Hope Villages.

Lita and Nick suspect little of the danger that awaits the unfortunate, until the outside world catches up with them – and Lita is forced to discover a strength she never knew she possessed.

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Excerpt

We don’t notice our world changing around us, because those little shifts take place so gradually. Attitudes are altered one decision, one blind eye turned, one ‘I accept’ at a time, until a situation that would have seemed unthinkable ten, twenty, thirty years ago, becomes the norm.

I’ve been pondering this a lot over the past few days, since I walked past the usual mile-long queue outside our local food bank, and thought, hang on a minute. When did this happen?

When I was a kid, I knew food banks existed but had never seen one. The UK’s first opened in 2004; I googled it so you don’t have to. Now they’re in every town, as normal a feature of our urban landscape as Nu-Mart and BettaBargains, but still they’re not government funded. They rely on charities, and people like me who dump a packet of Nu-Mart Pasta ‘n’ Sauce in the donations basket when we do our weekly shop.

One ponder led to another, and ‘why so many food banks?’ got me thinking about Hope Villages.

Since the first one, four years ago, they’ve popped up all over the country.

Sounds cosy, doesn’t it? Hope Village. Rosy-cheeked kiddies and lovingly tended gardens. A smiling vicar walking his dog, and pots of jam with gingham covers over the lids.

The reality is somewhat less appealing. The ‘Villages’ are estates of warehouse-like structures to house the homeless, with nary a jar of apple and blackberry preserves in sight.

Not so long ago, the less fortunate of our nation―of which there are said to be over two million―were part of the scenery in any town. You’d see them slumped in shop doorways, sitting blank-eyed on park benches, begging outside supermarkets and cafés.

Queueing outside the shelters.

There are two shelters near us: Horizon, and a Roof. Roof Charity has opened many, all over the country, in the past decade. I walk past and try not to stare at the bewildered faces of those who have only recently fallen this far and are trying their best to cling to ‘normality’, alongside the long-termers, their dead eyes staring at the ground.

Over the last four years, however, most of the homeless have been tidied away into Hope Villages.

Now Available!

Amazon | Amazon UK | Book Goodies

My Review

 

If this is author Terry Tyler’s 19th novel, then I have a serious back catalogue to read based on the brilliance of her latest book, Hope.

Set in the near future, in a post-Brexit UK, this story blurs the line between our current reality and fiction. What the author has created here is all too believable: such as the advancement and reliance on AI which leads to an increase in unemployment (except in social care!), not to mention social media posts that feed an eager and, dare I say “gullible” audience who thrive on the information that gives them hope for a similar lifestyle, even though what they see is carefully doctored fake news.

Lita Stone and her flatmates can see the changes in society, but feel cushioned by their lovely little flat and regular incomes. When her actions contradict those of the populist government lines, her work dries up. Her best friend loses her job because of a failure to fit into the new “much smaller” uniform, and constant fat-shaming #fittowork programs are no help. For a while Nick has to support them, until his own secret is discovered and all three of them are unable to pay their bills, and ultimately the rent for their cosy little home.

Sofa-surfing for a while keeps them under the radar, but eventually there is nothing for them than moving to Hope Village 37 in Northumberland. Lita’s “boyfriend” arranges this placement through his work, adamant it will only be a temporary solution. Unfortunately, Lita eavesdropped on a conversation he was having and jumped to conclusions that saw her move into Hope Village and then refuse all contact with him.

If only, Lita, if only you hadn’t overheard that conversation!

Life in Hope Village becomes their norm, but ever the sceptics Lita and Nick are suspicious of what is going on in there.  And it seems getting out is nigh on impossible.

Without giving away any of the story, what follows is a perfect example of the underdog fighting the establishment trope. In true David and Goliath style, Lita has to speak up – her audience only ever expected honesty from her. This was not the time to be silent or bend the truth to suit the powers that be.

The ending is uncomfortably worrying but also thrilling and exciting.  If it weren’t so near to the knuckle given the current trends we are all experiencing, then it wouldn’t be half as disturbing. Not only is this a great novel, but the author has timed its release to perfection – KUDOS!

Highly recommended to anyone who loves a dystopian story, and I really hope it remains a work of fiction and not a reality.

About the Author

Author Pic

Terry Tyler is the author of nineteen books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Hope’, a dystopian, psychological drama set in the UK, a decade into the future. She is currently at work on ‘Blackthorn’, a post-apocalyptic stand-alone story set in her fictional city of the same name. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 14th-17th century), and sociological/cultural/anthropological stuff, generally. She loves South Park, Netflix, autumn and winter, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.

Terry Tyler | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub| Amazon

giveaway gif

For your chance to win one of 4 digital copies of Hope in the format of your choice, click HERE!

Hope

Blog Tour Schedule

October 14th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

Just 4 My Books (Review) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Lisette Brody (Guest Post) http://lisettebrodey.com/

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

October 15th

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Tommye Turner Talks (Review) http://tommyeturnertalks.com

October 16th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Books Teacup and Review (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

October 17th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

October 18th

I’m All About Books (Review) https://imallaboubtbooks.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Crossroads Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours

As always,

book blitz · promo · psychological suspense · thriller

Promo Blitz – The First Lie

The First Lie

We’ve all had sleepless nights thinking about it.
You’re home alone. Someone breaks in.
In defending yourself, you end up killing the intruder.
Now you’re the one the police want.

That is the situation that criminal barrister Paul Reeve arrives home to find.
His wife Alice stands in the bedroom, clutching a bloodied letter opener in her shaking hand.

“What have you done, Alice?”
“I didn’t have a choice…”

We would all believe the person we love most.
But would we all make the same choice Paul and Alice make next…?


Buy Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Lie-addictive-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B07NLCMD44/

UShttps://www.amazon.com/First-Lie-addictive-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B07NLCMD44/

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-first-lie/a-j-park/9781409187424

 

Author Bio 

After studying literature, linguistics and Spanish at university, AJ Park trained as an English teacher and actor. He has edited magazines and taught English, Media Studies and Drama in secondary schools in England. He was also a competitive fencer for seven years.

Social Media Links –

Twitter @AJParkauthor

Facebook KarlVadaszffy

www.karlvad.com

As always,

book review · NetGalley · psychological suspense · tense · women's fiction

Book Review – The Stillwater Girls

The Stillwater Girls

by Minka Kent

Description:

Two sisters raised in fear are about to find out why in a chilling novel of psychological suspense from the author of The Thinnest Air.

Ignorant of civilization and cautioned against its evils, nineteen-year-old Wren and her two sisters, Sage and Evie, were raised in off-the-grid isolation in a primitive cabin in upstate New York. When the youngest grows gravely ill, their mother leaves with the child to get help from a nearby town. And they never return.

As months pass, hope vanishes. Supplies are low. Livestock are dying. A brutal winter is bearing down. Then comes the stranger. He claims to be looking for the girls’ mother, and he’s not leaving without them.

To escape, Wren and her sister must break the rule they’ve grown up with: never go beyond the forest.

Past the thicket of dread, they come upon a house on the other side of the pines. This is where Wren and Sage must confront something more chilling than the unknowable. They’ll discover what’s been hidden from them, what they’re running from, and the secrets that have left them in the dark their entire lives.

My review:

This book was recommended to me by a good friend who was raving about it, so I jumped on the bandwagon and got a copy for myself, only to hear from the same friend a few hours later – yes, hours – that the ending did not live up to expectations.

Argh! Was I about to waste my valuable reading time on something that would disappoint? A few other reviews – though definitely not all – said much the same thing. It didn’t bode well.

Still, I had the book already – it had to be worth checking it out for myself, after all, I might love it. My friend and I have disagreed over books in the past. (Though, to be fair, we’ve agreed more times than disagreed) Maybe this would be another one of those moments.

And you know what? For the first 75%, I abso-bloody-lutely loved this story. It was well-paced; I could totally empathise with the characters, they intrigued me – it was all good.

I felt for Wren and Sage, left alone in that cabin in the woods, where food was running out but not their hope that Mama and sister Evie would be back soon. When that knock on their door came, I was with them, hiding behind the couch, trembling. The plan wasn’t working out. It was time to leave. I so wanted Wren and Sage to find their mother and sister, and to see that maybe the world wasn’t as bad nor as scary as they’d been told.

Meanwhile, Nicolette and husband Brant lived a charmed life, endless travel opportunities led to recognition for Brant’s photographic career while Nic looked forward to them becoming foster parents after an emergency hysterectomy meant she couldn’t carry a child herself.

Unfortunately, a baby photo in Brant’s sock drawer, and several large withdrawals from her trust fund – without her knowledge – brought doubt to her door. Was Brant cheating? Did he have another family somewhere else?

There was tension every which way, and I raced through the book. It didn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that the first house Wren and Sage came across belonged to Nic and Brant; and there was a logical reason for Nic to be at home when they knocked on her door. (She usually went to Florida for the winter, but had decided to confront Brant about the money instead)

As the truth came out about the Stillwater Darlings who lived in the cabin in the woods, living a life without electricity or modernity of any kind, it seemed only reasonable – and rather sweet – that Nic would want to help them.

And then came the moment that left me open-mouthed, where the facts of Nicolette’s past were revealed. My first thoughts were that the story had taken a shocking, fascinating and somewhat incredulous turn. While all the connections were finally made, it still left me baffled. Could that have happened? (I’m not going to share the details here in case you’d care to see for yourself) Everyone in Stillwater knew what had happened to Nicolette, including Brant, Cate, (her friend in Florida) and even her parents – and they all agreed to say nothing. Only Nicolette had no idea, no memory of what she’d done.

I loved the author’s writing, she drew me in with strong characters, all the emotional ups and downs you could wish for, and so much dramatic tension. I’ll definitely be checking out her other books. This would be perfect for #bookclubs as it certainly generates conversation. I love that in a book, and I’d recommend those curious enough to check it out for themselves.

My thanks to Netgalley and the author / publisher for a copy of this book; my review is made voluntarily.

As always,

blog tour · book review · British · NetGalley · psychological suspense · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Am I Guilty?

Am I Guilty?

by Jackie Kabler

A mother’s job is to protect her child…but everyone makes mistakes.

I never thought it would happen to me…

One moment I had it all – a gorgeous husband, a beautiful home, a fulfilling career and two adorable children. The next, everything came crashing down around me.

They said it was my fault. They said I’m the worst mother in the world. And even though I can’t remember what happened that day, they wouldn’t lie to me. These are my friends, my family, people I trust.

But then why do I have this creeping sensation that something is wrong? Why do I feel like people are keeping secrets? Am I really as guilty as they say? And if I’m not, what will happen when the truth comes out…?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Am-Guilty-gripping-emotional-surprises/dp/0008328412

US – https://www.amazon.com/Am-Guilty-gripping-emotional-surprises-ebook/dp/B07H52VDB5

Author Bio

Jackie Kabler was born in Coventry but spent much of her childhood in Ireland. She worked as a newspaper reporter and then a television news correspondent for twenty years, spending nearly a decade on GMTV followed by stints with ITN and BBC News. During that time, she covered major stories around the world including the Kosovo crisis, the impeachment of President Clinton, the Asian tsunami, famine in Ethiopia, the Soham murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Jackie now divides her time between crime writing and her job as a presenter on shopping channel QVC. She has a degree in zoology, runs long distances for fun and lives in Gloucestershire with her husband.

Social Media Links

Twitter @jackiekabler

Instagram @officialjackiekabler

Facebook jackiekablerauthor

My Review

5/5 stars

Thea did it – everyone said so. She even believed it herself. Hated herself for it. Not that she could remember the day, or how the incident actually happened. But, there were others there at the time – witnesses – and they said she’d done it.

Oh, the beauty of this story is that it takes some time to learn just what the incident is – and it is as shocking as you’d expect. (Do you realise how hard it is to not give anything away here? 😉 Trust me, it’s a struggle, but you’ll thank me for it)

Thea has to accept responsibility for what happened. Her best friend, Isla; her husband, Rupert; her eight-year-old daughter, Nell; Nell’s best friend, Millie and Millie’s father, Greg were all there.

Amnesia brought on by the trauma means Thea has no option to trust their version of events.

Until her memory returns and fleeting flashbacks make her question the events of that day. Now, she’s convinced she’s going mad, that her mind is purposely avoiding the truth and offering up a more palatable version.

But, there is a universal truth that underlies this story: Your lies will always find you out. Do terrible things, and terrible things happen to you. Karma has a way of balancing things out.

So, whose secret is the greatest? Whose lies pose the bigger risk? Is anyone telling the truth? Is Thea responsible?

Just as you think you know the answer, the story takes another turn. If you’re anything like me, you’ll suspect everyone at some point in this story.

The story is told in first person with alternating chapters from the main characters which lets the reader see the story from every angle. So many twists, so many turns, but always with the ultimate question for Thea: Am I Guilty?

The story is firstly emotional and harrowing, but as the months pass and lies begin to unravel, the pressure mounts unbearably on some. What follows then grows more tense, becomes more gripping and addictive; the characters draw you in, make you like them, empathise with them – well, most of them anyway. It’s a true page-turner, and thoroughly entertaining.

And now, it’s time for a …

Giveaway to Win a Signed Copy of Am I Guilty? (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

More reviews and posts can be found on these blogs:

As always,

book review · British · psychological suspense · thriller

Book Recommendation: What She Saw

How far would you go to keep your daughter safe?

Everyone knows Leona would do anything for her daughter, Beth: she moved to Church Langdon to send Beth to the best school, built a business to support them and found the perfect little cottage to call home. They hike together, shop together, share their hopes and fears. It’s the relationship every mother dreams of.

But Leona never talks about why they moved to the Lake District.

She’s never told Beth anything about her father.

She says Beth should never speak to strangers. She says Beth doesn’t need friends.

She’s only trying to protect her daughter.

When Leona answers the phone one morning, her heart stops as she hears a voice from her past.

She’s given her daughter everything, but now she must tell her the truth. And once it’s out, can she keep her little girl safe?

What She Saw is a gripping psychological thriller with an incredible twist that will make your jaw drop. If you love The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl or Behind Closed Doors you’ll be consumed by this.

My Review

4.5/5 stars

Wow, this is one of those stories that takes a while to get under your skin, but when it does you won’t stop reading till it’s all over.

The story centres on Leona who lives with her daughter, Beth, and partner, Scott, in the beautiful Lake District. Theirs is a quiet life and, for some strange reason, Leona wants to keep it that way. She doesn’t like to travel too far from home and she is quite stifling when it comes to her daughter’s whereabouts too. But, hey, if that’s what floats her boat, then who am I to argue?

Well, it’s all going well, plodding along nicely when Leona sees a face from the past – Ria – in a reflection at the local shop. From that moment on, her neuroses are on high alert. But why? Who is Ria, and why is Leona so afraid of her?

The story is told in alternate viewpoints by Leona and Beth at first. Then when Leona seeks help for her panic attacks, Ria comes in to tell her story. And, here is where we have “lift off”. From this point on, the author tells us just enough to keep us wanting more.

Relationships between the characters are explored, but we soon come to learn that Leona has not been honest with Scott, and that Ria is more important to Leona’s story than we might first imagine. At two-thirds in, the connections between the characters are solidified, and the drama in that last third travels at full throttle towards an exciting and tense ending.

The author portrays with sensitivity hard-hitting topics like abusive relationships (mental & physical) as well as school bullying and the struggle of a mother-daughter disconnect during those teenage years. Combined, these issues bring a grittiness to the story, which adds to the tension and drama particularly when the truth emerges. Never being sure how a character might react always brings an extra layer of intensity to a story, and such uncertainty is in abundance here allowing for multiple twists and turns along the way.

If you enjoy fraught emotional tales, strong characterisation amid a stunning backdrop, then you can’t go far wrong with this.

Purchase link: Amazon UK

As always,

book review · NetGalley · noir fiction · psychological suspense · series · thriller

Book Review – Behind Blue Eyes

Behind Blue Eyes

by C.S. Duffy

The perfect man.

The perfect life.

The only problem is the dead body on the beach.

Investigative reporter Ellie has just given up her life in London to be with the man of her dreams in Sweden when she stumbles across a half decomposed skeleton on Midsummer’s eve.

She’s flung into a murder investigation in a country where she doesn’t speak the language and doesn’t know a soul.

Except Johan.

The love of her life.

Who she is beginning to suspect knows a lot more about the body than he is admitting.

Is he the perfect man, or has Ellie uncovered the perfect crime?

A psychological suspense thriller with a twist of Scandi noir – perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

My Review

5/5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read by C.S.Duffy, and it will not be the last.
Behind Blue Eyes is the first in the Stockholm Murders series, and it has that great Scandi noir vibe to it. Utterly compelling, intriguing and mysterious, I was hooked from very early on.
The story centres on Ellie James, an investigative reporter from London, who drops everything to move to Sweden after an intense, but fairly short-lived romance with her one true love, Johan.
With no job, friends or language skills, the move is daunting so meeting Johan’s friends for a Midsummer’s party is a big deal. But, with the exception of Mia, they aren’t the most welcoming of people, and when they lapse into Swedish conversations – which they did a lot – her isolation is even more pronounced. I must add here that the descriptions of Stockholm and its islands are beautifully written, not in a touristy way since there is a dark underbelly referenced too, but the setting is vibrant and refreshing, adding to the tone of the story when necessary.
Not even expecting them to miss her, she wanders off on this remote island to clear her head and reassess her decision. Finding a skeleton is not in her plans, but when they body is later identified as a former girlfriend of her beloved Johan, then Ellie’s investigative instincts cannot be quashed.
As her enquiries proceed, it’s clear she has not been privy to all of the facts – there are cover ups galore that bring about many twists and turns.
The story is told from Ellie’s viewpoint with bite-sized chapters from the killer whose identity is closely guarded by the author. It’s thrilling, thought-provoking, lively and tense. Ellie’s decidedly British humour breaks down the tension only for it to be ramped up seconds later.
Connecting all the dots reveals a much bigger crime than originally suggested, and the suspects seem to be everywhere. It will keep you hooked right to the end. I’m looking forward to the next book now, and this is a new author for me to follow.
I received an arc from NetGalley – thank you – and also kudos to BooksGoSocial & C.S. Duffy for an amazing story.

As always,

book review · NetGalley · psychological suspense · thriller

Book Review – A Face in the Crowd

A Face in the Crowd

by Kerry Wilkinson

To be released 6th June 2019

Lucy gets the same bus every day.

She hopes to get a seat to herself, tries to avoid eye contact, and, if she’s really lucky, reads a chapter of her book.

But it’s a Friday – and the bus is always crammed at the end of the week. Personal space doesn’t exist. She keeps her elbows close and clings to a pole at every juddering stop.

When she gets off, something feels different.

An envelope stuffed with thousands of pounds is in her bag.

Is it the answer to her prayers, or the beginning of a nightmare?

Because, in the end, everything has a price.

A compulsive read that will have you absolutely hooked and reading late into the night.

What everyone’s saying about this book:

Wow this had me captivated! I could hardly put the book down … OMG that ending! … stunning … I had to get my breath back at the end!’ Bonnie’s Book Talk, 5 stars

WOW ABSOLUTELY WOW!!!! This is the most unputdownable book I’ve read in a very long time!!! …Loads of tense moments and twists and turns. And an ending you won’t see coming!!’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

OMG this book is so damn good… gripped from the very first page… I freaking loved it!… an utterly sensational page turner. I literally couldn’t put this book down and devoured it in one afternoon.’ Chelle’s Book Reviews

Oh my god what an amazing book. This is a real page turner…I was hooked from the first page and only putting this book down when I needed to…My husband has definitely become a book widower with this one.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘Cor! Kerry Wilkinson strikes again with this absolutely incredible page turner!’ Novel Deelights

OHHHHHH I just love a Kerry Wilkinson book… This book really is one of those page turners… It’s one of those books that as much as you try to figure things out, you just have no damn clue which way it is going. Brilliantly, cleverly written…First class, but I really didn’t expect anything else from this authorBLOODY LOVED IT!!!!!’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

‘A suspenseful thriller with a lot of emotional trauma…here are secrets and twists which bring out hidden family dramas and deceptions. Very well written and interesting! Let’s Escape with a Good Book, 5 stars

Another phenomenal book by this author…A lot of twists and turns. I didn’t want this book to end. I was not expecting the ending that was delivered. Such a good book!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘A real page turner…Hooks the reader in from the first page. The storyline is so good and believable…It’s a rollercoaster ride right through to the end and believe me I did not expect that ending!…A word of warning though! Do not read it in one sitting which is so easy to do. You will be left longing for more!’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

‘This book had me at the first page…As with Kerry’s other books you don’t know ‘who done it’ until the end.

My Review

4/5 stars

Lucy and Ben seem like a happy, successful couple. But beneath the surface, cracks are already appearing.

Ben wants to buy Lucy the perfect house – one she commented on once upon a time – and now he’s talking about stables for a horse based on a tale she told him from when she was seven years old. He wants her to have everything and is determined to provide it.

Thing is, Lucy has never asked for the extravagant wedding he seems insistent on giving her, and the horse tale was just a childhood memory, not a lifelong dream. Sometimes she wonders if he knows that, or just chooses not to listen.

Like I said … cracks!

But then, one day Ben doesn’t come home. A train crash has killed several passengers and he and his brother are amongst the dead.

Lucy has to start over, as a single woman.

However, once the grief has lessened, she finds that this time around, not only is she on her own but she is saddled with a mountain of debt too – Ben’s debts from loans made in her name.

Yep! That’s right. Mr “I’ll give you the world” is – was – not quite the man she thought him to be.

So, with understandable anger and bitterness now creeping into her thoughts, memories of Ben are not quite what they could be. She’s living in a one-bedroomed flat, living from hand to mouth on a minimum wage from a nearby supermarket. After tending to her dog, Billy, there is little left over for her to live off. Even owning a decent pair of shoes is a luxury she can ill afford. (she has a pair of trainers and a pair of “school” shoes – not quite the life she enjoyed before)

Until, that is, one Friday evening during the bus journey home, Lucy finds an envelope in her bag, packed with cash. Cash she cannot stop counting. Cash that she is determined to hand in to the police the next day. Cash that could help with her bills, give her and Billy a few treats and just make her life easier for a while. But she’s not the type of person who can say nothing. Is she?

Lucy’s dilemma is not resolved that weekend, but it has already changed her in those few hours. She’s more wary of people – are they watching her? do they know about the money? -and when the sole falls off her trainers and her laptop dies its long-awaited and expected death, dipping into the cash is the answer. But, of course, not permanently.

The events that followed had me turning the pages for ‘just one more chapter’ until it was all over. There’s the anniversary of the train crash, a fellow resident being found dead,  and Ben’s mother glaring at her from every corner. then there’s the poisoning of Billy, and Judge the Corgi, at the block of flats, an unpleasant neighbour and his loud music, and an incident at the supermarket that costs her dearly.

This is a great story, packed with interest, taken from the viewpoint of a very ordinary young woman, living a mundane life, but for whom these events fuel a paranoia. But for a very good reason. The twist revelation towards the end of the book is where the pace goes through the ceiling. Lucy is in danger – but from whom? Luckily, she has Billy to come to her rescue. When Billy is threatened too, then Lucy finds her inner strength and fights back. This is tense stuff, page-scrolling like you’ve never scrolled before.

Read it, and find out for yourself.

You won’t regret it.

Get your copy here: PRE-ORDER link

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and Bookouture for my copy of this book. This review is made of my own volition, and these words are mine, all mine and only mine.

As always,