Posted in Reviews

#BlogTour The Darkest Summer by Ella Drummond

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Book Description:

One hot summer, Dee disappeared. Now she’s back…but she’s not the girl you knew.

Sera and Dee were the best of friends.

Until the day that Dee and her brother Leo vanished from Sera’s life, during a long hot summer thirty years ago.

Now Sera is an adult, with her own child, five-year-old Katie, and has returned to her childhood home after her husband’s death.

While she grieves, the past haunts Sera at every turn … and then Dee and Leo return to their small Hampshire village, along with Dee’s young daughter.

But Dee is silent and haunted by her demons; no longer the fun-loving girl that Sera loved. And when Sera uncovers the shocking secret that Dee is hiding, it’s clear that the girl she knew is long gone – and that the adult she has grown into might put all of them in danger…

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My Review

4/5 Stars – A suspenseful trip down memory lane!

This book is really interesting because it’s something we can all relate to: wondering what happened to childhood friends that moved out of our lives at various points. Not all of them are (hopefully) as dramatic as the disappearance of Dee and her family, and certainly not as awful as their return!

The book has a great level of suspense because it’s obvious throughout the entire story that something is very, very off here. But it takes until the end to figure out what exactly is going on with Dee, her brother and daughter. Meanwhile, we also get a glimpse of the backstory of Sera and Dee’s mothers, who have some history themselves.

The atmosphere is very tense and dark, set against the backdrop of various heat waves that sweep through the area. That makes summertime the perfect time to read this book. I could feel the heat and humidity in the book from the descriptions – and that created a great tension that kept the book crackling.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend to anyone looking for a quick summer read – there’s a heatwave coming, so grab your copy!

Author Bio:

AC734D5D-6D91-4813-9179-5B93264EE3E7Ella Drummond recently signed a two-book deal with Hera Books. Her first psychological thriller, My Last Lie is out now and The Darkest Summer will be out on 18 July 2019 and is available for pre-order.

She lives with her husband on the island of Jersey and you can follow her on Twitter @drummondella1 and Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/EllaDrummondWrites/

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Posted in Reviews

#BlogBlitz: The Woman at Number 19 by J.A. Baker

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About the Book

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My Review

4/5 stars – a dark thriller with some killer twists!

This book started with a bang and doesn’t let up until the very last sentences. I was hooked right away and had to know how it ended. And boy, what an ending it was!

The action starts slowly and accelerates as the narrator’s mental state declines and by the end, the twists and action are coming fast and furious. The are little hints the author drops throughout the book as to what’s going on, but there’s still plenty of surprises left.

Esther is a complicated woman who has gone through a lot of trauma and is still pretty fragile. I’m not going to spoil anything, but she’s a very complex character that will elicit a lot of emotion in readers, so it’s hard to say exactly how i feel about her. Let’s just say she intrigues me very, very much.

If you like suspense and psychological thrillers, this book is definitely for you. It will keep you turning pages as you hurtle toward the conclusion, anxious to see what’s going on,

About the Author

43AEB60D-B2B7-4B89-A0CF-1C0762647C2BJ.A. BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.

She has an interest in local history and genealogy and enjoys reading many genres of books but especially enjoys psychological thrillers.

J.A. Baker has four grown-up children and a grandchild and lives in a village near Darlington with her husband and madcap dog.

Her first book, Undercurrent was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and went straight into the Top 100. Since then she has had five other books released, three of which also made it into the Amazon Top 100 rankings.

The Woman at Number 19 is her seventh novel.

Posted in Reviews

Review: Once a Liar by A.F. Brady

Once a LiarOnce a Liar by A.F. Brady

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been having really good luck, reading some books lately with fabulous endings, and I would like to add Once a Liar to that list – I’m still thinking about it! It’s one of those that leaves you thinking – “Was that the right thing? Was that what I wanted?”

It’s brilliant, perfect for fans of shows like “Suits,” which shows the behind-the-scenes, out-of-courtroom drama that pervades law firms.

But to catch you up on what happens before the ending: Peter Caine is a cutthroat defense attorney, who doesn’t much care about anyone or anything other than himself. He finds himself with custody of his teenage son following the death of his ex-wife, and living with his girlfriend, when his on-again/off-again lover is found murdered. Suspicion immediately falls on him and Peter finally finds himself facing his emotions and feelings, while old secrets threaten everything he has worked for.

This is definitely what would qualify as a “slow burn” thriller, with the main action coming in the second half of the book, with the set-up happening in the first half. But it’s really quite a set-up, as we get to know Peter, who is not exactly someone…um…nice. He’s sociopathic and it effects everyone around him, though he doesn’t necessarily see it at first.

The reveals at the end are perfect, I looked back and saw the perfectly placed clues, but didn’t put all the pieces together until the author wanted me to see the full picture. The ending also leaves open a window for a follow-up book, and I’d love to see more of these characters.

Overall, this book is a really nice read for someone looking for a suspenseful, drama-filled book that will keep you reading until the end!

View all my reviews
Once a LiarOnce a Liar by A.F. Brady

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been having really good luck, reading some books lately with fabulous endings, and I would like to add Once a Liar to that list – I’m still thinking about it! It’s one of those that leaves you thinking – “Was that the right thing? Was that what I wanted?”

It’s brilliant, perfect for fans of shows like “Suits,” which shows the behind-the-scenes, out-of-courtroom drama that pervades law firms.

But to catch you up on what happens before the ending: Peter Caine is a cutthroat defense attorney, who doesn’t much care about anyone or anything other than himself. He finds himself with custody of his teenage son following the death of his ex-wife, and living with his girlfriend, when his on-again/off-again lover is found murdered. Suspicion immediately falls on him and Peter finally finds himself facing his emotions and feelings, while old secrets threaten everything he has worked for.

This is definitely what would qualify as a “slow burn” thriller, with the main action coming in the second half of the book, with the set-up happening in the first half. But it’s really quite a set-up, as we get to know Peter, who is not exactly someone…um…nice. He’s sociopathic and it effects everyone around him, though he doesn’t necessarily see it at first.

The reveals at the end are perfect, I looked back and saw the perfectly placed clues, but didn’t put all the pieces together until the author wanted me to see the full picture. The ending also leaves open a window for a follow-up book, and I’d love to see more of these characters.

Overall, this book is a really nice read for someone looking for a suspenseful, drama-filled book that will keep you reading until the end!

View all my reviews

Posted in Reviews

Review: The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

The Hiding PlaceThe Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was really blown away by C.J. Tudor’s first book, so I was so excited to see this follow-up, which once again takes a dark look at a small town and its past.

I loved it.

That’s not to say there are some things I would like to see somewhat different, but that’s just because I think this book has the potential to be great.

The basic story is about a man, Joe, who returns to his hometown because he receives a strange message. When he was a teenager, his sister disappeared. The trouble started when she came back. And now someone believes it’s happening again – something Joe wants desperately to prevent.

The storyline is really mysterious and really sets a mood. There’s something odd going on, and there’s a lot of moving parts that come together to create a picture that is ridiculously creepy and intense. MILD SPOILER: There is a bit of an homage factor to another famous story, but I didn’t necessarily find that a negative. I enjoyed seeing a different take on this situation and it didn’t feel redundant to me.

The slight issues I had were twofold: A) I didn’t like Joe, though I felt for him. He has been through a lot, but it’s not a case of his struggles made him stronger. Maybe the opposite. B) I wish the ending was more clear. There were things that were heavily implied, but some things were just left that way. I wish it was clearer exactly what the “secrets” were. I’m left still putting some pieces together.

But honestly, I read this in like two days. I couldn’t put it down. If you’re a fan of creepy thrillers and horror, get this book. It will be worth it.

I’m excited to see where C.J. Tudor goes from here.

View all my reviews

Posted in Reviews

Teaser Tuesday: The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

 

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Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. The meme is hosted by The Purple Booker!
It is very easy to play along:

    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

I loved C.J. Tudor’s The Chalk Man, so I was excited to get to read her newest book, The Hiding Place, another book with a spooky premise and dark atmosphere. So far, so great. Here’s a peek:

Tonight, the area looks as much of a wasteland as ever. A dead, desolate place. One solitary digger sits halfway up one of the slopes, unmanned, seemingly abandoned. The sight of it still sends cold claws skittering down my spine. Digging into the land, disturbing things.

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About the Book

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.

 

Posted in Reviews

Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Lock Every DoorLock Every Door by Riley Sager

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been wanting to read one of Riley Sager’s books for a long time now – I just hadn’t managed to with a TBR pile that grows larger by the day. Anyway, I finally got a chance to read his latest and I am now kicking myself that I didn’t make the time before.

I was BLOWN. AWAY. Completely.

The book follows 25-year-old Jules, recently fired from her job and crashing on her friend’s couch because she found her boyfriend cheating on her. Then an opportunity that seems to good to be true comes along: Jules is asked to apartment sit in one of the most exclusive buildings in Manhattan for $1,000 per week – money she could desperately use – as long as she follows the rules of the lease. Some of the rules are a bit strange, but Jules can’t pass up the opportunity. But soon she learns that the old adage about things that appear too good to be true may be right.

I don’t want to give too much away here, because the gradual, slow-burn reveal of what happened to Jules is just great. We know from the beginning that something terrible happened. We just don’t know what. This atmosphere gives it a very Hitchcockian feel as the pieces all add up and suddenly things go terribly, terribly wrong – and it’s too late to stop it. The old money, elite Manhattan address of the main events adds another great layer to the atmosphere as the situation turns from “OMG how lucky is she!” To “RUN!”

I also liked Jules, in that she was smart enough to keep pressing, where I think I would have given up long before she did. That was also part of the escape for me: reading about someone very different from myself. I enjoyed vicariously living in Manhattan and being embroiled in this strange mystery through her.

Overall, run – don’t walk – to get this book. You will not regret it. BRB, going out and reading the other two Riley Sager books now.

View all my reviews

Posted in Reviews

#BlogBlitz: Over Your Shoulder by CJ Carver

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About the Book

You love them both, but can you trust them?

Twelve years ago, Nick’s brother, Rob, drowned.  His body was never found. When Nick met Susie at his brother’s funeral, he thought it was destiny.

But when Rob suddenly re-appears, Nick is forced to examine everything he once knew. Why do the police want to talk to Rob? And what is he running away from?

Nick wants to find his brother but if he does, he risks losing the woman he loves. Because Susie has her own secrets, and as the truth emerges, Nick finds it is those closest to us we should fear the most

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My Review

5/5 Stars

This book is a real twisty ride with an ending that will leave you shocked – I know I was blown away.

This is one of those books where you can’t trust anyone because everyone is trying to hide something or has some kind of stake what’s going on. Peeling back those layers is such a fun ride as Nick is caught in something he cannot handle (he’s a graphic designer caught in murder and mayhem!).

There’s also a moral ambiguity that is interesting … I don’t want to give it away, but none of the characters are really great people (besides Nick, I suppose), so it’s interesting to see how they justify their actions. Every person has some flaw and sometimes I found it justified, other times not. And the author leaves it up in the air, so the reader can make their own judgements. I liked that.

Overall, thriller lovers will devour this book, and with good reason. It’s a wild ride that doesn’t let up!

About the Author

2ECF190A-F3F0-421F-8226-F8D737AB25CFWinner of the CWA Debut Dagger for her first novel Blood Junction, CJ Carver has written a further ten critically acclaimed novels.  Spare Me The Truth, the first in the Dan Forrester series, was shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award 2017.

Half-English, half-Kiwi, CJ lived in Australia for 10 years before taking up long-distance rallies, driving London to Saigon, London to Cape Town and covering 14,000 miles on the Inca Trail in South America.

CJ began her writing career by writing about her adventures, eventually becoming a travel writer for various national publications including The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Autocar.  She is co-founder for the Women’s World Car of the Year Award

CJ has been a judge for the Thriller Awards in the USA.  Her books have been published in the UK, USA and translated into several languages.  She lives just outside Bath.