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Review: Wildfell by London Clarke

WildfellWildfell by London Clarke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one was a true 3.5 stars. I was really excited to read this one – the whole concept of a ghost story that takes place in a creepy, old English house full of people keeping secrets sounded fantastic. And while it did live up to some of the hype, I feel like the ending left a little to be desired.

Anne decides to run away from her problems in America by hopping on a flight London, where she discovers that an old mansion named Wildfell rents rooms for cheap. But the landlady and her daughter, Alice, are extremely strange. And then weird things keep happening, which is apparently a trend at Wildfell. In a house full of misfits, will Anne survive? Or be Wildfell’s next victim?

This book has a perfect atmosphere to be a great ghost story. And it is creepy. The author does a great job of subtly ramping things up the tension to create the crisis point. It was really intense and very interesting.

But I feel like the ending was a little rushed. Like, there’s the “final confrontation,” really pulling us toward the conclusion, and then….oh yeah, this stuff is what’s been going on, the end. It felt really inadequate compared to the build-up.

If it weren’t for the ending, this could have been a 5-star read. But the conclusion left me a little unsatisfied, which colored my view of the book overall.

Recommended for ghost story fans who like the action, but don’t require thorough resolutions.

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#BlogTour: Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl

B L O G B L I T Z

About the Book

Emma didn’t know how long he hid in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered between the two heavy oak doors, and watched, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the darkness of the night.

Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself faced with a difficult case when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed at least five young women.

Can Gravel find the girl and stop the murderer?

He will learn that the greater the evil, the deadlier the game…

John Nicholl - Portraits of the Dead_cover

My Review

I knew going into reading this book that John Nicholl was a good author – I’ve read his “White is the Coldest Colour” two-book series – but this really proved to me that he is a great author. While that series was more suspense-based, this book was immensely creepy and will have you checking the locks before you go to bed.

Nicholl starts the action right from the beginning and keeps it going until the very end. There are several spine-tingling scenes, some of which are very intense, and it just puts you right there in the room, scared and wondering how everything is going to turn out.

And I definitely did not see that ending coming. It was a great twist that I had to read twice to make sure I was reading it correctly!

This book was a great start to the DI Gravel series and it makes me want to check out the rest of the books.

About the Author

16711659_1341731899227084_6171292527623191991_nJohn Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, has written six darkly psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon # 1 bestseller. John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild, with a second expected in August 2018. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.

John is represented by Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA.

You can find out more about John and his books at: http://www.johnnicholl.com

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Review: Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Leave No TraceLeave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This novel was a great sophomore effort from Mindy Mejia, so filled with the nuance and excitement we’ve come to expect from her, but with a completely different type of set-up from “Everything You Want Me To Be.”

Maya is a speech therapist at a psychiatric facility with a dark past to match many of her patients, but who is working to stabilize her life in Duluth, MN. Then, she is assigned to help Lucas Blackthorn, who disappeared 10 years ago with his father during a camping trip in the boundary Waters, a remote wilderness filled with trees and lakes, stretching to the Canadian border. Suddenly, Lucas, who won’t communicate with anyone, speaks to Maya, sparking a chain of events that will change the course of the community.

The great thing about this book is that it makes you question so many things – what is madness? Who is mad; is Lucas? Maya? Neither? I was totally sucked in and completely invested in the characters.

There were also some great twists that I didn’t see coming. And they made total sense in the context of the book, which is what makes a really good twist work.

Mejia is fast becoming one of my favorite authors and I really am looking forward to what she comes up with next. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.

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#BlogTour: The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey

EA0AF8C4-C74A-4399-9E72-2D7BF6E29B69

About the Book

31 days. 31 dates.

Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a Northampton newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

A laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.

Morgen Bailey - The Serial Daters Shopping List_cover

My Review

4/5 hilarious stars!

This book was such a fun time from beginning to end – full of the type of dating horror stories we all love to share with our girlfriends. Izzy really experiences just about every dating stereotype out there, which makes for great reading – if not great dating for her.

Izzy and her friend Donna were a cute pair, very much like people we all know in real life – maybe a little too picky on one hand, maybe not picky enough on the other. I’ve decided that I want to work at their paper, they sounds do fun and like good girlfriends.

This book was the perfect break from the day’s stresses – just like any good chick flick. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys comedy, a little drama and a whole lot of fun.

About the Author

D6228AEB-80EB-41B1-B800-02577208567CMorgen Bailey – Morgen with an E – is a multi-genre author, freelance editor, writing tutor, Writers’ Forum magazine columnist, blogger, speaker, and Northants Authors co-founder. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates, RONE, BeaconLit, BBC Radio 2 and Althorp Literary Festival short story competitions. She also runs her own free monthly 100-word competition and is a forthcoming Flash 500 judge.

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#BlogTour: Death on the Coast by Bernie Steadman

B LO G B L I T Z

About the Book

Can DCI Dan Hellier decipher the twisted mind behind the ritualised burning of homeless men on Devon’s beaches before more people are sacrificed?

When images from the burning appear all over social media, Hellier realises that he is dealing with a cult and a mystery that will leads back to the Irish Troubles.

Hellier will battle a bitter man who has plotted revenge for more than twenty years, without a care for the lives he will destroy.

death on the coast FINAL

My Review

4/5 Stars!

This book has everything needed to make a great mystery: cults, murder and plenty of juicy secrets – Oh My!

The set-up is great, with people participating in dangerous and violent rituals, in over their heads before they know it. From there, it’s anybody’s guess how everything works out, and there are plenty of good twists in there to keep readers on their toes.

I really enjoyed the level of detail in this book – nothing is insignificant and it all fits together perfectly to create an intense ending.I also really enjoyed the police team, and would absolutely read more with them as the main characters. (I am also really invested in Hellier’s personal life too, so I would like to see more of that too!)

Overall, fans of police procedurals will really enjoy this one. It’s creepy, twisty and has plenty of drama!

About the Author

IMG_1131Bernie taught English for many years but only dabbled in short fiction and poetry until a few years ago when she took to writing full-time.  She completed her debut novel, Death in the Woods when she escaped the classroom and could finally stop marking essays. This was the first in the West Country Mysteries series featuring DI Dan Hellier and his Exeter-based team. There are now three in the series, Death on Dartmoor and Death on the Coast completing the series.

Bernie lives in a small village in East Devon and her novels are set in and around the ancient Roman city of Exeter, which has seen its fair share of murder and mayhem over the centuries. The books explore the beauty of the area, but demonstrate that even in the most charming of settings, terrible events may occur.

When not glued to the laptop, Bernie is a keen yoga fan and enjoys walking and cycling in the Devon countryside with her husband. They share their home with two large, black cats which came from the animal sanctuary where she is a volunteer and trustee.

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Review: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Let Me LieLet Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m of two minds about this book: It really did keep my attention and I was totally invested in how it turned out, but there were some significant things that I didn’t really like about it.

The main character is Anna Johnson, who lost both parents to copycat suicides a year ago, and now lives with her partner and newborn daughter in her family home. On the anniversary of her mother’s death, she receives a card that implies that not everything about the deaths is what they seem. With the help of a retired police detective, Anna finds that what looks like straightforward suicides, might not be so straightforward after all.

The mystery itself is super intriguing, because at first it’s not entirely clear if something odd is going on or if Anna, in her grief, is losing her mind, so to speak. Then things get really intense, really quickly. I was excited to see how everything worked out. (I’m trying for no spoilers here). I wish some of the details had been adjusted somewhat.

Overall, I would say that I did enjoy this book. I was invested in it until the very end and have to say that the ending is very good. But I did have some problems with it, so read with caution. If you like things tied up nicely and paced evenly – maybe try another book.

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Tubing by K.A. McKeagney

TubingTubing by K.A. McKeagney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First things first: If you can’t tell from the description, this book is an “erotic thriller” and contains adult situations. If you don’t like that type of material, this isn’t the book for you.

I, for one, really enjoyed this book and really just tore through it. It has great suspense and drama, along with some great twists.

Polly is in a stable, but boring, relationship when she boards the tube one night. Immediately, a man spots her and makes his way over to her, where they share a passionate hook-up. Then he disappears. That’s when Polly learns about “tubing,” where strangers meet up for no-strings-attached sex on the tube. When Polly runs into her mystery man again, he pulls her into a world of passion – and danger.

This book was full of suspense and I did not predict the direction this book would take. I really couldn’t put the book down once I was about halfway through it. It gets pretty creepy.

Although, I have to say, I didn’t love Polly. She could be frustrating at points, when she just wouldn’t come clean about everything that was happening – I’m trying to be intentionally vague so as not to spoil anything. But overall, I did like her, and felt sorry for her at parts when she was just in totally over her head.

I am looking forward to more from this author and would definitely recommend this to people who enjoy a good spicy thriller.

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