#BlogTour : The Old You by Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 : @OrendaBooks @annecater : #BookReview #TheOldYou

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I am delighted to be finally sharing my thoughts on “The Old You” by Louise Voss as part of the tour by Anne Cater at Random Things Tours with Orenda Books and my biggest thanks go to them for my spot and copy of the book. The Old You is available from Amazon UK in eBook and Paperback formats.

Synopsis:

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

My Thoughts:

How would you deal with your husband gradually loosing himself to early onset dementia? Personally it is something I hope never to have to experience though I know people who have had to deal with it. The author takes dementia and how it impacts not only the sufferer but those around them. Then she takes it on a route that I never saw coming as she took me on a suspense filled and breathtaking journey.

The start of this book really sets up the life of Lynn and Ed as I followed then through the diagnosis and how Lynn can see how their lives will change. My heart went out to both of these characters initially, please note the word “initially” as this believe you me when I say that my thoughts definitely made a massive u-turn!

The story does have a slight time slip element as I got to learn about Lynn in her life before she met Ed and how she met him. I almost dropped my book at this point, and from that point on the sinister and frighteningly realistic story really starts to make itself felt.

I want to say that I had a little hint of a something in the story, but as I reflect back I didn’t work anything out, the author just played games as she let teasing little pieces of information out. By the end of the book I was a little stunned, i should add in a good way, and it took me quite a while to write my review on paper as I was trying to work out what I had read. The twists and jaw dropping realisation that the author has managed to work into this story is brilliant. The plot is devious and manipulative as I learnt, experienced and saw through Lynn’s eyes what was happening around her.

This is a book that caught my attention from the get go and subtlety drew me into a world that was addictive and a real eye opener. By the end of the story my thoughts on the characters had changed so much. If you want a story with a definitely sinister, dark, manipulative and psychologically twisted route then this is the book for you. Billed as having a feel of Hitchcock and a domestic noir, and yes I completely agree with this. It is an addictive and brilliant read, one I would Highly Recommend it is an absolute cracker.

About the Author:

Louise VossOver her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had books out via pretty much every publishing model there is, from deals with major traditional publishing houses (Transworld and Harper Collins), to digital-only (the Amazon-owned Thomas & Mercer) and self-publishing – she and co-author Mark Edwards were the first UK indie-published authors to hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon back in 2011. She has had eleven novels published in total, five solo and six co-written, a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. Louise has an MA(Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

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#BlogTour : Stench by AB Morgan @AliMorgan2304 : @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 : #NeyGalley #Stench #BookReview

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I am sharing my thoughts on “Stench” by AB Morgan as part of the Blog Blitz by Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books. Many thanks for my copy that I received via NetGalley. Stench can be purchased from Amazon UK in paperback and eBook format.

Synopsis:

Rory Norton didn’t always make his living as a motorbike instructor and he went to great lengths to leave his past life behind, to start again.

He thought he had succeeded, until the body of a missing woman is discovered under the floor of his cottage. Only then do the guilt and shame of his wife’s mysterious, untimely death and the accusations about his connection to the missing woman combine to break him.

The question is not how the missing woman died but why, and who is responsible?

Sometimes the truth stinks.

My Thoughts:

Ali Morgan is an author I am becoming quite familiar with as I have taken part in a few of the Blog Tours for her books. She is becoming an author that I agree to reading without paying too much attention to the book, now I know that sounds bad but it isn’t really, what I mean is she is an author I will read as I know I will get a story that I will enjoy.  Stench is no exception.

I thought the title was a bazaar choice as I started this story, but by the end I realised actually it is a really good choice of title, there are various meanings behind the title and it makes perfect sense. The author has used the various different threads for this story and from the smell of the noxious fumes from the neighbour and the fishy smell of something not being right as the plot unfolds you start to see a link, this does continue with a character as well, but I’m leaving it there for now.

The characters did take a little while to get used to but as you start to get familiar with their roles you soon recognise them. The timeline for this is not a standard one, it does flicker and change but as you realise how this style works it makes for a really enjoyable read. I think this also adds to the story as you get to witness different perspectives and this adds to the story. You begin to realise there is a lot more going on than you first think. Anna has her own story to tell and she decides she wants to learn how to ride a motorbike, walk in Rory an instructor who gets to know Anna. Through the story you get to learn about these two characters and what makes them tick. It is not straight forward and they both have things in their pasts that still haunt them.

Ali has a background in that she really does bring into play with this story. There are  Mental Health aspects within this story and the author has used her experiences of the system to show how quickly things can spiral out of control when someone does not get the treatment they need. It is a side to the Mental Health Service that we are aware, the under-funding, the out of hours service and general inadequacies, now I do mention this as it plays a part in the story but the author has got the balance spot on for me, incorporating a problem into a story without going over the top and coming across as preaching.

I thought this story was an addictive, absorbing and an insightful read. It has elements that I found fascinating and I liked the pacing of it, not all action and rush, but slower and deliberate that fitted in with the mystery element of the story. Another great read and a book I would definitely recommend as one for those who like a psychological mystery, crime and suspense read.

About the Author:

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Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.

Alison worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line. She eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes and her career juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.

Her first two novels, A Justifiable Madness and Divine Poison, were inspired by her career as a psychiatric nurse and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Then she stepped sideways and wrote a gritty psychological thriller, The Camera Lies. All published by Bloodhound Books, Alison’s novels have received excellent reviews and inspired many an interesting debate. Above all, they are entertaining reads and, despite dark subjects, will raise a smile.

Links:

Email: alison@abmorgan.co.uk /  www.abmorgan.co.uk / Facebook: @ABMorganwriter

Twitter: @AliMorgan2304 / LinkedIn: Ali Morgan

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#Blogblitz : Another Mother by Amanda James @akjames61 : @sarahhardy681 @Bloodhoundbook : #BookReview #PublicationDay

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“Another Mother” by Amanda James. Published by Bloodhound Books and available in paperback or eBook, to purchase a copy CLICK HERE. I am delighted to be one of the opening Bloggers for this blitz my thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my spot on the tour. Happy Publication Day to you Amanda xxx

Synopsis:

A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of domestic noir.

Adopted at birth, for years Lu has secretly dreamt of finding her birth mother but childhood bullying has left her with a lack of confidence. When a tragic accident changes her life forever it sets her on a mission to get in contact with her birth mother and find out the reasons behind her adoption.

When she tracks down her mother in Cornwall there is an emotional reunion and the pair begin to form a relationship.

But is everything as wonderful as it appears or has Lu walked into a nightmare?

My Thoughts:

Lu is your average almost 30 something, dead-end job and a bit of a loner, she is also adopted.  After the recent death of her adoptive mother she decides this is the thing she needs to give her the push to actually find her birth mother.  When contact is made, Lu makes the decision to make the visit to meet her mother in Cornwall. Things seem to go well and a tentative relationship is struck between mother and daughter. As they get to know each other a little more the cracks start to show.

This starts off more like a contemporary fiction and then slowly it morphs into an absolutely amazing psychological story.  Lu is a really good character and I like the way she herself changed the story, from living at home with her adopted parents to finally taking the decision to stand on her own two feet.  By the end of the story I thought she was more confident and also more upbeat and positive about her life. From being a bullied child to a more confident woman. The dynamics between the two different families is a convincing read that really does draw you in the their lives.

I am a little bit biased about the Cornish setting of the book as I live in Cornwall, but I have to say the author does a wonderful job with the descriptions of St. Ives.  This knowledge of the area and also the love shows through in the authors writing giving a wonderful picture of a great place.

So as I mentioned earlier, this story changes, it steps up a gear and the depth the plot is revealed.  Here I think the author has done a great job of building up the thought of something not being quite right and when the twist finally shows itself bloody hell was I shocked, really didn’t see it coming and caught me completely unawares.

This is a great read and I would highly recommend it to readers who like a book that turns from a contemporary read into an amazing dark psychological suspense filled read.

 

About the Author:

Amanda+James.jpgAmanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her suspense/mystery novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins) Another Mother, also set in Cornwall is due out in April 2018 with Bloodhound Books.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Follow Amanda on her – Blog ~ Twitter   ~ Facebook

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#BlogTour Same Face Different Place : Visions by Helen J Christmas @SFDPBeginnings @rararesources #BookReview

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Today I have “Same Face Different Place : Visions” by Helen J Christmas, the second in this series of psychological thriller series.  My thanks to Helen and also Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour.  Visions is available for purchase HERE.

Synopsis:

Visions is a psychological thriller set in rural England. The year is 1985. It’s been 12 years since Eleanor escaped London, discarding the fragments of her tragic past to discover a new life. She is hiding in a remote country village, a place where she truly believes she is safe.

Her neighbour, James Barton-Wells is desperate to save his historic country house from ruin but this has attracted the attention of a wealthy property developer from London whose seemingly altruistic offer to ‘bankroll the restoration’ masks a sinister game plan. Suspicious of his motives, Eleanor consults her friend, Charles Bailey. But Charlie has his own story, fearful that Perry Hampton is the man who undoubtedly destroyed his own life.

The characters are drawn together in a battle to save Westbourne House, oblivious to the menace that surrounds them. Threats, stalking and deception lie at the root of the Hamptons evil. Yet it is not until Eleanor comes face to face with them, she recognises a deadly enemy from the past.

Can Eleanor unravel the clues that conceal an evil crime committed in the 70s? This book will draw you into a world of suspense with shocking psychological twists you will never see coming…

My Thoughts:

Eleanor is desperate to keep away from her past that was in 1970’s London.  This book set in the 1980’s and see’s Eleanor keeping her head down, out of trouble so that her son Elijah remains safe from the trouble that she ran away from.

Firstly you really do want to read the first book in the series, it is set in the 70’s and tells the story of Eleanor and why she had to leave London.  This story is set in the 1980’s and there are loads of references that keep you in the time and place of the story.  This book took me a while to get into as I have not read the first, heed my warning!  But once I started to get a feel for the characters and some of the previous stories I was gripped by what I was reading.  There are three families that have different pasts, losses and struggles and they do have a connecting factor.  That connection is a manipulative, dangerous, power mad business man. He is wanting to take over the properties in a local village and he does not like being told No.

The author has definitely invested a lot of time and thought into this book, it has a fantastic story line that has so many different layers, these are beautifully entwined and take you through a journey of emotions.  As things start to unfold you realise that this is a psychological thriller and also mystery, suspense, romance and crime.  The synopsis is intriguing, but I was surprised by  this story, it was totally captivating, addictive and I thoroghly enjoyed it.

I would highly recommend this book for readers of intense and deeply woven psychological crime, suspense and mystery novels.  Please read the series in order, you won’t be disappointed.

About the Author:

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Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series ‘Same Face Different Place’ in 2011 and published her debut novel, ‘Beginnings’ in 2012. Visions was the second book of the series and published in 2013; a suspense novel which explores British culture and social history in the 80s as well as the most evil traits people are capable of. The 16th Century cottage in which Helen lives with her husband (restored in 1991) provided endless inspiration for Visions, along with some very special places in Sussex that she loves. Writing is something she fits around her family and social life. Helen is a self employed web designer and works from home with her husband, Peter. They enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a beautiful white cat, though Helen confesses to have dreamed up many of her storylines, whilst walking Barney around the nearby beach and park.

Social Media Links –: Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter  : Goodreads   : Pintrest : Instagram

See what others think of this book by following the tour

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#BlogBlitz | When Evil Calls Your Name by John Nicholl @nicholl06 | @bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy #BookReview #BookReview

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Today I have the “When Evil Calls Your Name” by John Nicholl.  Published by Bloodhound Books and available in various formats from Amazon UK.  My thanks to Sarah for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

Are you looking for a dark and gripping psychological thriller? Then you’ll love When Evil Calls Your Name by #1 best-selling author John Nicholl. 

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay hidden forever…

When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a diary exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.

Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. As she begins writing she holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours. 

Will the truth finally be revealed?

My Thoughts:

This story follows on from White Is The Coldest Colour, (my review) and is from the viewpoint of Cynthia who now lives in prison.  Her story is told via a journal that her counsellor has advised she writes.

Please read the first book before you start this one.

This answers so many questions I had about Cynthia.  I was frustrated with her character, but this one is her account of her life as a child, through university and how she met David Galbraith and how he completely destroyed any control she had over any decision, he controlled her and others around her. This is a really addictive read, and as you learn about Cynthia’s life you realise how she was manipulated so convincingly. But also you see how she is starting to make steps towards standing up for herself, no longer wanted to be a victim.

This story really plays on how a master manipulator plays on the vulnerabilities and insecurities of a person until they become a shadow of their former selves.  Because of the writing style it has a very believable feel to it, that personal account adds the perfect touch to the realism of the story.

In comparison to the first book it does differ quite a lot.  Even though it has a dark psychology theme, it is not as the dark and twisted as the first book.  It is an addictive read and a great follow on story.  A book I would recommend to those who like to read a psychological thriller from the perspective of the victim who was unaware she was being manipulated.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be great 🙂 xx

#BlogBlitz : White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681

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I am sharing my thoughts with you for “White is the Coldest Colour” by John Nicholl.  Published by Bloodhound Books and available HERE in paperback, eBook and audio formats.  My thanks to Sarah Hardy, Bloodhound and the author for my copy of this book.

Synopsis:

Are you looking for a dark and gripping psychological thriller? Then you’ll love White Is The Coldest Colour by #1 best-selling author John Nicholl.

Be careful who you trust…

The Mailer family is oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP, following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.

Fifty-eight-year-old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic, predatory paedophile, employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.

When Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.

But can Anthony be saved before it’s too late?

The book includes content that some readers may find disturbing from the start. It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

What readers are saying:

‘One of the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read.’ The Book Review Cafe

‘I confess to holding my breath as the conclusion drew near.’ Crimesquad.com

‘Nicholl is a superb storyteller; it is an art to write a book with such a violent and brutal plot line and conveying it without gratuitous details.’ Great Book Escapes

‘A masterfully written dark psychological thriller.’ Albina Hume – bestselling author

‘I don’t think that I’ve ever read a book that explores the darkness of the human mind and soul as well as White is the Coldest Colour. ’ Books, Movies and Wine Reviews.

‘One of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read!’ Carissa Backherms – bestselling author

‘I seriously was on the edge of my seat reading it.  I really do highly recommend his book.’ Cheekypee Reads and Reviews

‘Confident crime writing at its best. A must-read for lovers of very dark crime.’ Northern Crime

‘Some of the best writing I’ve read.’ Mark Tilbury – bestselling author

‘Absolutely brilliant.’ Relax and Read Book Reviews

‘The writing is fab. Intense and gripping. A hard-hitting, eye-opener of a book.’ Renita D’ Silva – bestselling author

‘A suspenseful eloquently worded page-turner.’ Angie Smith – bestselling author

‘I literally could not tap to the next page on my kindle quick enough.’ By The Letter Book Reviews

‘You don’t read this book, you experience it.’ Stella Marie Alden – bestselling author

‘I would very highly recommend this book.’ Readers Favorite

’The writing is superb. I was totally gripped.’ Read Along With Sue

‘Very cleverly plotted, well-developed characters, and disturbingly believable. The ending just blew my socks off. Highly recommended.’ Booklover Catlady Reviews

White Is The Coldest Colour is a dark and disturbing thriller, it will appeal to fans of authors like Joy Ellis, Mark Edwards, KL Slater and John Marrs.

My Thoughts:

Anthony Mailer is referred by his GP to see a child psychiatrist.  After the break up of his parents marriage, Anthony (7 years old) is having problems and feels guilty, thinking it is his fault that his mum and dad are no longer together.  Unfortunately he is referred to Dr Galbraith, a predatory paedophile who has gone under the radar for many years.  He uses his position and knowledge to undermine, manipulate and abuse the defenceless and the innocent.

Oh  wow! Oh dear god!  Bloody hell! How can you admit to loving a book so much when it has the most evil of subjects as its plot line, it feels so wrong to admit to it.  It is one of the most intensely twisted psychological reads I think I have read.  John has a background of being an ex police officer and child protection social worker and this experience gives such an extra dimension, edge and a truth to this story.  The way the agencies have to work, liaise and co-ordinate, the way protocols and working procedures are used adds extra factors. The plot is a mix of the Mailer Family, Police and Agency Workers, there is a paedophile ring and finally the character of Dr Galbraith.  I don’t think I have ever hated a character in a story as much as I have hated this one, he is smug, self-righteous, loathsome, evil and abhorrent, credit to John for making this character so believable as to evoke such anger, hatred and disgust.

The start of the story is disturbing, it is not easy reading and given the subject it shouldn’t be.  But John has crafted his writing in such a way that he has not glorified the details of events, he has used just enough words to give an indication.  It did not take long before I realised that this was a story I just could not put down. The way you are taken into the thoughts and lives of the characters is superb, and at times very scary.

It is a truth that this is based on things that happen a lot more than people realise.  It is often mentioned in the news that people are coming forward on a regular basis to report abuse to them, this may have happened in recent times but also a lot are now admitting what happened years and even decades ago.

Yes this is a shocking, disturbing, intense and shows the levels of psychological manipulation that are astounding.  It is also heartbreaking, at times frustrating and also verypowerful.  It shows how people can find the inner strength to change, challenge and stand up to atrocities.  This is a book that will stay in my thoughts for quite a long time, and I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to those who read very real psychological thrillers.

About the Author:

91LTM9AIN+L._SY200_John 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 bestseller. He reached # 10 of all books on Amazon in Australia and has been given four Amazon All-Star awards for being one of the most read authors in the UK and USA. John’s latest book, A Cold Cold Heart, was published by Bloodhound Books in January 2018.

John is always happy to hear from readers, bloggers or the media, and can be contacted via his author Website.

Rights enquiries should be directed to Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA
http://tma-agency.com

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#BlogTour : Forget Her Name by Jane Holland @janeholland1 : @rararesources #BookReview

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I am over the moon to sharing my thoughts about “Forget Her Name” by Jane Holland.  It is available to purchase in various formats.  You can grab a copy at Amazon UK.  I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and Jane for a copy of this book that I received via NetGalley.

Synopsis:

Rachel’s dead and she’s never coming back. Or is she?

As she prepares for her wedding to Dominic, Catherine has never been happier or more excited about her future. But when she receives an anonymous package—a familiar snow globe with a very grisly addition—that happiness is abruptly threatened by secrets from her past.

Her older sister, Rachel, died on a skiing holiday as a child. But Rachel was no angel: she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made Catherine’s life a misery. Catherine has spent years trying to forget her dead sister’s cruel tricks. Now someone has sent her Rachel’s snow globe—the first in a series of ominous messages…

While Catherine struggles to focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on tormenting her. But who? And why now? She doesn’t have the answers – and in one final question lies her greatest fear.

Is Rachel still alive?

My Thoughts:

What The Hell!!!!! this is a good what the hell by the way.  I was only going to read a few chapters of this book and then crack on with a bit of housework….. yeah right….. read the book and left the housework 🙂 So where to start with this book, Catherine is just weeks away from getting married to Dominic when she starts getting odd things sent to her.  Catherine had an older sister who had died, but then had a snow globe that was her sisters sent to her, this is only the start of things.  Rachel and her death was something that Catherine’s parents never discussed properly with her, but now maybe it is the time for finding out the truth.

This is such a wonderful read.  Half way through I had worked the book out and was just going along for the ride.  Worked it out, well in my head I had, but the author had other ideas about that.  I was so way off the mark, and loved being taken on the journey that had me guessing, kept me riveted and intrigued.  The plot takes you along a road that seems quite normal, but then you realise this is all an illusion, you have actually ended up on a deep, dark and twisted path, the author has you where she wants you right from the off.  The creative and imaginative plot is full of surprises and suspense, Jane only lets you know where the plot is going when she is ready to reveal all.

The characters are memorable and well described and have been used in an imaginative way, they compliment as well as contrast each other.  There are class differences between Catherine and Dominic and the author has dipped into that aspect really well.  The pace of this started along quite nicely as we learn the details of the characters, but before long it speeds to a really great page turner pace.

This is my first experience reading Jane’s books and she has blown me away with this one, it is amazingly twisted and addictive. A powerful, well written book that explores dark psychological drama.

This is a book I Highly Recommend those who like a  tense, suspenseful drama that sows seeds of doubt into the reader.  A clever psychological read that has many good twists and feels very different to other books I have read in this genre.

I wish to express my thanks to Jane and Rachel for my copy of this book and spot on the blog tour.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

doCK7Fd-_bigger  Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet and novelist. Her first novel KISSING THE PINK, published by Sceptre in 1999, was based on the women’s pro-snooker circuit, where she herself was a champion player, ranked 24th in the world. Since turning from sport to writing, she’s published six collections of poetry and dozens of thrillers, historicals, romances, romcoms, and feel-good fiction with major publishing houses, under various pseudonyms, including Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Beth Good, and Hannah Coates.

Her first thriller GIRL NUMBER ONE hit #1 in the UK Kindle store in 2015, catapulting her into a life of crime. Her latest thriller is FORGET HER NAME. She currently lives with her husband and young family in the rural South-West, and enjoys encouraging new writers. You can find her on Twitter 

Photograph credit: Anand Chhabra

Check out reviews from other book bloggers 

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#BookReview : The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @NetGalley

The Confession: The most addictive psychological thriller of 2018 by [Spain, Jo]

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “The Confession” by Jo Spain.  It is published by Quercus Books and available in various formats, however hard and paperback are due to be published on 25th January 2018.  I received my copy of this book via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

Synopsis:

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?

My Thoughts:

When a stranger walks into a house, beats up the husband as the wife watches frozen, unable to do anything to help or stop the attack, you know there will or should be a pretty good reason for it.

Oh! This is a good read, a well paced psychological thriller.  It is set over several years, filling in the background of the main characters.  The chapters are told by different characters and from their own perspectives.  They flit between times and places with quick succession.  It did take me a few chapters to get to grips with this, occasionally loosing what time I was in, but its one of those books that, as you read you get to learn the style and format.

The characters themselves, I have mixed opinions on some and changes my opinion on others.  This is a good thing by the way, for me it means the author has manipulated my feelings as I have read and therefore my opinion matches the character as they change, or you learn more about them. Now as for the plot, it is one of those deliciously deep and twisty ones that kept me guessing, even when things were being drawn together for the conclusion a few more sneaky twists were included in this slippery tale.

This is a book that I would definitely recommend to readers who like a good psychological thriller with twists that are revealed at the end with extra twisty bits.  It also has elements that show the contrasts of two different social backgrounds, one poor and one rich, the haves and the have nots.  A well written and executed read that kept me turning the pages avidly.

About the Author:

Jo Spain Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession is her first standalone thriller.
Jo is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, a former political advisor in the Irish parliament and former vice-chair of InterTrade Ireland business body.
Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Louise Penny. She also watches TV detective series and was slightly obsessed with The Bridge, Trapped and The Missing.
Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open and all her friends have looked at her strangely since she won her publishing deal.

Follow Jo on Twitter 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it then please give a share.  Better still, go and get a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit : #GrippedByFear : @orionbooks : @NetGalley : #PublicationDay

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Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and translated by Imogen Taylor. It is available for purchase in various formats and is published by The Orion Publishing Group.

Synopsis:

You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?

Family is everything. So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

My Thoughts:

This is quite a different book. It is based around the authors experiences of being stalked. We are told from the outset of the crime that has been committed, who committed it and who the victim was.

It is written from the viewpoint of the main protagonist, Randolph. The author states at the very beginning that Randolph is a version of himself.

So initially we start in present day when Randolph has just phoned the police to report the murder. We are then taken back to Randolph’s childhood, his years growing up in a still divided Germany, how he met his wife Rebecca and his life after. These details, for me, provide the main crux of the story, they are wrapped around the events leading up to and including the murder that takes place.

The murder was the result of Dieter, the neighbour and his unhealthy obsession with Randolph and Rebecca’s family. Dieter has accused them of abusing their children Paul and Fay. He is initially friendly towards the family when they move into the flat above him, but soon things change and he begins a reign of terror.

So essentially there are two stories running in this book, that of Randolph and his life story, then, that of Dieter and his terrorising of the family. There is a huge amount of information in this book and explores a vast array of topics, such as, status, class and culture, as well as lots of observational accounts of living in a divided Germany at a time of great change. It is a good genre spanning book with crime, thriller, psychological aspects and fiction.

This book is written as an account of events, it is set at a good pace with well described and developed characters. I would recommend this book to readers of Crime and Thriller, Psychological Thriller and also Fiction.

My thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for my copy of this eARC.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

Praise for the Book:

What critics are saying about FEAR:

‘I’m intrigued by Dirk Kurbjuweit’s novel FEAR, about a stalker living downstairs’ – LIONEL SHRIVER, THE OBSERVER

Remarkable’ – THE OBSERVER

‘Addictive… There’s a twist at the end that is worth waiting for’ – INDEPENDENT

‘A terrifying study of a family threatened by the tenant living downstairs’ – WOMAN&HOME

‘Brilliantly done to play on every parents’ deepest fears’ – FIONA BARTON, bestselling author of THE WIDOW

What readers are saying about FEAR:

‘Thought-provoking, intelligent and genuinely chilling. It’s quite possible that we are all just a few provocations away from cold-blooded murder’ – ELIZABETH HAYNES, author of INTO THE DARKEST CORNER

A terrific, original thriller – I loved it’ JOANNE HARRIS

‘FEAR makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder’ – HERMAN KOCH, author of THE DINNER

‘I loved it. So rich and claustrophobic’ – RENEE KNIGHT, author of DISCLAIMER

‘The most original thriller of the year’ – NETGALLEY

‘Expertly constructed, highly entertaining and thought-provoking’ – Cloggie, Amazon reviewer

‘If you’re looking for a thriller with psychological insight, I highly recommend this one’ – Marjorie, Amazon reviewer

‘Not your usual thriller’ – Fiona, Amazon reviewer

About the Author:

Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including FEAR, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. FEAR is the first of his works to be translated into English.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still go and grab a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : Watch Me by Jody Gehrman @jodygehrman @StMartinsPress @NetGalley : #PublicationDayReview

I am delighted to be sharing “Watch Me” by Jody Gehrman.  The lovely people at St Martin’s Press allowed me an eARC of this book via NetGalley.  It is available from today in hardback and eBook and 1st Feb for the paperback on Amazon UK there is a slight difference on the formats released on Amazon US.

Synopsis:

For fans of dark and twisty psychological thrillers, Watch Me is a riveting novel of suspense about how far obsession can go.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

My Thoughts:

Kate, divorced, teaches creative writing.  She had success with her debut novel but following that one up with another is a bit more challenging.  She is a thirty something who is stuck in a rut and is feeling invisible.  When Sam, a student shows a little more respect, is civil and more attentive than others, Kate pays attention.  She is aware of the teacher-student boundary and does not want to cross the line as her job, career and reputation.  She likes Sam, but doesn’t realise his actions have all been meticulously planned by Sam, her star pupil.

This is an intriguing as well as an enjoyable creepy psychological thriller.  Creepy and enjoyable are not words I would normally associate, but they work for this book.  Told in quick alternating chapters from the viewpoint of the two main protagonists Kate and Sam.  To be in the head of Sam is quite an interesting perspective and also insightful as he sees no problem with what he is doing. It is quite bizarre thing to admit, but I did actually like his character and felt quite sorry for him.  Jody has done a great job creating quite a complex character with obsessive traits, but also explaining the reasoning behind his actions from his perspective.  Kate however I didn’t warm to as much as I thought I would, she felt a little whiny.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like her, but I think as Sam is such a strong character, that Kate felt a little weak in comparison.

The plot itself is basic in some respects, but has been wonderfully developed with some good twists and unexpected turns.  Its pacing gradually speeds as the story unfolds, but on occasions I did feel that some descriptions were a little long, but that could be me being impatient and greedy in wanting to know what was happening with the characters.

This is a book that I found enjoyable, creepy and had a good feeling of believability to it.  Ideal for those who like a good suspense psychological thriller and one that I would recommend.  I would like to thank St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for my copy of this book.  My thoughts are my own and unbiased.

About the Author:

Jody Gehrman Jody Gehrman is a pagan at heart. She is a native of Northern California, where real witches thrive, and she has had the pleasure of knowing a few. She is also the author of seven novels and numerous award-winning plays. Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft is her most recent Young Adult novel. Her other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin’s Dial Books). Babe in Boyland has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association’s Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin (Red Dress Ink). Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English at Mendocino College, where she can be found grading papers when she’s not experimenting with spells.

You can follow Jody on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Better still, go and buy a copy of this book xx