#BlogTour : The Promise by Sally Jenkins @sallyjenkinsuk @rararesources

The Promise

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on “The Promise” by Sally Jenkins. It is available in paperback or eBook format and can be purchased from Amazon Uk.  My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

A man has been stabbed. A woman is bloodstained. The nightmares from her teenage years have begun again for Olivia Field – just as she is preparing to marry.

Ex-convict, Tina is terminally ill. Before she dies, the care of her younger, psychologically unwell brother, Wayne must be ensured. So Tina calls in a promise made to her thirty years ago in a prison cell. A promise that was written down and placed with crucial evidence illustrating a miscarriage of justice in a murder case.

Tina believes Olivia is perfectly placed to provide the care Wayne needs, but to do so, Olivia must be forced to cancel her own wedding and wreck the lives of those close to her. Tina’s terrible blackmail demands put Olivia’s entire future and, ultimately, her freedom under threat.

The Promise is a fast-paced psychological thriller told from several third person viewpoints. The novel explores the lengths to which people are prepared go in order to protect those they love and the impossibility of ever fully escaping our past actions.

My Thoughts:

Olivia has been having nightmare about a murder she witnessed 30 years ago.  Tina, an ex-con is battling cancer and worries about how her brother Wayne will cope when she is no longer around.  When Tina discovers an old letter that contains a promise of help, should she or Wayne need it, she contacts Olivia.

This is a reasonably well paced book as we learn about the event of 30 years ago in snippets as the story unfolds.  A promise that was made is now due to be claimed, but the manipulation, cover ups and lies that have been twisted into this story have potentially dire consequences. As with all things in life, honesty is the best policy, but Sally has created a character that has always kept part of her past behind her, not sharing the most important details with those important, but this character thinks it is the right and only thing to do.

The cast of characters are not huge, but are definitely memorable.  They each have a connection to each other in a well thought out way, but for some reason I couldn’t warm to any of them.  I think because some of them are cheats and liars, but even though I wasn’t struck  on the characters I read this book in one sitting.  I found the story engaging and kept me turning the pages to discover the full ins and outs of the plot.

I would recommend this to readers of crime and mystery novels, it is one I enjoyed.

About the Author:

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Sally Jenkins lives in the West Midlands. She is a member of a Speakers’ Club, a volunteer library reading group coordinator and a church bell ringer. Sally’s first psychological thriller, Bedsit Three won the Ian Govan Award.

Follow the author on Website ~ TwitterFacebook

 

 

See what other bloggers on the tour think.

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

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#BlogTour #JustOneTime by @Author_KSHunter with @rararesources

 

A book by an author who no one knows the true identity of, KS Hunter is the pseudonym for an international best selling author and has written “Just One Time”.  I am delighted to be part of this mysterious and suspense filled book.  I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on this tour.  It is available as an eBook.

Synopsis:

The first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret.

Desire can have dire consequences

Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.

She is irresistible

Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life.

What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.

She is insatiable

Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.

She is unstoppable

Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.

A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thrillerthat will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion. 

Praise for K.S. Hunter

An author to watch out for – always interesting and unpredictable’Sophie Hannah

My Thoughts:

Two years ago David had an affair, his wife Alison had given him a second chance, and together they have a daughter.  But Alison has not forgiven him and has not forgotten what he has done to their family.  Alison comes across as a cold and bitter woman, and who would blame her, it is obvious that their marriage is not good. But a chance meeting at the theatre one evening changes things. David meets the beautiful and alluring Nina as she helps him to find his phone.  A little harmless flirting and that’s the end of it, or so you would think!

Well this is steamy, there are some very racy moments in this book, with some quite descriptive sections and also language to go with it. Now I admit to choosing to read this book for the psychological aspect as well as the chance to read a book by a mysterious author, I didn’t pay too much heed to the steamy side of it.  If I had I may not of picked it, but I am so glad I did.  The fictional psychological side of it is brilliant, when you read about this being a modern-day Fatal Attraction, it’s not wrong, but it is far deeper and darker than that.  As Nina pulls David further into her world and into her game, the stakes are raised, to a point that has you sat on a knife-edge as you wonder what Nina is going to do next.  This makes it an extremely addictive thriller and a real page turner from start to finish.

My opinions of the characters changed as the story progressed.  For me it gave me a feeling of being well thought out and well written.  The plot for this is a basic one in some ways, but it has been taken to the extremes, it does have quite a few moments where you start to think about how easy it would be to find and follow a person if you really wanted to.  It is a tense, well paced thriller that I really enjoyed.

If you like you psychological thrillers to be deep, dark, twisted and addictive then give this book a go.  It is not for the easily offended, but if you can deal with the sexual references it is so worth reading.

About the Author !

Author Bio – K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.

Social Media Links – Facebook  and Twitter

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2240.0 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Publisher: VAD Publishing; 1 edition (7 Dec. 2017)
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

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

#BookReview : #TheMarriagePact by Michelle Richmond ( @michellerichmon ) @MichaelJBooks @NetGalley

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I am delighted to be able to share my thoughts on “The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond.  It is available in Hardback and eBook format now, Paperback is due for release on 14th December 2017, published by  Penguin Books.  I was originally sent an invite to read this from Michael Joseph Books via NetGalley, my views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (14 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718186133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718186135
  • Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Synopsis:

Would you stake your life on your marriage?

Newlyweds Jake and Alice are offered a mysterious wedding gift – membership of a club which promises its couples will never divorce.

Signing The Pact seems the start to a perfect marriage.

Until one of them breaks the rules.

The marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Because The Pact is for life.

And its members will do anything to make sure no one leaves . . .

 

‘A brilliant premise . . . tautly plotted and deftly written’ J P Delaney

‘Beware. This will keep you up all night’ Lisa Gardner

‘You won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough’ Paula Daly

My Thoughts:

When I received the invite to read this book, It was a very quick response that yes I really wanted to read this.  I was not disappointed, from the outset I was hooked.  The story is told from the perspective of Jake as he relates his experiences of his relationship and then through his marriage to Alice.  But one of their wedding gifts is an unusual one, entry into a group that promotes marriage.  The Pact is a group that helps to guide and support their members to achieve and maintain a successful marriage.  At first it seems okay, little things such as giving your partner a gift each month, making time for your partner, answering calls straight away, attending meetings, having regular holidays together.  It all sounded great and doable, until that is, you miss one of the rules.  Yes all these guidelines of things to do are rules, and if you break a rule there are consequences.

Oh my goodness, this is a book that makes you think.   It is quite scary how, as you read, you find yourself agreeing with some of the ideology behind The Pact, spending time with your partner in this fast paced world we live in is a definite must.  At this point you can see how Jake and Alice saw no problem being part of the group.  Then as the story deepens you see another side to the group.  I am not going to say any more on this, I just ask that you go and buy yourself a copy of this wonderful book to find out more.

What I expected from this book and what I experienced are two completely different things.  There is a sense of foreboding with the synopsis, but I did not expect what I read.  It is psychologically deeply twisted and sinister and also very believable.  It is that believe-ability of the plot that is the real hook for this book, in my opinion. As you meet other characters your opinions will change about them, as you realise you don’t know who you can trust to tell the truth. They refer to each other as “Friend” rather than by name, keeping things slightly impersonal, a great touch to raise the suspicion level.  It has a fast pace that adds to the thrill, i did find a drop on a couple of occasions, but not enough to take anything away from it

So, if you like to read very suspense filled, sinister, psychological, deeply twisted and believable read then get a copy of this book.  It is one I really recommend reading.  My thanks to Michael Joseph and NetGalley for my copy of this book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Michelle Richmond is the author of the novels THE MARRIAGE PACT, THE YEAR OF FOG, NO ONE YOU KNOW, GOLDEN STATE, DREAM OF THE BLUE ROOM, and the story collections HUM and THE GIRL IN THE FALL-AWAY DRESS.

“Michelle Richmond has established herself as mistress of the kind of literary mystery which packs the punch of a fine thriller but with added insight and wisdom….” Sarah Broadhurst for The Daily Mail (The Year of Fog)

Michelle’s novels are primarily set in San Francisco, California. She grew up in Alabama and lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Follow the author on her Website ~ Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy this great book x

#BookReview Three Days a Life by Pierre Lemaitre (author) Frank Wynne (translator) @maclehosepress @QuercusBooks

“Three Days a Life” by Pierre Lemaitre is available in various formats, though release dates for these are different.  Published by  Maclehose Press and Quercus Books

Synopsis:

In 1999, in the small provincial town of Beauval, France, twelve-year-old Antoine Courtin accidentally kills a young neighbor boy in the woods near his home. Panicked, he conceals the body and to his relief–and ongoing shame–he is never suspected of any connection to the child’s disappearance.
But the boy’s death continues to haunt him, shaping his life in unseen ways. More than a decade later, Antoine is living in Paris, now a young doctor with a fiancée and a promising future. On a rare trip home to the town he hates and fears, Antoine thoughtlessly sleeps with a beautiful young woman from his past. She shows up pregnant at his doorstep in Paris a few months later, insisting that they marry, but Antoine refuses.

Meanwhile, the newly discovered body of Antoine’s childhood victim means that the case has been reopened, and all of his old fears rush back. Then the young woman’s father threatens Antoine with a paternity test–which would almost certainly match the DNA found on the dead child’s body. Will Antoine finally be forced to confront his crime? And what is he prepared to do to keep his secrets buried in the past?

My Thoughts:

When I normally write-up a review, I like to start with my version of a synopsis, but only for the beginning of the story.  But after reading this book and then re-reading the summery prior to writing the review, I realised how much detail it already included, but it doesn’t take away from the story.  It is a story about the mental journey from 1999 to 2015.

This book is a noir fiction. it focuses on Antoine Coutin from the small French town of Beauval, and the way he deals with the accidental killing of a younger boy.  It is a very well laid out story from the outset.  The reader is introduced to the setting and the characters.  It discusses their relationships and dynamics within their various groups.  The first half of the book deals with 1999, the lead up to the death, the death itself and the thoughts of Antoine as he deals with what he has done.  His state of mind, what his first responses are, the way he thinks through the consequences and how thinks people look at him now. From then a leap forward to the year 2011, now older, Antoine’s state of mind as he has moved on, but how he still deals with occasional troubled thoughts and dreams.  Then another jump to 2015 to tell of where Antoine is and how he is still dealing with the event.  The setting has been very well described, the author has managed to build a very convincing visual image of the town, it’s surroundings and also the time of year. As each of these time jumps occur, the author has included a brief explanation of events as the story then continues.

I found this very different to a previous book by Lemaitre and was very surprised by the contrast in styles.  This is well laid out as it explains the way the main protagonist thinks.  It comes across as quite a subtle story, it is one that just gradually consumed me, the way that Lemaitre has very cleverly explored the way a 12-year-old may see the world, his thoughts, actions and consequences was very addictive reading.  I read this in one sitting, almost a novella sized book.  The story leads the reader and by the end was absorbed, but when the end arrives there is a sudden twist, that completely blindsided me.  Finishing this on a high.

I would recommend this to readers of noir fiction, of psychological fiction, as well as readers of general fiction, murder and mystery genres.

About the Author:

Pierre Lemaitre Pierre Lemaitre was born in Paris in 1951. He worked for many years as a teacher of literature before becoming a novelist.

He has won the Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger three times, once alongside Fred Vargas, for “Alex”, and twice as sole winner for “Camille” and “The Great Swindle”. In 2013 “The Great Swindle” (published in French as “Au revoir là-haut”) won the Prix Goncourt, France’s leading literary award, and it will be released as a film in 2017.

In addition to his “Brigade Criminelle” novels starring Commandant Camille Verhoeven, Lemaitre writes standalone thrillers including “Blood Wedding” and the forthcoming “Three Days in a Life” and “Inhuman Resources”. “The Great Swindle” will be developed into a trilogy in the coming years.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (13 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085705662X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857056627
  • Amazon UK     Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you like it, give it a share. 

Better still go and buy the book.

 

#BlogTour : A Justifiable Madness by @AliMorgan2304

Many thanks to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for allowing me a spot on the blog tour for this unusual and very thought provoking book.

Synopsis:

Can you really tell the difference between madness and sanity?

Mark Randall goes to great lengths to get himself admitted to an acute psychiatric ward and, despite being mute, convinces professionals that he is psychotic. But who is he and why is he so keen to spend time in a psychiatric hospital?

When Mark is admitted, silent and naked, the staff are suspicious about his motives.

Dealing with this, as well as the patients on the ward, Mark’s troubles really begin once he is Sectioned under the Mental Health Act. When decisions about his future are handed to Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Giles Sharman, Mark’s life is about to go from bad to worse.

Drugged, abused and in danger, Mark looks for a way out of this nightmare. But he’s about to learn, proving that you are sane might not be easy as it seems…

My Thoughts:

It is 1994, a man resembling Jesus has just stepped off a train, he is naked, apart from a pair of sandals! Hours later he is admitted to a psychiatric ward and will not speak.  He has achieved the first part of his plan and is exactly where he wants to be.  From here on in the story weaves it,s way around the ward, the other patients and the staff.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Staff Nurse Monica and the man referred to as Jesus Trainman (he looks like Jesus, he is a man, he came off a train, it makes perfect sense). It is not until you start to get mid-way through this story that you are told the reason for his incarceration, up until this point the scene is being set, other characters are introduced and the dynamis within the ward is described.  But do not for a moment think that this is a slow burner just ambling along, it isn’t, there are various things afoot in the hospital and the plot has more than warmed up by the time you start to realise what the point of the story from Jesus’s perspective is.  When he is sectioned his time on the ward takes a very severe turn, and to make matters worse those in charge will not or are unable to listen to or help him, they have already made up their minds about him.

There are quite a few characters in this book, and for a little while it took me a moment to remember who was who, but it didn’t take too long for them to sink in.  The characters tell of their experiences in hospital as well as how differrent members of staff are perceived by patients and other staff.  Not all staff are liked.

This book seems to play on some of our worst fears,  While under the care of professionals the vulnerable are supposed to be safe, in this story that is not the case, to make matters worse, some members of staff are completely powerless to have their concerns listened to. As I said at the beginning, this book is thought-provoking, and makes for a great discussion, as I found when talking to a colleague at work about the story.  I had to keep reminding myself that it is set in the 1990’s and the Mental Health Act has changed a lot since then.  But I am also aware that not all institutions follow protocols set as the media inform us, this adds to the a chilling aspect to the story

This is definitely a book that will appeal to readers who like Institutionalised Psychological Thriller/ Crime genres. I think it would be a great book for Reading Groups to discuss as there are various interesting concepts and themes.

 

Author Bio: 

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A B Morgan: (The tartan is Welsh: Morgan)

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 has worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line, where 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 temporarily 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.

With her health steadily improving thanks to the staff at Papworth Hospital, Alison hopes to return to nursing part-time, but is determined to keep writing fiction. Her debut novel A Justifiable Madness is inspired by her life and career as a psychiatric nurse, and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Her second novel, Divine Poison, also published by Bloodhound books is due for release in January 2018.

Author Links: Twitter |Website

Buy on Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.

 

#BookReview : Good Me Bad Me by @byAliLand

Good Me, Bad Me
My Thoughts:
I have seen this book around for a little while, and it has been one of those books I have been meaning to pick up, but never quite got around to.  Now, however, I could slap myself silly for leaving it so long before reading it.  Read this in almost one sitting, I found it was that good.
This is about Milly, not her real name, she is the daughter of a child murderess.  It was Milly who gave her mother up to the police about the crimes being committed.  Milly is a vulnerable child, not feeling like she can fit in with anyone, and the voice of her mother constantly degrading her doesn’t help.
Under the care of Mike, a psychologist and his family, wife Saskia and daughter Phoebe, she finds a place that will give her some sort of normal family and also support.  The story is told from the viewpoint of Milly, it shows how she views people around her, and how she is not sure how to react or respond to situations.  A lot of her problems are put down to the trial of her mother that is looming, but is there more to her than that.  She seems to have a constant battle between what she should tell people and what she thinks they should be told.
This is a really clever book, psychological thriller from the viewpoint of a teenager.  At times it is difficult to read due to being in the head of a 15-year-old girl while she is describing some things that happened. The author goes into some detail as to Milly’s upbringing, and it has not been nice.  The manipulative mother and the following murders are always in the background, they hover between the pages. The characters are wonderful, unique and very identifiable, I found myself swinging between various emotions for most them.  Some were annoying, some needed a good shake and others were just plain bitchy.
I would definitely recommend this book for readers of psychological thrillers.
I would also like to express my thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK – Michael Joseph  Publishers for my copy of this book.  My views expressed here are my own, they are honest and unbiased.
Synopsis:

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

Book Details:
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (10 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • Buy from : Amazon UK

About The Author:Ali Land

After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in both hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in West London.

 

 

Many Thanks for reading my post.

#BookReview : The Doll House by @Phoebe_A_Morgan : @HQDigitalUK

The Doll House
Expected Publication Date: 14th September 2017
 My Thoughts:
This is a story from the perspective of three characters, Ashley, Corinne and the mystery person.  The start of this story is a slow steady setting out of the lives of three main characters.  Ashley and Corinne are sisters and the mystery person is just that; a mystery, you are not given any details of identification, or any clues as to their part in the story for that matter.  Each chapter flits between the three characters and also Dominic, Corinne’s boyfriend.
We are led through the present day lives of the sisters, Ashley married to James, with three children, the youngest of which is incapable of sleeping for more than an hour,  leaving Ashley exhausted.  Corinne and Dominic are undergoing fertility treatment for the fourth time.  The third character’s story is told from years before and is peppered through the other chapters up to present day, it is a life that is dysfunctional, sad and lonely.
As the story progresses forward things start to happen and the pacing of it changes.  You suddenly begin to see plots within plots, and these have been very cleverly concealed within the story.  As these start to make themselves known, this is when you are really taken into the story, only then do you start to see the bigger picture.  The characters have been very well-developed, they are memorable, unique and easily recognisable. The author has very cleverly worked a very good plot throughout, only revealing her intentions for the outcome when absolutely necessary.
I read this book in two sittings, if I didn’t have to go to work I would have read it in one sitting.  This is a book for readers who like deep, twisted, manipulative and addictive psychological thrillers.
I would like to take the opportunity of thanking NetGalley and HQ Digital for my copy of this book.  My opinions are my own and are honest and unbiased.
Book Synopsis:

You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

Book Details:
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1444 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Publisher: HQ Digital (14 Sept. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
About The Author:
Phoebe Morgan
Phoebe Morgan is an author and editor. She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings. She lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @Phoebe_A_Morgan. The Doll House is her debut novel.

 

Many thanks for reading my post.