The most compelling part was Eden’s desperation...
This book alternates two points of view.
One of the two main characters is Jessica Sloane. Jessie’s mum has died and she’s plunged into terrible grief and insomnia. She then finds out her social security number is invalid and this starts a hunt for the truth about her ‘real’ identity. Jessie starts to question everything in the past. She also questions everything happening in the present since the insomnia is messing with her mind.
The other woman in the story is Eden. Eden is driven almost crazy by her desire for a baby. She and her partner are trying all kinds of fertility treatments and nothing seems to be working.
The most compelling part of the book for me was the exploration of Eden’s desperation. This felt very lifelike. She slips from being a stable woman into a person obsessed. There were creepy aspects to this and unsettling ones, as Eden explores how far she’s prepared to go to get what she wants.
I found Jessica’s difficulties a tad less compelling. At first she got my sympathy, yet her crisis kept drinking in everyone and everything around her, and this started to feel a bit strained. At the end of the story, we will find out the why all of this happened but the understanding only comes at the very end.
We have to wait until the second half of the book to find out how these stories are linked. We slowly unpick the reality from the nightmares and mind games.
If I’m being honest, I have to say it lost my interest a bit somewhere in the second half. Nothing much new was happening and a plot that started out as a great idea didn’t deliver the full punch I’d expected it to. That said, it was still a good story.
My thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for a copy of this book. This is my honest review.
To celebrate 40 great reviews on Amazon UK, I have a Free Giveaway running until 1st July.
Prize is 25pound Amazon Gift Card OR
your name as a character in my next crime thriller.
It's easy to enter. All you have to do is like a post and tag a friend.
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It’s a volatile mix and it’s going to end in murder. The question is – who? And then we must find out why?
This story follows the lives of a small group of Bristol residents.
Joey (woman) has just come back from working in Ibiza and she's brought her new husband, Alfie, with her. They’ve no money and they’re looking for work. They stay at Joey’s brother’s house. Joey’ brother, Jack, is a successful heart surgeon and it seems he has everything – a sunny personality, money, a wife he adores and a baby on the way.
Their next-door neighbours are head teacher Tom Fitzwilliam and his wife Nicola. Tom’s son, Freddie, has a habit of watching people through his digital binoculars and taking photographs of them. He likes to log the details of people’s lives - the times they leave, the route they take to work. He’s particularly interested in three girls from the local school.
The story starts with a murder and, in the background of the story, we follow the police interviews of each of the suspects.
Tom Fitzwilliam is the top suspect (but is he also the victim? We must wait until the end to find out). He’s suspected of having affairs with previous students of his schools.
Joey is having second thoughts about her whirlwind marriage and falls headlong in lust with dashing headteacher Tom. She keeps encountering him, at first by chance and then deliberately, and it seems he feels the same way about her…
It’s all a volatile mix and it’s going to end in murder. The question is – who? And then we must find out why?
There's a knotted history between some of the characters that gradually unfolds as the story builds in tension.
My favourite character was Jenna. Jenna is fifteen years old and living with her mother who has mental health issues. Jenna has her head screwed on and will prove key to the solving the whole tangled mess.
All the characters were very well written – they had depth and interest and real life dilemmas and troubles which made them feel ‘real’.
The plot pulled me in from the beginning and kept my interest to the end. This one is the real deal – a great page turner, with some creepy aspects and utterly absorbing at the same time. A very enjoyable read and highly recommended.
Stop - Press
I have a Free Giveaway running until 1st July - Prize is 25pound Amazon Gift Card OR your name as a character in my next crime thriller!
Check it out on my blog or my Facebook Author Page
GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL has 40 great reviews on Amazon UK. Yoo-hoo!
To celebrate I'm running a FREE Giveaway 😊
The Prize is either a 25 pound Amazon Gift Card
your name as a character in my next crime thriller
(Kal Medi Book 3)
All you have to do is whizz over to my Facebook Author Page and like this post, comment on this post and tag a friend in your comment.
The winner will be chosen randomly on 1st July at mid-day.
Liking my page would be fab too! 🎈🎈
GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL
The darkest crimes can't stay hidden forever
A dead journalist?
A dead matron at a children's home
A young body washed up by the river
And a crime so evil it defies belief.
Only one person can nail the killer, and she's the daughter of a criminal...
An Award winning crime thriller.
GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL is a gripping, twisty thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Here's the link to the Giveaway Entry Post
Dead Cold by Louise Penny
Definitely a top read. This is a really enjoyable, cozy mystery, starring the wonderful Inspector Armand Gamache.
In this second book in the series, Gamache and his team and called back to the small village of Three Pines to investigate the murder of CC Poitiers.
It’s Christmas time in the quiet Quebec village and everyone is enjoying the festivities and an abundance of food and good will and neighbourly good deeds. The winter landscape plays an important part in the story as they cope with plummeting temperatures and outside conditions which threaten the life of the frail.
We meet the eccentric and wonderfully portrayed characters we met in the first book, plus some newcomers including CC Poitiers, her shy husband and her nervous daughter.
When CC Poitiers is murdered on the curling rink, one wintry morning, the whole village could have been a witness, yet they all claim to have seen nothing.
The real stars of this book are the three Graces – three old women who have been friends forever and around whom this mystery seems to revolve.
Everyone loves Gamache and is charmed by his calm temperament and determination to find the truth. However, there is a background mystery rumbling around, to do with an old case (the Arnot case) which keeps surfacing in this book but is never explained. Gamache is implicated and members of Gamache’s team are also implicated in this case, which involved corrupt officers. I expect more will be revealed in later books in this series.
The quality of the writing is great, as is the atmosphere and the plot. (The only tiny thing which didn’t suit me were the massive amounts of food and drink which seemed to be in overabundant supply, and the author did rather go on about that aspect and the gourmet food on offer at the local brasserie – still, I know I am being picky when I point this out).
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Lucas has come to stay at a cottage in Wales where he joins fellow writers for a writing retreat.
Lucas is a horror writer and he’s searching for inspiration for this next best seller.
The other guests at the house are a mixed bag with their own worries and emotional baggage. The host of the retreat centre is Julia. Julia lost her eight year old daughter, two years ago. The girl was presumed to have drowned in the local river, along with her father who dived in trying to save her. The body of the father was found but not that of the daughter, and, against all the evidence, Julia has clung to the belief that her daughter, Lily, is still alive.
Lucas is attracted to Julia and a romance blossoms. He also becomes obsessed with Lily and he hires a private detective to dig around and find out more. He begins to question the police findings. He becomes suspicious of several members of the close-knit, local community, of which his own mother and father were a part. Lucas has suffered a loss himself, and this gets thrown into the mix.
Strange things start to happen at the house – noises in the night, sounds of someone coming and going, ghostly singing. A couple of the other guests start cracking up. Lucas doesn’t believe in ghosts but the horror writer in him is hooked on the incidents and he begins to wonder what is real and what is imaginary.
It’s all pretty spooking stuff. I thought the author did the supernatural element extremely well and we see how each guest is weakened by the weird events. (I think that’s all I can say about the story – if you want to find out more you’ll have to read it.)
My favourite parts of the book were the first third, when we are getting to know the retreat group and the villagers, and the middle part where the spooky events really ratchet up.
In summary – this book is a great mystery, supernatural suspense and the author has a lovely, fluid writing style. A highly enjoyable read.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This is my honest review.
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We went to an historic, annual gathering of old sailing boats in Sete , just along the coast from Montpellier.
Here are some pictures of the galleons and the water ways.
This book is partly based on a historical event and partly fiction. I didn’t know anything about the history of the pioneering settlers on which this story was based and so this book was pure fiction for me.
A group of ninety settlers are heading west on a trail across America. They want to get from the east coast to California and are in covered wagons, with horses, mules and oxen accompanying them. There are families, lone men and some lone women with children. Winter is approaching and they decide to take a little known short cut to try to get over the mountains before the snow comes.
Basically, it all falls apart.
The journey is long and hard. Due to the hardships, divisions rise up amongst the families, people shoot their neighbours, old feuds are re-ignited (mostly between the men) and the group splinters into factions. There are infidelities. There is incest and abuse. Most of the characters seem to have dark secrets they are trying to run away from but the reality is they’ve brought all that baggage with them. In fact, there are so many dark secrets, I began to lose count.
Then there is the difficulty of the terrain they are crossing. The terrain is vast with few outposts. It’s a lawless zone. Under poor leadership, they decide to take a little charted trail to cut down on time. This involves crossing a desert where most of their cattle die and the oxen go mad with thirst. Finally, the winter comes on them before they have crossed the mountains and they are trapped with little food and men who are at each other’s throats.
In the background of the story there’s a supernatural/horror element.
Something or someone seems to be stalking the wagon train and picking off weak members. Children go missing. Mutilated bodies are found. Though, as I understand it, there was an allegation of cannibalism in the historical Donner story, the horror element is the part which diverges from historical facts. The deaths and the feeling of being tracked are layered onto the already plummeting fortunes of the group. This was very well done in parts. At other times, I felt it was impossible to retain the tension at such a high level without the need to shovel in even more dark secrets and more murders.
For me, one strength was the depth of the main characters – Charles Stanton, Donner, Keseberg, Reed, Thomas, Mary, Elitha, Tamsen – to name a few. However, there were far too many characters for my liking and it was difficult to distinguish between them, especially in the first half of the book.
Another strength was the quality of the writing.
Also a strength was the way the author portrayed the historical setting and the atmosphere of the pioneers setting out on a mad adventure into the unknown.
However, there were a few weaknesses – as I mentioned - too many characters, also an unending series of horrible mutilations and deaths - so that by the end, every character I actually liked ended up dying in nasty ways. Who was there left to root for? Well, no one really.
Also, there were one or two side stories that hardly made sense and letters that were written where it was difficult to fathom who sent them (and to whom) and when (before or after certain individuals left the wagon train to set out on their own).
This is a difficult one to rate. Here is my overall breakdown - 5 stars for writing quality, characterisation and atmosphere. 2 stars for the ending and 3 stars for the thriller element.
That makes something like 4 stars overall.
(Bottom line – I enjoyed it. It’s worth reading because it’s unique, but watch out for the pitfalls.)
That makes something like 4 stars overall.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book. This is my honest review.
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Another great thriller starring DI Kim Stone and her team.
This story addresses difficult issues- including sex workers, child prostitutes and the exploitation of immigrant workers. Well done to Angela Marsons for pulling it all together into a fast read that had me turning the pages.
As usual, Kim is outstanding in her morals and has to (occasionally) go against the rules in the name of justice.
The members of her team get a bigger share of the story in this one, with Dawson and Stacey involved in the case of an abandoned baby and migrant workers, whilst Kim and Bryant are investigating the murder of a number of women. There’s also the case of a missing teenager that is thrown in and we follow the teenager’s story which becomes more and more gripping as time goes on.
All of the threads come together in surprising ways and Kim has the insight to join up the dots and find out the real killers.
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In this thriller, we know who the killer is right from the beginning. The story is about how he selects and then reels in his next victim. The tension mounts as he gets closer to his goal.
His next victim is going to be Emily. Emily is the daughter of DI Gravel. DI Gravel has been investigating the murder of a string of young women and the detective has no clues to the identity of the killer.
The police are sure the same person raped and murdered all of the women, and it seems he dyed their hair and dressed them in old-fashioned clothes, before dumping them in the countryside.
DI Gravel is pleased when his daughter, Emily, tells him she has decided to move back to his area. She has been taken on at a respectable, local solicitors - not knowing that the killer is the main partner of the practice.
We watch as Grav’s daughter steps closer and closer to tragedy. The solicitor is charming and seductive and she almost falls for his charms, even though her instincts are telling her to keep her distance. They work together, they date, and he manipulates her into situations she can’t avoid.
There are some graphic, violent scenes. The author is an expert at crawling inside the mind of the killer and this was the part of the book that I found the strongest (in fact, it made the police procedural aspects fade into the distance.)
A fast-paced thriller and a quick, compelling read.
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