WWW Wednesday – 04/08/2021

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

One Perfect Grave: A gripping and heart-pounding crime thriller (Nikki Hunt Book 2) by [Stacy Green]

She didn’t see the patch of black ice until it was too late. The car started to spin, and as it veered off into the deep ditch and the mounds of snow beside the road, she saw him. The little boy frozen in the ice.

When the remains of two bodies are found in an open grave along a desolate highway in Stillwater, Minnesota, Special Agent Nikki Hunt knows exactly who they are. The bright blue jacket lying on the frozen earth belongs to Kellan Rhodes, the missing boy she’s desperately been trying to find for the last two days. The other body is his mother Dana, who had been Nikki’s lead suspect.

Although the wounds on Dana’s body suggest she murdered her son and took her own life, Nikki finds evidence that suggests she was a victim too. Dana was desperately trying to regain custody of Kellan, and Nikki finds boot prints at the scene that belong to someone else.

When another child is reported missing, local journalist Caitlin Newport claims the cases are linked: Zach Reeves was taken away from his own mother in a custody battle, just like Kellan was.

Caitlin once helped Nikki find out the truth about her own parents’ murders, but her desire for a story nearly cost Nikki her life. Now, Nikki must decide if she can trust Caitlin again, before time runs out to find the killer and bring Zach home alive…

Truth Games: the gripping, twisty, page-turning tale of one woman's secret past by [Caroline England]

She tries hard to be the perfect mother, the perfect partner, the perfect daughter – but Ellie never seems to get it right.

When an old friend from university re-enters her life, dark memories from Ellie’s past begin to resurface.

As Ellie starts to unravel some shocking and sinister realities, she realises that she must choose between keeping the family she loves – and facing the truth.

What have I finished reading?

The Heights: The new edge-of-your-seat thriller from the #1 bestselling author of The Other Passenger by [Louise Candlish]

He thinks he’s safe up there. But he’ll never be safe from you. 

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. 

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.  You know this for a fact.  

Because you’re the one who killed him.  It’s time to confess what we did up there.

The Hollows by [Mark Edwards]

With his marriage over and his career in freefall, journalist Tom decides to reconnect with his fourteen-year-old daughter, Frankie. Desperate to spend precious time together now that they live an ocean apart, he brings her to Hollow Falls, a cabin resort deep in the woods of Maine.

From the outset there’s something a little eerie about the place—strange whispers in the trees, windchimes echoing through the forest—but when Tom meets true-crime podcasters David and Connie, he receives a chilling warning. Hollow Falls has a gruesome history: twenty years ago this week, a double slaying shut down the resort. The crime was never solved, and now the woods are overrun with murder-obsessed tourists looking to mark the grim anniversary.

It’s clear that there’s something deeply disturbing going on at Hollow Falls. And as Tom’s dream trip turns into a nightmare, he and Frankie are faced with a choice: uncover the truth, or get out while they still can.

What will I read next?

The Wedding Party: ‘Absolutely gripping’ Jane Fallon by [Tammy Cohen]

Till death do us part . . .

Lucy has dreamt of her wedding day for as long as she can remember.

And now the day is almost here. Her nearest and dearest are gathered on an idyllic Greek island and she just knows it’s going to be perfect. It has to be.

But even the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong. Why are her parents behaving so strangely? Why won’t the rather odd lady from the airport stop hanging around? Who is the silent stranger her sister brought as a plus-1?

And then they find the body.

It’s going to be a day to remember.

Cold As Hell (An Áróra Investigation Book 1) by [Lilja Sigurdardóttir, Quentin Bates]

Icelandic sisters Áróra and Ísafold live in different countries and aren‘t on speaking terms, but when their mother loses contact with Ísafold, Áróra reluctantly returns to Iceland to find her sister. But she soon realizes that her sister isn’t avoiding her … she has disappeared, without trace.

As she confronts Ísafold’s abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend Björn, and begins to probe her sister’s reclusive neighbours – who have their own reasons for staying out of sight – Áróra is led into an ever-darker web of intrigue and manipulation.

Baffled by the conflicting details of her sister’s life, and blinded by the shiveringly bright midnight sun of the Icelandic summer, Áróra enlists the help of police officer Daníel, as she tries to track her sister’s movements, and begins to tail Björn – but she isn’t the only one watching…

Slick, tense, atmospheric and superbly plotted, Cold as Hell marks the start of a riveting, addictive new series from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

Invite Me In by Emma Curtis #bookreview #bogtour @emmacurtisbooks @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Emma Curtis, Invite Me In. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Invite Me In by [Emma Curtis]

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To those who think they know her, Eliza Curran has it all: two healthy children, a stunning home and a wealthy, adoring husband. No one would guess the reality of her life: trapped in an unhappy marriage to a controlling man, she longs for a way out.

When she takes on a new tenant, her life changes unexpectedly. Dan Jones is charming and perceptive, and quickly becomes a close friend to the whole family.

But Dan’s arrival threatens to tip Eliza’s fragile world out of balance. And when someone has as many secrets as Eliza does, the smallest slip could destroy everything . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of Emma Curtis’ writing, and I loved her latest thriller, Invite Me In. It is a slow-burn; domestic thriller, and I loved how Emma Curtis revealed more about her characters as the novel progressed. I wanted to get to the bottom of who they all were. I wanted to know what secrets they were hiding in their past.

To many, Eliza seems to have the perfect life. But everything is not quite as it seems behind closed doors. This idea has been explored before in psychological thrillers, but in Invite Me In, Emma Curtis has created a cast of intriguing characters. Her characters always make her books come to life, and it’s what I love the most about her writing. I think readers may struggle to feel sympathetic towards Eliza initially, but my opinion changed as I was reading because she has everything. But you get a real sense that she is trapped in her marriage to her husband, Martin, and you can see how desperate she is to get away from him and start a new life.

The tension is turned up a notch when Dan, Eliza’s new tenant, enters. Eliza falls head over heels for him, and feelings between them begin to grow. But how can Eliza leave her controlling husband? What if he was to find out what is happening between her and Dan? I had no idea how he would react if he ever did, and this made me feel fearful for Eliza. It made me wonder if it would be possible if Eliza could have a life with Dan.

The tension really beings to pick up in the latter half of the book, and Eliza is faced with an unprecedented situation. I had no idea how she was going to get herself out of it. In this part of the novel, we learn more about Eliza’s backstory, and there are some shocking revelations about her that may just seal her fate. It made for such tense reading as the book raced towards its finale.

I really enjoyed this book; Emma Curtis has created another fantastic novel. As with all of Emma Curtis’ books, I struggled to put it down once I started Invite Me In. This is a brilliant read!

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 22nd July 2021

Print length: 400 pages

Invite Me In is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Invite Me In BT Poster

Knock Knock by Anders Roslund #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on Knock Knock, the gripping new crime novel by Anders Roslund.

Knock Knock by [Anders Roslund]

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Set over three explosive days, this is compulsive, heart-pounding storytelling that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

He thought she was safe. Then the past came knocking.

Seventeen years ago, Inspector Ewert Grens was called to the scene of a brutal crime. A family had been murdered, with only their five-year-old daughter left behind. The girl was moved out and placed under witness protection, but while the case went cold, Grens is still haunted by the memory. When he learns that the apartment where the crime took place is now the scene of a mysterious break-in, Grens fears that someone is intent on silencing the only witness. He must race to find her…before they do.

MY THOUGHTS

Knock Knock is a tense, high octane thriller by Anders Roslund. Although this is the ninth book in the series, I thought it did work well as a standalone, as it’s the first book I’ve read by the author. I thought the lead character, Ewert Grens was fascinating. I think I have missed out on some character development, having not read the earlier books in the series, but I still managed to enjoy the story. It has made me want to go back and read the earlier books as I’m now keen to find out more about Ewert and his past. I can definitely see this book translating well to the big screen.  

This is an action packed book, and Anders Roslund gets the tension going right from the opening pages. Ewert is shocked and dismayed when he discovers important documents have disappeared from police headquarters relating to a devastating case. A family were murdered seventeen years earlier, and a five-year-old girl was the only survivor. Now with documents relating to her case missing, Ewert fears that someone is after her, and he is determined to protect her. But whoever took the documents, are they linked to the same people who murdered her family nearly twenty years ago?

There are some chilling scenes in this book; particularly the chapters told from the child’s point of view as she comes to terms with what has happened to her family. You can see how concerned Ewert is for her, and this heightens the tension as he races to find her first before the wrong people do. It is very clear what their intentions are, and this is what makes the book so gripping. I had no idea what was going to happen and if Ewert would succeed in tracking her down. I wanted to find out more about what had happened to the young girl since that fateful day seventeen years earlier. Anders Roslund wraps everything up in a very tense finale, and it is a real race against time for Ewert.  

I thought the writing was very addictive, and I flew through this book. If you enjoy crime novels with lots of action and intense scenes, then you need to add this book to your list. It’s a great novel which you can lose an afternoon to. I’m looking forward now to catching up on the books in the series I’ve missed.

Publisher: Harvill Seeker

Publication date: 10th June 2021

Print length: 448 pages

Knock Knock is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley #bookreview #blogtour @rubyspeechley @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

The Face At The Window: A gripping, twisty thriller you won't be able to put down by [Ruby Speechley]

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They’re in your house.

They want your life.

And now, they have your baby.

To the world, I’m @HappyWife. Online, people only see my picture-perfect home, my handsome husband, Nick, and my beautiful baby, Thomas.

They don’t see the real Gemma Adams. They don’t see my past, the dark secrets I’m hiding in my marriage. They don’t see the fear I live in every single day.

But I know someone is watching me. And now, they’ve taken Thomas.

I just don’t know why.

But I’m going to stop at nothing to get my baby back.

Even if it destroys everything I’ve got to find him.

A compelling thriller, packed with suspense – fans of K.L. Slater and Lisa Jewell won’t be able to put it down.

MY THOUGHTS

The Face at the Window is the first book by Ruby Speechley I’ve read, and now I definitely need to catch up on her previous books. This is a very fast paced read. I thought the plot was utterly compelling, although none of the characters are particularly very likeable. Ruby Speechely brings them to life so well, and they really drive the story forward.

Gemma is relieved when a young woman she thinks she can trust offers to look after her baby for a brief moment. It’ll only be for a few moments. But a brief moment is all it takes. Soon, her baby is nowhere to be found, and the nightmare begins. And she soon begins to understand that the woman who took her baby isn’t the woman she thought she knew.

I have read a few missing child novels, and I really liked Ruby Speechley’s ideas in this one. It makes for a very chilling read, particularly when she begins to reveal what was happening in the run up to Gemma’s son being taken. We begin to understand why the kidnapper did what they did.

I struggled to warm to Gemma when Ruby first introduced her. She did seem self-centred at first, with her focus on her online presence. She is known as @HappyWife on Social Media, and this is something Gemma has to portray to the outside world. But things are very different to what she makes them out to be. The story is also told from the point of view of Scarlett. Scarlett is a young woman who we know is having an affair with a married man. I was really interested in Scarlett’s character. She is desperate to track down her birth father, who her mother refuses to talk about. Scarlett’s backstory, and the disappearance of Gemma’s baby, does mean a lot going on in this book, but for me, it’s what made it so tense. My opinions of each character kept changing, and they were very different at the end of the novel from what they were at the start. 

I wanted to know what was going to happen, particularly to Gemma’s baby. I thought how Ruby Speechley revealed more of what was going on in her characters’ lives was done very well. It added extra layers to the story, and the reveals made the book all the more chilling. If you’re looking for an entertaining, utterly addictive psychological thriller, then you should definitely add The Face at the Window to your TBR pile.

Publisher: Hera Books

Publication date: 28th July 2021

Print length:

The Face at the Window is available to buy:

Amazon UK

July 2021 Wrap-Up

I’ve realised that I completely forgot to post a wrap-up for last month. July was a month I was really looking forward to as I attended the Theakston Crime Festival in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It’s held every year in July at The Old Swan Hotel, where Agatha Christie reappeared after going missing for several days. I was keeping everything crossed that it would go ahead as it it was cancelled in 2020 due to the Pandemic. It did feel surreal to be heading up there and seeing friends, some, who I haven’t seen for two years.

I got the train from Kings Cross to Harrogate on Thursday, 22nd July and sitting opposite me was crime writer Susi Holliday, who I chatted to for most of the journey which made the time fly by. The festival was a lot quieter this year, but I did like that, as it meant I got to chat to people who I would never normally have the time or chance to chat to. It was also great getting the chance to meet new people. I have already booked my hotel for the festival in July 2022, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will be back to normal next year.

May be an image of outdoors and text that says "ON"
May be an image of 4 people, including Sarah Hardy and Noelle Holten and outdoors
Me with Joy Kluver, Noelle Holten, J.M. Hewitt and Sarah Hardy

I’m still working on the book I started at the beginning of the year. It’s now quite different to what it was when I first started it back in January but it’s finally shaping into something I’m quite pleased with. There’s still quite a bit of work to do on it but I think it’s heading in the right direction.

I have now so far read 98 books towards my Goodreads challenge of 100 books by the end of 2021.

I took part in 8 blog tours this month. I have listed the links below in case you missed any.

The Lost Girls by Heather Young

Far From the Tree by Rob Parker

Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood

Her Sister’s Secret by S.E. Lynes

The Beresford by Will Carver

Dead Secret by Noelle Holten

Broken Girls by Joy Kluver

I have four blog tours coming up in August, The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley on the 1st August, Invite Me In by Emma Curtis on the 3rd, Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies on the 20th and Lost Angels by Stacy Green on the 27th August.

What are you reading at the moment? I’m currently reading The Heights by Louise Candlish which I’m really enjoying. Let me know in the comments.

Broken Girls by Joy Kluver #booksontour @JoyKluver @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Broken Girls by Joy Kluver. With thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Broken Girls: A totally addictive and unputdownable crime thriller (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 2) by [Joy Kluver]

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Brambles catch her dress, scratch her legs, pierce her feet. To escape, she’d had no option but to go barefoot. They’d been laughing together a few minutes before, but things can change in the blink of an eye…

The woman is dark-haired and young, judging by the short red dress. Any other signs of her identity have been erased during her long wait to be found, but it’s clear she was strangled: this was a passionate and personal murder.

D.I. Bernadette Noel knows that every second counts if she is to catch this killer, but she has no leads – until the discovery that the dead woman’s rings match a stolen property report, and the rings’ owner mentions Rosa, her missing nanny.

Just when Bernie and her team think they’re getting somewhere, a shocking discovery about Rosa – and the news that another young girl has been abducted – changes everything the team thought they knew about the case.

Laura is only twelve, and her parents are beside themselves with worry – but Bernie has an additional fear. Laura’s home is right next to the woods where their murder victim was found: are the cases connected?

When Bernie notices similarities between descriptions of the man last seen with Rosa and someone Laura was messaging online, these fears grow stronger. But they still have no clear leads as to the identity of the culprit.

With few options left, and time running out, she makes a desperate plan to trap the predator. But any mistakes will mean another innocent life lost…

MY THOUGHTS

I loved Joy Kluver’s debut novel, Last Seen when I read it earlier in the year, but I think Broken Girls, the second book in the series, is even better. This is a solid police procedural, and I read it in a few greedy gulps, desperate to know what was going on and who the killer was. It gets a very easy five stars from me.

Detective Bernadette Noel is back, and this time she is investigating a horrific murder. A young woman’s body has been found, but it is impossible to identify her. Bernie and her team have very few things to go on, and as the investigation progresses, they come up with a possible identity. But this case is far more complex than they first thought.

Joy Kluver has brilliantly weaved together a very twisty case for Bernie to get to grips with. You can see how desperate she is to get to the bottom of what has happened and to make sure that this young woman gets justice. She is very moved by what has happened to the young woman and she is absolutely determined to get to the bottom of it. Although I think it always helps to read earlier books in a series, it’s possible to read this book as a standalone. I think Bernie is definitely growing as a character. She is very likeable, and I was rooting for her to get to the bottom of things.

The case is very complex, and I had no idea who the culprit was and what had happened to the young woman who was found. I thought that Joy Kluver built on the setting really well, and I loved the detail she put into her book. She brings it to life really well, and I loved the extra detail that was added, particularly the ghost story, which gave me goosebumps as I was reading it.

Broken Girls is an excellent addition to this series, and I’m really looking forward to the third book. Joy Kluver is fast becoming a favourite new author of mine. If you haven’t yet started this series, then you really need to. Top stuff!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th July 2021

Print length: 350 pages

Broken Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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Mimic by Daniel Cole #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new standalone novel by Daniel Cole, Mimic.

Mimic by [Daniel Cole]

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1989
DS Benjamin Chambers and DC Adam Winter are on the trail of a twisted serial killer with a passion for recreating the world’s greatest works of art through the bodies of his victims. But after Chambers almost loses his life, the case goes cold – their killer lying dormant, his collection unfinished.

1996
Jordan Marshall has excelled within the Metropolitan Police Service, fuelled by a loss that defined her teenage years. Obsessed, she manages to obtain new evidence, convincing both Chambers and Winter to revisit the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between police officers and vigilantes in their pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated…

MY THOUGHTS

I loved Daniel Cole’s Ragdoll series, and I was very excited to see that he had a new standalone novel coming out. His latest book, Mimic, is a very creative serial killer thriller, and I loved the characters. In 1989, Detective Benjamin Chambers was hunting for a sadistic serial killer trying to recreate his victims as great works of art from around the world. The killer is never found. Now seven years later, they are on the hunt for the same killer again. It seems that Daniel Cole is not short of brilliant ideas for macabre serial killings.

This is an exhilarating read. Daniel Cole always keeps the tension turning up a notch, and I loved his new cast of characters. I loved the dialogue between them, which was witty and very engaging, particularly between Chambers and Winters. I’d love to see them both return in future books. I think creating engaging characters is one of Daniel Cole’s strongest writing skills. I loved Fawkes and Baxter in his Ragdoll novels, and I loved Chambers and Winters.

In the scenes set in the 90s, I liked that Winters is no longer a police officer but works as a security guard in Sainsbury’s. It was interesting to see how he and Chambers worked together, particularly as Winters is no longer a serving police officer.

The case they are investigating is quite complex, and it has been on their minds for seven years. Daniel Cole presents us with a very intriguing serial killer. It made me want to find out more about why they were killing their victims in the way they were. It made me ask the question, what had happened in their life to make them like this.

It seems to be a battle for Chambers and Winters to get the rest of the Met Police on board with them. It made me wonder if they would continue to search for them on their own. Also, if they would be willing to put themselves close to danger to bring the right person to justice. The tension gets really high in the final chapters as they try, and I had no idea how things were going to pan out for them or if they were going to succeed in bringing the killer to justice.

If you love high octane crime thrillers, then Mimic is the book for you. Daniel Cole has done an outstanding job in creating a new cast of characters who you’ll be rooting for from the beginning. This is highly entertaining crime fiction. I loved it! I can’t wait to see what Daniel Cole has in store for us next.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 15th July 2021 (kindle) 19th August 2021 (hardcover)

Print length: 368 pages

Mimic is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Alex Michaelides, The Maidens.

The Maidens: The instant Sunday Times bestseller from the author of The Silent Patient by [Alex Michaelides]

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Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike – particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything – including her own life.

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of the first book by Alex Michaelides, so I couldn’t wait to see what he would come up with next. The Maidens is very immersive, it isn’t quite as tense as The Silent Patient, but it is very intriguing. If you love Greek mythology mixed with a good thriller, you’ll enjoy this book.

I thought Alex Michaelides brought the setting of Cambridge and the University to life. The writing made me feel as though I was walking the streets with Mariana. A killer is on the loose, and Mariana is desperate to protect her niece, Zoe. But Mariana soon becomes embroiled in the mystery, and she soon becomes aware of a mysterious group of very exclusive students at the University known as The Maidens.

I loved the Greek mythology peppered throughout this book. I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Greek legends. This made The Maidens all the more intriguing for me. It created a very mysterious atmosphere as I wondered if the Greek myths would provide clues as to who the killer was. It did create a more ominous tone to the book as well.

I felt that the novel did start quite slow, but it gradually gathered pace as Marianna begins to investigate what is happening at Cambridge further. I was getting nervous about the danger Marianna was putting herself in as she continued to look for evidence. She believes she knows who the killer is, and she is determined to find the evidence to prove her theory.

Alex Michaelides creates a very mysterious atmosphere in this book, particularly, as I said earlier, around the Greek myths. It’s what drew me into the story. I thought the group of students known as The Maidens group was very sinister, and I wanted to find out more about them. It did have the feeling of a cult as they were appeared to be cut off from everyone else. It made me want to find out more about the professor who created the group in the first place and what his reasons for creating the group were in the first place. He comes across as a very controlling individual, and he did make me feel very uncomfortable. This is especially as the people who have been found dead are his students. It is clear that the group he is the leader of will do anything for him and that they will always have his back.

I thought this was a very immersive read, and I really liked the premise and the atmosphere. I liked the twist towards the end as Alex Michaelides revealed who was behind the murders. I thought it fitted in with the story very well, and I liked how it was done. I would definitely recommend The Maidens.

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Publication date: 10th June 2021

Print length: 284 pages

The Maidens is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Dead Secret by Noelle Holten #bookreview #blogtour @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @BOTBSPublicity

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by Noelle Holten, Dead Secret. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Dead Secret: A gripping crime thriller with shocking twists you won’t see coming (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 4) by [Noelle Holten]

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Psychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…

DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…

MY THOUGHTS

Dead Secret is the latest book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by Noelle Holten, and I think it is my favourite book in the series to date. This is a series that keeps getting better and better, and in Noelle’s true style, she has left the book on another cliff-hanger. I now need the next book in this series ASAP.

Maggie finds herself involved in a complex, high profile investigation when her boss, DCI Hastings, disappears. His family are also missing, and it is feared that he has done something terrible to them. It’s really hard for the police to come to terms with this, and it causes a lot of tension within the force. They’re not quite sure how best to proceed with these revelations.

This book is really fast-paced. Dead Secret also sees the return of Lucy Sherwood, who appeared in the first book in the series. She is in the process of opening a women’s refuge centre. Although the centre isn’t officially open yet, she finds herself looking after a young woman in desperate need of help. I was really intrigued by this strand of the story, and I wanted to know what this woman had gone through.

Noelle Holten kept me utterly gripped as the investigation into what happened to the Hastings family proceeded. Noelle is a writer who knows how to plant red herrings, and she knows how to write a good twist. It’s what, I’m sure, keeps her readers coming back to her books. The revelations which come at the end of Dead Secret are hard-hitting and I did not expect them at all.

What I thought Noelle Holten developed really well in this book was Maggie’s relationship with reporter Julie. There is still some frostiness between them, but I am interested to see how things for them will progress from here. It’s hard to believe that we’re already on book four. I am absolutely loving this series, and I can’t wait to read the next book.

Noelle Holten is a brilliant writer. I highly, highly recommend her books.

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 23rd April 2021 (kindle) 22nd July 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 448 pages

Dead Secret is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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The Beresford by Will Carver #bookreview #blogtour @will_carver @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Beresford by Will Carver on my blog today as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Beresford by [Will Carver]

BLURB

Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.

There’s a routine at The Beresford.

For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.

Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate, Sythe, no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. 

In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers.

And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.

Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge, huge Will Carver fan, and I couldn’t wait to start reading The Beresford. I’m certain I’ve found my favourite book of the year. This is such an original, chilling and compelling read. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, no writer writes quite like Will Carver does.

The setting in this book, The Beresford, a block of apartments, becomes a character in its own right. The building is owned by a strange character, Mrs May, and we get to know the other residents who live there. The building comes with its own dark tales, which will chill you to the core. Abe, an artist, is one of the blocks most fascinating tenants. He is a very messed up person, but he is also someone who I did feel sorry for. He is desperate to be loved by someone, and as Abe says, he wants other people to look at his life and want what he’s got. But there is a very dark side to Abe. And this is what makes him such a compelling and terrifying character.

Will Carver’s writing propels you into the story, and his unique writing style kept me turning the pages faster and faster. There are short and snappy chapters and the dark, wildly entertaining plot kept me gripped.

I’ve mentioned Abe’s character in this review, but Mrs May is another person who I really wanted to get to the bottom of. From the beginning, we can see that she is a very religious person. Mrs May is a person who has suffered from trauma in her life. Her husband passed away several years earlier. But she is a much more complicated character, and I thought this was very clever.

The direction this book took completely took me by surprise. At first, I was thinking, what on earth is going on here? But this was in a good way. My eyes were kept glued to the whole book, but the final chapters kept me really gripped. I wanted to understand what was going on and who these people really were. It is so, so well done. I think many people may form different opinions when they get to the end of this book, but I absolutely loved it. 

If you’re a fan of Will Carver’s books, then you will love The Beresford. It is so good. Highly, highly recommended!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 22nd May 2021 (kindle) 22nd July 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

The Beresford is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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