All the Wicked Games by Lauren North #bookreview #blogtour @Lauren_C_North @TransworldBooks

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lauren North, All the Wicked Games. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Are you ready to play?

Best friends Cleo and Rachel spend their evenings pretending to be people they’re not, inventing elaborate stories to escape the monotony of their real lives. It’s all harmless fun – until they play the game on the wrong person…

It’s your move now.

Five years later, Cleo is still struggling to come to terms with the night that destroyed her friendship with Rachel and almost cost them their lives. And then she receives a text: Rachel is missing. Have you seen her?

There’s only one person to blame.

Wracked with guilt for failing Rachel the last time they were in danger, Cleo races to find her friend. But could the past be repeating itself? Only this time, they’re caught up in a far darker game.

The rules don’t matter when the goal is revenge.

MY THOUGHTS

I raced through All the Wicked Games by Lauren North. It’s definitely one of the most gripping crime novels I’ve read this year. There is so much tension in this book that kept me flicking through the pages at breakneck speed. Every time I reached the end of a chapter; I had to keep reading on to find out what was going to happen.

When Cleo reports her friend, Rachel, missing to the police, the police take very little interest in her concerns; they believe that Rachel has just gone on holiday and will be home soon, although there is one detective who has some concern. But Cleo is adamant that something terrible has happened to Rachel and when the police won’t help her, she begins to investigate on her own, and begins to find information about her friend that she never knew before.

I felt so frustrated for Cleo when she couldn’t get the police to take Rachel’s case seriously. You can see how determined she is to make sure that Rachel is okay. You really get the sense that there is something sinister going on here, especially as Cleo begins to delve into Rachel’s recent past and what she was getting up to.

As Lauren North begins to reveal more about Cleo and Rachel, we learn about something horrific that has happened in their past, something they have both struggled to move on from. The revelation of what took place added to the tension, as Cleo desperately tries to track Rachel down. I really wanted to know what had happened to Rachel, even though everyone else seemed to believe that she would turn up in a few days time, this made me feel more sure that something terrible had happened. The novel takes an even darker turn as Cleo delves deeper into her friend’s life. It’s a novel that makes you think of how far you would go to protect and help your friends.

I did not suspect at all, the direction which Lauren North took the book. I was stunned as I got to the final chapters, but everything did make a lot of sense as the book reached its conclusion. Lauren wrote these scenes so, so well, and I was hooked on every word. I thought the ending was cleverly done and it was so chilling.

I’m certain that All the Wicked Games will be one of my favourite reads of the year. This is the perfect book to take with you if you’ve got a long journey ahead, as you’ll be kept gripped and thoroughly entertained. I really enjoyed this book.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 11th August 2022 (kindle) 1st September 2022 (paperback)

Print length: 354 pages

All the Wicked Games is available to buy:

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The Anniversary by Laura Marshall #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by Laura Marshall, The Anniversary.

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They thought the killer had no motive. But these murders are not what they seem . . .

On 15th June 1994, Travis Green – husband, father, upstanding citizen – walked through the streets of Hartstead and killed eleven of his neighbours. The last victim was little Cassie Colman’s father.

As the twenty-five-year anniversary approaches, Cassie tries to forget the past – even as her mother struggles to remember it at all. Then something hidden in her mother’s possessions suggests the murders were not what everyone believes.

Cassie can’t stop herself from digging up the past. But someone will do anything to keep it buried . . .

MY THOUGHTS

In Laura Marshall’s new book, The Anniversary, she examines a horrific crime through the eyes of the daughter of one of the victim’s, Cassie Colman. Cassie’s father was gunned down along with eleven other people in what seems to have been a random attack with no motivation. Twenty-five years later, Cassie is a mum herself, but she soon finds herself looking into the case again, after a journalist makes contact with her. Soon they begin to discover that the story they all thought they knew about the crime, might be wrong.

I bought this book when it was first published last year and I wish now I’d read it sooner. I always find it fascinating to see how a crime has a long-term effect on people. In Cassie’s case, she was extremely young when the shooting took place, only four, but it has certainly left its mark on her. I could feel the emotion in her voice, especially when she is thinking of the approaching anniversary and the journalist who is investigating the case again. This really made me connect to her character, and her struggles, particularly with adapting to motherhood, come through well on the page. You can really see the trauma she has suffered.

I wanted to know if there was anything about the crime that had taken place, that the journalist could uncover, that would shine a new light on it. It makes it such a fascinating read as Laura begins to unpick the layers of what happened twenty five years earlier, particularly through the scenes told from the point of view of the killer, Travis Green. I thought these scenes were particularly chilling, and I really had no idea what direction the book was going to go in. Laura Marshall gets inside his head really well and brings his character to life, which hooked me further into the novel.

I flew through this book; the chapters leave you wanting more at the end of each one, and I had to find out what had really happened that day. And there is a brilliant twist which Laura Marshall pulls off really well. Laura Marshall is a really talented writer, I’ve really enjoyed her last three books, and I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 5th August 2021

Print length: 384 pages

The Anniversary is available to buy:

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The Girl Beyond the Gate by Becca Day @AuthorBeccaDay @emblabooks

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Becca Day, The Girl Beyond the Gate.

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Welcome to Kensington Grove, the safest place to call home…

Jodie Madison can’t think of a better place for a fresh start than the exclusive, gated community of The Grove. But from the moment she passes through the wrought iron gates, she starts to suspect she’s made a mistake.

Despite her vow to keep apart from the other residents, Jodie can’t help but feel drawn to her unnerving neighbour, Norah Williams, and terminally ill daughter, Lacey. Jodie knows she should stay away, but something draws her in.

When a murder shocks The Grove, Jodie vows to do everything in her power to save Lacey from her mother. But as more secrets emerge from Norah’s shadowy past, Jodie is faced with the unthinkable – Norah’s not so different to herself, and neither woman is innocent.

The past won’t stay hidden forever. And The Grove will be an unforgiving witness.

MY THOUGHTS

The moment I read the prologue in The Girl Beyond the Gate by Becca Day, I knew I wouldn’t be getting much done for the rest of the day. Becca Day opens her novel in a chilling way, zooming in on a small, exclusive gated community, which has just been rocked to the core, after the body of a fellow neighbour has been found. But who could have carried out this crime and why? Who is the person who has been found dead?

Following the opening, Becca Day takes us back in time, right back to when we see Jodie Madison move into the exclusive community. Already, from the moment when she first moves in, there are tensions between her and her neighbours. You really get the feeling that they don’t like outsiders coming in, especially since they’ve all formed their friendship groups and all know each other well. As Becca Day introduces them all, I was beginning to wonder which one of them would end up being killed, and who would be the murderer. I had plenty of theories as I continued reading.

Jodie Madison takes a particular shine to her neighbour, a young girl, Lacey, who is wheelchair bound and has an incurable illness. It isn’t expected for her to live beyond forty, and her mother, Norah as seen as a beacon in the local community. I thought it was so chilling how Becca Day explored Lacey’s relationship with her mother, especially when Jodie gets to know Lacey and they become good friends. It seems to Jodie that Lacey is the only real friend she has in the neighbourhood, even though Lacey’s mother doesn’t like them mixing together. Something has happened in Norah and Lacey’s past, something terrible; I wanted to know what this was and what bearing this would have on Lacey’s friendship with Jodie. There are also some intriguing mysteries surrounding Jodie’s past, and Becca Day reveals more about this as the book progresses. It made me want to find out more about her.

As Jodie begins to look further into Lacey’s relationship with her mother, Becca Day really made me fear for Lacey. Her mother comes across as very controlling, and you could see Lacey’s desire to live just a normal life, like everyone else her age, but is there something more going on here?

The final twist that comes at the end completely floored me. I could see part of the way in which Becca Day was taking the novel, but one particular twist knocked me for six. It was so well done. I flew through this novel in just a couple of days. Becca Day’s writing has such an addictive quality; I knew I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. I can’t wait to see what Becca writes next.

Publisher: Embla Books

Publication date: 22nd March 2022

Print length: 336 pages

The Girl Beyond the Gate is available to buy:

Amazon UK

The It Girl by Ruth Ware #bookreview #blogtour @RuthWareWriter @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Ruth Ware, The It Girl. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Everyone wanted her life
Someone wanted her dead

It was Hannah who found April’s body ten years ago.
It was Hannah who didn’t question what she saw that day.
Did her testimony put an innocent man in prison?
 
She needs to know the truth.
 
Even if it means questioning her own friends.
Even if it means putting her own life at risk.
 
Because if the killer wasn’t a stranger, it’s someone she knows…

MY THOUGHTS

There is a very intriguing mystery element to Ruth Ware’s latest novel, The It Girl. I love a good novel which takes you back and forwards in time, particularly in a thriller. Ruth Ware moves her book between the present day where we meet Hannah, who is pregnant, and living with her husband, Will, and to their university years several years earlier where they first met. We know that April, Hannah’s friend from university, has been murdered, but we don’t know the circumstances leading up to her death. Only that the person who was arrested and convicted for the crime, has now died.

When Ruth Ware takes us back to Hannah’s university days, we see the moment she first meets her close friend at the time, April. I disliked April right from the start. Ruth Ware delves into her character well, even though these scenes are told from Hannah’s point of view. I warmed to Hannah. You can see just how nervous she is about attending Oxford, especially at the thought of fitting in with the rest of the crowd, who all come from families who have money; you can see why she sticks with April.

I really liked the Oxford setting; Ruth Ware draws on it so well and she creates some tense scenes as the plot of the novel develops. You can begin to see the mystery surrounding April’s death beginning to unfold. As Hannah begins to question if her actions led to an innocent man being convicted for the crime, in the present, I could think of plenty of people who may have wanted to harm April, particularly with how she was behaving towards some of her friends at university.

I would say that this is more of a slow burner, rather than a fast paced read, but I still found it very absorbing. It was the mystery of what really could have happened to April that kept me turning the pages. I felt scared for Hannah in the present, particularly as she is pregnant, and she is determined to try and find out what really happened to April; her pregnancy really adds to the suspense as she also has to think of the safety of her unborn child. I knew that if someone else was responsible for her death, that they had been able to get away with it for ten years. You can see that that person wouldn’t be coming clean lightly.

Ruth Ware delivers a tense intriguing read. I was keen to find out the truth behind what had happened to April. The It Girl is another enjoyable read from Ruth Ware.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication date: 4th August 2022

Print length: 432 pages

The It Girl is available to buy:

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The Lodger by Valerie Keogh #bookreview @ValerieKeogh1 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Valerie Keogh, The Lodger. With thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.

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She’s in your home…

Leigh Simons can’t say for sure what made her do it. A moment of madness, perhaps, but when the young, loud and gorgeous waitress at her favorite coffee shop reveals she is homeless, Leigh offers her the empty room in her house.

In your head…

Gina is the perfect lodger; Leigh, lonely and frustrated with her life, becomes infatuated with the woman – her boldness, her zeal. If only Leigh could be more like Gina…

And missing without trace.

So when Leigh returns from a work trip she’s shocked to find Gina missing. Where could the young woman have gone…and why?

Leigh fears that something terrible has happened – why else would Gina leave her?

But as she sets out to find her missing lodger, what Leigh discovers changes everything she knows about Gina….and her own life, too.

MY THOUGHTS

The Lodger is an utterly tense read by Valerie Keogh. It’s the first book by Valerie that I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be my last. It is such a twisty read and Valerie delivers some shocking and brilliant twists that I did not see coming.

Valerie introduces us to Leigh, who offers a room in her house to Gina, who works in her local coffee shop. They’ve both got to know each other quite well and Gina is seemed to be very likeable. This seems, at first, to be a good thing for them both, even though Leigh’s boyfriend isn’t particularly keen on the idea. It made me instantly warm to Leigh, as you can see that she does this out of the goodness of her heart. You can also see how grateful Gina is. But as Leigh and Gina begin to get more acquainted with each other, this is when the tension begins to build. I wanted to find out more about who Gina really was.

I got the feeling that there was more at stake here when Leigh first offers a room to Gina. This is what makes the book so tense, especially when Gina goes missing, while Leigh is away for a weekend. Valerie Keogh really brings Leigh’s concerns for Gina through on the page and I wanted to know what had happened to Gina. Why did she just suddenly up and leave with no explanation? This part of the novel is so intriguing. I couldn’t see how things were going to unfold here. And, as I mentioned earlier, Valerie delivers some shocking twists as this part of the plot begins to unravel. I felt, as I was reading, that it was someone close to Leigh who knew the answers, and the more Leigh tried to understand what happened, the more I felt she was putting herself in danger. I felt that I couldn’t trust anyone who Leigh knew, and I felt that someone close to her was hiding the truth about what has happened. This really helps to drive the intrigue and the suspense.

The Lodger is really gripping, I loved Valerie’s writing style and it instantly drew me into the story. I’m looking forward to seeing what Valerie writes next.

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication date: 1st August 2022

Print length: 327 pages

The Lodger is available to buy:

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The Retreat by Sarah Pearse #bookreview #blogtour @SarahVPearse @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Sarah Pearse, The Retreat. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.

A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.

We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.

A storm has been forecast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and its history.

As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.

MY THOUGHTS

I loved Sarah Pearse’s debut novel, and I was really eager to read her latest, The Retreat. Sarah’s latest book is set on an island off the coast of Wales. The primary setting is a luxury retreat, but the island also has a dark past, and when a woman’s body is found, people begin to wonder if the island’s history is firmly in the past, or if it is about to resurface.

I love a mystery novel set in an isolated location. You can instantly feel the creeping sense of danger as you know that the person behind what is happening is still on the island. You don’t know who to trust amongst the characters, and you have no idea if this person will strike again. Sarah Pearse knows how to deepen suspense in her writing, and I loved the creepy vibe to this book which drew me in from the first few pages, keeping me hooked.

I liked that she brought back the Detective from her first novel, Detective Elin Warner, and it was good to get to know her more. In the first book to feature her, Elin was out of her comfort zone as she was on holiday, and out of her jurisdiction. Now she is back on her home turf. It was interesting to see the change in this dynamic. The characters who are on the island, on holiday, were intriguing as well, and I thought Sarah Pearse gave them some interesting backstories.

I really wanted to know what was going on, on the island, and if there was any chance that the events happening in the present were linked to the events that happened there in the past. I loved the backstory that Sarah Pearse gave the location which really added to the tension. It really helped bring the setting to life, and I’m still thinking about the island now, after I’ve read it.

I was utterly gripped by The Retreat, Sarah Pearse is fast becoming a favourite author of mine, and I know that I’ll read whatever she writes next. If you love a creepy setting, then you definitely need to pick up The Retreat.

Publisher: Bantam Press

Publication date: 21st July 2022

Print length: 368 pages

The Retreat is available to buy:

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Dark Objects by Simon Toyne #bookreview #blogtour @simontoyne @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Simon Toyne, Dark Objects. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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An Impossible Crime Scene
A wealthy woman is found brutally murdered in the locked fortress of her London mansion. Surrounding her are four mysterious objects, including a book on forensics by Dr Laughton Rees.

An Inescapable Past
As a teenager, Laughton’s life was destroyed after witnessing her mother’s brutal murder. Now a mother herself and forensic analyst, she is an expert on how to read crime scenes – but never works live cases.

An Uncatchable Killer
Pressured by the lead detective to help with the investigation, Laughton begins to realise that the objects left by the body are not just about the victim, they’re also about her. Her childhood was destroyed by one killer. Now she must catch another before her daughter’s is destroyed too.

MY THOUGHTS

Dark Objects by Simon Toyne is one of the most addictive crime novels I’ve read. I really, really enjoyed reading this book and the character’s came to life on the page. With knife crime sky rocketing, the police are facing intense pressure. But they are faced with a perplexing crime scene, when the body of a wealthy woman is found, in an affluent area of London, but beside the body, is a book written by Dr Laughton Rees on how to get away with murder.

I loved the set-up to this book. It makes for a very complex case, especially when the woman’s husband is nowhere to be found, immediately making him a suspect. I had to know what happened in their home in the hours leading up to the discovery of the woman’s body. What makes things even more complicated for the police is that the press immediately descend.

I liked DCI Tannahill Khan the moment Simon Toyne introduced him and Dr Laughton Rees. Laughton is a very intriguing character; she has her own personal problems going on in her life, especially with what is happening to her daughter, Gracie, at school, and I could feel the emotions that she was experiencing because of this. I liked the working relationship between Laughton and Tannahill, you can see that they enjoy each other’s company after they first meet each other, and I loved the chemistry that was there between them.

I was never sure what direction this book was going to take. The crime is very perplexing and it made me wonder if the police were looking in the right areas. There are plenty of twists and turns which make the book hugely enjoyable, and it becomes even more interesting when Laughton becomes involved. This turns up the tension, especially as her book was found at the scene, and I wanted to see what she could add to the investigation. Would she be the key to unlocking the mystery and finding the person responsible?

There is a real sense of danger, especially with the discovery of Laughton’s book at the scene. It felt as though the person behind the crime was targeting her, and it made me eager to know what was going to happen as the book progressed. There is a lot that is going on in this book, but the pace flows really well and I loved the short, snappy chapters. I raced through it in a just a few greedy chunks. This is a book that you will not want to put down.

I’m certain Dark Objects will be in my top ten reads of the year. It’s certainly one of the best crime novels I’ve read recently. Crime fiction fans, you are in for a real treat if you haven’t read this book yet. I highly recommend it! 

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 7th July 2022

Print length: 416 pages

Dark Objects is available to buy:

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Night Shadows by  Eva Björg Ægisdóttir #bookreview #blogtour @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the gripping new novel in the Forbidden Iceland series by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Night Shadows. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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The small community of Akranes is devastated when a young man dies in a mysterious house fire, and when Detective Elma and her colleagues from West Iceland CID discover the fire was arson, they become embroiled in an increasingly perplexing case involving multiple suspects. What’s more, the dead man’s final online search raises fears that they could be investigating not one murder, but two.

A few months before the fire, a young Dutch woman takes a job as an au pair in Iceland, desperate to make a new life for herself after the death of her father. But the seemingly perfect family who employs her turns out to have problems of its own and she soon discovers she is running out of people to turn to.

As the police begin to home in on the truth, Elma, already struggling to come to terms with a life-changing event, finds herself in mortal danger as it becomes clear that someone has secrets they’ll do anything to hide…

MY THOUGHTS

I’m really enjoying the Forbidden Iceland series by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir. Icelandic Noir has become one of my favourite sub genres in crime fiction. What I love about this series is how Eva draws on the setting, and I think I have mentioned this before in my earlier reviews of this series. She creates such a chilling atmosphere using the landscape and it’s what always makes me bump these books to the top of my reading pile.

This time around, in Night Shadows, Detective Elma faces a complex, intriguing case starting when a young man burns to death in a house fire. But when they discover strange searches in his Internet history, a link is drawn to the disappearance of a young Dutch woman.

I was fascinated by the case Elma investigates in this book. I wanted to know what was going on in the life of the man who is killed in the fire. When it was revealed what he was searching for just before his death, my interest heightened, it really creates a much more chilling atmosphere to the book and it made me think that there was something far deeper going on here. There were so many intriguing aspects to his story and I wanted to know what the problems were he was facing shortly before his death. Eva Björg Ægisdóttir is a writer who really keeps you thinking about the possible motives and the possible suspects. Elma faces a difficult task in piecing together what happened in the days leading up to the fire and as Eva takes us back in time, she throws in many red herrings that kept me on my toes.

I also liked the added detail into Elma’s personal struggles in this book. It helped bring her character to life, especially as we delve into her thoughts and feelings about what she and partner, Saever face. I really connected to their relationship in this book as Eva explores it deeper. It made me wonder just how things were going to pan out for them and how their relationship would be affected in the long term.

The ending is tense; I was flicking through the pages at top speed to find out what was going to happen. I thought the reveals that came were so well done and chilling. If you haven’t yet read this series then you are really missing out, it’s becoming one of my favourite series in crime fiction and I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 21st July 2022

Print length: 276 pages

Night Shadows is available to buy:

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The Woman on the Bridge by Holly Seddon #bookreview #blogtour @hollyseddon @Tr4cyF3nt0n

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Holly Seddon, The Woman on the Bridge. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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How far would you go to save a perfect stranger?

Maggie is trapped. Dumped on her wedding day, rejected by her family and hounded by a man determined to make her suffer.

Charlotte is desperate. Double-crossed by her only friend and facing total ruin, she will go to any lengths to save what matters.

Two women, one night. A decision that will change everything.

MY THOUGHTS

The Woman on the Bridge begins with a very dramatic opening when Charlotte, already going through her own personal problems, happens across a woman, Maggie, standing on a bridge in her wedding dress, intent on throwing herself off. Charlotte reaches out to Maggie, and manages to bring her down off the bridge and to safety. But as a friendship between them begins to develop, Charlotte has no idea how what she has done, will change her life.

This was such a tense read, right from the opening pages and as the novel progresses; Holly Seddon ups the tension even more. I really connected to Charlotte as I was reading. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her, especially as the problems she is facing in her personal life are revealed. And as the plot of the book developed, I couldn’t believe the direction Holly took the story in. I was rooting for Charlotte right the way through this book.

I was really interested in Charlotte and Maggie’s friendship as it began to move forward from the first few pages. This was, especially, as we begin to learn more about the problems both Charlotte and Maggie have recently been facing in their lives. It was good to see that the two women now had someone who they could talk to, and rely on. I could see easily how their friendship was going to make a huge difference in their lives.

I loved the short chapters in this book, told from both Charlotte and Maggie’s perspectives. We also hear from the point of view of Charlotte’s mother, Penny, who is a really unlikeable character. I really wanted to shout at Penny for the decisions she was making on her daughter’s behalf. You can begin to understand how events for Charlotte in the present, have unfolded the way they have. It really adds to the tension.

There were characters in this book who really made my skin crawl, but I won’t go into too much detail here as I don’t want to spoil it. There is a big twist which completely floored me as I was reading. I didn’t want to put the book down until I had finished this at this point, as I wanted to see what was going to happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Woman on the Bridge. It’s twisty and highly addictive. Psychological thriller lovers, you do not want to miss it.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 7th July 2022

Print length: 320 pages

The Woman on the Bridge is available to buy:

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Fatal Witness by Robert Bryndza #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel in the DCI Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, Fatal Witness.

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Detective Erika Foster is on a late-night walk near her new house in Blackheath when she stumbles upon the brutal murder of Vicky Clarke, a true crime podcaster.

Erika is assigned to the case and discovers that Vicky had been working on a new podcast episode about a sexual predator who preys on young female students around South London, staking out his victims in their halls of residence before breaking in at the dead of night. When Erika discovers that Vicky’s notes and sound recordings were stolen from her flat at the time of her murder, it leads her to believe that Vicky was close to unmasking the attacker, and she was killed to guarantee her silence.

The case takes on a disturbing twist, when the body of a young Bulgarian student doctor is discovered in the same building, and this makes Erika question everything she thought she knew about Vicky. With very little evidence, the clock is ticking to find the killer before he strikes again.

MY THOUGHTS

I was thrilled to see that Erika Foster was returning in a new thriller by Robert Bryndza. It’s been a few years now since I read the last book in the series, but it felt as though no time had passed at all, and I really enjoyed Fatal Witness. I also really liked the way how Robert Bryndza is now taking the series.

Robert opens the book with a horrific opening as we witness an attack on a woman. I could feel the fear that she was experiencing as she began to see what was going to happen next. We’re thrown right into an intriguing and complex case when Erika, having recently moved house, stumbles across a crime scene in her local area. The body of a young woman has been found and as Erika and her team begin to peel back the layers, following the discovery, they discover that there was something mysterious going on in her life before she was killed, which could have led to her death.

Robert Bryndza throws in plenty of red herrings as Erika begins to investigate what happened to the young woman. I really liked how he did this, my suspicion on different characters seemed to constantly be changing, and I was never able to work out what had happened to the woman, or who was responsible. It’s what makes the case really intriguing, especially when Robert reveals some of the work the woman was doing with her true crime podcast, as he begins to build a picture of her life.

I liked the development of Erika’s character in this book; I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but I think it’ll be interesting to see how Robert Bryndza chooses to explore this part of her story in future. I’m really hoping that he still has plenty of ideas for Erika. As Robert looked into this part of her life, it provided some lighter moments, I thought, to the novel.

I thought it was really interesting how Robert Bryndza shifted the course of the investigation, as it’s revealed what the woman, who was found dead, was looking into before she was killed. Had she uncovered something that she shouldn’t have come across? I really wanted to get to the bottom of what was happening in her life, and what had led up to this moment. It’s what made her character even more fascinating, and it added to the darkness in the book, as Robert delved into this part of the story.

I loved catching up with Erika Foster and all the other familiar characters in the series again. Fatal Witness is such a clever and gripping read. Erika Foster fans, you are in for a real treat if you haven’t read this book already.

Publisher: Raven Street Publishing

Publication date: 5th July 2022

Print length: 370 pages

Fatal Witness is available to buy:

Amazon UK