Death on the River by Clare Chase blog tour @ClareChase_ @bookouture

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Meet Tara Thorpe – she’s Cambridge Police’s newest recruit… but her dark past is never far behind her. Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, LJ Ross and Joy Ellis.

When a body is pulled from the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.

Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s secret past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…

When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?

An unputdownable page-turner that will keep you hooked until the very last page!

MY THOUGHTS

We first met Tara Thorpe when she was working as a journalist for Not Now magazine in Cambridge, which she left to pursue a career in the police force, after she decided a change of career was probably for the best. Now, four years later, she is back as a police constable in the second book in this series by Clare Chase, Death on the River. Tara brings something fresh to the police investigation team, as a former journalist, she looks at a case with different eyes, and when she sees a human interest story, she will follow it until she has worked out the truth.

Tara is door stopped one morning by a woman who believes Tara may be able to help her solve the mystery of her brother’s death. The woman’s brother was killed when his car veered off the road and into water and he subsequently drowned. The man who has died, writer Ralph Cairncross, was known to regularly drink and drive, so it does seem far-fetched that there is a more sinister reason behind his death. Tara agrees to help the woman, and as she begins to investigate, she uncovers some disturbing details that may have been overlooked in the original investigation, and Tara comes up with a new theory. And soon more bodies, young people who were connected to this man, turn up, blowing the case wide open.

Death on the River is told primarily from Tara’s point of view. Tara is a character who is really starting to intrigue me; I found her voice really engaging when I was reading and I can’t wait to see how her career in the police force will grow. It was interesting to see her transition from an investigative journalist to a police officer.  Combining the murky, atmospheric settings of the marshland near Tara’s home in Cambridge, and Clare’s intriguing characters is what makes this book a winner for me. One series both books has put me in mind of, is the Dr Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths, if you enjoy the Ruth Galloway books, then you should definitely give these books a go. Clare Chase’s writing quickly drew me into the story, in both of her books; she has managed to write a really chilling prologue which made me want to read on straight away. Her books are very hard to put down.

DI Blake also returns and I was interested to see how his friendship with Tara would develop now that they are working together. There is definitely a sense that he still has feelings for her so I will be intrigued to see if Clare chooses to develop this in future books and what this will mean for their working relationship. There are some surprising twists and turns for some of the characters, and I finished this book keen to learn more about them, and what Clare has in store for them next.

If you are looking for a crime series with an enticing atmosphere, and a story that will keep you intrigued, I would definitely recommend these books. Thank you to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read via Netgalley.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 17th October 2018

Print length: 367 pages

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Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid blog tour @RebeccaCNReid @TransworldBooks

Today I’m joining the blog tour for Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid and I have a Q&A with the author to share with you. But first here’s what the book is about.

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For fans of The Girlfriend and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies as well as TV hits Doctor Foster and The Replacement.

Sixteen years ago, at an elite boarding school secluded in the English countryside, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable.

Their secret forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond of silence. But now, in their thirties, one of them wants to talk.

One word and everything could be ruined: their lives, their careers, their relationships. It’s up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. – she knows there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by three courses in her immaculate kitchen.

But the evening does not go as planned.

Three women walk in to the dinner, but only two will leave.

Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around…

Gripping and unputdownable, Perfect Liars tells the story of a group of friends bound by their dark pasts and their desperate need to keep their secrets hidden from the world around them. How far would you go to protect the life you’ve built?

Q&A WITH REBECCA REID 

To kick things off can you tell us a little bit about your novel Perfect Liars.

Perfect Liars is a domestic thriller about a group of women who’ve been friends for years, but who are only really held together by a shared secret. I’ve taken to explaining it as being a bit like a dark, British Mean Girls, but with murder.

Was the idea for Perfect Liars brewing inside your head for some time or did you write your novel quite quickly?

I wrote the first draft of Perfect Liars in about ten days, so it was definitely a fast process. That said, I’d always had an idea at the back of my mind about a female take on Lord of the Flies, which became the spark which started the book off. I had a very strong vision on my honeymoon of a dinner party between a group of women who, at least ostensibly, didn’t like each other, and came home desperate to start writing.

I’ve heard many writers say that they are either a plotter or a panster when it comes to writing their novels. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your writing process?

I’ve heard this too and I don’t know which one I am! I know the beginning, middle and end of a story when I start, and I do a decent synopsis when I start writing. But once I get going things tend to twist and turn in their own way. I find that when I’m writing dialogue I become a bit of a channel for a conversation between the characters and I don’t have much say in what they end up talking about.

I tend to write very fast (6-8 thousand words a day) which is all totally unplanned, and then have to chop it back. I also write in a pretty linear way, starting at the beginning and working through to the end. Though if there’s an especially juicy scene I’m desperate to write I’ll let myself do that first.

Is there anything in particular that inspired your novel?

So much! When I was writing it the media was dominated by conversations about privilege – especially white male privilege. I couldn’t help thinking that the discussion was ignoring the women who stood behind this privilege. I wanted to know who they were, where they came from and what their role was in keeping the status quo.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, though originally I wanted to write plays (I really like writing dialogue). I’m a journalist for my main job, so I’ve been writing for a living since I was 22. That said, I was always doubtful about it happening, given that I’m dyslexic and can’t spell to save my life. My editor told me not to worry too much about typos because that’s what proof reading is for and honestly I almost cried.

Was there a particular part of writing Perfect Liars that you found the hardest?

I have a war with myself every morning about getting started with writing. I procrastinate more than anyone I know. As soon as I start, everything just flows, but I have to bully myself into sitting down in front of the computer. Journalism has trained me to be able to turn around writing – even if it’s not my best – under any circumstance.

Before writing Perfect Liars I’d never read a thriller, and I was half way through it before I realised that was what it was, so there was a sudden need to immerse myself in the masters of the art. I spent three days reading Liane Moriarty to try and create a sort of middle ground between them.

Did you celebrate when you finished writing your novel, and if so how?

I didn’t – if I’m totally honest I felt really numb and then quite sad. I had loved spending all those hours with my characters, and then suddenly they were gone. It was a bit of a bump back down to earth. Luckily I had a two book deal with Transworld so I could get going on the next project.

What would be the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers?

Write. You can’t edit a blank page, so get something – anything – down and then go from there. Writing is a craft like anything else and you get better the more that you do it. I look back at things I wrote a year ago and wince, and probably always will.

Joining groups or going on a residential course can be a brilliant way to carve out some space to write, which is most people’s biggest struggle.

Are there any writers who you particularly admire?

So many! Liane Moriaty, Sarra Manning, Eva Rice, Dodie Smith, Charlotte Bronte, Vladamir Nabokov and Daphen Du Maurier most of all.

And finally is there anything that you can tell us about what you are writing next?

Truth Hurts is my second novel, out in August 2019. It’s about a couple who have a whirlwind romance and agree never to talk about anything that happened to them before they met. It asks the question of what’s more dangerous, a secret or a lie.

I’ve just started work on my third book, which is going to be a little bit different from the first two.

 

Thank you to Rebecca Reid for taking the time to answer my questions and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour. If you would like to find out more about Perfect Liars and if you would like to buy a copy, you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher: Transworld Digital

Publication date: 1st September 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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The Other Sister by Elle Croft Book Review @elle_croft @orion_crime

The Other Sister: A gripping, twisty novel of psychological suspense with a killer ending that you won’t see coming by [Croft, Elle]

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How far would you go…

Gina Mills is desperate to be a newsreader, but her boss – the director of the struggling Channel Eight, won’t help.

Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live.

When questioned by the police, Gina can’t remember specific details about her discovery, but these memory gaps are explained away as shock.

…to uncover your family’s deadly secret?

But when Gina finds a second body, it’s clear she’s being targeted. But why?

And how is this connected to the death of Gina’s younger sister so many years ago?

MY THOUGHTS

I was a big fan of Elle Croft’s debut novel The Guilty Wife, which I read a short while ago, so I was excited to pick up her second book The Other Sister. Elle Croft puts her characters in extraordinary situations, but they don’t feel too far-fetched, and in both of her books she has come up with an ingenious plot that is utterly engaging, with characters that hide dark, dark secrets. And her latest is just as gripping as her first.

What I have come to expect from Elle Croft’s writing is that you can never trust any of her characters, and there is always something new to find out about them. In her latest book, a family secret is what holds her plot together, and it is very well plotted. Her characters will have you questioning their motives throughout the book. One of her protagonists, Gina Mill’s, is desperate to be a news reader, and currently, she works for news station Channel 8. She has recently become reacquainted with her brother, Ryan, who she hasn’t seen for many years. When Gina discovers a body one evening, she makes the decision to film the discovery and broadcast the crime scene on Channel 8’s social media channels.

Elle Croft really makes you think about her characters; I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Ryan and Gina, and especially what was hiding in their past, and there are some shocking revelations about them which are dark and chilling. I also liked the detective, who was investigating the deaths of the murdered women and I wanted to see if he was going to get the bottom of what was going on. He knows that there is something more here than meets the eye, but his work colleagues don’t share his opinions and he has to fight to have his opinions heard.

We also go back in time to when Gina and Ryan were children and Elle Croft begins to reveal the truth about their childhood, and the events in the past which have formed the basis for what is happening in their lives today. In these chapters, you are still never sure about what is happening and which characters are behind the terrible events that are taking place.

I was chilled by the final scenes in this book, which will keep you thinking about the plot and those final twists which explore a terrifying idea and possibility. This is a dark, immersive crime thriller which has some brilliant characters tangled in a web of family secrets, lies and haunting truths. Once again I enjoyed Elle Croft’s writing which pulls you into the story. The Other Sister is definitely recommended by me.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 24th August 2018

Print length: 350 pages

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Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner blog tour @Ronnie_Turner @HQDigitalUK

Lies Between Us: a tense psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming by [Turner, Ronnie]

Source: Netgalley

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John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.

MY THOUGHTS

Ronnie Turner’s debut Lies Between Us is a compelling and unsettling read that had me hooked from the beginning. I was really impressed by her first novel. There is a real psychological depth to Ronnie’s characters in this book, and they all have unique voices which made this book so easy to get into.

Told from the viewpoints of Miller, John and Maisie, we meet three characters who will make you care about what is going to happen to them, and who will also horrify you as the inner workings of their minds are revealed.

The first voice we are introduced to is Miller, a disturbed individual. We learn a lot about Miller’s early life and I could understand how perhaps he came to be the character he is. There were times when I did feel sorry for him and this was down to Ronnie’s skill as the writer as she peered into his psychology. Ronnie tells his story over different time periods, I thought this was handled really well, and I didn’t at any point feel lost.

The two other leads are John and Maisie. John is absolutely besotted by his daughter, Bonnie, but the family are left devastated when Bonnie disappears. It appears the police have very few leads to follow and this drives John and his wife to despair. I could really feel their grief as I was reading and Ronnie captured the emotion the family felt so well on the page. Maisie is working as a nurse, and she is currently caring for a patient, Tim, who is now in a coma after he was horrifically attacked. Maisie also has an intriguing back story which Ronnie slowly reveals. All three characters have a connection, but you don’t realise what that connection is until you are close to the end. And the way in which Ronnie pulled her plot together was so, so clever. I kept trying to stay ahead of the game by thinking how the characters could possibly be connected, at one point I did think I had it all worked out, but Ronnie totally managed to surprise me with the final revelations.

Lies Between Us is a book that will keep you enthralled and engaged in the characters. The tension builds as we race towards the finale and those final chapters will keep you turning the pages. I was desperate to know what the outcome for the characters was going to be and I wanted to find out who had kidnapped Bonnie. This is a strong debut from Ronnie and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 1st October 2018

Print length: 259 pages

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Tell Nobody by Patricia Gibney blog tour @trisha460 @bookouture

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Source: Netgalley

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The boy’s body was so white it was almost transparent. But that’s not what caused the nausea to rise up her throat. He was so young. His body was unmarked, surrounded by a halo of plucked wildflowers.

One hot summer evening, eleven-year-old Mikey Driscoll is on the way home from playing with friends. Two days later, his body is discovered on a bed of wildflowers by some local teenagers.

The case is assigned to Detective Lottie Parker and this time it’s personal. The victim was a close friend of her son, Sean, from the run-down Munbally estate on the other side of town. Sean tells his mother Mikey was behaving normally before he died, but Lottie can’t help but feel that her son is keeping something from her…

Then days later, another boy is found dead, surrounded by wild flowers next to beautiful Ladystown Lake.

On the hunt for a twisted individual with a terrifying calling card, Lottie must uncover the web of secrets within Mikey’s circle of friends. Someone is hiding something but who are they protecting and can Lottie find out before it’s too late? Lottie is desperate to catch the killer before he strikes again because this time her own child could be in terrible danger…

MY THOUGHTS

Patricia Gibney’s Detective Lottie Parker series is one of my favourites, so I was so excited to read the latest book in this series which is going from strength to strength. This book is also perhaps the most gripping, and perhaps the darkest, of all her novels.

In Tell Nobody the town of Ragmullin is gripped by fear once again, as a killer is loose on the streets, leaving very few clues for the police to follow, and the police know that they are running out of time before the killer will strike again. The cases are very harrowing in this book. And once more the case that Lottie is investigating drifts a little too close to home for her liking, as her son Sean is involved and becomes a key witness to the crimes that have taken place.

There are several intriguing strands to this novel. At the start, a young woman presents herself at the police station and makes a startling declaration that she killed someone, before collapsing. But who did she kill? A short while later a baby’s body, the baby just a few hours old, is discovered in a pond a short distance away.

The opening chapter immediately got me thinking as I wanted to know who it was the young woman had killed and if her statement has anything to do with the discovery that is later made. But events soon take an even more disturbing turn when the body of a young boy, left in plain sight for someone to easily discover, is found, and Lottie and her team soon fear that they are looking at the work of a potential serial killer. Lottie is under a lot of pressure from her boss in this book to get answers quickly.

There is certainly an edgier feel to the plot of this book, and there is a more ominous tone. Even Lottie and her team don’t appear to be getting on as well as they have in previous books. Boyd is very sharp and to the point, and Lynch begins to accuse Lottie of having an affair with her husband. This creates a very frosty atmosphere at the station, it did leave me wondering if they were going to solve the murders as they weren’t working as well as they previously have together.

Even though this is the fifth book in this series, Lottie is still a fascinating character who continues to intrigue me. We’re always learning more about her troubled past which we have only recently begun to see the full picture of.  Patricia is always throwing obstacles in her path which threaten to unbalance her life even further. She is still under a lot of stress in her home life as well as at work; Patricia really doesn’t make things easy for her.

Tell Nobody is another fantastic addition to this series. It is in my opinion, Patricia Gibney’s best book to date. The final chapters of this book really do ratchet up the tension making for a brilliant and captivating finale. You will not be able to put this book down! If you’re not yet following this series, you really need to be.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 3rd October 2018

Print length: 458 pages

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The Collector by Fiona Cummins Book Review @FionaAnnCummins @panmacmillan

To celebrate the paperback publication day for Fiona Cummins terrific second crime thriller, The Collector, I’m re-sharing my original review which I posted on my blog last year. Rattle and The Collector are must reads if you enjoy pacy crime thrillers.

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Jakey escaped with his life and moved to a new town.
His rescue was a miracle but his parents know that the Collector is still out there, watching, waiting . . .

Clara, the girl he left behind, dreams of being found.
Her mother is falling apart but she will not give up hope.

The Collector has found an apprentice to take over his family’s legacy.
But he can’t forget the one who got away and the detective who destroyed his dreams.

DS Etta Fitzroy must hunt him down before his obsession destroys them all.

MY THOUGHTS

For those of you who read and loved Rattle you really are in for a treat with The Collector, and if you haven’t read Rattle yet, well you better get your skates on because you do not want to be missing out. Fiona Cummins writing is utterly gripping, so when you start this book, you best make sure that you don’t have any plans for the rest of the day.

I read Fiona Cummins debut novel Rattle towards the end of 2016. It was one of the creepiest books that I’ve recently read, and it made my top ten books of 2016; I was pressing it into the hands of everyone I knew. So I was so excited when The Collector was posted through my letterbox, and Fiona Cummins has done it again.

In The Collector we follow off from where Rattle left off. If you haven’t read Rattle yet, please stop reading here as I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Jakey Frith has escaped the clutches of The Bone Collector, and he and his family are starting a new life in Leigh on Sea. But The Bone Collector has returned, and he has never forgotten the boy that has escaped. But Clara Foyle has never been rescued, and the police are beginning to lose hope that she’ll ever be found, the most they can hope to discover is a body for her parents to bury. But Detective Sergeant Etta Fitzroy is determined not to let Clara’s parents down. She knows she is running out of time. Can she find Clara before it’s too late, and can she finally bring The Bone Collector to justice?

Fiona is a master of tension. The chapters are short and snappy, and each one leaves you demanding more. Each chapter is headed with the time which was a great way of adding to the tension, reminding the reader that time is running out for the detective and that the detectives are racing against the clock to find Clara and The Collector before he strikes again.

The villain in this book is seriously scary; Fiona had me holding my breath on several occasions, particularly in those final scenes. I really felt for Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle. Jakey is determined to help his friend, even, though he knows, it may cost him his life. He is an incredible character who I think will stay in the minds of many readers.

The Collector once again showcases some excellent writing from Fiona Cummins. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: Panmacmillan

Publication date: 4th October 2018

Print length: 432 pages

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The Looking Glass War by John Le Carré Book Review @lecarre_news @classicpenguins

Today I’m delighted to be joining a special blog tour, organised by Penguin to celebrate the completion of a project which has published 21 of John Le Carre’s works as modern classics. This makes him the only living author to have the greatest body of work to be awarded classic status. And one of his classics The Little Drummer Girl is soon to be a major six part drama on the BBC.

To help celebrate this achievement I have a review of The Looking Glass War to share with you, and I have one copy of the book to giveaway. To enter the competition, all you have to do is retweet my pinned tweet, leave me a comment with the following hashtag #TheLookingGlassWar and follow me at @collinsjacob115. One winner will be drawn at random. The competition will end on Wednesday, 10th October 2018 at midnight. Good luck!

The Looking Glass War (George Smiley Series Book 4) by [le Carré, John ]

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A Cold War thriller from the master of spy fiction, John le Carré’s The Looking Glass War is a gripping novel of double-crosses, audacious bluffs and the ever-present threat of nuclear war, published in Penguin Modern Classics.

When the Department – faded since the war and busy only with bureaucratic battles – hears rumour of a missile base near the West German border, it seems like the perfect opportunity to regain some political standing in the Intelligence market place. The Cold War is at its height and the Department is dying for a piece of the action.

Swiftly becoming carried away by fear and pride, the Department and her officers send deactivated agent Fred Leiser back into East Germany, armed only with some schoolboy training and his memories of the war. In the land of eloquent silence that is Communist East Germany, Leiser’s fate becomes inseparable from the Department’s.

MY THOUGHTS

I was drawn into this book from the opening line. John le Carre’s writing commands such a strong sense of place, and it immediately captured my attention. The imagery is very dark and atmospheric.

The Looking Glass War, first published in 1965, is the first book by John le Carré which I have read; I did watch The Night Manager when it was on TV a couple of years ago, and I remember being so gripped by the drama as it unfolded. This definitely won’t be the last John le Carré book I read. It is the fourth book in the George Smiley series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.

What I thought was particularly strong about this book was the characterisation. I was fascinated by the people who worked in the Department, which was once an essential military agency during the Second World War, but now it doesn’t carry the same prestige as it once did. The characters are ambitious, especially Leclerc, who is the director of the Department. But Leclerc’s ambition almost verges on being dangerous, especially as this novel is set during the era of The Cold War which significantly darkens the tone of the book. The “glory days” of the Second World War are still very fresh in some of the characters minds, and they are keen for the Department to return to what it once was.

In the opening pages of the book, a British spy is killed while working for the Department abroad. He is waiting for a plane to land during a snowstorm, carrying an important piece of information, a film, that he is meant to collect and return with to London when he is killed in a hit and run. His death puts the operation the Department is undertaking in jeopardy, and they have to rethink their plans and get everything up and running again as swiftly as possible. This is the mystery part of the novel which really intrigued me.

John le Carré does delve into the psyche of his characters in his book, in particular, Avery, who is sent out to finish the job that resulted in another man’s death. I liked that we got to see into his family life. You do get the sense that he is, aside from his job, just an ordinary guy, with ordinary family troubles.

The Looking Glass War is a quick read, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the spy world. John le Carré is a spy novelist who knows what he is talking about. I’m looking forward to reading more of John le Carre’s works. Thank you to Sarah Wright at Penguin for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 3rd November 2011

Print length: 340 pages

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Trap by Lilja Sigurdardottir blog tour @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks

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Source: Review Copy

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Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.
With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

MY THOUGHTS

I turned the pages at breakneck speed reading Trap. Having read and enjoyed Snare, the first book in the series last year, I couldn’t wait to see how the series would follow on, and Lilja Sigurdardóttir has created a tense, action packed read that will keep readers enthralled. Once again the reader is taken into a corrupt world of bankers, money laundering, drug dealers and drug mules. If you’re looking for a unique crime series, that has fascinating characters, then I definitely recommend both of Lilja’s books, and the good news is, is that there will be another book to follow.

From the first page, we are thrown into Sonja’s chaotic new world, and Lilja wastes no time in ratcheting up the tension. Sonja has escaped to Florida with her son, Tomas, in her bid to keep him away from his father who currently has full custody. And Tomas’s father is soon hot on their tales, making Sonja’s new life very dangerous.

We also meet up with Sonja’s lover, Agla, back in Iceland, who is being investigated for money laundering after the aftermath of the financial crash. And still, Agla is getting involved in tricky situations to help pay the debt that she owes. But Agla and Sonja’s relationship isn’t quite what it is in the first book, and there is tension between them.

You strongly get the sense that Sonja is trapped in the world that she has become a part of and that it will be very difficult for her to get out. This is what makes Trap such an exhilarating read as Sonja is never sure what’s going to be around the corner for her next. She is desperate to go back to her normal life. What comes across so strongly in this book is her love for her son. This is what makes Sonja so engaging as she will do anything to have her son living with her full time, but this is what also makes her vulnerable to the people who will try to use her.

This was a book I was totally gripped by. It is a well researched and an original thriller that will keep you reading. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 30th August 2018

Print length: 250 pages

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The Dream Wife by Louisa de Lange blog tour @paperclipgirl @orion_crime

The Dream Wife: The gripping new psychological thriller with a twist you won't see coming in 2018 by [Lange, Louisa de]

Source: Netgalley

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Annie is the dream wife.

Supportive, respectful, mild-mannered – everything her husband wants her to be. But underneath, she is so much more.

Annie is a prisoner in her own life.

Her finances, her routine and her contact with the outside world are all controlled by him. Only her love for her little boy keeps her sane, and at night she escapes into a dreamworld where she is free.

But Annie is about to do a very bad thing.

And you won’t believe how she is going to do it . . .

Perfect for fans of BA Paris, Sarah Pinborough, JP Delaney and Alice Feeney.

MY THOUGHTS

Wow, did this book take an unexpected turn. I’ve read a few books recently where characters are quite similar to Annie and David, so I was intrigued to see how Louise De Lange would put a new twist on this idea in her debut The Dream Wife. I don’t think this will quite appeal to everyone, but if you enjoyed The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave and Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, I think you will enjoy this book. What The Dream Wife really succeeds at, is that it takes an idea that is well known in psychological thrillers, but it gives it its own unique spin.

David was a really dislikeable character, in fact, I don’t think I have hated a character so much, and this includes his mother as well. I definitely sided with Annie on some of the decisions she made, and I was rooting for her. For the first half of the book, I spent most of my time shaking my head and willing her to do something about the situation she and her two-year-old son were in. It was definitely surprising the way how Louise took the story from here, and I couldn’t wait to see how Annie would take advantage of this new idea. And this is where the novel gets really interesting. These were the parts in the book that had me really sitting on the edge of my seat as I waited to see how everything was going to unfold. But I’m not going to say anything more about the plot here as I don’t want to spoil it.

The writing was so tense, particularly in some parts of the book when Annie and David were at home together, and some scenes made me so angry on Annie’s behalf. I couldn’t believe how she was being treated and I kept thinking that she deserved so much better. I could feel her despair as it began to grow, as the novel progressed. I could really feel that she was a prisoner within her own home and that it was going to be very difficult for her to get out. I did, however, find some of the flashback scenes that Annie experiences, confusing at times as I did have to read back over the last few lines to see where I was, but for the majority of the book the writing was excellent, and it pulled me into the story from the first page.

The unexpected direction that this novel took really got me thinking as I began to wonder how the rest of the book was going to play out. There is so much about this book that I want to talk about but I can’t without giving any of the plot away. The Dream Wife is an unusual thriller, which explores a very interesting idea. If you enjoy thrillers that blend genres and if you’re looking for a book which is a little different, I would definitely recommend it.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton at The Book Club for inviting me to join the blog tour and to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book to read via Netgalley.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 31st August 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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Source: Review Copy

BLURB

Jennifer Sinclair is many things: loyal government minister, loving wife and devoted mother.

But when a terror attack threatens her family, her world is turned upside down. When the government she has served targets her Muslim husband and sons, her loyalties are tested. And when her family is about to be torn apart, she must take drastic action to protect them.

A House Divided is a tense and timely thriller about political extremism and divided loyalties, and their impact on one woman.

MY THOUGHTS

In Rachel McLean’s novel A House Divided we meet Minister Jennifer Sinclair, a Labour party politician. The book is set in late 2019 in 2020 and in 2021. Labour is in power and Jennifer is at the top of her career. But the party and the country are soon rocked by a series of devastating terrorist attacks that take place, and the country’s mood, including the mood of politicians, darkens. A bill is put forward to take a tougher stance on immigrants from certain countries entering the UK, to help prevent another terrorist attack from taking place. This puts Jennifer in a very uncomfortable position; she has to make up her mind on some tough decisions, including, potentially, the rest of her career in politics.

Although the novel is set just a few years into our future, the issues being discussed feel very close to what is happening in today’s world. You only have to look at Trump’s travel ban in the US to realise that the ideas that Rachel McLean explores aren’t very far-fetched at all, which is what makes the ideas in her book scarily plausible.

Rachel’s writing is very readable, and it does move along at a fast pace, particularly in the first half of the novel which explores the effects that the attacks have had on the public and on politicians in Westminster. Jennifer is a British woman, but she is married to a Muslim, Yusuf, and they have two children, so her own family is affected by the troubles. This is what makes the current situation within her party deeply personal to her, and her views against it come across very strongly in Rachel’s writing, particularly in a speech she delivers when the vote on the proposed bill is just about to be held. I think it’s Jennifer’s passion, for trying to defeat what the government is proposing, which pushes the novel forward. I could never be sure what was going on behind the scenes, in both her own party and the opposition. It did make me think of the current state in British politics at the moment, where it seems that there is always someone ready to stab a colleague in the back in their push for promotion.

The end of this book left me gasping. A House Divided is part of a trilogy, and it has made me very keen to pick up the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it. If you are fascinated by politics, and if you’re looking for a book that is character driven with an ending that will get your heart pumping, then I highly recommend giving this book a go. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Catawampus Press

Publication day: 24th September 2018

Print length: 327 pages

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