The Old You by Louise Voss Blog Tour @OrendaBooks @LouiseVoss1

THE OLD YOU new cover_preview

Source: Review Copy

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Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

MY THOUGHTS

The Old You is a very different psychological thriller; it is the first book by Louise Voss which I have read and she has jumped onto my list of must-read authors.

The novel opens as Ed Naismith is diagnosed with Pick’s disease, which is a rare form of progressive dementia. His father also suffered from the illness. Ed and his wife, Lynn are devastated by the news. But as they begin to adapt to the new situation they find themselves in, Ed’s attitude begins to change, and Lynn grows increasingly uncomfortable. But is this to do with Ed’s illness? What can Lynn do to stop her world crumbling around her?

The story felt very fresh, and it tackled some themes which I haven’t seen explored very much before in psychological thrillers, dementia is one of them. I really liked how Louise put her own original spin on other themes as well and this is what made the book really enjoyable.

Louise Voss delivered so many surprising twists and turns in this book and when they came they were hard-hitting, I don’t think I have ever been surprised as much as I have been by a book before. The characters were at the heart of her story and I really connected with Lynn; it is Lynn’s perspective that the novel is told from and she was a really likeable character, although I did find myself shaking my head at some of the decisions she was making.

Louise expertly drip feeds us with information about her character’s lives, to reel us even further into their world; after each new revelation came, I really couldn’t see where she was going to take us next. The Old You is a real page turner; the characterisation is stunning and there are some really ingenious and original twists. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 28th February 2018 (Kindle) 15th May 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

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Anything For Her by G.J. Minett Book Review @GJMinett @BonnierZaffre

Source: Purchased copy

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A devilish psychological thriller from the widely loved GJ Minett, for fans of The Girl Before and Lie with Me.

You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?

When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.

When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago?

Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .

Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do.

MY THOUGHTS

G.J. Minett is an author who has been on my radar for a while now; when I read the blurb for his third novel, Anything For Her, I knew I had to dive in straight away. Having finished his third book I can see what I have been missing out on, which is something I will have to rectify very soon. This is a real corker of a book.

We are introduced to Billy Orr, who has returned home from London to spend time with his dying sister, Mia. What he doesn’t expect is to be reunited with his former flame Aimi, who he dated for some time during his teenage years, a relationship which his sister didn’t approve of. Mia isn’t too keen in Billy becoming involved with Aimi again either. Soon after they become reacquainted Aimi asks for Billy’s help; but what she is asking his help for is dangerous and risky, it could have disastrous consequences for them both. Billy will do anything for Amy. But what he doesn’t realise is that he has become involved in something far more complex than he ever really thought possible. Can he trust Aimi and what is she really up to?

Anything For Her has a cleverly woven plot, I had no idea where it was heading and G.J. Minett has created some really complex characters who pull the reader into the story. Every character is well developed and has a clear sense of purpose in the story. Billy, in my opinion, was the most intriguing. As the novel progresses we see flashbacks to his childhood, I won’t go into any detail here as I don’t want to spoil the plot, but we begin to clearly understand his character and how the relationship he has with his sister today, develops; we begin to understand, especially, why she is so protective of him. There are some dark and slightly disturbing scenes which are crucial to Billy’s character, and it was these scenes which really hooked me early on, I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on here and I couldn’t wait to see how the author would pull everything together. You can see that Minett has spent some time fleshing out Billy’s psyche which is done in both a believable and fascinating way.

The author also creates a deep unnerving sense around his characters and you really don’t know who you should trust. As the plot began to unravel I really did begin to wonder what was really going on in his character’s lives and he kept me glued to the pages.

G.J. Minett is a new writer to me who I will certainly be looking out for in the future. If this is only his third book, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with in future novels.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 22nd March 2018

Print length: 368 pages

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The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton Blog tour @AuthorSJBolton @TrapezeBooks

Source: Netgalley

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Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

MY THOUGHTS

Sharon Bolton has created a belter of a thriller with her latest novel, The Craftsman. With a mixture of mystery and gothic elements, I feel that this should be real winner amongst crime lovers! I seized every opportunity I could to dive into this book! Creepy and full of suspense! I have to admit that I haven’t read any of Sharon’s previous books, but she has definitely won me over with this read, I’m sure it will win her lots of new fans!

The Craftsman opens with the funeral of convicted murderer, Larry Glassbrook, thirty years after he was brought to justice after confessing to the kidnappings of three children. Florence Lovelady has been riding on a high ever since she solved the complex case and she returns to her former home town to see his coffin being lowered into the ground. His funeral stirs old memories and we revisit the time when her home town faced a very dark time in its history. The story is set in the late 1960s and in 1999, when Florence returns to the town for Larry’s funeral, but as we return to the present, old questions about the case begin to resurface. Larry Glassbrook confessed to the crimes, it was an open and shut case, wasn’t it? It appears that The Craftsman isn’t quite ready to be laid to rest…

As we re-visit the time frame when the children disappeared, we can see the trials that Florence faces in the police force as she fights for her voice to be heard in the male dominated world. Although Sharon Bolton doesn’t play too heavily on this theme it is subtly there in the background and it was interesting to compare her situation as it was back then to how it is now when she returns to the town. The treatment she received from some of her colleagues really did make me feel quite angry and I really wanted her to get results. For a lot of the time she can only depend on her colleague Tom to help argue her case.

Another theme which fascinated me was the subject of witchcraft. As the novel opens, Sharon gives us a little background information on the Pendle Witch trials which took place in the sixteenth century. I found this really helpful in getting to know more about the backdrop of the book and already she had me wanting to find out more about how this particular theme was going to shape the rest of the story. I had to google images of Pendle Hill which is the perfect setting for this type of book.

I really enjoyed this one. Sharon Bolton has crafted a clever and fascinating tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing me with an advance review copy.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 5th April 2018

Print length: 432 pages

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