Only Daughter by Sarah Denzil #bookreview blog tour @sarahdenzil @bookouture

Happy publication to Sarah Denzil, her latest novel Only Daughter is published today. I’m thrilled to be sharing my thoughts on my blog as part of the blog tour.

Only Daughter: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a nail-biting twist by [Denzil, Sarah A.]

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In one moment, Kat Cavanagh’s perfect world is shattered into tiny fragments. The flash of her daughter’s torn yellow dress, the beautiful blonde hair hanging across her precious face. Her own heart-broken sob…

Kat experiences every mother’s worst nightmare when her little girl is found dead. And then the police add the word ‘suicide’. But Kat refuses to believe them. 

Even when they show her the familiar looping handwriting and smudged ink on the note Grace left behind. She knows her bubbly, bright daughter would never take her own life.

But as she searches Grace’s perfume-scented room, filled with smiling photos, she uncovers secrets her daughter had been hiding. Secrets that make her wonder how well she really knew the woman her only child was becoming.

Kat’s determined to find out what really happened to Grace on the night she died, even if it means confronting her own troubled past. But as she gets closer to the terrible truth, Kat is faced with an unthinkable question: there was no way she could have protected Grace – or was there?

MY THOUGHTS

Only Daughter is a totally gripping novel from Sarah Denzil. I haven’t read anything by Sarah before, but I’m definitely intrigued to read her previous work.

There’s a very dark tone which runs right throughout this novel, right from the beginning when we see, Grace, a young girl about to commit suicide, right through to the heart-stopping conclusion when we finally find out the reasons why she did what she did.

Grace’s mother, Kat refuses to accept that her daughter killed herself and begins to search for answers by speaking to Grace’s friends and by trying to gain access to her social media channels. Her husband Charles and the police are not supportive of Kat’s quest to get to the truth, to them it is an open and shut case, but Kat is determined not to give up. But as Kat delves into her daughter’s world, she discovers that she knew very little about what she was really getting up to.

When we were first introduced to Kat I didn’t find her particularly likeable, to begin with, but as the story developed I became more and more engaged in her quest to avenge her daughter, and I became more and more interested in her as a character. Kat isn’t a person who has had it easy; she grew up on a council estate but has since married a wealthy man and lives with him in their seven-bedroom mansion. Kat is often labelled a gold digger by her social peers, and even her own mother disapproves of her for marrying Charles; this made me feel very sorry for her as she didn’t appear to have many people who she could turn to.

There were so many intriguing twists and turns that made me want to get to the bottom of who Grace really was and why she did what she did. What could have prompted a young girl to kill herself?

I was shocked by the final conclusions which Sarah Denzil brought together in a rapid and cleverly thought out way. It really wrapped everything up well, although some parts did put me in mind of a book I read a couple of years ago, I still found it really enjoyable and heartbreaking as well.

This is a really well written and an engrossing read that will have you desperate to find out what happens, not to be missed by psychological thriller fans.

Thank you to Bookouture for providing me with an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th March 2019

Print length: 330 pages

If you would like to purchase Only Daughter, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK   Kobo

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Only Daughter - Blog Tour

A Gift for Dying by M.J. Arlidge #bookreview blog tour @mjarlidge @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for M.J. Arlidge’s first stand-alone novel A Gift for Dying. I’m a big, big fan of his Helen Grace books so I was really intrigued to see what he had come up with.

A Gift for Dying by [Arlidge, M. J.]

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With just one look, she knows how and when you will die . . . 

Nothing surprises Adam Brandt anymore. As a forensic psychologist, he’s seen and heard everything.

That is, until he meets Kassie.

Because she claims to have a terrible gift – with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.

Adam doesn’t believe her, obviously.

But then a serial killer starts wreaking havoc across the city, and only Kassie seems to know where he’ll strike next.

Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her.

He just doesn’t realise how dangerous this trust might be . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Being a big fan of the Helen Grace books, I was so excited to find out that M.J. Arlidge had a new stand-alone coming out and he explores a very interesting and scary premise. Kassie is a teenager who you wouldn’t want to come across. Kassie believes she has an incredible but terrifying gift, she can see exactly when and how you’re going to die, and there is very little she can do to prevent it. Her psychiatrist, Adam tries to understand what is going on inside her head, but as he gets to know the young girl better, he begins to wonder if there is perhaps any truth in her claims, and the closer he gets to her, the more danger he is putting himself in.

What I absolutely love about M.J. Arlidge’s writing, is that he never fails to grip me straight away. Following on in the same style as the Helen Grace series, A Gift for Dying is told in short, punchy chapters. The storyline is very different compared to his previous books; although it does partly follow a police procedural element, it is also set across the Pond in the United States, Chicago.

Kassie was a character who I wanted to get to the bottom of. Like Adam was to begin with, I too was sceptical of her claims, so it was fascinating to see their relationship develop. As Kassie herself became more deeply connected to the murders that were taking place in her home town, I did begin to wonder myself if she was more involved than she was letting on and I was thinking about several reasons why this could be the case.

I became utterly gripped by the storyline in this book, and I deeply cared for Kassie, and I wanted to find out more about her. As I raced through the final chapters to get to the end, I didn’t once look up from the writing on the page, I just had to know what was going to happen and what Kassie and Adam were going to do next, any jobs that needed doing just had to be put aside until I was finished.

A Gift for Dying is a terrific stand-alone thriller. This is one of those books which will just keep you engrossed in the storyline and the characters; M.J. Arlidge is a writer who knows how to write gripping prose. Addictive and brilliantly written, I have no doubt at all that this will be a bestseller.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, and to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 7th March 2019

Print length: 468 pages

If you would like to purchase A Gift for Dying, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Thicker Than Water by Rachel McLean spotlight post @rachelmcwrites @rararesources

On my blog today I’m delighted to be bringing you a spotlight post to celebrate the publication of the new novel by Rachel McLean, Thicker Than Water. I’ve previously enjoyed reading Rachel’s Division Bell trilogy, you can read my review by clicking here, I’m definitely looking forward to reading her latest.

Thicker Than Water: A gripping thriller about family, belonging and revenge by [McLean, Rachel]

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Six years after floods made her family homeless, Jess Dyer has found safety on the wild North Yorkshire coast. Her sister-in-law Ruth is forging a role as doctor to their community of refugees and the rock around which the family revolves.

But the family is haunted by memories of the journey north and the loss of their mother Sonia. And their community is under attack from the local population.

When Jess answers a distress call at sea, she brings strangers to their village and puts Ruth in jeopardy. Jess must calm the community, mount a rescue mission and keep her brother Ben from tipping into insanity.

Will she succeed? And will she find Ruth before it’s too late?

‘Thicker Than Water’ is a gripping thriller about family, belonging and revenge.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel McLean

My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

If you would like to purchase Thicker Than Water, you can do so by clicking on the following link below. 

Amazon UK

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks #bookreview @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing

Happy publication day to Heidi Perks, who’s latest novel Now You See Her is released in paperback today.

Now You See Her: The compulsive thriller you need to read by [Perks, Heidi]

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Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

MY THOUGHTS

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks explores a scarily realistic premise. What if you were to lose someone else’s child while they are in your care? It is a scenario that must run through the minds of many whenever they’re responsible for a friend’s child; this is what happens to Charlotte when she takes Harriet’s daughter, Alice to the school fete. One moment, Alice is playing quite happily with her children, but the moment she is out of sight, Alice disappears. Of course, if you were in Charlotte’s position, you would be hoping that they would reappear within the next few moments, unscathed at all by all the fuss that has been created. But what is even more chilling is that another young boy disappeared several months previously and the boy was never found. Is there a kidnapper at large and has the same person struck again?

This book was a compulsive page-turner. Once I started reading, I really couldn’t stop, and I just had to know what had happened to Alice. The story is told from the viewpoints of both Harriet and Charlotte and in two timelines, before and after Alice’s disappearance. What was really striking for me was, even though Alice wasn’t Charlotte’s child, she seems more affected by the disappearance than Harriet is. Harriet is of course devastated, but Charlotte has to carry the burden that she was in charge of Alice the day she went missing, and she will be thinking about this for the rest of her life.

The police investigation into Alice’s disappearance does take more of a back seat as the plot unfolds, but it is the psychological insight into the two women at the heart of the novel that carries it forward. This for me is what made the novel stand out. There are quite a few novels I have read recently which revolve around a missing child, and so I thought this was a really interesting direction for the author to take this story. It definitely does make it feel quite different.

Heidi Perks writing is sharp, and there is tension on every page as Charlotte and Harriet both try to work out what happened. I think I did connect more with Charlotte than I did with Harriet, but perhaps this was because she was the one in charge of Alice when she went missing.

This was a pacy, character-driven psychological thriller. It is a book that will have you questioning everything you think you know about the characters, I know I had so many thoughts and ideas running through my head as I was reading it. I can’t wait to read more from Heidi Perks.

I received a free e-arc of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Arrow

Publication date: 7th March 2019

Print length: 432 pages

If you would like to purchase Now You See Her, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK   Kobo  Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 6th March 2019

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s addition of WWW Wednesday which is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. The three Ws are.

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next? 

What am I currently reading? 

The Lost (Stone and Oliver Book 1) by [Hannah, Mari] A Body in the Lakes: A gripping crime thriller with a heart-stopping twist by [Smith, Graham]

The Lost by Mari Hannah                                 A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith

I’ve never read a novel by Mari Hannah before and I’m now kicking myself that I haven’t. This is promising to be very good.

I really enjoyed Graham Smith’s previous novel and his latest is shaping up to be just as good.

What did I recently finish reading?

The Dangerous Kind by [O'Connor, Deborah]

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor

I’ve just recently finished writing my review for this book which I’ll be posting on my blog soon. This novel explores a very chilling idea; it is based on research that one in one hundred people are psychopaths.

What do I think I’ll read next?

Critical Incidents: The first book in this year’s most addictive new detective series by [Whitehouse, Lucie]

Critical Incidents by Lucie Whitehouse

This will be my first read by Lucie Whitehouse and I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve had a peek at the opening and I can’t wait to read the rest.

So that’s it for this week. Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments, and drop your blog links below if you’re taking part in WWW Wednesday as well.

In Servitude by Heleen Kist #bookreview @hkist

When I was first approached to read and review In Servitude I was immediately struck by the stunning cover and the compelling blurb. I’m really kicking myself that it has taken me this long to get round to reading it. Once I read the first chapter, I was hooked.

In Servitude: a suspense novel by [Kist, Heleen]

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When Grace’s beloved sister Glory dies in a car crash, her life spirals out of control.

She discovers Glory was indebted to a local crime lord and laundering money through her café. What’s worse, Grace is now forced to take over.

Defying her anxiety, Grace plots to save herself and those Glory left behind from the clutches of Glasgow’s underworld. But her plans unravel when more family secrets emerge and Grace is driven to question everything she believed about her sister – even her death.

Could Glory’s accident have been murder?

MY THOUGHTS

Well, I had the intention of just reading the first couple of chapters of this book, but once I had read them, I wanted to read the rest and I very nearly read it in one big gulp, and would have done if it wasn’t for those pesky little distractions such as work and sleep. In Servitude by Heleen Kist is an absolutely gripping debut. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get round to it, but I’m so pleased I finally have.

We meet Grace who has just been handed the shocking news that her sister, Glory, has died in a car accident. Grace is distraught and she quickly steps in to help out with Glory’s children and Glory’s business, a vegan café in Glasgow. But as Grace begins to look into Glory’s affairs, she begins to see a clearer picture of the person who her sister was, and she learns some shocking truths. Grace soon finds herself in some very messy business which is going to prove tricky for her to get out of.

The pace never lets up in this book. I felt very sorry for Grace as she has found herself in the unfortunate position she is in through no fault of her own. Heleen kept the tension simmering away as I wondered what possible direction the book could take next. I feared that something terrible was going to happen to Grace and I could feel this sense of foreboding growing as Grace became more and more involved with what her sister had been up to. And she is soon in the sights of some very nasty people.

There are some very topical issues that are explored in this book, such as the refugee crisis and modern slavery. I thought the way that Heleen portrayed this in her book was very believable and Grace’s passion for helping people who are in this situation came across very strongly in her character.

As I mentioned before, Heleen kept me wondering if something was waiting to happen to Grace just around the corner, and there was a very shocking conclusion to the story. There was such a tense scene which kept me reading until I had turned the final page. I just had to know what happened.

In Servitude is a debut packed with tension and suspense that will keep you turning the pages. This is a must read for thriller loves and I can’t wait to read what Heleen writes next.

I received a free e-arc of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Pollok Glen Publishing

Publication date: 27th August 2018

Print length: 339 pages

If you would like to purchase In Servitude you can do so by clicking on the following link below. 

Amazon UK