The Other People by C.J. Tudor #bookreview

I was really excited to start reading The Other People by C.J. Tudor after hearing so many good things about it and it did not disappoint.

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She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window.

She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’

It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.

He never sees her again.

Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them.

Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows what they will do if they ever catch up with her and Alice . . .

MY THOUGHTS

C.J. Tudor is back with The Other People, and it is brilliant. Her latest book is tense, exhilarating and extremely fast-paced. I finished this in just under forty-eight hours. I have no doubt that this book will feature in my top ten reads at the end of the year. The story is creepy and intense; when you start reading it, you need to make sure that you have a lot of free time on your hands as this book is very difficult to put down.

When Gabe sees a young girl who looks like his daughter in the back of a car, he thinks it is someone who looks like her. But he has no idea how his life is going to change from that moment. A short while later he receives a call from the police who deliver devastating news. His wife and daughter have been killed. But who was the girl he saw in the back of the car? The police don’t believe he saw anything, and he soon falls under their suspicion. But Gabe is desperate to track down the girl he saw. What is really going on here?

C.J. Tudor has penned a complex plot, and she kept me guessing as I was reading. Gabe’s desperation to find out what had happened to his daughter and wife comes through really strongly in her writing. He is a broken man and the only thing keeping him going is the belief that his daughter is still alive, even though everyone else believes otherwise, including his mother and father-in-law. With every chapter, the tension rose. The plot takes an even darker turn as Gabe gets closer to the truth behind what happened to his wife and daughter.

We also hear from several other characters. The plot flows really well and at no point did I ever feel confused, which can sometimes happen with a novel told from multiple viewpoints. I wondered just how each of the characters was connected. I thought the way C.J. Tudor brought them together was done really well.

There is also a supernatural element to this book which adds to the tense atmosphere. This part of the plot really intrigued me, and I felt that C.J. Tudor explained everything in a satisfying way.

The Other People is chilling, and the pace rocketed along as I waited to find out the real truth. This is C.J. Tudor’s best book to date, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publication date: 23rd January 2020

Print length: 416 pages

The Other People is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Waterstones

The Last One To See Her by Mark Tilbury #bookreview blog tour @MTilburyAuthor

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Last One To See Her by Mark Tilbury today on my blog.

The Last One To See Her by [Mark Tilbury]

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He says he is innocent…so why did he lie?

Mathew Hillock was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive. When her dead body turns up four days later in his garden shed, the police think he’s guilty of her murder. So do most people in the town. But there’s no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.
Battling the weight of public opinion and mental illness due to a childhood head trauma, he sinks into a deep depression.
Can Mathew do what the police failed to do and find evidence linking the real killer to the crime?

The Last One To See Her is a terrifying story of what happens when you’re accused of a crime and no one believes you are innocent.

MY THOUGHTS

Mark Tilbury writes dark and gritty crime fiction. In his latest book, The Last One To See Her, eleven-year-old Jodie Willis disappears after she visits the local shop. Three people are the last to see her alive, Matthew Hillock, a young man who has suffered a horrific trauma in his past, Jim Bentley, a drug dealer who has been on the police radar for years, and the shop owner. But witness statements quickly complicate the case. Matthew soon finds himself at the centre of the police probe, but even he isn’t confident of his innocence. As the police investigation deepens, Matthew has to consider the unthinkable.

The Last One To See Her was a really gripping read. Like Matthew’s family, I couldn’t believe that he was the one responsible for Jodie’s disappearance, and even as the evidence mounted, I felt sure that someone was setting him up. Matthew has been left with brain damage following a horrific attack on his family several years earlier when his father and sister were killed. It was only by pure chance that Matthew even survived the attack after being saved by his brother. I could easily see how Matthew could be made to be a scapegoat in this case, and you can see how quickly people turn against him, just because he is different, and this made me feel really sorry for him. Mark Tilbury paints a clear picture of just how vulnerable he is.

Jim Bentley is a character who will get under your skin. Violence comes as second nature to him, and from the very first moment when Mark Tilbury introduces him to us, he made me feel uncomfortable. A lot of the time, Jim expresses anger and frustration, and his overriding need for drugs drives this. Jim is also willing to do anything to cover up his crimes. I really hated Jim as I was reading. Making his characters come to life is what Mark Tilbury does really well, and I wanted the police to get to the real truth as I was sure that Matthew wasn’t involved.

Mark Tilbury doesn’t shy away from violence, and there are some quite graphic scenes in this book, so this wouldn’t be for the faint-hearted. The opening chapter is really dramatic as well, which had me hooked very early on. There are some terrifying moments as well which had my eyes glued to the page as I wanted to find out what happened next. Every time I got to the end of a chapter, I had to read on to find out how things were going to pan out.

Throughout the book, I was never certain who was responsible for Jodie’s disappearance. I could also still never entirely be sure about Matthew, and this was what kept me turning the pages, I really wanted him to be innocent, but I also had to know the truth. Mark Tilbury creates nail-biting suspense in the final chapters of this book as the plot unravels.

This is the first book I have read by Mark Tilbury, and I am certain that it won’t be the last book I read by him. The Last One To See Her is a read which you won’t want to put down!

Publisher: Tilbury Publishing

Publication date: 4th June 2020

Print length: 266 pages

The Last One To See Her is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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The Toybox by Charly Cox #bookreview #blogtour @CharlylynnCox @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Toybox by Charly Cox on my blog today as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

The Toybox: A totally addictive, nail-biting crime thriller (Detective Alyssa Wyatt Book 2) by [Charly Cox]

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You don’t want to play their games…

All around Albuquerque, New Mexico, young women are going missing, seemingly vanished into thin air. With no link between the victims, Detective Alyssa Wyatt is quickly plunged into a horrifying case with no obvious clues.

And when Jersey Andrews, the best friend of Alyssa’s teenage daughter, Holly, joins the list of vanished girls, the case becomes personal.

But this investigation will lead Alyssa and partner Cord into the most sinister depths of humanity; an evil place where life is expendable, and where the depraved can fulfil their darkest desires – if they have the money to pay for it.

As the first bodies appear, abandoned on the streets, Alyssa is forced into a frantic hunt to track down the killers – before more innocent women lose their lives. But when the truth comes out, it seems that the key to solving the case was hiding in the last place anyone expected…

MY THOUGHTS

The Toybox is a dark police procedural by Charly Cox, examining the horrific world of human trafficking. This book sees the return of Detective Alyssa Wyatt. Alyssa’s own family is still reeling from the horrific events which happened to them in book one in the series when Alyssa’s son was kidnapped. You don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one, but I would recommend it if you want to get a better understanding of the characters and what they have previously been through.

It doesn’t seem as though Alyssa Wyatt’s family is going to be left in peace after what happened to them, when her daughter’s best friend, Jersey goes missing after a frat party. In the opening chapter, Charly Cox draws you into the moments prior to Jersey’s disappearance, and she creates an unnerving, claustrophobic feeling as the party gets underway. Charly has created some instantly dislikeable characters in this book, and I found this particularly with one young man, who Alyssa is hoping to connect to the crimes, and with the parents of one of the missing girls. You can see just how angry these characters make Alyssa and the other detectives working on the case feel. It also made me feel angry that there are people who are like this out there in the world.

I must admit, however, I did find the build-up of the book quite slow. After the opening scenes, it did take time for the tension to get going again. But I did want to find out what was going to happen to the girls who had been kidnapped. I was rooting for Alyssa to reach the answers before it was too late. There are some really tense scenes when we see where the girls have been taken, and Charly Cox made it seem as though time was running out for them.

The tension really turns up a notch as the book reaches its climax. I don’t want to go into too much detail here as I don’t want to spoil it, but Charly Cox still kept me gripping the page as I felt that there was still the possibility that something could go drastically wrong.

I enjoyed catching up with Detective Alyssa Wyatt again in this book, and I will be looking forward to seeing what Charly Cox comes up with next. If you enjoy gritty police procedurals, then I would recommend giving these books a go.

Publisher: Hera Books

Publication date: 3rd June 2020

Print length:

The Toybox is available to buy:

Amazon UK   Kobo

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Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley #bookreview blog tour @vbradleywriter @annecater

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley today on my blog. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Before I Say I Do: A twisty psychological thriller that will grip you from start to finish by [Vicki Bradley]

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HER DREAM WEDDING
IS ABOUT TO BECOME A NIGHTMARE

It’s Julia’s wedding day. Her nerves are to be expected – every bride feels the same – but there’s another layer to her fear, one that she cannot explain to her soon-to-be husband, Mark. She’s never told him the details – and she is determined he never finds out.

As she begins down the aisle, spotting Mark in his tailored suit, she knows she is taking her first steps to happiness – her past is behind her, it can’t catch her now. Mark turns to face her . . .

But it isn’t Mark in the beautiful suit – it’s his best man.

Because Mark is missing.

And Julia’s past is closer than she thinks . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Before I Say I Do is a tense debut thriller by Vicki Bradley. Imagine turning up to the day you’ve been looking forward to for months, the day that marks the rest of your life together with your partner, your wedding day. Then imagine walking down the aisle, only to be greeted by shock and confusion instead of smiles and admiring glances. Your fiancé is missing and the last person to see him alive is standing a few paces in front of you.

From the first few pages I wanted to know what had happened to Julie’s fiancé, Mark. I wondered what was really going on among her close circle of friends and I wanted to know why she wasn’t told before walking down the aisle. I felt that I couldn’t trust anyone that was close to her and I felt sure that someone was keeping secrets from her. But there is something as well that even Julie isn’t being truthful about, something which happened in her past which she is trying desperately to keep buried.

Alana Loxton and Kowalski are the two detectives who are investigating the case. This part of the novel felt really authentic, Vicki Bradley is a former met detective, and I could see that she was writing from experience. I really liked both police officers who were working on the case and I hope that they will return in a future book as I thought that they gelled together well. Alana Loxton has her own personal issues she is struggling with, when it comes to a former boyfriend of hers. As she tries to find answers to this case a lot of barriers come up in her way, which prevents her from achieving her goal. I wanted to know how determined she was going to be to try and overcome this.

Vicki Bradley also takes us back to the time when we see a teenage girl; with her young sister and a teenage boy enter a forest together. Vicki creates a really creepy atmosphere as this part of the plot unfolds and as we begin to understand how this part of the story feeds into the present.

This is a really tense read which delivers on suspense. Before I Say I Do is a strong debut thriller and I’ll definitely be looking out for more from Vicki Bradley in the future.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 28th May 2020

Print length: 384 pages

Before I Say I Do is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Hooked From Page One turns 4 #giveaway #competition

On the 1st June 2016, when I first started on blogspot, I never thought I’d still be blogging four years later. I often go back to my early reviews, and I can’t help but feel embarrassed about some of the early ones I wrote, but it has been interesting to see how they have developed over time. I never thought as well that people would take the time to read what I had written and follow my blog.

What has made the last four years all the more enjoyable is the interaction I’ve had with other bloggers and readers of my blog as well.

To thank you for sticking with my blog over the last few years, and for sharing and commenting on my posts, I’m giving away a £15.00 Amazon Gift Card.

To enter all you need to do is comment on this post and follow my blog and I’ll select a winner at random. The deadline to enter is midnight on Friday, 5th June 2020. The winner will also need to provide me with their email address. Good luck!