The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the second novel by Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told.


Sadie loves her daughter and will do anything to keep her safe.

She can’t tell her why they had to leave home so quickly – or why Robin’s father won’t be coming with them to London.

She can’t tell her why she hates being back in her dead mother’s house, with its ivy-covered walls and its poisonous memories.

And she can’t tell her the truth about the school Robin’s set to start at – a school that doesn’t welcome newcomers.

Sadie just wants to get their lives back on track.


There are so many characters in The Lies You Told who will get under your skin. When Harriet Tyce first introduces us to her protagonist, Sadie, she is just moving back to her home town, and into the home, she lived in as a child. But the place is full of dark memories for Sadie. It isn’t exactly a happy move, but at the moment she has little choice after breaking up with her husband who lives in the States. Things really begin to change when Sadie enrols her daughter, Robin at her old school and Sadie is introduced to a group of mums. They appear to be in control of everything that goes on with the school and with the wider community. Sadie soon finds herself ostracized from the group, and it is clear that they are willing to do anything to make her and her daughter’s life a living hell.

There are some really dislikeable characters in this book. It was the group of women who Sadie is introduced to who I took a intense disliking to. If I’m honest, when I did start reading this book, it took me a long time to get into it. Harriet Tyce’s writing is very addictive, and it’s what kept me reading, but I struggled to connect to Sadie in the opening chapters. I could feel her frustration and anger though as she found herself and her daughter being bullied.

The part of the novel which I did find more interesting was the court case Sadie was taking part in. Like in her first novel, Harriet Tyce uses her knowledge of this field. Sadie is part of a team representing a young man. He has been accused of rape by a student of his. There are many who believe in his innocence, and he has amassed a small fan club on the outside. I found these scenes tense, and I really wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on.

I became more gripped to the plot by the second half of the novel. Things begin to change for Sadie, but I wondered about the motives behind this sudden move. I felt that there was something dark at play here, and I wanted to know what the final fall out was going to be.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Blood Orange but Harriet Tyce’s writing will, I’m sure, make me keen to read another book by her.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 23rd July 2020 (kindle) 20th August 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 314 pages

The Lies You Told is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

The Next Widow by C J Lyons #bookreview blog tour #booksontour @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Next Widow by C J Lyons on my blog today which is the start of a brand new crime series.

The Next Widow: A gripping crime thriller with unputdownable suspense (Jericho and Wright Thrillers Book 1) by [CJ Lyons]


In the distance Leah heard sirens. She ignored them. Right now, her daughter needed her and Emily was just out of reach, curled up under the bed, her eyes closed, desperately shaking. Leah did the only thing any mother would do. She crawled through the blood to get to her daughter.

Dr Leah Wright returned to her childhood home in rural Pennsylvania with her husband to find peace and quiet, start afresh and raise her six-year-old daughter Emily. But when she gets home one dark winter night, clutching roses in her hand, she finds her daughter huddled under her bed and her husband’s blood all over the floor…

When Detective Luka Jericho is called to investigate, he’s shocked to learn that the killer left a witness behind – the victim’s young daughter. The scene is a painful reminder of his fiancé’s unsolved death, and he is desperate to find out what Emily saw that night. He knows that the killer could still be out there, waiting to strike again.

But growing up, Leah learned the hard way that the only person she could rely on was herself. And it’s not until she and Emily are attacked again that she realizes just how close the killer is. Can she trust Luka to keep her daughter safe?


The Next Widow is a pacy thriller by C J Lyons. It is the first book in her Jericho and Wright series, and I’m keen to read more.

The book opens in a dramatic way when Dr Leah Wright is fighting to save someone’s life on the operating table. But when Leah returns home, she finds a gruesome discovery. Her husband has been brutally attacked and killed, and her daughter has been left cowering upstairs, half-scared to death. What is even more chilling for Leah is that earlier on in the day she was sent a note, which she believed was from her husband. But what if it wasn’t sent by her husband at all? Who would want him dead? Darker questions soon arise when the police ask the question, who really was the target here? Could Leah be the target?

C J Lyons creates an air of mystery right from the beginning. We soon learn that Leah’s husband was involved with something top secret and worked for the government. Could this be the reason why he was targeted? The only lead the detectives have to go on is a drawing by Leah’s daughter of their suspect.

What really interested me most as the investigation started to progress was the fact that Leah’s husband was working on a top-secret project. I wanted to find out what this was. Was this in any way connected to what had happened? The police investigation takes a dark and worrying turn and I wondered what sort of an impact this would have on Leah and her family.

C J Lyons managed to keep the tension, turning up a notch as the police try to piece together the evidence. There are various leads for them to be working on, but what I also found interesting, was Detective Luka Jericho’s backstory. Luka has had difficulties with his sister over the years. This has caused a lot of heartache both for him and his parents. But now after years since he last saw her, she is back. But it isn’t clear what she wants. I’m interested to see how this relationship will develop further in future books in this series.

After reading my first book by C J Lyons, I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading more from this series. The Next Widow is an addictive read that will keep you hooked from the first page right up until the last. You’ll be desperate to know the secrets that are hidden within the pages.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 28th July 2020

Print length: 376 pages

The Last Widow is available to buy:

Amazon UK


The Next Widow - BT Poster

WWW Wednesday – 29/07/2020

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!


The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?


What am I currently reading?


What have I finished reading?

The Lies You Told: From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Blood Orange by [Harriet Tyce] Keep Her Quiet by [Emma Curtis]


What will I read next? 


Her Husband’s Secrets: A gripping, twisty, must-read new psychological thriller by [Louise Mangos] The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer]


Written in Blood by Chris Carter #blogtour #bookreview @RandomTTours @simonschusterUK

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Written in Blood by Chris Carter on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

I was late to the party with Chris Carter’s books, but after reading several in his Robert Hunter series now, I can see what I was missing out on!


A serial killer will stop at nothing…

The Killer
His most valuable possession has been stolen.
Now he must retrieve it, at any cost.

The Girl
Angela Wood wanted to teach the man a lesson. It was a bag, just like all the others.
But when she opens it, the worst nightmare of her life begins.

The Detective
A journal ends up at Robert Hunter’s desk. It soon becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose. And if he can’t stop him in time, more people will die.

If you have read it
You must die


Chris Carter has fast become one of my favourite crime fiction writers. With each book he always delivers a pacy, absolutely gripping plot and leaves me desperate for more.

What Chris Carter always achieves is that he hooks you in very early on in the story.  In Written in Blood by accident, a young woman, who makes her living by pick pocketing, steals a bag from a stranger in a restaurant. But what she doesn’t realise is how dangerous the person is she has stolen from and what the contents of the bag mean to him. When she discovers what she has taken, she is sickened and immediately hands it over to the police. This is where Detective Robert Hunter comes in. In the bag the young girl stole, a diary is found, which the police fear belongs to a depraved serial killer. The entrants detail in graphic detail the crimes they have committed over the years. It is disturbing beyond measure and Robert and his team soon realise they are up against an intelligent killer, who will stop at nothing to get the diary back. There is no telling the amount of bloodshed he is willing to cause to achieve this.

What you are always guaranteed with, with a Chris Carter book is that Robert Hunter will be after a sadistic serial killer. Chris Carter certainly isn’t short of original ideas, and he certainly isn’t afraid to shy away from graphic details. But this is what makes these books utterly gripping. The level of detail makes you root for Robert, and you want him to catch the killer, but you also know that there is going to be bloodshed and tears along the way.

Each book by Chris Carter is intense, and there is always a race against time to catch the killer. Chris Carter likes to push Robert a bit harder with every book. You know that he is a detective who will do anything to save anyone from potentially becoming another victim. Chris Carter keeps the pace turning up a notch with each chapter, and my eyes were kept glued to the page as the book raced closer and closer to the denouement.

I’ve not read all the books in this series, so each book can definitely be read and enjoyed as a standalone. But once you do read one of Chris’s books that’s it, you’ll be addicted, and he’ll keep you coming back for more.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 23rd July 2020

Print length: 496 pages

Written in Blood is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


Written In Blood BT Poster

Discussion Post: Blending genres

Welcome to my first discussion post. Recently I’ve been thinking about blending genres in fiction and how reading books that have done this has opened my mind to new ones. For me, when I read a thriller that does this, it always makes the book feel very fresh as it has taken me, the reader, somewhere where I haven’t gone before. It is a very good way of putting an original spin on a theme that has already been done. Readers of my blog will know that I mainly stick with crime and psychological thrillers. It’s a genre I feel comfortable with, but I do occasionally like to step my toe into something different.

Goldilocks: The boldest high-concept thriller of 2020 by [Laura Lam]

One book I’ve read recently which has done what I described above very well is Goldilocks by Laura Lam. This book is described as a thriller, and it certainly has aspects of that, but it is also a science fiction novel. Set in the not too distant future; a group of women steal a spacecraft destined to take them to a potential new home for humanity; an exoplanet which can harbour life. But for one of the women on board, there is something far more important at hand. Before reading this book, I would never have considered reading a science fiction novel. I’ve watched science fiction shows such as Doctor Who and films such as The Martian but I’ve never thought about reading science fiction novels. I don’t think I could read a straight science fiction book, but something that does something similar to what Goldilocks has done, I would really be interested in reading. So if you have any recommendations, please let me know. If you’re interested in finding more about this book, you can read my review by clicking here.

Another book which blends genres well is Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. I read this a few years ago now, and I still haven’t forgotten that twist. Sarah Pinborough blends the psychological thriller genre with the supernatural, and it works really well. This book is being turned into a Netflix program, so it’ll be really interesting to see how this translates onto the screen.

The Shape of Night took me completely by surprise. In fact, I still haven’t managed to get some of the scenes from this book out of my head. If you want a taste of what this book is like, a few of my blogger friends and I have dubbed this book ‘Fifty Shades of Casper.’ Those of you who have read it will know why. I need not say any more. I don’t think the paranormal romance genre and the thriller genre go very well with each other, but others may have a different opinion to me. But I certainly don’t think I’ll be opening a door into this world again.

The Memory Chamber: An elegant tale of love and loss by [Holly Cave]












I loved The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave. Again this is a thriller that dips into the world of science fiction. There’s also a hint of romance. In the future, we have the option to build our perfect Heaven for when we die. The lead protagonist, Isobel, designs Heavens based on people’s specific wishes. Once that person dies, their cells are uploaded into a computer so that they can then live in an almost dream-like state.


These are just a few examples of books I’ve read that I chose to cover. I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic. Is there a genre blend that you’d particularly like to see, or are there ones that you think should not mix at all? Has reading books similar to the above sparked an interest in a genre which you haven’t thought of reading before?

Lock Me In by Kate Simants #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Kate Simants, Lock Me In.

Lock Me In: An absolutely gripping new psychological crime thriller with an ending you won’t see coming! by [Kate Simants]


Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks Ellie in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…


Lock Me In is a tense and chilling debut by Kate Simants. I’ve had this on my shelf since last year, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get round to reading it sooner. This book has one of the most intense openings I’ve read in a long while, and it drew me into our lead character, Ellie’s, world and what she was going through. I immediately wanted to find out more about Ellie. Ellie suffers from violent fugues, and it appears that she takes on an alternate personality. Often, for her own safety, her mother has to keep her locked up in her room so that she can’t harm anyone. When Ellie’s boyfriend, Matt disappears, Ellie can’t remember anything about the night of his disappearance. What is even more disturbing is that Ellie is covered in bruises. What has happened to her boyfriend? Is there any chance that she could be involved in his disappearance?

Ellie was the most intriguing character in this book. I found the idea of your personality changing really scary, and it made me wonder if such occurrences actually happen. I wanted to know what had happened in Ellie’s past; surely, something must have happened to make her like this. It made me start to question what really happened on the night her boyfriend disappeared. It made me wonder just how dangerous she was and if she was a threat to anyone else.

The other character who’s viewpoint the novel is told from is Detective Ben Mae. As the investigation into Matt’s disappearance got going, I was rooting for him. Ben is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, but Kate Simants also displays a soft, caring side to him. You can see how much he loves his daughter, and this comes through very strongly in Kate’s writing.

The plot is cleverly put together; it does get quite complex as the police begin to follow the trail Matt has left behind. It took a direction which I wasn’t expecting it to, and there were several moments when I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The ending of this book left me reeling. Kate Simants delivers a tense and shocking conclusion, and I’m sure it will be sticking with me for a while to come. Kate Simants is a huge new talent, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 3rd October 2019

Print length: 387 pages

Lock Me In is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


WWW Wednesday – 22/07/2020

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!


The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?


What am I currently reading?

The Lies You Told: From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Blood Orange by [Harriet Tyce]



What have I finished reading?

Lock Me In: An absolutely gripping new psychological crime thriller with an ending you won’t see coming! by [Kate Simants]



What will I read next? 

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer]

The first mystery she must solve is herself … Buried Deep by Susan Wilkins #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the first book in the Detective Megan Thomas series by Susan Wilkins, Buried Deep.

Buried Deep: A completely gripping crime thriller with heart-stopping suspense (Detective Megan Thomas) by [Susan Wilkins]


On the first day in her new job, Detective Megan Thomas is called to a murder. The body lies deep in an underground bunker, in the middle of beautiful countryside. The two women in the nearest house claim to have no idea who it could be or who could have put it there. So why are they so nervous? And why does Noah, the young child living there, talk about a visitor he’s meant to keep secret?

Megan is determined to prove she can handle the case. She’s moved to Devon for a fresh start, after years spent undercover. But when she looks at the victim, it triggers a panic attack. As her heart races and her breathing stalls, she’s forced to ask whether she can return to life in a regular crime unit. Her memories are too powerful to be buried, maybe too powerful to let her do her job.

As the mysteries surrounding the murder grow, and another body is found on the stretch of beach where she swims every day, Megan fights to remembers why she joined the police. Then Noah goes missing, and Megan finds herself in a race against time against a truly vicious killer. She won’t rest until she finds answers – no matter what it might cost her.


I really enjoyed meeting Detective Megan Thomas in Susan Wilkin’s new novel, Buried Deep. Megan has recently transferred from the Metropolitan police to Devon. But this seems to be under a dark cloud, and her new boss doesn’t seem to quite take to her when she joins her new team. But he is willing to give her a chance. Megan is thrown straight into the deep end. The body of a man is discovered in a septic tank at the home of a well-known celebrity. But as the investigation gets underway, Megan is asked to look into the horrific rape of a young girl. Megan has everything to prove as she gets to grips with both cases, and they come very close to pushing her over the edge.

Megan intrigued me right from the start, and I’m hoping to find out more about her past as the series progresses. She is currently seeing a therapist, but Susan Wilkins doesn’t reveal a lot about her backstory, we gradually begin to learn more about Megan as the plot unfolds. This is what I think makes her a fascinating character. Megan gets on well with her team, especially Vish and Brittany. They are both very different people, but I really liked the vibe that was there between them.

The cases which Megan is involved with in this book are complex. There’s the discovery of the body of a man in a septic tank. Then there’s the rape of a young girl. There are lots of conflicting stories about both cases, and Megan must work hard to unpeel the layers and get to the truth. She realises that this isn’t going to be easy.

What I thought was interesting was that Susan Wilkins explored what people, particularly young people, will do to gain a following and attention on social media. It was horrific to hear the lengths some people will go to gain followers. I have no doubt that this is what has happened in real life, and that makes the ideas that Susan explores in her book even scarier.

Susan Wilkins explained things really well as both cases drew towards a conclusion. I could see that this was cleverly constructed and at no point at all did I feel lost or confused, and this can sometimes happen to me when I read police procedurals, and I have to go back, and only then do things become clear.

I’ve definitely found a new favourite crime author, and this is a series I’m sure I’ll be sticking with. Susan Wilkins has written a book with plenty of atmosphere and likeable characters who you’ll root for all the way through. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 6th April 2020

Print length: 360 pages

Buried Deep is available to buy:

Amazon UK

The Catch by T.M. Logan #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the new psychological thriller by T.M. Logan, The Catch on my blog today.

The Catch: The perfect summer thriller from the author of The Holiday, Sunday Times bestseller and Richard & Judy pick by [T.M. Logan]


She says he’s perfect. I know he’s lying . . .

He caught me watching, and our eyes met. That was when it hit me.
There was something not quite right about my daughter’s new boyfriend . . .

The doting father

Ed finally meets his daughter’s boyfriend for the first time. Smart, successful and handsome, Ryan appears to be a real catch. Then Abbie announces their plan to get married.

The perfect fiancé

There’s just one problem. Ed thinks Ryan is lying to them.

Who would you believe?

All of Ed’s instincts tell him his daughter is in terrible danger – but no-one else can see it. With the wedding date approaching fast, Ed sets out to uncover Ryan’s secrets, before it’s too late . . .


I think The Catch is T.M. Logan’s best novel yet and I think it is definitely my favourite of his books so far. I flew through this book, and I devoured it all within just a couple of days.

When Abbey brings home her new boyfriend, Ryan, for the first time, her father, Ed immediately notices something odd about him. Outwardly, Ryan seems perfect, but Ed sees something dark within him. But is he just being paranoid? Abbey and her mother certainly think so. When Abbey and Ryan announce they are getting married in six weeks time, Ed is determined to stop it. Ed can’t shake off the bad feeling he has about Ryan, and he won’t let his daughter make the wrong decision. But is Ed only causing a rift with his own family?

T.M. Logan always manages to get the tension going in his books very early on. I knew there was something not quite right with Ryan, right from the moment Ed first claps eyes on him. From the start, I was rooting for him to find the answers. As the book progresses, T.M. Logan keeps the tension turning up a notch as the countdown to the wedding begins. Ed knows that he only has limited time to find the truth about Ryan. This is what keeps the tension going as Ed starts to delve into Ryan’s past, and Ed begins to use surveillance to track Ryan’s movements. But this action Ed was taking made me think that he was putting himself in unnecessary danger. At this point, I didn’t know if it would be a good thing for Ed to stop what he was doing and listen to his wife and daughter, or continue on his path.

T.M. Logan creates an air of mystery about Ryan. As Ed goes after him, I was never sure if there was something dark and mysterious in his past. I definitely thought that there was something he was hiding, but there could also have been an innocent explanation of why this could be the case. As T.M. Logan begins to reveal Ryan’s true backstory, I wanted to see how Ryan and Ed were going to react. What course of action was Ryan going to take next? This is what leads to a nail-biting finale as I could see that things could go either way for Ed and his family. I raced through the final pages to find out what was going to happen.

T.M. Logan always manages to tell an entertaining story, and he keeps you utterly gripped to his writing. If you’re a lover of psychological thrillers and if you haven’t read any of his books yet, then you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Top stuff!

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 30th April 2020

Print length: 352 pages

The Catch is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Betray Her by Caroline England #bookreview @CazEngland @BethWright26 @TheCrimeVault #BetrayHer

I’m delighted to be re-sharing my review of Betray Her by Caroline England as part of the paperback publication day celebrations. I originally published this review on my blog in June 2019.


Best friends forever.

That’s the pact you made.

You’d do anything for her.

And you have.

She’s always had it all.

If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?


It feels like a very long time since I read a book by Caroline England. When I heard she had a new novel coming out, I was very intrigued, and the cover made me feel even more so and the title as well, Betray Her. This is a tale about a friendship that goes down a very dark path and the tension simmered on every page. And there was that edgy feeling to this book which carried right the way through.

Jo and Kate meet at St. Luke’s private school and immediately strike up a friendship. They’re inseparable, they stand up for each other, and this carries on into later life. But as both of the girls grow older, their lives take them in different directions. Kate has made a success of her life, married to her teenage crush she now lives in a beautiful house, Jo meanwhile is single and has gone through some dark times, but their friendship has still remained intact.

What immediately kept me on my toes was Kate’s husband’s advances towards Jo. Tom becomes desperate to sleep with her, but she doesn’t want to destroy her friendship with Kate, it puts her in a very uncomfortable position. If she comes clean and tells her friend, then that will probably destroy Kate’s marriage. During these scenes, the atmosphere became very tense, and I wondered just how far Tom would be prepared to go to get what he wanted, and if Jo would succumb to his feelings for her.

This is a very dark book. As more details about the characters emerged, I began to understand that they weren’t the type of people who I first thought they were. There are some shocking revelations about Kate and Jo’s past in this book, some which readers may find upsetting. From previous novels I’ve read by Caroline England, I can see that friendships and relationships is something she is very good at developing. I became more invested in Jo and Kate as more details about them came to light I just had to keep turning the pages to find out what was going to happen to them next.

Caroline England’s writing grabs you from the very first page and pulls you into this dark tale about how friendships can turn toxic. This is a tension filled drama that will keep you glued to the page. Dark and twisty, Betray Her makes for an excellent read.

Publisher: Piatkus

Publication date: 16th July 2020

Print length: 368 pages

Betray Her is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones