August wrap-up

Is anyone else hoping for a last burst of summer sun before autumn sets in? I definitely wouldn’t say no to an Indian summer, particularly with the weather we’ve had in the UK over the last couple of days. I’ve actually had to wear my jacket out a few times; unbelievable in August!

How are we at the end of August all ready? I think we say every year that we can’t believe how quick the year is flying, but especially with what’s gone on in the world this year, it is crazy.

I’ve had more time recently to catch up on my ever growing TBR pile. I think I’ve made the most progress on my TBR pile this year out of the four years I’ve been blogging. I think that is one positive, for me anyway, that has come out of 2020. I’ve now so far read 101 reads out of my Goodreads challenge to read 160 books by the end of this year.

A couple of weeks ago I did put myself on a book buying ban, but then I visited a bookshop for the first time since March this weekend and of course I had to make an obligatory purchase.

Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London

I took part in six blog tours this month and I have listed the links below in case you missed any.

The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone

Final Cut by S J Watson

The Silence by Susan Allott

Keep Her Quiet by Emma Curtis

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver

The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks

I’ve ordered nine new titles this month. I’m trying to cut down on buying new books at the moment. Although I have heard that there are six hundred titles being published on one day in September.

Normally I would add pictures of the books I’ve bought here, but the new WordPress editor has made that almost impossible to do. I have listed the titles I’ve bought below.

Finders, Keepers by Sabine Durrant, What You Pay For by Claire Askew, The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini, The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda, The Secret Admirer by Carol Wyer, The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson, The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn, Just Like the Other Girls by Claire Douglas, Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall and Pine by Francine Toon.

For September I have three blog tours coming up, The Watcher by Kate Medina on Friday, 4th, The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn on Wednesday, 9th and A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone on Thursday, 24th.

That’s all from me for this month. At the moment I’m currently reading The Watcher by Kate Medina and Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall. Let me know what you’re reading at the moment in the comments.

Discussion Post – Sharing books, yay or nay?

How comfortable are you lending books to friends and family?

A few years ago I wouldn’t even entertain the notion of sharing my books, but recently I have been more inclined to give books away, especially as I am running out room for books in my house. It sometimes feels that the floors might buckle under the weight of them. 😂😂

Over the years, I think I have definitely become a book hoarder, and it was once very rare that I let a friend borrow one of my books. But I had a very good reason for this after a very unfortunate incident which took place when I decided, in my naivety, to lend a book to a friend, who shall remain nameless.

Going back ten, twelve years ago, I was shocked to discover that my friend had never read the Harry Potter books. This was while the movies were still being made. We made a pact that if she read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, then I would read the first Twilight book which she’d loved and at the time wasn’t my cup of tea.  We agreed and swapped books.

Several weeks later I asked if she had made any progress with the book as being the bookworm I was, I’d already read Twilight by that point. She assured me she had, but it wasn’t until two to three months later that she finally said she’d finished it. When I was next at her house, she went to retrieve the book for me. The book had been battered and bruised, and the pages were torn. 😭😭😭

To say I was devastated was a big understatement. We are still good friends though.

It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable with lending books out again after this. I’m one of those people who, although I love reading books and re-reading them, I like to keep them in a pristine condition, as much as possible. I don’t know if you’re like this as well.

So how comfortable are you with allowing a friend or a family member to borrow a book? Like me, did you once find this idea absurd? Are you still reluctant to lend books out? Do you have a horror story similar to the above you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.

Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough #bookreview

I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Sarah Pinborough, Dead to Her on my blog today.

Dead to Her: The most gripping crime thriller book you have to read in 2020 from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author! by [Sarah Pinborough]


Something old…

When Marcie met Jason Maddox, she couldn’t believe her luck. Becoming Jason’s second wife catapulted her into the elite world of high society. But underneath the polite, old money manners, she knows she’ll always be an outsider, and her hard-won life hangs by a thread.

Something new…

Then Jason’s widowed boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London. Young, beautiful, reckless – nobody can take their eyes off Keisha. Including Jason.

Something you can never, ever undo…

Marcie refuses to be replaced so easily. People would kill for her life of luxury. What will Marcie do to keep it?


Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough is a dark, tense read that pulls you in right from the first page. I was instantly intrigued by the characters, especially when Keisha, the new wife of a successful, recently widowed businessman, makes an appearance. It’s fair to say that she certainly turns a few heads when she makes her first appearance, and she particularly intrigues Marcie. Marcie is the wife of Jason, an employee of Keisha’s new husband, William. Marcie also knows what it’s like to be in Keisha’s shoes. She too is the second wife, and it does seem to her that she is living in the shadow of Jason’s former partner. She can see just how infatuated Jason has become with Keisha and she is desperate not to lose him and the wealthy lifestyle she has since become accustomed to.

I found Sarah’s writing so addictive, and there is a real sense of foreboding as we get to learn more about the characters in this book. You begin to see the true side of Keisha as the plot develops, and this kept me turning the pages as I was never sure how things were going to turn out for her. I kept imagining that she had a grand scheme up her sleeve that would rock the foundations of her new marriage.

The darkness in this novel creeps up on you as the novel progresses. I wouldn’t say that this is a fast-paced novel, but I loved the way how Sarah pulled me into the story. You can feel the tension growing between Jason and Marcie as she becomes concerned that his attention is beginning to drift. I really don’t want to give anything of what happens next away, but the book took a completely unexpected turn; it surprises Marcie just as much as well. The twist is a dangerous one for the characters involved and heightened the tension even more.

The characters in this book all seem to be walking on eggshells. I didn’t find any of them particularly likeable, but I wanted to know what was going to happen to them. To me, it seemed they were all playing their own game, and I couldn’t wait to see how this was going to unfold. I mentioned earlier that I wanted to know how things were going to work out between Keisha and William. Would William start to see Keisha as the person she really is?

If you’re looking for a book that is wildly entertaining but also dark and mysterious, then this is the book for you. I still need to catch up on Sarah Pinborough’s second novel, which I’ll definitely be doing soon.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 4th June 2020

Print length: 416 pages

Dead to Her is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 26/08/2020

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?

Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis
The Watcher by [Kate Medina]
The Watcher by Kate Medina

What have I finished reading?

The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn
Dead to Her: The most gripping crime thriller book you have to read in 2020 from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author! by [Sarah Pinborough]
Dead To Her by Sarah Pinborough

What will I read next?

The Binding by Bridget Collins
Dead Perfect: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with dark and jaw-dropping twists (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 3) by [Noelle Holten]
Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten

Two Little Girls by Kate Medina #bookreview

I’ve finally caught up on Kate Medina’s Dr Jessie Flynn series. I’m sharing my thoughts on the third book in the series, Two Little Girls on my blog today.

Two Little Girls: The gripping new psychological thriller you need to read in summer 2018 (Jessie Flynn Crime Thriller Series) by [Kate Medina]


Two little girls walked to their deaths and nobody noticed…

A gripping new thriller featuring the brilliantly complex psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn, who struggles with a dark past.

Two bodies on the beach. One killer out for revenge.

Two years ago, a young girl was murdered while playing on the beach and left in a heart of shells, a doll by her side. Now another girl is found on the same stretch of sand, another heart, another doll, and psychologist Jessie Flynn is called in to assist the investigation.

But she’s being led into a web of lies and deceit by a new patient, Laura – a deeply disturbed woman who wants Jessie as her friend. When links emerge between Laura and the two dead girls, Jessie’s worst nightmare becomes reality. For in the dark world of a twisted killer, she begins to realize just how treacherous friends can be…


Two Little Girls is the third novel in the Dr Jessie Flynn series by Kate Medina. Following on from events in the last book, Jessie has left the army. She is currently seeing a new client who is struggling to move on from the death of her child two years ago. Meanwhile, Jessie’s boyfriend, Ben Callan, becomes involved in a new investigation when the body of a child has been found. The case bears haunting similarities to a similar crime two years ago when a young girl was found on a beach, with a doll beside her. Very soon Jessie finds herself embroiled in the investigation and she has no idea just how much it will affect her and her new client.

I’ve found Jessie to be a really fascinating character over the course of this series. In this book, you can see she is struggling to adapt to her new way of life, after leaving the army. I was pleased that she had got together with Ben as they seemed to be matched really well with each other. But Jessie’s own struggles with OCD are worsening in this book, and this begins to put a strain her relationship.

Jessie is a psychologist, and you can see how dedicated she is to helping her clients. She grows particularly close to Laura, her new client, in this book. You can also see just how reliant Laura has become on Jessie and how desperate she is to have Jessie as her friend. This did make me wonder if Jessie was wading in slightly too deep.

As Jessie finds herself caught up in the investigation into the murder of the young girl, she is forced to confront uncomfortable truths. The officer, who has called her in, DI Simmons, is convinced that he knows who the killer is. He believes it’s the woman who they had to let go two years ago after they didn’t have enough evidence to charge her. DI Simmons accusations don’t convince Jessie. You can see that there is tension between them as they both fight to get to the truth.

Kate Medina successfully kept me re-examining everything I thought I knew about the people involved in the crimes. I kept having suspicions about different people, and I loved that I was never quite able to work out who the real culprit was.

Two Little Girls is a well-constructed page-turner. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as the novel drew towards its conclusion. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 22nd May 2018

Print length: 401 pages

Two Little Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

One Eye Open by Paul Finch #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the new standalone novel by Paul Finch, One Eye Open today on my blog.

One Eye Open: 2020’s must-read standalone from the Sunday Times bestseller! by [Paul Finch]



A high-speed crash leaves a man and woman clinging to life.
Neither of them carries ID. Their car has fake number plates.
In their luggage: a huge amount of cash.
Who are they? What are they hiding?
And what were they running from?


DS Lynda Hagen, once a brilliant detective, gave it all up to raise her family.
But something about this case reignites a spark in her…


What begins as an investigation soon becomes an obsession.
And it will lead her to a secret so dangerous that soon there will be nowhere left to hide.



I was really intrigued when I noticed that Paul Finch had a standalone novel coming out. I’m a huge fan of his DS Mark Heckenburg and DC Lucy Clayburn series, so I jumped at the chance to read One Eye Open. The thing which sparked my interest for me very early on in this book is that it is set fairly local to me. I travel down the A12 near enough every day. It came as a surprise to me when this became the setting of the crime scene. The star of Paul Finch’s new series, DS Lynda Hagen, responds to a horrific accident that has taken place on this road. The people involved in the accident are close to death but are rushed to hospital. As the investigation into what happened to them heats up, it becomes clear to Lynda and her team that this is part of something far more complex.

Paul Finch takes a different approach with this book. As the investigation begins, Paul Finch takes us back in time as he explores the lead up to the devastating crash. We begin to understand who the victims are and why they ended up in this state. This is what made this book really intriguing for me. We can begin to see the motives that are at play here.

I really liked DS Lynda Hagen. To me, she seemed like a breath of fresh air. She gave up working in the police force many years ago to raise a family, and when she met her husband, also a police officer, they both transferred to different forces. Lynda is now working with the traffic team. But as it becomes clear that there is something far darker at play here, she begins to reminisce about the old days, and she pushes herself further than is needed. This doesn’t go down too well with her bosses, especially when Scotland Yard is called in to help deal with the case.

Paul Finch also explored Lynda’s relationship with her husband really well. Like Lynda, he was also a police officer, but his career is now over, and he is trying to make it as a true-crime writer. Although frustrations are boiling over for him when it seems that there is little interest from editors in the book he has written.

There are some tense action scenes throughout the book, which is something I’ve come to expect from a novel by Paul Finch. It’s what always makes his book really exciting for me and he keeps me utterly gripped. He never gives his characters an easy ride.

I’d highly recommend One Eye Open. If I could, I would easily give it more than five stars; I’m sure it’ll be in my top ten reads at the end of the year. I hope that Paul Finch returns to Lynda Hagen in the future. If you’re a fan of this author, then you definitely need to check this book out!

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 20th August 2020

Print length: 340 pages

One Eye Open is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks #bookreview #blogtour @ManxWriter @izzieghaffari @DoubledayUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks on my blog today.

The Whispering House by [Elizabeth Brooks]


Freya Lyell is struggling to move on from her sister Stella’s suicide five years ago. Visiting the bewitching Byrne Hall, only a few miles from the scene of the tragedy, she discovers a portrait of Stella – a portrait she had no idea existed, in a house Stella never set foot in. Or so she thought.

Driven to find out more about her sister’s secrets, Freya is drawn into the world of Byrne Hall and its owners: charismatic artist Cory and his sinister, watchful mother. But as Freya’s relationship with Cory crosses the line into obsession, the darkness behind the locked doors of Byrne Hall threatens to spill out.


The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks was such a haunting and atmospheric read. It felt very different from what I’ve read before, and I was pulled very easily into the story.

In the opening chapter, the lead character, Freya, and her father, are at a wedding being held at Byrne Hall. It’s close to the location where Stella, Freya’s sister, committed suicide a few years earlier. Craving answers, Freya soon returns to Byrne Hall. But she is soon pulled in the same way her sister was years ago, and now her world is about to be turned upside down.

When Freya first arrived at Byrne Hall, I thought that this would be a good thing for her, although I felt I didn’t trust the people who lived there, Cory and his mother. Cory is a very mysterious character who Freya falls head over heels in love for. Soon she packs up everything she knows and decides to live at the house with him. As things started to move forward so quickly, I got the sense that something wasn’t quite right here. It felt as though Freya was being trapped, although she isn’t aware of this. I didn’t like the way how Cory kept things from Freya even though she was very open with him about her life.

I could picture the setting of Byrne Hall very clearly. I learned from the book that it is based on Agatha Christie’s house, which I then researched after reading it. The landscape surrounding the hall creates a very eerie atmosphere. As I was reading, to me, it seemed that the hall was cut off from everything else, especially as Freya seemed to become less reluctant to leave.

I also found Cory’s mother, Diana, to be very mysterious as well. You can see that there is something there between them which they are afraid to talk about. As Freya grew more attached to Cory, I kept thinking that she was putting herself in danger. Again, I felt that I didn’t trust Cory, and you can begin to see his controlling nature emerge as his relationship with Freya develops.

Elizabeth Brooks also shares details from the time when Freya’s sister, Stella, was living at the hall. As I was reading these passages, I couldn’t help but think that history was beginning to repeat itself. This is what drove the plot of the novel forward as details about Stella’s past and time at Byrne Hall begin to become clearer.

The Whispering House is a beautifully written gothic tale that draws you into the story from the first page. I wouldn’t describe it as fast-paced, but I loved how the writing drew me in and captured my attention. I’d definitely recommend it.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 352 pages

The Whispering House is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones 






WWW Wednesday – 19/08/2020

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?

My Darling: The sinister new domestic thriller from the #1 bestseller by [Amanda Robson] A Song of Isolation by [Michael J. Malone]

What will I read next?

Two Little Girls: The gripping new psychological thriller you need to read in summer 2018 (Jessie Flynn Crime Thriller Series) by [Kate Medina]

Scared to Death by Kate Medina #bookreview

I’m finally catching up on Kate Medina’s Dr Jessie Flynn series and a few days ago I finished the second book, Scared to Death which I am sharing my thoughts on today.

Scared to Death: A gripping crime thriller you won’t be able to put down (A Jessie Flynn Crime Thriller, Book 2) by [Kate Medina]


Everyone is afraid. But some fears can kill you.

A gripping new thriller featuring a brilliantly complex psychologist, Dr Jessie Flynn, who struggles with a dark past.

Sometimes you should be frightened of the dark…

A baby is abandoned in the middle of the night. DI Bobby ‘Marilyn’ Simmons suspects the father is planning to take his own life following the violent suicide of his eldest son Danny a year earlier.

Meanwhile an investigation begins into the murder of trainee soldier Stephen Foster. Just sixteen years old, he has been stabbed in the neck and left to die in the woods.

When psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn sees connections between the deaths of Stephen and Danny, she fears a third traumatized young man faces the same fate…


Dr Jessie Flynn is back in the second book in Kate Medina’s new series, Scared to Death. The discovery of a baby left abandoned in a pram at a hospital prompts the investigating team to get in touch with Jessie. It is believed that the baby has links to a military family. It would have to been someone in a desperate situation to leave the baby behind and with no contact details. Who could do such a thing? But as an investigation begins into the suspicious circumstances, Jessie is called away again when the body of sixteen-year-old boy has been found. But the strange events don’t end here and soon Jessie finds herself pulled into a deeper mystery which has devastating consequences for those involved.

I was a huge fan of Kate Medina’s first book in this series, Fire Damage, which I read a few years ago now, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to catch up. Jessie is such an intriguing character who is really likeable. Her past is a chilling one and in this novel, we begin to learn more details about Jessie. Kate Medina also explores Jessie’s relationship with her father who she is estranged from. He has been trying to get back in contact with her, but Jessie is less than keen to grant him his wish. You can also see that her father isn’t willing to give up easily.

Jessie is a psychologist for the military and she is currently having sessions with one young man who they believe to be at risk of committing suicide. Jessie is determined to get to the root cause of the man’s problems, but she has no idea how they are connected to the other investigations she is involved in.

I really like Jessie’s friendship with her neighbour, Ahmose, who is one of the most likeable characters out of the series. Although he is only a minor character, he always manages to make me smile and I think he would be a great friend and neighbour for anyone to have.

The parts I find really interesting about this series is Jessie’s work. Kate Medina is a psychologist and you can see from her writing that this is an area that she knows a lot about. But the added depth to Jessie’s character is what makes this part of the novel far more intriguing. Jessie was once in a psychiatric hospital and you can see that she has deeper understanding of what her patients are going through.

Short and pacy chapters keep the pace flying forward. Scared to Death is an excellent addition to this series and I can’t wait to catch up on book three.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 4th May 2017

Print length: 417 pages

Scared to Death is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Her Husband’s Secrets by Louise Mangos #bookreview @LouiseMangos @HQDigitalUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Her Husband’s Secrets by Louise Mangos which was previously titled The Art of Deception. I’ve had this book on my TBR pile since July 2019 and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading it.

Her Husband’s Secrets: A gripping, twisty, must-read new psychological thriller by [Louise Mangos]


Art college dropout Lucie arrives in a Swiss ski resort looking for work – but instead finds love in the form of the handsome and charismatic Mathieu.

Matt seems like perfect husband material – especially when Lucie discovers he’s from a wealthy family. But Matt’s dark side soon emerges. Manipulative, controlling and abusive, he is anything but perfect and will tear the life she has built for herself and their six-year-old son JP apart.

Then, one fateful night, things come to a head in the most shocking way . . .

Wrongly accused of her husband’s murder and left fighting for her freedom in a foreign prison, Lucie is starting to lose her grip on reality. Now, she must summon all her strength to uncover the truth about Matt’s death and be reunited with her son – before it’s too late.

The clock is ticking . . . but who can she trust?


Her Husband’s Secrets is the second standalone book by Louise Mangos set once again in the beautiful rural landscape of Switzerland. Louise’s writing reels you in as we follow her main character, Lucie, who is currently serving a prison sentence for the murder of her husband. Lucie is in a desperate situation. Her son is now being brought up by her husband’s family. Lucie fears that they are turning her son against her and ultimately will try to take him away. Lucie will stop at nothing to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

This is a cleverly plotted novel, and to me, it felt really fresh. I liked the way how Louise Mangos makes you ask questions about what happened and if Lucie is guilty or innocent. I really felt for her as she tried to stay in contact with her son as much as possible. I wanted Lucie to be innocent, and I was rooting for her all the way through. I could see that her husband’s family were manipulating the situation, and I was fearful that they were going to disappear before Lucie had a chance to do anything about it.

You can feel that the odds are stacked against Lucie. She is an English woman in a foreign prison. Lucie can also barely grasp the language, so this will also have an impact against her. While in prison, she does make friends with a small group of women. I thought this gave Lucie some light relief and I was pleased that she did have someone who she could talk to.

As the plot progresses, we get to see the events leading up to when Lucie was arrested. We see the days when she first fell in love with her husband. When they first got together, I didn’t like him at all, and I didn’t like his family, particularly his mother, who I found to be very pushy. Even in this situation, it felt as though Lucie was on her own, an outsider. It seemed as though there were very few people who she could turn to for support.

I was not expecting the book to take the direction that it did. It made for a really refreshing take on this story, and it kept me turning the pages as I waited to see how Lucie was going to execute her plan. Louise Mangos pulls of a cleverly crafted plot with a really satisfactory ending.

Her Husband’s Secrets is a well-executed novel; you will be rooting for Lucie right the way through to get the justice that she deserves. An excellent read!

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 6th June 2019

Print length: 264 pages

Her Husband’s Secrets is available to buy:

Amazon UK