WWW Wednesday 09/09/20

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 Binding by Bridget Collins
Betrayal by [Lilja Sigurdardóttir, Quentin Bates]
Betrayal by  Lilja Sigurðardóttir

What have I finished reading?

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
Imperfect Women: The blockbuster must-read novel of the summer that everyone is talking about by [Araminta Hall]
Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall

What will I read next?

The Dry by Jane Harper
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall. After finishing it at the weekend, I can see why everyone has been talking about this book.

Imperfect Women: The blockbuster must-read novel of the summer that everyone is talking about by [Araminta Hall]

BLURB

Nancy, Eleanor and Mary met at college and have been friends ever since, through marriages, children and love affairs.

Eleanor is calm and driven, with a deep sense of responsibility, a brilliant career and a love of being single and free – despite her soft spot for her best friend’s husband.

Mary is deeply intelligent with a love of learning, derailed by three children and a mean, demanding husband – she is now unrecognisable to herself and her friends.

Nancy is seemingly perfect: bright, beautiful and rich with an adoring husband and daughter – but beneath the surface her discontent is going to affect them all in terrible ways.

When Nancy is murdered, Eleanor and Mary must align themselves to uncover her killer. And as each of their stories unfold, they realise that there are many different truths to find, and many different ways to bring justice for those we love…

Everyone wants a perfect life. But there is no such thing…

MY THOUGHTS

Imperfect Women is a dark and compulsive read by Araminta Hall. It follows the lives of three women, Nancy, Eleanor and Mary; who have been friends since university. It is a book which examines their friendship and the lies which ultimately are revealed when one of them ends up dead. It makes you wonder do you really know the people who you are friends with. Surely friends don’t keep secrets from you?

I found this novel very addictive. There aren’t any chapters in this book. It’s split into three parts as it is told from the viewpoint of the three women. It didn’t bother me at all that there were no chapters, and I flew through it very quickly.

Nancy is found dead in the early chapters of the book, and her devastated family quickly learn that she has been having an affair. Eleanor was the only person from the group who knew about Nancy’s affair, but she never really knew who it was who she was seeing, only that his name was David. She knows that Nancy has been trying to end the affair and that David was angry about her decision. This, of course, puts this person right at the top of people of the list of suspects. It did make me think that Eleanor seemed quite annoyed at Nancy for not giving her more details. But Mary is even more so as she is the one who was kept in the dark.

I liked how Araminta Hall really got inside the heads of her characters. I loved how she gradually unpeeled the layers, and as we got to the truth, we begin to see a different side to the people who we thought we knew.

One of the characters who I really felt for as I was reading was Mary, especially as I was reading the section of the novel from her point of view. I was rooting for her as I was reading this part, but I need to be careful here, so I don’t reveal anything about what she is thinking. It makes for really gripping reading as she gets closer and closer to achieving her aims.

I wanted to get to the bottom of what had happened to Nancy. I wanted the person who was behind what happened to her to face justice. Even though I didn’t feel that Nancy was a particularly likeable character, I still wanted the other characters in the book to know the truth to bring them closure.

This is a dark, absorbing read which I flew through in a couple of days. It’s a book that will keep you thinking about the characters within the pages. I loved it! I can’t wait to read more from Araminta Hall.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 4th August 2020

Print length: 271 pages

Imperfect Women is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Discussion post: Which characters do you continue to think about?

Hi guys, I hope you’re keeping well. Today I’ve got another discussion post for you about characters and about which characters continue to stay in your head.

It’s always a great feeling when you become so attached to the characters in a book you’re reading. There have been many occasions when I’ve been left craving for more information about them. I want to know what’s happening with them now after turning the final page. Although the particular story in which they’ve appeared has been wrapped up, they’ve still sometimes played on my mind afterwards. This, to me, is always a sign of excellent writing, and it’ll keep me coming back to that author’s work. Do you ever finish a book and think I’ve just got to talk to someone about the characters? This has happened to me a few times, and it’s made me push books into peoples hands, so I can discuss the characters with them after they’ve read it.

I started thinking about this topic last week when I finished reading Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis. The story was wrapped up well but a week on and I’m still wondering what happened to the characters after the final page. I became so invested in their lives as I was reading the book, and I wish I knew more about what they were up to now.

One character from a crime series who I always continue to wonder about is DI Marnie Rome. The series is written by Sarah Hilary. Marnie has an incredibly powerful back story and her character kept me coming back. This series began with Someone Else’s Skin. In fact it’s the book I always recommend to someone if they’re looking for a good read.

Someone Else’s Skin (DI Marnie Rome 1) by [Sarah Hilary]

Angela Marsons Kim Stone series is another one which has had a similar effect on me. There have been a couple of books in this series which have left me reeling, and I was left wondering for months, before the next book was released, how the characters were getting on. This series began with Silent Scream.

Another character who keeps me coming back is DS Maeve Kerrigan in Jane Casey’s brilliant series. I love Maeve, especially her humour, which always makes me laugh. This series began with The Burning.

The Burning: (Maeve Kerrigan 1) by [Jane Casey]

These are just a few examples of books where I always wonder what the characters are up to once I’ve turned the final page.

Let me know who some of the characters are who you continue to think about. Like me, do you sometimes crave more information about them as well? Let me know in the comments.

The Watcher by Kate Medina #bookreview #blogtour @KateTMedina @RandomTTours @FictionPubTeam

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Watcher by Kate Medina. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Watcher by [Kate Medina]

BLURB

Some secrets can’t be hidden.

The Fullers are the picture-perfect family, a wealthy couple with a grand home in the middle of remote woodland. But even they have something to hide – and it will prove fatal.

Some crimes can’t be forgotten.

Psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn and DI Marilyn Simmons arrive at the Fuller’s home to find a suburban nightmare. A crime scene more disturbing than anything they have ever encountered.

Some killers can’t be stopped.

Jessie knows that this is no random act of violence. And if she can’t unlock the motivation behind the crime and shine a light into this killer’s mind, the Fullers won’t be the only family to die…

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve enjoyed catching up on the last two books in this series over the last couple of weeks, and I like the direction in which Kate Medina has taken the series.

The Watcher is book number four in the Dr Jessie Flynn series. The case in this book is one of the most complex Jessie has taken part in, alongside the investigative team. A couple is found murdered at their home, but what is even more disturbing is that it is believed that the husband was forced to watch his wife being murdered. The strange thing about it though was that the perpetrator seemed to take great care of the couple’s dog. Is this just a one-off killing? The police don’t want to cause panic by releasing details about the killer too soon. But when another murder takes place in very similar circumstances, they know that the killer is on a mission and that they won’t stop.

Jessie realises very early on that these killings are personal. It is the chilling way in which the killer forces his victims to watch or listen to their loved one being tortured that prompts this idea. But what grudge could the killer have against their victim that is so powerful that means they are willing to resort to murder?

I found this book really chilling as I was reading it. It was the killer’s motive that I kept questioning. Along the way, I was able to guess who the killer was going to be, but I was wrapped up in the mystery. I wanted to understand the reasons why they were doing this, which Kate Medina doesn’t make clear until the final pages. When she does, she wraps the book up in a devastating finale.

I really liked the addition of Lupo, a white husky, in this book. When the first murder takes place, the couple’s dog is taken to an animal shelter. After Jessie visits it, she decides to adopt Lupo, although her partner Callan isn’t particularly keen on taking a dog in. But Callan is quickly won over by Lupo. Kate Medina continues to explore their relationship, which was on a rocky path in the last book, and I’m glad that they seem as solid as ever here.

The Watcher is a pacy, tense and chilling read. If you’re yet to read this series and if you enjoy thrillers with a psychological aspect, then I would highly recommend it.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 3rd September 2020

Print length: 400 pages

The Watcher is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

The Watcher BT Poster

My Darling by Amanda Robson #bookreview

Happy publication day to Amanda Robson. Her new novel, My Darling is published today.

BLURB

A new couple moves in next door.
And nothing will ever be the same again…

I watched you move in and thought we might be friends.

I saw you watching from the window – and knew I’d have to keep you away from my husband.

I started to trust you. Confide in you.

I started to mistrust you. Suspect you.

I was confused when I blacked out after an evening at your place. Was I really that drunk?

I came up with a plan. A plan to make you both pay . . .

MY THOUGHTS

It feels like it’s been a long time since I read a book by Amanda Robson, so I put her latest novel, My Darling right to the top of my TBR pile. I devoured this book in one weekend. It’s such a dark and twisty read. Once you think you know where the novel is going, Amanda takes it in a completely different direction. I had so much fun reading it.

I was swept straight into the story from the opening chapter. We meet Jade and Thomas, who have just moved into their new home. Amanda lets us in on Jade’s innermost thoughts as she surveys their new neighbour, Emma, a successful dentist who is currently in a relationship with Allister who works as a forensic scientist. There is tension between this group from the get-go. Jade is icy towards Emma, especially when she warns Emma of her husband’s wandering eye. You can see that things are going to end badly for them, but who is really pulling the strings here? This is what Amanda really succeeds at. Throughout the book, I kept changing my mind about what I thought about the characters, and this is what made it such a twisty and exciting read.

The chapters are short and pacy, and this is what kept me utterly gripped to Amanda’s writing. When the novel did start, I did find it a bit confusing when we kept switching between different characters so rapidly. Once I knew who everyone was, though, I really started to enjoy it. The characters in this book are some of the most devious I’ve come across in fiction. Without going into any detail about the plot, it seemed as though each one of them had something up their sleeve; something they were planning to use against other members of the group.

I liked the fact as well that Allister was working as a forensic scientist. He works with the police, and you can see how easily he can manipulate the situation they find themselves in. Because of his connections, it made me ask, are any of them really safe, and it felt as though they were all trapped in this hideous nightmare.

DS Miranda Jupiter is another character who I really liked. You can see that she is really up against things here as she tries to bring the case to a successful conclusion and apprehend the right person. Even Miranda can see just how complex things are here, and she doesn’t know who she can believe or trust. Miranda has her suspicions, but she isn’t sure if she can act on them.

Amanda Robson ties everything up into a neat and satisfactory ending, and the book concludes on a chilling note. The plot and the characters keep the pace driving forward, and I loved the ride. My Darling is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 3rd September 2020

Print length: 384 pages

My Darling is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 02/09/20

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?

Imperfect Women: The blockbuster must-read novel of the summer that everyone is talking about by [Araminta Hall]
The Watcher by [Kate Medina]

What have I finished reading?

What will I read next?

Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis #bookreview

This is another book I’ve been desperate to get to over the last couple of years and I’m so glad I’ve finally read it.

BLURB

It all started when we found the body.
Then nothing was ever the same.

The Dry meets Stand by Me and True Detective in this stunningly written tale of the darkness at the heart of a small mid-Western town and the four kids who uncover it.

In the heatwave summer of 1971, four kids find a body by a lake and set out to solve a murder. But they dig too deep and ask too many questions.

Larson is a town reeling in the wake of the Vietnam draft, where the unrelenting heat ruins the harvest, and the people teeter on the edge of ruin.

As tension and paranoia run rife, rumours become fact, violence becomes reflex. The unrest allows the dark elements of the close-knit farming community to rise and take control.

And John, Jenny, Gloria and Rudy are about to discover that sometimes secrets are best left uncovered…

MY THOUGHTS

Bitter Sun is the incredible new novel by Beth Lewis, and now I can see why it had so much praise when it was released a couple of years ago.

This is a haunting, heart-wrenching book with a cast of characters who will stay with you. And honestly, that ending, I finished this book at the weekend and I still think it’s going to take me a few more days to get over it.

It all starts with the body. On a hot summer’s day in 1971, four children happen across the body of a young woman abandoned by a lake where they usually hang out. The discovery haunts them all. As the police investigation into the woman’s murder begins, they too, decide to hunt the killer down. But they have no idea what impact this discovery will have on the rest of their lives. It will be a summer the four of them will never forget.

Beth Lewis has created a cast of characters here who felt so real. The person who appears to be the leader of the group is John Royal. Alongside him there’s his sister, Jenny, then there’s Gloria and Rudy. As Beth Lewis begins to peel back the layers of this seemingly forgotten town in America, you can see the darkness that is hidden beneath. The kids soon begin to scratch that layer. Beth Lewis explores dark themes, and as the children begin to grow closer to uncovering the truth, I began to fear for their lives. It didn’t seem that they were willing to stop, even though they didn’t know the woman who they found personally. It seemed that they were steering closer and closer to danger.

John and his sister live a particularly tough life. They live with their mother, referred to in the book as Big Momma. Their father isn’t around, and their mother often brings men back home and is addicted to drinking. John knows he has to protect his sister as his mother seems to have taken an intense disliking to her. Her personality switches and they can never be sure how she is going to react when they are with her.

John strikes up a friendship with the local Pastor. Although John isn’t particularly religious, you can see that he appreciates the sessions that he has and that he views the Pastor as a close friend who he can rely on. But there was something about the Pastor that made me think twice about him.

If you’ve had this book on your TBR pile for a while now, as I have, then you need to bump it to the top. Beth Lewis’s writing is so engaging. The characters are what make this book. I became so engaged in their lives, and I was sad to close the book. Beth Lewis has definitely left me wondering what they’re all up to now. This is a powerful crime novel that will leave you reeling. Highly recommended!

Publisher: The Borough Press

Publication date: 14th June 2018

Print length: 464 pages

Bitter Sun is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones