The Lies We Told by Camilla Way #bookreview

I’ve finally caught up on Camilla Way’s book, The Lies We Told, I’m sharing my thoughts on my blog today.

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DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

MY THOUGHTS

The Lies We Told has been on my TBR pile for a long time. I loved Camilla Way’s novel, Watching Edie, which I read a few years back now, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to catch up on her books. This novel is a dark, twisty and a creepy psychological thriller.

Camilla Way cleverly weaves together several strands which kept me invested in the plot. In 1986, we meet Beth and Doug who have just welcomed home their new, longed for daughter, Hannah. But not everything is as it seems. Beth notices something odd about her daughter very early on. Things begin to get even more concerning when Hannah becomes violent. But what is the root cause of this behaviour? Fast forward to 2017 and Clara’s boyfriend, Luke goes missing, and there is evidence that foul play may have been committed. But how are the different strands linked? What secrets have been buried for so long? 

I thought the flashback scenes to when Hannah was a young girl were really taut and utterly terrifying. You could see the discontent she has for her parents, especially for her mother, Beth. She does have a better relationship with her father, but that is because he isn’t around all the time to see what she is like. This is when I felt frustrated for Beth. Beth is at her wit’s end, trying to work out what is wrong with Hannah. She desperately wants to know what she should do to make things better between them. Hannah really stole the scenes here. She was so unpredictable.

When we move forward to the scenes in 2017, when Clara’s boyfriend, Luke, disappears, I could instantly see that something was very wrong. His parents are extremely worried, and this makes Clara nervous. What are Luke’s parents hiding from her? Soon she begins to learn devastating secrets which Luke has kept from her. But that is nothing compared to the hard-hitting truths that are about to come.

Camilla Way keeps the twists coming. Just when I thought everything had all been wrapped up, she delivered another twist which knocked me for six. I loved how she brought everything together. It was plotted out so well, and everything made sense as both strands in the story came together. Early on in the book, I had no idea how they would cross paths, but Camilla Way pulled them together in a very clever way.

The Lies We Told is disturbing, dark and chilling. Hannah is one of the most complex, thought-provoking characters I’ve come across in a long while. Now all I need to do is catch up on Camilla Way’s latest book, which I am planning to do as soon as possible.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 3rd May 2018

Print length: 384 pages

The Lies We Told is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

Little White Lies by Philippa East #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut thriller by Philippa East, Little White Lies.

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She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…

MY THOUGHTS

Little White Lies is a breath-taking debut by Philippa East which I managed to finish in just a couple of days. The tension is on every page, and I found it very difficult to put down. If I had, had the time, I could have quite happily finished it in one sitting.

At the beginning of the novel, Anne White receives a phone call from the police that she thought she would never receive. Her daughter, Abigail, has been found, seven years after she went missing. At last, the nightmare is over. But is it? Anne imagined that there would be an instant bond between them, but there isn’t. Why is there this disconnected feeling? What does Abigail remember about the day she went missing?

You can feel the tension permeating the atmosphere of Anne’s home after Abigail comes back. It seems as though they are walking on eggshells around each other a lot of the time. I wanted to know why there was this frosty atmosphere between them. I had heard of the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ before. When people have suffered from abuse, or who have been kidnapped, they have bonded with their abusers or kidnappers. If you are in their position for a great deal of time, you become wholly dependent on the abuser, especially if you have been kidnapped. You rely on them for food, water and just about everything you require to live. It is a deep psychological trauma that I can imagine must take years of therapy to work on. I wondered if this was what was happening with Abigail. She had been with her kidnapper for eight years.

The fearful thing for Anne and her family is that Abigail’s kidnapper is still at large. Until he is caught, he still poses a threat to Abigail.

Anne was a really interesting character. Although she is grateful and thrilled to have her daughter back after so long, she is also apprehensive. I wanted to know what it was Anne thought Abigail might know about the day she went missing. Anne can’t confront her daughter about what she might know. This is what raises the tension between them as they try to reconnect.

Philippa East raps up the tension in the final chapters, especially during the court scenes. You know that a dark secret is about to be revealed and I couldn’t wait to find out what that was. There are some taut scenes as the book races towards its conclusion, and I couldn’t stop reading until I had turned the final page.

Little White Lies is a well written, extremely tense debut thriller. Philippa East’s writing engaged me right from the start. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 6th February 2020

Print length: 352 pages

Little White Lies is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 09/12/2020

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?

A severed leg and a dead engineer. A tale of love – and murder.

A human leg is discovered in a suburban freezer. The victim is a teenage girl killed some ten years earlier. But then other body parts start appearing. And these ones are male, dark-skinned, and very fresh . . .

Is this a tangled tale of love gone wrong? Or are there sinister lines connecting the dead engineer to a recent suicide in a Cardiff prison, and an engineering company that’s up to a whole lot more than is first apparent?

Fiona Griffiths starts to investigate, in the midst of the coldest winter on record. Up in a remote cottage in the Welsh Black Mountains, she finds the data that contains the clue to the entire mystery . . . but, as the first snow starts to fall, she discovers that she’s not alone.

In a town full of secrets…
Someone was murdered.
Someone went to prison.
And everyone’s a suspect.
Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.

Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered.

Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?

What have I finished reading?

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

What will I read next?

Call Me Mummy: THE thriller for Mother's Day 2021 by [Tina Baker]

THIS MOTHER’S DAY YOU WILL CALL HER MUMMY

Glamorous, beautiful Mummy has everything a woman could want. Except for a daughter of her very own. So when she sees Kim – heavily pregnant, glued to her phone and ignoring her eldest child in a busy shop – she does what anyone would do. She takes her. But foul-mouthed little Tonya is not the daughter that Mummy was hoping for.

As Tonya fiercely resists Mummy’s attempts to make her into the perfect child, Kim is demonised by the media as a ‘scummy mummy’, who deserves to have her other children taken too. Haunted by memories of her own childhood and refusing to play by the media’s rules, Kim begins to spiral, turning on those who love her.

Though they are worlds apart, Mummy and Kim have more in common than they could possibly imagine. But it is five-year-old Tonya who is caught in the middle…

Winterkill (Dark Iceland) by [Ragnar Jónasson, David Warriner]

A blizzard is approaching Siglufjörður, and that can only mean one thing…

When the body of a nineteen-year-old girl is found on the main street of Siglufjörður, Police Inspector Ari Thór battles a violent Icelandic storm in an increasingly dangerous hunt for her killer … The chilling, claustrophobic finale to the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.

Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air.

Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…

As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.

Double Deceit by Julienne Brouwers #bookreview

On my thoughts today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut thriller by Julienne Brouwers, Double Deceit.

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Jennifer Smits is a young mother, married to a hotshot lawyer and living in Amsterdam. Her world explodes when her husband is found dead at a holiday park during a weekend getaway. Convinced that the police have failed in their investigation, she embarks on a desperate quest for the truth – but the deeper she digs, the more she gets enmeshed in a tangled web of lies, spun by a ruthless law firm. As Jennifer’s search for answers intensifies, her grip on reality weakens. Barely able to manage her patients at the health clinic, or take care of her young son, Jennifer is at risk of losing it all – even her closest friends begin to desert her. And then a chance encounter with a charming stranger sparks a new chain of events that plunges her deeper into a world of threats and corruption. Soon, she begins to fear for her life – but who can she trust, and how far will she go in pursuit of the truth?

MY THOUGHTS

Double Deceit is a really well written, twisty thriller by Julienne Brouwers that kept me utterly gripped. We follow Jennifer, who is going through a rough patch in her marriage to her husband, Oliver. In the opening scene, she is searching for her son, who her husband failed to keep an eye on while he was playing in the pool at the holiday complex where they are staying. The episode leads to an argument between them and Jennifer’s husband stalks off. The next time she sees him, he is dead. The police are convinced that her husband was killed in a horrific accident, but Jennifer believes there are signs of foul play. Even when the police don’t take her seriously, Jennifer is determined to find out what happened to her husband.

I felt really frustrated for Jennifer. Even in the early days, when she was trying to get the police to take a closer look at her husband’s case, I could see that they weren’t interested. It was as if she was screaming from the top of her lungs, but no one could hear her. The police want to be done with the case and brush it to one side, but Jennifer won’t give up her fight easily. There were definitely moments throughout the story, when I thought, perhaps it would be easier for Jennifer if she were to give up and move on with her life.

It was as she began to dig more into Oliver’s life that things started to heat up. It was here that this was the moment in the story, where there would be no turning back for Jennifer. She learns some hard-hitting truths about her husband’s past, which makes her question the man he really was. But it also makes her more convinced that his death was the result of foul play. But even when she presents new evidence she has found to the police, they still didn’t seem to care or want to take her seriously.

The one thing I did question though was Jennifer’s friendship with Dan, who worked with her husband at the same law firm. There did seem to be some unanswered questions about Dan which made me question his motives. It was just a small point which made me think twice about him.

This is a book where dark secrets are hiding, waiting to be uncovered and the tension is palpable as Jennifer gets closer to understanding the truth. As the book raced towards its conclusion, it seemed as though there was everything to play for. I had no idea how things were going to turn out for Jennifer.

Overall I really enjoyed this book; I’m definitely going to be looking out for what Julienne Brouwers writes next.

Publisher: JB Uitgeverij

Publication date: 20th October 2020

Print length: 274 pages

Double Deceit is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

blogtour Double Deceit final UK

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson #bookreview #crimefiction

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut crime novel by Nadine Matheson, The Jigsaw Man.

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There’s a serial killer on the loose.

When bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But it can’t be him; Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there.

The race is on before more bodies are found.

She’d hoped she’d never have to see his face again, but Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind . . .

Will it take a killer to catch the killer?

Now all bets are off, and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley, or the Jigsaw Killer?

MY THOUGHTS

Nadine Matheson’s debut crime novel, The Jigsaw Man, is a tense, gruesome serial killer thriller. I first heard about this book at the HQ Fiction Showcase back in January 2020, and I wanted to read it as soon as possible. For fans of Chris Carter, this is a must-read. This is for you if you like your crime books dark and with plenty of tension. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for what Nadine Matheson writes next. 

We’re thrown headfirst into a grisly case when body parts are found along the banks of the River Thames. A link is instantly drawn to the ‘Jigsaw Killer.’ Peter Olivier was convicted and handed a life sentence, after committing a string of murders, giving him the nickname the ‘Jigsaw Killer,’ several years earlier. But these new murders are a cause for concern. Do the body parts belong to old victims of Peter’s who were never found? Or are the police now dealing with a copycat? This is a case which has haunted DI Henley as she was the officer who put Peter Olivier behind bars. She hoped never to see him again, but now it is clear she may have to. It also seems that Peter has a particular interest in DI Henley.

Nadine Matheson certainly doesn’t shy away from gruesome details. This is what made this novel particularly tense. I absolutely loved Nadine Matheson’s voice, and it hooked me into the novel from the very first page. There’s a real sense of a race against time to catch the killer. The police need to bring this case to a successful conclusion quickly. There is also the fear that the killer isn’t finished and that more lives will be lost if they aren’t caught. Nadine Matheson kept the pace flying forwards as the investigation heated up. There were more than a few moments when I couldn’t bear to turn my eyes away from the page. I was desperate to know what was going to happen next. Nadine Matheson also delivers several jaw-dropping twists, DI Henley and her team certainly aren’t given an easy ride here.

What makes this book really interesting is that the motive behind the copycat killings isn’t entirely clear. Is the killer trying to do this to impress their ‘idol’, Peter Olivier? Or are they looking to upstage him? It’s the unknowns that makes this case terrifying for DI Henley and her team. They don’t know what turn the killer is going to take next.

Nadine Matheson is a writer who I can’t wait to read more from. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their backstories in this book. She has left the ending of this open for a possible continuation of this story and I’m hoping that there will be more books in this series. The Jigsaw Man is a compelling debut crime novel, and it is an entertaining read that will keep you reading.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 18th February 2021

Print length: 400 pages

The Jigsaw Man is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

The Last Resort by Susi Holliday #bookreview #blogtour @SJIHolliday @FMcMAssociates

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the latest thriller by Susi Holliday, The Last Resort. Susi Holliday is also taking part in this month’s First Monday Crime on, Monday, 7th December. I’ll have the details of how you can access the link at the bottom of this post.

The Last Resort by [Susi Holliday]

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Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One perfect crime.

When Amelia is invited to an all-expenses-paid retreat on a private island, the mysterious offer is too good to refuse. Along with six other strangers, she’s told they’re here to test a brand-new product for Timeo Technologies. But the guests’ excitement soon turns to terror when the real reason for their summons becomes clear.

Each guest has a guilty secret. And when they’re all forced to wear a memory-tracking device that reveals their dark and shameful deeds to their fellow guests, there’s no hiding from the past. This is no luxury retreat—it’s a trap they can’t get out of.

As the clock counts down to the lavish end-of-day party they’ve been promised, injuries and in-fighting split the group. But with no escape from the island—or the other guests’ most shocking secrets—Amelia begins to suspect that her only hope for survival is to be the last one standing. Can she confront her own dark past to uncover the truth—before it’s too late to get out?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve really enjoyed Susi Holliday’s previous novels. However, her latest book, The Last Resort, is quite different to what she has written recently. With echoes of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, this is a highly entertaining, creepy psychological thriller that will keep you gripped.

A group of strangers arrive on a private island after being selected to review a new luxury retreat before anyone else. They are all different to each other, ranging from social media influencers, gossip columnists to a gamer and a photographer. Their backgrounds are all intriguing, but when they first arrive on the Island, it becomes clear all not quite what they seem. Each one of them is hiding something dreadful about their past. But what are they all really doing together on the Island? They quickly begin to realise as well that they may also be in incredible danger.

What I thought was really creative about this book was the use of future technologies. What immediately strikes the group that something odd is going on here, is when some of these technologies, are able to tell them what they have got up to in the past. This also includes the bad things which some of them would much rather stay hidden. This immediately sets the group on edge, and the tension begins to grow. They have no idea who is behind this and what their purpose is.

The sci-fi edge is what made it feel quite different from previous books I’ve recently read in this genre. I do like a novel which blends genres. It made me think that anything could happen to the group while they were on the island. The Last Resort wasn’t a predictable read at all, and I was excited to see how things were going to pan out. No one in the group is particularly likeable, but I have always been a fan of books with unlikeable characters. It makes the book more of a tense read, and you’re not quite sure how the characters will interact with each other. This is especially when the secrets of their past are revealed.

Susi Holliday creates a creepy, atmospheric setting. You get a real sense that the group are trapped there. They are totally at the mercy of whoever is pulling the strings. I liked how Susi Holliday wrapped everything up. It is a book that will really make you think, and I wanted to know what was really going on here behind the scenes. If I ever receive an exclusive invitation like the members of the group received, I think I’ll be politely declining and running as far as I can.

I really enjoyed this book. Susi Holliday’s writing kept me gripped right the way through. If you’re looking for a fun read which you could quite happily lose a couple of hours to, then definitely pick up this book.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 1st December 2020

Print length: 299 pages

The Last Resort is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

The Last Resort - blog tour

FIRST MONDAY CRIME

If you’d like to tune into this month’s First Monday Crime, you can do so via their Facebook page by clicking here. The event will be live streamed. The authors appearing this month are, Susi Holliday, author of The Last Resort, Sam Carrington author of The Open House, A.K. Turner author of Body Language and Deborah Masson author of Out for Blood. The event begins at 19.30 p.m on Monday, 7th December 2020.

Body Language by A. K. Turner #bookreview #blogtour @AnyaLipska @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by A.K. Turner, Body Language, on my blog today as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part. A.K. Turner will also be appearing at this month’s First Monday Crime. I’ll have all the details on how you can view the event at the end of this post.

Body Language by [A. K. Turner]

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CASSIE RAVEN BELIEVES THE DEAD CAN TALK. WE JUST NEED TO LISTEN . . .

People think being a mortuary technician is a seriously weird job. They can’t understand why I choose to cut up dead bodies for a living. But they don’t know what I know:

The dead want to tell us what happened to them.

I’ve eviscerated thousands of bodies, but never someone I know before – someone who meant a lot to me; someone I loved.

The pathologist says that her death was an accident.

Her body is telling me differently.

MY THOUGHTS

Body Language by A K Turner is such a unique crime thriller. It’s one of the most original crime novels I’ve read in a long while.

I really liked Cassie, who is the lead protagonist. She works in a mortuary, and she is a character who has a unique interest in dead bodies. It’s something she has been fascinated by since she was a child, from around the time of her mother’s death. Back then, she would bring home dead animals to study.  Even she sometimes looks back on the interests she had as a child and thinks they were strange interests to have. But her grandmother, says otherwise and has never been slightly perturbed by her granddaughter’s interests. I really liked Cassie’s relationship with her grandmother; her grandmother is a straight talker, and she doesn’t appear to be afraid of anything.

I liked how Cassie treated the bodies of the deceased she is working with. Cassie claims that the dead can talk, but people just need to listen. She is really attentive towards them, and she treats them still as if they were living and breathing and with respect as well. But things begin to take an interesting turn when the body of her former teacher turns up at the mortuary. Cassie is concerned that there may be something more to her teacher’s death than first meets the eye. But it will take a lot of convincing on her part to get the police to investigate further. Cassie is determined, however, to make sure that if someone is responsible for the woman’s death, that they do face justice.

The other character who I liked was Detective Flyte. She and Cassie get off on the wrong foot right at the beginning, but throughout the novel, they begin to develop a friendship. I’m interested to see how this will progress in future books. I’m hoping that there are going to be many more books to come in this series.

Although this is quite a dark novel, there are some moments of humour as well. Although it sounds quite macabre, there is one particular scene with a human skull in a bathroom which did make me smile.

Body Language is cleverly plotted, and I’m really excited to read more from this series. If you’re a crime fiction fan, then you definitely need to add this to your to be read pile. I loved it. I’m looking forward to seeing where A K Turner will take Cassie next.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 26th November 2020

Print length: 384 pages

Body Language is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Body Language 17.11

FIRST MONDAY CRIME

If you’d like to tune into this month’s First Monday Crime, you can do so via their Facebook page by clicking here. The event will be live streamed. The authors appearing this month are, Susi Holliday, author of The Last Resort, Sam Carrington author of The Open House, A.K. Turner author of Body Language and Deborah Masson author of Out for Blood. The event begins at 19.30 p.m on Monday, 7th December 2020.

Black Summer by M.W. Craven #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Black Summer by M.W. Craven on my blog today, the second book in the Washing Poe crime series.

Black Summer (Washington Poe) by [M. W. Craven]

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After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

MY THOUGHTS

Well, if you’re planning on visiting a Michelin star restaurant any time soon, I wouldn’t suggest reading this book before that visit. But if you are more of a traditional pub food kind of person, like me, then read on. I finally got round to catching up on M.W. Craven’s second book in his Washington Poe series, Black Summer over the last couple of days, and I can’t believe that again, I’ve waited this long to read one of his books. It gripped me from the start. I couldn’t wait to see how things would unfold for Poe this time around, and M.W. Craven certainly doesn’t give him an easy time.

M.W. Craven opens the book with a jaw-dropping opening. Poe is dining at a posh restaurant when the building is stormed with police officers, and he is arrested. Fast forward to a few weeks earlier, and Poe is haunted by one of the biggest investigations of his career. Six years ago, he helped to put killer, celebrity chef Jared Keaton, behind bars. Jared was convicted for the murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found. But now, a young woman, who looks remarkably like Elizabeth turns up at the police station claiming to be here. This young woman’s appearance is about to put Poe’s career and his reputation into jeopardy. Is it possible that he got it wrong all those years ago and that he sent an innocent man to prison? But Poe knows that something is not right here, even when DNA test results reveal that the young woman is Elizabeth. He can’t live with the fact that he may potentially have made a mistake, and Poe believes wholeheartedly that he was right six years ago, and that this woman isn’t Elizabeth. But how can he prove this when this irrefutable evidence saying that she is?

M.W. Craven hooked me in right away with the shocking opening chapter. From that moment, I wanted to know what had happened prior to that point and how things were going to pan out. I really didn’t know how Poe was going to be able to get out of this situation. But knowing him, and knowing his friend Tilly Bradshaw as well, I knew he’d find a way if there was one to be found.

What I have grown to love about this series is the friendship between Poe and Tilly. Many reviewers have already commented on their relationship, so I’m not going to say much more here, other than it’s one of the best things about these books.

Black Summer is a creative, highly addictive, first rate crime novel. I can’t wait to get my hands on book three and to start reading. This is a series I know now, I’ll definitely be sticking with.

Publisher: Constable

Publication date: 20th June 2019

Print length: 343 pages

Black Summer is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

November Wrap-Up

So here we are at the end of another month. Here in the UK we are just coming out of lockdown again, although there are still heavy restrictions on what we can and can’t do.

This month I took part in the National Novel Writing Month with the goal of writing 50,000 words of my next project by the end of November. It’s the first time I’ve taken part in a couple of years, and it was good to have something to focus on during lockdown. I didn’t quite manage to reach the target of 50,000 words but I did manage to write 45,509 words throughout November and I’m really liking the shape my current work in progress is taking. It’s current working title is The Darkest Night but that will probably change further down the line. It’ll still need a lot of work, but I’m aiming to have a first draft finished by the end of December. When I’m happy with what I’ve written, I may share the first chapter on my blog to give you a taster of what I’m writing. This is the second book I’ve written in the last couple of years.

I’ve now read 145 books towards my Goodreads reading challenge of 160 by the end of the year. These are some of the books I read this month.

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I’ll also be sharing my top ten reads of 2020 towards the end of this month, so keep an eye out for that post. It’s been really difficult choosing a top ten this year but I’m happy with the choices I’ve made.

Earlier in November I also joined the first online zoom session for the A Novel Book Club on Facebook. We discussed, The Guest List by Lucy Foley. For December we’re reading, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and we’ll be discussing it in early January.

I took part in five blog tours this month and I’ve included the links below in case you missed any.

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard

Out for Blood by Deborah Masson

33 Women by Isabel Ashdown

The Chalet by Catherine Cooper

I’ve got a very quiet month for December planned so far. I’m taking part in two blog tours on the 6th December, Body Language by AK Turner and The Last Resort by Susi Holliday. On the 17th December I’m taking part in the blog tour for Winter Kill by Ragnar Jonasson. I try not to sign up to many blog tours in December as I like to try and get to more books from my TBR pile.

I also received some exciting bookpost this month. I received copies of The Art of Death by David Fennell, The Captive by Deborah O’Connor, Deity by Matt Wesolowski, Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst and Bound by Vanda Symon.

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That’s all from me this month. Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments. I’m currently reading The Lies We Told by Camilla Way and Double Deceit by Julienne Brouwers.

WWW Wednesday – 02/12/2020

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?

DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL?

A DAUGHTER
Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

A SON
Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

A LIFE BUILT ON LIES
As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

The Last Resort by [Susi Holliday]

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One perfect crime.

When Amelia is invited to an all-expenses-paid retreat on a private island, the mysterious offer is too good to refuse. Along with six other strangers, she’s told they’re here to test a brand-new product for Timeo Technologies. But the guests’ excitement soon turns to terror when the real reason for their summons becomes clear.

Each guest has a guilty secret. And when they’re all forced to wear a memory-tracking device that reveals their dark and shameful deeds to their fellow guests, there’s no hiding from the past. This is no luxury retreat—it’s a trap they can’t get out of.

As the clock counts down to the lavish end-of-day party they’ve been promised, injuries and in-fighting split the group. But with no escape from the island—or the other guests’ most shocking secrets—Amelia begins to suspect that her only hope for survival is to be the last one standing. Can she confront her own dark past to uncover the truth—before it’s too late to get out?

What have I finished reading?

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan does not wish to linger on the grisly scene before her eyes. Two mutilated corpses. In a church. In Clontarf. Her profiling background screams one fact: this is just the beginning of a sickening message.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old case is playing out on a TV documentary, the convicted professing his innocence and historical police errors being exposed daily in the media. Frankie’s superior, commissioner Donna Hegarty, makes no bones about who she expects to clean things up – both in terms of past mishandlings and the present murders.

But not everyone working the cases wants the truth to come out. And the corridors of power have their own vested interest. Soon Frankie pinpoints just what is making her so nervous: the fact that anyone could be the next victim when justice is the killer.

The Killer In Me is a fast-paced thriller in which lies are safer than the truth, the past is never far from the present, and the ability to kill could well, it seems, live in everyone.

Black Summer (Washington Poe) by [M. W. Craven]

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

What will I read next?

Sins of the Father: A disturbing and heart-stopping debut by [Sharon Bairden]

Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only – to destroy him.
TRAUMA RUNS DEEP
When her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity… and her life.
TRUTH WILL OUT
With her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.
FORGIVE HIS SINS
But someone must pay for the sins of the father…

A chilling page-turner from a sharp new Scottish voice.

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…