Capital Crime launches the Fingerprint Awards

On Friday, 26th August Capital Crime launched the inaugural Fingerprint Awards, designed to champion the very best in crime writing from across the globe published in 2021, as voted for by readers.

Authors both new and established are represented across the categories, which are Crime Novel of the Year, Thriller Novel of the Year, Historical Crime Novel of the Year, Debut Novel of the Year, Audiobook of the Year, and Genre-Busting Book of the Year.

On the Crime Book of the Year shortlist, heavyweights Val McDermid and Mick Herron are up against debut novelists Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal and Sarah Pearse, author of The Sanatorium; and the critically acclaimed Icelandic novelist Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, for her second novel Girls Who lie, which won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger.

Bestsellers Lisa Jewell and Paula Hawkins lead the Thriller Novel of the Year shortlist, with the critically acclaimed authors S. A. Cosby and Will Dean also in contention. Gold Dagger-winning M. W. Craven rounds up the shortlist with his latest Washington Poe thriller.

Multi-award winning Abir Mukherjee is shortlisted for the Historical Crime Novel of the Year for The Shadows of Men, his latest Wyndham & Banerjee novel, alongside the critically acclaimed Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson. Also shortlisted are The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell, A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago and A Comedy of Terrors by Lindsay Davis.

CWA John Creasey Dagger shortlisted-Welcome to Cooper by Tariq Ashkanani and How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina are both shortlisted for the Debut Crime Novel of the Year, alongside Girl A by Abigail Dean, Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison and Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner.

The Genre-Busting Novel of the Year shortlist, set up to recognise a book that defies the traditional genres and boundaries of crime fiction, features How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie, The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi, The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor and What Abigail Did That Summer by Ben Aaronvitch.

Leading the Audiobook of the Year shortlist is global bestselling sensation Anthony Horowitz, for his new Hawthorne & Horowitz thriller A Line to Kill. Also shortlisted are the critical successes True Crime Story by Joseph Knox, I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood, The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson and People Like Her by Ellory Lloyd.

The advisory board, consisting of authors, bloggers, journalists and leading industry figures have chosen a shortlist of five nominees for each category. Crime and thriller fans will now be given the power to decide who should be recognised for their work via the Capital Crime website.

In addition, two further categories will be selected solely by the Capital Crime Advisory Board; the Industry Award of the Year – recognising the best marketing campaign, editorial work, or publishing strategy; and the Thalia Proctor Lifetime Achievement Award- marking an outstanding contribution to the crime writing industry.

Capital Crime co-founder and Goldsboro Books managing director, David Headley, said:

‘My vision for Capital Crime was always to make it a festival for readers, and what better way to celebrate the readers who make it all worthwhile, than to give them the power to decide the winners of the Fingerprint Awards. Narrowing down the incredible body of work published last year to 6 categories of 5 books was no mean feat, but with the brilliant, well-informed advisory board we’ve gathered together, I’m confident that these shortlists represent the very best of crime and thriller writing from around the world.’

Readers can vote for their preferred winners here by 19th September 2022. The winners will be then announced from 7.30pm on Thursday 29th September, at a special ceremony as part of Capital Crime 2022, at the festival’s fantastic new home in the shadow of the iconic Battersea Power Station.

In addition, during the day on Thursday 29th September, Capital Crime will be hosting pitch an agent sessions with celebrated agents David Headley (DHH), Emily Glenister (DHH), Camilla Bolton (Darley Anderson) or Phillip Patterson (Marjaq). The slots are open to all unrepresented ticket holders working on their crime novel, completed novels or full synopsis preferred, to Capital Crime, as part of the Next Generation of Voices afternoon takeover at the festival this autumn. To apply for a slot please contact the team at for more information.

Across three days, Capital Crime 2022 promises a weekend full of fun, innovation and celebration of crime fiction, bringing together readers, authors, industry figures and the local community for the first major literary festival held on the site. Over 164 authors and journalists will be taking part in a range of panel events for attendees, including Richard Osman, Bella Mackie, Paula Hawkins, Rev Richard Coles, Dorothy Koomson, Kate Mosse, Anthony Horowitz and Robert Harris. Goldsboro Books will be setting up a pop-up bookshop in the iconic Pump House Gallery, alongside an array of London’s tastiest local street food vendors and bar area.

The full programme can be found here.

About Goldsboro Books

Goldsboro Books is an independent bookshop, based in central London, specialising in signed first edition books. Providing an expert, knowledgeable team and a carefully curated range is at the heart of the business, delivering the best book-buying experience for every customer. Goldsboro Books aims to interest and inspire book lovers, readers and collectors and provide the finest quality signed books in the world. Goldsboro Books was founded in 1999 by two friends and book collectors, David Headley and Daniel Gedeon. Their reputation for spotting quality books early on, an expert eye on the future collectibles, along with enthusiasm and passion for bookselling excellence has grown with the business and Goldsboro Books has become a world-famous and much admired bookshop. Their global reputation grew in 2013 when they were the only bookshop in the world to have signed copies of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, who of course turned out to be none other than J.K. Rowling.

Her Deadly Friend by Rae Sargeant #bookreview #blogtour @RachelSargeant3 @HobeckBooks

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new thriller by Rae Sergeant, Her Deadly Friend. With thanks to Rebecca Collins from Hobeck Books for inviting me to take part.


The Suspect
Bullied by Steph Lewis at school, then betrayed by her lover, Amy Ashby still seethes with fury. Despite the decades-old resentment, she’s on the hunt for a new man and a fresh start. This time for keeps.

The Stalker
When both women are stalked by a figure from their shared past, danger threatens.

The Detective
Now Detective Inspector, Steph follows a tip-off to her old rival. After quarrels exploded beyond the playground and changed lives forever, she vowed never to see Amy again. But that was then.

The Deaths
Murder rocks the city. First one, then another. The body count reaches five, and all Steph’s leads point to Amy. But is Steph obsessed with a schoolgirl vendetta or closing in on a deadly killer?


Her Deadly Friend is the new novel by Rae Sargeant, and the first book in a new crime series. I’ve read Rachel’s books in the past, so I was excited to see what she had come up with next, and I really enjoyed it. Rae Sargeant opens the book with a compelling prologue, where we see a group of girls in their headmistress’s study at school, being told off for bullying. You can feel the tensions between the characters in this scene, and this made me wonder just how much of a role this would play, as the plot of the novel progressed.

In the present day, one of the girls, who we meet in the prologue, Steph Lewis, is now a police officer. She is about to become involved in a murder case that will take her back to her childhood, especially when she has to interview a girl who she went to school with, Amy Ashby, who Steph bullied. Now I could begin to see the significance of the opening, and I wanted to know what was going on, and who was behind the murders taking place. Was what happened during their school days, related to what was happening in the present?

Now, I can remember my school days vividly, so I can definitely see how people could hold a grudge for something that happened to them at school, years, even decades later. When you’ve been hurt by someone at school, it’s not something that is easily forgotten about, even when you’re an adult. You can see that this creates issues for Steph as she begins to investigate the murder, especially as she is forced to revisit her past. It adds to the tension well, and I wanted to see how her interactions with Amy would go.

I liked Steph in the present day. It didn’t seem as though she could’ve been a bully while she was at school. You could see how nervous this case was making her, particularly, as she became reacquainted with Amy again.

I flew through Her Deadly Friend. Rae Sargeant’s writing is engaging and I thought the ending was satisfactory and well thought through. I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes this series next.

Publisher: Hobeck Books

Publication date: 23rd August 2022

Print length: 318 pages

Her Deadly Friend is available to buy:

Amazon UK


The Couple at Causeway Cottage by Diane Jeffrey #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Diane Jeffrey, The Couple at Causeway Cottage.



Kat and Mark move to an island off the Northern Irish coast for a new beginning. Far away from their frantic life in London, it’s the perfect place to bring up the family they’re longing to start.

But as soon as they arrive, cracks begin to appear in their marriage. Mark is still texting his ex-wife. Kat is lying about a new friendship. And one of them is keeping an explosive secret about the past.

The couple in Causeway Cottage are hiding something – and the truth can be deadly…


The Couple at Causeway Cottage is a dark psychological thriller by Diane Jeffery. I’ve read and enjoyed all her books, but I think her latest is one of her best. Diane Jeffrey creates a real sense of mystery and intrigue as we meet Kat and Mark, who have recently bought a cottage on an island off the coast of Northern Ireland.

From the moment we meet Kat and Mark, I didn’t get a very good vibe from Mark, and it appears that Kat is hiding something in her past, making me already suspicious about her. When they first arrive on the island, Kat feels as though she already knows one of the residents and she is spooked by this. This made me wanted to know what had happened, and what potential connection this man had to her. It also gave the novel a very claustrophobic feeling, as it felt as though the walls were closing in on Kat. The island setting adds to the claustrophobic feeling as well as it made me feel as though Kat was trapped.

At the start of the novel it seems as though the move to the island is the best thing for Kat and Mark. The island seems idyllic and I loved the name Causeway Cottage that Diane Jeffrey gave their new home. I could picture it well, as well as the local residents. Kat is keen to start a family and you can feel her yearning for this as they settle into their new home.

Diane Jeffrey gradually builds on the tension, especially with Kat’s husband, Mark, still texting his ex-wife. I really didn’t like him as I was reading the book and I found the scene when Kat is speaking to Mark’s mother, who is living in a care home on the mainland, very chilling. It made me think that Kat was far better off without Mark. It also made me wonder if he was dangerous and if he was a threat to Kat, and this was where the darkness begins to creep into the novel. As the novel progressed Diane Jeffrey began to make me wonder just what Mark was capable of. Who was this person who Kat had married? What secrets was Kat keeping onto from her past? These were the questions that I wanted to know the answers to.

I really enjoyed reading this book, Diane Jeffrey knows how to grab the attention of her readers and I always look forward to seeing what she writes next. The ending of this book has left me still thinking about the characters, and what is happening to them now, particularly after that chilling final note. The Couple at Causeway Cottage is another excellent read by Diane Jeffrey. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 18th August 2022

Print length: 302 pages

The Couple at Causeway Cottage is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Sarah Bonner, Her Perfect Twin.


When Megan discovers photographs of her estranged identical twin sister on her husband’s phone, she wants answers.

Leah already has everything Megan has ever wanted. Fame, fortune, freedom to do what she wants. And when Megan confronts Leah, an argument turns to murder.

The only way Megan can get away with killing her twin is to become her.

But then lockdown hits. How can she continue living two lives? And what happens if someone else knows her secret too?


I love a psychological thriller featuring twins, and Sarah Bonner has knocked it out of the ballpark with her debut novel, Her Perfect Twin. The tension in this book is there on every page and I flew through it, captivated by the lives of the characters.

Most people think that twins are very close, but that isn’t the case with Sarah’s characters, Megan and Leah. They’ve both gone onto lead very different lives, but it is clear to see just how much they hate each other. Megan can’t stand the fact that Leah took her dream, and has become a bestselling novelist and an influencer, and for what Leah shared about their lives to millions around the world. I could easily understand why Megan felt like this towards her sister.

I loved Sarah Bonner’s writing and the voices of her characters. The tension is always there simmering away, and I loved how Sarah builds on this, as she continues to explore what happens between Leah and Megan. When Megan kills her twin, I had no idea what was going to happen next, especially as she devises a plan to get away with murder, by becoming her twin. Even though they are identical in looks, this is a lot harder for Megan, especially when it comes to getting her sister’s personality right.

As I was reading I felt certain that Megan was going to be found out, especially when lockdown hits. I’ve read a couple of books that feature the pandemic, and Sarah Bonner really uses it well and to the plots advantage in her debut. You get the sense that Megan is trapped, with her sister’s body in her freezer, and it feels as though time is ticking for her.

Sarah Bonner keeps the twists and turns coming. I felt I could see part of the way through the novel, where the book was going to go, but Sarah always had something extra up her sleeve that completely floored me. She knows how to write characters that you can’t stop thinking about, and she knows how to create characters who will really make your skin crawl. I loved the ending, it was exciting, tense, and I was flying through the final chapters to find out how things were going to unfold for the characters.

Her Perfect Twin is a brilliant debut and I can’t wait to read what Sarah writes next.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 20th January 2022

Print length: 336 pags

Her Perfect Twin is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh #bookreview #blogtour @claremackint0sh @RandomTTours @BooksSphere

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Clare Mackintosh, The Last Party on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.

His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties.

But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.

The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family – and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead . . . but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, a murder is just the beginning.


I’m a huge fan of Clare Mackintosh’s books and I absolutely raced through The Last Party. It feels like a very fresh book in the crime and thriller market, particularly with the Welsh setting, which I really liked, and I loved how Clare drew on this, especially the Welsh language. The novel zooms in on a small community, near the English border, where a body has been found in a lake at a luxury retreat known as The Shore, following a glitzy New Year’s Eve party. And it soon emerges, as the police investigation begins, that the man, a local minor celebrity, wasn’t well liked by anyone, and this gives the police plenty of suspects to work with.

I thought it was interesting how Clare Mackintosh explored the relationship between the Welsh and English police forces. DC Ffion Morgan and Leo Brady find themselves working together. Ffion works in the Welsh force and Leo has been drafted in from the local Cheshire constabulary. I liked how Clare Mackintosh explored their working relationship, and it was fascinating to see how they worked together. I thought Clare Mackintosh brought their personalities to life really well on the page. Ffion is a very interesting character, and as the novel progresses, there seems to be an air of mystery about her, which Clare Mackintosh gradually reveals, and there are some shocking revelations.  

As the police investigation begins in the present, Clare Mackintosh also takes us back in time, and she builds up to the time the murder takes place. She delves into the minds of various characters connected to the man, Rhys, who is found dead, as well as people who have connections to The Shore. I really enjoyed this part of the novel. I was examining the character’s potential motives as I tried to work out what had happened. It is clear to see that none of them particularly like Rhys. This makes Rhys a really intriguing character to get to know in the flashback scenes, and I could see why people didn’t have a very high opinion of him. You can see how he exploits his fame and uses it to his advantage, making him a really despicable character.

I felt I could see the way that Clare Mackintosh was going to take the novel, but I was utterly blown away by the twist that she delivered in the final chapters. Clare Mackintosh has delivered an absolutely gripping read, and I loved it. I really, really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to see where Clare takes this series next.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 4th August 2022

Print length: 447 pages

The Last Party is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


The Night Whispers by Caroline Mitchell #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Caroline Mitchell, The Night Whispers.


It began with the whispers. In the woods, in the park, and always at night. Then they came into town, down dark alleys, and in the shadows. Before long, the black-eyed children were moving closer, until finally there was a knock on the door.

When the couple were found dead with their faces frozen in horror, the children were nowhere to be seen. Until it happened again.

Join Detective Sarah Noble as she investigates another dark case in the town of Slayton.


Caroline Mitchell knows how to write a creepy, chilling thriller. I loved the first book in in this series, so The Night Whispers went straight to the top of my TBR pile when I downloaded it onto my Kindle. That opening chapter really gives you the sense that there is something evil at work in the village of Slayton, particularly the chapter told from Mercy’s point of view. When rumours start circulating around the village of black eyed children seen, and heard whispering at windows, I knew that Detective Sarah Noble was going to have her work cut out. I was desperate to know what was going on here, and if there was something more sinister going on in Slayton.

In the opening chapter’s you get a real sense of the mystery Caroline Mitchell builds on, and the voices of the characters in the opening made it so intriguing, particularly Elliott’s. You can feel his fear, and Caroline Mitchell tells these scenes through Elliott’s voice so well, especially when he is hearing the whispers.

Caroline Mitchell draws on the setting so well. The village really gave me a creepy vibe as I was reading, and even Sarah Noble seems open to the strange paranormal events that have been happening here. You can see that the town is still reeling from the events that happened in the last book and so this new case is all that they need. I love a crime thriller that has a mix of the paranormal and Caroline Mitchell does this really well in her books. I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal, even though, I would say, that I don’t believe in it, I still find it interesting, like Sarah, I would say my mind is open. You can imagine Slayton being a real place and I felt it had echoes of the fictional town Sleepy Hollow. 

I enjoyed seeing Sarah Nobel’s character grow in the second book. Her character progresses further in this book, particularly as Caroline Mitchell begins to reveal more about her personal history. Sarah is a really engaging character and I liked the interaction that she has with the members on her team, and the local residents of Slayton as she investigates.

The Night Whispers is a really chilling book and it definitely gave me chills as I was reading it. I’m really enjoying this series and I can’t wait to read the next book. If you looking for a dark crime thriller, then this is the book for you, perfect to read in the autumn when the nights are drawing in.

Publisher: Embla Books

Publication date: 28th July 2022

Print length: 222 pages

The Night Whispers is available to buy:

Amazon UK

All the Wicked Games by Lauren North #bookreview #blogtour @Lauren_C_North @TransworldBooks

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lauren North, All the Wicked Games. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


Are you ready to play?

Best friends Cleo and Rachel spend their evenings pretending to be people they’re not, inventing elaborate stories to escape the monotony of their real lives. It’s all harmless fun – until they play the game on the wrong person…

It’s your move now.

Five years later, Cleo is still struggling to come to terms with the night that destroyed her friendship with Rachel and almost cost them their lives. And then she receives a text: Rachel is missing. Have you seen her?

There’s only one person to blame.

Wracked with guilt for failing Rachel the last time they were in danger, Cleo races to find her friend. But could the past be repeating itself? Only this time, they’re caught up in a far darker game.

The rules don’t matter when the goal is revenge.


I raced through All the Wicked Games by Lauren North. It’s definitely one of the most gripping crime novels I’ve read this year. There is so much tension in this book that kept me flicking through the pages at breakneck speed. Every time I reached the end of a chapter; I had to keep reading on to find out what was going to happen.

When Cleo reports her friend, Rachel, missing to the police, the police take very little interest in her concerns; they believe that Rachel has just gone on holiday and will be home soon, although there is one detective who has some concern. But Cleo is adamant that something terrible has happened to Rachel and when the police won’t help her, she begins to investigate on her own, and begins to find information about her friend that she never knew before.

I felt so frustrated for Cleo when she couldn’t get the police to take Rachel’s case seriously. You can see how determined she is to make sure that Rachel is okay. You really get the sense that there is something sinister going on here, especially as Cleo begins to delve into Rachel’s recent past and what she was getting up to.

As Lauren North begins to reveal more about Cleo and Rachel, we learn about something horrific that has happened in their past, something they have both struggled to move on from. The revelation of what took place added to the tension, as Cleo desperately tries to track Rachel down. I really wanted to know what had happened to Rachel, even though everyone else seemed to believe that she would turn up in a few days time, this made me feel more sure that something terrible had happened. The novel takes an even darker turn as Cleo delves deeper into her friend’s life. It’s a novel that makes you think of how far you would go to protect and help your friends.

I did not suspect at all, the direction which Lauren North took the book. I was stunned as I got to the final chapters, but everything did make a lot of sense as the book reached its conclusion. Lauren wrote these scenes so, so well, and I was hooked on every word. I thought the ending was cleverly done and it was so chilling.

I’m certain that All the Wicked Games will be one of my favourite reads of the year. This is the perfect book to take with you if you’ve got a long journey ahead, as you’ll be kept gripped and thoroughly entertained. I really enjoyed this book.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 11th August 2022 (kindle) 1st September 2022 (paperback)

Print length: 354 pages

All the Wicked Games is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


The Anniversary by Laura Marshall #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by Laura Marshall, The Anniversary.


They thought the killer had no motive. But these murders are not what they seem . . .

On 15th June 1994, Travis Green – husband, father, upstanding citizen – walked through the streets of Hartstead and killed eleven of his neighbours. The last victim was little Cassie Colman’s father.

As the twenty-five-year anniversary approaches, Cassie tries to forget the past – even as her mother struggles to remember it at all. Then something hidden in her mother’s possessions suggests the murders were not what everyone believes.

Cassie can’t stop herself from digging up the past. But someone will do anything to keep it buried . . .


In Laura Marshall’s new book, The Anniversary, she examines a horrific crime through the eyes of the daughter of one of the victim’s, Cassie Colman. Cassie’s father was gunned down along with eleven other people in what seems to have been a random attack with no motivation. Twenty-five years later, Cassie is a mum herself, but she soon finds herself looking into the case again, after a journalist makes contact with her. Soon they begin to discover that the story they all thought they knew about the crime, might be wrong.

I bought this book when it was first published last year and I wish now I’d read it sooner. I always find it fascinating to see how a crime has a long-term effect on people. In Cassie’s case, she was extremely young when the shooting took place, only four, but it has certainly left its mark on her. I could feel the emotion in her voice, especially when she is thinking of the approaching anniversary and the journalist who is investigating the case again. This really made me connect to her character, and her struggles, particularly with adapting to motherhood, come through well on the page. You can really see the trauma she has suffered.

I wanted to know if there was anything about the crime that had taken place, that the journalist could uncover, that would shine a new light on it. It makes it such a fascinating read as Laura begins to unpick the layers of what happened twenty five years earlier, particularly through the scenes told from the point of view of the killer, Travis Green. I thought these scenes were particularly chilling, and I really had no idea what direction the book was going to go in. Laura Marshall gets inside his head really well and brings his character to life, which hooked me further into the novel.

I flew through this book; the chapters leave you wanting more at the end of each one, and I had to find out what had really happened that day. And there is a brilliant twist which Laura Marshall pulls off really well. Laura Marshall is a really talented writer, I’ve really enjoyed her last three books, and I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 5th August 2021

Print length: 384 pages

The Anniversary is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Girl Beyond the Gate by Becca Day @AuthorBeccaDay @emblabooks

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Becca Day, The Girl Beyond the Gate.


Welcome to Kensington Grove, the safest place to call home…

Jodie Madison can’t think of a better place for a fresh start than the exclusive, gated community of The Grove. But from the moment she passes through the wrought iron gates, she starts to suspect she’s made a mistake.

Despite her vow to keep apart from the other residents, Jodie can’t help but feel drawn to her unnerving neighbour, Norah Williams, and terminally ill daughter, Lacey. Jodie knows she should stay away, but something draws her in.

When a murder shocks The Grove, Jodie vows to do everything in her power to save Lacey from her mother. But as more secrets emerge from Norah’s shadowy past, Jodie is faced with the unthinkable – Norah’s not so different to herself, and neither woman is innocent.

The past won’t stay hidden forever. And The Grove will be an unforgiving witness.


The moment I read the prologue in The Girl Beyond the Gate by Becca Day, I knew I wouldn’t be getting much done for the rest of the day. Becca Day opens her novel in a chilling way, zooming in on a small, exclusive gated community, which has just been rocked to the core, after the body of a fellow neighbour has been found. But who could have carried out this crime and why? Who is the person who has been found dead?

Following the opening, Becca Day takes us back in time, right back to when we see Jodie Madison move into the exclusive community. Already, from the moment when she first moves in, there are tensions between her and her neighbours. You really get the feeling that they don’t like outsiders coming in, especially since they’ve all formed their friendship groups and all know each other well. As Becca Day introduces them all, I was beginning to wonder which one of them would end up being killed, and who would be the murderer. I had plenty of theories as I continued reading.

Jodie Madison takes a particular shine to her neighbour, a young girl, Lacey, who is wheelchair bound and has an incurable illness. It isn’t expected for her to live beyond forty, and her mother, Norah as seen as a beacon in the local community. I thought it was so chilling how Becca Day explored Lacey’s relationship with her mother, especially when Jodie gets to know Lacey and they become good friends. It seems to Jodie that Lacey is the only real friend she has in the neighbourhood, even though Lacey’s mother doesn’t like them mixing together. Something has happened in Norah and Lacey’s past, something terrible; I wanted to know what this was and what bearing this would have on Lacey’s friendship with Jodie. There are also some intriguing mysteries surrounding Jodie’s past, and Becca Day reveals more about this as the book progresses. It made me want to find out more about her.

As Jodie begins to look further into Lacey’s relationship with her mother, Becca Day really made me fear for Lacey. Her mother comes across as very controlling, and you could see Lacey’s desire to live just a normal life, like everyone else her age, but is there something more going on here?

The final twist that comes at the end completely floored me. I could see part of the way in which Becca Day was taking the novel, but one particular twist knocked me for six. It was so well done. I flew through this novel in just a couple of days. Becca Day’s writing has such an addictive quality; I knew I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. I can’t wait to see what Becca writes next.

Publisher: Embla Books

Publication date: 22nd March 2022

Print length: 336 pages

The Girl Beyond the Gate is available to buy:

Amazon UK

The It Girl by Ruth Ware #bookreview #blogtour @RuthWareWriter @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Ruth Ware, The It Girl. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


Everyone wanted her life
Someone wanted her dead

It was Hannah who found April’s body ten years ago.
It was Hannah who didn’t question what she saw that day.
Did her testimony put an innocent man in prison?
She needs to know the truth.
Even if it means questioning her own friends.
Even if it means putting her own life at risk.
Because if the killer wasn’t a stranger, it’s someone she knows…


There is a very intriguing mystery element to Ruth Ware’s latest novel, The It Girl. I love a good novel which takes you back and forwards in time, particularly in a thriller. Ruth Ware moves her book between the present day where we meet Hannah, who is pregnant, and living with her husband, Will, and to their university years several years earlier where they first met. We know that April, Hannah’s friend from university, has been murdered, but we don’t know the circumstances leading up to her death. Only that the person who was arrested and convicted for the crime, has now died.

When Ruth Ware takes us back to Hannah’s university days, we see the moment she first meets her close friend at the time, April. I disliked April right from the start. Ruth Ware delves into her character well, even though these scenes are told from Hannah’s point of view. I warmed to Hannah. You can see just how nervous she is about attending Oxford, especially at the thought of fitting in with the rest of the crowd, who all come from families who have money; you can see why she sticks with April.

I really liked the Oxford setting; Ruth Ware draws on it so well and she creates some tense scenes as the plot of the novel develops. You can begin to see the mystery surrounding April’s death beginning to unfold. As Hannah begins to question if her actions led to an innocent man being convicted for the crime, in the present, I could think of plenty of people who may have wanted to harm April, particularly with how she was behaving towards some of her friends at university.

I would say that this is more of a slow burner, rather than a fast paced read, but I still found it very absorbing. It was the mystery of what really could have happened to April that kept me turning the pages. I felt scared for Hannah in the present, particularly as she is pregnant, and she is determined to try and find out what really happened to April; her pregnancy really adds to the suspense as she also has to think of the safety of her unborn child. I knew that if someone else was responsible for her death, that they had been able to get away with it for ten years. You can see that that person wouldn’t be coming clean lightly.

Ruth Ware delivers a tense intriguing read. I was keen to find out the truth behind what had happened to April. The It Girl is another enjoyable read from Ruth Ware.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication date: 4th August 2022

Print length: 432 pages

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