Homecoming by Isabel Ashdown #bookreview #blogtour @IsabelAshdown @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Isabel Ashdown, Homecoming, as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part.


Welcome to The Starlings… sun, sea and neighbours to die for.

Security, a sparkling sea view and the best kind of neighbours – The Starlings gated community has it all. Here, doors are left open, children run free, and at the heart of it all is the entrepreneurial Gold Family, who first dreamed up this aspirational vision of ‘Dorset’s Safest Community’. To the outside world the popular family appears glitteringly blessed… until an idyllic party takes a dark turn and one of their number is found slumped at the foot of the clocktower. Who knows what really happened? And what answers are harboured within the old building, the former Highcap Mother and Baby Home?’


I’m a huge fan of Isabel Ashdown’s writing, so I jumped at the chance to join the blog tour for her latest book, Homecoming. I love a thriller that zooms in on a tight knit community and this is what Isabel Ashdown does in this book and it is a gripping read.

The setting of this novel is a former Mother and Baby Home which does carry with it, a dark and intriguing past. But the home is now a luxury development called The Starlings, created by the Gold family who also live there. Some of the residents who have moved in, have a connection to its past, and they are keen to bring the knowledge of what happened at the home into the public domain. This sort of setting, a new luxury retreat, with top of the range security, can be idyllic, but it also gives the feeling that there are people watching you, and that everyone knows everyone’s secrets and Isabel Ashdown describes it very well.

It’s the characters who really pulled me into the story and the secrets they might be hiding. This is what creates tension. I felt as though there was something dark going on here, especially when things take a more sinister turn, with the discovery of a body at the foot of the clock tower. As the police get involved, it feels as though Isabel Ashdown really is putting her characters under the microscope. I was especially keen to find out more about Ginny and her past and what happened at the top of the clock tower.

I loved the way how Isabel Ashdown peeled back the layers of what is really going on inside this community. I wouldn’t describe this as a particularly fast paced book, but Isabel Ashdown’s writing is very addictive. Isabel Ashdown builds characters really well and they are what make her books stand out. There is also a lot of emotion in her book, especially as the history of the starlings is explored further, and there are some harrowing secrets which come to light.

Isabel Ashdown is a brilliant writer. If you haven’t discovered her books yet, you need to read them.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 24th November 2022

Print length: 356 pages

Homecoming is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


My Husband’s Killer by Laura Marshall #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by Laura Marshall, My Husband’s Killer.


Three couples. One murder. A holiday to die for . . .

We arrived at a villa on the Amalfi Coast, ready to enjoy a sun-soaked weekend with our oldest friends – and one new face.

By the end of the weekend, my husband is found dead.

But how can I mourn him, when on the day of his funeral I discover he was having an affair?

The only suspects are the women we went on holiday with. My oldest, closest friends.

Do I really want to dig into my husband’s secret? Do I really want to know who betrayed me?

And as I start to unravel their secrets . . . do I really believe his death was an accident?


Laura Marshall knows how to write an engaging first chapter. I’ve read all of her novels, and I loved her latest, My Husband’s Killer.

We meet Liz, whose husband, Andrew, has recently been killed in a tragic accident, while they were on holiday in Italy with friends. But Liz is left even more bereft, when she finds evidence that her husband may have been having an affair on the day of his funeral. It puts Liz in an impossible situation. How can she mourn Andrew now, when all she can think of is the idea of Andrew cheating on her? Will she ever find out what was going on now that he’s dead?

The set-up to this book was very engaging. I wanted to know what was going on in Andrew and Liz’s lives before Andrew’s death. As Laura Marshall begins to reveal what happened, she introduces the rest of her cast, Liz and Andrew’s friends, who were on holiday with them in Italy. There was no one in the group who I particularly warmed to, as I was reading this book. They were all fleshed out well and there were some intense scenes between them, making this book really engaging. I wanted to know more about what was going on in their private lives, and if there was any more to Andrew’s death than what first meets the eye.

I loved the setting of the Amalfi Coast. Laura Marshall captures the beauty of the setting well, but she also creates a sense of menace. I got the feeling that there was something more going on here behind the scenes, especially as Laura Marshall reveals her character’s true colours. And there are some nasty character’s in this book.

I thought the ending of this book was done so well. Laura Marshall gradually builds on the tension as the plot of the novel develops, but when the final revelations came, leading to some shocking, and hard-hitting reveals for Liz, the tension increases and reaches boiling point. I thoroughly enjoyed My Husband’s Killer and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 29th November 2022

Print length: 352 pages

My Husband’s Killer is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Happy New Year by Malin Stehn #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping thriller by Malin Stehn, Happy New Year.


As midnight approaches, old friends the Wiksells and the Anderssons raise their glasses in celebration.

Across town, their teenage children host their own party, finally free to let loose.

But the next morning, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Wiksell is missing.

The hours tick by.
The police get involved.
And no one knows who to trust.

Because these two families have a lot to hide.

And some will do anything to keep the truth from getting out . . .


I must admit, one of the first things that drew me to Happy New Year by Malin Stehn, was the stunning green cover. As I started reading, I was totally gripped by the premise and by the characters in the story.

The tension is there right from the beginning in this book, and it kept me hooked. It’s New Year’s Eve, a night for excitement and the promise of new beginnings, but for one family it’ll mark the end of the life they once knew, and the start of a horrific nightmare which becomes their new normality. Jennifer Wikells, a seventeen-year-old girl, who was hosting a New Year’s Eve party, goes missing without trace.

I was really intrigued by what had happened to Jennifer. Malin Stehn shows us a couple of scenes in the lead up to her disappearance, that add to the intrigue, and it made me want to find out what happened to her even more. The emotions of the characters really come through in the writing, particularly in Jennifer’s mother as she grapples to come to terms with what has happened. You can see how much she wants to help find her daughter, but also how frustrated she is at the lack of progress in the investigation. The tension keeps turning up a notch as we delve into the minds of different character’s, who are all connected to Jennifer in some way. I definitely had a few suspects in mind, who I thought could be behind her disappearance, as I was reading. You can tell that this is a group of people who have secrets, and this made me want to get to the bottom of what was going on.

I found Malin Stehn’s writing very gripping. When the final reveals came I could really see the impact they had on the characters. The twists are done very well and there were certainly a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. Malin Stehn keeps you invested in the characters and the story. You will want to find out the answers as to what happened to Jennifer.

Happy New Year is an addictive read, and it is perfect for this time of year. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publication date: 24th November 2022

Print length: 432 pages

Happy New Year is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

The Pain Tourist by Paul Cleave #bookreview #blogtour @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #YeahNoir

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Paul Cleave, The Pain Tourist.


How do you catch a killer…
When the only evidence is a dream?

James Garrett was critically injured when he was shot following his parents’ execution, and no one expected him to waken from a deep, traumatic coma. When he does, nine years later, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is tasked with closing the case that her now retired colleague, Theodore Tate, failed to solve all those years ago.

But between that, and hunting for Copy Joe – a murderer on a spree, who’s imitating Christchurch’s most notorious serial killer – she’s going to need Tate’s help. Especially when they learn that James has lived out another life in his nine-year coma, and there are things he couldn’t possibly know, including the fact that Copy Joe isn’t the only serial killer in town…


Paul Cleave has definitely become an auto-buy author for me, after reading his first two books, The Quiet People, last year and now The Pain Tourist.

Paul Cleave opens his new novel with a horrific opening where we see a family being attacked by a group of strangers in their own home. The outcome of the attack is devastating, with the parents both being shot dead, their son James left in a coma, and their only daughter, Hazel, the only member of the family to survive. What is even more horrifying is that the attackers got the wrong house and targeted a totally innocent family.

It’s been nine years since the attack. James has finally woken from his coma, and the full horrors of what happened to his family are revealed to him. For him, the day the attack took place, only happened yesterday. But the people who killed his parents and left him hospitalised in a coma, got away with what they did. Now, the police believe that with James regaining consciousness, they might have a chance of solving the case, and you can feel the detective’s determination to bring this case to a conclusion.

This was such an intense read, particularly the first few pages which throw you into the story and make sure you keep reading. The tension rises further as the police try to get to the bottom of what happened once and for all, and to bring those responsible to justice. Paul Cleave explores an intriguing idea in his book, in which he focuses on James, who the police believe may hold vital evidence. The only problem is, is that James dreamed this while he was in the coma. Paul Cleave also tells the story from the point of view of the people who were responsible for the attack. They know James is awake and this could potentially mean the police will catch up with them, and it appears they are willing to do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I really felt for James as he comes to terms with what has happened to his family, and as he struggles to cope with life after waking from his coma. You can see how difficult he is finding it when the police are keen to speak to him, about what he remembers from the day of the attack on his family.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Pain Tourist. It is highly addictive; and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. You will be turning the pages late into the night to finish this book. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication: 10th November 2022

Print length: 300 pages

The Pain Tourist is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Shadows of Rutherford House by Caroline England #bookreview #blogtour @CazEngland @HeraBooks

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new gothic thriller by C E Rose, The Shadows of Rutherford House.


Darkness lies at the heart of this family…

In 1959 Milly starts her new life as a housemaid at Rutherford House, working for the aristocratic Rutherford-Percy clan. Entranced by her new mistress, Vivienne, she becomes deeply embroiled in the household and the keeper of dark secrets the family conceals beneath the mansion’s grand exterior.

In the present day, Christie is working as a psychiatric nurse when she meets troubled patient Lillian Percy, Vivienne’s granddaughter and heiress to Rutherford House. They soon bond over the loss of their mothers
– Lillian’s died when she was a child; Christie’s mysteriously disappeared over twenty years ago – and Christie finds herself increasingly fascinated by
Lillian’s family and their imposing ancestral home.

As Christie learns more about the Rutherford-Percys, she finds a shocking clue that could help her uncover what happened to her own mother. Desperate for answers, Christie puts her job, her family and even her very life on the line. But how much of the truth does she really want to know?

A twisty, chilling and unputdownable page-turner about family secrets, perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Louise Douglas and Harriet Evans.


The Shadows of Rutherford House is an engaging new gothic suspense novel by C E Rose. C E Rose does a brilliant job of drawing you into her writing by her characters, who inhabit Rutherford House, and the house itself. C E Rose brings her setting to life very well. You often hear the phrase “if walls could talk,” and I was certainly thinking that as I was reading this book.

I think this is definitely more of a slow burner, but the suspense builds as we begin to understand more about what has happened in the past and how this links to the present. The chapters are also short, which is what I also quite liked about this book.

We follow three separate timelines. In the present Christie has arrived at Rutherford House, following the recent disappearance of her mother. C E Rose brilliantly intertwines Christie’s story with stories of people who have previously lived at the house. As the plot develops and as we get to know the character’s further, it darkens, and makes you turn the pages even faster to get to the end.

The plot is quite a complex one, particularly with the different narrations and the timelines, but C E Rose handles this very well, and it’s part of what made me even more invested in the lives of the characters. One of C E Rose’s most brilliant skills, I think, as a writer, is her characterisation. She really delves into their emotions and makes them feel like real people. In the present I could feel Christie’s determination to get to the bottom of what happened to her mother, but she is also doing this at her own personal cost which adds to the tension in the book.

One of the characters who I found really intriguing was Imogen. C E Rose creates a real sense of darkness about Imogen and this made me eager to find out more about her. This is what helps to create a sinister atmosphere in the book.  There are some chilling moments throughout the history of Rutherford House in recent decades that really did put me on the edge of my seat.

The Shadows of Rutherford House is another intriguing read by C E Rose that kept me engrossed right the way through.

Publisher: Hera Books

Publication date: 10th November 2022

Print length: 349 pages

The Shadows of Rutherford House is available to buy:

Amazon UK


Hidden Scars by Angela Marsons #bookreview #blogtour @WriteAngie @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Angela Marsons, Hidden Scars on my blog today.


While Jamie’s cold, lifeless body lay in the morgue, Detective Kim Stone stared at the empty board in the incident room and felt her anger boil. Why were there no photos, details, or lines of enquiry?

When a nineteen-year-old boy, Jamie Mills, is found hanging from a tree in a local park, his death is ruled a suicide. Detective Kim Stone’s instincts tell her something isn’t right – but it’s not her investigation and her temporary replacement is too busy waiting for the next big case to be asking the right questions.

Why would a seemingly healthy boy choose to end his life?
Why does his mother show no sign of emotional distress at the loss of her son?

Still mending her broken mind and body from her last harrowing case, Kim is supposed to be easing back into work gently. But then she finds a crucial, overlooked detail: Jamie had a recent injury that would have made it impossible for him to climb the tree. He must have been murdered.

Quickly taking back charge of her team and the case, Kim visits Jamie’s parents and is shocked to hear that they had sent him to a clinic to ‘cure’ him of his sexuality. According to his mother, Jamie was introverted and prone to mood swings. Yet his friend speaks of a vibrant, outgoing boy.

The clues to smashing open this disturbing case lie behind the old Victorian walls of the clinic, run by the Gardner family. They claim that patients come of their own accord and are free to leave at any time. But why are those that attended the clinic so afraid to speak of what happens there? And where did the faded restraint marks identified on Jamie’s wrists come from?

Then the body of a young woman is found dead by suffocation and Kim makes two chilling discoveries. The victim spent time at the clinic too, and her death was also staged to look like a suicide.

Scarred from an ordeal that nearly took her life, is Kim strong enough to stop a terrifying killer from silencing the clinic’s previous patients one by one?


It’s always exciting to hear when Angela Marsons is releasing a new Kim Stone book, and each book has always gone straight to the top of my TBR pile the moment it’s downloaded onto my kindle. I couldn’t wait to read Hidden Scars, book seventeen in the series, from the moment it was announced. After the traumatic events that took place in the last book, it was going to be interesting to see how Kim was coping. If you haven’t read the last book, this book does contain some small spoilers, so I would certainly suggest reading the previous book first if you’re a fan of the series. Kim’s team have been patiently waiting her return to work, especially as they have found life without her at the station difficult, particularly with their new boss, who has taken charge in Kim’s absence.

In Hidden Scars, the novel opens with a devastating scene, following the suicide of a young man. But Kim can see that there is something more here than what first meets the eye. It certainly feels that if she wasn’t back in time for this investigation, it may well have been brushed to the side.

Angela Marsons explores some heart-breaking stories in this book and she explores the topic of conversion therapy. It’s harrowing to hear how people, who are gay, are forced to try and change who they are, often by their own family, who can’t accept that they are gay. It’s flabbergasting to think that there are people out there who believe they can change who a person is. Angela Marsons brings this to light well in her book, in a sensitive way as well. You can feel the emotions right throughout this story, especially how angry these new revelations make Kim and Bryant. I was desperate to know who was behind the killings and, as per usual, I was rooting for Kim and Bryant to catch them.

Each book always brings something new to this series and Angela Marsons always, expertly, manages to keep things feeling fresh. I will never stop reading the Kim Stone novels. Hidden Scars is another brilliant read from Angela Marsons and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kim next.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 9th November 2022

Print length: 356 pages

Hidden Scars is available to buy:

Amazon UK


The Dark by Emma Haughton #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping debut novel by Emma Haughton, The Dark.


In the most inhospitable environment – cut off from the rest of the world – there’s a killer on the loose.

A&E doctor Kate North has been knocked out of her orbit by a personal tragedy. So when she’s offered the opportunity to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica, she jumps at the chance. The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident while out on the ice.

The move seems an ideal solution for Kate: no one knows about her past; no one is checking up on her. But as total darkness descends for the winter, she begins to suspect that Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t accidental at all.


I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to read The Dark by Emma Haughton. This is definitely one of my favourite psychological thrillers of the year. It is the perfect time to read it, as the winter months are setting in. Set in Antarctica, Emma Haughton brings the setting to life so well, and Emma Haughton creates such intensity in her writing, and she uses this to help raise the stakes for the characters higher and higher.

At the base where the characters are living, they are cut off from the wider world. It can take a long time for emergency services to reach them if anything goes wrong. It makes it more important than ever that they work as a team. When Doctor Kate North arrives, she turns up shortly after one member of the group she has been assigned to, has been killed. There is already a tense atmosphere, and everyone, of course, is still upset because of what has happened to their team member. Kate feels as though something isn’t right, and there are murmurings among the group, that there might be more to the death than first meets the eye. One member of the group isn’t prepared to let it lie. But is it possible there is a killer amongst them? If so they could all be in danger.

Emma Haughton paints a vivid picture of how dangerous the setting is for the characters. We already know that someone has died out on the ice so this adds another layer of fear for the characters. I really liked Kate and how Emma developed her character over the course of the novel. There were some aspects to her character that made me want to find out more about her and what had happened in her past. I liked her interactions with the rest of the team, and she comes across as warm and friendly, although she does make some mistakes, even as she is still settling into life at the base. I really didn’t warm to Sandrine, who is the person in charge. I could picture Sandrine clearly in my mind and I thought the moments, when it was just her and Kate together in the book, were really tense.

The Dark is the perfect title for this novel, it’s a haunting read. The writing is taut and it makes it very hard to put the book down. I highly, highly recommend The Dark to psychological thriller lovers. I’ll be reading Emma’s next book as soon as possible. You can definitely label me an Emma Haughton fan.

Publisher: Hodder & Staughton

Publication date: 19th August 2021

Print length: 384 pages

The Dark is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Suicide Thursday by Will Carver #bookreview #blogtour @will_carver @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Will Carver, Suicide Thursday. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


Eli Hagin can’t finish anything. 

He hates his job, but can’t seem to quit. He doesn’t want to be with his girlfriend, but doesn’t know how end things with her, either. Eli wants to write a novel, but he’s never taken a story beyond the first chapter. 

Eli also has trouble separating reality from fiction. 

When his best friend kills himself, Eli is motivated, for the first time in his life, to finally end something himself, just as Mike did…

Except sessions with his therapist suggest that Eli’s most recent ‘first chapters’ are not as fictitious as he had intended … and a series of text messages that Mike received before his death point to something much, much darker…


Will Carver is back with another pacy and addictive thriller, in his new book, Suicide Thursday. Once again Will Carver delves into the minds of his characters, really getting under their skin in a book, I’m sure, readers won’t be forgetting about in a hurry.

We meet Eli, who is one of the most intriguing of Will Carver’s characters to date. It feels as though he is at a crossroads in his life, unable to make a decision on things that matter to him; if he wants to stay where he works, or if he wants to stay with his girlfriend. His relationship with his girlfriend, Jackie is also a very interesting aspect to this story and I was fascinated by them both. Eli is also desperate to write a novel, but he can never get past the first chapter. His voice is very engaging and you really feel as though Will Carver is delving into his subconscious. Will Carver has a real gift for creating very real characters that pull you into the story.

Once again, Will Carver doesn’t tackle a light topic in his book. We also meet Mike, who is struggling in life, and these scenes, featuring Mike, are often told through a series of text messages to one individual. It isn’t revealed who the individual is who Mike is talking to, but there are some dark exchanges between them as the book progresses, which may make some readers feel uncomfortable. Mike is in a very dark place, threatening to commit suicide, but there seems to be something there making him cling onto life, even though someone else is urging him to end it all, which adds to the tension throughout the book.

Will Carver has written a very clever story in the way in which he entwines the character’s lives in Suicide Thursday. I loved the sense of mystery surrounding them in this book, which is what was urging me to keep reading, and I wanted to know how things were going to pan out for Eli. The dark, foreboding atmosphere is also there right from the beginning. One thing you should not expect when you read a Will Carver book is for it to be a light read.

Will Carver has written another superb, original thriller that kept me gripped.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 24th November 2022

Print length: 276 pages

Suicide Thursday is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones