My Top Ten Reads of 2022

We’re at that time of the year again. As it is with each year, it appears to be getting harder and harder to choose a top ten as the books I’ve read, continue to be phenomenally good. So far this year I’ve read 105 books and I’ve already read some excellent books that will be publishing in 2023 which I can’t wait to talk about closer to their publication dates. There’s a couple more books I’m hoping to finish before the year is out. This will be my last post of the year but I will be back in 2023 with more book reviews and I can’t wait to see what the New Year has in store.

So without any further ado, here are my top ten reads of 2022. In no particular order.

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

This is such a clever novel by Gillian McAllister and I really enjoyed it.You can read my full review of Wrong Place Wrong Time by clicking here.

Truly Darkly Deeply by Victoria Selman

Truly Darkly Deeply was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not disappoint. You can read my full review by clicking here.

The Guilty Couple by C.L. Taylor

I’m a huge C.L. Taylor fan but her latest book I think is definitely one of her best yet. You can read my full review of The Guilty Couple by clicking here.

Off Target by Eve Smith

I love Eve Smith’s futuristic thrillers and her writing is so addictive. You can read my full review of Off Target by clicking here.

The Shot by Sarah Sultoon

Sarah Sultoon tackles some tough topics in her novels but her books are so gripping and I’ve found both of her books to be powerful reads. You can read my full review of The Shot by clicking here.

The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola

This is the first book by Anna Mazzola that I’ve read and I can see I’ve been missing out. I loved her writing and how she created the eighteenth century Paris setting. You can read my full review of The Clockwork Girl by clicking here.

Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins

Fiona Cummins’ books have always made it into my top ten. She is such a phenomenal writer. You can read my full review of Into the Dark by clicking here.

The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas

The Girls Who Disappeared is a really creepy read by Claire Douglass and I loved it. You can read my full review by clicking here.

Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold

I flew through Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold. You can read my full review by clicking here.

If you love a political thriller then you need to read Sarah Vaughan’s latest book, Reputation. You can read my full review by clicking here.

That’s all from me for this year. I hope you have a brilliant Christmas if you celebrate, and a happy and healthy 2023.

In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the brilliant debut novel by Jo Callaghan, In the Blink of an Eye.


In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds.
Just gone. Vanished. In the blink of an eye. 

DCS Kat Frank knows all about loss. A widowed single mother, Kat is a cop who trusts her instincts. Picked to lead a pilot programme that has her paired with AIDE (Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity) Lock, Kat’s instincts come up against Lock’s logic. But when the two missing person’s cold cases they are reviewing suddenly become active, Lock is the only one who can help Kat when the case gets personal. 

AI versus human experience. 
Logic versus instinct.
With lives on the line can the pair work together before someone else becomes another statistic? 


In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan, is one of the most original crime novels I’ve read. I was really intrigued by the concept; the police using artificial intelligence to help crack cold cases. The artificial intelligence the police use in Jo’s book is a computer hologram, called Lock.

When DCS Kat Frank is first approached about the idea of testing artificial intelligence to help solve cases, she is horrified at the thought. In her mind, there is nothing better than good old fashioned police work that she believes, a machine will not be able to grasp the concept of. But there is also more of a personal reason for Kat not wanting to work with artificial intelligence.

I thought it was fascinating how, even though Lock is a machine, how I grew to like Lock. Kat is particularly harsh on Lock, and I thought she was being slightly unfair towards Lock at first, even though Lock is a machine and can’t feel like humans can, which Kat reminds Lock on more than one occasion. I wanted Kat to give Lock a chance to see if there could be potential for this new technology to help in solving cases. But it was interesting to see Kat’s working relationship with Lock develop over the course of the novel. It almost does feel as though Lock gradually becomes a part of the team.

The case DCS Kat Frank is investigating with Lock is an intriguing one. They are looking into the unsolved disappearance of a young man, and there are some intense chapters told from the victim’s perspective, which make us, the reader, aware that something terrifying has happened to him. I wanted to get to the bottom of what had happened to him, and I was rooting for Kat and Lock to solve the case. You can sense the emotional connection Kat has with the boy’s mother. It frustrates her when Lock doesn’t understand this, and comes out with statements that upset the missing boy’s mother.

The tension keeps ticking up a notch and I was turning the pages faster and faster towards the end. I highly, highly recommend In the Blink of an Eye; I hope this is the start of a new series featuring Kat and Lock, and if so, I’m looking forward to seeing where Jo Callaghan takes them next.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication date: 19th January 2023

Print length: 415 pages

In the Blink of an Eye is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

I’ll Never Tell by Philippa East #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Philippa East, I’ll Never Tell.


Keep your family close, and your secrets closer…

To the outside world, the Goodlights are perfect.

Julia is a lawyer, Paul a stay-at-home dad who has dedicated his life to helping their daughter Chrissie achieve her dreams as a talented violinist.

But on the night of a prestigious music competition, which has the power to change everything for Chrissie and her family, Chrissie goes missing.

She puts on the performance of a lifetime, then completely disappears. Suddenly every single crack, every single secret that the family is hiding risks being exposed.

Because the Goodlights aren’t perfect. Not even close.


I’ll Never Tell is a gripping psychological thriller from Philippa East which peers into the lives of a seemingly perfect family, the Goodlights, but that perception of them is far from the truth. Following the disappearance of Paul and Julia’s daughter, Chrissie, their lives are put under the microscope, and this is what makes this book such an addictive page-turner.

I wanted to find out what had happened to Chrissie, especially as it seems that she is on the verge of stardom, following an incredible music performance. You would think she would be excited about the future, but there is something dark going on behind the scenes. Philippa East creates an incredibly tense atmosphere as her parents and the police search for the truth. Has Chrissie come to harm? Philippa East ups the tension even more as she begins to reveal more about what is going on in their lives.

There were several people who I thought could be behind Chrissie’s disappearance as the novel delves deeper into what is going on. There were some scenes, as Philippa East goes back in time that sent shivers down my spine, especially one scene when we see the family, Paul, Chrissie and Julia, with Julia’s parents. I don’t think I ever quite warmed to Julia. I did find it interesting, though, as Philippa East delved into her backstory further, particularly, as I mentioned, with revelations about her family. Philippa tells the story from both Julia and Paul’s perspective and I thought she developed both of their characters really well. I could see the determination in both of them, but particularly in Paul, to help their daughter succeed. 

Philippa East’s writing really pulls you into the story and the characters and she uses tension so well in her book which kept me turning the pages. There were some shocking reveals as the truth about Chrissie’s disappearance comes to light and this makes for such a tense finale as the book reaches its conclusion.

I really enjoyed I’ll Never Tell. I loved Philippa’s debut novel when I read it a couple of years ago, and now I need to catch up on her second book. 

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 5th January 2023

Print length: 352 pages

I’ll Never Tell is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Lies at her Door by A.A. Abbott #bookreview #blogtour @AAAbbottStories @rararesources

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by A A Abbott, Lies at her Door. With thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.


She forgot about her childhood friend… until his body is found under her garden. Can she prove she didn’t commit the decades-old murder?

Lucy Freeman struggles to find satisfaction in life. Trapped in the shadow of her rock star brother, the thirty-two-year-old craves more than her days at home caring for her terminally ill mother. But her routine takes a turn for the horrifying when a giant sinkhole collapses the earth outside their house and reveals a skeleton.

Shocked to discover the bones belong to a former member of her sibling’s band, Lucy’s worst nightmare comes alive when police suspect her of the killing. And as she turns to her dying parent’s diaries in a desperate search for vindication, she’s entangled in a dark and complicated truth.

Will unearthing long-buried wrongs prove lethal?


Lies at her Door is the first novel by A.A. Abbott that I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be my last. I was intrigued by the set-up and the opening prologue, which set a chilling tone for the rest of the story to follow.

After the opening, I did feel that the story did take a little bit of time to get going again, but the tension begins to build with the shocking discovery of a skeleton, when a sink hole opens in the garden belonging to our main character, Lucy Freeman. This discovery could help unravel a decades-old cold-case. But it also immediately puts Lucy under the spotlight, and it also makes her a potential suspect.

I connected with Lucy right away. I wanted to find out what was going to happen to her, as well as what happened to the person whose body is discovered in the present day in her garden. I wanted to know how it had ended up there and who was behind the murder in the first place. There are some fascinating people in Lucy’s life, particularly her rock-star brother, who she rarely hears from nowadays, as he spends most of his time touring around the world. This was what made me have some sympathy for Lucy as well. She has been left behind and has to help out with her parents on her own while her brother lives the high life and doesn’t seem to take much of an interest in his family. Her brother is also connected to the mystery of the body found in Lucy’s garden. His former bandmate disappeared years ago and was never found. It is immediately suspected that the body is his. But is there anything Lucy’s brother has hidden about his past? This was what made the book, for me, intriguing as I wanted to know what was going on in their lives at the time this young man went missing.

The book really begins to get tense when the police become involved and I thought that A.A. Abbott’s police character’s, who are investigating the case, were very well drawn. In the chapters told from their perspective, the mystery opens further, and you can really see frictions, in Lucy’s family developing.

A.A. Abbott writes very well. I found myself turning the pages faster and faster to find out the truth behind the murder. Lies at her Door was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what A.A. Abbott comes up with next.

Publisher: Perfect City Press

Publication date: 5th July 2022

Print length: 507 pages

Lies at her Door is available to buy:

Amazon UK


The Prisoner by B A Paris #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by B A Paris, The Prisoner.



Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.


Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?


B A Paris has written a tense, exhilarating read with her new novel, The Prisoner. She opens her book with a captivating opening, when we see a young woman, Amelie, being bundled into a van, and then being held against her will, along with her husband. But what is the motive behind their kidnappings?

As Amelie begins to realise the horror of the situation she is in, B A Paris takes us back to the weeks leading up to the kidnapping. I was really interested in these scenes as we get to see what happened. This part of the novel was gripping and I was invested in Amelie’s story, especially when she becomes acquainted with her new friend, Carolyn, who offers her employment and accommodation in her home. As we begin to build up to the part where Amelie is kidnapped, we begin to understand why. These chapters really helped to create tension and build suspense. I was turning the pages really fast to find out what happened next.

In the present day chapters, following Amelie’s kidnap, B A Paris details the horror of her situation. I could feel the fear Amelie was experiencing, as she tried to understand what was happening to her. These chapters were so tense, especially when she meets her kidnappers for the first time, and tries to think of a way how she could escape. You can see just how dependent she is on them to survive.

I was surprised by the direction in which B A Paris took the plot, as she begins to reveal why Amelie and her husband are kidnapped in the first place. But it did make sense as everything began to unfold. There are some really nasty characters in this book, I won’t say who; but I was rooting for Amelie from the beginning to get out of the situation she was in.

The only criticism I would have, is that I did feel that it took too long for the book to wrap up at the end, and felt it could’ve been a bit shorter. Other than that though I thought The Prisoner was a thoroughly entertaining read.  

Publisher: Hodder & Staughton

Publication date: 3rd November 2022

Print length: 308 pages

The Prisoner is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Bad Fruit by Ella King #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Ella King, Bad Fruit.



Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges the teddy bears on Mama’s quilt, she puts on her matching pink clothes. Anything to help put out the fire of Mama’s rage.


But Mama is becoming unpredictable, dangerous. And as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long.
She only wanted to be good, to help piece Mama back together. But as home truths creep out of the shadows, Lily must recast everything: what if her house isn’t a home – but a prison? What if Mama isn’t a protector – but a monster . . .


Bad Fruit is a really compelling debut novel by Ella King. Told from the point of view of eighteen-year-old Lily, the novel explores the complicated relationship Lily has with her family, and it makes for a very addictive read. I was utterly compelled to find out what was going to happen to Lily, as she navigates the stormy seas, as she prepares to enter the adult world. Lily is a young woman who has lot on her shoulders.

Lily’s voice shone through on the page. Through Ella King’s writing we step into Lily’s world and experience the tension and trauma she experiences alongside with her. Bad Fruit has some of the most fascinating character’s I’ve come across recently. The relationship Lily has with her family, but particularly, her mother, is tense. There is such intensity to the writing, as Ella King explores this part of their lives, and it really pulled me into the story, keeping me hooked right the way through. I wanted to understand what was going on here and why Lily’s mother behaved in the way she did towards her daughter.

As Ella King delves deeper into Lily’s family, Ella shows us some intense scenes that occur between them, some, which are also, quite upsetting to read. These scenes made me feel really angry for Lily, and I wanted her to be able to get away from her family. I could always feel that she was trying to avoid stepping on eggshells around her mother. This begins with her mother’s insistence that Lily’s father has been having an affair. I could see just how controlling Lily’s mother was, and how much power she holds over Lily. Lily follows her mother’s every command, making her, her mother’s favourite out of her three children. But this puts Lily in uncomfortable situations and her mother takes advantage of this. Lily’s mother is also very unpredictable. I had no idea what she was going to do next. It’s also what makes her very unlikeable, as a person. But there is a sense of mystery about Lily’s mother that I found compelling. I wanted to know the reasons why she was the way she is now.

Bad Fruit will immediately pull you into the story and you will be hooked on every word. I’m so pleased I found this book. I will definitely be keeping an eye out to see what Ella King writes next.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 18th August 2022

Print length: 319 pages

Bad Fruit is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Family at No. 12 by Anita Waller #bookreview #blogtour @anitamayw @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Anita Walker, The Family at No. 12 With thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.


The explosive new thriller from international bestseller Anita Waller.

When Janette answers the door to a potential customer looking to board his dog, she never imagines he has nefarious plans.

But minutes later he’s dead and in her cellar.

Weeks later she realises she’s pregnant.

And so she becomes Mother and the baby Child, and a hidden life begins.

But all secrets come out eventually . . .


I was intrigued by the blurb for The Family at No.12 and Anita Waller is a new author to me, so I thought I’d give it a go. There is a harrowing opening to this book, in which we see Janette being attacked and raped by a random stranger in her own home. There are some vivid details in this scene. But what is even more distressing for Janette, is when she finds out she’s pregnant with her attacker’s child. This throws her into a new terrifying situation she knows she’ll have to deal with on her own.

I felt for Janette in the opening pages in this book, and I could sense how the attack, and subsequent events, had left their mark on her. I liked that she ended up getting a dog, and the relationship there was between them, but I struggled to warm to Janette further after her daughter was born. I could see why Janette treated her child with disdain, not even giving her a name, referring to her only as “the child,” and why Janette almost, didn’t want anything to do with her child. But I was willing there to be some sort of a bond to develop between them, as I thought this would be good for both of them.

I was interested to see what would happen to Janette’s child, and this is what the second part of the novel is devoted to. I don’t want to give anything away here, as this will spoil what happens, but it was fascinating seeing what becomes of her, especially, as she was never allowed out of her house in her early years, and had no social interaction with anyone else. I felt the pacing did drop a little bit in this second half of the novel, but I was still kept invested in her story.

Anita Waller creates a lot of tension, and I was never sure what was going to happen to Janette’s child as she started to grow. Despite the horrific event that happened to her mother, her daughter was innocent in what happened and this was what made me really feel for her as the story progressed.

The Family at No.12 is quite a harrowing read, but I was invested in the characters particularly in the life of Janette’s daughter, and this kept me reading.  

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication date: 29th November 2022

Print length: 336 pages

The Family at No.12 is available to buy:

Amazon UK