The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new thriller by Louise Candlish, The Only Suspect.


There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.
Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most extrovert guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread . . .
As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.
It still isn’t.


Louise Candlish is a writer who knows how to deliver a twisty plot. I’ve become a huge fan of her writing in recent years. Her latest novel is The Only Suspect. The book is told across two time periods, in the 1990s and the present day, there are long held secrets which are now at risk of being exposed.

In the present day chapters, we meet Alex, who has been living a comfortable lifestyle, but all of that is threatened when it is revealed to him, that a nature trail is about to be created nearby, and the work being done there, could unearth long held secrets he’s tried to keep buried. You can feel the stress this puts Alex under as he realises what is happening, and I wanted to know what had gone on in his past. Then we revert back to the 1990s when we meet Rick, who is in his twenties. Rick has just got together with a young woman called Marina, who he hopes to have a future with, and we see their relationship begin to develop and get more serious. But their relationship begins to get far more complicated than he first thought it would be, and it begins to get dangerous.

Louise Candlish creates such a tense atmosphere around Marina’s relationship with Rick in the 90s. I could sense there was something not quite right here, when Rick first gets together with her. I could see that he was keener on having a relationship with Marina than Marina was. This made me want to know what was going on in Marina’s life, and what it was that she was potentially hiding from him. Rick does come across as someone who is quite vulnerable, and he is desperate to help Marina, when he begins to learn more about what is going on in her life. I did feel quite sorry for Rick at this point, as Marina didn’t appear to know what she wanted from their relationship, and if she wanted to move forward with it. At one point I was thinking that perhaps Rick should walk away from Marina, and that he was making a mistake in helping her, but another part of me wanted to see what was going to happen to them the longer they stayed together, and what the consequences of that would be. Louise Candlish is definitely a writer who knows how to keep her audience invested in her characters. She also always creates real, authentic people who you want to go on a journey with.

As Louise Candlish gradually reveals the truth behind what is going on, she drops some bombshells I did not see coming. There was one twist in particular that floored me. The book was already holding my attention, but after reading that particular twist, I had to read on right to the end, ignoring all possible distractions.

I have a feeling that The Only Suspect is going to be one of my top ten books of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 2nd February 2023

Print length: 429 pages

The Only Suspect is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Exiles by Jane Harper #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the third book in the Aaron Falk series by Jane Harper, Exiles.


A mother disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night.

Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes.

A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family.

Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems.

As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears.

Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth…


I’ve really enjoyed Jane Harper’s first two Aaron Falk novels, so I was excited to hear about the release of her latest book to feature Aaron, Exiles. Once again, federal investigator, Aaron Falk, investigates a murky world, following the disappearance of a young mother, Kim Gillespie, who vanished a year ago. She hasn’t been heard from since. It is Kim’s daughter, Zara, who is fighting to keep the search for her mother going. Zara is insistent that something must’ve happened to her, and that Kim wouldn’t have abandoned her family, particularly her baby daughter.

What I love about Jane Harper’s writing is how she reels you into her story and into the lives of her characters. I really liked Aaron Falk’s development in this book. He is invested in the case of Kim’s disappearance, but he is also starting to fall in love with a woman named Gemma. This was part of the plot I really liked about this book. I felt that it was time for him to settle down with someone, and I loved seeing his relationship with Gemma build across the course of the novel. It is not a smooth process getting to this stage for Aaron, and there were times when I wanted to shout at him, as I could see that they would be perfect together and would make each other happy. He seemed a little hesitant about moving things forward.

It’s a shame that this is the last Aaron Falk novel, as I would like to see where his life takes him from this point, but I did feel as though it was the perfect end for him as well. I loved how Jane Harper wrapped up the investigation into Kim’s disappearance. I could see everything coming together. Jane Harper is a master of delving into families and the secrets they keep, and this creates a lot of drama in the final part of the book, which we get to see as Aaron Falk gets closer to the truth of what happened to Kim. It was such a gripping and a devastating finale. I could clearly see the character’s motivations and you can feel the emotions they are experiencing, especially as Jane tells some of the scenes from Kim’s perspective. There is also another intriguing aspect to the plot of this book, as there has been a hit-and-run in the same town. People believe this might be connected to Kim’s disappearance. It was really interesting to see Jane Harper weave the conclusion to this event into the book’s finale as well.

Jane Harper always excels at creating an immersive experience for her readers and she delivers this again in Exiles. I hope that one day in the future Jane will return to Aaron Falk. It has been brilliant following his journey across three novels. If you’re a Jane Harper fan you need to make sure that Exiles goes straight to the top of your TBR pile. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication date: 2nd February 2023

Print length: 422 pages

Exiles is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett #bookreview #blogtour @JaniceHallett @ViperBooks

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Janice Hallett, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels.


Open the safe deposit box. Inside you will find research material for a true crime book. You must read the documents, then make a decision. Will you destroy them? Or will you take them to the police?

Everyone knows the sad story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a teenage girl and convinced her that her newborn baby was the anti-Christ. Believing they had a divine mission to kill the infant, they were only stopped when the girl came to her senses and called the police. The Angels committed suicide rather than stand trial, while mother and baby disappeared into the care system.

Nearly two decades later, true-crime author Amanda Bailey is writing a book on the Angels. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen and can finally be interviewed; if Amanda can find them, it will be the true-crime scoop of the year, and will save her flagging career. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and is also on the baby’s trail.

As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realise that what everyone thinks they know about the Angels is wrong. The truth is something much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined. And the story of the Alperton Angels is far from over..

After all, the devil is in the detail…


Whenever I hear that Janice Hallett has a new book coming out, I get really excited. When I read her debut novel, The Appeal, I knew then that she was a very unique writer. Her books are always so original, and Janice Hallett creates a truly immersive experience for the reader. Her latest book is The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, which I believe will also appeal to fans of true crime. We are given an instruction at the start of the book. The pages we are about to read is the extensive research by bestselling true crime author, Amanda Bailey, on a horrific crime that took place more than a decade ago involving a cult known as the Alperton Angels. Once we have finished reading the book, we then must decide if the information inside should be made public.

What I love about Janice Hallett’s books is that she makes you feel as though you are reading about true events that have taken place. There is always a unique way in which she writes her books, either through email exchanges, texts, or through audio files. In this book, it is through the research that author, Amanda Bailey, has undertaken for her new book, about the chilling Alperton Angels case, that took place in 2003.

Amanda Bailey’s voice comes through so well in the emails and texts she is exchanging between different people. I could clearly see her enthusiasm for the topic she is researching, and she wants to make sure her new book is a success. But you can also feel the pressure she is under, especially from her agent, to get this right. There is already a buzz surrounding the book, as the Alperton Angels is quite famous and draws a lot of attention. But as Amanda begins to get closer to the truth about what happened, I began to feel fear for her. I was eager to know what was going to happen to her if she continued to probe deeper into the story. It made me wonder if she was putting herself more in danger as she continued to contact people who had a connection to the case she was investigating.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is another top read by Janice Hallett which will thrill her fans. The mystery of the novel pulled me in and kept me hooked and Amanda Bailey kept me engaged throughout the book. A thoroughly entertaining read, I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see what Janice Hallett comes up with next.

Publisher: Viper Books

Publication date: 19th January 2023

Print length: 432 pages

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Ideal Man by T.J. Emerson #bookreview #blogtour @TraceyJEmerson @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new thriller by T.J. Emerson, The Ideal Man as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.


Three women’s lives are about to change forever.

The Daughter.

My father is innocent. He’s spent almost four years behind bars, but now he’s getting out. I gave up everything to be there for him, just like he was always there for me. It’s all going to be worth it now.

The Girlfriend.

As soon as I opened the paper that day and saw that picture of Sandy, I didn’t care about the story surrounding it. There’s no way he hurt that girl. Now he’s out, we’ll get married and I’ll finally get to meet his daughter. There’ll be no more hiding our love.

The Other Woman.

No one knows what happened all those years ago, and the life I built depends on no one finding out. Now he’s getting out, my secrets may soon see the light. I can’t let that happen.

One Loves Him.

One Needs Him.

One Wants Him DEAD.


The Ideal Man is a gripping novel by T.J. Emerson, following the lives of three women as they deal with the release of Sandy, from prison, after he has spent time in prison for rape. What follows is an intense narrative as the three women battle with their perception of Sandy and what sort of a man he truly is, a monster or a victim.

Following Sandy’s release from prison, he travels to the French town of Nice to be with his daughter, Colette, who has fought for his release, and has publicly shared her journey to this point on her blog. She believes wholeheartedly in his innocence, which has ostracised her from her brother, who now lives in Australia, and who has no relationship with her, or their father. It also sparked the end to her marriage. I thought it was intriguing to see their relationship begin to move forward when Sandy comes to live with her. He comes across as someone who is dominating, and Colette begins to feel this a little, as Sandy begins to pick up his life again from before he went to prison. I was fascinated to see if whether or not she would begin to change her mind about her dad.

T.J. Emerson also tells the story from the point of view of a woman called Lynne, who is Sandy’s new girlfriend. She contacted him while he was in prison, and like Collette, she can’t believe that he is guilty of the crime he was convicted of. I was interested to see what Collette’s relationship with Lynn would be like, once Sandy introduced the two of them together, and if there would be any tensions between them, particularly as Sandy kept Lynne a secret from Collette.

We also hear from Jane, the woman who Sandy raped. Jane has struggled to move on from the incident, and you can see just how fearful she is, knowing that Sandy has been released from prison. This is also affecting the relationship that she has with her husband and her son. T.J. Emerson keeps the tension ticking up a notch, as I kept wondering, if at any point in the novel, if Jane and Sandy would cross paths again, and what would happen if they did.

I really liked how T.J. Emerson got inside the heads of her characters. Their emotions come through in the writing as they grapple with their thoughts and feelings, and this is what makes this novel an intense read. The Ideal Man makes for an intriguing and an absorbing psychological thriller.

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication date: 25th January 2023

Print length: 364 pages

The Ideal Man is available to buy:

Amazon UK


She’s Mine by A.A. Chaudhuri #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on She’s Mine by A.A. Chaudhuri.


Her missing daughter was just the start of the nightmare

Twenty years ago, Christine Donovan took a call she should have ignored while shopping. In those few seconds while her back was turned, her toddler, Heidi, was kidnapped. She’s never been seen again.

Despite having two other children with husband Greg, Christine remains guilt-stricken that her neglect caused her child to be stolen, while haunted by a secret that consumes her.

Just as she takes measures to finally heal, a note is posted through her door, with the words she has always longed to hear: Heidi isn’t dead.

Christine might finally get the answers she craves – but what she doesn’t know is that finding her daughter will uncover dark secrets close to home.

In seeking the truth, Christine might destroy everything that she loves … so how far is she willing to go to find Heidi?


She’s Mine by A.A. Chaudhuri is a mind-blowing book. The twists in this book just keep on coming, and the twists show that A.A. Chaudhuri is very talented, and an extremely exciting writer.  

A.A. Chaudhuri introduces us to a seriously twisted family in her novel, but they have also suffered an unimaginable trauma. Twenty years ago, Christine’s daughter, Heidi, disappeared when Christine looked away from her for one moment, to accept a phone call that she shouldn’t have done. There is a really tense narrative as we see how Heidi’s disappearance has affected her family. Her mother hasn’t been the best parent. Before Heidi went missing, she only ever thought of herself and of the affair she was having. And since Heidi’s disappearance she has neglected her two other children, as she blames herself for what happened all those years ago.

Every single character in this book is twisted. I think the only person who I did have a little bit of sympathy for was Greg, Christine’s husband. Greg and Christine’s two other children absolutely hater Christine, you can see this in the way they talk about her and they make no secret of it even when they are with their mother. Although you can see that Christine has been a terrible mother, I did wish that there would be some reconciliation between her and her children. You can see how guilty she feels about not looking after Heidi properly the day she went missing, and how desperate she is to find out what happened. There were times when I did feel sorry for Christine, because of what she has been through, and because of the torture that she goes through in this book, but I also could see why her family hated her the way they did.

A.A. Chaudhuri delivers twist after twist as the book races towards its finale. She’s Mine is a very dark book and there are several brilliant twists. It does take a lot for a psychological thriller to shock me with a good twist. A.A. Chaudhuri definitely succeeded in shocking me in this book. The twists have definitely made me think about what happens next to the characters after the final page, and how they are doing now.  

I thoroughly enjoyed reading She’s Mine and I’m looking forward to catching up on A.A. Chaudhuri’s next book as soon as I can.

Publisher: Hera

Publication date: 18th August 2021

Print length: 386 pages

She’s Mine is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Dirt by Sarah Sultoon #bookreview #blogtour @SultoonSarah @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Sarah Sultoon, Dirt as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


This is no utopia…

1996. Northern Israel. Lola leaves an unhappy home life in England for the fabled utopian life of a kibbutz, but this heavily guarded farming community on the Arab-Israeli border isn’t the idyll it seems, and tensions are festering.

Hundreds of miles away, in the Jerusalem offices of the International Tribune newspaper, all eyes are on Israel’s response to a spate of rocket attacks from Lebanon, until cub reporter Jonny Murphy gets a tip from a mysterious source that sends him straight into the danger zone.

When the body of an Arab worker is discovered in the dirt of the kibbutz chicken house, it triggers a series of events that puts Lola and the whole community in jeopardy, and Jonny begins to uncover a series of secrets that put everything at risk, as he begins to realise just how far some people will go to belong…


Sarah Sultoon is back with her latest novel, Dirt, and once again, it is clear to see that she is an author who is a master of creating atmosphere and a sense of place in her writing. Sarah Sultoon takes us back to 1996 to a kibbutz on the borders of Israel and Lebanon. Sarah opens her novel with such a vivid first chapter, that I don’t think I’ll be able to get it out of my head any time soon. It did send shivers down my spine as I read Sarah’s vivid descriptions of the body waiting to be discovered. I wanted to know who this person was and why they had been murdered.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, when reviewing Sarah’s books, but what I love about her writing, is her ability to draw upon her own experience as a journalist, which she uses very well to create a real sense of authenticity in her books. In Dirt we meet Lola, who is from the UK. She has travelled to this part of the world to join the kibbutz, even though it is fraught with danger. You can especially see what a change in environment it is for Lola, but she struck me as a person who can adapt well to new surroundings. There is also, in this area, the constant threat of an attack and missile strikes. Lola also has to deal with the misogynistic behaviour from men, which made me angry as I was reading. I was drawn in by her story and thought she was a fascinating character to follow.

We also meet journalist Jonny, who, like Lola, is from the UK. He comes across a really likeable character. You can see that he is determined to chase down big stories and to make a name for himself. It is what Jonny is looking into at the farm, where Lola is working, that becomes the main driving plot point of the novel. It becomes clear that there is something more going on here that poses high risks for the characters. Sarah Sultoon delves deep into both Jonny and Lola’s characters, and she makes their stories come through stronger on the page with each new revelation about then.

As this novel is set the year after I was born, I’m not aware of what was going on in this part of the world at all during this time. So once again, for me, Sarah Sultoon has created a really eye-opening story. Sarah Sultoon ratchets up the tension as she reveals what has been really going on at the farm where Lola is working. There is a lot of political tension going on in the background and this was fascinating to learn about as well.

I was totally immersed in Sarah’s story as I was reading. I’m looking forward to seeing what topics she covers in her next book.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 19th January 2023

Print length: 320 pages

Dirt is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Drift by C.J. Tudor #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new thriller by C.J. Tudor, The Drift.


Survival can be murder . . .

During a deadly snowstorm, Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.

Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She’s in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.

Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger.

Outside, the storm rages. Inside one group, a killer lurks.

But which one?

And who will make it out alive?


The Drift by C. J. Tudor is filled with suspense right from the first page. It is crying out to be a Hollywood movie. Set in a futuristic, but what seems to be, not a too distant future, especially given what has happened in the world recently; the world has been ravaged by a new virus. This is what makes C.J. Tudor’s latest novel so scary. We can see now how easy it is for something like this to happen, and how easy it is for humanity’s progress to come tumbling down. Places, or farms, as they have become known, have been set up to help scientists study the virus and to see if they can find a way to treat and cure it. But this involves testing on humans infected with the disease.

What I thought was really intriguing was the three strands in this book. We have a group of people staying at a ski chalet, and two other groups of people making their way to a location, known only as the retreat; one group in a bus, the other riding on a cable car. C. J. Tudor creates such an intense atmosphere as we get to know the members of each group. The location of where they are heading is deep within the wilderness and they are facing treacherous conditions, with the threat of hungry predators, ‘whistlers,’ and the virus itself, which is the invisible enemy. It is also soon clear that there is a killer amongst them.

You can really feel the desperate need for the people who are trapped in the bus and the cable car to survive. Even though their situation looks hopeless, there is a strong desire among them to get through it. This is what drives the tension forward as they try to think of how they can get out of this crisis alive. I thought Hannah’s story was particularly sad, especially as C.J. Tudor reveals more about her backstory and what led her to the position she is in now.

C. J. Tudor weaves the three strands together so well, and she excels in creating tension. It’s not clear how they are linked at first but they come together seamlessly. I loved The Drift. It is such a creepy read. I loved the chilling atmosphere which makes it the perfect book to read on a cold winter’s evening.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 19th January 2023

Print length: 389 pages

The Drift is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

So Pretty by Ronnie Turner #bookreview #blogtour @Ronnie__Turner @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the brilliant novel by Ronnie Turner, So Pretty. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


Fear blisters through this town like a fever…

When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.

Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.

Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.

As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge.

Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.


When I first read the blurb for Ronnie Turner’s new novel, So Pretty, I knew it would be going straight to the top of my TBR pile. If you’re a lover of dark, gothic psychological thrillers, you do not want to miss this book. It reminded me of a dark fairy tale as I was reading it, especially by the way in which Ronnie Turner writes, and I was effortlessly drawn into the world Ronnie Turner has created.

We are introduced to Teddy Colne, who has just arrived in the village of Rye. But something is not right here. As he settles into his new life in this village, he learns that the locals are wary of one particular shop called Berry & Vincent. Ronnie Turner really brings the fear the villagers have for this shop to life in her writing. Teddy upsets the boat when he accepts a job at Berry & Vincent, and this stirs animosity between him and the locals. But what is it about Berry & Vincent that they all find so terrifying? How is it that the shop is still running when everyone seems to want to avoid it?

I wanted to know what was really going on at Berry & Vincent and why everyone was so frightened of the shop. Ronnie Turner made me wonder why Teddy wanted to work there, especially as he was new to the town and needed to make new friends. If I was in his position, I felt I wouldn’t want to do anything that would rock the boat and make people talk about me. His decision to take a job at Berry & Vincent makes his new neighbours suspicious of him. It made me want to know more about Teddy and why he would choose to do this.

Ronnie Turner creates a really creepy atmosphere as she delves into the history of the shop and its owners, and as we begin to understand what went on in the town. The darkness begins to build and this made me even keener to keep reading. I loved Ronnie Turner’s descriptions. I could picture the old Tudor houses so well. The village Ronnie Turner has created does make you feel as though you’ve almost stepped back in time.

So Pretty has all the makings of an instant classic. The writing is superb and I’m sure Ronnie Turner will capture an army of fans. I loved this book and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 19th January 2023

Print length: 320 pages

So Pretty is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Simple Truth by James Buckler #bookreview #blogtour @jamesbuckwriter @RandomTTours @TransworldBooks

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by James Buckler, The Simple Truth. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


A young woman is dead.

A very wealthy client needs a favour. You’re newly qualified as a lawyer and this could be your big break, so you jump at the chance.

The case is about to be closed.

All you have to do is talk to a family, ask them to sign some papers. How difficult could it be? Their daughter was found dead at a beauty spot on the outskirts of London in what you’re told was a tragic suicide.

Only you can uncover what really happened.

But the truth is never that simple. And this case could cost you your life…


The Simple Truth by James Buckler opens with a bang. A dog walker comes across an abandoned car, with a mysterious note attached to the boot, telling whoever finds it not to open it and to call the police.

I have no idea what I would do if I was ever in that situation. Like the person who comes across the car, I think my curiosity would get the better of me, but I would also be extremely wary, and think I would more than likely call the police instead.

Following the discovery we then meet lawyer, Lewis Miller, who is tasked with delivering an NDA to a suspected suicide victim’s family. The body of a young woman, Maria Brennan has been found on Coldharbour Marshes. She was employed by Robert Carlson, a leading environmentalist who has big plans to help secure funding for a project that will provide unlimited green energy for London. But when Lewis Miller goes to see Maria Brennan’s family, it is clear that something more is going on here and Lewis begins to suspect that Maria was murdered.

Lewis Miller is easy to like. You might think that, as a lawyer, he would just want to get the job he has been sent out to do done, and be paid, but that isn’t who Lewis is at all. He is determined to get the truth for Maria and her family, especially when Maria’s mother refuses to accept the NDA.

I was really intrigued by what happened to Maria and who could be responsible for her death if Lewis was right and she was murdered. James Buckler has plenty of twists up his sleeve as Lewis strives on, even though it is clear that there are people out there, who are desperate to make sure the truth behind Maria’s death remains buried, at any cost.

James Buckler takes Lewis Miller into some murky depths as he begins to investigate his client and I was flying through the pages. Robert Carlson is a very interesting character. Because of his plans for the future, you want to like him, and you want to believe that he is doing this for the benefit of the population as a whole. But soon the truth behind his plans is revealed and there are some shocking reveals. The pace in this novel is spot on and it continued to command my attention. The Simple Truth is action packed and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading, as I haven’t read anything by James Buckler before, but now I definitely will be reading whatever he writes next.

The Simple Truth is a gripping legal thriller that you won’t want to put down.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 15th December 2022

Print length: 356 pages

The Simple Truth is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


The Hunting Ground by Will Shindler #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the third book in the DI Alex Finn series by Will Shindler, The Hunting Ground.


Sadie Nicholls has been found dead, brutally and strangely murdered, in her South East London flat. Her little boy is missing.

DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen know that, in the case of a missing child, it’s the first 24 hours that count. They don’t have many left to find out where Sadie’s son might be and the identity of her killer. Why would anyone want a struggling single mother, loved by many, dead?

But when they realise a similar crime was committed at the same house nearly 20 years ago, a question is on everyone’s lips: is this more than just a coincidence?


Will Shindler has written another gripping crime novel in his DI Alex Finn series in his latest book, The Hunting Ground. He delivers a shocking opening with the murder of a young woman, Sadie Jones, and the kidnapping of her young son. As DI Alex Finn gets to grips with the case, he begins to see that it is far more complex than what first meets the eye.

I wanted to know what had happened to Sadie’s son following her murder, and why her attacker would take him. Is it possible that her son is still alive? This is what really keeps the police investigation focused, not just on finding Sadie’s attacker and bringing them to justice, but finding her son. This also makes the motive behind the crime interesting. The police know that the more the clock ticks forward, the less chance there is of them finding Sadie’s son. This is what continues to up the tension. You can really feel as well the impact that the crime on Sadie and her son has on the local community. It is such a horrific and terrible tragedy, even I, as the reader, felt angry that this could’ve happened, and I wanted to see those responsible caught and brought to justice.

Alex Finn is also still processing the trauma of losing his wife, and this is something that he has had to deal with since the start of this series. I think Will Shindler really handles this part of Alex Finn’s character well. It makes Alex feel much more human and it makes him someone who readers can connect to. The emotion really comes through and we experience the pain and the loss Alex has gone through. It’s part of what makes me want to follow his journey.

As the investigation into Sadie’s murder continues, Alex Finn meets some truly unlikeable characters. I mentioned earlier that the case becomes far more complex, particularly when Alex begins to look into past events and it makes the story even more intriguing, especially when he finds out that a very similar murder to Sadie’s took place in the same apartment decades ago. The story is very tightly plotted and everything comes together very well. The characters that Will Shindler has created really do pull you into the story and this created, for me, an utterly immersive reading experience.

This is definitely one of my favourite new crime series and I can’t wait to see what Will Shindler has in store for Alex Finn next.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 3rd February 2022

Print length: 345 pages

The Hunting Ground is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones