The Rising Tide by Sam Lloyd #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest novel by Sam Lloyd, The Rising Tide.



The news doesn’t strike cleanly, like a guillotine’s blade. Nothing so merciful. This news is a slovenly traveller, dragging its feet, gradually revealing its horrors. And it announces itself first with violence – the urgent hammering of fists on the front door.

Life can change in a heartbeat.

Lucy has everything she could wish for: a beautiful home high on the clifftops, a devoted husband and two beloved children.

Then one morning, time stops. Their family yacht is recovered, abandoned far out at sea. Lucy’s husband is nowhere to be found and as the seconds tick by, she begins to wonder – what if he was the one who took the boat? And if so, where is he now?

As a once-in-a-generation storm frustrates the rescue operation, Lucy pieces together what happened onboard. And then she makes a fresh discovery. One that plunges her into a living nightmare . . .

Wherever her husband is, he isn’t alone. Because their children are missing, too.


I really enjoyed The Rising Tide by Sam Lloyd. When I read his debut novel, after I finally got round to reading it last year, I knew this was a writer I would be keen to follow, and Sam is becoming one of my favourite writers. Sam Lloyd’s plotting is so well done, and he manages to always keep the tension ticking up a notch.

The story gets going with a tense atmosphere as Lucy Locke discovers that her husband has gone missing along with her children, following the discovery of their boat, the Lazy Susan, found adrift at sea. But why would he take the boat out in the first place when a massive storm is due to hit? Lucy is left in turmoil as she tries to desperately work out what has happened to her family and find out if they are still alive? What reason would her husband, Daniel, have to do this?

I really had no idea where this novel was going to go as I was reading. As the mystery deepens, it becomes clear that something more is going on behind the scenes in this family’s lives, and I was desperate to know what it was, and if it was the reason why Lucy’s family have gone missing. There are some brilliant moments in the book, when Sam Lloyd turns the novel completely on its head; this is what makes the novel so unpredictable. Lucy was a fascinating character to follow. She is a person who draws people in, people instantly like her and want to get close to her. But is she as sweet natured as she seems?

The tension and pace are spot on, and the tension keeps increasing as the police become involved in the search for Lucy’s family. It really does feel as though they have vanished into thin air and this is what makes Lucy even more anxious and upset. There are so many questions about what happened. You can really feel the pain Lucy is going through as she tries to work out what is going on, and even though there were questions about who she was, I still really felt for her as she tried to get to the truth. This is what made me so keen to follow her journey and keen to find out more about who she was.

The tension never lets up right throughout this book making it a captivating read. I loved it.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 24th June 2021

Print length: 437 pages

The Rising Tide is available to buy:

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What Will Burn by James Oswald #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the eleventh book in the Inspector McLean series by James Oswald, What Will Burn.


The charred remains of an elderly woman are discovered in a burned out gamekeepers cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh.

What is at first assumed to be a tragic accident begins to take on a more sinister aspect as Detective Inspector Tony McLean digs deeper.

There is far more to the victim than her humble surroundings suggest . . .


James Oswald’s Inspector McLean series is one of my favourites. One of my favourite things about the series is the supernatural element that is always there. In this novel, What Will Burn, Inspector Tony McLean is investigating after an elderly woman’s body is discovered in a horrific state. In the opening prologue, we see what happens to her, and the persons, who commit the awful crime, accuse her of practising witchcraft. You can really see how much they believe what they are saying to her, and this is what makes this particular scene so terrifying. Is there someone else who is behind what these people are doing?

I had to know what was really going on with these people who killed the woman at the start of the novel. There is a really creepy atmosphere to this book as McLean investigates. There is another strand to the book, featuring a man who has been denied visiting rights to his daughter, after he and his partner split up. You can see how angry and upset this has made him, despite him being the one at fault, after he was abusive to his former partner. But it is clear that he might be willing to do anything to get the rights he once had back. I wanted to know how this was going to be connected to the main plot of the book.

I love the characters in this series as well. One of my favourites would have to be Madame Rose, who always seems to be there at the right time for Tony when he needs a friend to talk to. There is always Grumpy Bob as well. Both of these characters have been there, along with Tony, right from the beginning, so it always feels like catching up with old friends again whenever they feature in the book. And of course there is always Mrs McCutcheon’s cat, who Tony took in several years earlier, but has never got round to naming.

I love the dialogue between the characters which James Oswald brings to life so well in his writing. I did like the exchanges between the new police officer in charge of the police team, Chief Superintendent Gail Elmwood – who has been drafted in from the Metropolitan Police – and Tony.

The strands of the book are woven together well, and the creepy factor this book is explored further when more women meet the same fate as the elderly woman in the prologue. This is where you do have to suspend the belief system, but it does make this such an entertaining read, especially that closing chapter which sent shivers down my spine as I read it.

What Will Burn is another thoroughly enjoyable book in this series. I really enjoyed it.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 18th February 2021

Print length: 461 pages

What Will Burn is available to buy:

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End of Story by Louise Swanson @LouiseWriter @HodderFiction #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping novel by Louie Swanson, End of Story.


Too much imagination can be a dangerous thing

It has been five years since writing fiction was banned by the government.

Fern Dostoy is a criminal. Officially, she has retrained in a new job outside of the arts but she still scrawls in a secret notepad in an effort to capture what her life has become: her work on a banned phone line, reading bedtime stories to sleep-starved children; Hunter, the young boy who calls her and has captured her heart; and the dreaded visits from government officials.

But as Fern begins to learn more about Hunter, doubts begin to surface. What are they both hiding?

And who can be trusted?


I’ve read and enjoyed Louise’s work when she writes as Louise Beech, so I was very intrigued to hear about her latest novel, End of Story that she has written under the name Louise Swanson. I’ve enjoyed reading dystopian fiction in the past, and I found her latest book to be an utterly captivating read that I flew through in just a couple of sittings.

Imagine a world where fiction has been banned by the government. No longer can a writer pen novels or stories, for fear of making their own personal voices and views heard through fiction. It has often been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and Louise Swanson paints a vivid portrayal of just how frightening the stroke of a pen can be to some people.

We meet Fern Dostoy, and the year is 2035. Fern was once a famous writer until the fiction ban came in, now she lives in fear of her life, but you can see just how much she aches to pick up a pen again and write; now she has to do in secret. Louise Swanson delves into her character and into her innermost thoughts and this adds to the tension, especially each time government officials descend on her to check that she is still abiding by the law. Soon, Fern discovers a lifeline when she finds a secret group of former writers, who have set a group up so that they can read bedtime stories to children at night, as this once source of comfort for children, has been lost.

The landscape in 2035 Louise Swanson portrays in her book is a very frightening one. Not just is it hellish because of the new laws, but you can also feel the rampage of the climate, the heatwaves that carry on well into November. It’s another part that makes this reality so terrifying.

I had no idea just where Louise Swanson was going to take this novel, especially when Fern becomes acquainted with the group of writers reading bedtime stories to children. You can feel her attachment to one particular boy, Hunter, who calls each night and speaks to Fern, but I wondered here, if she was putting herself more in danger by growing attached to him.

The ending of this book took me completely by surprise and it is a really heart breaking one. I could feel the emotion pouring out on the page and it was so expertly done. I’m certain End of Story is going to be a huge hit. I highly, highly recommend it.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 23rd March 2023

Print length: 320 pages

End of Story is available to buy:

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Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Liz Nugent, Strange Sally Diamond.


Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.

Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she cannot remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends and big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say.

But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world? And why does her neighbour seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged . . .


Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent is a magnificent book and definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far. The novel opens in an intriguing way. We meet Sally Diamond, who has spent most of her life without having any contact with anyone, other than her father. She has never mixed with anyone her own age, and struggles with communicating with people, due to her lack of interaction with others outside her own family. So, when Sally’s father dies, she takes one of his old jokes of simply, “putting him out with the rubbish,” when he dies, literally, and gets rid of his body in the incinerator in the back garden. But Sally has no idea how this one act will impact the rest of her life in a massive way.

This is an intricate novel that is one to be savoured. Sally Diamond is one of the most fascinating characters, who I have come across in fiction recently, and her life story is haunting, powerful, and it grips you from the very first page. Liz Nugent portrays her vulnerability so well on the page and this is what really makes her stand out, and makes her character so unique. This is especially the case when she is hounded by the media and when people make cruel remarks about her in the street. I had no idea what direction Liz Nugent was going to take the story, but as more details about Sally’s past emerge, following huge media interest in what happened to her father, the story takes an even darker and more twisted turn.

Liz Nugent paints a vivid portrayal of the horrors from Sally’s childhood, which makes us understand how she has become the person who she is today. I felt really sorry for her, especially because she hadn’t been given the same opportunities other people her age had been given. There are some horrific truths that come to light. It also comes to light that someone is trying to contact Sally from New Zealand, who might be connected to the horrors of her past, and a massive police operation is launched to track him down.

Sally Diamond really is an unforgettable character. This book has been so intricately plotted, especially when Liz Nugent takes us back in time to the 1980s. These scenes can be quite tough to read, but they are important to the story. As the novel flicks back to Sally in the present, I was rooting for her to find happiness in her life.

Strange Sally Diamond is a must read for psychological thriller fans. I really enjoyed it.

Publisher: Sandycove

Publication date: 2nd March 2023

Print length: 384 pages

Strange Sally Diamond is available to buy:

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The Close by Jane Casey #bookreview #blogtour @JaneCaseyAuthor @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new Maeve Kerrigan thriller by Jane Casey, The Close. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


At first glance, Jellicoe Close seems to be a perfect suburban street – well-kept houses with pristine lawns, neighbours chatting over garden fences, children playing together.

But there are dark secrets behind the neat front doors, hidden dangers that include a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing.

It’s up to DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent to uncover the truth. Posing as a couple, they move into the Close, blurring the lines between professional and personal as never before.

And while Maeve and Josh try to gather the evidence they need, they have no idea of the danger they face – because someone in Jellicoe Close has murder on their mind.


I love Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series, which meant The Close, the latest book in the series, went straight to the top of my TBR pile. In this novel, Maeve is definitely out of her comfort zone, as she takes on an undercover role with her colleague, DI Josh Derwent.

Jane Casey always writes a compelling mystery, but for me, what made this book, was seeing the relationship between Josh and Maeve develop a little bit further, as, for a few weeks, they are living together in a picturesque country village, pretending to be a couple, while they are undercover. For fans of the series, you will know Maeve and Josh’s character’s well. They have always been friends throughout the series, but there is always a slight hint that perhaps there could be something more that might develop between them, and this is what makes this book so fascinating and so addictive.

Maeve is horrified at the prospect of spending time alone with Josh, but she agrees to take the job, even though another big investigation has just begun, following the murder of a young man, a surgeon, but Maeve still finds time to keep up to speed with the investigation while she is away. When they go undercover, they are there to investigate the residents of the village, while portraying to their new neighbours that they are dog sitting for a few weeks, while the dog’s owner is away on business. What I loved about this book, was the sexual tension that existed between Maeve and Josh, while they were living alone together. You can see that there is definitely chemistry between them, even though Maeve insists that she never has and never will have feelings for Josh.

Georgia is another character in the series who always never fails to make me laugh. I always find the conversations she has with Maeve, really entertaining to read, even when they are talking about work. Jane Casey always manages to slip in some light hearted humour into their dialogue.

Some of the residents of the village where Josh and Maeve move to are really creepy. I did get the sense that there were people hiding something here, and Jane Casey does a brilliant job in adding to the tension here, when it feels as though Maeve might be in danger.

Jane Casey really delves deep into her characters in The Close. It makes for a fascinating and a really entertaining read. If you haven’t yet read this series, then you are really missing out.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 2nd March 2023

Print length: 416 pages

The Close is available to buy:

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The Space Between Us by Doug Johnstone #bookreview #blogtour @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Doug Johnstone, The Space Between Us. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.


When three people suffer strokes after seeing dazzling lights over Edinburgh, then awake completely recovered, they’re convinced their ordeal is connected to the alien creature discovered on a nearby beach… an adrenaline-soaked, deeply humane, life-affirming first-contact novel from one of Scotland’s most revered authors.
Lennox is a troubled teenager with no family. Ava is eight months pregnant and fleeing her abusive husband. Heather is a grieving mother and cancer sufferer. They don’t know each other, but when a meteor streaks over Edinburgh, all three suffer instant, catastrophic strokes… 
…only to wake up the following day in hospital, miraculously recovered. 
When news reaches them of an octopus-like creature washed up on the shore near where the meteor came to earth, Lennox senses that some extra-terrestrial force is at play. With the help of Ava, Heather and a journalist, Ewan, he rescues the creature they call ‘Sandy’ and goes on the run. 
But they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the alien … close behind are Ava’s husband, the police and a government unit who wants to capture the creature, at all costs. And Sandy’s arrival may have implications beyond anything anyone could imagine…


I’m a big fan of Doug Johnstone’s writing, so when I heard that he was publishing a science fiction novel, I was very excited. There have been hints of Doug’s interest in space in his previous books, particularly in the Skelf series, and it’s a topic that I’ve always found fascinating. His latest book is The Space Between Us and it is an exciting, rollercoaster of a read that has made me desperate for the sequel.

The novel begins with a mysterious set of lights seen in the skies above Edinburgh, which may be the cause of three people, who don’t know each other, having strokes, and then miraculously recovering the next day, which baffles doctors. The sightings of the lights and the strokes, attracts media attention, especially when an alien-like octopus creature is found. The individuals are Lennox, Ava and Heather, and they soon find that they each have a special connection to the creature, they name Sandy. There is also Ewan, a journalist, who is desperate to get a good story, but he too finds himself caught up in Sandy’s fate. Their connection to Sandy makes them drop everything that is going on their lives right now, and fight to help the creature.

The four characters each go on an emotional journey in this novel. Ava is in a particularly perilous situation. She is pregnant and fleeing from her abusive husband, Michael, who always isn’t far behind them. Heather is suffering from cancer and she knows her time on this earth is near. Lennox is a teenager living in care. There is a particularly heart wrenching scene when we see him being targeted by bullies. It was fascinating watching them bond over the course of this novel. Even though they had never met before, it felt as though they had known each other for a long time. It does feel as though they become a family, united with one purpose. Doug Johnstone writes these characters really well, and I felt as though I was stepping into their lives as I was reading the book. They are crucial to this book, and I could see that this was far more than a typical Hollywood first-contact type story.

Of course, I wanted to learn about where Sandy had come from and what his reasons were for travelling to Earth. As he forms a bond with the group, he shares his thoughts with them, and they are able to understand him. As they head out on their journey to try and get Sandy to safety, and possibly to be reunited with others of his kind, they learn about where he has come from and why he has come to Earth. As I learned these details, this is what made me really excited to read book two.

The tension really picks up with the group being closely followed behind by the police as well as Heather’s husband. I was rooting for them all the way. The Space Between Us is brilliant, and unlike anything else I have read recently. I highly recommend it.  

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 2nd March 2023

Print length: 300 pages

The Space Between Us is available to buy:

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Make Me Clean by Tina Baker #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new thriller by Tina Baker, Make Me Clean.


She will leave your surfaces sparkling.
But she may well leave you dead…

Maria is a good woman and a good cleaner. She cleans for Elsie, the funny old bird who’s losing her marbles, with the terrible husband. She cleans for Brian, the sweet man with the terrible boss. She cleans for the mysterious Mr Balogan, with the terrible neighbours.

If you’re thinking of hiring her, you should probably know that Maria might have killed the terrible husband, the terrible boss and the terrible neighbours. She may also have murdered the man she loved.

She didn’t set out to kill anyone, of course, but her clients have hired her to clean up their lives, and she takes her job seriously – not to mention how much happier they all are now. The trouble is, murder can’t be washed out. You can only sweep it under the carpet, and pray no one looks too closely…


Tina Baker knows how to write dark fiction. Her latest novel is Make Me Clean and we are introduced to cleaner, Maria, who has a very dark past. Maria often goes above and beyond for her clients, and that sometimes includes murder, and the book opens up with Maria contemplating what to do with the body of the man she has just killed. Once I read that prologue I was hooked.

Maria is a brilliant character. This novel does make you wonder how much cleaners really do know about their clients, and this part is what makes this novel so compelling as well. Cleaners are often invisible to us, but they may know more about us than we think, and I think this is a really interesting idea to work with for a thriller. It’s part of what gives Make Me Clean such a brilliant hook.

Tina Baker delves into Maria past and she is so fascinating, especially as Tina Baker takes us back in time, when we see Maria with her husband. Tina Baker paints a vivid portrayal of the life she lived with him. You can see here how this has made Maria into the person she is today. You can see that Maria is very caring; even though she has had a difficult life, and you can especially see this with how she cares for her client, Elsie, who has dementia.

I loved how Tina Baker built on the tension in this novel. It isn’t as fast paced as her previous books, but the tension is always simmering away, especially as Maria has no idea how long Elsie will keep quiet about their secret as her condition worsens. Maria murdered Elsie’s abusive husband, Nick and he is buried at the bottom of Elsie’s garden. There is also another client who Maria cleans for who intrigued me, called Balogan, who gave the book a very menacing and mysterious feeling.

Tina Baker rounds off the story in a clever and a satisfying way. Maria’s story is done so well and I really connected to her. Maria is definitely a character who you won’t be forgetting about in a hurry. I can’t wait to read more from Tina Baker. Make Me Clean is engrossing and exceptionally well written.

Publisher: Viper

Publication date: 16th February 2023

Print length: 400 pages

Make Me Clean by Tina Baker is available to buy:

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Twist of Fate by D.L. Mark #bookreview #blogtour @HoZ_Books @RandomTTours

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


She says he’s a victim. They say he’s a killer.

When an armed man massacres several people in central London, Claudine witnesses the whole thing. To her horror, one of the victims is her brother, Jethro.

Riven by grief, Claudine retreats to the family home in the Fens, which is where the police find her. She is left reeling when they tell her Jethro orchestrated the attack. Why would a gentle, if troubled, middle-aged man cause such bloodshed – and why would he include himself in the list of victims?

The truth could lie in Jethro’s research on a mediaeval cult. If Claudine can’t solve the mystery in time, more people will die… and the darkness will claim her too.


Twist of Fate is the first book by David Mark that I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It begins with a suspected terrorist attack in London, on Embankment Bridge, when several people are killed. The suspect throws himself off the bridge and into the Thames before he can be apprehended, or killed by the police. A man, Jethro, who stepped in to intervene, who sadly dies, is labelled as a hero, but as the police investigation into the attack continues, they find there is more here than what first meets the eye.

As the book gets going, we meet Claudine, Jethro’s sister, who is distraught after witnessing her brother’s death on Embankment Bridge from her office window. They haven’t had the easiest of relationships, particularly as Claudine has had to take charge of everything to do with family matters, and this makes her feel guilty, especially when she thinks that she could’ve done something to save her brother.

I really liked Claudine. I could feel the anguish that she was going through, which made me connect to her character. I absolutely loathed DS Billy Dean, who belittles Claudine when he is speaking to her, even though she is going through unimaginable trauma. He believes Claudine knows more about the alleged attack, and that she may somehow be involved, especially when the police begin to think that Jethro might be behind the attacks on the bridge. Billy is a very interesting character though, and I wanted to find out more about him, to understand why he was being like this.

I was fascinated by the supernatural element to this book, which darkens the plot, as the police look further into Jethro’s life and the people who he was involved with. David Mark does paint Jethro as a very caring individual, in ways how he is described, but there is also a more mysterious and darker side to him that adds to the tension. This part of the plot makes the book so intense, especially as Claudine starts looking for answers herself. I could sense that she was getting closer and closer to danger, and I had no idea how things would pan out. It was really intriguing when the plot delves into the historical elements of the novel.

I finished Twist of Fate in just a couple of sittings. It’s a really gripping read and I’ll definitely be reading more of David Mark’s novels in the future.

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publication date: 2nd March 2023

Print length: 288 pages

Twist of Fate is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Mother by T.M. Logan #bookreview #blogtour @TMLoganAuthor @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new thriller by T.M. Logan, The Mother. With thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part.


Framed for murder. Now she’s free . . .

A woman attends a funeral, standing in the shadows and watching in agony as her sons grieve. But she is unable to comfort them – or reveal her secret.

A decade earlier, Heather gets her children ready for bed and awaits the return of her husband Liam, little realising that this is the last night they will spend together as a family. Because tomorrow she will be accused of Liam’s murder.

Ten years ago Heather lost everything. Now she will stop at nothing to clear her name – and to get her children back . . .


You can always be guaranteed that whenever you pick up a book by T.M. Logan, you won’t want to put it down. The Mother is his latest gripping thriller.

The story follows Heather as she is released from prison, after spending ten years inside after she was accused of murdering her husband, Liam, who was a Member of Parliament. Now Heather is fighting to prove her innocence, and she will stop at nothing to get the life she had with her children back, and unmask Liam’s true killer.

This book is a high octane intense ride and the tension increases as Heather fights to clear her name. You can clearly see that there is more here than what meets the eye and that someone is keeping secrets, making Heather look like the guilty party. I wanted to know why Liam was killed, and if there was anything that he was involved in, prior to his death, that might’ve been the reason behind his killing, and why someone would’ve wanted to cover it up and pin the blame on Heather. This really adds to the mystery and T.M. Logan keeps us guessing as to what the truth is.  

You can feel the heartache that Heather is feeling as she tries desperately to reconnect with her son’s when she comes out of prison, even though this is proving near but impossible. It is a real struggle for her to get people to listen to her and to prove that she had nothing to do with her husband’s death. I got the sense that she would do anything to prove this. It’s what really raises the stakes throughout the novel and someone is keen to stop Heather from pursuing the case any further and to just accept what has happened. I liked how T.M. Logan flicked between the past and the present. As we visit the past, we see what Heather has missed out on in the ten horrendous years she’s suffered in prison. T.M. Logan paints a clear picture of the life she once had with her boys and husband, and I was gripped to these scenes as I tried to work out what was really going on and who could really be behind the murder .

The finale is so tense as Heather gets closer to knowing what happened ten years previously. I was rooting for Heather all the way to get the answers she wanted. The Mother is an utterly compelling read and it is another winner from T.M. Logan.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 2nd March 2023

Print length: 432 pages

The Mother is available to buy:

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Gone by Ruby Speechley #bookreview #blogtour @rubyspeechley @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Ruby Speechley, Gone. With thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.


My son is missing, and everyone is lying to me.

Last night my son, Shay, sneaked out of the house and didn’t come home. He promised not to go to the illegal party in the woods. But someone’s been attacked and Shay has gone missing. The police want to know if he saw what happened. I’m worried he could be involved.

After all the trouble he’s been in lately, mixing with the wrong crowd, coming home beaten up and scared, I thought we’d put it all behind us. Trouble is, Shay resents me moving my new boyfriend into the family home. I found all sorts on his laptop, including a half-written email warning me not to trust David. What does he know that I don’t?

I’m beginning to fear for his safety. What is David hiding from me? Who have I let into our lives?

I don’t know who I can trust. Will I ever see my son alive again?


Gone is such a tense thriller by Ruby Speechley. This is a book that I did not want to put down, and I was desperate to find out what was going to happen. We meet Rachel, who is facing every parent’s worst nightmare, when her son Shay, is nowhere to be found. But what is even more disturbing, as the police become involved, it maybe the case that Shay himself could’ve been involved in a crime, an attack on a young girl, and this is something Rachel can’t believe her son is capable of.

This is a very dark book and the tension is there on every single page. I could feel the stress and anxiety that Rachel was feeling as she tried to get to the bottom of what had happened to her son, and as she gets closer to the truth, the book gets even darker. I thought it was really clever how Ruby Speechley put all the final pieces of the jigsaw together. There are some real bombshell moments as Rachel desperately searches for her son.  I could sense the time ticking down in the background, and Ruby Speechley makes it clear to the reader, that every passing hour means there’s less of a chance of Shay coming home alive.

I felt I couldn’t trust anyone who Rachel knew in her life, apart from her other son, who is desperate to have his brother back as well. This adds to the tension so well in the book, and it made me sure that there were people, who Rachel knew, who were keeping secrets from her. I felt really frustrated for her as I could see the pain she was going through and how desperate she was to have Shay home. The mystery of Shay’s disappearance and what he was involved in before he went missing kept me utterly gripped. This is definitely a book that will keep you reading well into the early hours of the morning.

Gone is definitely the type of book I would love to see as a television series. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication date: 21st February 2023

Print length: 296 pages

Gone is available to buy:

Amazon UK