The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer #bookreview @carolewyer @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer on my blog today. This is book number five in the DI Natalie Ward series.

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer]

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Their parents thought they were hiding…

One beautiful summer’s evening, thirteen-year-old twins Ivy and Erin Westmore snuggle down in a tent in their back garden, giggling and sharing secrets.

When their mother goes to wake the girls the next morning, their tent is empty.

The alarm is raised and Detective Natalie Ward is put onto the case. When the twins’ bodies are discovered on nearby marshland, covered with deep pink petals, an icy shiver travels down Natalie’s spine. Everything about the girls’ deaths reminds her of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career, which saw a killer of the worst kind placed behind bars.

The next day, that feeling is heightened when she receives a chilling note saying ‘I’m back’. Is this killer a copycat or did Natalie put the wrong person in prison all those years ago? In a small town, where no stranger goes unnoticed, what is Natalie missing?

Consumed by the case, determined to prevent more deaths, Natalie misses the fact that it is her attention the killer wants. And to get it, he has his sights set firmly on her precious daughter Leigh…

MY THOUGHTS

Honestly, as I am writing this, I am still in shock after reading that ending.

The Blossom Twins is book five in the DI Natalie Ward series. This time around a previous case which Natalie once worked on is about to come back and haunt her. In 2014, Natalie was involved in an investigation into the murder of two young girls. They were twins, who became known to the press as The Blossom Twins. They had a suspect, and he committed suicide. But now two more girls have gone missing. They are soon found dead in very similar circumstances to what happened in the past. And whoever has killed them isn’t done yet. Are the police dealing with a copycat killer? Or is it possible that they got the wrong man?

DI Natalie Ward is going through a lot in this book. As well as having the pressure of work, she is also having to deal with issues within her family. She has fallen out with her husband, David, after he has failed to control his gambling addiction which nearly destroyed their marriage. But you can see that David doesn’t want to let Natalie go. I did feel sorry for him, particularly as it seemed that Natalie had made her mind up and that there was no turning back.

Natalie also has a new boss in this book, John Briggs, who she isn’t on the best of terms with right from the start. I was completely on Natalie’s side here, and I could see why he was making her feel so frustrated. In my mind, I was asking the very same questions about him that Natalie was.

The investigation moves at a fast pace. Natalie is utterly determined to bring the killer to justice. She can’t get the faces of the first two victims out of her mind, and this becomes a driving force for her. The case is a twisty one, and as Carol began to reveal what was really going on, it felt as though I was watching everything unfold on the big screen. And again, that ending. Reading those last few chapters has left me wondering just how things are going to fare for Natalie in the next two books in the series.

Throughout the book, Carol has included scenes which are told from the killer’s perspective. These are dark, foreboding scenes, and we can see into the killer’s mind. Through these scenes, we begin to understand their motives, and as the novel races towards its conclusion, they become really chilling.

With an ending that will leave you reeling, The Blossom Twins is a book that you won’t be forgetting about in a hurry. I downloaded book six straight after turning the final page, and I’ll be jumping to it as soon as I can. A terrific read!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 12th December 2019

Print length: 386 pages

The Blossom Twins is available to buy:

Amazon UK

 

In this small town, nobody is innocent … Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver #bookreview #blogtour @will_carver @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

MY THOUGHTS

A couple of years ago now, I read Good Samaritans by Will Carver and it was my top read of 2018. Now, I have just finished reading his latest book, Hinton Hollow Death Trip. I have to say that he has continued to up the ante with every book and this is going to be a strong contender for my 2020 book of the year. If you haven’t yet read a book by Will Carver and if you enjoy dark crime fiction, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Will Carver reels us into his new book from the opening line. His narrator implores us to stop reading, but the only thing that first paragraph achieved was that it made me hungry for more. The unique nature of this book is that this novel is narrated by evil, yes that is correct. When I first heard about this it did make me wonder how this was going to work, but Will Carver has nailed it. I was drawn in by the narrative and Will Carver gives evil an almost God-like quality as the narrator talks about choosing who lives and who dies. But they also stress that at the end of the day it is down to us and our actions which defines what happens next.

The story does also feature Detective Sergeant Pace who featured in Will’s last two books. Detective Sergeant Pace is heading back to his hometown of Hinton Hollow. He is still plagued by the horrific events which took place in the last book. As Pace arrives, a dark cloud hangs over the town. The residents are about to go through five days of unimaginable trauma when a number of murders take place and a person goes missing. This all culminates in a shocking finale.

Although this book can be read as a standalone, I think it will help to at least read Will Carver’s previous book, Nothing Important Happened Today. There are some events which took place in his last book which feed into this story. I think it may not have quite the same impact on you if you don’t read Will’s previous novel. It’s what made the ending for me even more shocking.

I wouldn’t describe this book as a fast paced read. There are short and snappy chapters but it is a book which took me some time to read. I did feel as I was reading it that it was a book to be savoured, so I decided to take my time.

Will Carver paints a very bleak picture of the town, Hinton Hollow. As the events of the horrific week unfold, the residents are on tenterhooks. No one can believe what has happened. It begins with the shooting of a young boy and the events that take place soon spiral out of control. And Will Carver delivers an explosive ending that completely knocked me for six.

If you’re looking for something that is different and completely original compared to what is out there in the mainstream market at the moment, you need to read Will Carver’s books. But I have to warn you, they’re certainly not for the faint of heart. Will Carver continues to blow me away with each book and I can’t wait to read what he writes next. Whatever it is, it’ll be bumped straight to the top of my TBR pile. Hinton Hollow Death Trip is an intelligent, well crafted, thought-provoking tale. Highly recommended!

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 12th June 2020 (kindle) 13th August 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 320 pages

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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FINAL Hinton Hollow BT Poster

 

When your life is a lie the truth can destroy you … Keep Her Quiet by Emma Curtis #bookreview #blogtour @emmacurtisbooks @RandomTTours #KeepHerQuiet

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Keep Her Quiet by Emma Curtis on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Keep Her Quiet by [Emma Curtis]

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Jenny has just given birth to the baby she’s always wanted. She’s never been this happy.

Her husband, Leo, knows this baby girl can’t be his. He’s never felt so betrayed.

The same night, a vulnerable young woman, Hannah, wakes to find her newborn lifeless beside her. She’s crazed with grief.

When chance throws Hannah into Leo’s path, they make a plan that will have shattering consequences for all of them.

Years later, a sixteen-year-old girl reads an article in a newspaper, and embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about herself. But what she learns will put everything she has ever known – and her own life – in grave danger. Because some people will go to desperate lengths to protect the secrets their lives are built on . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Emma Curtis writes psychological thrillers really well. Her latest Keep Her Quiet follows a tense narrative. Jenna is desperate for a baby, but her partner, Leo, is less than keen, he is more intent on focusing on his career as a writer rather than on having children. When Jenna finally gives birth, Leo knows that the baby can’t be his. He is willing to put his thoughts and feelings aside to look after his family, but a chance happening of events take things for Leo on a different course. When he accidentally hits a young woman and her baby, he makes an unbreakable promise that he will live with regret for years to come.

I found this story really tense. Emma opens the book with Jenna and Leo rushing off to hospital. For a brief moment, everything is right in their world, and then something unthinkable happens. Jenna’s baby is snatched from her crib. Fast forward sixteen years and Jenna is still searching for her daughter. Her husband, Leo, has become a bestselling author and the case of their missing daughter receives a lot of attention from the press. On their daughter’s sixteenth birthday they make a fresh appeal for information. As their appeal is broadcast to the nation, it sparks an interest in a young woman, and she soon begins to question everything about her past.

As I was reading the first few chapters, I couldn’t believe what was happening as Leo seemed to take matters into his own hands. I knew he was hurting as he knew his wife had slept with someone else, but it really made me dislike him for the decisions he took next. It made me wonder just how long Leo was going to be able to keep the pretence up. How could he, especially when Jenna believes that their daughter has been abducted by a stranger?

Emma Curtis takes the next part of the story in a different direction to what I was expecting. I don’t want to say too much more here as I don’t want to give anything away. You think you can see just where the story is going to go, and then Emma Curtis completely surprises you. She certainly hasn’t given her characters an easy ride in this book.

Keep Her Quiet is an exciting thriller, and it is a roller-coaster of a read. You do have to suspend the belief system a little bit, but I really enjoyed it. This is the fourth book I’ve read now by Emma Curtis, and I am a big fan of her writing. I’m looking forward to reading what she comes up with next.

Publisher: Black Swan

Publication date: 6th August 2020 (kindle) 17th September 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 432 pages

Keep Her Quiet is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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The Silence by Susan Allott #bookreview #blogtour @SusanAllott @BoroughPress @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the stunning debut novel by Susan Allott, The Silence as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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It is 1997, and in a basement flat in Hackney Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father, Joe, phoning from Sydney.

30 years ago, in the suffocating heat of summer 1967, the Greens’ next-door neighbour Mandy disappeared. Joe claims he thought she had gone to start a new life; but now Mandy’s family is trying to reconnect, and there is no trace of her. Isla’s father was allegedly the last person to see her alive, and he’s under suspicion of murder.

Back home in Sydney, Isla’s search for the truth takes her back to 1967, when two couples lived side by side on a quiet street by the sea. Could her father be capable of doing something terrible? How much does her mother know? And is there another secret in this community, one which goes deeper into Australia’s colonial past, which has held them in a conspiracy of silence?

MY THOUGHTS

The Silence by Susan Allott is a heart-breaking and an enlightening read. Susan Allott explores a part of Australian history in her debut novel, which I’m ashamed to say, I never even knew about. It made me wonder why this part of history isn’t taught in schools or more widely known. What Susan Allott describes in her book is truly horrific, and it compelled me to find out more about what happened. This is what made reading the author notes at the end of the book, all the more interesting.

The novel is set in 1997. We meet Isla, who is at home in London when she receives a call from her dad early in the morning. The call is an alarming one. The police are investigating her dad on being involved in the disappearance of one of their neighbours thirty years earlier. The woman, Mandy, used to look after Isla when she was a child growing up in Australia in the late sixties. But her dad was the last person to see Mandy alive. Isla must return home to Australia and confront the awful truth that her father may not be the man who she thought she knew.

Susan’s writing really drew me into this tale. There’s a dark sense of foreboding right from the beginning, and I felt that nothing was as it seems. After Isla travels back to Australia to be with her family, Susan then takes us back to 1967. The events that take place in these chapters lead up to Mandy’s disappearance and the uncomfortable truth. It is in this part of the novel that Susan explores what happened to children of Aboriginal families during this period. This took place between 1910 and 1970. One of the characters, Steve, is a police officer, and he is charged with removing children from Aboriginal families. One young boy Steve takes a particular shine to, and he promises the boy’s mother that he will look after him and give him a good life.

Susan Allott weaves a cleverly constructed tale around these events. I could feel Steve’s longing to have a child of his own, particularly when Mandy, his wife, doesn’t appear keen to have children. I could understand why he wanted to raise the child he took as his own, but his decision that day was certainly not fraught with risk.

Isla puts herself close to danger as she fights to find the real truth behind Mandy’s disappearance and my eyes were kept glued to the pages as the Susan revealed what really happened.

The Silence is a compelling and powerful read. Susan Allott is a writer to watch.

Publisher: The Borough Press

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 368 pages

The Silence is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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The Silence BT Poster

WWW Wednesday – 05/08/2020

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

 

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

 

What am I currently reading?

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer] Her Husband’s Secrets: A gripping, twisty, must-read new psychological thriller by [Louise Mangos]

What have I finished reading?

One Eye Open: 2020’s must-read standalone from the Sunday Times bestseller! by [Paul Finch]

What will I read next?

 

Blackwood Bay. An ordinary place, home to an extraordinary secret … Final Cut by S J Watson #bookreview #blogtour @SJ_Watson @alisonbarrow @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Final Cut by S J Watson on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

I do have a confession to make however. This is the first book by S.J. Watson I have read and now I am determined to catch up on what I have missed out on.

Final Cut by [S J Watson]

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Blackwood Bay. An ordinary place, home to ordinary people.

It used to be a buzzing seaside destination. But now, ravaged by the effects of dwindling tourism and economic downturn, it’s a ghost town – and the perfect place for film-maker Alex to shoot her new documentary.

But the community is deeply suspicious of her intentions. After all, nothing exciting ever happens in Blackwood Bay – or does it?

Blackwood Bay. An ordinary place, home to an extraordinary secret.

MY THOUGHTS

Final Cut by S.J. Watson is an intense slow-burner which pulls you into the atmospheric setting. This is the first book I have read by S.J. Watson, and I enjoyed it. Filmmaker, Alex Young, travels to Blackwood Bay where a decade ago, three young girls disappeared. Alex’s appearance in the village causes some upheaval, and it isn’t certain if the locals welcome her presence or not. To some, she’s there disturbing things which a best left forgotten. But Alex is determined to find out what happened to those girl’s and to put a stop to whatever it is that’s been going on in this village for years. Whatever’s going on didn’t end when the girls went missing, it’s still happening now. And now another girl has gone missing.

I found Blackwood Bay to be a very gloomy place; S.J. Watson builds on the atmospheric setting as the story progresses. You can feel that this is a town with closely guarded secrets, and as I was reading, I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on. You can feel Alex being drawn further and further into the mystery of the missing girls. It seems as well that there are people out to stop her from getting closer to the truth.

I thought Alex was a really engaging and likeable character. She isn’t without her own mysterious past, and this is what also kept me engaged in her story. As the plot progresses, there are some chilling revelations about Alex, and you begin to wonder what this is all really about for her. And this is where I can’t say anything more about the plot as I don’t want to spoil it for you.

S.J. Watson manages to capture small town life. You can see this in the relationships between the characters, and how they all talk about each other, which isn’t something that you get in a big city. What he also does explore is how quickly it seems people can turn a blind eye to what is going on in the town. If it doesn’t affect them, it’s none of their business.

The tension towards the end really turns up a notch as we begin to understand the truth behind the girl’s disappearances and what has been happening in Blackwood Bay. There are some shocking and disturbing revelations which bring everything together into a satisfying conclusion. Nothing is as it seems in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Final Cut is a haunting and an atmospheric read.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 416 pages

Final Cut is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Running private investigator and funeral home businesses means trouble is never far away … The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone #blogtour #bookreview @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Running private investigator and funeral home businesses means trouble is never far away, and the Skelf women take on their most perplexing, chilling cases yet in book two of this darkly funny, devastatingly tense and addictive new series!

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

MY THOUGHTS

The Skelf family are back in Doug Johnstone’s latest novel, The Big Chill. Still reeling from the events which happened in the last book, Dorothy and her family are trying to adapt to a new normality; by keeping the funeral and private investigator business running. But things are about to come back and haunt them in a big way when Jenny’s (Dorothy’s daughter) former partner begins to make contact from prison. It seems he is determined to push the family over the edge. But how far exactly is he willing to go this time?

Doug Johnstone knows how to open a book in a dramatic way. This time around, a police car chase crashes into a funeral organised by the Skelf’s and the young man, suspected of stealing the car, dies at the scene. You can only imagine what the bereaved family must be thinking as the horrific events unfold around them. The man behind the wheel of the car being chased is suspected of being homeless. The police are unable to identify him at the scene, and they show little interest in taking it further. Jenny is determined to find out who the man was. Even though he may mean little to the police, he is still someone’s son.

Meanwhile, Dorothy Skelf is concerned after one of her drummer students disappears. Her concerns are heightened when her family appear to show little interest in her disappearance. Dorothy throws herself into the case, and she certainly isn’t prepared for what she is about to discover.

You can see how Jenny’s husband’s betrayal has had an impact on the family over the past nine months. The theme of grief is explored very strongly here, and this comes through well in Doug’s characters as they try to come to terms with what has happened to their family. You can see this in Jenny and Hannah. Jenny is filled with torment. The past few months have taken its toll on Hannah as well. She is struggling to connect with her girlfriend and is filled with hatred and anger. You can see that she seeks revenge on her father for what he has done. The family are barely holding it together, and as the novel progresses, it’s hard to see how the future can be bright for them again.

Although this book reads well as a standalone, I would recommend reading the first book in the series, A Dark Matter. This will give you a better understanding of how the events that take place in the first book have had such a big impact on the Skelfs.

What I liked about this book as well was Doug Johnstone’s references to quantum physics which are peppered throughout the book. Often Hannah and her friends are debating the order and structure of the universe. This is a subject I find fascinating myself, and I could quite happily spend ages chatting to someone about it.

I would describe Doug Johnstone’s writing as more literary in style. His writing is very immersive, and I became utterly wrapped up in the lives of his characters. The Big Chill is another stunning book in this series, and I can’t wait to see where he takes The Skelf family next. And I’m hoping that there are more books in this series to come.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 20th June 2020 (kindle) 20th August 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

The Big Chill is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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July Wrap-Up

I don’t know about you, but I still think things are just as crazy in the world as they were four months ago when we first went into lockdown in the UK. In the last couple of weeks I have started to go out a bit more; I’ve also been up to our local pub twice. It’s felt really good to get out and socialise with people but I’m still missing the regular bookish events I normally attend. Sadly I can’t see any of these events happening again until next year at the earliest.

I’ve been ploughing my way through books this months. I’ve now so far read a total of 88 books towards my Goodreads challenge of 160 by the end of the year.

I took part in four blog tours this month and I have included the links to them below in case you missed any.

All Fall Down by M.J. Arlidge

Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell

Written in Blood by Chris Carter

The Next Widow by C J Lyons

My book buying has been on the up again this month, God knows how I’m ever going to get on top of my TBR pile 😂😂. I turned twenty-five on the 13th July so I did receive a few gift cards to spend on books for my birthday. Of course I’d spent them within a couple of days!

I’ve ordered The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer, Dead To Her by Sarah Pinborough, How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister, The Syndicate by G.J. Minett, Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard, A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone, The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond, The Storm by Amanda Jennings, Senseless by Ed James, Shed No Tears by Caz Frear and The House Party by Mary Grand.

The Blossom Twins: An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 5) by [Carol Wyer] Dead to Her: The most gripping crime thriller book you have to read in 2020 from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author! by [Sarah Pinborough]

Rewind: An explosive and twisted story for fans of The Hunting Party by [Catherine Ryan Howard] A Song of Isolation by [Michael J. Malone]

Senseless: the most chilling crime thriller of the year by [Ed James]

Shed No Tears: The stunning new thriller from the author of Richard and Judy pick 'Sweet Little Lies' (DC Cat Kinsella) by [Caz Frear] The House Party: A gripping heart-stopping new psychological thriller for 2020 by [Mary Grand]

I have six blog tours coming up for August. The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone on the 3rd, Final Cut by S.J. Watson on the 4th, The Silence by Susan Allott on the 6th, Keep Her Quiet by Emma Curtis on the 7th, Hinton Hollow Deathtrip by Will Carver on the 10th and The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks on the 19th August.

At the moment I’m currently reading How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister and The Blossom Twins by Carol Wyer.

That’s all from me for this month. Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments. Happy Reading!

The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the second novel by Harriet Tyce, The Lies You Told.

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Sadie loves her daughter and will do anything to keep her safe.

She can’t tell her why they had to leave home so quickly – or why Robin’s father won’t be coming with them to London.

She can’t tell her why she hates being back in her dead mother’s house, with its ivy-covered walls and its poisonous memories.

And she can’t tell her the truth about the school Robin’s set to start at – a school that doesn’t welcome newcomers.

Sadie just wants to get their lives back on track.

MY THOUGHTS

There are so many characters in The Lies You Told who will get under your skin. When Harriet Tyce first introduces us to her protagonist, Sadie, she is just moving back to her home town, and into the home, she lived in as a child. But the place is full of dark memories for Sadie. It isn’t exactly a happy move, but at the moment she has little choice after breaking up with her husband who lives in the States. Things really begin to change when Sadie enrols her daughter, Robin at her old school and Sadie is introduced to a group of mums. They appear to be in control of everything that goes on with the school and with the wider community. Sadie soon finds herself ostracized from the group, and it is clear that they are willing to do anything to make her and her daughter’s life a living hell.

There are some really dislikeable characters in this book. It was the group of women who Sadie is introduced to who I took a intense disliking to. If I’m honest, when I did start reading this book, it took me a long time to get into it. Harriet Tyce’s writing is very addictive, and it’s what kept me reading, but I struggled to connect to Sadie in the opening chapters. I could feel her frustration and anger though as she found herself and her daughter being bullied.

The part of the novel which I did find more interesting was the court case Sadie was taking part in. Like in her first novel, Harriet Tyce uses her knowledge of this field. Sadie is part of a team representing a young man. He has been accused of rape by a student of his. There are many who believe in his innocence, and he has amassed a small fan club on the outside. I found these scenes tense, and I really wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on.

I became more gripped to the plot by the second half of the novel. Things begin to change for Sadie, but I wondered about the motives behind this sudden move. I felt that there was something dark at play here, and I wanted to know what the final fall out was going to be.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Blood Orange but Harriet Tyce’s writing will, I’m sure, make me keen to read another book by her.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 23rd July 2020 (kindle) 20th August 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 314 pages

The Lies You Told is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

The Next Widow by C J Lyons #bookreview blog tour #booksontour @bookouture

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Next Widow by C J Lyons on my blog today which is the start of a brand new crime series.

The Next Widow: A gripping crime thriller with unputdownable suspense (Jericho and Wright Thrillers Book 1) by [CJ Lyons]

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In the distance Leah heard sirens. She ignored them. Right now, her daughter needed her and Emily was just out of reach, curled up under the bed, her eyes closed, desperately shaking. Leah did the only thing any mother would do. She crawled through the blood to get to her daughter.

Dr Leah Wright returned to her childhood home in rural Pennsylvania with her husband to find peace and quiet, start afresh and raise her six-year-old daughter Emily. But when she gets home one dark winter night, clutching roses in her hand, she finds her daughter huddled under her bed and her husband’s blood all over the floor…

When Detective Luka Jericho is called to investigate, he’s shocked to learn that the killer left a witness behind – the victim’s young daughter. The scene is a painful reminder of his fiancé’s unsolved death, and he is desperate to find out what Emily saw that night. He knows that the killer could still be out there, waiting to strike again.

But growing up, Leah learned the hard way that the only person she could rely on was herself. And it’s not until she and Emily are attacked again that she realizes just how close the killer is. Can she trust Luka to keep her daughter safe?

MY THOUGHTS

The Next Widow is a pacy thriller by C J Lyons. It is the first book in her Jericho and Wright series, and I’m keen to read more.

The book opens in a dramatic way when Dr Leah Wright is fighting to save someone’s life on the operating table. But when Leah returns home, she finds a gruesome discovery. Her husband has been brutally attacked and killed, and her daughter has been left cowering upstairs, half-scared to death. What is even more chilling for Leah is that earlier on in the day she was sent a note, which she believed was from her husband. But what if it wasn’t sent by her husband at all? Who would want him dead? Darker questions soon arise when the police ask the question, who really was the target here? Could Leah be the target?

C J Lyons creates an air of mystery right from the beginning. We soon learn that Leah’s husband was involved with something top secret and worked for the government. Could this be the reason why he was targeted? The only lead the detectives have to go on is a drawing by Leah’s daughter of their suspect.

What really interested me most as the investigation started to progress was the fact that Leah’s husband was working on a top-secret project. I wanted to find out what this was. Was this in any way connected to what had happened? The police investigation takes a dark and worrying turn and I wondered what sort of an impact this would have on Leah and her family.

C J Lyons managed to keep the tension, turning up a notch as the police try to piece together the evidence. There are various leads for them to be working on, but what I also found interesting, was Detective Luka Jericho’s backstory. Luka has had difficulties with his sister over the years. This has caused a lot of heartache both for him and his parents. But now after years since he last saw her, she is back. But it isn’t clear what she wants. I’m interested to see how this relationship will develop further in future books in this series.

After reading my first book by C J Lyons, I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading more from this series. The Next Widow is an addictive read that will keep you hooked from the first page right up until the last. You’ll be desperate to know the secrets that are hidden within the pages.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 28th July 2020

Print length: 376 pages

The Last Widow is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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