Bad Apples by Will Dean #bookreview #blogtour @willrdean @PointBlankCrime @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Will Dean on my blog today, Bad Apples. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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It only takes one…

A murder

A resident of small-town Visberg is found decapitated

A festival

A grim celebration in a cultish hilltop community after the apple harvest

A race against time

As Visberg closes ranks to keep its deadly secrets, there could not be a worse time for Tuva Moodyson to arrive as deputy editor of the local newspaper.  Powerful forces are at play and no one dares speak out. But Tuva senses the story of her career, unaware that perhaps she is the story…

MY THOUGHTS

I was so excited to see that journalist Tuva Moodyson was returning in a new book and I couldn’t wait to dive into Bad Apples.

As he has done in his previous books, Will Dean excels in creating mystery, suspense and atmosphere. Once again Tuva is investigating a chilling case just as Halloween approaches after a headless corpse is discovered in Utgard forest.

I’ve always found Tuva such a fascinating character. She is always determined to get to the truth even if that means putting herself in danger. She is a character who I feel like I’ve got to know really well over the last few years so I am always excited to see what she’ll get up to next.

I loved that this book was set just as Halloween is approaching which makes this the perfect book to read at this time of year, especially as the nights are drawing in. There is a particular scene, in which Tuva attends a strange festival taking place on Pan Night, which I could picture so clearly inside my mind. It gives Tuva the creeps and you get the sense that there is an element of the supernatural about it. It made me feel that anything could happen. It seems that there is always more to learn about Gavrik. This is the same for Tuva as well as there are elements about the town that continue to surprise her. The setting is what also makes these books so appealing and Will Dean knows how to draw on the atmosphere and Utgard forest, especially, always comes to life. It doesn’t feel like a very welcoming place at all.

Will Dean has also, once again, managed to create a cast of intriguing characters who could all be suspects in the case. He managed to keep everything under wraps until the final reveals at the end of the book.

There are some very tense scenes in this book as Tuva gets closer to understanding what has gone on and who is responsible for the murder. Reading those final lines has made me desperate to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible.

Will Dean is brilliant at creating an unnerving, menacing tone throughout the book. If you’re a Tuva Moodyson fan then you’re in for a real treat. I absolutely loved it.

Publisher: Point Blank

Publication date: 2nd September 2021 (kindle) 7th October 2021 (hardcover)

Print length: 352 pages

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Safe at Home by Lauren North #bookreview #blogtour @Lauren_C_North @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lauren North, Safe at Home. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened?

Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin.

Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won’t explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip.

Anna is convinced there’s a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn’t know where the danger is coming from?

MY THOUGHTS

Safe at Home is the type of book that can easily be read in one sitting. This is the first book by Lauren North which I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. The tension is there right from the first page, and it builds and builds as the story develops. This is one of the most gripping books I’ve read this year!

There is so much intrigue in this book. The most fascinating character for me, was eleven-year-old Harrie. There is so much mystery surrounding her, and I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on in her life. We know something is up, right at the very start, when on Halloween, Harrie doesn’t return from trick or treating. This creates panic, but before we find out what has happened to Harrie we’re taken back to ten days earlier. Ten days before Halloween Harrie’s mother, Anna has left her at home for what should be just a few moments. But they are caught in a devastating accident and something terrible happens at home.

I thought both Harrie and Anna’s voice came through very strongly in the book. You can feel the tension in Anna’s voice as she speaks, and you can see just how anxious she is. This did very well in adding to the tension. Harrie doesn’t let on at all about what is bothering her, and you can see just how scared she is.

My opinion of Harrie kept changing as I was reading. One moment I was feeling sorry for her and hoping that things would get better for her, but then I couldn’t believe how she was treating her mother. I thought at times that she was being selfish. I liked this as it kept me interested in Harrie and what she was going through.

I really had no idea how things were going to pan out for Harrie and Anna. It’s what kept me hooked as I was reading. The plot is so well thought out and when Lauren North revealed what was really going on, I thought it was done in a very clever way. The final revelations were so shocking, and I could not believe what I was reading.

This is psychological suspense at its very best. I flew through this book. Now I’m desperate to catch up on Lauren North’s previous novels. If you’re looking for a pacy, addictive thriller, then I highly recommend Safe at Home. I could not put it down!

Publisher: Corgi

Publication date: 9th September 2021 (kindle) 30th October 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 374 pages

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Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds #blogtour #giveaway #win #prize @Rod_WR @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

As part of the blog tour for Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds, I’m delighted to be able to offer one paperback copy to giveaway. If you would like to read my review of the book you can do so by clicking here. Before I reveal more about the competition, let’s find out what the book is about.

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Don’t trust ANYONE…

When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.

Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…

And then the first body appears…

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 28th May 2021 (kindle) 2nd September 2021

Print length: 300 pages

Black Reed Bay is available to buy:

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GIVEAWAY

As part of the blog tour I have one copy of the book to giveaway. To enter please see my pinned Tweet on my Twitter account @collinsjacob115. The Giveaway will end 11.59 p.m. Friday, 17th September, UK time. I’m afraid this giveaway is open to UK residents only.

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The Chateau by Catherine Cooper #bookreview #blogtour @catherinecooper @HarperCollinsUK @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Catherine Cooper, The Chateau. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…

A glamorous chateau

Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.

A couple on the brink

The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.

A secret that is bound to come out…

Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.

MY THOUGHTS

Catherine Cooper has written another brilliant, utterly chilling thriller. The Chateau opens with an intriguing paragraph that made me want to know what was going on here. Someone is out for revenge. But who is this person? What has made them want to pursue this course of action?

Catherine Cooper then takes us to France, where at a party, someone ends up dead. This makes for such a gripping opening. I had to know who this person was who was killed. Following on from this we meet Aura and Nick who have recently relocated to France from the UK with their two sons, Bay and Sorrel. They are doing up a chateau with a film crew present who are filming for a documentary. It is clear that they have come here to try and forget something which happened to them.

As we get to know Aura and Nick Catherine Cooper takes us back in time. It is here that we get to see the events play out which led to them seeking a new life in France. There were some gripping scenes here as I wondered just what exactly had happened and I began to see events in the present in a new light. As Aura and Nick get to know the expat community out in France, I couldn’t believe some of the scenes I was reading, particularly when they attend their friend Thea’s party. Aura’s frustration comes through very clearly in her character here. It made me wonder how things were going to pan out for them in France.

Catherine Cooper throws in a lot of red herrings which keeps your attention focused elsewhere and I thought she did this very well. There was a twist which came towards the end of the book which completely surprised me. I had no idea that this was the direction that Catherine was going to take. It made it all the more chilling and those last few lines in the final chapter gave me shivers.

Psychological thriller fans, Catherine Cooper’s novels are a must read if you haven’t read them already. I was utterly gripped by The Chateau and I can’t wait to see what Catherine Cooper writes next.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 2nd September 2021

Print length: 400 pages

The Chateau is available to buy:

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The Final Child by Fran Dorricott #bookreview #blogtour @franwritesstuff @TitanBooks

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Final Child by Fran Dorricott on my blog today. With thanks to Lydia Gittins at Titan Books for inviting me to take part.

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He won’t forget her…

Erin and her brother Alex were the last children abducted by ‘the Father’, a serial killer who only ever took pairs of siblings. She escaped, but her brother was never seen again. Traumatised, Erin couldn’t remember anything about her ordeal, and the Father was never caught.

Eighteen years later, Erin has done her best to put the past behind her. But then she meets Harriet. Harriet’s young cousins were the Father’s first victims and, haunted by their deaths, she is writing a book about the disappearances and is desperate for an interview with the only survivor. At first, Erin wants nothing to do with her. But then she starts receiving sinister gifts, her house is broken into, and she can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched. After all these years, Erin believed that the Father was gone, but now she begins to wonder if he was only waiting…

A tense and emotive thriller, The Final Child is a powerful tale of a survivor being forced to confront her painful past.

MY THOUGHTS

The Final Child is a tense, utterly gripping thriller by Fran Dorricott. I loved Fran’s debut when I read it a couple of years ago which meant her latest book jumped right to the top of my TBR pile. Fran Dorricott doesn’t shy away from the darkness in her writing. Years ago, a serial killer was targeting young siblings, abducting them from their rooms. The person responsible known as ‘The Father’ was never caught.

We are introduced to Erin and Harriet. Erin and her brother, Alex, were victims of a serial killer known as ‘The Father.’ She has tried to forget about what happened, but she soon finds the past calling to her. She’s contacted by Harriet, a journalist writing a book about the case. She is desperate for an interview with Erin. Erin only agrees to help when strange things start happening and she feels she must get to the bottom of what is going on. Has ‘The Father’ come back? Is he out to get Erin even after all these years?

The storyline was very tense, I think more so in the second half than in the first, though. I liked both Erin and Hannah. I could see how much of an impact the trauma of what happened in Erin’s childhood has had on her life. I wanted to know if the strange things that were happening to her now was related to what happened in her childhood. I did feel sorry for Erin. Although she has changed her identity, she was previously known as Jillian, she has never been able to escape what happened. Harriet also has a connection to the case. Her cousins were ‘The Father’s’ last victims, so she is invested in getting to the truth of what is going on as well. They are both very strong leads.

The tension continues to tick up a notch and there were some very tense final scenes as Erin and Harriet come to realise what is really going on. I was utterly gripped as I read the final devastating chapters. I could not put the book down until I had turned the final page and I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The Final Child is a very dark book, but it captured my interest. I really enjoyed it. If you love dark and gripping crime thrillers, you should add this to your TBR pile. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Titan Books

Publication date: 7th September 2021

Print length: 448 pages

The Final Child is available to buy:

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A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins #bookreview #blogtour @RandomTTours @TransworldBooks

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Paula Hawkins on my blog today, A Slow Fire Burning. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

A Slow Fire Burning: The scorching new thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train by [Paula Hawkins]

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‘What is wrong with you?’

Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous.

Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace?

Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.

Look what you started.

MY THOUGHTS

A Slow Fire Burning is a brilliant new novel by Paula Hawkins. The tension gradually builds following the discovery of the body of a young man, Daniel Sutherland, on a houseboat on Regent’s Canal. He is discovered by Miriam Lewis, who needs to tell him that he has over extended his stay. Paula expertly tells the story through the eyes of five characters. They all have some sort of connection to the man who has been found dead. But are any of them guilty of killing him? I had to find out.

Paula Hawkins draws on the atmosphere so well, creating a very dark and foreboding feeling. The characters are all very different and I found each one of them captivating. They come across as very real people, each with their own set of problems. I think it was Theo’s story which came through very strongly, for me, particularly as he is still struggling to cope with the death of his son. Theo is a writer, and had one big success with an early book in his career, but he has struggled to put pen to paper since his son died. His emotions come through very strongly on the page.

Laura was another character who I found fascinating. She has some issues with her family. She is frustrated. Whenever she calls her father, his partner, Deidre, who she doesn’t get on with, is always there, listening in and criticising her. And her mum won’t pick up the phone to her. It feels as though she is on her own. I wanted to get to the bottom of who she was and what had happened in her past. I think readers may find her a bit eccentric but there was one aspect to her character which I really liked. Laura helps look after an elderly woman, Irene and this helps portray her as a really likeable character.

All of the characters have intriguing backstories and Paula Hawkins writes them so well into her book. I never felt confused as I was reading, which can sometimes happen when a book is told from multiple viewpoints.

I had to know if any of the characters were somehow involved in Daniel’s death and why he was killed. Paula Hawkins has created an intriguing list of suspects. They don’t make it easy for the police to solve this case. I got the feeling that any one of them could be responsible for the murder. I had no idea how things were going to pan out for them. It’s what made the book so enjoyable. Paula Hawkins keeps you thinking about the characters and what their connection to the murder might be.

Although this is a slow burn, the tension simmers away in the background. It’s a story which focuses much more on the characters. They make this book such an unsettling read. Paula Hawkins expertly revealed what had happened to Daniel. I was gripped to the final pages as the whole truth became clear. It does make for an utterly gripping and unnerving finale.

If you’re a fan of Paula Hawkins writing you will love this book. Once again she has created a very clever and an utterly compelling read that will keep you hooked. This is domestic noir at its very best. I’m looking forward to reading what she writes next.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 31st August 2021

Print length: 308 pages

A Slow Fire Burning is available to buy:

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The Wedding Party by Tammy Cohen #bookreview #blogtour @MsTamarCohen @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Tammy Cohen, The Wedding Party. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Wedding Party: ‘Absolutely gripping’ Jane Fallon by [Tammy Cohen]

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Till death do us part . . .

Lucy has dreamt of her wedding day for as long as she can remember.

And now the day is almost here. Her nearest and dearest are gathered on an idyllic Greek island and she just knows it’s going to be perfect. It has to be.

But even the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong. Why are her parents behaving so strangely? Why won’t the rather odd lady from the airport stop hanging around? Who is the silent stranger her sister brought as a plus-1?

And then they find the body.

It’s going to be a day to remember.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge Tammy Cohen fan, and I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel, The Wedding Party. A wedding is supposed to be a happy, joyous occasion that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. This wedding, however, will be remembered for entirely different reasons. From the first few pages, we know that someone will end up dead. But how have we got to this point?

What drives the tension in this book is the question we are presented with at the beginning. Who will be the victim here? The family members and friends in this book who are attending are characters who will get under your skin. I’ve only ever been a guest at a wedding, but I can imagine they can be very stressful for the bride and groom and their families. That stress plays out on the page in the run up to Lucy and Jason’s big day on a Greek Island. Tammy Cohen explores the family dynamics so well. From the opening pages, there are tensions between the characters. Lucy is, of course, desperate to make everything perfect. She is also worried about the strange person her sister has brought as her plus one and what is going on in her parents’ life?

We also have transcripts from police interviews following the discovery of the body. This adds another layer to the tension as we begin to understand what has gone on. This is also a clever way in which Tammy reveals what the characters think about each other. There are parts of the novel which are also told through journal entries. However, we don’t know which character is writing their thoughts down. Is this our victim or our killer? The Wedding Party really is more of a character driven thriller novel, I think, and that is what I loved about it.

I loved the Greek Island setting. I think as well it added to the sense of mystery to the plot as the characters are in an unfamiliar landscape. I thought Tammy Cohen drew on the setting so well, and she brought it to life. I could feel the heat, and I could picture the hotel so well. I think the tension between the people attending the wedding also helps create a claustrophobic atmosphere. You know that at any moment, someone is going to snap.

I flew through this book. Tammy Cohen is a master at writing gripping suspense novels. She always delivers a tension fuelled plot that keeps you turning the pages. I loved it.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 24th June 2021

Print length: 478 pages

The Wedding Party is available to buy:

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Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies #bookreview #blogtour @Abby13Richards @instabooktours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the chilling debut novel by Abby Davies, Mother Loves Me.

Mother Loves Me: A gripping new debut psychological crime suspense thriller which will send shivers up your spine! by [Abby Davies]

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One little girl.
Mirabelle’s mother loves her. She’s her ‘little doll’. Mother dresses her, paints her face, and plaits her hair. But as Mirabelle grows, the dresses no longer fit quite as well, the face paint no longer looks quite so pretty. And Mother isn’t happy.
 
Two little girls.
On Mirabelle’s 13th birthday, Mother arrives home with a present – a new sister, 5-year-old Clarabelle, who Mother has rescued from the outside world.
 
But Mother only needs one.
As it dawns on Mirabelle that there is a new ‘little doll’ in her house, she also realizes that her life isn’t what she thought it was. And that dolls often end up on the scrap heap…

MY THOUGHTS

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies. I’d heard a lot of good things about this book, and I can say, now that I’ve read it, that it’s one of the most chilling and gripping crime thriller’s I’ve read. It is also very creepy, and it felt very claustrophobic. Abby Davies is such a talented writer. I’ll definitely be reading whatever she writes next.

This is a very dark book. Abby Davies introduces us to Mirabelle. She is kept cooped up in her mother’s house. She has been warned about the dangers of going outside. Mirabelle knows she can’t go into the light and has to keep to the shadows, believing that the light will kill her if she does. The only person Mirabelle has for company is her mother. Her mother means everything to her, but she can also be cruel and terrifying, especially if Mirabelle does something to upset her. And soon, everything is turned upside down when her mother brings a little girl home, Clarabelle, who is to be Mirabelle’s sister. But something isn’t quite right, and Clarabelle says things that makes Mirabelle question everything she thought she knew about her life and her Mother.

It was so tense as Mirabelle began to ask questions about her life and her mother. It constantly felt as though she was walking around on eggshells as she looked for answers. I kept expecting something terrible to happen to her, the closer she got to the truth. I wanted her to find out the truth about her past. It made me wonder what had happened, and I was desperate to find out the answers myself. Abby Davies is a writer who knows how to keep the tension turning up a notch. The writing was so taut as the novel raced towards its conclusion.

Mother is such a twisted character. I was never quite sure how she was going to react whenever Mirabelle spoke to her. She was terrifying, but I also wanted to know more about her life. I wanted to know what had made her into the woman that she is today.

If you’re looking for your next psychological thriller and if you love a creepy book full of suspense, I highly recommend Mother Loves Me. Once you start reading this book, you won’t want to put it down! I loved it!

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 301 pages

Mother Loves Me is available to buy:

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The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone #blogtour #giveaway #win #competition #prize @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone. As part of the blog tour I have one paperback copy of the book to giveaway. If you want to check out my review of The Great Silence you can do so by clicking here. But before I reveal how you can enter the giveaway, let’s take a look at what the book is about.

The Great Silence (The Skelfs Book 3) by [Douglas  Johnstone, Doug Johnstone]

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Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelfs’ teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

Taut, dark, warmly funny and unafraid to ask big questions – of us all – The Great Silence is the much-anticipated third instalment in the addictive, unforgettable Skelfs series, and the stakes are higher than ever.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 19th June 2021 (kindle) 19th August 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages

The Great Silence is available to buy:

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I’m delighted to offer one paperback copy of The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone to giveaway. To enter, please visit my Twitter page @collinsjacob115 and please see my pinned Tweet at the top of my profile. To enter the competition all you have to do is follow me, retweet my pinned Tweet and tag friends in the comments. The giveaway will run until midnight, Sunday 22nd August 2021. One winner will be chosen at random and they will be notified by noon Monday, 23rd August 2021. I’m afraid this competition is only open to UK entries only.

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Ouija by Zoe Lee O’Farrell #bookreview #blogtour @zooloo2008 @QuestionPress

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the debut novel by Zoe Lee O’Farrell on my blog today, Ouija which is the second book in a new series published by Question Mark Press.

Ouija by [Zoé-Lee O'Farrell]

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The only thing for certain is the deaths were no accident.

Rayner High School once a prestigious school stands in ruins after such a terrible event.

A year later, a group of friends return to the abandoned school and their nightmare begins.

Something wants to get out and won’t take NO for an answer…

MY THOUGHTS

Horror isn’t usually my go to genre, but when I started reading Ouija by Zoe Lee O’Farrell, I could not stop turning the pages.  Zoe has created an utterly gripping book with a terrifying atmosphere. The characters all came to life on the page, and I wanted to know what was going to happen to them.

I have always been fascinated by Ouija boards. Even though I don’t believe in the supernatural, the thought of trying to contact spirits beyond the grave using a Ouija board terrifies me. I don’t think it would be something I would ever be keen to try myself. It’s just that what if question that deters me from ever trying it. What if it did work?

The group of friends in Zoe’s book, decide to experiment with a Ouija board in an abandoned school. Zoe explores the friend’s relationships with each other very well and I thought this came through very strongly in their dialogue. A couple of them are very keen on their plan and they take the idea seriously, but there are some members of the group who are petrified of the thought. You get to know their thoughts and feelings about each other and there are some tensions between them throughout the book. Their idea though of a fun evening out trying to contact the dead, doesn’t exactly go quite to plan for them. Soon it becomes apparent that they have unleashed something evil. The place they have targeted to carry out their experiment also comes with its own horrific history. This adds to the tension as bad things start to happen to the group. I loved the depth it gave to the setting. There are also some creepy dolls in this book, and this adds to the tense, claustrophobic atmosphere.

Ouija is a very quick read and I think it would be perfect if you are looking for something chilling to read on Halloween. Although, it may keep you awake if you start reading late at night. This is the kind of book that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It still gives me chills thinking about it, even after I’ve read it.

This is a very accomplished debut and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is very dark and very entertaining. I can’t wait to read what Zoe comes up with next. Ouija will send shivers down your spine.

Publisher: Question Mark Press

Publication date: 30th August 2021

Print length: 154 pages

Ouija is available to buy:

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