Nothing Else by Louise Beech #bookreview #blogtour @LouiseWriter @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Louise Beech, Nothing Else.

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Heather Harris is a piano teacher and professional musician, whose quiet life revolves around music, whose memories centre on a single song that haunts her. A song she longs to perform again. A song she wrote as a child, to drown out the violence in their home. A song she played with her little sister, Harriet.

But Harriet is gone … she disappeared when their parents died, and Heather never saw her again.

When Heather is offered an opportunity to play piano on a cruise ship, she leaps at the chance. She’ll read her recently released childhood care records by day – searching for clues to her sister’s disappearance – and play piano by night … coming to terms with the truth about a past she’s done everything to forget.

An exquisitely moving novel about surviving devastating trauma, about the unbreakable bond between sisters, Nothing Else is also a story of courage and love, and the power of music to transcend – and change – everything.

MY THOUGHTS

Louise Beech is a writer who really knows how to delve into the emotions of her characters. Nothing Else, her latest book, is a powerful read that will pull at the heartstrings. It’s not the type of book I normally read, but I was completely and utterly hooked by Heather and Harriet’s tragic tale. It’s really a novel to savour.

We meet Heather as she is contemplating taking a job on a cruise as a pianist, but she is reluctant about this at first. Only after some gentle pushing by her friends does she apply. Heather teaches piano, but she doesn’t perform herself in front of crowds. As Heather sets sail on the cruise, we begin to see just how tragic her backstory is, and how this adds a deeper meaning to the music she plays, particularly her own compositions.

I could really feel Heather’s loss. She hasn’t seen her sister in more than thirty years, after they were cruelly separated by social services, after the death of their parents. Their grandmother, who neither Heather, nor her sister Harriet liked, didn’t even offer to take care of them. You can feel Heather’s yearning to have her sister in her life again. I wanted to find out what had happened to Harriet after they were separated.

We also see what happened in Heather and Harriet’s childhood, and these are some tough scenes to read. But there is also some hope for the future in these scenes, especially as they both learn to play the piano together and you can see how much joy this brings them. This also helps strengthen their bond further and they both know they can rely on the piano in the times of darkness.

I really enjoyed the scenes when Heather is on the cruise and I loved the interactions that she has with the other passengers, as well as the other people in the same quarters as her. I particularly liked the friendship she developed with Frederica, a writer who is running creative writing workshops on the ship. I loved Frederica’s personality and I was glad that Heather had her as a friend on the ship.

Nothing Else is a deeply moving story. Heather and Harriet’s tale engaged me right from the start and I was rooting for Heather all the way through to find out what happened to her sister. If you’re a fan of Louise Beech’s work you need to read this book as soon as possible.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 23rd April 2022 (kindle) 23rd June 2022 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

Nothing Else is available to buy:

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The Sinner by Caroline England #bookreview #blogtour @CazEngland

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Caroline England, The Sinner.

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EVERY SAINT HAS A PAST

To the unsuspecting eye Dee Stephens has a perfect life as the vicar’s wife: a devoted marriage to her charismatic husband Reverend Vincent, an adoring congregation and a beautiful daughter.

EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE

But beneath the surface, Dee is suffocating. Vincent is in control, and he knows her every sin. Desperate, Dee escapes into a heady affair with Cal, an old schoolmate.

EVERY CONFESSION HAS A PRICE

But is Cal the saviour she thinks he is? What dark secrets does he harbour? And to what lengths will Vincent go to when he uncovers the truth?

MY THOUGHTS

I really enjoy Caroline England’s writing and The Sinner sounded really intriguing. I think one of Caroline’s real writing strengths is her characters. They always feel like real people and they are characters who you want to go on a journey with.

We meet Dee, who on the surface appears to be the perfect vicar’s wife, and mother to their daughter, Chloe. But there is a darkness to Dee’s relationship with her husband. Soon Dee meets a former childhood friend, Cal, and they begin a passionate affair. To Dee, Cal seems like her saviour from her marriage. But what isn’t Cal telling her, is he really as good as he seems?

I thought Caroline England did a brilliant job of creating tension around Dee’s affair with Cal. This builds and builds throughout the novel and I could feel it simmering away. I kept wondering what would happen if Dee’s husband, Vincent, would find out. This isn’t a particularly fast paced book, but I liked the short chapters and Caroline England kept me reading on, I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Dee next.

There are some heartbreaking reveals as Caroline England moves the plot along as we get to learn more about Dee and Vincent’s past. I also liked how Caroline England explored the relationship between Dee’s sister, Mari and her partner Britt. There are tensions in Mari and Britt’s relationship as well and this really adds to the darkness that there is in the book. There is real tension as the book reaches its finale, especially as Dee begins to find out things about her husband she never knew before. It made me wonder what else he was keeping secret from her. There is an absolutely brilliant ending that I thought Caroline delivered really well.

The characters are what really draw you into Caroline England’s books. She really gets to know them well and you feel as though they are real people who you want to find more about. I really enjoyed reading The Sinner and I flew through it. Fans of character-driven psychological thrillers, you need to pick this book up.

Publisher: Piatkus

Publication date: 16th June 2022

Print length: 448 pages

The Sinner is available to buy:

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The Companion by Lesley Thomson #bookreview #blogtour @LesleyjmThomson @HoZ_Books @soph_ransompr

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lesley Thomson, The Companion. With thanks to Sophie Ransom at Ransom PR for inviting me to take part.

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James Ritchie was looking forward to a boys’ day out with his son, Wilbur – even if he was a little late picking him up from the home of his ex-wife, Anna. Annoyed by his late arrival, and competing for their son’s attention, Anna leaves the two of them to their day with the promise of a roast dinner when Wilbur returns.

But Anna will never see her family again. That afternoon, James and Wilbur are found dead, the victims of a double stabbing on the beach.

DI Toni Kemp, of Sussex police, must unravel a case which has shocked the county to its core. What she discovers will lead her to Blacklock House, a grand country mansion, long ago converted into flats. Here in the middle of nowhere, where a peacock struts the lawn, and a fountain plays intermittently, seven long-term residents have seen more than they should.

But this is a community who are good at keeping secrets…

MY THOUGHTS

If you love a good old fashioned English murder mystery, then you need to pick up The Companion by Lesley Thomson. This is the first novel by Lesley that I’ve read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s a real sense of mystery and I loved how Lesley put the spotlight on various characters, I was never able to guess who the killer was.

The novel opens with a shocking murder when a family are murdered during a day out as well as a father and son. This creates a sinister tone right from the beginning as DI Toni Kemp and his team grapple with the case and attempt to bring the perpetrator to justice before they kill again. What would give anyone a reason to want to kill these people? The crimes are so shocking, and I could see just how terrifying it was for the residents, fearing that at any moment the killer could strike again. I was rooting for the police to catch the killer.

The novel shifts its focus to an old manor house, converted into apartments. It is also the home of Rex, who is seventy years of age. Rex has just employed Timothy Mew, who is twenty-five years old to be a live in companion, following the death of Rex’s wife five years earlier. It is around the time that Timothy arrives that the murders start. The manor house falls under the spotlight of the police’s investigation, and it is clear to see that there are more than a few strange happenings going on in the former mansion. This adds to the chilling atmosphere of the novel, and I could feel danger lurking around every corner.

I liked how Lesley Thomson kept me guessing about her characters and I liked trying to work out what their real motives are. Is it too much of a coincidence that Timothy arrived at around the same time the murders take place? The character’s individual personalities come through so well on the page, really making you think about them. There are so many mysteries surrounding them which kept me utterly gripped as I was reading. I think this would make an excellent television drama.

The Companion is a highly addictive read and I was drawn into the mystery from the first page. I thought this was a highly entertaining read. It’s the type of book that you can lose an afternoon to. I really enjoyed it. The Companion is the perfect murder mystery novel.

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publication date: 9th June 2022

Print length: 364 pages

The Companion is available to buy:

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One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke #bookreview #blogtour @lucyclarkebooks @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lucy Clarke on my blog today, One of the Girls. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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WE WERE DYING FOR A HOLIDAY

The six of us arrived on that beautiful Greek island dreaming of sun-drenched beaches and blood orange sunsets, ready to lose ourselves in the wild freedom of a weekend away with friends.

On the first night we swam under a blanket of stars.

On the second night the games began on our clifftop terrace.

On the third night the idyll cracked, secrets and lies whispering on the breeze.

And by the final night there was a body on the rocks below . . .

WHO WOULD KILL FOR IT?

MY THOUGHTS

One of the Girls is the first book by Lucy Clarke that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. I loved the Greek island setting, and as we get to know the group of women who have travelled there for Lexi’s hen weekend, I got the sense that something wasn’t quite right. Some of the women have been friends since their school days, but I could feel the tension simmering in the background, and we know very early on, that one of them will end up dead, but we don’t know who this will be.

I really enjoyed trying to work out what was going to happen to the characters. Lucy Clarke gradually ups the tension as she begins to reveal more about the lives of the women. I liked how this was done through the different narrations. It is more of a slow burner, I think, but the tension gathers pace as we race towards the pivotal moment, when we find out which one of them will be killed.

The setting of the Greek Island adds to the tension, especially the sharp drop of the cliffs, not far from the property where they are staying, that the girl’s discover when they first arrive. I really liked how Lucy Clarke brought the setting to life. I could picture the villa clearly and the various different locations on the island. The characters each have their own intriguing backstories and it’s their backstories that begin to drive the tension as their pasts are unravelled. I wanted to know the secrets they were all hiding and how this would have an impact on the events that they were about to be faced with. I loved the drama that Lucy Clarke created between them and you can see their true colours begin to emerge. I didn’t know who to trust.

One of the Girls is a tension filled character driven read that kept me utterly gripped. Lucy Clarke’s writing effortlessly draws you in, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen to the group. I could sense the imminent threat of danger that was surrounding them. I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be catching up on Lucy’s previous novels.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 26th May 2022

Print length: 441 pages

One of the Girls is available to buy:

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Cat and Mouse by M.J. Arlidge #bookreview #blogtour

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by M.J. Arlidge, Cat and Mouse. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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When you think you’re safe,
When you think you’re all alone,
That’s when he’ll come for you…

A silent killer stalks the city, targeting those home alone at night, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with the victims.

As panic spreads, Detective Inspector Helen Grace leads the investigation, but is herself a hunted woman, her every step shadowed by a ruthless psychopath bent on revenge.

As she tracks the murderer, Grace begins to suspect there is a truly shocking home truth that connects these brutal crimes. But what she will find is something more twisted than she could ever suspect…

Check the windows, lock the doors – this is a twisted page-turner that will prey on your darkest fears, in the way only M.J. Arlidge can.

MY THOUGHTS

Whenever M.J. Arlidge releases a new novel, you know you are going to be in for a highly entertaining and an utterly gripping read. I was thrilled to see that his character, Detective Inspector Helen Grace would be returning in his latest book, Cat and Mouse. Helen is never given an easy ride. She has faced a tough few years and the tension around her has only built since the first book.

The novel opens with a shocking opening with a brutal murder, and we know that this is going to be another tough case for Helen. M.J. Arlidge knows how to write novels filled with suspense and he creates such a dark atmosphere that pulls you into the book. As has always been the case in this book, he draws on the setting of Southampton so well and you feel as though you are there, chasing the suspects with Helen, or speaking to witnesses. As always, journalist Emilia Garanita is up to her old tricks again and tensions between her and Helen really begin to spill over.

Helen Grace has faced several challenges in her career in this series and she is up against another difficult one that will push her to the limits. It’s what really adds to the tension in this book, and I could sense the fight she was going to have on her hand, on top of the investigation. It feels as though Helen is on her on her own in this book, although she always has DS Charlie Brooks there by her side.

M.J. Arlidge is a master at creating suspense and I thought the twists and turns in this book were very well done. I was also kept engaged by the lives of the people who are on Helen’s team

M.J. Arlidge’s books are always the types of reads that can be read in one sitting. I flew through Cat and Mouse, if you’re a fan of this series, then you definitely need to bump this book right to the top of your TBR pile.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 9th June 2022

Print length: 500 pages

Cat and Mouse is available to buy:

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The Mirror Man by Lars Kepler #bookreview #blogtour @ZaffreBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lars Kepler, The Mirror Man. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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IF YOU SEE HIS REFLECTION
IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE . . .

Five years ago, Jenny Lind was abducted on her way home from school.

Now her lifeless body is found hanging in a playground. But there is no evidence and only one witness – a man who cannot remember what he saw.

With Detective Joona Linna and the police scrambling to find a lead, another girl goes missing. And as they close in on the killer, they discover that the Mirror Man’s crimes are more shocking than they ever could have imagined . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I have to admit, The Mirror Man is the first novel by Lars Kepler that I’ve read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve heard a lot of praise for this series over the past few years, and now, I can certainly see why. If you’re new to this series as well, I can definitely say that you can easily read this book as a standalone. If you like dark crime fiction with plenty of tension, you need to give this book a go. It is a very unnerving read, but it is utterly gripping.

The book opens with a scene that throws us headfirst into the story, with the abduction of a young woman, Jenny Lind. The story gets going right away, and the tension is there right from the start. We see this part of the novel through the eyes of the young woman who has been taken, and Lars Kepler does a brilliant job of getting inside her head, as we experience the emotions and the fear that she is experiencing. Fast forward a few years later, and Jenny turns up dead, and the police’s only witness, Martin, who may be able to unlock the whole case, can’t remember anything from the night she was killed.

Lars Kepler knows how to create a tension filled read. I thought the backstory of Martin and his partner was really intriguing and you can see the emotion, the dark event in their past, has caused. They lost their daughter five years earlier while she was ice fishing with Martin, and since then he has suffered with his mental health. It seems almost impossible for the police to get him to reveal what he saw the night Jenny’s body was disposed of. This really made me want to know what he had seen, especially when they resort to using hypnosis.

As the police race to track down Jenny’s killer another young woman, Mia, goes missing and the tension really picks up a pace. You can see that there is a dangerous killer operating here, and it is not yet clear what their motive is. As the novel raced towards its conclusion there were several twists that completely floored me. I thought the ending was really well done and I could feel the emotions the characters were going through as Lars Kepler wraps the story up.

The Mirror Man is a brilliant read. It has definitely made me keen to read more of Lars Kepler’s work. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 26th May 2022

Print length: 576 pages

The Mirror Man is available to buy:

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Little Drummer by Kjell Ola Dahl #bookreview #blogtour @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Kjell Ola Dahl, Little Drummer. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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When a woman is found dead in her car in a Norwegian parking garage, everyone suspects an overdose … until a forensics report indicates that she was murdered. Oslo Detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda discover that the victim’s Kenyan scientist boyfriend has disappeared, and their investigations soon lead them into the shady world of international pharmaceutical deals. 

While Gunnarstranda closes in on the killers in Norway, Frølich and Lise, his new journalist ally, travel to Africa, where they make a series of shocking discoveries about exploitation and corruption in the distribution of foreign aid and essential HIV medications. 

When tragedy unexpectedly strikes, all three investigators face incalculable danger, spanning two continents. And not everyone will make it out alive…

Exploding the confines of the Nordic Noir genre, Little Drummer is a sophisticated, fast-paced, international thriller with a searingly relevant, shocking premise that will keep you glued to the page.

MY THOUGHTS

Little Drummer is the latest novel in the Oslo Detective series by Kjell Ola Dahl. Gunnarstranda and Frølich are getting to grips with another complex mystery in the latest book, with the discovery of the body of a young woman in a car left behind in a car park. When a Kenyan immigrant disappears, shortly after the discovery of the woman, the police immediately suspect him of murder, especially as he is the victim’s boyfriend. But what is really going on here? This soon turns into a far more complex case than the detectives first realise.

I was really interested in finding out what had happened to the young woman who had been found dead. From the outset I could see that the police’s focus on the woman’s boyfriend seemed to be too narrowly minded. I was sure that there was something more going on here. The mystery element surrounding her death was done very well. It drew me into the plot and it kept me turning the pages.

The investigation soon moves to Kenya, and I really liked this part of the novel. It is Frølich who is sent there to find answers and to try and track the suspect down. I think it’s always interesting when we see authors take their characters out of their comfort zone, and you can feel that there is an imminent threat of danger, after Frølich arrives in Africa. This is where the suspense begins to really build, and although I would describe Little Drummer as more of a slow burner, than a fast paced novel, it is here that the tension begins to pick up. I also thought the scenes between him and the journalist were really well done and I liked the tension that seemed to be there between them.

I’ve read a couple of books in this series, but not all of them, so this can definitely be read as a standalone. I think I definitely need to try and catch up on the books I’ve missed as soon as possible. I really like the friendship that is there between the detectives, Gunnarstranda and Frølich. I could see that they have a lot of respect for each other and it is clear to see that they are good friends. I liked them a lot as I was reading this book, and I am looking forward to reading more books in this series, to see how their personal lives and their careers have developed.

Little Drummer is a gripping thoroughly enjoyable novel. The novel flowed really well and I was kept utterly engaged in the characters and the mystery they were trying to unravel. I flew through it in just a couple of sittings. I highly recommend it. 

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 26th May 2022

Print length: 305 pages

Little Drummer is available to buy:

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Six Graves by Angela Marsons #bookreview #blogtour @WriteAngie @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the latest novel in the brilliant Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Six Graves.

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It’s a typical teenage bedroom with posters covering the walls and clothes littering the floor. But the girl lying on her bed, wearing a delicate chain around her neck, is lifeless. A circle of red stains her white vest top. How had the girl’s mother looked down at her sleeping child and pulled the trigger?

When Detective Kim Stone rushes to the scene of a house fire, she’s shocked to discover it’s claimed the lives of two teenage children and their parents. But this tragedy is not quite as it seems. Each body is marked by a gunshot wound and the mother, Helen Daynes, is holding the gun.

The case sparks painful childhood memories for Kim who suffered at the hands of her own abusive mother, but it just makes her more determined to uncover the truth. As Kim untangles Helen’s past, she finds a history of clinical depression. But did it drive Helen to murder her loved ones?

Then Kim uncovers a tiny, vital clue in Helen’s bedroom that throws the investigation wide open. Could someone else have killed the Daynes family?

Just as Kim feels she’s making progress, a deadly threat is made to her own life by a dangerous psychopath from her past. Biting back her fear, she keeps digging. And when Kim hits upon a shocking secret that changes everything she thought she knew about Helen, she realises that the remaining family members are in grave danger.

Kim is under pressure like never before, and the monster circling her is getting ever closer. Four bodies already. Four graves fresh in the ground. Who will be next? Can Kim find the killer and save herself before it’s too late?

MY THOUGHTS

Angela Marsons has written another belter of a Kim Stone novel in her latest book, Six Graves. Right from the very first page I knew this was going to be a good one, and Angela Marsons took me on a rollercoaster of a ride. Kim is perhaps faced with her toughest case yet, and the stakes are raised even higher for her in this book.

I really felt for Kim in this book. Although this is a very dark time for her, some of Kim’s dark humour still comes through which makes for some light hearted moments throughout the book. If you haven’t read the previous books in this series, I think it’ll definitely benefit if you have, before you read this book. A highly dangerous, sadistic killer has escaped from prison, a person from Kim’s not too distant past, and he is out for revenge with his mind fixated on Kim.

Angela Marsons really knows how to keep her readers glued to the page, and I was hooked from the moment I learned what was facing Kim in this book. I wanted to know what actions she was going to take following this discovery, and true to her character, she certainly isn’t about to give up her work to go into hiding as her boss suggests. As well as the added tension of the escaped prisoner, Kim is also facing a particularly tough case. A family have been found murdered, in what appears to be a murder-suicide. This is a really twisty investigation for Kim to get to grips with and this case had me hooked as well, as Kim and her team try to get to the bottom of what happened to this family.

The danger is there right from the get-go, and although Kim appears to just throw herself into her work to distract herself from what’s going on, you can feel the tension rising. You can see that she is nervous. She knows just how dangerous the man is who’s escaped from prison. The scenes told from this person’s point of view were so chilling, and Angela Marsons really delves into his state of mind. You can see just how fixated he is on getting revenge on Kim, and it seems that he’ll do absolutely anything to achieve that goal. That’s what makes him so dangerous and frightening. I was rooting for the police to catch him. I feared what was going to come if they didn’t get to him in time.

I’m always in awe of every new book in this series whenever I reach the end. The end of each book always leaves me eagerly anticipating the next, and I think I have to say that Six Graves is my favourite in the series to date. Kim Stone fans, you need to read this book the moment you get your hands on it, you will not be disappointed!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 12th May 2022

Print length: 424 pags

Six Graves is available to buy:

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Keep Her Sweet by Helen Fitzgerald #bookreview #blogtour @FitzHelen @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Helen Fitzgerald, Keep Her Sweet. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Desperate to enjoy their empty nest, Penny and Andeep downsize to the countryside, to forage, upcycle and fall in love again, only to be joined by their two twenty-something daughters, Asha and Camille.

Living on top of each other in a tiny house, with no way to make money, tensions simmer, and as Penny and Andeep focus increasingly on themselves, the girls become isolated, argumentative and violent.

When Asha injures Camille, a family therapist is called in, but she shrugs off the escalating violence between the sisters as a classic case of sibling rivalry … and the stress of the family move. 

But this is not sibling rivalry. The sisters are in far too deep for that.

This is a murder, just waiting to happen…

Chilling, vicious and darkly funny, Keep Her Sweet is not just a tense, sinister psychological thriller, but a startling look at sister relationships and they bonds they share … or shatter.

MY THOUGHTS

If you enjoy a family drama, then Keep Her Sweet by Helen Fitzgerald should definitely be your next read. I’ve read Helen’s past two novels, and every time I’ve read something new by her, I’ve recognised her voice straight away, especially in the unique way she creates her characters. I think if you’d given me this book without telling me who it was by, I would have been able to guess that it was written by Helen from the first page.

In her latest psychological thriller, Helen Fitzgerald zooms in on one of the most dysfunctional families I’ve come across in crime fiction. We meet two sisters, Camille and Asha, and immediately we can see the tensions that there are between them. They’ve recently moved back in with their parents, Penny and Andeep, and right from the first few pages, I felt like I was a fly on the wall, listening in, waiting for something catastrophic to happen. It did feel as though the family were discovering more about each other for the first time, especially once a therapist gets involved.

All of Helen’s characters in this book are well rounded and I thought their individual personalities and backstories came through strongly on the page. They are people who you want to find out more about. Camille and Asha’s Dad, Andeep, is a disgraced comic, and his family are the ones who still have to put up with his jokes. The novel is also told from the point of view of their Mum, Penny, and Joy, The Therapist. I think I found the parts told from the therapist’s points of view the most intriguing. I thought it was interesting how Joy peered into the lives of Camille and Asha’s family. I immediately wanted to find out more about her right from the first line, “Unhappy families always cheered her up.” This had me hooked. What had happened to this family?

Asha and Camille’s relationship also kept me invested in the story. Helen Fitzgerald delves deep into their history, although we particularly see this from Camille’s point of view. I really like the scenes which were told through diary extracts as her voice came through really strongly. You can feel Camille’s emotions as she is describing events that have happened between her and Asha in the past. You can see clearly the rivalry that exists between them, especially from Camille’s view point. But you do also get a sense that Asha and Camille do care deeply about each other, particularly when Camille explores their past.

I really could not believe what I was reading as I reached the final closing chapters. It was such a dark and tense finale, and I’m sure I’ll be thinking about what happened at the end of this book for a long time. Helen Fitzgerald explores some tough themes in Keep Her Sweet that bring her characters to life in rich, vivid detail, and it makes for an absorbing and an utterly compelling read. Another excellent novel from Helen Fitzgerald.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 26th May 2022

Print length: 222 pages

Keep Her Sweet is available to buy:

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Tell Me Your Lies by Kate Ruby #bookreview @KateRubyBooks @simonschusterUK @MidasPR

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the debut novel by Kate Ruby, Tell Me Your Lies. With thanks to MIDAS for inviting me to take part.

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You think she wants to help. 
You’re wrong.

 
Lily Appleby will do anything to protect the people she loves. She’s made ruthless choices to make sure their secrets stay buried, and she’s not going to stop now.
 
When her party-animal daughter, Rachel, spins out of control, Lily hires a renowned therapist and healer to help her. Amber is the skilled and intuitive confidante that Rachel desperately needs. But as Rachel falls increasingly under Amber’s spell, she begins to turn against her parents, and Lily grows suspicious.
 
Does Amber really have Rachel’s best interests at heart or is there something darker going on? Only one thing is clear: Rachel is being lied to. Never quite knowing who to believe, her search for the truth will reveal her picture-perfect family as anything but flawless.

MY THOUGHTS

Tell Me Your Lies is a gripping debut by Kate Ruby, exploring the fractured relationship between Lily and her daughter, Rachel. You can see right from the first few pages that this is a family on the brink, and the tension is there right from the beginning. Rachel is an alcoholic, and her mother is desperate to save her daughter from falling further into a deep hole. Lily employs the services of Amber, a psychotherapist, but as Amber reaches out to Rachel and tries to help her understand the root cause of her problems, Rachel’s relationship with her mother worsens.

I really liked how Kate Ruby delved into Rachel and Lily’s relationship. You can see just how determined Lily is to protect Rachel, but you can also see that she is at the end of a tether and that she can’t take much more. The step of employing Amber’s services seems to be the last throw of the dice for them. Kate Ruby has really built on the backstory of their relationship, but whose side can we trust? You can see just how Amber begins to manipulate Rachel and this really drove the tension, especially as Lily tries to win her daughter back. Lily has a very strong personality. I could see that she is a person who will not give up easily when she has a goal in mind, especially when it comes to her family.

Amber is a really fascinating character and I wanted to get to the bottom of what her goal was here, especially as she takes more than a professional interest in Rachel’s wellbeing. I felt that there was something more going on here and I wanted to know what that was. This was the point when I began to fear that something terrible might happen to Rachel, and I could understand why her mother was desperate to bring her back into their family.

As we get to know Rachel and Lily further, I wanted to know the reasons why Rachel was in the position she was now in. Was there something traumatic that happened in her past? I wanted to know if Amber would be able to get to the causes of Rachel’s problems and what impact that would have if she got to the truth.

Tell Me Your Lies is a clever and an utterly gripping debut by Kate Ruby. There were some really surprising twists as Kate delved deeper into her character’s lives that I did not see coming. I will definitely be looking out to see what she writes next.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 28th April 2022

Print length: 400 pages

Tell Me Your Lies is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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