The Bleeding by Johana Gustawsson #bookreview #blogtour @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the brilliant new novel by Johana Gustawsson, The Bleeding. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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1899, Belle Époque Paris. Lucienne’s two daughters are believed dead when her mansion burns to the ground, but she is certain that her girls are still alive and embarks on a journey into the depths of the spiritualist community to find them.

1949, Post-War Québec. Teenager Lina’s father has died in the French Resistance, and as she struggles to fit in at school, her mother introduces her to an elderly woman at the asylum where she works, changing Lina’s life in the darkest way imaginable.

2002, Quebec. A former schoolteacher is accused of brutally stabbing her husband – a famous university professor – to death. Detective Maxine Grant, who has recently lost her own husband and is parenting a teenager and a new baby single-handedly, takes on the investigation.

Under enormous personal pressure, Maxine makes a series of macabre discoveries that link directly to historical cases involving black magic and murder, secret societies and spiritism … and women at breaking point, who will stop at nothing to protect the ones they love…

MY THOUGHTS

I was told I would need to set an afternoon aside to read The Bleeding, and I definitely needed to. I flew through Johana Gustawsson’s latest novel in less than a single day. It feels like it’s been a long while since I read one of her books, which meant I was so exciting to read this one. I always find her ideas so interesting, and her books are so cleverly plotted, especially as they cover several time periods, sometimes spanning decades and hundreds of years. The Bleeding is a dark book; it does cover some heavy themes which may make some readers feel uncomfortable, but it is so compelling. It has all the makings of a classic.

Johana begins her novel in 2002 in Quebec, Canada, where a former schoolteacher has been accused of brutally murdering her husband. We meet Detective Maxine Grant, and from the outset, this is a very strange case, but just how is it connected to the disappearance of two young girls in 1899, and the life of a young girl, Lina in 1949?

I’m always left in awe at just how clever Johana’s novels are. I can only imagine that she must spend many weeks and months plotting her books. Her ideas are always so original, and there isn’t a writer, I can think of, that I can quite compare her work to. The murder in 2002 is very intriguing, particularly with the macabre discoveries Maxine makes at the home of the man who is murdered.

As I mentioned, Johana does cover some dark themes in this book, including black magic, and I have to admit these scenes did send a shiver up my spine as I was reading. I think this book is geared more towards fans of the horror genre, but the crime and mystery element was still there and so well done.

Maxine was a fascinating character, and her connection to the only suspect, who was once her teacher, was especially interesting as the investigation begins. It made me wonder how this would affect Maxine’s judgement of the woman.

The Bleeding is so well written and it instantly grips you. You definitely want to start this when you have a couple of hours to spare as you will not want to put it down. I really enjoyed it.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 15th September 2022

Print length: 300 pages

The Bleeding is available to buy:

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The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Erin Kelly, The Skeleton Key.

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THIS REUNION WILL TEAR A FAMILY APART …

Summer, 2021.
 Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden.

The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.

But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve always enjoyed Erin Kelly’s work, so I was looking forward to reading her new novel The Skeleton Key, which has a very intriguing premise. Readers of gothic suspense will really enjoy her latest book. Erin Kelly begins the novel with a shocking opening with a horrific attack on a young woman, and the reasons behind her attack are disturbing, giving that opening prologue a chilling note that carries right the way through the rest of the story. This is what propels you into the book, as I wanted to understand more about what happened to the woman and why.

The central premise in Erin Kelly’s latest novel, centres on a book called The Golden Bones, which, although has brought success to the author and wealth to them, has also created turmoil and upset for decades since its release. It is focused on a treasure hunt for the bones of a woman named Elinor, scattered in the countryside, and one bone, fifty years later, still hasn’t been found. There are also a group of people who call themselves by the disturbing name ‘the bone hunters’ who are obsessed with the treasure hunt. Now that the fiftieth anniversary is approaching since the book was first published, the media interest is picking up again.

I was captivated by all the characters in this book. Erin Kelly delves into their stories and brings them to life so well on the page, making this book a masterclass in characterisation. I loved how Erin Kelly gradually pulled us further into the mysteries of the novel, making me even more curious about the character’s and what was going to happen to them, especially with what was going on with the bone hunters. You can see the obsession that the bone hunters have with this case. Erin Kelly draws on this well to create tension, especially with the main character, Nell, whose point of view the novel is mainly told from. You can see their obsession with the treasure hunt is becoming dangerous and I had no idea what they might do next to achieve their goal.

You can really feel the emotions Nell is going through especially as she becomes reacquainted with her family again, after she has stayed away from them for so long, following the trauma she went through. This really made me connect to her character.

The Skeleton Key draws you into the disturbing mystery Erin Kelly has created. It is definitely one of the most original thrillers I’ve read this year.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 1st September 2022

Print length: 545 pages

The Skeleton Key is available to buy:

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Black Hearts by Doug Johnstone #bookreview #blogtour @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

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

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Death is just the beginning…

The Skelf women live in the shadow of death every day, running the family funeral directors and private investigator business in Edinburgh. But now their own grief interwines with that of their clients, as they are left reeling by shocking past events.

A fist-fight by an open grave leads Dorothy to investigate the possibility of a faked death, while a young woman’s obsession with Hannah threatens her relationship with Indy and puts them both in mortal danger. An elderly man claims he’s being abused by the ghost of his late wife, while ghosts of another kind come back to haunt Jenny from the grave … pushing her to breaking point.

As the Skelfs struggle with increasingly unnerving cases and chilling danger lurks close to home, it becomes clear that grief, in all its forms, can be deadly…

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of the Skelf series by Doug Johnstone, so I was really excited to hear that he was releasing a fourth book in the series. Black Hearts is the latest book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I finished it in a few greedy gulps. I’m always interested to see what the Skelf women are getting up to, the idea of meshing a funeral business, and a private detective agency, is an idea I’ll always love, and it’s part of what makes this series stand out to me, that, and the characters, and how Doug Johnstone brings Edinburgh to life.

Following the last three books in the series, tensions are still running high in the Skelf family, especially after what happened to them in the last book. You can feel the emotions they are experiencing following what has previously happened, and you experience the conflict and the guilt they feel. Doug Johnstone really knows how to draw you into the minds of his characters through their emotions, and this really makes you connect to them. I thought this particularly with Jenny in this book, as she definitely seems to be going through a tough time.

There are a few cases that the Skelf women become involved in, in Black Hearts. I particularly thought the case Hannah was investigating, was fascinating, after a grandfather, Udo, contacts her, who believes he is in touch with his dead wife’s spirit by using a Japanese wind phone. Spirituality is a key theme in this book and I liked how Doug Johnstone continued to explore this. I also liked how he explored Hannah’s line of work, and her interest in the universe further, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, is a topic I’m fascinated by. I particularly liked the scene when she was at a lecture focusing on exoplanets, and you can feel Hannah’s enthusiasm for the topic. Hannah is also facing difficulties with a stalker, which adds another layer of tension to the book.

This book does blend genres, and I think Doug Johnstone does this so well, by making me even more gripped by his writing and the lives of the Skelf women. I really hope that there a more books to come in this series, the writing is brilliant, and the characters will live in your mind long after you turn the final page. If you’re not yet reading this series, then you are really missing out on some of the best crime novels out there. I highly recommend them.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 29th September 2022

Print length: 300 pages

Black Hearts is available to buy:

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Your Word or Mine by Lia Middleton #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Lia Middleton, Your Word or Mine.

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Prosecutor Ava Knight always plays by the rules.

Until she meets fifteen-year-old Lily Hawthorne, accused of stabbing hotel magnate Michael Osborne in cold blood.

It should be an open-and-shut case. But Ava suspects something everyone else does not:
MICHAEL OSBORNE IS LYING.

Because eighteen years ago, Ava was brutally assaulted. The case went to trial. Her attacker was acquitted.

His name? Michael Osborne.

Now, court is in session.

And Ava must decide how far she’s willing to go to uncover the truth . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I thought Lia Middleton’s debut, When They Find Her, was one of the most original thrillers I read last year, so I was very excited to read her new novel, Your Word or Mine. For her second book, Lia Middleton has crafted a tense and very emotive courtroom drama, beginning eighteen years ago, when Annabelle King, a fifteen-year-old girl, is assaulted on her way home. Now, in the present day, Annabelle goes under a different name and is working as a prosecutor. And she is about to come face to face again with the man who attacked her all those years ago and got away with it, leaving her life in turmoil.

There is a lot of tension in this novel, particularly when Annabelle, now named in the present as Ava, finds out that she’ll be meeting the man who attacked her, Michael Osborne eighteen years earlier. I immediately connected to Ava, especially in the scenes when Lia Middleton takes us back to the time when her attacker was found not guilty. You can see the raw emotions this causes within her family as it feels as though she has been accused of lying about the attack. I wondered what she was going to do in the present day, as she met her attacker once again, and if she would do anything to try and get revenge. This is what drives the plot of the novel forward.

It feels as though history is beginning to repeat itself as Ava becomes involved in the case Michael Osborne is connected to. You can feel Ava’s determination to make people realise what sort of person Michael really is, and to do this, she must put her own career at risk. Lia Middleton has created a really dislikeable character in Michael Osborne, and I was rooting for Ava, right the way through the book, to succeed in getting him brought to justice.

I flew through Your Word or Mine. I liked the clever reveals that came as I delved deeper into the book. It makes for an addictive page turner and I was invested in the lives of the characters, particularly Ava’s, I really had no idea how things were going to pan out for her. I thoroughly enjoyed Lia Middleton’s second novel, I’m looking forward to seeing what she writes next. I’ve become a huge fan of her writing, and I hope there are many more books by Lia to come.

Publisher: Michael Jospeh

Publication date: 1st September 2022

Print length: 367 pages

Your Word or Mine is available to buy:

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The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves #bookreview #blogtour @AnnCleeves @panmacmillan @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Ann Cleeves, The Rising Tide. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.

Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now . . .

But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I must admit, this is the first Vera novel I’ve read. I’ve watched and enjoyed the television series, but I’m always wary of starting a series several books in, without having read it from the beginning. But I needn’t have worried, The Rising Tide can easily be read as a standalone, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ann Cleeves has created an intriguing and well plotted case for Vera to get to grips with, and I wanted to find out what was going on, and who was responsible for the murder.

We meet a group of friends, who are traveling to Holy Island, off the Northeast coast of England, where they have met every few years to mark the anniversary of their first meeting when they were at school. Quite a few decades have passed now since they all first met. One of them, Rhys, is a minor celebrity, who’s career has stalled after a few scandals. And it’s Rhys, who’s body is found while they are on Holy Island for their anniversary. It’s also clear to see that there are a few people who have a grudge against him, and there are more than a few potential suspects. But Rhys isn’t the only dead body to soon be found.

It was fascinating to see how Vera gradually began to realise what was going on and who was behind the murders. I loved how Ann Cleeves portrayed her character and she was instantly likeable. I found it interesting how, having already watched the television series, to then seeing just how well Vera is portrayed on the screen, as I read one of the books for the first time.

I liked, in the beginning, how Ann Cleeves introduced us to each member of the group at the reunion on Holy Island, before Rhys’s murder takes place. Ann Cleeves doesn’t dive into the action right away but I still found the writing addictive nonetheless. It was interesting finding out more about who these people were, and you can begin to see their own opinions of each other.

Ann Cleeves draws on the setting of Holy Island so well. You get a sense of the danger, especially with the changing tide, which gives the setting a very atmospheric feeling. It is the perfect setting for a crime novel. One interesting fact I did learn from the book, is that Holy Island is one of the earliest sites where Christianity first appeared in Britain, it made me want to find out more about the setting.

I will definitely be catching up on the previous books I’ve missed in this series. Ann Cleeves is a brilliant writer. If you haven’t read this series yet, I would say that you’re definitely missing out. I really enjoyed it.

Publisher: Panmacmillan

Publication date: 1st September 2022

Print length: 384 pages

The Rising Tide is available to buy:

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Her Deadly Friend by Rae Sargeant #bookreview #blogtour @RachelSargeant3 @HobeckBooks

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new thriller by Rae Sergeant, Her Deadly Friend. With thanks to Rebecca Collins from Hobeck Books for inviting me to take part.

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The Suspect
Bullied by Steph Lewis at school, then betrayed by her lover, Amy Ashby still seethes with fury. Despite the decades-old resentment, she’s on the hunt for a new man and a fresh start. This time for keeps.

The Stalker
When both women are stalked by a figure from their shared past, danger threatens.

The Detective
Now Detective Inspector, Steph follows a tip-off to her old rival. After quarrels exploded beyond the playground and changed lives forever, she vowed never to see Amy again. But that was then.

The Deaths
Murder rocks the city. First one, then another. The body count reaches five, and all Steph’s leads point to Amy. But is Steph obsessed with a schoolgirl vendetta or closing in on a deadly killer?

MY THOUGHTS

Her Deadly Friend is the new novel by Rae Sargeant, and the first book in a new crime series. I’ve read Rachel’s books in the past, so I was excited to see what she had come up with next, and I really enjoyed it. Rae Sargeant opens the book with a compelling prologue, where we see a group of girls in their headmistress’s study at school, being told off for bullying. You can feel the tensions between the characters in this scene, and this made me wonder just how much of a role this would play, as the plot of the novel progressed.

In the present day, one of the girls, who we meet in the prologue, Steph Lewis, is now a police officer. She is about to become involved in a murder case that will take her back to her childhood, especially when she has to interview a girl who she went to school with, Amy Ashby, who Steph bullied. Now I could begin to see the significance of the opening, and I wanted to know what was going on, and who was behind the murders taking place. Was what happened during their school days, related to what was happening in the present?

Now, I can remember my school days vividly, so I can definitely see how people could hold a grudge for something that happened to them at school, years, even decades later. When you’ve been hurt by someone at school, it’s not something that is easily forgotten about, even when you’re an adult. You can see that this creates issues for Steph as she begins to investigate the murder, especially as she is forced to revisit her past. It adds to the tension well, and I wanted to see how her interactions with Amy would go.

I liked Steph in the present day. It didn’t seem as though she could’ve been a bully while she was at school. You could see how nervous this case was making her, particularly, as she became reacquainted with Amy again.

I flew through Her Deadly Friend. Rae Sargeant’s writing is engaging and I thought the ending was satisfactory and well thought through. I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes this series next.

Publisher: Hobeck Books

Publication date: 23rd August 2022

Print length: 318 pages

Her Deadly Friend is available to buy:

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The Couple at Causeway Cottage by Diane Jeffrey #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Diane Jeffrey, The Couple at Causeway Cottage.

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NEW START. OLD SECRETS.

Kat and Mark move to an island off the Northern Irish coast for a new beginning. Far away from their frantic life in London, it’s the perfect place to bring up the family they’re longing to start.

But as soon as they arrive, cracks begin to appear in their marriage. Mark is still texting his ex-wife. Kat is lying about a new friendship. And one of them is keeping an explosive secret about the past.

The couple in Causeway Cottage are hiding something – and the truth can be deadly…

MY THOUGHTS

The Couple at Causeway Cottage is a dark psychological thriller by Diane Jeffery. I’ve read and enjoyed all her books, but I think her latest is one of her best. Diane Jeffrey creates a real sense of mystery and intrigue as we meet Kat and Mark, who have recently bought a cottage on an island off the coast of Northern Ireland.

From the moment we meet Kat and Mark, I didn’t get a very good vibe from Mark, and it appears that Kat is hiding something in her past, making me already suspicious about her. When they first arrive on the island, Kat feels as though she already knows one of the residents and she is spooked by this. This made me wanted to know what had happened, and what potential connection this man had to her. It also gave the novel a very claustrophobic feeling, as it felt as though the walls were closing in on Kat. The island setting adds to the claustrophobic feeling as well as it made me feel as though Kat was trapped.

At the start of the novel it seems as though the move to the island is the best thing for Kat and Mark. The island seems idyllic and I loved the name Causeway Cottage that Diane Jeffrey gave their new home. I could picture it well, as well as the local residents. Kat is keen to start a family and you can feel her yearning for this as they settle into their new home.

Diane Jeffrey gradually builds on the tension, especially with Kat’s husband, Mark, still texting his ex-wife. I really didn’t like him as I was reading the book and I found the scene when Kat is speaking to Mark’s mother, who is living in a care home on the mainland, very chilling. It made me think that Kat was far better off without Mark. It also made me wonder if he was dangerous and if he was a threat to Kat, and this was where the darkness begins to creep into the novel. As the novel progressed Diane Jeffrey began to make me wonder just what Mark was capable of. Who was this person who Kat had married? What secrets was Kat keeping onto from her past? These were the questions that I wanted to know the answers to.

I really enjoyed reading this book, Diane Jeffrey knows how to grab the attention of her readers and I always look forward to seeing what she writes next. The ending of this book has left me still thinking about the characters, and what is happening to them now, particularly after that chilling final note. The Couple at Causeway Cottage is another excellent read by Diane Jeffrey. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 18th August 2022

Print length: 302 pages

The Couple at Causeway Cottage is available to buy:

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Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Sarah Bonner, Her Perfect Twin.

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When Megan discovers photographs of her estranged identical twin sister on her husband’s phone, she wants answers.

Leah already has everything Megan has ever wanted. Fame, fortune, freedom to do what she wants. And when Megan confronts Leah, an argument turns to murder.

The only way Megan can get away with killing her twin is to become her.

But then lockdown hits. How can she continue living two lives? And what happens if someone else knows her secret too?

MY THOUGHTS

I love a psychological thriller featuring twins, and Sarah Bonner has knocked it out of the ballpark with her debut novel, Her Perfect Twin. The tension in this book is there on every page and I flew through it, captivated by the lives of the characters.

Most people think that twins are very close, but that isn’t the case with Sarah’s characters, Megan and Leah. They’ve both gone onto lead very different lives, but it is clear to see just how much they hate each other. Megan can’t stand the fact that Leah took her dream, and has become a bestselling novelist and an influencer, and for what Leah shared about their lives to millions around the world. I could easily understand why Megan felt like this towards her sister.

I loved Sarah Bonner’s writing and the voices of her characters. The tension is always there simmering away, and I loved how Sarah builds on this, as she continues to explore what happens between Leah and Megan. When Megan kills her twin, I had no idea what was going to happen next, especially as she devises a plan to get away with murder, by becoming her twin. Even though they are identical in looks, this is a lot harder for Megan, especially when it comes to getting her sister’s personality right.

As I was reading I felt certain that Megan was going to be found out, especially when lockdown hits. I’ve read a couple of books that feature the pandemic, and Sarah Bonner really uses it well and to the plots advantage in her debut. You get the sense that Megan is trapped, with her sister’s body in her freezer, and it feels as though time is ticking for her.

Sarah Bonner keeps the twists and turns coming. I felt I could see part of the way through the novel, where the book was going to go, but Sarah always had something extra up her sleeve that completely floored me. She knows how to write characters that you can’t stop thinking about, and she knows how to create characters who will really make your skin crawl. I loved the ending, it was exciting, tense, and I was flying through the final chapters to find out how things were going to unfold for the characters.

Her Perfect Twin is a brilliant debut and I can’t wait to read what Sarah writes next.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 20th January 2022

Print length: 336 pags

Her Perfect Twin is available to buy:

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The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh #bookreview #blogtour @claremackint0sh @RandomTTours @BooksSphere

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Clare Mackintosh, The Last Party on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.

His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties.

But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.

The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family – and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead . . . but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, a murder is just the beginning.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of Clare Mackintosh’s books and I absolutely raced through The Last Party. It feels like a very fresh book in the crime and thriller market, particularly with the Welsh setting, which I really liked, and I loved how Clare drew on this, especially the Welsh language. The novel zooms in on a small community, near the English border, where a body has been found in a lake at a luxury retreat known as The Shore, following a glitzy New Year’s Eve party. And it soon emerges, as the police investigation begins, that the man, a local minor celebrity, wasn’t well liked by anyone, and this gives the police plenty of suspects to work with.

I thought it was interesting how Clare Mackintosh explored the relationship between the Welsh and English police forces. DC Ffion Morgan and Leo Brady find themselves working together. Ffion works in the Welsh force and Leo has been drafted in from the local Cheshire constabulary. I liked how Clare Mackintosh explored their working relationship, and it was fascinating to see how they worked together. I thought Clare Mackintosh brought their personalities to life really well on the page. Ffion is a very interesting character, and as the novel progresses, there seems to be an air of mystery about her, which Clare Mackintosh gradually reveals, and there are some shocking revelations.  

As the police investigation begins in the present, Clare Mackintosh also takes us back in time, and she builds up to the time the murder takes place. She delves into the minds of various characters connected to the man, Rhys, who is found dead, as well as people who have connections to The Shore. I really enjoyed this part of the novel. I was examining the character’s potential motives as I tried to work out what had happened. It is clear to see that none of them particularly like Rhys. This makes Rhys a really intriguing character to get to know in the flashback scenes, and I could see why people didn’t have a very high opinion of him. You can see how he exploits his fame and uses it to his advantage, making him a really despicable character.

I felt I could see the way that Clare Mackintosh was going to take the novel, but I was utterly blown away by the twist that she delivered in the final chapters. Clare Mackintosh has delivered an absolutely gripping read, and I loved it. I really, really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to see where Clare takes this series next.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 4th August 2022

Print length: 447 pages

The Last Party is available to buy:

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The Night Whispers by Caroline Mitchell #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Caroline Mitchell, The Night Whispers.

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It began with the whispers. In the woods, in the park, and always at night. Then they came into town, down dark alleys, and in the shadows. Before long, the black-eyed children were moving closer, until finally there was a knock on the door.

When the couple were found dead with their faces frozen in horror, the children were nowhere to be seen. Until it happened again.

Join Detective Sarah Noble as she investigates another dark case in the town of Slayton.

MY THOUGHTS

Caroline Mitchell knows how to write a creepy, chilling thriller. I loved the first book in in this series, so The Night Whispers went straight to the top of my TBR pile when I downloaded it onto my Kindle. That opening chapter really gives you the sense that there is something evil at work in the village of Slayton, particularly the chapter told from Mercy’s point of view. When rumours start circulating around the village of black eyed children seen, and heard whispering at windows, I knew that Detective Sarah Noble was going to have her work cut out. I was desperate to know what was going on here, and if there was something more sinister going on in Slayton.

In the opening chapter’s you get a real sense of the mystery Caroline Mitchell builds on, and the voices of the characters in the opening made it so intriguing, particularly Elliott’s. You can feel his fear, and Caroline Mitchell tells these scenes through Elliott’s voice so well, especially when he is hearing the whispers.

Caroline Mitchell draws on the setting so well. The village really gave me a creepy vibe as I was reading, and even Sarah Noble seems open to the strange paranormal events that have been happening here. You can see that the town is still reeling from the events that happened in the last book and so this new case is all that they need. I love a crime thriller that has a mix of the paranormal and Caroline Mitchell does this really well in her books. I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal, even though, I would say, that I don’t believe in it, I still find it interesting, like Sarah, I would say my mind is open. You can imagine Slayton being a real place and I felt it had echoes of the fictional town Sleepy Hollow. 

I enjoyed seeing Sarah Nobel’s character grow in the second book. Her character progresses further in this book, particularly as Caroline Mitchell begins to reveal more about her personal history. Sarah is a really engaging character and I liked the interaction that she has with the members on her team, and the local residents of Slayton as she investigates.

The Night Whispers is a really chilling book and it definitely gave me chills as I was reading it. I’m really enjoying this series and I can’t wait to read the next book. If you looking for a dark crime thriller, then this is the book for you, perfect to read in the autumn when the nights are drawing in.

Publisher: Embla Books

Publication date: 28th July 2022

Print length: 222 pages

The Night Whispers is available to buy:

Amazon UK