The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer #bookreview #blogtour @MeyerDeon @HodderBooks

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Deon Meyer, The Dark Flood.


One last chance. Almost fired for insubordination, detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido find themselves demoted, exiled from the elite Hawks unit and dispatched to the leafy streets of Stellenbosch. Working a missing persons report on student Callie de Bruin is not the level of work they are used to, but it’s all they get. And soon, it takes a dangerous, deeply disturbing turn.

One last chance. Stellenbosch is beautiful, but its economy has been ruined by one man. Jasper Boonstra and his gigantic corporate fraud have crashed the local property market, just when estate agent Sandra Steenberg desperately needs a big sale. Bringing up twins and supporting her academic husband, she is facing disaster. Then she gets a call. From Jasper Boonstra, fraudster, sexual predator and owner of a superb property worth millions, even now.

For Sandra, the stakes are high and about to get way higher.

For Benny Griessel, clinging to sobriety and the relationship that saved his life, the truth about Callie can only lead to more trouble.


The Dark Flood is the first novel I’ve read by Deon Meyer and I think I’ve definitely been missing out. Set in South Africa, it felt very different and fresh to the thrillers I usually read, and the setting really drew me into Detective Benny Griessel’s world. Deon Meyer is a master at capturing a real sense of place and this is what made this book all the more enjoyable for me.

Although this is book number eight in this series, I felt I could follow the story easy, without having read the previous books. Although it can be read as a standalone, I do think I would have benefited from reading the previous books in the series to understand some sections of the story, but mostly I could enjoy it without the previous background information. Deon Meyer is a writer who knows how to raise the stakes and the tension. The action gets going right on the first page and my attention was immediately captured. It felt as though I was watching an action film as I read the opening scenes.

Deon Meyer has weaved together a very complex plot and I thought it was brilliantly executed. There are a couple of different strands to this story. Benny and his work partner, Capt. Vaughan Cupido are tasked with investigating the disappearance of a university student, after almost facing the sack. We also meet Sandra Steenberg, a real estate agent, who is in dire need of a commission. It appears that she is willing to do anything to get what she needs for her failing company. The tension for both sets of characters is on the rise.

Deon Meyer is a writer who knows how to raise the stakes for his characters. You can see how Benny and his partner seem to be at the end of the line with their careers, particularly with what they have recently become caught up in. We also have the stakes rising for Sandra and you can see just how much pressure she is under and how it is affecting her personally.

It did make me wonder if there would be any connection at all between Sandra’s story and Benny and Vaughan’s, but you can see just how skilled Deon Meyer is at plotting, and how he pulls the different strands together. I thought it was very well done.

The characters are all very well developed and I could follow each of their stories easily as I was reading this book. I liked how Deon Meyer delved into their individual stories, which fleshed their characters out, and made them come to life on the page. I also loved how he brought the landscape to life as well, which was part of what made this book feel very fresh to me as well. I thought, especially the use of the Afrikaans words really made it feel authentic.

The Dark Flood is a very engaging read and I am keen to try out more of Deon Meyer’s work in the future.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 416 pages

The Dark Flood is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


First Born by Will Dean #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new psychological thriller by Will Dean, First Born.



 lives a quiet, contained life in London. Naturally risk averse, she gains comfort from security and structure. Every day the same.

Her identical twin Katie is her exact opposite: gregarious and spontaneous. They used to be inseparable, until Katie moved to New York a year ago. Molly still speaks to her daily without fail.

But when Molly learns that Katie has died suddenly in New York, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. Katie is part of her DNA. As terrifying as it is, she must go there and find out what happened. As she tracks her twin’s last movements, cracks begin to emerge. Nothing is what it seems. And a web of deceit is closing around her.


I love Will Dean’s books, and I couldn’t wait to get started on First Born, and it is another utterly gripping read. There is a devastating opening when Molly learns of the death of her twin sister, Katie, who has been living in America for the past few months and studying over there. Molly gets the very next flight to New York to join her parents. But things take a dark turn for Molly and her family when the police reveal they believe Katie has been murdered.

Molly was a very perplexing character. Although she and Katie are identical twins their personalities are very different. Katie seemed to be someone who was very outgoing and who loved taking a risk, Molly on the other hand is much more reserved. She didn’t strike me as a particularly warm character as well as I was reading.

I thought Will Dean captured the American setting really well. I’ve only been to New York once but I could visualise the streets as I was reading it. Katie’s friends are also really interesting characters. I got the sense that I couldn’t quite trust them as I was reading this book and I felt that they might be hiding something, especially her friend, Violet. I wanted to find out more about them, and what their friendship with Katie was really like, and what sort of a person Katie was.

There’s a twist which comes around halfway through in this book that I thought was done really well, and it propelled the action forward. I raced through to get to the ending to see just how things would pan out, and it’s really hard not to talk anymore about what happens at this point, without giving parts of the plot away.

Will Dean creates a very dark atmosphere throughout this novel and it deepens and darkens with every page. There is a real sense of danger which he writes very well, I felt that the person, whoever had killed Katie was close by and that Molly was in danger.

First Born is a very twisty read and I really liked how Will Dean revealed the truth. There were definitely some mind blowing moments. You do not want to miss this book. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 306 pages

First Born is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Life Sentence by A.K. Turner #bookreview #blogtour @AnyaLipska @ZaffreBooks

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by A.K. Turner, Life Sentence. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers, for inviting me to take part.

Life Sentence: An intriguing new case for Camden forensic sleuth Cassie Raven by [A. K. Turner]


Mortuary technician Cassie Raven believes the last thoughts of the dead linger like static in the air…

Cassie has always had a strange affinity with death, ever since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was four. At least that’s what she grew up believing…

But that was a lie. Cassie’s father is alive. He was convicted of murdering her mother and spent years behind bars. Now he’s out – and he’s looking for her.

He swears he didn’t do it. And Cassie wants to believe him.

To find the truth, she must turn detective. As she seeks answers, help is to be found in inexplicable places – for the dead are ready to talk.


I loved the first book in A K Turner’s Cassie Raven series and I immediately liked Cassie when I read it. She is quite a different protagonist to what I have seen before in crime fiction. I like her quirkiness and how she attends to the dead in the mortuary she works in, believing that she can communicate with the dead. In the latest book in the series, Life Sentence, this time Cassie is very much in the spotlight as she tries to piece together what happened to her mother, who was killed by her father more than two decades earlier.

Life Sentence is very much Cassie’s story. A K Turner delves even more into her background in this book, and into the tragic event that happened in her past. You can see clearly how determined Cassie is to get answers, even though the police believe that her father was the man responsible for what happened to her mother. He has recently been released from prison and is determined to strike up a relationship with his daughter again after so long, and he continues to protest that he had nothing to do with her mother’s murder.

You get a real sense that there are secrets to be uncovered here, especially, I thought, with Cassie’s grandmother, who she is currently living with. I felt that her grandmother wasn’t telling her everything she ought to know about her parents, and I wondered what this would do to their relationship, if her grandmother was harbouring a big secret. I loved Cassie’s relationship with her grandmother in the first book and the same in this one, so I was worried about what Cassie’s pursuit for the truth, would mean for their relationship.

I liked how A K Turner weaved the plot together and there were definitely a few elements to the mystery, surrounding what happened to Cassie’s parents that surprised me. A K Turner continues to turn the tension up a notch as Cassie gets closer and closer to the real truth. I was flying through the pages as she begins to realise what actually happened. There are some very hard hitting truths that come to light, and I’m interested to see where A K Turner will take this series next from here.

Cassie Raven is a character who I will definitely keep coming back to. She is so fascinating, and A K Turner always writes gripping prose that pulls you into the story. I really enjoyed Life Sentence. If you haven’t discovered this series yet, you’re missing out!

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 337 pages

Life Sentence is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


AK Turner Life Sentence Orange

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping debut novel by Laure Van Rensburg, Nobody But Us.


Steven Harding is a handsome, well-respected professor.
Ellie Masterson is a wide-eyed young college student.

Together, they are driving south from New York, for their first holiday: three days in an isolated cabin, far from the city.

Ahead of them, the promise of long, dark nights – and the chance to explore one another’s bodies, away from disapproving eyes.

It should be a perfect, romantic trip for two.




Nobody But Us is a tense, utterly compelling debut by Laure Van Rensburg. I really enjoyed this book. Right from the get go she creates an ominous tone and you know things aren’t going to go down well for the two lead characters. Laure Van Rensburg expertly keeps the tension turning up a notch and I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

We meet Ellie and Steven who are heading to a cabin deep within a forest for a romantic trip away. It should be a special weekend for them both. But instead it turns into something far darker. This really is a story where you don’t want to give too much of the plot away. From the outset I had the feeling that something terrible was going to happen to this couple. It starts off quite slow as we first get to know Ellie and Steven and then bang; Laure drops a massive bombshell which flips the novel on its head.

It becomes clear that something serious has gone on between Ellie and Steven. I had to get to the bottom of what that was and what had led to this weekend. The majority of the book takes place primarily in the house, where Ellie and Steven have gone to stay, and the house becomes a character in its own right. It gives the book a very claustrophobic feeling, almost as though the walls of the house are pressing in, crushing Ellie and Steven.

There is a very important storyline to this book which Laure delves into and I don’t want to go into too much detail about it here. I thought the flashback scenes were written very well and I could feel the emotion and the anger in Laure’s writing. There is a deep sense to get justice in this book which comes through very strongly and in a very powerful way. There are some devastating reveals and I had no idea how things were going to pan out for Ellie and Steven. As we get to learn more about them and their pasts, my opinions of them both shifted.

I’m sure that many people will be thinking about this couple long after turning the final page. This is a dramatic, tension driven book that will keep you engaged right the way through. I flew through this book. Psychological thriller lovers, this is definitely one to add to your TBR pile.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 14th April 2022

Print length: 345 pages

Nobody But Us is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

April @1stMondayCrime Bad For Good by Graham Bartlett #bookreview @gbpoliceadvisor @AllisonandBusby

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping crime debut by Graham Bartlett, Bad For Good. Graham will be appearing on this month’s First Monday Crime Panel and I’ll have all the details about how you can access the event at the end of this post.


How far would you go?

The murder of a promising footballer and, crucially, the son of the Brighton’s Chief Superintendent, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.

Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption.


Bad for Good is an intriguing start to a new crime series by Graham Bartlett. I’ve come across Graham’s name before, especially as he is the advisor to crime writer Peter James, so I was very eager to read Graham’s debut. Graham is a former police officer; I wanted to see how he would draw on his own experiences in this book, and it does feel really authentic.

Graham Bartlett has created a cast of fascinating characters. I really liked Detective Superintendent Jo Howe. She is faced with a complex and high profile case, following the murder of a rising football star, who is the son of the Chief Superintendent, Phil Cooke, which means there is intense media coverage and a lot of pressure. But as Jo tackles with the investigation, corruption is brewing behind the scenes.

Graham Bartlett did a great job of fleshing out his characters. Jo comes across as a person who has worked hard to get to where she is today. I thought Graham did a great job of building her character and I enjoyed finding out more about her. I really felt for Phil. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but even though he is already going through the worst time of his life, following the murder of his son, it is about to become even harder for him. This is where Graham really ups the tension, and I had no idea just what Phil was going to do to try and get out of the problems he was in. It makes for really tense reading and you can see just how much stress this puts him under.

I really wanted to know the reason behind the murder of Phil’s son. I was rooting for Jo to get the truth, especially when Graham raises the stakes for Phil. I felt as though Phil had been pushed into a corner which he couldn’t escape from. Graham delves into some very dark themes and there were some shocking and surprising reveals as the truth behind the murder was revealed. I was utterly gripped as I raced through the final chapters.

The character’s Graham Bartlett has created are ones I am keen to return to and I’m looking forward to seeing where he progresses next with this series. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book.

Publisher: Allison and Busby

Publication date: 23rd June 2022

Print length: 320 pages

Bad for Good is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

First Monday Crime is back live on their Facebook page on Monday, 4th April 2022 at 19.30 p.m. Alongside Graham we have four more brilliant authors appearing. We have, Tony Kent author of No Way To Die, Imran Mahmood author of I Know What I Saw, Neil Lancaster author of The Blood Tide and Joy Kluver author of Left for Dead.

If you would like to access the event, you can do so by clicking the link below which will take you to the First Monday Crime Facebook Page.

First Monday Crime

April @1stMondayCrime Left For Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview @JoyKluver

On my blog today, I’m sharing the details for next month’s First Monday Crime which is taking place live on their Facebook Page at 19:30 p.m. on Monday, 4th April. Today I’m re sharing my review of the latest novel by Joy Kluver, Left for Dead. Joy is one of the authors who’ll be appearing on the panel, and I’ll have another review to share with you tomorrow for a book by another author who’ll be on the panel as well.


The detective stared at the young woman lying on the bed. She almost looked peaceful, her face like porcelain. Despite everything she had been through, she was still beautiful.

When DI Bernie Noel hurries to Keira Howard’s hospital bedside, she knows that Keira has been lucky. Barely conscious and badly injured, at least she is alive. Convinced that Keira’s attack is the latest in a string of increasingly violent assaults on young women in the area, the next victim might not be so fortunate. So she vows to find the man who did this, and to stop him before anyone else gets hurt.

Spurring her team into action, she quickly hones in on a prime suspect. But then he suddenly dies while on police watch, and Bernie’s investigation goes into freefall. When Bernie’s superiors won’t let her take the case any further, her gut instinct tells her there’s much more to his death than meets the eye. If it was murder, who would want him dead, and why? So she determines to set out on her own to find out what happened.

But the closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her own life in danger. And with Keira finally strong enough to talk her about her attack, Bernie worries she may be at risk yet again. There’s someone out there who has killed to stay safe in the shadows; can Bernie stop another senseless death, and save Keira, before it’s too late?


I am really enjoying this series. Left for Dead is the latest book in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver and I really enjoyed getting back together with Bernie and her team. This time around, as well as having a complex case to investigate, Bernie is also pregnant. This has left her with a lot of complex issues in her relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. Left for Dead makes for a really intriguing addition to the series.

Bernie and her team face another complex investigation when a young woman has been found after being brutally attacked. It sparks fear that there is a serial predator at work here following a spate of similar attacks on women. It becomes a race against time to track down the woman’s attacker.

What I really liked about this book was how Joy Kluver explored Bernie’s relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. I thought this development in her character was done really well and I was wondering throughout the book how things were going to pan out for them. This made for an intriguing sub plot and now that I’ve read it’s left me wondering what’s to come in the future.

Another character who Joy Kluver introduces us to is Leigh, who is a new member of the team. Leigh has autism and I thought that Joy Kluver explored this well and sensitively in her writing. I think Leigh makes an excellent addition to the books and I’m looking forward to seeing how her character develops further.

I didn’t expect the twist which came at the end and it really drove the tension up a notch as Bernie and her team raced to bring the case to a conclusion. I thought Joy Kluver wrapped the plot up very well.

I’m really hoping that there are more books to come in this series. It really is becoming one of my favourites.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 10th January 2022

Print length: 395 pages

Left for Dead is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Appearing alongside Joy at First Monday Crime, we have Graham Bartlett, author of Bad for Good, (I’ll be sharing a review of his book tomorrow), Tony Kent author of No Way To Die, Imran Mahmood author of I Know What I Saw and Neil Lancaster author of The Blood Tide. If you would like to watch the panel which will be lived streamed on Facebook at 19:30 p.m. on Monday, 4th April, you can do so by clicking the link below which will take you through to the First Monday Crime Facebook page.

First Monday Crime

Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping crime novel by Robert Gold, Twelve Secrets.



Ben Harper’s life changed for ever the day his older brother Nick was murdered by two classmates. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben’s family and their idyllic hometown, Haddley, into the spotlight.

Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best investigative journalists in the country and settled back in Haddley, thanks to the support of its close-knit community. But then a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him.

Ben is about to discover that in Haddley no one is as they seem. Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will do anything to keep the truth buried . . .


Twelve Secrets is definitely the type of book I like to read. It’s dark, pacy and so absorbing. Robert Gold has weaved together a complex mystery that he expertly unravels as the book progresses. There is an intriguing hook to this story. We meet investigative journalist, Ben Harper, whose family has a very dark past, and it is one he’d rather keep buried. But following the death of a woman previously known to Ben and his family, he is drawn back to that dark time in his life.

It is revealed that Ben’s brother, and his brother’s friend, were murdered by two of their school friends. This really hooked me into the story; I had to know what really went on in that time, especially for two children to want to commit murder. It really made me want to find out more about them, and Robert Gold kept me invested in the story, as he gradually begins to reveal more about the crime and the people involved. There is a real sense of menace which deepened and darkened with each new chapter.

I thought this was an utterly compelling read. I could really see the pain Ben was still going through, even though it had been years since the tragic event took place. I could also clearly see his reluctance to revisit that time, and I could really understand this. If felt that if I was in his position, I would want to forget about the past as well, and do my best to move forward with my life. But as Ben begins to look back at what happened all those years ago, he finds new motivation to answer the questions he’s always had. And there are new questions for him too.

Robert Gold also tells the story from another set of characters who I thought he also developed really well. It’s hard to see at first how their stories and Ben’s are connected, but Robert Gold does pull everything together in a brilliant and surprising way. There were some genuinely shocking twists as Ben finally begins to unravel the truth behind what happened to his family. I was rooting for him to get to the answers he needed.  

I’m really pleased to see that this if the first book in a new series featuring Ben, and I hope there are many more books to come. I loved it, and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 3rd March 2022

Print length: 374 pages

Twelve Secrets is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Nothing to Lose by Victoria Selman #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping novel by Victoria Selman, Nothing to Lose, the second book in her Ziba MacKenzie series.


He’s looking for his next victim. She looks just like his last.

Primrose Hill, London. Offender Profiler Ziba MacKenzie arrives at the scene of a gruesome murder with a disturbing sense of déjà vu. Nine days earlier, another woman’s body was found: same location, same MO, same physical appearance. For the police, it’s clear a new serial killer is on the loose. But for Ziba, it’s even more sinister—because the victims look just like her.

Ziba has been the focus of a killer’s interest before, and knows that if she gets too close again this case could be her last. Still, she’s not one to play by the rules—especially when her secret investigation into her husband’s murder begins to attract unwanted attention.

With someone watching her every step, can Ziba uncover what connects the two victims before she becomes one herself?


I recently read and enjoyed the first book in Victoria Selman’s Ziba Mackenzie series, and I bought the second book, Nothing to Lose straight away on the back of reading the first. I absolutely love Victoria’s writing. It’s pacy and so well written and I fly through her books at break-neck speed.

This time around, Ziba Mackenzie is on the hunt for a sadistic serial killer who is targeting pregnant women in a cruel and terrifying way. The clock is really ticking as Ziba and the team try to track the killer down. You get a real sense that the team are racing against time and that they will need to do a lot of things right, for things to go their way. I could also clearly see the real challenges Ziba is facing in her personal life, particularly in dealing with the death of her husband, which Victoria draws on well to make her come to life.

There is also another voice which we hear from, from someone who is close to the killer. These scenes really added to the tension. It made me think that something terrible was going to happen to this person, and I was desperate for them to go to the police with what they knew. I thought Victoria Selman did a fantastic job of capturing the desperation in this character’s voice. There is a real sense of mystery surrounding this person and I liked how Victoria Selman kept me intrigued. I had to know who this person was.

Victoria Selman always writes short and snappy chapters, which is what keeps me flying through the novel. Her writing is taut and the suspense keeps ticking up a notch with every page. I thought Victoria did a brilliant job in wrapping the plot of the novel up, and I liked the way how she did it. I was surprised in the direction she took the book, as I definitely thought it was heading another way.

Nothing to Lose is a brilliant addition to this series and I will definitely be reading the third book as soon as I can. If you enjoy gritty and dark crime thrillers that are impossible to put down then you need to try this series if you haven’t done so already. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 26th March 2019

Print length: 385 pages

Nothing to Lose is available to buy:

Amazon UK

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley #bookreview #blogtour @lucyfoleytweets @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours

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

The Paris Apartment: The unmissable new murder mystery thriller for 2022 from the No.1 bestselling and award winning author of The Guest List by [Lucy Foley]


Welcome to No.12 rue des Amants

A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine.

Where nothing goes unseen, and everyone has a story to unlock.

The watchful concierge
The scorned lover
The prying journalist
The naïve student
The unwanted guest

There was a murder here last night.
A mystery lies behind the door of apartment three.

Who holds the key?


The Paris Apartment is an intriguing mystery steeped in suspense, and it takes you right into the very heart of Paris, France. Paris is a city I’ve always wanted to visit from when I was very young, so I was more than intrigued, when I saw that Lucy Foley’s latest book would be set there.

The setting is a luxurious apartment block in Paris, and the story is told from various different viewpoints. We meet Jess who has travelled to Paris to see her brother, Ben, who lives in the block, but discovers that he is missing, and to her, it seems, under suspicious circumstances. But what has happened to Ben?

The mystery surrounding Ben’s disappearance was really intriguing. I felt that all the residents in the apartment block had something to hide, and I felt that one person, especially, had answers. As Jess tried to get to the truth of what happened to her brother, I felt that she was putting herself in danger, and that she would end up meeting the same fate. Like Jess, I wanted to know what happened to Ben, and what led up to his disappearance. I wanted her to get answers, especially as it seemed that someone in the building was trying to cover up what happened.

Lucy Foley creates a real sense of menace, especially as Jess begins to delve into the mystery. I really liked that we got to hear from the different characters. The person who intrigued me the most in this book was the concierge. I got the feeling that they knew the secrets of all the residents in the building, and that they could quite easily blackmail them, if they ever wanted to. This really added to the suspense.

There are some surprising reveals as Lucy Foley reveals the truth about what happened to Ben, and there is an intense finale as Jess realises the truth. I didn’t know what was going to happen to her and I was rooting for her to find out what happened.

Fans of Lucy Foley’s work will love The Paris Apartment. I was utterly gripped right the way through.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 3rd March 2022

Print length: 412 pages

The Paris Apartment is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones


Paris Apartment BT Poster

The Couple at No.9 by Claire Douglas #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by Claire Douglas, The Couple at No.9.


When Saffron Cutler and boyfriend Tom move into 9 Skelton Place, they didn’t expect to find this.

Two bodies, buried under the patio over thirty years ago.

When the police launch a murder investigation, they ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – Saffy’s grandmother, Rose, whose Alzheimer’s clouds her memory.

But it is clear she remembers something . . .

What happened thirty years ago?
What part did her grandmother play?
And is Saffy now in danger? . . .


I’m a huge fan of Claire Douglas’s books. The premise of her latest, The Couple at Number.9 sounded really intriguing. Imagine moving into your dream home, and before you’ve even settled there, two bodies are discovered in the garden during renovations. This was a really strong hook, and it compelled me to read on. I had to know who the people were, who were buried in the garden, and who had killed them.

Claire has created a complex plot which has been weaved together very well. We meet Saffy and Tom, a young couple who are expecting a baby, who are thrilled to be moving into their dream home, mortgage free. But there are dark secrets in their family’s past. I could see just how distressed they both were, following the discovery of the bodies in their garden, especially as the case was quickly picked up by the press, which made the situation all the more distressing. Saffy comes to realise that her grandmother, Rose, must have some sort of answer concerning the two bodies and who the people were. But Saffy has no idea just how devastating the truth will be.

I really connected to the characters, and I wanted to get to the truth about the discovery as much as Saffy and Tom did. It made me wonder what they would choose to do following the discovery of the bodies in the garden, if whether or not they would choose to keep their home. But who would want to buy it now, knowing what was found in the garden? They face an impossible dilemma.

Claire Douglas really keeps the tension ticking up a notch, especially as Saffy begins to realise that there is something dark in her family’s past. Someone else, who isn’t part of the police, is also after answers too. I wanted to know who this person was, and what the information was that they were after. It was so chilling.

The reveals that come are so clever and I loved how Claire Douglas pulled her plot together. There are some devastating twists which left me reeling. I could really feel the emotions the characters were experiencing. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, as Claire revealed the secrets.

If you’re a psychological thriller lover, you need to read The Couple at Number.9 if you haven’t done so already. It reels you into the story from the very first page, and I did not want to put this book down. I had to know what was going on. I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 16th September 2021 (kindle) 30th September 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 407 pages

The Couple at Number.9 is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones