WWW Wednesday – 16/06/2021

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

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

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

What am I currently reading?

Girls Who Lie (Forbidden Iceland Book 2) by [Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Victoria Cribb]

When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, everyone assumes that she’s taken her own life … until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to a shocking tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the number of suspects grows and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

Breathtakingly chilling and tantalisingly twisty, Girls Who Lie is at once a startling, tense psychological thriller and a sophisticated police procedural, marking Eva Björg Ægisdottir as one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

The One to Blame: A completely gripping psychological thriller full of suspense by [S.E. Lynes]

Why would you pretend your life is a dream when you’re living a nightmare?

Annie and Dom lead perfect lives in a lovely cottage in a quiet village by the sea, with flowers at the front gate and an apple tree in the garden. Everyone knows them: generous, loving Dom, creative, joyful Annie.

But their neighbours don’t see Annie as she sits waiting for Dom well into the night. They don’t see her smiling through her tears. They don’t know what the perfect couple are hiding.

They just hear the sirens that break the silence of the night and see the flames that rise against the dark sky.

And the morning after, what everyone wants to know is – which one was to blame?

What have I finished reading?

The Beresford by [Will Carver]

Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.

There’s a routine at The Beresford.

For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.

Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate, Sythe, no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. 

In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers.

And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.

Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…

Her Last Holiday: the most addictive crime thriller of 2021 from the bestselling author of Strangers and Sleep by [C.L. Taylor]

You come to Soul Shrink to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?

What will I read next?

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

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

Truth or Dare: Pre-order the nail-biting new Helen Grace thriller now by [M. J. Arlidge]

A crimewave sweeps through the city and no-one is safe. An arson at the docks. A carjacking gone wrong. A murder in a country park. What connects all these crimes without causes, which leave no clues?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace faces the rising tide of cases which threatens to drown the city. But each crime is just a piece of a puzzle which is falling into place.

And when it becomes clear just how twisted and ingenious this web of crime is, D.I. Grace will realise that it may be impossible to stop it . . .

WWW Wednesday – 12/05/2021

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

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

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

What am I currently reading?

The Perfect Lie: the gripping new thriller from the bestselling author of Dirty Little Secrets by [Jo Spain]

He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder.

Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning, it’s the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death.

Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect.

But it was all built on the perfect lie.


When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?

Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no-one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.

Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?

What have I finished reading?

The Forever Home: An incredibly gripping psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist by [Sue Watson]

You thought you’d always be safe there… you were wrong.

Carly had thought they’d always live there. The beautiful Cornish cliffside house they’d taken on as a wreck, that Mark had obsessively re-designed and renovated – a project that had made him famous. It was where they’d raised their children, where they’d sat cosily on the sofa watching storms raging over the sea below. It was where they’d promised to keep each other’s secrets…

Until now. Because Mark has fallen in love. With someone he definitely shouldn’t have. Someone who isn’t Carly. And suddenly their family home doesn’t feel like so much of a safe haven.

Carly thinks forever should mean forever though: it’s her home and she’ll stay there. Even the dark family secrets it contains feel like they belong to her. But someone disagrees. And, as threats start to arrive at her front door, it becomes clear, someone will stop at nothing. Because someone wants to demolish every last thing that makes Carly feel safe. Forever.

Helen has it all…

Daniel is the perfect husband.
Rory is the perfect brother.
Serena is the perfect sister-in-law.

And Rachel? Rachel is the perfect nightmare.

When Helen, finally pregnant after years of tragedy, attends her first antenatal class, she is expecting her loving architect husband to arrive soon after, along with her confident, charming brother Rory and his pregnant wife, the effortlessly beautiful Serena. What she is not expecting is Rachel.

Extroverted, brash, unsettling single mother-to-be Rachel, who just wants to be Helen’s friend. Who just wants to get know Helen and her friends and her family. Who just wants to know everything about them. Every little secret.

What will I read next?

Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking.

Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.

The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying.

Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again?

What happens when reality TV goes wrong? El Greene is about to find out.

El lives a quiet life in London until a chance encounter leads her to discover a link between a hit reality TV show and her father’s death.

El realises she can orchestrate the perfect revenge but her pursuit soon turns to obsession and she doesn’t seem to know how to stop. Her drive for destruction means risking her life, and the lives of those closest to her . . .

April 2021 Wrap-Up

It’s hard to believe that a quarter of 2021 is now done and dusted. I’ve read some great books so far this year and I’ve found a few already which I’m sure will be in my top ten reads of 2021. I’ve made a lot of progress with the manuscript I’m working on at the moment and I’ve nearly finished the first draft. I’ve so far written 90,051 words. I think it may still need a lot of work but I’m really pleased with it so far and I’m really excited about it.

It’s also been so good to visit bookshops again this month. I can literally spend hours just browsing in them. And of course I had to make an obligatory book purchase while I was there. It’s also been so good to finally get out and start seeing people again this month.

I’ve now read 62 books towards my goal of 100 books in 2021. I took part in four blog tours this month and I’ve listed the links below in case you missed any.

Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith

Trust Me by T.M. Logan

The House of Hidden Secrets by C.E. Rose

This month I have six blog tours coming up, The Rapunzel Act by Abi Silver on the 4th May, All My Lies by Sophie Flynn on the 10th, The Assistant by Kjell ola Dahl on the 11th, Twisted Lies by Angela Marsons on the 14th, You Had It Coming by B.M. Carroll on the 21st and The Pact by Sharon Bolton on the 24th.

I received some exciting bookpost this month, The Prank by L.V. Matthews, Rachel’s Story by Leigh Russell, The Maidens by Alex Michaeledis, The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan and The Lies We Tell by Jane Corry.


That’s all from me this month. What are currently reading at the moment? I’m currently reading The Assistant by Kjell ola Dahl and The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan. Let me know in the comments.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the stunning novel by Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing. I only discovered this book just before Christmas and I can’t believe it’s only now that I’ve come across it.


For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.


I finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t stop thinking about it. When I first started reading it, I wasn’t expecting to be pulled as deeply into the novel as I was, it took me totally by surprise. I was captivated by the story of ‘The Marsh Girl,’ and I loved Delia Owen’s writing, which transports you to the marshland’s atmospheric setting.

Kya is one of the most memorable characters I’ve come across in a long while. She lives with her family on the outskirts of the nearby town, surrounded by marshland. From a young age, things are tough for Kya. Unable to live with her father any more, her mother abandons her and the rest of the family when Kya is very small. Soon her older siblings follow their mothers lead, leaving Kya alone with her abusive father. But Kya knows her father well, and she manages to co-exist with him over the next few years, until the day when he doesn’t come back.

I felt so frustrated for Kya. I couldn’t understand why the rest of her family had abandoned her, particularly her siblings, who could have taken her with them. It seemed so unfair that she was the one left behind at such a young age. Because of this, Kya has to grow up first. She has to provide for herself after her father abandons her as well. Kya also becomes the topic of a lot of gossip among the locals. That’s how she earns the nickname, ‘The Marsh Girl.’

This novel isn’t a fast-paced read. When I was reading it, I decided I wanted to take my time with it as I was enjoying the writing so much. We flick backwards and forwards from the late fifties and early sixties to 1969. In 1969 the body of a young man has been found. But we get to learn more about the background of this man in the scenes from earlier years. What is his connection to Kya? I also wanted to know why he had ended up dead? The police are treating his death as a murder, although some believe it was a tragic accident. But the police want to wrap the case up quickly.

There were moments towards the end of this book where I was literally holding my breath as I waited to find out what was going to happen next. Kya was the one character who I rooted for throughout the book. I wanted her to succeed in life and to find someone to spend her life with.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a masterpiece, it’s haunting, and it is beautifully written. It is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long while. I’m sure I’ll be thinking about this book for a long time to come. I highly, highly recommend it!  

Publisher: Corsair

Publication date: 8th November 2018

Print length: 379 pages

Where the Crawdads Sing is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Top Ten Reads of 2020

Well, here we are, at that time of the year again. I think we can all agree that 2020 has been one hell of a mad year. It seems to have flown by and dragged at the same time, but I can’t wait to see the back end of it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that book events can start to happen again at some point in the New Year. But the one thing the pandemic hasn’t stopped, is some brilliant books from being published. Once again it’s been really hard to narrow the books I’ve read this year down to a top ten, but these are the books which stood out for me.

I have managed to read 153 books so far this year. I’m still hoping I’ll make my goal of 160 books by the end of the year, just a few more days to go.

So without any further ado, here are my top ten reads for 2020.


Firewatching by Russ Thomas, is one of the most engaging debut crime novels I’ve read. I read this way back in January and I knew then that this would be featuring in my top ten reads of the year, that’s how good I thought it was. You can read my review of Firewatching by clicking here.


Death Deserved is a brilliant start to a new series featuring, Detective Alexandra Blix. I flew through it and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Smoke Screen, which is published early in 2021. If you’d like to read my review of Death Deserved, you can do so by clicking here.


When I read Blood Red City, it put me in mind of the BBC series The Capture, which I watched on BBC One back in 2019. This is a really fast paced, gritty thriller. I couldn’t put it down. If you’d like to read my review of Blood Red City, you can do so by clicking here.


It was a long wait for me to finally read Amer Anwar’s second book in his Zaq and Jags series, Stone Cold Trouble. I raced through this book in just a couple of sittings. It’s very different to what I usually read in the crime fiction market. It’s action packed and highly entertaining. If you’d like to read my review of Stone Cold Trouble, you can do so by clicking here.


Body Language: 'Spellbinding storytelling' Val McDermid by [A. K. Turner]

This was quite a late read in the year for me. Body Language is the first book in a new series by A. K. Turner. It felt very original when I was reading it and her main character, Cassie Raven felt like a breath of fresh air. If you’d like to read my review of Body Language, you can do so by clicking here.


All in Her Head: 'Tense and moving' (Harriet Tyce) - the new must-read thriller of 2020 by [Nikki Smith]

All in her Head by Nikki Smith is a masterclass in plotting and suspense. This is a brilliant debut from a talented new writer and I can’t wait to read what she writes next. If you’d like to read my review of All in her Head, you can do so by clicking here.


Mine is actually the first book by Clare Empson which I’ve read, although I’ve still got her first novel, Him, on my TBR pile to read. Again this is a novel which felt very different to what I usually read, which is why I enjoyed it so much. I actually read this right at the start of the year as well. If you’d like to read my review of Mine you can do so by clicking here.


Curse the Day: The Conspiracy Thriller that Reads Like a Bond Movie (A Michael North Thriller) by [Judith O'Reilly]

Curse the Day is the second book in Judith O’Reilly’s Michael North series. This is a high-octane read and I devoured it in just a couple of sittings. If you’d like to read my review of Curse the Day, you can do so by clicking here.


I Am Dust by [Louise Beech]

I Am Dust, is only the second book by Louise Beech which I’ve read and she has since become one of my favourite writers. If you’d like to read my review of I Am Dust, you can do so by clicking here.


We Begin at the End: 'A beautifully written mystery, packed with unforgettable characters' Jane Harper by [Chris Whitaker]

I knew from the moment I read We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker that it would be my book of the year. This is one of the best crime novels I’ve read and Chris Whitaker is a hugely talented writer. If you’d like to read my review can do so by clicking here.

That’s it for 2020. I have seen some books already being published early in the new year which I am hugely excited about, I’ve already got my pre-orders in.

I hope you have a great year in 2021 and I hope it’s a much better one for all of us.

Double Deceit by Julienne Brouwers #bookreview

On my thoughts today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut thriller by Julienne Brouwers, Double Deceit.


Jennifer Smits is a young mother, married to a hotshot lawyer and living in Amsterdam. Her world explodes when her husband is found dead at a holiday park during a weekend getaway. Convinced that the police have failed in their investigation, she embarks on a desperate quest for the truth – but the deeper she digs, the more she gets enmeshed in a tangled web of lies, spun by a ruthless law firm. As Jennifer’s search for answers intensifies, her grip on reality weakens. Barely able to manage her patients at the health clinic, or take care of her young son, Jennifer is at risk of losing it all – even her closest friends begin to desert her. And then a chance encounter with a charming stranger sparks a new chain of events that plunges her deeper into a world of threats and corruption. Soon, she begins to fear for her life – but who can she trust, and how far will she go in pursuit of the truth?


Double Deceit is a really well written, twisty thriller by Julienne Brouwers that kept me utterly gripped. We follow Jennifer, who is going through a rough patch in her marriage to her husband, Oliver. In the opening scene, she is searching for her son, who her husband failed to keep an eye on while he was playing in the pool at the holiday complex where they are staying. The episode leads to an argument between them and Jennifer’s husband stalks off. The next time she sees him, he is dead. The police are convinced that her husband was killed in a horrific accident, but Jennifer believes there are signs of foul play. Even when the police don’t take her seriously, Jennifer is determined to find out what happened to her husband.

I felt really frustrated for Jennifer. Even in the early days, when she was trying to get the police to take a closer look at her husband’s case, I could see that they weren’t interested. It was as if she was screaming from the top of her lungs, but no one could hear her. The police want to be done with the case and brush it to one side, but Jennifer won’t give up her fight easily. There were definitely moments throughout the story, when I thought, perhaps it would be easier for Jennifer if she were to give up and move on with her life.

It was as she began to dig more into Oliver’s life that things started to heat up. It was here that this was the moment in the story, where there would be no turning back for Jennifer. She learns some hard-hitting truths about her husband’s past, which makes her question the man he really was. But it also makes her more convinced that his death was the result of foul play. But even when she presents new evidence she has found to the police, they still didn’t seem to care or want to take her seriously.

The one thing I did question though was Jennifer’s friendship with Dan, who worked with her husband at the same law firm. There did seem to be some unanswered questions about Dan which made me question his motives. It was just a small point which made me think twice about him.

This is a book where dark secrets are hiding, waiting to be uncovered and the tension is palpable as Jennifer gets closer to understanding the truth. As the book raced towards its conclusion, it seemed as though there was everything to play for. I had no idea how things were going to turn out for Jennifer.

Overall I really enjoyed this book; I’m definitely going to be looking out for what Julienne Brouwers writes next.

Publisher: JB Uitgeverij

Publication date: 20th October 2020

Print length: 274 pages

Double Deceit is available to buy:

Amazon UK


blogtour Double Deceit final UK

November Wrap-Up

So here we are at the end of another month. Here in the UK we are just coming out of lockdown again, although there are still heavy restrictions on what we can and can’t do.

This month I took part in the National Novel Writing Month with the goal of writing 50,000 words of my next project by the end of November. It’s the first time I’ve taken part in a couple of years, and it was good to have something to focus on during lockdown. I didn’t quite manage to reach the target of 50,000 words but I did manage to write 45,509 words throughout November and I’m really liking the shape my current work in progress is taking. It’s current working title is The Darkest Night but that will probably change further down the line. It’ll still need a lot of work, but I’m aiming to have a first draft finished by the end of December. When I’m happy with what I’ve written, I may share the first chapter on my blog to give you a taster of what I’m writing. This is the second book I’ve written in the last couple of years.

I’ve now read 145 books towards my Goodreads reading challenge of 160 by the end of the year. These are some of the books I read this month.


I’ll also be sharing my top ten reads of 2020 towards the end of this month, so keep an eye out for that post. It’s been really difficult choosing a top ten this year but I’m happy with the choices I’ve made.

Earlier in November I also joined the first online zoom session for the A Novel Book Club on Facebook. We discussed, The Guest List by Lucy Foley. For December we’re reading, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and we’ll be discussing it in early January.

I took part in five blog tours this month and I’ve included the links below in case you missed any.

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard

Out for Blood by Deborah Masson

33 Women by Isabel Ashdown

The Chalet by Catherine Cooper

I’ve got a very quiet month for December planned so far. I’m taking part in two blog tours on the 6th December, Body Language by AK Turner and The Last Resort by Susi Holliday. On the 17th December I’m taking part in the blog tour for Winter Kill by Ragnar Jonasson. I try not to sign up to many blog tours in December as I like to try and get to more books from my TBR pile.

I also received some exciting bookpost this month. I received copies of The Art of Death by David Fennell, The Captive by Deborah O’Connor, Deity by Matt Wesolowski, Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst and Bound by Vanda Symon.


That’s all from me this month. Let me know what you’re currently reading in the comments. I’m currently reading The Lies We Told by Camilla Way and Double Deceit by Julienne Brouwers.

WWW Wednesday – 02/12/2020

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

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

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

What am I currently reading?


Beth has always known there was something strange about her daughter, Hannah. The lack of emotion, the disturbing behaviour, the apparent delight in hurting others… sometimes Beth is scared of her, and what she could be capable of.

Luke comes from the perfect family, with the perfect parents. But one day, he disappears without trace, and his girlfriend Clara is left desperate to discover what has happened to him.

As Clara digs into the past, she realizes that no family is truly perfect, and uncovers a link between Luke’s long-lost sister and a strange girl named Hannah. Now Luke’s life is in danger because of the lies once told and the secrets once kept. Can she find him before it’s too late?

The Last Resort by [Susi Holliday]

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One perfect crime.

When Amelia is invited to an all-expenses-paid retreat on a private island, the mysterious offer is too good to refuse. Along with six other strangers, she’s told they’re here to test a brand-new product for Timeo Technologies. But the guests’ excitement soon turns to terror when the real reason for their summons becomes clear.

Each guest has a guilty secret. And when they’re all forced to wear a memory-tracking device that reveals their dark and shameful deeds to their fellow guests, there’s no hiding from the past. This is no luxury retreat—it’s a trap they can’t get out of.

As the clock counts down to the lavish end-of-day party they’ve been promised, injuries and in-fighting split the group. But with no escape from the island—or the other guests’ most shocking secrets—Amelia begins to suspect that her only hope for survival is to be the last one standing. Can she confront her own dark past to uncover the truth—before it’s too late to get out?

What have I finished reading?

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan does not wish to linger on the grisly scene before her eyes. Two mutilated corpses. In a church. In Clontarf. Her profiling background screams one fact: this is just the beginning of a sickening message.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old case is playing out on a TV documentary, the convicted professing his innocence and historical police errors being exposed daily in the media. Frankie’s superior, commissioner Donna Hegarty, makes no bones about who she expects to clean things up – both in terms of past mishandlings and the present murders.

But not everyone working the cases wants the truth to come out. And the corridors of power have their own vested interest. Soon Frankie pinpoints just what is making her so nervous: the fact that anyone could be the next victim when justice is the killer.

The Killer In Me is a fast-paced thriller in which lies are safer than the truth, the past is never far from the present, and the ability to kill could well, it seems, live in everyone.

Black Summer (Washington Poe) by [M. W. Craven]

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

What will I read next?

Sins of the Father: A disturbing and heart-stopping debut by [Sharon Bairden]

Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only – to destroy him.
When her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity… and her life.
With her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.
But someone must pay for the sins of the father…

A chilling page-turner from a sharp new Scottish voice.

She only looked away for a second…

Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.

But seven years later, Abigail is found.

And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…

Just Like the Other Girls by Claire Douglas #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest psychological thriller by Claire Douglas, Just Like the Other Girls.

Just Like the Other Girls by [Claire Douglas]


After the death of her mother, Una Richardson hopes for a fresh start when she takes on a job as a carer for the rich and elderly Mrs Elspeth McKenzie.

But Elspeth’s home is not as safe as it seems.

Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. More disturbing is the evidence suggesting two girls lived here before.

What happened to the girls?

Why will the McKenzies not talk about them?

As the walls close in around her, Una fears she’ll end up just like the other girls . . .


It feels like it’s been a long time since I read a book by Claire Douglas. I finally got round to reading Just Like the Other Girls a few days ago, and I can see what I’ve been missing out on. This is a really creepy read, and it is so addictive.

We first meet Una who has just undertaken a position at a stately home as a companion to its elderly occupant, Elspeth. The job may seem old fashioned, but Una has recently lost her mother and has just separated from her boyfriend. There are certainly perks to the job. The pay is very generous, and Una has plans to travel the world. She hopes that with the money she earns, that in a year or so, she’ll be able to fulfil her dream. But as she becomes accustomed to living under Elspeth’s roof, Una hears stories about the previous girls who filled her position. They all look remarkably like her, but they all left in very suspicious circumstances. Is she safe in Elspeth’s employment? What happened to the previous girls? Una is determined to find out.

The role of companion seemed to me like a role someone would apply for several decades earlier. I could see the attraction though that Una did. But I also felt that if I were in Una’s position, I would feel guilty about quitting the role after a few months. You can see that Elspeth is desperate to have someone by her side, who won’t let her down. I did feel sorry for Elspeth, but I also wanted to know why she didn’t want to see more of her own daughter and her daughter’s family. Why did she want to employ someone to be her companion, when her daughter was willing to spend time with her for free?

A sinister atmosphere creeps into the plot as Una begins to understand what has previously happened at the house. I was screaming at her to leave as she begins to investigate further. I felt that she was drawing closer and closer to danger. Claire Douglas also tells parts of the story thought the voice of an unknown character, and we can see just how much they resent what is happening at Elspeth’s home.

I thought I had everything all worked out as I was reading, but Claire managed to throw in a few, well thought out twists that made me think out everything again. There is a devastating twist which made my jaw drop open as I was reading it.

This is definitely a book you can lose a few hours to. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Just Like the Other Girls is an excellent psychological thriller. Now I just need to catch up on Claire’s previous books which I’ve missed.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 6th August 2020

Print length: 388 pages

Just Like the Other Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Syndicate by G.J. Minett #bookreview

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel by G.J. Minett, The Syndicate.



Twenty years ago, Jon Kavanagh worked for a crime syndicate.
Then one night he made a mistake.
He left a witness at a crime scene. Alive.

Now, he is haunted by the memories of that young girl. Her face a constant reminder of the life he chose to leave behind. Time has passed and now he wants answers: What ever happened to her?

Anna Hill is an aspiring singer, but the bars and clubs she works in are far from exciting. When she is given the opportunity to work in Portugal, she takes it. This is her chance to finally kick-start her career.

But the job offer comes at a price; one that will endanger the lives of those she knows, and those she doesn’t. Becoming involved with the Syndicate is risky, and Anna will need her instincts to work out who to trust – and who not to . . .


The Syndicate is only the second book I’ve read by G.J. Minett, and I couldn’t put it down. If you’re looking for a highly absorbing crime thriller that will grab you from the first page, then look no further.

I really liked G.J. Minett’s new character, army veteran Jon Kavanagh. Although he was in the army, twenty years ago he also belonged to a crime syndicate. During one operation, he left a witness alive, something he was ordered not to do. Now he is faced with the task of tracking her down. This is with very little information on her whereabouts to go on. He’s not even entirely sure what her name is. But Jon is convinced he made the right call in saving her life all those years earlier. But what position does that put him in now? Can he continue to protect her two decades later? What threat does she pose to The Syndicate he is a part of?

I had so many questions as I was reading this book. I wanted to know more about the events from twenty years earlier. Why was it of paramount importance that this girl is tracked down? What secrets against the crime syndicate could she possibly have? Although Jon Kavanagh is a trained killer, and he has killed in the past, I find that I did warm to him. You can see that, although he isn’t exactly a moral citizen, he doesn’t just think about the job he is given. He thinks about the people he is directly affecting, and this is the case with the young baby he didn’t kill. I also liked the idea of Jon being a bookseller all these years later. It made me think that he just wanted to live a quiet life after his years of service. Kavanagh is now in his sixties, and I got the feeling that he didn’t want to go back into this world at this stage in his life. But it is clear that he doesn’t have much of a choice.

We also follow the story of a young woman, Anna, who is chasing her dream of being a singer. When she is offered the opportunity to move to Portugal, she takes it and leaves her life in the UK behind. I really liked how these stories intertwined, and I thought it made the plot even more intriguing.  

G. J. Minett kept the pace turning up a notch, and I devoured a lot of the book in one sitting. It is fast paced and packed with plenty of action. I really enjoyed it.  

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 9th July 2020

Print length: 336 pages

The Syndicate is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones