Mine by Clare Empson #bookreview blog tour @ClareEmpson2 @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Mine by Clare Empson today on my blog. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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‘Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?’

On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He’s an A&R man, she’s an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.

But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.

When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice – fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago – starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won’t settle for his mother pushing him aside once again…

MY THOUGHTS

Mine is a powerful read by Clare Empson and a gripping family drama. Opening with 27-year-old Luke finally meeting his biological mother, a tense and heart-breaking story begins to unfold. Clare examines the strong maternal instincts between a parent and their child, which she does so well with Luke and Alice. This is also a riveting character-driven story. Luke has just become a father himself and his mother, Alice begins to form a strong attachment to his child. This soon becomes a cause for concern. You can begin to see the building blocks of Luke’s relationship with his mother crumbling and things become very uncertain and frightening.

I’ve often wondered what it must be like for a family to be reunited with each other after years spent apart. If the child was given up for adoption at a very young age, I imagine they would have little to no memories of their real parents, especially if they weren’t told about their adoption until much later in life. You can see how much of a big decision this is for Luke, to get in contact with his biological parents, especially as his adoptive mother is convinced that he doesn’t want to know.

This is quite different to the usual psychological thrillers I read, but I really enjoyed it, and I found the storyline to be so refreshing. I think a story always has something extra special when you can easily connect with the characters and feel their emotions as well; Clare has certainly achieved this with this book. I think Alice was the person who I felt for the most. She has never been able to forget the young boy who she had to give up, and you can see just how painful this is for her. I then began to feel really concerned for her as her attachment to Luke’s son grew even stronger.

I also enjoyed the flashback scenes where we see a younger Alice entranced by a member of an up and coming boy band and life on tour. There always seemed to be a lot of tension in these scenes; I kept thinking that at any moment, something terrible was going to happen Alice, which would explain how events have unfolded in the present.

Clare Empson brings everything together in a devastating finale which I’m sure will stay in the minds of many readers long after they’ve finished reading it. Mine is a heart-breaking, emotive and an intense novel that will keep you turning the pages. I loved it.

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 22nd August 2019 (kindle) 19th March 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

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The Holdout by Graham Moore #bookreview blog tour

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Holdout by Graham Moore as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

The Holdout: One jury member changed the verdict. What if she was wrong? by [Moore, Graham]

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One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong?

‘Ten years ago we made a decision together…’

Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, vanishes on her way home from school. Her teacher, Bobby Nock, is the prime suspect. It’s an open and shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed.

Until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, persuades the rest of the jurors to vote not guilty: a controversial decision that will change all of their lives forever.

Ten years later, one of the jurors is found dead, and Maya is the prime suspect.

The real killer could be any of the other ten jurors. Is Maya being forced to pay the price for her decision all those years ago?

MY THOUGHTS

The Holdout is a very immersive novel by Graham Moore. It follows the members of a jury in the wake of a decision they made nine years ago which many, nationwide in America, deem scandalous. One member of the jury, Rick, is racked with guilt. He believes that he was hoodwinked and went against his conscience in deciding to find a man suspected of murder, not guilty. He is determined to bring the jury members back together and reveal new evidence about the case which he has uncovered. But someone is keen to make sure that whatever it is Rick finds, that it remains buried.

I really enjoyed this. From the beginning, I could never be sure if Bobby Nock, the man who was found not guilty of the murder of his student in 2009, was guilty or innocent. Graham Moore kept me guessing, and I wanted to know what evidence, if any, Rick, had supposedly uncovered. Would it be enough to convince the rest of the group of his belief that Bobby was indeed guilty?

I have to say that when I got to the end of this book, one revelation completely floored me, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about it for a while. I was expecting it to go one way and Graham Moore pulled the rug out from under my feet. It was very well done, and it didn’t make me feel that that wouldn’t be believable.

Maya was a character who I got on with from the start. Like Rick is with his belief, Maya is steadfast in hers that Bobby is innocent. But her own thoughts on the case throw a spanner in the works when the plot takes an unexpected direction, leaving Maya in a perilous situation that will have a huge impact on the rest of her life. I was rooting for Maya all the way through. I wanted her to succeed in what she was doing, and I had a lot of suspicions about the other members of the jury.

This novel is very well done, and I found the ending very satisfactory. A top read for me!

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 18th February 2020

Print length: 336 pages

If you would like to purchase The Holdout, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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The Wreckage by Robin Morgan-Bentley #bookreview blog tour @rmorganbentley @Tr4cyF3nt0n @TrapezeBooks

Happy publication day to Robin Morgan-Bentley. His debut novel, The Wreckage is released today and I’m delighted to be sharing my review as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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Things will never be the same again…

Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works.

A day like any other, except for Adam, who in a last despairing act jumps in front of Ben’s car, and in killing himself, turns the teacher’s world upside down.

Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, Ben develops a friendship with Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max.

But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to make amends?

Gripping and sinister, The Wreckage is guaranteed to keep you up all night…

MY THOUGHTS

Robin Morgan-Bentley hits the ground running in his debut thriller, The Wreckage. We are thrown headfirst into a devastating scene as a man launches himself in front of a car on a motorway. A police investigation quickly proves that the man committed suicide, leaving his devastated family and the traumatised man who hit him behind. Robin Morgan-Bentley examines just how much trauma such an event can inflict on a person. And he does this very well with his character, Ben.

The Wreckage is an emotional, hard-hitting page-turner. You can see how much of an effect the man’s suicide has had on his family and particularly on the man who hit him, Ben. This comes through very strongly in Robin’s writing. You can really sense just how painful this is for Ben as he struggles to come to terms with the pain that he has inflicted on Alice and her son.

Ben forms an attachment to the man’s widow, Alice, and for a while, it appears that they may have developed a relationship united by grief. But all is not quite as it seems as Ben is very keen to become a permanent fixture in Alice’s and Max’s lives. Soon Ben’s concern for Alice and her son, Max turns to a dangerous point of obsession. And this frightens Alice. She quickly realises that she has to let Ben go, but Ben isn’t quite ready to forget about her.

Robin Morgan-Bentley’s writing is taut, and it keeps you turning the pages. As Ben grows closer to Alice and her son Robin keeps the tension simmering in the background. As I was reading, I felt that there wasn’t something quite right here. I could sense that the tension was going to fire right up, and this is what kept me reading.

The story is told both through Alice and Ben’s point of views. I had mixed feelings about Alice and Ben. In the first few chapters, I could see that Ben was quite vulnerable and that any decision taken too lightly on Alice’s part might be enough to tip him over the edge. I didn’t quite take to Alice until much later on; I think this was because she seemed to be quite eager to move on from her husband’s suicide. By the end, though, I was rooting for her. Once you get to the end you can certainly see why she decided to take some of the decisions that she did.

I don’t think I quite thought Ben as particularly dangerous as I was reading this book. But it was the simmering tension that was around him that made me feel concerned for Alice. It made me wonder who Ben really was and what his business was in getting involved in them.

Devastating truths that come later on in the book turn everything you thought you knew on its head.

Robin Morgan-Bentley kept me gripped by his writing. This idea really does make you think about the after effects of an incident and how chance happenings can have a big impact on the rest of your life. The Wreckage is a totally immersive read.

Publication date: 6th February 2020

Print length: 336 pages

Publisher: Trapeze

If you would like to purchase The Wreckage, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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The Mothers by Sarah J Naughton #bookreview blog tour @SarahJNaughton @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for The Mothers by Sarah J Naughton. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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Five Women.

They meet at their NCT Group. The only thing they have in common is they’re all pregnant.

Five Secrets.

Three years later, they are all good friends. Aren’t they?

One Missing Husband.

Now the police have come knocking. Someone knows something.

And the trouble with secrets is that someone always tells.

MY THOUGHTS

The Mothers by Sarah Naughton is a really compelling read, and I raced through it in just a couple of sittings.

The story primarily focuses on Bella and her husband, Ewan. In the opening chapters, Bella reports Ewan missing to the police. At first, the police aren’t very interested in taking the case further, in fact the lead detective on the case is asked to push the case aside, but she stands her ground. She believes that something isn’t quite right about Ewan’s disappearance. When they discover that Ewan and Bella’s son’s nanny, Jen has also disappeared and it looks as though there is sign of foul play, then things start to heat up.

I don’t think I found any of the women the story focuses on particularly likeable, although there were times when I did feel sorry for Bella. The way some people treated Bella made me feel very angry. Initially I struggled to connect to Bella, but as her story was gradually revealed I felt I connected to her more.

I loved the dual timeline in this book, and I really liked how Sarah Naughton unpicked the layers as we got closer and closer to the truth. It is very well-plotted, and each character came through very strongly. I also really liked the pacing. It isn’t fast-paced, but I think it was the way I connected to the characters and their personal stories that made me turn those pages. I felt I really got to know them as though they were real people. Sarah Naughton’s writing is very immersive, and it pulls you into the story without any effort at all. In fact, I was actually quite sad to finish it as I was enjoying it so much.

I thought the revelations towards the end were very nicely done, and it fitted the story perfectly. It gave the ending a very satisfactory feeling, and it felt very believable. It does turn into a very dramatic conclusion. There were definitely parts of the story which I didn’t expect but the way it ended did make me feel very pleased.

Having read all three of Sarah Naughton’s books, I think this is her best novel to date. Her characters felt very real, and I found the plot highly intriguing. I wanted to know what had happened to Bella’s missing husband and I enjoyed trying to work out how everything was going to unfold.

Sarah Naughton is a writer who is going from strength to strength. I’m looking forward to reading what she writes next.

Publisher: Trapeze

Print length: 288 pages

Publication date: 9th January 2020

If you would like to purchase The Mothers, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross blog tour #bookreview @MasonCrossBooks @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

What She Saw Last Night by [Cross, Mason]

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A secret that could kill her.

A truth no one believes…

Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night.

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin … but there’s no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don’t believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl.

But deep down, she knows that isn’t the truth.

MY THOUGHTS

What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross is a rollercoaster of a read. When you start reading this book, you better make sure that you don’t have any immediate plans as you won’t want to put it down.

We meet our protagonist Jenny in the opening chapters of the book. She is travelling on the sleeper train from London to Scotland. But what she doesn’t realise is how much of an impact this journey will have on her life. During the journey, Jenny discovers the body of a woman she met while boarding, a woman with a little girl who Jenny presumes is her daughter. The police suspect it was suicide, but Jenny suspects otherwise. But what is even more perplexing is what happened to the girl who Jenny saw the woman with? The girl seems to have vanished into thin air, and no one will believe Jenny, including the police, that she even saw her. There is no evidence to suggest the girl was even there. Could Jenny have imagined seeing her? As things start to get more complex, Jenny is determined to find out who the girl is and what happened to her. And by doing so, she puts herself in very grave danger.

This book had me hooked right from the very first pages, and I finished in just a couple of days. I really wanted to find out what had happened to the girl on the train. I was thinking right from the beginning that there must be a cover-up going on behind the scenes. The story behind the girl’s strange disappearance became far more mysterious than I thought it would.

There is tension right from the get-go in this book. I thought this particularly as I began to sense that there were people out there who were determined to silence Jenny and I wondered if possibly any members of the police force could possibly be involved. This is what I loved about this read. I was kept guessing right the way through, and MJ Cross kept on tightening up the tension and throwing more obstacles in Jenny’s way as she fought to find answers. You can feel just how strong Jemmy’s determination is. It made me think how I would react if I was in Jenny’s situation, would I let the situation just be forgotten about or would I be brave enough to speak up?

This is a really suspenseful read right the way through that kept me turning the pages. And then MJ Cross hits you with twist after twist, one scene, in particular, left me reeling. What She Saw Last Night is compulsive and hugely engaging. Top stuff!

Publisher: Orion

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 320 pages

If you would like to purchase What She Saw Last Night, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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The Pact by Amy Heydenrych #bookreview blog tour @AmyHeydenrych @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’s my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour today for The Pact by Amy Heydenrych. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

The Pact: Can you guess what happened the night Nicole died? by [Heydenrych, Amy]

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What if a prank leads to murder?

When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay.

However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery. After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank.

The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment . . .

Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?

MY THOUGHTS

The Pact is a highly engaging novel by Amy Heydenrych, and I was quickly pulled into the lives of her characters. It did make me think about how I would have reacted if I was in their shoes when the plot started to unfold. What Amy Heydenrych also, so cleverly does, is she makes you re-examine everything you thought you knew about her characters. Nothing is as it seems in this book.

This was a really intense read. I felt this right from the beginning when the body of a young woman, Nicole is discovered at her flat, and when Amy Heydenrych takes us back in time to reveal the person who she was. As Amy started to reveal more about her, I started to evaluate every other character in the book as I tried to work out who killed Nicole. From very early on, she doesn’t come across as the most likeable of characters, so it seems that there are plenty of people out there who may have a motive to kill her. As Amy begins to reveal more details, you really do get the sense that something sinister is going on behind the scenes.

Every single character in this book kept me engaged. The story is told primarily through the viewpoints of Freya, a woman who briefly worked with Nicole and Isla, a journalist reporting on the case. What I thought I was down really well here were the two timelines. Amy switches between several weeks prior to Nicole’s death and the present, but this didn’t in any way feel confusing to me, and I was able to keep up with everything that was going on.

There were characters who I didn’t trust right from the start, but I don’t want to reveal too much about this as I don’t want to spoil the story. When you start to read this book, you will soon know who I mean. Amy Heydenrych does take us on a twisty ride, and there were a couple of big reveals that completely surprised me. I became so invested in the characters that I thought I had the plot worked out until Amy threw a spanner into the works. This made the ending so exciting as everything that had been held from us, the reader, began to unravel.

This novel also deals with many moral issues, such as the ‘me too’ movement. There is also an intense storyline that ensues when Freya starts receiving disturbing messages, and she begins to think this may have a possible link to Nicole’s death. Is the same person who killed Nicole also targeting her?

Although I found parts of the novel a little slow, I was kept fully engaged. It was maybe a little longer than I felt it needed to be, but I thought everything was wrapped up well, and it made for a very satisfactory ending. Overall, an excellent read!

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 28th November 2019

Print length: 480 pages

If you would like to purchase The Pact, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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To Keep You Safe by Kate Bradley #bookreview blog tour @kate_bradley @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for To Keep You Safe by Kate Bradley. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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I HAD TO SAVE YOU, SO I TOOK YOU . . .

When ex-soldier-turned-teacher Jenni Wales sees 15-year-old Destiny’s black eye, she’s concerned. Destiny isn’t your average student: she’s smart, genius IQ smart, and she’s in care. But concern turns to fear when Jenni witnesses an attempt to abduct Destiny from school.

With social services and the police not taking the threat seriously, Jenni does the only thing she can think of to keep Destiny safe: she takes her.

But the men that are after Destiny are close behind them. What can Destiny know that would make them hunt her? And can Jenni keep her safe?

But what if what Jenni thought she saw isn’t the truth at all? What if the truth is much darker than either of them want to face? Their journey will take them both to unexpected places, but both are survivors and each will surprise the other in ways they could never have imagined.

MY THOUGHTS

To Keep You Safe is such an intense psychological thriller by Kate Bradley and I managed to finish it in just a couple of sittings. There’s action right from the get-go when former soldier, turned teacher, Jenni, is compelled to help her pupil, Destiny. Jenni is convinced that Destiny is being tracked by some very dangerous people and is determined to help her escape them. But as Jenni tries to take charge of Destiny’s fate, things soon start to spiral out of control. For Jenni and Destiny, their lives will never be the same again.

What I loved about this book is that I had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t be sure if Destiny was misleading Jenni or if she did desperately need her help. You’ll begin to understand why I thought this if you choose to read the book. You can see just how much Jenni cares for Destiny. She wants to make sure she’s safe, and she will go to any means possible to make sure this happens, even if this means putting her career at risk. I think this was what I liked most about Jenni. Her sheer determination to make sure that nothing bad happens to Destiny is what drives her throughout the book.

Destiny is a character who has come from a troubled upbringing, and she has been moved around from different foster homes. What also made this book fascinating is that we are allowed glimpses into Destiny’s mind. We can see how her upbringing has moulded her into the person she is today. I always had this feeling that Destiny wasn’t being entirely truthful with her teacher. This feeling made keep guessing and turning the pages as I wanted to find out what was really going on, and who’s side, Destiny was on. She is one of the most intriguing characters I’ve recently come across.

There are some uncomfortable themes which Kate Bradley explores in this book, and this made the novel more intense. When Jenni first decides to help Destiny, I didn’t expect the story to come to this point. There are some shocking twists which make you look even more closely at the characters.

This book will keep you completely gripped throughout, and it will have you desperately trying to work out what the final outcome will be. If you enjoy reading a fast and an intense story, then I would definitely recommend this book.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 10th October 2019 (kindle)

Print length: 400 pages

If you would like to purchase To Keep You Safe, you can do so by clicking on the following link below.

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A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan blog tour #bookreview @WilliamRyan_ @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read this winter.

MY THOUGHTS

A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan is the perfect read for this time of year. If you enjoy reading in the winter nights and as the weather begins to turn, then this book is for you.

W.C.  Ryan takes us to a remote island where one of our lead characters, Kate, is travelling home to after the death of her brother during the First World War. The war has ravaged the county, and everyone has a connection to someone who is affected by the war.

Now there is a supernatural element to W.C. Ryan’s work which gives it a really spooky atmosphere. Kate’s parents, Lord and Lady Highmount, are planning a séance for their guests at their home, Blackwater Abbey, and they have gathered together people who have some ability to connect with the spirit world. They are great believers in mediums and fortune-tellers. Lady Highmount is desperate to hear from her departed son, but as the séance takes place and when a storm renders them trapped, dark secrets about the guests begin to emerge, and this soon leads to violence.

Kate is the character who I engaged with most throughout this book. Kate is a natural but unwilling medium and uses a mirror to see spirits. She senses the presence of many ghosts throughout the house. This is what gave the book a very creepy atmosphere. But unlike many who would be absolutely terrified at the prospect of seeing a ghost, Kate takes it all in her stride, and it certainly doesn’t seem to bother her.

There’s a very Agatha Christie feel to this book. It did put me in mind of And Then There Were None which is also set on a remote island, but I thought this was a good thing. There is a real sense of isolation which always adds to the tension as well. As does the fact that all the characters are suspecting each other. This is what W.C. Ryan achieves very well.

Donovan is another character who we hear from. Although I didn’t find him as engaging as I did with Kate, I did, however, find him to be a very mysterious character. I wanted to find out more about him and who he was. I also liked how he teamed up with Kate, and I liked the relationship that developed between them.

If you enjoy a good ghost story steeped in mystery, then this is the novel for you. And how can you not be drawn to it by the brilliant cover? A House of Ghosts is a chilling read that will pull you in from the very first page. Hugely enjoyable.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 4th October 2018

Print length: 432 pages

If you would like to purchase A House of Ghosts, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown @IsabelAshdown @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.

But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everything is as it seems. As secrets from the night of the accident begin to surface, Eva realises – she has to escape her parents’ house and discover the truth. But what if someone doesn’t want her to find it?

MY THOUGHTS

Lake Child is the second book by Isabel Ashdown, which I have read, and it’s a cracker. Dark, full of mystery and devastating secrets this is a book that will both thrill and chill you.

There was a very mysterious and sinister feeling to the opening pages. Teenager, Eva, is being held by her parents in a locked attic. Convinced her parents are hiding something from her, Eva is determined to find out what they are keeping secret. We also know that Eva was involved in a horrific accident. The police haven’t been able to find the person responsible for what happened. The local community are gripped by what has happened to Eva as it isn’t very often that such a harrowing, but exciting event happens in their local area.

I loved the setting of Isabel’s latest book, Norway, and I loved the image of the isolated house on the lakeside with the forests surrounding it. The time of year which Isabel chose to set her book, which is winter, for me, was perfect. It creates a very sinister atmosphere. During winter, Norway receives very little sunlight, and this creates a more impending sense of danger as Eva’s parents believe that someone is watching them from within the forest.

In England, far away from Norway, distraught grandmother, Maxine is writing a book about the disappearance of her granddaughter, Lorna. She is doing this with the help of a ghost writer who is interviewing her for the book. Lorna’s disappearance became a media sensation, and still, people are trying to work out what happened to her. But Maxine is a mysterious character, and it certainly seems that she is trying desperately hard to keep some facts about her past a secret.

I was very interested to see how the two storylines were going to come together. They are pulled together in a very captivating way. Although I did work out some parts, there were also some shocking and chilling reveals that I hadn’t predicted and they took me by surprise.  There was one reveal where I did actually gasp as it dawned on me what had happened. It’s not very often that a twist has that effect on me.

Throughout the novel, I didn’t warm to Maxine very much. I couldn’t quite work it if she was taking advantage of her family’s tragic situation by speaking to the press. I couldn’t work out if she was distraught by what had happened and if she just was willing to do absolutely anything to find her granddaughter.

Although the opening was gripping, and I wanted to know what was going on in Eva’s world, I did find it to be a bit of a slow start. The suspense soon begins to build however. You may feel the same, so I would definitely stick with it as the plot becomes darker and much more gripping. I felt exasperated for Eva. I wanted her to get to the bottom of what was really going on. I wanted to shake her parents for not being truthful with her.

Lake Child is a thoroughly enjoyable read which will grip and shock you. I couldn’t stop reading as I reached the final chapters; I was desperate to know what was going to happen. Atmospheric, chilling and very satisfying.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 19th September 2019

Print length: 336 pages

If you would like to purchase Lake Child, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Endgame by Daniel Cole #bookreview blog tour @Daniel_P_Cole @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Endgame by Daniel Cole on my blog today. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

Endgame: The explosive new thriller from the bestselling author of Ragdoll (A Ragdoll Book) by [Cole, Daniel]

BLURB

A locked room. A dead body. A secret that went to the grave.

When retired police officer Finlay Shaw is found dead in a locked room, everyone thinks it’s suicide. But disgraced detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes isn’t so sure.

Together with his former partner Detective Emily Baxter and private detective Edmunds, Wolf’s team begin to dig into Shaw’s early days on the beat. Was Shaw as innocent as he seemed? Or is there more to his past than he’d ever let on?

But not everyone wants Wolf back – and as his investigation draws him ever deeper into police corruption, it will not only be his career on the line – but the lives of those he holds closest as well…

MY THOUGHTS

Wolf is back in Daniel Cole’s third crime thriller, Endgame. After events which took place in Ragdoll, the first book in the series, Wolf is in handcuffs after handing himself into the metropolitan police. But before he is handed a sure to be lengthy prison sentence, he has one final request to make. He wants to oversee the investigation into the death of his friend, Finlay Shaw. The police believe Finlay has committed suicide. Wolf can’t believe that Finlay would do this to them and his partner, Maggie. Wolf is determined to solve the matter once and for all, but as their investigations deepen and as Finlay’s murky past is revisited, they uncover far more than they originally bargained for.

Endgame is a swiftly paced novel which moved along at break-neck speed. I’ve followed this series since the beginning. Daniel Cole continues to write very engaging wit, thoroughly entertaining plots and hugely likeable characters who will keep you coming back for more. My favourite character, who has been since I read the first book, is Baxter. She is the character who I think I have engaged with the most over the course of the three books, probably because of her humour. It was really good to see the team back together in this latest book as, although I enjoyed the second book, this is what I think was missing.

I think what sets Daniel Cole’s books out, in my opinion, is their entertainment value. From the first book, this is what has kept me coming back. I remember so clearly the cliff hanger at the end of the last one, Hangman, which made me so desperate to read Endgame as soon as possible. There is also a very strong cinematic edge to all three books, and I can see them lending so well to the big or small screen. I’m sure I’ll be reading whatever Daniel Cole writes next.

Pacy and addictive this is a series of novels which I highly recommend if you’re looking for a read that you can just sink into right from the very first page.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase End Game, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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