The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter #bookreview @Alice_Hunter_1 @AvonBooksUK

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the twisty thriller by Alice Hunter, The Serial Killer’s Wife.

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Every marriage has its secrets…

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

MY THOUGHTS

The Serial Killer’s Wife is a pacy and an utterly gripping thriller by Alice Hunter. Whenever serial killers are reported on in the news, people often think about the killer’s family. How is it possible that they didn’t know what was going on right under their nose? If they did know, why didn’t they have the courage to come forward and tell the police? It’s what Alice Hunter explores in her novel as she tells it from the point of view of Beth, the wife of the killer, Tom Hardcastle. Beth and their daughter mean everything to Tom. At one time, Tom meant everything to Beth. But when the police arrest him following the discovery of new evidence in an old murder case, she begins to question everything she thought she knew. It also puts her in a very uncomfortable position as people begin to look at her in a different light than they did before. Can she ever move on from this?

I really wanted to know what the bigger picture was here. As more cases that are linked to Tom come to light, I wanted to know if Beth played any involvement at all in what happened. It made for really gripping reading as Alice explored her character further. I felt as though I couldn’t quite trust her as the story developed.

Tom is a really intriguing character as well. As the police come closer to uncovering the truth about him, we begin to see his true colours emerge. I thought Alice Hunter developed his character really well and Beth’s character too, as she comes to terms with what is happening around her. It makes for really tense reading as the narrative flicks between their viewpoints.

The tension in the book really turns up a notch as Alice Hunter reveals what is really going on. The characters kept me gripped and turning the pages faster and faster as I raced towards the end. Alice Hunter made me think about how I would react if I was in the same position as them.

The Serial Killer’s Wife is an addictive psychological thriller, and I was desperate to find out how things were going to pan out in the end. If you’re looking for a twisty read that will grip you right from the first page, I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 27th May 2021

Print length: 384 pages

The Serial Killer’s Wife is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Pact by Sharon Bolton #bookreview #blogtour @AuthorSJBolton @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new thriller by Sharon Bolton, The Pact as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

The Pact: A dark and compulsive thriller about secrets, privilege and revenge by [Sharon Bolton]

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A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Pact by Sharon Bolton was utterly gripping. She starts the novel with a bang, and the tension and action get going right from the first page. We’re presented with a horrifying scene when a group of students drive the wrong way up a road, and they collide with another vehicle. A woman and her two children are killed in the collision. The group are horrified by what has happened. They are more concerned, though, by what this will mean for their futures and the reputation of their families. They come from wealthy and high profile families. One girl, Megan, a scholarship student, decides to take the blame for the accident and goes to prison. This is on one condition that when she is released, they all have to do her a favour, and it can be anything she chooses.

Once the group had made this decision, I wanted to know just how much of an impact it would have on the rest of their lives. They came across as really unlikeable, and I couldn’t believe that they would much rather think about themselves rather than the woman and her two children who they had just killed. Even though Megan is willing to go to prison, you can see that she is only doing this for herself. But I wanted to know what favour she would ask of the rest of her friends when she is eventually released. They know they will have to agree to whatever she says as Megan has the cards which will destroy their lives.

Twenty years on from the crime and the group of friends are all successful and have happy families. But they always have this shadow hanging over their shoulders. I flew through this book as I waited to see what Megan was going to demand of them. The rest of the group are all on tenterhooks as they wait to find out as well.

Although I didn’t like any member of the group, I thought the favours which Megan asks of them were utterly horrifying. I almost wanted the group not to give in to her demands, and I wanted to see if they would try to do anything to get out of them. You can see them all weighing up the options they had, and it makes for really tense reading as they come to a decision.

Sharon Bolton explores some very dark areas as she continues to peel back the layers and as we get to know the group of friends more. There are some shocking and disturbing revelations as the book reaches the conclusion, and it made me see the story in a very different light.

I really enjoyed this book. If you’ve enjoyed Sharon Bolton’s previous books, then you will love this. I highly recommend it for psychological thriller lovers.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 1st May 2021

Print length: 335 pages

The Pact is available to buy:

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You Had It Coming by B.M. Carroll #bookreview #blogtour @bmcarrollauthor @ViperBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by B.M. Carroll, You Had It Coming. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

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?

MY THOUGHTS

You Had It Coming is the first book by B.M. Carroll, which I have read, and I thought it had such an intriguing premise. I haven’t come across a crime novel before where one of the main characters is a paramedic, which offered a fascinating insight. B.M. Carroll begins to build on the suspense straight away when Megan, a paramedic, is faced with an impossible situation, saving the life of the man who ruined hers.

After we are first introduced to Megan, I wanted to know what had happened in her past. Also, what her link was to William Newson, the man who was nearly killed. I could sense her anger as she realised who the person was who she was treating. B.M. Carroll gradually begins to peel back the layers of what happened. As we get to understand more about who the victim here is, I really despised him as well. I could also understand why someone would want him dead. It’s what made the story even more exciting as I wanted to find out if the killer had any links to his past.

The novel is set in Australia, which is also what I liked about it as well. B.M. Carroll whisked me away in her writing, and it made the book feel refreshing. I’ve only ever read one other book set in Australia before, and this is a part of the world where I’m quite keen to travel to at some point in the future.

There are some tense scenes as B.M. Carroll reveals what happened to Megan and her friend Jess who also comes into the picture following William’s attempted murder. We also hear from Jess’s point of view. Megan and Jess both went through the same horrifying experience together. As I was reading the flashback scenes in which B.M. Carroll takes us back to the events linking Megan and Jess to William; it made me angry. It really does paint a vivid picture of what happens in these situations in real life.

Another point of view which B.M. Carroll tells the story from is Detective Sergeant Bridget Kennedy. I liked Bridget from the start and B.M. Carroll brought her character to life really well. I was rooting for her to get the truth about what was going on. It felt as though, at some moments, that she was the only person who wanted to get justice.

I enjoyed reading You Had It Coming and B.M. Carroll kept me hooked as I waited to find out who was responsible for the attack on William and what had happened in Megan and Jess’s pasts. I would definitely recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Publisher: Viper Books

Publication date: 13th May 2021

Print length: 432 pages

You Had It Coming is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

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The Players by Darren O’Sullivan #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest book by Darren O’Sullivan, The Players.

The Players: ‘Saw meets I See You’ in the gripping, must-read serial killer thriller in summer 2021 by [Darren O’Sullivan]

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A stranger has you cornered.
They call themselves The Host.
You are forced to play their game.
In it one person can live and the other must die.

You are the next player.
You have a choice to make.

This is a game where nobody wins…

MY THOUGHTS

Darren O’Sullivan hits the ground running with his new novel, The Players, and the tension doesn’t let up.  It’s actually the first book I have read by Darren, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading one of his novels. This is a really twisty, dark crime thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat right the way through. I definitely need to catch up now on what he has written before.

The criminal in this book is a sick and twisted individual. They call themselves ‘The Host.’ They don’t care who it is who they target. Anyone can be a victim; no one is safe. The horrifying thing is that The Host doesn’t reveal themselves. They give their instructions to the individuals playing the game, and someone always must die. He also reveals when the next game will be, and it really becomes a race against time for the police to stop him before he carries another one out.

The premise of this book is really terrifying. Darren O’Sullivan creates the feeling that no one is safe and that the killer is always one step ahead of the police. I really liked Detective Inspector Karen Holt. When we are first introduced to her, we know that something has happened in her past and Darren O’Sullivan gradually reveals what went wrong and why she isn’t currently working. I loved the friendship she had with her colleague, who is always fighting her corner. She is such a strong lead. I am hoping that Darren is going to return to her character in future books.

There is tension on every single page in this book. I was rooting for the police to uncover who ‘The Host,’ was. I wanted to know who could be behind the twisted games they were playing. I wanted to understand the killer’s motivation behind this. It seems as though they are on a mission to prove something to the public and the police. What I thought was really interesting as well, was that Darren O’Sullivan explored the public’s perception of the case through social media. We can see how people battle against each other as they try to put their thoughts and feelings across. Especially when it comes to who is to blame for the killings, the Host, or the people who carried them out.

Karen is absolutely determined to stop ‘The Host’ from killing again. Even though this is difficult for her as she shouldn’t be involved in the investigation. By getting herself involved, she is putting her career at further risk. But this is what I really admired about her. She doesn’t care about what happens to herself; she cares about seeing justice prevail.

The Players is a top crime thriller, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It gets a very easy five stars from me.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 13th May 2021

Print length: 448 pages

The Players by Darren O’Sullivan is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping debut novel by Katherine Faulkner, Greenwich Park.

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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.

MY THOUGHTS

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner is a book that has been getting lots of praise recently, and I can see why. This is a pacy and a highly addictive read which I could not put down. Katherine Faulkner is an exciting new writer who I will be keeping an eye on. Greenwich Park is a belter of a book.

Katherine Faulkner grabbed my interest from the first few pages, and her writing and the characters compelled me to read on. We meet Helen, who is pregnant and currently attending antenatal classes. While there, she meets the eccentric Rachel, who quickly becomes quite attached to Helen. But there is something sinister about Rachel. Very soon, both of their worlds will be turned upside down.

When Katherine Faulkner first introduces us to Helen and Rachel, Rachel made me feel extremely uncomfortable. It was how she latched onto Helen which made me think that something was up here, especially as well in some of her actions. There was one scene in particular close to the beginning, and I won’t into detail too much here, which made my jaw drop open. I really wouldn’t have blamed Helen if she wanted to walk away from Rachel there and then. And Helen is soon desperate for Rachel to leave her alone, especially when Rachel starts encroaching on her family life.

But as we get to know more about Rachel’s character, my perception of her began to change, and it’s here where it becomes hard to talk about the plot without giving anything away. The rest of the characters, Helen’s friends and family, are really unlikeable. You can see that Rachel doesn’t quite fit in with this particular crowd. It made me wonder what she was really doing and what was really going on inside her mind.

We also hear from the viewpoints of Serena and Katie. Serena is Helen’s sister-in-law, and Katie is another friend from the antenatal class. I really liked how Katherine Faulkner explored their characters. I kept asking questions about them, and it made me desperate to find out was really going on here. They are characters who will get under your skin.

I loved, loved this book; it’s a real page-turner. If you haven’t yet got it on your TBR pile, then you really need to rectify that ASAP. I can’t wait to see what Katherine Faulkner comes up with next.

Publisher: Raven Books

Publication date: 15th April 2021

Print length: 464 pages

Greenwich Park is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Twisted Lies by Angela Marsons #bookreview #booksontour @WriteAngie @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel in the DI Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Twisted Lies.

Twisted Lies: An absolutely gripping mystery and suspense thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 14) by [Angela Marsons]

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Her stomach lurches as she sits in the windowless room. He throws her phone to the ground, grinds it against the floor with the heel of his shoe and brings his face closer to hers. There was no turning back now, her life as she knew it was gone.

When the lifeless body of a man is found on an industrial estate, Detective Kim Stone arrives on the scene and discovers he’s been tortured in the worst way imaginable.

But as she breaks the devastating news to the victim’s wife, Diane Phipps, Kim can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right about the woman’s reaction.

Twenty-four hours later, the victim’s family disappears into thin air.

Then a second body is found staked to the ground in a local nature reserve.

Desperate to crack the case open quickly, Kim and her team unravel a vital clue – a fiercely guarded secret that links both victims and could cost even more lives.

A secret that some police officers are also protecting.

Faced with deceit from those she should be able to trust, family members who won’t talk, and local reporter, Tracy Frost, opening a can of worms on the case of a woman murdered by her husband a year ago – Kim is in deep water like never before.

Kim must find the motive if she is to find the killer who is systematically targeting and torturing his victims. But can she unlock the shocking truth and stop him before he strikes again?

MY THOUGHTS

Wow. Wow. Wow. This book! If you’ve followed the Kim Stone series from the beginning, then you’ll have exactly the same reaction when you read it, and I can’t believe that ending. Those last few lines of Twisted Lies have left me desperate to get my hands on the next book in the series as soon as possible. It’s going to leave fans in a frenzy when they realise what is coming next! Once you do, you’ll want to discuss it with other fans of the series as soon as possible!

It amazes me how Angela Marsons manages to develop fresh and exciting plots with each new book. She always manages to breathe new life into her characters, and each new book in the series has always left me desperate for more. That’s why every time a new Kim Stone book is published, it shoots straight to the top of my TBR pile.

My heart was in my mouth from the very beginning, right to the very end. Once again, Kim and her team have a very complicated case to solve. One of the elements I really liked about Twisted Lies is that we get to see a different side to reporter Tracy Frost to what we have seen before. At the beginning of the book, Kim is appointed as her chaperone for the day by her boss, something which she isn’t particularly pleased with. It made me smile as I read the early scenes, but Tracy’s day out with Kim is cut short when Kim is called to a particularly gruesome murder scene. From this very moment, I needed to know who could have killed and someone like this. What was their motivation?

Angela Marsons always explores fascinating themes in her books. It’s very difficult to talk more about this without giving details of the plot away, but the subject she covers in Twisted Lies is really interesting. It’s what makes this investigation so difficult for Kim and her team to crack. Once they realise just what is going on here, the realisation of what they’ve now uncovered is horrifying, and the team soon find themselves in a very precarious situation.

It’s also been really good getting to catch up with Kim and her team again. I always like the banter between them, particularly between Penn and Stacey in this book.

As the investigation progresses, Angela Marsons begins to ramp up the tension, and it becomes a race against time for Kim and her team to find the killer before it is too late. As always, with Angela Marsons books, I was never able to guess who was behind the crimes that were taking place. She always manages to surprise me.

I know I’ll probably be saying this when I read the next book, but this is my favourite in the Kim Stone series to date. The books keep getting better and better, and Angela Marsons continues to prove that she is a crime writer at the top of my game. I loved this book!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 13th May 2021

Print length: 414 pages

Twisted Lies is available to buy:

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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.

WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

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 . . .

The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl #bookreview #blogtour @ko_dahl @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl on my blog today as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there’s a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy.

When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity.

But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.

MY THOUGHTS

In Kjell Ola Dahl’s latest novel, The Assistant, he whisks us to Europe in 1938, when the continent is on the brink of war. There is tension simmering in the air with talks about what Hitler and his regime are doing. We are introduced to former a police detective, turned private investigator, Ludvig Paaske, who is now working with his one time, arch-nemesis, Jack Rivers. But what has drawn them to work together?

I thought the partnership of Jack Rivers and Ludvig Paaske was really intriguing. I wanted to find out more about it and what had prompted them to form this new alliance. Would this have any implications for Ludvig, particularly as he swore to put Jack behind bars during the prohibition era in Norway in the 1920s?

The case which they are investigating is an interesting one, very simple at first, when a woman asks them to spy on her husband, who she suspects is having an affair. But very soon, Ludvig begins to see that there is much more at play here than what first meets the eye.

Jack Rivers comes across as very likeable, even though he is a criminal. You can see that he is a passionate man when it comes to love and women, but you also get the sense that he is in control of the situation, especially when things get tense. I was really interested in the scenes set in the 1920s when Jack played on the wrong side of the law by smuggling alcohol. This was a part of history that, until I read this book, I didn’t know much about, particularly about the prohibition in Norway. It was fascinating to find out more about what was happening in the world at this time. After I finished reading the book, I wanted to find out more about this time period.

Kjell Ola Dahl builds on the atmosphere in this book, and there is a real sense of mystery. This is especially as Jack and Ludvig begin to understand more about the case and people they are investigating. I could feel the tensions simmering as the plot began to build, especially with the threat of war lingering in the background.

Ludvig’s character took longer to grow on me, and I think some readers may struggle to like him at first, but I would definitely like to read another novel where he and Jack feature again.

The Assistant is a compelling mystery novel; the writing pulls you into the story from the very first page. If you’re a fan of wartime thrillers, then you definitely need to give this book a go.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 13th May 2021

Print length: 276 pages

The Assistant is available to buy:

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You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood #bookreview

I finally got round to reading the debut novel by Imran Mahmood, You Don’t Know Me a few weeks ago. I’m sharing my thoughts on my blog today.

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A young man stands accused of murder. The evidence is overwhelming.

But at his trial, this man tells an extraordinary story.

It is about the woman he loves, who got into terrible trouble. It’s about how he risked everything to save her.

He swears he’s innocent. But in the end, all that matters is this: do you believe him?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been meaning to get round to reading You Don’t Know Me, Imran Mahmood’s debut novel, for some time now, and I’m so pleased I’ve finally read it. This is a really unique thriller, and I haven’t read anything quite like it. It’s a novel that really made me think as I was reading it, and I think it would be great to see this adapted as a play, like Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution.

The novel is told from one perspective, a young man who has been accused of murder. He is defending himself in court, and it is now up to him entirely to convince the jury of his innocence. When I first started reading, I wondered just how he was going to be able to pull this off, especially with no one defending him. He gives a very powerful speech, and it makes for absolutely gripping reading as he tells his side of the story. It is also a story that feels very real as well.

The young man accused really is the star of the show here. It was amazing how other characters, who formed part of his defence, came to life in his speech, and I could picture them clearly in my mind. The story he told is really intriguing, and it paints a clear picture of gang life in London and how difficult it can be to get out of gangs.

All the time, I was wondering how this young man was going to present evidence to ensure a not guilty verdict. He has set himself an almost impossible challenge, and you can see from the start that the odds clearly aren’t in his favour. I wanted to know what had really gone on. His defence is very powerful. I have no doubt that if I was sitting on the jury that I would be drawn in by his story. Although he has got himself involved in a tricky situation with local gangs, you can see that he does not want to be involved at all. But the reason he does get involved is to protect his family and the people he loves.

I was rooting for him all the way through. I was turning the pages faster and faster as the final parts of his story began to unfold.

You Don’t Know Me is very well plotted and so, so clever. There may be a few readers who might have different opinions, especially when it comes to the ending, but I absolutely loved it. It’s one of those books you’ll want to discuss with someone once you read it. I highly recommend it!

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 19th April 2018

Print length: 400 pages

You Don’t Know Me is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan #bookreview @Phoebe_A_Morgan @1stMondayCrime @HQstories

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan. Phoebe is one of the authors who will be appearing on this month’s First Monday Crime Panel. I’ll have all the details about how you can access the event at the end of the post.

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In a luxury lodge on Botswana’s sun-soaked plains, four friends reunite for a birthday celebration…

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL
Has it all, but chose love over her friends…

THE TEACHER
Feels the walls of her flat and classroom closing in…

THE MOTHER
Loves her baby, but desperately needs a break…

THE INTROVERT
Yearns for adventure after suffering for too long…

Arriving at the safari lodge, a feeling of unease settles over them. There’s no sign of the party that was promised. There’s no phone signal. They’re alone, in the wild.

THE HUNT IS ON.

MY THOUGHTS

I was utterly gripped by The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan. It’s the first book by Phoebe, which I’ve read since I read her debut a few years ago. Now, I’m desperate to catch up on her books which I’ve missed. This is a very clever and a really chilling mystery; I flew through it.

When a group of women start to receive invitations to a luxury retreat in Botswana from an old friend, they are suspicious that something is up. The holiday is really appealing, and they can’t resist taking up the invitation. But when they arrive there, they aren’t greeted by their friend, and someone has left strange notes in their rooms which strikes a chilling chord with all of them.

I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on here. I wanted to know where the person who invited them was and why she hadn’t turned up to greet her friends. You can sense just how nervous the group are as they try to understand what is going on, and Phoebe Morgan writes this very well. Phoebe Morgan creates a very sinister atmosphere, and it compels you to read on.

As the women’s fears begin to grow and as the danger really begins to creep up on them, Phoebe Morgan takes us back in time. We begin to understand what went on in the past and what has led to the current events happening now. The plot turns even more sinister as Phoebe Morgan gradually begins to reveal what happened between them, and there are some jaw dropping and unsettling twists. The tension keeps ticking up a notch, and I was flying through the final chapters at breakneck speed; I was so desperate to find out what was going to happen.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading at the end, and the twist completely floored me. It’s one of those moments which makes you sit bolt upright as you begin to understand what is happening. I thought it was a very satisfactory ending, and I thought it was very clever how Phoebe Morgan weaved it into her plot.

The Wild Girls is the type of thriller which you can devour in a single day. It only took me a couple of sittings to finish it, and I loved it. I highly, highly recommend this book! Psychological thriller lovers, this is a book that’s not to be missed.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 15th April 2021

Print length: 320 pages

The Wild Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

FIRST MONDAY CRIME

First Monday Crime is back on Monday, 10th May 2021. It’s a week later again this month due to the Bank Holiday. Alongside Phoebe Morgan, appearing on the panel will be, Tina Baker, author of Call Me Mummy, James Delargy author of Vanished and Marion Todd, author of What They Knew. The panel is being moderated by Jacky Collins. The event starts at 19.30 p.m. and it is being live streamed on the First Monday Crime Facebook page, which you can access by clicking on the link below.

First Monday Crime – Facebook page