The Chalet by Catherine Cooper #bookreview #blogtour @catherinecooper @HarperFiction @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Chalet by Catherine Cooper on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Chalet: the most exciting new thriller of 2020 - with a twist you won’t see coming by [Catherine Cooper]

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French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

MY THOUGHTS

The Chalet is a riveting read by Catherine Cooper, and I raced through it really quickly.

We’re transported to a picturesque ski resort in France. In the late nineties, a horrifying accident takes place there when two young brothers with little experience skied off-piste. But the accident is more fatal for one of the brothers who doesn’t return from the holiday. His body is never found but he is presumed dead. Now twenty years later secrets from that time period are about to come to out in a devastating way for those involved.

I thought the ski resort setting gave this book a chilling atmosphere. The guests who are staying at the resort are put up in luxurious accommodation. Also among the group are two people who were there at the time of the accident twenty years earlier. You get the sense that they were walking on eggshells at different point throughout the book. They haven’t been entirely truthful about what happened all those years ago, and they are fearful of someone finding out what they’ve kept back.

As I was reading, I really wanted to see how things were going to come together. We do jump back in time back to when the young men disappear. Catherine Cooper builds on the tension in these scenes, particularly as the ski instructors grapple with what has happened. I couldn’t believe some of the decisions they made when they were trying to work out what to do next. It seemed that they were more concerned about themselves than they were about trying to find the men.

As the novel progresses, another strand comes into the story, and it is here that I don’t want to give too much away. I became even more intrigued. I wondered how this part was connected to the events in the past, and that was happening in the present. As everything comes together, it makes for a gripping finale. You can see how much one particular character has planned and thought out everything. Also, you can see just how they have every intention of carrying their plan out, with a clear fixation on revenge. I also liked the last note on the very final page, which will send a shiver down your spine as you read it.

The Chalet is a very easy read to get into, and I found it very difficult to put down. It’s dark and very addictive. Highly recommended for lovers of psychological thrillers!

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 31st October 2020

Print length: 400 pages

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The Guest List by Lucy Foley #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the brilliant new novel by Lucy Foley, The Guest List.

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On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.
 
Old friends.
Past grudges.
 
Happy families.
Hidden jealousies.
 
Thirteen guests.
One body.
 
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.
One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .

MY THOUGHTS

I loved The Guest List by Lucy Foley. It’s dark, and there is suspense and tension on every page right from the opening chapter.

There are so many devious characters, and I didn’t know who I could trust as I was reading. The setting certainly sets the scene, and it makes it feel very atmospheric. I loved the idea of a wedding taking place on a barely inhabited island, cutting them off from the mainland. Also, Lucy Foley made the setting feel very creepy, particularly with the mention of the dead on the island outnumbering the living. Even some of the characters are perturbed about the area around them being a mass graveyard.

Lucy Foley has created some really unlikeable characters in her book, although I did find myself feeling sorry for Jules, the bride to be. A lot of the characters come from a very privileged background, but Jules’s fiancé, Will, has gone a step above after making it big on television. It seems he is admired by everyone who comes across him, men and women, but that also makes some people who know him jealous. He also seemed like a person who liked to be in control, but what happens when someone holds a secret over him?

I think right from the start I felt as though Jules was making a mistake in marrying Will. Just a day before the wedding, Jules starts receiving anonymous notes asking her not to marry him. But why would someone want to split them up? This creates tension very early on in the book. I wanted to know why the letters were being sent and would Jules take any notice of them. Would she confront Will about them before the wedding?

There seemed to be a lot of tension between Will and his friends. He has known them since his school days. It made me wonder what secret they held over him and how and if it was going to come out before the wedding. I thought it was very clever how Lucy Foley kept flicking back in time, to a few hours before the horrific event takes place. I never once felt lost or confused as I was reading it. I also enjoyed the different points of view from which the story was told.

Lucy Foley kept the pace flying forward, and it was only on very rare occasions did I put the book down at the end of a chapter. She is a writer who knows how to reel her readers into her characters’ lives. I couldn’t get enough of this book. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for what Lucy Foley writes next.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 20th February 2020 (kindle & hardcover) 3rd September 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 384 pages

The Guest List is available to buy:

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The Choice by Alex Lake #bookreview #blogtour @Alexlakeauthor @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam

I’n delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Choice by Alex Lake on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Choice: The unputdownable new 2020 psychological crime thriller from the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of Seven Days by [Alex Lake]

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A kidnap…
Matt Westbrook only turned his back for a moment. But when he looks around, his car – with his three young children inside – has vanished.

A ransom…
Panicked, Matt assumes a car thief has got more than he bargained for, but then he starts to receive text messages: This is a kidnap. If you want to see your children again, you will exchange them for your wife.

A choice…
Matt and his wife Annabelle are horrified. They can’t involve the police, or their children will be killed. Which means they have to choose: Annabelle, or their children. Either option is unthinkable. But one is inevitable. And they have only hours to make their decision…

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve actually still got Alex Lake’s previous novels on my TBR pile, but now that I’ve read his latest, The Choice, I’m definitely going to be reading them soon. This is such an engrossing read about a family in a desperate situation. It’ll make you think about how you would act if you were to find yourself in a similar scenario. Would you make the same decisions? How would you react?

Matt Westbrook turns his eyes away from his children for a few moments, when he goes into a shop, only to come out minutes later to find his car gone, along with his children. As the horrifying discovery sinks in, he’s soon contacted by the kidnapper who makes a ransom demand. The police aren’t to be involved. Matt is keen to adhere to the kidnapper’s demands, fearing for the lives of his children. But he soon finds himself in an impossible situation when the kidnapper names their price, it isn’t money they’re after; it’s his wife, Annabelle.

You can’t help but feel for Matt throughout this book as he is put in this impossible dilemma. Of course, he desperately wants his children back and for them not to be harmed, but he can’t bear the thought of losing his wife. What I loved about this book is that I had a few different suspects in my mind as I was reading. Alex Lake takes us back to Matt’s university days when he first meets Annabelle. It was in these chapters that kept me thinking about the kidnapper’s possible motives.

Alex Lake also tells part of the novel from the point of view of the perpetrator. The kidnapper’s thoughts are cold and chilling. You can see that they are willing to do anything to achieve their goals, it’s clear to see, as well, that they don’t care at all about the children. It wouldn’t bother them in the slightest if they had to kill them.

Alex Lake keeps the tension turning up a notch. You can really sense that if Matt and Annabelle make one wrong move here, that it will have disastrous consequences. I wanted them to speak to the police, but at the same time, I could also understand why they were wary of doing so. Alex Lake makes their fear feel very real, especially when the kidnapper’s request comes through.

The Choice is a really engrossing read, and I flew through the final chapters, Alex Lake really knows how to heighten the tension. An excellent read!

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 20th August 2020 (kindle) 1st October 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 476 pages

The Choice is available to buy:

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Cruel Acts by Jane Casey #bookreview

Cruel Acts is another book I’ve been desperate to read all year and I finally had the chance to get round to it this week. This is another fantastic addition to the Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwant series.

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How can you spot a murderer?

Leo Stone is a ruthless killer – or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he’s free, and according to him, he’s innocent.

DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt.

Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start?

MY THOUGHTS

Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent are my favourite duo in crime fiction. If you are new to this series, you may think that from the outset that they don’t get on, as they are constantly bickering with each other. Maeve is also never keen to follow orders from Josh, her superior. But this is what makes both of their characters really come to life. They really do like each other, although they may not always display this outwardly.

What Maeve and Josh are faced with in the latest book in this series is the release of a convicted killer, over a new revelation overturned the jury’s guilty verdict. This is after it becomes known that they had access to prior reports about him which would have influenced their judgement. The killer, Leo Stone, was found guilty of murdering two women, and he could be behind the disappearance of a third, although a body has never been found. It is up to Maeve and Josh to prove Leo Stone’s guilt but everything is put into question when another woman goes missing.

Maeve and Josh have a tough job on their hands in proving Stone’s guilt, especially when one of the family members of the victims strongly believes that he is innocent. So from the beginning, I couldn’t be sure if he was the right person, even though there are some very chilling scenes, especially when Maeve interviews him, which will make you think so.

You really get a sense that it is going to be so difficult to have a fresh trial. So much information about Stone and the murders have been written about which is in the public domain. How is it possible for a jury now not to be influenced by what has been reported?

In this book we also see Georgia Shaw’s character grow, who Jane Casey introduced to us in the last book, Let the Dead Speak. Georgia begins to show her true colours, and this is in stark comparison to how she was in the previous novel. I must admit that I didn’t quite like where her character was heading as I felt that she was a good addition to the team and I didn’t like what I was seeing, but perhaps this is what her character needed at this point in time. You can see her growing in confidence, if maybe, a little bit too quickly.

Cruel Acts is a clever and totally absorbing crime novel. I can’t wait to catch up with Maeve and Josh again.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 18th April 2019

Print length: 368 pages

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

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The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant #bookreview blog tour @RachelSargeant3

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant. With thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part.

The Roommates: A gripping, addictive, psychological thriller full of shocking twists from the Kindle top ten bestseller by [Sargeant, Rachel]

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THEY LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE
University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.

YOU SHARE EVERYTHING
A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets…

BUT DO YOU TRUST THEM?
When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with…

MY THOUGHTS

Several months ago, Imo’s sister, Sarah, disappeared without a trace leaving the police with very few clues to follow. Now, as Imo attempts to move forward, she is starting a new chapter in her life by starting university. But when her new roommate, Amber goes missing after their first day, Imo is determined to find out what happened to her. It may be too late for her sister, but Imo is resolved not to let Amber suffer the same fate.

I quickly became invested in Imo’s search for Amber. There were certain times when it did feel as though she was the only person interested in pursuing the case. Had something dreadful happened to her, or had she decided to leave university by her own free will?

I could see that the lack of a resolution in Imo’s sister’s disappearance was what was driving her willpower to find Amber.

The story opens in a very dramatic way which captured my attention. Rachel then peels back the layers to reveal what has happened in the run up to this moment. This is what makes this a real page-turner. I wanted to find out what was going to lead the characters to that moment we see at the beginning. I wanted to see what the final outcome was going to be.

I loved the university setting, which Rachel Sargeant brought to life well, particularly fresher’s week. Rachel captures the buzz, and the excitement in her writing as new students begin to get to know each other as they settle into their new routine.

The storyline darkens as Imo gets closer to finding out what was going on in Amber’s life before her disappearance. There are some highly tense moments as the book races towards its resolution, and I was never quite sure how things were going to end up.

I’d definitely like to see Rachel return to Imo again as I feel as though there is more to find out about her. Rachel certainly leaves the novel open to the possibility of a sequel.

This is a really well written thriller which you can easily sink into. Rachel’s writing is very immersive. I wanted to find out the truth about what had happened to Amber. I guarantee that you will keep turning those pages to work out the answers yourself.

The Roommates definitely comes recommended from me.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 24th October 2019

Print length: 269 pages

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

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#TheNeverGame by Jeffery Deaver #bookreview blog tour @JefferyDeaver @fictionpubteam

I’m thrilled to be joining the blog tour for The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver on my blog today.

The Never Game: The gripping new thriller from the No.1 bestselling author by [Deaver, Jeffery]

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A student kidnapped from the park.
Nineteen-year-old Sophie disappears one summer afternoon. She wakes up to find herself locked inside a derelict warehouse, surrounded by five objects. If she uses them wisely, she will escape her prison. Otherwise she will die.

An investigator running out of time.
Sophie’s distraught father calls in the one man who can help find his daughter: unique investigator Colter Shaw. Raised in the wilderness by survivalist parents, he is an expert tracker with a forensic mind trained to solve the most challenging cases. But this will be a test even for him.

A killer playing a dangerous game.
Soon a blogger called Henry is abducted – left to die in the dark heart of a remote forest – and the whole case gets turned on its head. Because this killer isn’t following the rules; he’s changing them. One murder at a time…

MY THOUGHTS

Before I start this review, I have a confession to make. This is the first book by Jeffrey Deaver I have read. Although it is a name I am familiar with, I have never got round to reading one of his books before and I’m pleased I finally have.

The Never Game is an intriguing start to a new series featuring Colter Shaw, an investigator with a bit of a difference. I’ve read a few novels featuring private investigators, but this is one which felt really fresh to me. There is an element of mystery about Colter, and I’m very interested to find out more about him in future books.

Colter is hired by the father of a missing woman who is desperate for news of her; Colter takes on the case with the promise of a reward as payment. But as his own investigation into the woman’s disappearance deepens, he realises that there is something much darker going on behind the scenes. And then an online blogger and a pregnant woman go missing. Is there something that connects these three cases?

In his latest book, Jeffery Deaver taps into the online gaming world, which has become hugely popular in recent years, earning companies billions of dollars in revenue each year. It’s a staggering amount of money. One game that particularly interests Colter during his investigations is an immersive game, and it plants a terrifying thought into his head as he tries to work out why people have been going missing and find who is targeting them. I’ve often thought about how certain games can have a psychological effect on people, particularly with games such as Call of Duty, and this is what Jeffery Deaver also explores here. It is a very scary thought to think about.

I turned the pages of this book really fast. I was immediately gripped by the opening; I could sense the danger and the urgency in this scene right away.  Jeffrey Deaver’s writing pulls you into the story without any effort, and you can easily see that this is a writer who is very experienced at his craft. I really liked Colter, he comes from an interesting background, and I particularly found his family story intriguing which is what I think this series will run with as there are lots of interesting aspects to this part of the plot. Colter uses different methods to most investigators when he is searching for the missing girl. He has his own set of unique tracking methods which have been unique to him since he was very young.

This is a series that I am definitely interested in following. If you are new to Jeffrey Deaver as well, then this is the perfect time to start reading his books. It’s such a pacy read and with totally immersive writing; it’s exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 16th May 2019

Print length: 418 pages

If you would like to purchase The Never Game, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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