Her Husband’s Secrets by Louise Mangos #bookreview @LouiseMangos @HQDigitalUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Her Husband’s Secrets by Louise Mangos which was previously titled The Art of Deception. I’ve had this book on my TBR pile since July 2019 and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading it.

Her Husband’s Secrets: A gripping, twisty, must-read new psychological thriller by [Louise Mangos]

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Art college dropout Lucie arrives in a Swiss ski resort looking for work – but instead finds love in the form of the handsome and charismatic Mathieu.

Matt seems like perfect husband material – especially when Lucie discovers he’s from a wealthy family. But Matt’s dark side soon emerges. Manipulative, controlling and abusive, he is anything but perfect and will tear the life she has built for herself and their six-year-old son JP apart.

Then, one fateful night, things come to a head in the most shocking way . . .

Wrongly accused of her husband’s murder and left fighting for her freedom in a foreign prison, Lucie is starting to lose her grip on reality. Now, she must summon all her strength to uncover the truth about Matt’s death and be reunited with her son – before it’s too late.

The clock is ticking . . . but who can she trust?

MY THOUGHTS

Her Husband’s Secrets is the second standalone book by Louise Mangos set once again in the beautiful rural landscape of Switzerland. Louise’s writing reels you in as we follow her main character, Lucie, who is currently serving a prison sentence for the murder of her husband. Lucie is in a desperate situation. Her son is now being brought up by her husband’s family. Lucie fears that they are turning her son against her and ultimately will try to take him away. Lucie will stop at nothing to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

This is a cleverly plotted novel, and to me, it felt really fresh. I liked the way how Louise Mangos makes you ask questions about what happened and if Lucie is guilty or innocent. I really felt for her as she tried to stay in contact with her son as much as possible. I wanted Lucie to be innocent, and I was rooting for her all the way through. I could see that her husband’s family were manipulating the situation, and I was fearful that they were going to disappear before Lucie had a chance to do anything about it.

You can feel that the odds are stacked against Lucie. She is an English woman in a foreign prison. Lucie can also barely grasp the language, so this will also have an impact against her. While in prison, she does make friends with a small group of women. I thought this gave Lucie some light relief and I was pleased that she did have someone who she could talk to.

As the plot progresses, we get to see the events leading up to when Lucie was arrested. We see the days when she first fell in love with her husband. When they first got together, I didn’t like him at all, and I didn’t like his family, particularly his mother, who I found to be very pushy. Even in this situation, it felt as though Lucie was on her own, an outsider. It seemed as though there were very few people who she could turn to for support.

I was not expecting the book to take the direction that it did. It made for a really refreshing take on this story, and it kept me turning the pages as I waited to see how Lucie was going to execute her plan. Louise Mangos pulls of a cleverly crafted plot with a really satisfactory ending.

Her Husband’s Secrets is a well-executed novel; you will be rooting for Lucie right the way through to get the justice that she deserves. An excellent read!

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 6th June 2019

Print length: 264 pages

Her Husband’s Secrets is available to buy:

Amazon UK

The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey #bookreview @dianefjeffrey @HQDigitalUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey, her third psychological thriller. I’ve also reviewed her previous novel, He Will Find You on my blog and you can find my review by clicking here.

The Guilty Mother: A new gripping and emotional psychological thriller for 2019 which asks: who would you believe? by [Jeffrey, Diane]

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She says she’s innocent.
DO YOU BELIEVE HER?

2013

Melissa Slade had it all: beauty, money, a successful husband and beautiful twin babies. But, in the blink of an eye, her perfect life became a nightmare – when she found herself on trial for the murder of her little girls.

PRESENT DAY

Jonathan Hunt covered the original Slade Babies case for the local newspaper. Now that new evidence has come to light, Jon’s boss wants him back on the story to uncover the truth.

With Melissa’s appeal date looming, time is running out. And, as Jon gets drawn deeper into a case he’d wanted to forget, he starts to question Melissa’s guilt.

Is Melissa manipulating Jon or telling him the truth? Is she a murderer, or the victim of a miscarriage of justice?

And if Melissa Slade is innocent, what really happened to Ellie and Amber Slade?

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been a fan of Diane Jeffrey’s work since I read her debut and I think The Guilty Mother is her best yet. The plot is intriguing. Former police officer, Melissa Slade is serving a prison sentence for the murder of her baby daughter. This occurred a few years after her youngest died from cot death. But Melissa’s family, particularly her ex-husband, is certain of her innocence and they have been campaigning for her release. Now they may finally have a chance to get her out after new evidence comes to light which may help prove her innocence.

Melissa is a character who I could never be sure about. I think my thoughts were influenced by Jonathan, a journalist for the local paper, who is asked to report on Melissa’s case. From very early on, Jonathan appears to decide that Melissa is guilty and he doesn’t seem to be very willing to report on her case. He fears that he may help a convicted murderer go free. This is what put an interesting spin on the story as I could see just how deeply this decision affected Jonathan.

The story gets going right from the first page when we see Melissa being escorted in a police van to court. There was so much tension in this scene. I felt as though I was there, watching everything unfold before my eyes. I wanted to know who this woman was and what the outcome of her trial was going to be. I wanted to know what she had done.  It makes for a very gripping opening.

Jonathan was a great character. I was interested in his own story as well as he has suffered his own devastating loss. I wondered if this was what influenced his own thoughts about Melissa’s case, and why he suspected she was guilty. I could certainly see why he didn’t want to be drawn into Melissa’s story. I also liked Jonathan’s colleague, Kelly. I’d definitely like to see her story explored further, Diane certainly leaves the ending open to that possibility.

There were many characters here who kept me thinking about what could have happened the night Melissa’s daughter died. I didn’t like her new husband, who gave me an icy feeling right from the moment Diane first introduces him. And I was also interested in who else had been in their home that fateful night. Diane kept me thinking about who was and who wasn’t telling the truth about that night.

The suspense and tension carries right the way through this book. I’m still thinking about those final scenes a few days after I finished reading it. The Guilty Mother is chilling, unpredictable and totally gripping. Diane’s writing will keep your eyes glued to the page. This is a brilliant read!

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 2nd August 2019

Print length: 384 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo

He Will Find You by Diane Jeffrey Book Review @dianefjeffrey @HQDigitalUK

He Will Find You: A nail-biting and emotional psychological suspense for 2018 by [Jeffrey, Diane]

Source: Review Copy

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No matter where you hide…

Kaitlyn Best is stuck in a rut. So when she discovers she’s pregnant after a one-night-stand with Alex, her school crush, she throws caution to the wind and accepts his offer to make a new life together in the depths of the Lake District, far from her home… and her demons.

He will find you.

But Alex is not what he seems. And when Kaitlyn’s world begins to crumble before her eyes, she realises she barely knows the man she has agreed to spend the rest of her life with.

Since Alex won’t tell her his secrets, Kaitlyn vows to find them out for herself. But when she uncovers the truth, she realises she has made a terrible mistake…

MY THOUGHTS

He Will Find You is the second psychological thriller from Diane Jeffrey. I enjoyed reading her first novel, Those Who Lie, so I was interested to see what she had come up with for her next book.

We follow Kaitlyn who after having a one night stand with her former school crush, Alex, begins a relationship with him. In the matter of a few short weeks, they’re married. But the best news for Kaitlyn is when she finds out that she is pregnant. After the vows are exchanged and the marriage certificate signed, Alex begins to change, leaving Kaitlyn in an unnerving situation. And soon she begins to fear for both her safety and her daughter’s.

Diane Jeffrey explores the effects of psychological abuse as well as physical in her latest book. When Kaitlyn arrives at her new home, The Old Vicarage, eager and excited to begin her new life; I straight away felt that this was all too good to be true. Alex is a cold and calculating character who knows how to manipulate people and a situation. As I began to find out more about Alex, my opinion of him did keep changing, particularly as Diane begins to reveal the trauma he suffered in his past. This is how Diane keeps up the suspense, is he going to do something terrible, is he going to keep his promises to Kaitlyn?

We also learn details of Alex’s previous relationships and that he has two daughters from an earlier marriage, Poppy and Violet. But little more is said about them and this intrigues and frightens Kaitlyn. Why doesn’t he have a relationship with them? Why are there no photographs of his children around the house? Just what is Alex capable of?

For me, I think the pace in the novel did increase more after Chloe was born, and this is where I found the plot to become tense and more gripping. At the start, I was intrigued by Kaitlyn’s decision to marry Alex so quickly.  I became invested in her character as this was a very big decision for her.

In the first half of the novel, there are some parts in the story which really hit the reader. We also see Kaitlyn’s character develop and this is essential, I think, in helping us to understand her and the predicament she is now in. Diane conveys this well in her writing by giving us hints of what is to come, especially in scenes when Alex’s personality begins to change. Diane also shows us the inner workings of Kaitlyn’s mind as she starts to question her marriage.

Towards the end, there were some surprising twists that I didn’t see coming, and one in particular really gave me chills. I just had to keep reading to the end to find out what was going to happen. If you’re a fan of domestic noir novels, then I definitely recommend this book.

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication date: 4th August 2018

Print length: 279 pages

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