The Family by Louise Jensen #bookreview @Fab_fiction @HQstories

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Family by Louise Jensen on my blog today.

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ONCE YOU’RE IN, THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LEAVE.

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.

But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.

Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

MY THOUGHTS

The Family is a very tense thriller from Louise Jensen. Louise’s writing made this book so utterly gripping. I was intrigued by the residents of Oak Leaf Farm, especially the dark and mysterious Alex, who is their leader and holds everything together.

The darkness creeps into the pages of Louise’s book. It kept me turning the pages as I wondered what was going to happen next.

Laura and her daughter, Tilly, have already suffered unimaginable trauma. Laura’s husband and Tilly’s father, Gavan, has fallen to his death after a visit to one of his construction sites. But in the wake of Gavan’s passing, disturbing details about his business come to light, and people begin to turn on Laura and Tilly, including their own family. Desperate for help, Laura seeks refuge at Oak Leaf Farm and very soon Tilly is pulled into Alex’s orbit. Infatuated by Alex, Tilly is desperate to stay, but Laura is starting to see what is going on here and wants to get out. But someone is very keen to make sure that they never leave.

I found Louise Jensen’s latest thriller to be completely unpredictable. As Laura and Tilly became a part of the community at Oak Leaf, I initially thought this would be a good thing for them. It soon starts to become clear, however, that Alex was keen for them to stay for an altogether different reason. I never felt though that the community was completely shut off from the wider world. Although they use all their own home grown produce and don’t use technology, I didn’t get the sense they were prisoners there. It felt like a very welcoming community, and this is what made the characters who were a part of it all the more fascinating. I wanted to know just why they wanted to be a part of it and what made them stay.

The tension soon begins to build as the story progresses, and I started to fear for both Laura and Tilly. I couldn’t work out what was going on behind the scenes. Tilly, I felt especially sorry for, particularly for what she was going through at school, reminding us that school can be an incredibly tough time for teenagers. I could see why she was desperate to feel accepted at Oak Leaf and why she wanted to form new friendships there. I could also see why she was so drawn to Alex.

I’ve read Louise Jensen’s previous work, and I have to say that I think The Family is my favourite. I thought that the darkness was done really well, and it kept me thinking about the characters and what was going to happen to them.

There is a very creepy vibe to the story as it develops. I’m sure that many readers will be pulled into Louise and Tilly’s new home. Dark, very addictive and with some very sinister revelations, I’m sure this book will be a big hit among readers.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 25th September 2019 (kindle) 3rd October 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 384 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Out of the Ashes by Vicky Newham #bookreview blog tour @VickyNewham @HQstories

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Out of the Ashes by Vicky Newham today on my blog.

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A tragic accident – or a ruthless killer?

When a flash mob on Brick Lane is interrupted by a sudden explosion, DI Maya Rahman dashes to the scene. A fire is raging through one of the city’s most infamous streets, the site of Maya’s childhood home. And the discovery of two charred bodies in the burnt-out building transforms an arson attack into a murder case.

With witnesses too caught up in the crowd to have seen anything useful, Maya is facing a complex investigation without a single lead. And, when reports of a second, even more horrifying crime land on Maya’s desk, it’s obvious there’s more at stake than she could ever have imagined. She must find the answers – before all of East London goes up in flames.

MY THOUGHTS

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting DI Maya Rahman in her first outing in Turn a Blind Eye, so I was looking forward to reading Vicky Newham’s next book. Out of the Ashes is a superb follow-up. Maya is a character with a very intriguing past, which Vicky explores further here, and the ending has left me very eager to find out what happens next in Maya’s own personal story. This is what I find so captivating about her character.

The novel opens with Brick Lane on fire. On the same day when protesters take hold of the area, a devastating blaze sweeps through killing two people, a man and a woman, found in each other’s arms. Was it just a coincidence that a flash mob was taking place on the same day? It’s up to Maya, Dan Grant and the rest of their team to find out. As they unpeel the lives of the victims caught up in the blaze, they learn some sordid details about the man’s history, and it’s very clear to see that there are a lot of potential suspects who may have wanted him harmed.

This was a very clever book which I found very difficult to unravel as I was reading. One of the things that Vicky Newham does so well at is creating her setting. Brick Lane was brought to life, although I’ve only been once, I could picture the curry houses, the shops and the way of life that people have been living there for many years. And Vicky also captures the diversity of London so well. There is a ring of authenticity in her writing, and I was transported to London’s East End, which is changing so rapidly as well. Vicky touches on this in her book with the mention of luxury high rise apartment blocks being built in the area, which has angered many of the locals.

As I mentioned earlier, I was really intrigued to find out more about Maya and her family. You don’t have to read the first book as this is explained well here, but I think it is best to get more of understanding of her character. After I’ve finished, I’m now thinking of how she if she is going to pursue her quest further and how and if any more discoveries will change her. And yes, I’m not going to be uncovering any details about what she finds out in this book here.

This is a series I’m now sure I will keep returning to. Totally engaging from start to finish with a really clever storyline, Out of the Ashes is a novel I would highly recommend particularly if you’re looking for a book that will take you on a cultural journey as well.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 30th May 2019

Print length: 400 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Out of the Ashes blog tour

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney #bookreview blog tour @alicewriterland @HQStories

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Alice Feeney’s second novel, I Know Who You Are.

I Know Who You Are: A dark, chilling and clever psychological thriller with a killer twist by [Feeney, Alice]

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The highly anticipated new novel from the international bestselling author of Sometimes I Lie, Alice Feeney’s new novel is her most twisted and nerve-wracking thriller yet.

Aimee Sinclair: the actress everyone thinks they know but can’t remember where from. But I know exactly who you are. I know what you’ve done. And I am watching you.

When Aimee comes home and discovers her husband is missing, she doesn’t seem to know what to do or how to act. The police think she’s hiding something and they’re right, she is – but perhaps not what they thought. Aimee has a secret she’s never shared, and yet, she suspects that someone knows. As she struggles to keep her career and sanity intact, her past comes back to haunt her in ways more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.

I Know Who You Are will leave your heart pounding and your pulse racing. This is the most twisted thriller you’ll read all year.

MY THOUGHTS

I Know Who You Are is another twisty, cleverly constructed story by Alice Feeney and it was so gripping. Sometimes a book just comes along and once you start reading, you can’t stop; it pulls you in so effortlessly and keeps you gripped. This, for me, is that book. I was a fan of her previous book Sometimes I Lie, so I knew what to expect from Alice, this time around I kept a very close eye on all of the characters and tried to see if I could work out what was going to happen, but I still couldn’t.

Right throughout this read, there was a building sense of suspense. We follow two timelines, in the present day, 2017, when Amy Sinclair is working as an actress, whose career is just beginning to take off and back to 1988 when a young girl, Ciara goes missing. Both storylines had me gripped, particularly in the present when Amy’s husband disappears, and she soon finds herself falling under the suspicion of the police. Amy is an unreliable narrator, she can’t be sure if she was involved in her husband’s disappearance or not. Someone appears to be targeting her, but who? And what connection does this have to her past?

Alice Feeney did keep me thinking about how two timelines were going to come together. This book is plotted so, so well, and the twists that came towards the end left me feeling shell shocked. I really couldn’t believe what I was reading on the page when one particular revelation was dropped, and I was staring at the page open-mouthed.

There are some parts of the back story, which I think some readers will find distressing, particularly when Alice takes us back to 1988, but they are essential to the book. I had so many questions running through my mind as I was reading. In the present, I wasn’t sure who I could trust. When Amy’s husband disappears, her world begins to fall apart, and I wanted to know who was doing this to her and for what reasons, also if she had any role to play. I could never be sure if she was innocent or not.

This is a brilliantly written book that kept me engaged and asking questions about the characters. Well written and with high levels of tension right throughout; I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading more from Alice Feeney.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 16th May 2019

Print length: 302 pages

If you would like to purchase I Know Who You Are, you can do so by clicking on on of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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