Dead Man’s Daughter by Roz Watkins #bookreview @RozWatkins @HQstories

I’ve been catching up on my TBR pile recently and one book I was looking forward to reading was Dead Man’s Daughter by Roz Watkins. I loved the first book in the DI Meg Dalton series so I was really excited when I finally got round to reading the second.

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She was racing towards the gorge. The place the locals knew as ‘Dead Girl’s Drop’…

DI Meg Dalton is thrown headlong into her latest case when she finds a ten-year-old girl running barefoot through the woods in a blood-soaked nightdress. In the house nearby, the girl’s father has been brutally stabbed to death.

At first Meg suspects a robbery gone tragically wrong, but something doesn’t add up. Why does the girl have no memory of what happened to her? And why has her behaviour changed so dramatically since her recent heart transplant?

The case takes a chilling turn when evidence points to the girl’s involvement in her own father’s murder. As unsettling family secrets emerge, Meg is forced to question her deepest beliefs to discover the shocking truth, before the killer strikes again…

MY THOUGHTS

If you like your crime fiction with a touch of the supernatural, then Roz Watkins DI Meg Dalton series set in the Peak District is one for you.

DI Meg Dalton faces a particularly tough and complicated case. In the opening chapters, she is faced with a horrifying scene. A woman alerts her attention to a young girl she has seen running through the woods. The girl’s nightdress was stained with blood. When Meg tracks down the girl and visits her home, she finds her father dead. The girl, Abbie, has recently had a heart transplant, and she is convinced that her heart made her kill her father. Abbie believes she can remember what happened to its previous owner and describes this in great detail. It forces Meg to tackle the question, can having an organ transplant change a person’s personality? Can a donated organ still carry memories from its original owner?

Meg is also going through a difficult personal time in this book. Her grandmother is dying, and she and her mother are preparing to take her to Switzerland. Her gran has chosen to end her life as she doesn’t want to suffer any more. But Meg faces fierce opposition to her gran’s decision and finds herself and her family being targeted and threatened which pushes them to the brink.

What I loved about the first book in this series was the touch of humour that Roz added to Meg. She is a character who often takes the mickey out of herself, and I really liked this about her personality. There is still some humour in this book, but the novel, on the whole, does feel a lot darker.

The supernatural elements, for me, are what make this series stand out, and the setting gives it an added spooky and atmospheric atmosphere. You can see how the case is beginning to affect Meg; she seriously begins to question the events happening around her, even though she staunchly dismisses the idea of any supernatural link.

Dead Man’s Daughter is a book that will keep you thinking about the plot and the characters involved. Meg is determined to do everything within her power to make sure that justice prevails, even though other police officers would quite happily brush this case under the carpet. Some of the themes that Roz Watkins explores may stay with you for a long time after you’ve read it.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 4th April 2019

Print length: 384 pages

If you would like to purchase Dead Man’s Daughter, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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The Party by Lisa Hall #bookreview @LisaHallAuthor @HQstories

The Party: The gripping new psychological thriller from the bestseller Lisa Hall by [Hall, Lisa]

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It was just a party. But it turned into a nightmare.

When Rachel wakes up in a strange room, the morning after a neighbour’s party, she has no memory of what happened the night before. Why did her husband leave her alone at the party? Did they row? Why are Rachel’s arms so bruised? And why are her neighbours and friends so vague about what really happened?

Little by little, Rachel pieces together the devastating events that took place in a friend’s house, at a party where she should have been safe. Everyone remembers what happened that night differently, and everyone has something to hide. But someone knows the truth about what happened to Rachel. And she’s determined to find them.

The Party is the gripping new novel from bestseller Lisa Hall.

MY THOUGHTS

Lisa Hall is back with a compelling new thriller, in her new novel The Party. I was totally gripped by this book, and I wanted to find out what had happened on the night our main character, Rachel attends a friend’s house party, only to wake up there the next morning, convinced she has been raped. This is a very quick read which can very easily be read in one sitting, once you start reading you will find it very difficult to put down.

Rachel was a character who I really felt for as she tried to come to terms with what had happened to her and uncover who had raped her. Lisa Hall explores just how harrowing it can be for a person to experience this and the effects it has on their family and friends. I felt that I couldn’t trust anyone close to Rachel, not even some members of her own family and close friends and I could sense how uncomfortable she felt on the page.

I think Rachel is a character who will divide readers. I think most will probably feel for her for what she is going through, but there is also the aspect that up until very recently she herself was having an affair. It doesn’t paint her in the best light, and this was a part of the story I kept thinking back to as I tried to work out what had exactly happened on the night of the party.

Lisa Hall delivers a hard-hitting ending, I did think I had it worked out who the culprit was, but Lisa totally managed to surprise me. The story kept me gripped right from the first page and it was a very twisty read. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 12th July 2018

Print length: 289 pages

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

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The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings blog tour @MandaJJennings @HQstories

Source: Review Copy

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Some friendships are made to be broken

Cornwall, summer of 1986.

The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.

If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.

If only her life was as perfect as theirs.

If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.

If only she lived at The Cliff House…

Amanda Jennings weaves a haunting tale of obsession, loss and longing, set against the brooding North Cornish coastline, destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.

MY THOUGHTS

I became a huge fan of Amanda Jennings’ writing when I read her previous novel, In Her Wake, nearly two years ago now, so I was excited to see what her follow up would be. The Cliff House is an evocative and mesmerising piece of fiction with a dark undercurrent. Amanda makes the setting feel so real, and she draws you into Cornish landscape, I could easily picture the scenery around me.

Sixteen-year-old Tamsyn has always been drawn to a property built at the top of the rugged, Cornish cliff face, known to her as The Cliff House. The house holds very poignant memories for her as she used to visit it with her father before he died and they would often swim in the pool when the family who owned it weren’t staying there, without their permission. Tamsyn becomes obsessed with the family who live there, the Davenports, who travel up from London to spend the holidays in Cornwall. To Tamsyn their life is full of glamour; it is the image of perfection. But their lives aren’t what they quite appear to Tamsyn, and as she becomes embroiled in their family troubles, it becomes harder for her to let go.

Amanda writes her characters so well; like Tamsyn, I became captured by The Cliff House, especially in the opening chapter in which Amanda so brilliantly sets the scene through Tamsyn’s eyes as she stares at the house through her binoculars. Edie Davenport was a fiery and perplexing character, the relationship that she has with her parents is an interesting one, and it was one of the main hooks of the novel as Amanda slowly peeled away the dynamics in their relationship. I wanted to find out what was really going on in their lives.

As Tamsyn and Edie Davenport became friends, I did wonder how she would fit into Edie’s life; I kept imagining scenarios inside my head as I wondered if their friendship was going to work as they both come from very different backgrounds and mix in different social circles. Tension simmers on every page as their friendship develops and as the drama in Edie’s family life begins to unravel.

Amanda Jennings has written a superb novel. Her writing never fails to draw me in. The Cliff House is haunting and spellbinding, I loved it. Thank you to HQ for sending me a copy of The Cliff House to review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 17th May 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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The Watcher by Ross Armstrong blog tour

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She’s watching you, but who’s watching her?

Lily Gullick lives with her husband Aiden in a new-build flat opposite an estate which has been marked for demolition. A keen birdwatcher, she can’t help spying on her neighbours.

Until one day Lily sees something suspicious through her binoculars and soon her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead. Lily, intrigued by the social divide in her local area as it becomes increasingly gentrified, knows that she has to act. But her interference is not going unnoticed, and as she starts to get close to the truth, her own life comes under threat.

But can Lily really trust everything she sees?

MY THOUGHTS

Ross Armstrong has created an atmospheric and creepy story in his debut novel The Watcher and he takes the reader on an unsettling ride. I have to admit I was drawn to this novel from the comparisons to Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train which is one of my all time favourite thrillers. I can see why comparisons have been made, but The Watcher I found was quite different and in my opinion, darker. There is a real sense of menace from the opening pages that carries right through to the end and Lily was a character who I really engaged with. There was some great characterisation in this book.

Lily Gullick is a keen birdwatcher. She has just moved into an apartment in a new block of flats with her husband, Aiden and she enjoys nothing more than spending her time watching her neighbours. But when her elderly neighbour Jean is found dead, Lily makes it her mission to uncover the truth about what happened and to find the person who committed the crime. But someone is determined to stop her from finding answers and Lily soon finds herself very close to danger.

I loved Lily’s voice in this book. Ross Armstrong drew me into her world, and she made for a great protagonist. I admired her determination to get to the bottom of what had happened to Jean, even though she had only met her once, if you were in a spot of trouble, she would be a good person to have on your side. I do also love an unreliable narrator, and Lily really made me unsure of who, around her, I could trust, and if I could even trust her.

The twist which comes towards the middle of this book is devastating, Ross really took me by surprise and there were times when I wanted to reach into the pages and just give Lily a hug. Ross’ writing is pacey and hugely addictive, although some may say that it is a bit of a slow burner, for me, there was never a dull moment, and it is Lily’s character that really drives the story and hooked me as the reader.

The Watcher is an impressive debut. I’m looking forward to seeing what Ross Armstrong does next. Thank you to Anna Massardi at HQ for inviting me to take part in this tour.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 21st September 2017

Print length: 384 pages

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