All the Wicked Games by Lauren North #bookreview #blogtour @Lauren_C_North @TransworldBooks

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lauren North, All the Wicked Games. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Are you ready to play?

Best friends Cleo and Rachel spend their evenings pretending to be people they’re not, inventing elaborate stories to escape the monotony of their real lives. It’s all harmless fun – until they play the game on the wrong person…

It’s your move now.

Five years later, Cleo is still struggling to come to terms with the night that destroyed her friendship with Rachel and almost cost them their lives. And then she receives a text: Rachel is missing. Have you seen her?

There’s only one person to blame.

Wracked with guilt for failing Rachel the last time they were in danger, Cleo races to find her friend. But could the past be repeating itself? Only this time, they’re caught up in a far darker game.

The rules don’t matter when the goal is revenge.

MY THOUGHTS

I raced through All the Wicked Games by Lauren North. It’s definitely one of the most gripping crime novels I’ve read this year. There is so much tension in this book that kept me flicking through the pages at breakneck speed. Every time I reached the end of a chapter; I had to keep reading on to find out what was going to happen.

When Cleo reports her friend, Rachel, missing to the police, the police take very little interest in her concerns; they believe that Rachel has just gone on holiday and will be home soon, although there is one detective who has some concern. But Cleo is adamant that something terrible has happened to Rachel and when the police won’t help her, she begins to investigate on her own, and begins to find information about her friend that she never knew before.

I felt so frustrated for Cleo when she couldn’t get the police to take Rachel’s case seriously. You can see how determined she is to make sure that Rachel is okay. You really get the sense that there is something sinister going on here, especially as Cleo begins to delve into Rachel’s recent past and what she was getting up to.

As Lauren North begins to reveal more about Cleo and Rachel, we learn about something horrific that has happened in their past, something they have both struggled to move on from. The revelation of what took place added to the tension, as Cleo desperately tries to track Rachel down. I really wanted to know what had happened to Rachel, even though everyone else seemed to believe that she would turn up in a few days time, this made me feel more sure that something terrible had happened. The novel takes an even darker turn as Cleo delves deeper into her friend’s life. It’s a novel that makes you think of how far you would go to protect and help your friends.

I did not suspect at all, the direction which Lauren North took the book. I was stunned as I got to the final chapters, but everything did make a lot of sense as the book reached its conclusion. Lauren wrote these scenes so, so well, and I was hooked on every word. I thought the ending was cleverly done and it was so chilling.

I’m certain that All the Wicked Games will be one of my favourite reads of the year. This is the perfect book to take with you if you’ve got a long journey ahead, as you’ll be kept gripped and thoroughly entertained. I really enjoyed this book.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 11th August 2022 (kindle) 1st September 2022 (paperback)

Print length: 354 pages

All the Wicked Games is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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Safe at Home by Lauren North #bookreview #blogtour @Lauren_C_North @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Lauren North, Safe at Home. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened?

Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin.

Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won’t explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip.

Anna is convinced there’s a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn’t know where the danger is coming from?

MY THOUGHTS

Safe at Home is the type of book that can easily be read in one sitting. This is the first book by Lauren North which I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. The tension is there right from the first page, and it builds and builds as the story develops. This is one of the most gripping books I’ve read this year!

There is so much intrigue in this book. The most fascinating character for me, was eleven-year-old Harrie. There is so much mystery surrounding her, and I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on in her life. We know something is up, right at the very start, when on Halloween, Harrie doesn’t return from trick or treating. This creates panic, but before we find out what has happened to Harrie we’re taken back to ten days earlier. Ten days before Halloween Harrie’s mother, Anna has left her at home for what should be just a few moments. But they are caught in a devastating accident and something terrible happens at home.

I thought both Harrie and Anna’s voice came through very strongly in the book. You can feel the tension in Anna’s voice as she speaks, and you can see just how anxious she is. This did very well in adding to the tension. Harrie doesn’t let on at all about what is bothering her, and you can see just how scared she is.

My opinion of Harrie kept changing as I was reading. One moment I was feeling sorry for her and hoping that things would get better for her, but then I couldn’t believe how she was treating her mother. I thought at times that she was being selfish. I liked this as it kept me interested in Harrie and what she was going through.

I really had no idea how things were going to pan out for Harrie and Anna. It’s what kept me hooked as I was reading. The plot is so well thought out and when Lauren North revealed what was really going on, I thought it was done in a very clever way. The final revelations were so shocking, and I could not believe what I was reading.

This is psychological suspense at its very best. I flew through this book. Now I’m desperate to catch up on Lauren North’s previous novels. If you’re looking for a pacy, addictive thriller, then I highly recommend Safe at Home. I could not put it down!

Publisher: Corgi

Publication date: 9th September 2021 (kindle) 30th October 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 374 pages

Safe at Home is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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