The Copycat by Jake Woodhouse #bookreview blog tour

Today I’m joining the blog tour for The Copycat by Jake Woodhouse, with thanks to Sriya Varadharajan at Penguin for inviting me to take part.

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A detective on the edge. A case that might take him over it. Get ready for the gripping new Inspector Rykel thriller.

Jaap Rykel is on the brink, his dark past driving him to breaking point – and ending his police career.

Visiting the station one last time, he stumbles across an investigation into a particularly violent murder. A murder where the details exactly match a case he solved years earlier.

But that killer was caught – and is still in prison.

Is there a copycat killer on the loose, playing games with Rykel’s fragile mind? Or did he get it wrong, and send an innocent man to prison?

This might be his last chance to make things right – or it could be the blow that finally takes him over the edge . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Copycat by Jake Woodhouse had such a chilling and gripping opening, it had me hooked right away, and I devoured the first hundred pages in one go. At the very start, Jake Woodhouse creates such an unnerving atmosphere, but before we know what the outcome is going to be, he takes us back in time to a few days earlier when things really start to go wrong for our lead character. We see a man under the control of a scary individual who has lead him deep into woods at gunpoint. After this point, we begin to get the full picture of just what is going on here.

This is a book which I found very difficult to put down, the pace flowed swiftly along, and I think this was down to the brilliant dialogue. When I first started reading it, I didn’t realise at first that it was the final book in this series, but I had no trouble at all in getting into the story. I really liked Jaap Rykel. He goes through a lot of emotions in this book, but he doesn’t allow anything to get in his way of seeing through the case he is working on. He certainly doesn’t care about risking his own reputation.

Jaap is at a sticky point in his career. He is a man living on the edge and it is driving him towards the end of his time in the police force. But as he takes the next step towards his retirement from the force, disturbing details about a new case emerges which takes him back to a dark time. A young woman has been found brutally murdered in a shocking way that puts the police in mind of an investigation that took place several years earlier which Jaap headed up. But Jaap caught the guy responsible, and he is in prison, serving a life sentence. Was it just possible that he made a mistake all those years ago and that the real killer is still out there? Or is someone else, a copycat, at large?

One thing which Jaap struggles with a lot is PTSD, and he often has blackouts and distressing visions. This was written in a very believable way, and it did create some intense moments in the story. In a way, this also makes him an unreliable narrator as when certain events take place, he isn’t sure if he wasn’t somehow involved. I felt for him a lot, especially when he began to consider the possibility that he made a mistake in the original investigation seven years previously and you can see just how much this affects him.

As the book progressed, I could begin to see the reasons why the perpetrator was killing their victims. But I also wanted to know what the outcome was going to be for Jaap after reading that opening scene, and this is what kept me on my toes and turning those pages.

This was a totally gripping book with very engaging writing. I can’t wait to read more from Jake Woodhouse, including catching up on the previous books in this series. I can highly recommend it.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 30th May 2019

Print length: 416 pages

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

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His Perfect Wife by Natasha Bell #bookreview blog tour @byTashB @MichaelJBooks

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of His Perfect Wife by Natasha Bell on my blog today. This book was previously titled Exhibit Alexandra.

His Perfect Wife: This is no ordinary psychological thriller by [Bell, Natasha]

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She was his perfect wife, until she went missing . . .

Alexandra Southwood has vanished. Her husband, Marc, is beside himself. It isn’t long before the police are searching for a body.

But Alexandra is alive – trapped, far away from her husband and young daughters.

Desperate, Marc will stop at nothing to find the woman he loves. Even if it means discovering that he never really knew her at all.

Because Alexandra is no ordinary missing person – but then neither is she quite a perfect wife . . 

MY THOUGHTS

His Perfect Wife by Natasha Bell is an utterly immersive novel that thinks outside the psychological thriller box. This was a pacy, quick read and I loved the style in which it was told which I thought made it feel very different to what I have read recently in this genre.

There are some very intriguing aspects to this story. In the set-up, we have the disappearance of Marc’s wife, Alex and we can see that he can’t bring himself to even comprehend what has happened, especially when the police begin to believe that Alex is dead. But the story is told partly from her perspective, as though she is looking in on her husband’s life in the aftermath of her going missing. I thought this was very unusual and it made this book feel very different.

I found the plot of this book to be very unpredictable, and I never could quite see where the story was heading. I had so many thoughts and different scenarios going around inside my head as to what could have happened to Alex, and it does take a very twisty turn which will have you thinking about what you have missed, and how Natasha has cleverly placed all of her clues throughout the book. I’m not going to talk any more about the plot as I don’t want to spoil the story as it is very difficult to talk about without giving anything away.

Natasha also takes us back to the time when Marc and Alex first got together and it was fascinating to see their relationship develop.

This is a thriller that will keep you thinking all the way through about what really is going on here and Natasha’s writing makes it a very addictive read. There are lots of secrets to be uncovered and nothing is as it seems. His Perfect Wife is a really well written and a compulsive read that will keep you hooked.

Thank you to Sriya at Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for sending me a copy of the book.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 21st March 2019

Print length: 400 Pages

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

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The Snow Girls by Chris Mooney blog tour #bookreview

The Snow Girls by [Mooney, Chris]

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It’s been eleven years since Claire Flynn disappeared – abducted without trace from a snowy hillside, leaving her parents heartbroken.

Investigator Darby McCormick remembers the case. She knows there’s only ever been one suspect, Father Richard Byrne, linked inconclusively to two similar disappearances.

Finally, terminally ill, Byrne is willing to talk. But he’ll only talk to Darby.

She’s expecting a confession – but what she hears is far more disturbing.

And it soon becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep this cold case on ice…

MY THOUGHTS

The Snow Girls by Chris Mooney is a real page-turner. An eleven-year-old cold case may finally be about to be solved. With a gripping crime mystery and an engaging lead character, I was totally gripped by this book.

This is the first time I have come across Chris Mooney’s name, although I understand he has been around for quite some time and this series has won him lots of critical acclaim. I found this really easy to get into and I didn’t have any problems at all with the plot, so it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. I am now keen to discover more about Darby so I will be catching up on her earlier cases. I read huge chunks of this novel in one go, the excellent dialogue and engaging plot carried me along.

I’ve always been fascinated by cold cases, so this is what made this book really interesting as I wanted to see if there really was anything new that the police could find after such a long time. Investigator, Darby McCormick, is re-investigating the abduction of Claire Flynn, the girl who vanished eleven years ago. The one suspect in the case, Father Byrne, a former Catholic priest, is dying and the police fear that this is the last chance they have of finally uncovering what happened to Claire before he takes his secrets to his grave. But Father Byrne is a slippery character, and he will not give his secrets up easily.

I really wanted to find out what had happened to Claire and Chris Mooney kept up the suspense as I turned the pages, desperate to find out the truth. What made this book all the more fascinating was Darby’s link to Claire’s father. This is what makes this case deeply personal to Darby, and she is determined to find answers for Mickey, Claire’s father, and bring the person behind Claire’s disappearance to justice.

As Chris gradually began to reveal long buried secrets connected to Claire’s case, I became more and more invested in the plot and in the lives of his characters. I loved getting to know Detective Darby, and I could never be sure if Father Byrne was pulling strings and simply having fun with the police in his final days. He was a very untrustworthy character who I think will send chills down many readers spines. Chris’s writing definitely has that addictive quality to it, I would warn you not to start it if you have any plans to go out as you will not want to put it down.

The Snow Girls was such an engrossing read. If you’re looking for a gripping crime thriller that will keep you immersed in the plot until the final page, then I definitely recommend this book.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 15th November 2018

Print length: 443 pages

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Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas Book Review

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She can run

Libby Hall needs to hide, to escape from everything for a while. Which is why the house swap is a godsend. The chance for Libby and her husband Jamie to exchange their tiny flat in Bath for a beautiful haven on the wild Cornish coast.

But she can’t hide

But before they can begin to heal their fragile marriage, Libby makes some disturbing discoveries about the house. And soon the peace and isolation begin to feel threatening. How alone are they? Why does she feel watched?

Because someone knows her secret

What is Jamie hiding? Is Libby being paranoid? And why does the house bring back such terrible memories? Memories Libby’s worked hard to bury. Memories of the night she last saw her best friend alive . . . and what she did.

MY THOUGHTS

Claire Douglas has done it again with her latest novel Last Seen Alive. She is an expert at creating unexpected twists, and I always have that confidence, when I start one of her books, that I am in for a good read.

When Libby sees an advert for a house swap, she is drawn to the idea of spending a few days away from home. The person who created the advert is offering their luxury holiday retreat in Cornwall as they need to be near a hospital in Libby and Jamie’s hometown where their sick daughter is being cared for. Libby and her husband, Jamie accept the offer. But things begin to go mysteriously wrong for them once they are there, Libby is terrified of staying in the house, and when the holiday ends with a call to the police, Libby begins to wonder if her past is about to catch up with her.

This book deals with some very current issues that are being discussed in the media today. I think this is what made the book all the more frightening and realistic, that this could easily happen to any one of us. I for one would never agree to a house swap with people who I didn’t know; I think I would still feel uncomfortable with the idea of allowing people who I am familiar with to stay in my house while I wasn’t there.

There were plenty of twists and turns in this book, Claire really is a master at delivering her twists and misdirections. There were times when I did find myself feeling sorry for Libby, particularly when it concerned her relationship with Jamie. I always felt as though she was viewed as an outsider by the rest of Jamie’s family and that they thought she was intruding on their perfect lives. She made for a great protagonist.

Another outstanding book from Claire, fans of psychological thrillers will not want to miss this. Thank you to Sarah Harwood at Penguin for sending me a copy to review.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 13th July 2017

Print length: 400 pages

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