How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister on my blog today.

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You can run, you can hide, but can you disappear for good?

Lauren’s daughter Zara witnessed a terrible crime. But speaking up comes with a price, and when Zara’s identity is revealed online, it puts a target on her back.

The only choice is to disappear.

To keep Zara safe, Lauren will give up everything and everyone she loves, even her husband.

There will be no goodbyes. Their pasts will be rewritten. New names, new home, new lives.

The rules are strict for a reason. They are being hunted. One mistake – a text, an Instagram like – could bring their old lives crashing into the new.

They can never assume someone isn’t watching, waiting.

As Lauren will learn, disappearing is easy. Staying hidden is harder . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Wow! This book! I still can’t believe that ending. Gillian McAllister has become one of my go-to authors; I don’t even have to read the blurb before I click that pre-order button. How To Disappear is her best book to date. This book will take you on a whirlwind of emotions, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about it any time soon. I think this is one of those books where you will want to talk to someone else who has read it straight away; it’ll make the perfect book club read.

Zara is fourteen when she witnesses the horrific attack on a homeless man. But her life and the lives of her family members are changed dramatically when she is placed in witness protection. A group of dangerous men are determined to silence Zara, and when her identity is released online, it puts her in immediate danger. But this group will stop at nothing to track her down, which means that Zara is constantly on the lookout and tensions are always running high.

I can’t imagine what it must be like for people who have to go into witness protection. Just imagine having to give up everything you know; your family; your friends; your identity, it must be soul-destroying. But this is only the beginning. You have to keep up the pretence. One slip up could prove deadly.

Gillian McAllister explores how people in this position must feel in Zara and her mum Lauren. She also explores this with the family who are left behind. You can really see how this has had an effect on them and on how scared they are all the time. You can see how hard it is for them to begin a new life without talking about anything in their past. Lauran and Zara find this incredibly difficult and they are burning to speak to someone about their troubles.

Lauren and Zara’s desire to talk about what they are going through is what keeps the tension in this book, turning up a notch. I was flying through the pages as I kept expecting any moment for either of them to slip up and mention something to someone. Also, I couldn’t trust the people who they were becoming friends with. Gillian McAllister kept me wondering if these people were working with those who were trying to track Zara down and cause her harm, and they were some nasty individuals.

As I said earlier, How To Disappear will take you on a whirlwind of a ride. This is Gillian McAllister’s best book to date, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next!

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 9th July 2020

Print length: 480 pages

How To Disappear is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

 

The Death Knock by Elodie Harper #bookreview

The Death Knock is a read I’ve been meaning to get to now for a while. This is the second thriller by Elodie Harper and if you love a combination of crime and horror you will love her books.

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Three women have been found dead in East Anglia. The police deny a connection. TV news reporter Frankie smells a story…

Ava knows that the threat is real. She’s been kidnapped by someone claiming to be the killer: a stranger who seems to know everything about her.

As Frankie follows the case, she enters a terrifying online world where men’s rage against women may be turning murderous – and where her persistence might just make her a target. And Ava must struggle not only to stay alive… but to stay sane.

From journalist Elodie Harper, The Death Knock is a compelling story of the worst that man can do and the hunt for the truth – at all costs.

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of Elodie Harper’s writing. The Death Knock is a chilling serial killer thriller. Elodie Harper creates a claustrophobic atmosphere in her opening chapter, as Ava wakes up in an enclosed space, the terrifying truth dawns on her when she realises that she has been kidnapped. Ava knows that there is a slim possibility that she will make it out of this situation alive. We really get the sense that she is helpless in the position that she is in and as much as I wanted her to survive, I could see that this wasn’t very likely.

The story follows TV journalist, Frankie Latch, who works for the Eastern Film Company based in East Anglia. Frankie is one of the first journalists to report on the discovery of a body. The victim is believed to have been killed by a serial killer. But as Frankie begins to report on the case, someone begins to stalk her. Frankie is terrified when her address appears online as part of a forum praising the killer. Her decision to continue to report on the killings puts her in a perilous position that could threaten her safety. But she isn’t someone who will go away quietly and wait until it’s safe to come out again.

What I like about Elodie’s writing is that she combines horror and crime, which make her books sinister reads. I connected with Ava as she fought to survive. Elodie tells the book partly from her point of view, and as we hear more from her thoughts, I was rooting for her to get free, even though it seemed impossible. She is clever and knows how to keep her captor engaged, but all the while, she is anxious that each moment with him might be her last. She knows he has killed before and won’t hesitate to do so again.

I liked Frankie as well, and I engaged with her as she set about investigating the disappearances and crimes that have taken place. She is cautious, though about not overstepping the mark, but she is determined to help bring the person responsible to justice. As her investigations deepened, there were a few people who I had suspicions about, and Elodie kept me guessing as the plot developed. But she kept the real killer masked until the final pages when the book was wrapped up in a tense finale that had me turning the pages faster and faster.

The Death Knock is an utterly compelling and a sinister read. What I also loved about it was the Norfolk landscape which Elodie described so well in her previous book. It draws you further in and makes it very atmospheric. An easy five stars from me. I can’t wait to read more from Elodie Harper in the future.

Publisher: Mulholland Books

Publication date: 12th July 2018

Print length: 336 pages

The Death Knock is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

 

#BringMeBack by B A Paris Book Review @BAParisAuthor @HQstories

Source: Review Copy

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The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

MY THOUGHTS

When I read Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris last year, I read it in just a few hours. My friend and I raved about how it was the best thriller we had both read in a long while. There is something about the authors writing that is so gripping, that it doesn’t let you go until you turn the final page, almost as though it has put a spell on you, urging you to keep reading. As I found with Behind Closed Doors, I found her third novel to be immensely enjoyable. You do not want to miss it. I would suggest having plenty of coffee on the go when you begin, you will want to keep sleep at bay, which is why this book comes with the #forgetsleep.

Twelve years ago, Finn’s girlfriend, Layla, disappeared without trace, whilst they were on holiday in France. Layla has never been found, despite a massive police search. Now, Finn is engaged to her sister, Ellen, but as they begin to make plans for their wedding, people close to Finn, begin to report sightings of his missing former partner. Finn doesn’t want to believe that Layla has returned after all these years and he battles with his conscious over his decision to marry Ellen. Is he making the right one? What would Layla think of him when she realises that he has chosen to marry her sister? Has Layla really returned twelve years after she was reported missing, and if she has, where has she been during that time?

Bring Me Back is unbelievably tense, you know when the author has great writing skills when you’re shouting at the characters on the page at the decisions they’re making, and when you can’t bear to read on, for fear of what is going to happen to them next. I won’t say too much about the plot as I don’t want to spoil it, but we hear from the perspectives of two characters in this book, Finn and his fiance, Ellen. B A Paris kept me asking questions about them as I turned the final page of each chapter, which made me desperate to read the next. For me, I think this book really is about the characters, although the plot is good, it is really Finn’s tangled relationship between these two sisters that drives the story.

I’m sure, as with her previous book, I will be raving about this for a long while; I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next. Bring Me Back is another belter of a read. Thank you to Sophie Calder at HQ for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 8th March 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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