The Open House by Sam Carrington #bookreview @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK @1stMondayCrime

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the latest thriller by Sam Carrington, The Open House on my blog today. Next month on, Monday, 7th December 2020, Sam will also be appearing on the First Monday Crime Panel. I’ll have more details at the end of this post. First, let’s take a look at what the book is about.

The Open House: One of the most perfect, gripping reads of 2020 from the USA Today bestseller by [Sam Carrington]

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Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.
 
When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.
 
But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.
 
Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…

MY THOUGHTS

Many will know how stressful moving house can be. But in The Open House by Sam Carrington, the stress levels are taken up a notch for Amber. She is currently going through a divorce which is the reason why she is selling the house they were gifted by her mother-in-law when she and her husband, Nick, got married. But Nick’s mother certainly isn’t supportive of the idea of Amber selling the home and moving elsewhere with her grandchildren. But is there a darker reason why Nick’s mother doesn’t want the house to be sold? What secrets is she hiding?

I think this is Sam’s most chilling book to date. In an effort to track more potential buyers, Amber decides to take the advice of the estate agent when he suggests an open house event. Amber can see the visitors enter her home. Fourteen enter the property, but only thirteen emerge. Had Amber simply miscounted? But what is even more concerning is when her son is too frightened to sleep in his own bed and complains of the man upstairs in the house.

I loved the mystery element behind this book. As well as what is happening in the present; we also have the mystery of what happened to Nick’s brother, Tim. Tim disappeared when they were teenagers, and it is part of the reason why Nick later joined the police force. He does so in the hope of finding evidence of what happened to his brother. This is also one reason why his mother doesn’t want Amber to sell the house and move. She feels as though her family is breaking apart and after the disappearance of her son, she says it’s all she has left.

I wanted to know what Amber’s former mother-in-law’s motives were and the real reasons behind her not wanting the house to be sold. For me, I didn’t quite believe that this could simply be the case that she didn’t want her family to move away. Amber is determined to find out the reasons why. I also wanted to know what had happened to Nick’s brother all those years ago.

I really enjoy Sam Carrington’s books, and if you haven’t discovered her writing yet, then you really need to. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 10th December 2020

Print length: 376 pages

The Open House is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

First Monday Crime is back for December at 19.30 p.m. on Monday, 7th and as it was last month, it’ll be streaming live from the First Monday Crime Facebook page. The authors taking part in the December panel are, Susi Holliday, author of The Last Resort, AK Turner, author of Body Language, Sam Carrington, author of The Open House and Deborah Masson, author of Out for Blood.

To access the event simply click on the following link: First Monday Crime

I Dare You by Sam Carrington #bookreview blog tour @sam_carrington1 @Sabah_K @AvonBooksUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Sam Carrington’s latest thriller, I Dare You on my blog today. With thanks to Sabah Khan from Avon Books for inviting me to take part.

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AN INNOCENT GAME. A SHOCKING CRIME. A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS.

Mapledon, 1989
Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home.
The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared.
No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars.
The village could sleep safe once again.

Now…
Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.
30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party.
Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is, who will he start with?

MY THOUGHTS

There’s a sinister atmosphere to Sam Carrington’s latest novel, I Dare You.

Set in the rural village of Mapledon across two timelines, 1989 and 2019, we follow events as they unfolded thirty years ago when a ten-year-old girl disappeared. In 2019, her kidnapper, Bill Crawley has just been released from prison which creates an uproar among the locals. They are determined to make sure he doesn’t step foot back in Mapledon, but it appears that there may be a more disturbing reason why they don’t want him back.

Sam Carrington first introduces us to Anna, who is visiting her mother. Anna hasn’t stepped foot in the village of Mapledon for years and is still haunted by the disappearance of her friend, Joni. But things appear to have taken a more sinister turn. Someone has been tearing off doll pieces and attaching them to her mother’s front door. It causes Anna to consider if Bill Crawley is targeting her family, particularly as she was the one who identified him as Joni’s kidnapper thirty years earlier. Although her mother is quick to dismiss these claims, blaming local kids instead. But Anna is unconvinced.

We also meet Lizzie who lived in the village a very long time ago. Lizzie is now a journalist and is probing the story of Bill Crawley’s release. But what is her connection to the events that took place? What is she hoping to uncover?

You really do get the sense that there is certainly some unfinished business when it comes to Joni’s disappearance. I thought the flashback scenes to 1989 were really creepy, particularly when we meet Bill Crawley for the first time, otherwise known as ‘Creepy Crawley’ to the local kids, and that name seems to have stuck. I could never be sure about him. As rumour after rumour and different accusations flew around the village about him, I was never able to separate fact from fiction. It did feel as though he had become the victim of a witch hunt.

As with all of Sam’s novels, I found her latest intensely gripping and I wanted to find out what the real truth was and what had really happened to Joni on the night she disappeared. I couldn’t stop turning the pages as I got to the end and when Sam’s final revelations came to light.  I Dare You is really good.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 12th December 2019

Print length: 416 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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I Dare You by Sam Carrington cover reveal @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK

I have a very exciting cover reveal for you today on my blog. I was thrilled to be invited to share the cover of Sam Carrington’s new novel, I Dare You, which is out in December. But before I reveal the cover, let’s have a look at what the novel is about.

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AN INNOCENT GAME. A SHOCKING CRIME. A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS.

Mapledon, 1989
Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home.
The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared.
No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars.
The village could sleep safe once again.

Now…
Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.
30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party.
Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is, who will he start with?

 

Now I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Can I have a drum roll please …

 

 

 

 

 

I DARE YOU PB

I Dare You, is being published on the 12th December 2019. But you can pre-order the book by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

The Missing Wife by Sam Carrington #bookreview blog tour @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Missing Wife by Sam Carrington as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for inviting me to take part.

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You think you know those closest to you. You are wrong…

A sleep-deprived new mother approaching her fortieth birthday, the very last thing Louisa wants to do is celebrate.

But when her friend Tiff organises a surprise party, inviting the entire list of Louisa’s Facebook friends, Louisa is faced with a room full of people she hasn’t spoken to in years – including someone she never expected to see again: her ex-boyfriend, Oliver Dunmore.

When Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing after the party, everyone remembers the night differently. Someone knows what happened to Melissa, and Louisa is determined to find them. But the truth could be closer, and the deception more devastating, than she’d ever imagined…

A gripping psychological suspense novel, perfect for fans of Samantha Downing’s My Lovely Wife, Lucy Clarke’s You Let Me In and Linda Green’s The Last Thing She Told Me.

MY THOUGHTS

Sam Carrington’s The Missing Wife could very easily have been a one-sitting read for me. It did take me just two days to finish it, and it’s clear to see that Sam is a writer who is going from strength to strength, and she has become one of my favourite authors. I absolutely loved the pace in her latest book, and it had such a compelling mystery that I couldn’t stop turning those pages.

What we are first faced with is the disappearance of Oliver Dunmore’s wife, Melissa, who vanished after attending the fortieth birthday of Oliver’s former girlfriend from college, Louise. Louise isn’t best pleased when she finds out that her friend, Tiff, has organised the surprise, and is horrified when she finds out that Oliver has been invited. But what really puzzles Louise is that she can’t remember seeing Melissa on the night in question at all. Then, when Oliver uses Melissa’s disappearance to slip back into her life, it is clear that there is something much darker going on here.

Louise was a character who I really felt sorry for, a lot of the time, in this book. Louise is just approaching her fortieth birthday, and she has just given birth to her second child, her son Noah. Sam paints a vivid picture of the struggles often new mother’s face, and there were some times when I could have shouted with frustration at Louise’s family for the way they were speaking to her. You can clearly see how this begins to affect her.

This book does mark a break-away from Sam’s previous two novels, which although were two separate stories, they did feature some of the same characters. Although I did miss, DI Lindsay Wade and DS Mack, I did enjoy getting to know Sam’s new characters. Louise and Oliver both made the story a compelling read as it became clear that something had happened in their past which binds them both together. I was very keen to know what that something was.

As the novel reached the end, I often thought about how I would choose to react if I was put in the same situation as Louise. It was quite horrifying as it dawned on her what was happening. I was literally glued to the final pages. There’s plenty of action towards the end of the book, and it did make me feel as though I was watching the story unfold on the big screen. The Missing Wife is pacy, addictive and has some richly developed characters. I would definitely recommend it. I can’t wait for Sam’s next book.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 27th June 2019

Print length: 352 pages

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

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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One Little Lie by Sam Carrington blog tour @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK

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Source: Netgalley

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‘My name is Alice. And my son is a murderer.’

Deborah’s son was killed four years ago. Alice’s son is in prison for committing that crime.

Deborah would give anything to have her boy back, and Alice would do anything to right her son’s wrongs.

Driven by guilt and the need for redemption, Alice has started a support group for parents with troubled children. But as the network begins to grow, she soon finds out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control…

They call it mother’s intuition, but can you ever really know your own child?

A twisty and unnerving story about the price of motherhood and the unthinkable things we do to protect our children. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Laura Marshall.

MY THOUGHTS

One Little Lie is Sam Carrington’s second novel to feature psychologist Connie Summers. In my opinion I think this is Sam’s best novel yet. Although it can be read as a stand-alone I think it does help to have read Sam’s previous book Bad Sister, to get the most enjoyment out of the story and the characters.

The story is told from different narratives and each voice adds psychological depth to the plot. Connie’s new client, Alice Mann is the mother of a killer. She is still reeling from the shock of what her son did and is hoping, in turn to make something good out of what happened by helping other’s. She does this by setting up a support group for people who have recently suffered from a trauma in their lives. She is also keen to make amends with Deborah, who is the mother of the murdered boy, much against Connie’s advice who feels Alice should stay away. As tensions between the two women grow and when a young woman goes missing, the police and Connie begin to believe that the right person wasn’t locked up for the murder of Deborah’s son. Is Alice’s son innocent and are the crimes connected? What is really going on?

It is the different narratives that drives the intrigue and the suspense forward as the plot unfolds. Connie was a character who I really liked in Bad Sister so I was excited to find out that she would be returning. We also hear from DI Lindsay Wade who has featured in all three of Sam’s novels. Her friendship with Connie is what I like about both of these books. In their lines of work they’re both dealing with criminals but from different perspectives. Neither of them can really leave their work behind when they come home of an evening. They’re discussions about particular cases they are working on are interesting as in different ways they can both help each other out.

Deborah and Alice were also two characters who had me hooked straight away. I always had this feeling as though they were walking on egg shells around each other and at any moment the tension between them was going to snap. I really wanted to know what Alice’s game was in getting involved with the mother of the boy her son murdered. Was she really just seeking forgiveness or did she have another motive? I also wanted to see how Deborah was going to react.

I thought the plot was put together well. It is carefully constructed and the way in which Sam pulled the strands of her characters lives together was very clever. Sam builds on the tension as we race towards the finale and especially as the truths behind the lies that have been told are finally revealed. One Little Lie is another brilliant read from Sam and it comes highly recommend from me. Thank you to Sabah Khan for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Avon Books and Netgalley for the advance review copy.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 23rd July 2018 (Kindle) 6th September 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 384 pages

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