Guilty Women by Melanie Blake, published by HarperCollins, @MelanieBlakeUK, @HarperFiction @HarperCollins #blogger #review #GuiltyWomen #Bookpreneur

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

‘If you only read one book this year, Guilty Women won’t disappoint. It will leave you breathless’ The Express

Guilty Women’s stamped it’s razor sharp, blood-stained stiletto heel firmly in the lead to be 2022’s book of the year’ The Daily Mirror

Can they get away with murder?

On a beautiful island off the English coast, four TV actresses gather.
Their fifth member is missing – and only they know why she was killed.
As the secret between them threatens to come out, tensions on set run high.
The women are determined that the show must go on – no matter what it costs.
But one of them is on the edge of telling the truth – and no show in the world could survive this scandal…

All of the women have something to hide – but the question is, are they all guilty?

The cast of RUTHLESS WOMEN is back – but this time they’re in trouble…

From start to finish, Guilty Women takes you on a dramatic ride. With a blood-stained stiletto for a book cover, it promises to be an addictive and wickedly entertaining read. Said to be about the fictitious cast of Falcon Bay, four TV actresses share a secret and a few more as the book progresses. Accidents will happen. But are they accidents?

I can see this series being one of those — And Then There Were Two — stories. Their fifth member is missing. Who’s next? What drives Madeline Kane? Falcon Bay certainly has a history, and these four actresses are a force to be reckoned with. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate relating to the age-group in this book. It’s refreshing to find older faces in glamourous places. For those of us teetering on the downside of life’s slope, this book confirms how entertaining mature women are. It says a lot for the author.

This book has secrets galore, beautiful gowns, high tension, terrible killings — some of which could be construed as accidents — and a host of well-researched detail that make it a substantial read. Thrust into the world of television and politics, these women are a lively, hedonistic bunch. But fame and fortune has a way of corrupting even the best of them, and I think that’s what kept me reading.

The ending was definitely one I didn’t see coming. Although I’m not usually into soap operas, this book has a tendency to engross its readers. You have to know what happens next. So, if you’re looking for drama and suspense, mixed with a little spice, then this is the book for you. Think Desperate House Wives meets Sex and the City. It’s a riotous read.

PRAISE FOR GUILTY WOMEN:

“You’ll laugh, cry, be shocked and left wanting more… Guilty Women is an unmissable read. Pure escapism. 5 stars!” Ok! Magazine

“Revenge, murder, sex and greed… Guilty Women has it all. Blake’s latest novel proves she’s here to stay as the new queen of the blockbuster novel. Jackie Collins would have loved it” Bella Magazine

“Not for the faint hearted! An unputdownable, revenge and lust filled romp of a read that you won’t want to end!” Heat Magazine

“The perfect killer thriller with sexy scenes that’ll keep you reading late into the night” Notebook Magazine

“If you only read one book this year, then Guilty Women won’t disappoint. It will leave you breathless”
The Express

About the Author

Bestselling author Melanie Blake’s own real life Rags to Riches story reads like the plot of an outrageous drama…

At fifteen years old Melanie Blake was told by her high school career advisors that her decision to do work experience at a local record shop was an ‘embarrassment to the school and a clear example that she wouldn’t go far in life or her career’. They were wrong. By nineteen she was working at the BBC’s iconic Top of the Pops show and by twenty-seven she had built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers, with her own agency and roster of award-winning artists who had sold more than 100 million records. During this time she also built up an acting agency from scratch which quickly became the most successful independent boutique agency in the UK where she manages clients from some of the biggest internationally syndicated shows in the world.

Her roster have won Baftas, Emmys and pretty much every best actress award going and Melanie is one of the most successful female agents in the world. In the UK alone, over 25 million people a week currently tune in to watch the very stars Melanie represents in their globally syndicated shows. In 2018 after two decades at the top of her game, Melanie decided to manage a smaller client list and concentrate on her other passion, writing – first as a columnist for a national newspaper, then as a playwright and now as a best-selling novelist.

Her first book The Thunder Girls became a Number 1 Best Seller in the summer of 2019 and the play she adapted from the novel broke box office records for a new work at the prestigious Lowry Theatre. She still represents a high profile stable of some of the best known faces on British television but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a producer, author and playwright.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @MelanieBlakeUK

Other Books by Melanie Blake

The Maid by Nita Prose, Published by Harper Fiction @HarperFiction @NitaProse #BookTwitter, #bookblogger #writingcommunity #BlogBlast #BookReview #Bookpreneur

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • “A heartwarming mystery with a lovable oddball at its center” (Real Simple), this cozy whodunit introduces a one-of-a-kind heroine who will steal your heart.
 

“The reader comes to understand Molly’s worldview, and to sympathize with her longing to be accepted—a quest that gives The Maid real emotional heft.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
 
“Think Clue. Think page-turner.”—Glamour

In development as a major motion picture produced by and starring Florence Pugh

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091Y4KGFH
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ballantine Books (January 4, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 4, 2022

This has to be one of my favourite books of all time. What an endearing, eccentric character at the centre of this locked-room mystery. I found it refreshing to inhabit Molly’s heart-warming world. A lowly nobody, invisible to the guests but 100% familiar to me. I used to be a maid myself in a large hotel, so I resonate with Molly and understand her pride in the uniform and her trolley. This book doesn’t leave a residue, it leaves a deep mark and I’m not sure I’ll find another quite like it.   

Living by her gran’s moral code, Molly works at the Regency Grand Hotel. She doesn’t see her job as a daily grind, or something to pay the bills, she owns it, returning each room to a state of perfection. We meet Molly nine months after her gran’s death and her grief, although palpable, is kept in check by her sheer devotion to her duties. Unable to read social cues, some employees see her as an oddball while others see her as polite and respectful. She may be excluded by some, but others are there to protect her.

Giselle Black, a trophy socialite and regular guest at the hotel, befriends Molly. But her life isn’t as smooth as it seems. Her husband, Charles Black, a famous impresario who owns a quarter of the city, is not a nice man. Not if Giselle’s puffy red eyes are anything to go by. When Molly finds Mr Black dead in his bead, all hell breaks loose and she is at the mercy of the investigative team. Targeted as a suspect, she finds friends she never knew she had and embarks on finding out who could have committed this terrible crime.  

From the start, I knew this book would be one to savour. Only putting it down for work, I was desperate to return to Molly’s world and the people that surround her. Caught in a web of deceit, she is an innocent who appears unable to defend herself. But Molly is surprisingly agile. The inner workings of her brain far exceed those of the fraudsters who are out to harm her.

The humour comes with her naiveté. It’s laugh out loud funny at times, partly due to her impeccable manners and the way she thinks through a situation, especially where romance is in the air. But Molly is far from perfect and that’s what I liked about her. She is believable. She is in all of us.

Thank you to author Nita Prose for making my week so entertaining. I loved Molly and somewhere, deep inside, I’d love to see a State of Perfection Series. Molly is a national treasure.

About the author:

Nita Prose is a longtime editor, serving many bestselling authors and their books. She lives in Toronto, Canada, in a house that is only moderately clean. Visit her at nitaprose.com or on Twitter: @NitaProse.

Other books by Nita Prose:

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker, published by Hutchison Books / Riverhead Books @NancyCNTucker @HutchinsonBooks/ @RiverheadBook #Bookreview #BlogTour

**A GUARDIAN 2021 BEST CRIME AND THRILLER PICK**
___________

If you liked “The Push” or “Girl A,” you’ll enjoy this contemporary urban fiction story, told through the voice of Chrissie the 8 year old killer.

DESCRIPTION:

‘So that was all it took,’ I thought. ‘That was all it took for me to feel like I had all the power in the world. One morning, one moment, one yellow-haired boy. It wasn’t so much after all.’

Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands.

Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn’t get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.

Fifteen years later, Julia is trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried – about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away.

That’s when the phone calls begin, which Julia is too afraid to answer, because it’s clear the caller knows the truth about what happened all those years ago.

And it’s time to face the truth: is forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed?

Complex and riveting from start to finish, The First Day of Spring will leave a pit in your stomach. Many thanks to Hope Butler at Penguin for recommending this book. Debut author Nancy Tucker delivers a nuanced narrative that describes the damage wrought by neglect. A fascinating and devastating read, one of the best this year!

Narrated through the voice of the killer, the opening chapters describe the exiled and demoralized life of Chrissie whose Da is absent and whose Ma is unable to provide. I rooted for her and adored her voice which is testament to great writing. I also resonated with her neediness as she continues to be starved of everything so vital to her development. Her mother is skillfully drawn, a woman who despite all her tears and struggles, has no support, not even for dental work on her daughter’s rotten tooth. The adoption scene almost made me cry. There is enough detail to drop a reader right there without it being labored or overdone. Empty cupboards force Chrissie out into the streets to scrounge for food, or stay in a friend’s house long enough to be offered tea. A child too young to understand what is going around her. The toll it takes on an eight-year old is beautifully described, her vulnerability, the stunts she has to pull to get what she needs. Sometimes there’s humor to her inner monologue which lightens the gut-churning load. It’s not surprising she spirals down a dark path, desperate to be recognized and accepted. But when a two-year-old boy is killed, Chrissie’s point of view becomes so harrowing, it’s hard to read and hard put down.

Julia, Lucy, Chrissie is a mother now, frying fish and mopping floors and giving Molly the childhood she never had. But when a phone call threatens to reveal her past, she must face up to the horror or risk losing her daughter. Her thoughts are ingenuous as if she’s never been allowed to mature, almost a show-and-tell of her tragic life both past and present. Christmas with its cracker and horrid grey soup. There’s always the anticipation of something more sinister.

This is a moving story about the all-consuming consequences of a stolen childhood and the aftershocks that haunt this type of trauma. Gripping and stunningly written, I had a lump in my throat until the end.

Many thanks to Random House UK, Cornerstone and to Netgalley and the author Nancy Tucker for an advance copy of this amazing book. It was a privilege.

#TheFirstDayofSpring #NetGalley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Tucker was born and raised in West London. She spent most of her adolescence in and out of hospital suffering from anorexia nervosa.

On leaving school, she wrote her first book, THE TIME IN BETWEEN (Icon, 2015) which explored her experience of eating disorders and recovery. Her second book, THAT WAS WHEN PEOPLE STARTED TO WORRY (Icon, 2018), looked more broadly at mental illness in young women.

Nancy recently graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Experimental Psychology.

Since then she has worked in an inpatient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents and in adult mental health services.

She now works as an assistant psychologist in an adult eating disorders service. The First Day of Spring is her first work of fiction.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

‘Perceptive and compassionate’ GUARDIAN
‘A stunning debut’ WASHINGTON POST
‘I loved this book’ CLARE MACKINTOSH
‘Ccompulsively readable’ ASHLEY AUDRAIN
Compelling . . . stunningly powerful’ GRAZIA
‘An unforgettable narrative voice’ PAULA HAWKINS
‘An extraordinary and heart-rending novel’ OBSERVER
‘This is outstanding . . . so powerful’ TRACY FENTON
‘A darkly dazzling debut . . . gripping’ LISA JEWELL
‘A gripping, unsettling debut novel’ ABIGAIL DEAN
‘Sharp-edged and highly discussable’ BOOKLIST

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, published by @panmacmillan, #bookblog #bookreview #writingcommunity #TheGoldenCouple

They seem like the golden couple but. . .

Perfection is deceiving.

The Golden Couple: A Novel by [Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen]

Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers.

Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.
When they glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.

A riveting cat-and-mouse game that explores the intricacies of marriage, and the many ways in which people lie to themselves…and others…a psychological thriller in every sense of the word. Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

The Golden Couple is a propulsive, twisty, unputdownable thriller — with two heroines you won’t be able to get enough of… and a twist you’ll never see coming. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen have outdone themselves! Laura Dave, the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B092T947PJ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin’s Press (March 8, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ March 8, 2022
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 320 pages

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendriks and Sarah Pekkanen is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. So well written and brilliantly plotted, it was impossible to put down. Hardly surprising when you have two collaborative minds. I loved every chapter. As Avery doesn’t know what to expect when she opens her door to new clients, I didn’t know what to expect when she opened the door to Marissa and Matthew Bishop. What I loved about this book is that, although Avery is a hero, her clever techniques have certainly met their match with the Bishops. The challenges and struggles she faces are all very real. Very believable.

To have a therapist who not only counsels people, but inserts herself into their lives to get the bigger picture is a novel idea. Her controversial process is spontaneous and clever. An ambush of ten sessions sure to burrow deep into her clients’ heads. She is successful. She is determined. What could possibly go wrong? I couldn’t wait to see what Avery’s investigations might reveal; her keen eye to detail and the personalities into which she’s tapped. By about the 72% mark, I thought I’d figured out the ending, but I was nowhere close.

Marissa may hide childhood secrets, a dormant crush which is not so dormant now. But she does not know how what she’s got herself into, how someone is cataloguing every detail of her life, and won’t let go. Someone who may be responsible for the death of Tina, her best friend. This classy domestic noir is far more than a few chapters of shocking twists. It’s an addictive exploration into complex psychological issues, obsessiveness, morality and ethics by a classy double act we have all grown to love. It leaves a residue behind and that’s what I crave in a great thriller.

More please!

The Golden Couple Greer Hendricks Sarah Pekkanen

About Greer Hendricks

Greer Hendricks

GREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers The Wife Between Us, An Anonymous Girl, You Are Not Alone and the forthcoming The Golden Couple. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

About Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally-bestselling author of THE WIFE BETWEEN US, AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, and YOU ARE NOT ALONE, all cowritten with Greer Hendricks.

Sarah is also the author of eight internationally-bestselling solo novels: THE OPPOSITE OF ME, SKIPPING A BEAT, THESE GIRLS, THE BEST OF US, CATCHING AIR, THINGS YOU DON’T SAY, THE PERFECT NEIGHBORS and THE EVER AFTER.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US – an instant New York Times bestseller – is a twisty psychological tale that has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment. Sarah and Greer are penning the screenplay for Amblin.

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL is currently in production as a television series by eOne,with Sarah and Greer serving as executive producers.

Please find Sarah on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @sarahpekkanen

BIO: Sarah is the mother of three boys, which explains why she wrote part of her debut novel at Chuck E. Cheese. Seriously. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. Please visit http://www.sarahpekkanen.com

All For You by Louise Jensen, published by HQ Stories, an imprint of HarperCollins UK #review #blog @HQstories @HarperCollinsUK

I was thrilled to be invited on Louise Jensen’s blog tour for her new book, All For You. Here is another heart-pounding, sizzling psychological thriller from the best selling author of The Date and The Sister.

MEET THE WALSH FAMILY

Lucy: Loving mother. Devoted wife. And falling to pieces.
Aidan: Dedicated father. Faithful husband. And in too deep.
Connor:Hardworking son. Loyal friend. But can never tell the truth.

Everyone in this family is hiding something, but one secret will turn out to be the deadliest of all . . .

Can this family ever recover when the truth finally comes out?

Readers are GRIPPED by All For You

‘This book keeps you on your toes! It is an excellent psychological thriller, with the tension building up throughout . . . A well-deserved 5 stars from me’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Compelling and chilling. Louise is at the top of her game when it comes to writing a unputdownable psychological thriller’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Louise Jensen has done it again . . . The writing had the sheer talent of wanting me keep reading one more chapter deep into the night’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Full of suspense and edge-of-your-seat moments. If I could give more than 5 stars I would because this book is definitely one of my favourite reads’ NetGalley reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

All For You by Louise Jensen is a twisty thriller narrated from three different perspectives. Lucy, Aiden and Connor. I had a feeling the title would be significant, but how significant isn’t revealed until near the end. The prologue tells us something terrible has happened to Connor, Lucy’s eldest son.  There are flashbacks, taking us back to their time at school and a teenage dare that went horribly wrong at summer camp. A truck-load of secrets provide tension and panic and a family weighed down with anxiety and guilt. What happened to Connor’s girlfriend, Haley? Who can we trust?

Lucy, whose chapters are narrated through first person point of view, is an orthopaedic surgeon. She has given up her career to car for her teenage son, Kieron who has chronic liver disease. Looking for a liver transplant would be enough to knock her to the kerb, but there are too many problems aside from something as serious as this. The author really holds Lucy’s feet to the coals and we see her tested almost to breaking point. Through her narrative we see a dedicated wife and mother, and a child suffering from the sickness. Connor’s chapters show a conflicted teenager, whose love for his brother is paramount. But he is traumatised and struggling to cope and the truth of what happened is clawing at his sanity. As are all the secrets each Walsh family member keeps. Aiden, Lucy’s husband is a vet. His secrets threaten to destroy his career and his marriage and there’s something in his past that is relevant to the present. The fact that someone is watching them, only intensifies the pace even more.

With different characters alternating their stories, the novel gets darker and darker. There are plenty of red herrings to keep you on your toes. The ending was not one I was expecting, and I was treated to the gnawing question – how far will people go for their loved ones?

All For You is one of the twistiest thrillers I’ve read this year. Many thanks to the publishers, HQ, the author Louise Jensen and to Netgalley for the privilege of reading an advance copy of this book.

About the author:

Louise Jensen

Louise Jensen has sold over a million English language copies of her International No. 1 psychological thrillers ‘The Sister’, ‘The Gift’, ‘The Surrogate’, ‘The Date’, ‘The Family’ & ‘The Stolen Sisters’. Her novels have also been translated into twenty-five languages, as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise’s seventh thriller, ‘All For You’, will be published in Autumn 2020 by Harper Collins.

Louise has been nominated for multiple awards including Goodreads Debut Author Of The Year, The Guardians ‘Not The Booker Prize’, best polish thriller of 2018 and she has also been listed for two CWA Dagger awards. All of Louise’s thrillers are currently under option for TV & film.

Louise also has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories under the pen name Amelia Henley. ‘The Life We Almost Had’ was an international best seller. her latest release ‘The Art of Loving You’ is out now.

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers.

Other books by Louise Jensen

Lucky by Marissa Stapley, published by Simon & Schuster (7 Dec. 2021). @simonschuster #review #blog #writingcommunity

Book Description:

REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A thrilling roller-coaster ride about a heist gone terribly wrong, with a plucky protagonist who will win readers’ hearts.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity–when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved–whose dark past is catching up with her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest…before her luck runs out.

REVIEWS:

“An electric story about an unconventional heroine who is on the run from her past with a winning lottery ticket that could change her future forever. But here’s the catch . . . she can’t cash it in! I loved all the twists and turns of this adventure, not knowing where Lucky was going to end up next.”
— REESEWITHERSPOON

“[A] rollicking road-trip novel . . . With Lucky’s traumatic childhood with her conman father revealed in flashbacks, it’s no wonder the TV rights were sold to Disney with Stapley tapped to write the pilot. . . . This book club pick will no [doubt] lead to lively debates on duplicity, truth, luck, nature vs. nurture in child-rearing, and how to spot a con from a mile away.”
— Zoomer

“A compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter whose past comes back to haunt her.”
— 49th Shelf

“A criminal with a winning lottery ticket scrambles to elude arrest in this thrilling adventure. . . . Stapley raises the stakes through Lucky’s increasingly desperate moves while adding depth via flashbacks to Lucky’s childhood, which was full of scams and disappointments, and through Lucky’s gradual reckoning with the truth. This page-turner packs in more than its share of heart.”
— Publishers Weekly

Lucky by Marissa Stapley is a pacey read, taking you inside the life of grifters Luciana (Lucky) Armstrong and her father. It alternates between past and present, from when Lucky was left outside a nunnery in New York City in 1982, to present day in a gas station bathroom in Idaho, where she changes her appearance and name, and buys a winning lottery ticket.

Leaping back to aged 10 and her life in the Adirondacks, things aren’t so easy for Lucky. Her father is a con artist, always on the run and never putting down roots. Although the “running” is adrenaline-filled, it is not the life Lucky wants. Nor does she enjoy bilking people to get where they need to go. Imprisoned by the grifter life-style, she searches for a way out, only to find she falls back into the routine as a means to an end. Lying comes naturally because it’s all she’s ever known. But everything is about to crash, and she begins to question all the things she trusted to be true. Who is she, really?

With a father who can spin a believable yarn and get away with it, Lucky is out of luck. She must find out who she is and where she came from in order to bring closure to her journey. This is what kept me reading until the early hours. I wanted her to succeed, but the safety of the lottery ticket was an agonizing burden. The more impossible the mission, the more invested I became in the book.

For me, this was a fun read. Even though you see Cary, Lucky and her father through their dialogue — their past, and their points of view — I did crave a little more detail in order to breach the many layers of these stimulating and compelling characters. It’s a Bonnie and Cyde caper, for sure. The ending wrapped up nicely, and overall, I really enjoyed it. The paperback is short, only about 256 pages, and the writing style is informal and concise. It’s unputdownable and I can see why it is a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub Pick.

About the author:

An image posted by the author.

Marissa Stapley is an award-nominated journalist and the bestselling author of the novels Mating for Life (2014), Things to Do When It’s Raining (2018) and The Last Resort (2019), which is an Oprah Magazine, New York Post, US Weekly and Parade Magazine favourite. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across North America, including the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Elle and Today’s Parent. She has taught creative writing and editing at the University of Toronto and Centennial College. She lives in Toronto with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @marissastapley or like her page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MarissaStapleyAuthor/) for updates and contests!

Other books by Marissa Stapley:

Darkness Falls by Robert Bryndza, published by Little, Brown Book Group UK, @RobertBryndza, @LittleBrownUK

Book Description:

Kate Marshall’s investigation into a journalist’s disappearance sends her down an unexpectedly twisted path in a riveting thriller by the author of Shadow Sands.

Kate Marshall’s fledgling PI agency takes off when she and her partner, Tristan Harper, are hired for their first big case. It’s a cold one. Twelve years before, journalist Joanna Duncan disappeared after exposing a political scandal. Most people have moved on. Joanna’s mother refuses to let go.

When Kate and Tristan gain access to the original case files, they revisit the same suspects and follow the same leads—but not to the same dead ends. Among Joanna’s personal effects, Kate discovers the names of two young men who also vanished without a trace.

As she connects the last days of three missing persons, Kate realizes that Joanna may have been onto something far more sinister than anyone first believed: the identity of a serial killer hiding in plain sight. The closer Kate comes to finding him, the darker it’s going to get.

ate Marshall’s investigation into a journalist’s disappearance sends her down an unexpectedly twisted path in a riveting thriller by the author of Shadow Sands.

Kate Marshall’s fledgling PI agency takes off when she and her partner, Tristan Harper, are hired for their first big case. It’s a cold one. Twelve years before, journalist Joanna Duncan disappeared after exposing a political scandal. Most people have moved on. Joanna’s mother refuses to let go.

When Kate and Tristan gain access to the original case files, they revisit the same suspects and follow the same leads—but not to the same dead ends. Among Joanna’s personal effects, Kate discovers the names of two young men who also vanished without a trace.

As she connects the last days of three missing persons, Kate realizes that Joanna may have been onto something far more sinister than anyone first believed: the identity of a serial killer hiding in plain sight. The closer Kate comes to finding him, the darker it’s going to get.

“Crisp detective fiction with the appeal of a just-the-facts true-crime program.” Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will look forward to seeing more of the empathetic Kate.” Publishers Weekly

“Bryndza’s detective novel is carefully plotted.” Library Journal

Darkness Falls is the third in the Kate Marshall series. It’s another smash hit with twisty plots and a denouement you won’t see coming. I would say this latest instalment comprises deeply layered police procedural and a lot of detail, which tends to give it a more leisurely pace than the first two in the series. A mixed cast of characters makes it complex and there will be plenty of rabbit trails to get lost in.

Written mainly in dual points of view, I particularly enjoyed the antagonist chapters which maintained the essential foreboding necessary to make this an unputdownable read. It takes great skill to hook readers and Bryndza does it every time. 

Stubborn Joanna Duncan, a journalist for the West Country News, disappears on 7th September. But since nobody just vanishes, the case is as frustrating for the original investigators as it is for her mother and the public. As we race back twelve years, the first chapter reveals a stalker, watching as she strides through the rain to her blue Ford Sierra, parked in the Deansgate multistory car park in Exeter — a quarter of a mile from the newspaper offices. What cases was she covering at the time? Had she exposed something far more sinister than a political scandal? 

The car park may be the last known sighting for Joanna Duncan, but someone knows where she is. As the case goes irritatingly cold, the victim’s mother refuses to let go. Enter Kate and Tristan thirteen years later, whose energy and expertise enable them to jump on the files and find something the original investigators might have missed. As they connect the dots, they begin to trace the face of a serial killer to someone they never imagined. 

Hints woven throughout the prose make it impossible to work out the ending. With diverse characters and subplots, you can’t help but devour this book in one sitting. The locations are familiar and I enjoyed following the characters in their fledgling PI agency. I absolutely love this new edition to the series, and the new team which is Kate and Tristan.

About the Author:

Robert Bryndza is an international bestselling author, best known for his page-turning crime and thriller novels, which have sold over four million copies in the English language.

His crime debut, The Girl in the Ice was released in February 2016, introducing Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster. Within five months it sold one million copies, reaching number one in the Amazon UK, USA and Australian charts. To date, The Girl in the Ice has sold over 1.5 million copies in the English language and has been sold into translation in 29 countries. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2016), the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in France (2018), and it won two reader voted awards, The Thrillzone Awards best debut thriller in The Netherlands (2018) and The Dead Good Papercut Award for best page turner at the Harrogate Crime Festival (2016).

Robert has released a further five novels in the Erika Foster series, The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets, all of which have been global bestsellers, and in 2017 Last Breath was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Mystery and Thriller.

Most recently, Robert created a new crime thriller series based around the central character Kate Marshall, a police officer turned private detective. The first book, Nine Elms, was an Amazon USA #1 bestseller and an Amazon UK top five bestseller, and the series has been sold into translation in 18 countries. The second book in the series is the global bestselling, Shadow Sands and the third book, Darkness Falls, has just been published.

Robert was born in Lowestoft, on the east coast of England. He studied at Aberystwyth University, and the Guildford School of Acting, and was an actor for several years, but didn’t find success until he took a play he’d written to the Edinburgh Festival. This led to the decision to change career and start writing. He self-published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels, before switching to writing crime. Robert lives with his husband in Slovakia, and is lucky enough to write full-time.

You can find out more about Robert and his books at http://www.robertbryndza.com

More Books by Robert Bryndza:

The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee, published by Random House UK, Vintage, Harvill Secker. @radiomukhers @PenguinUKBooks @HarvillSecker #TheShadowsOfMen #NetGalley #blog #review #TheShadowsOfMen

WOW! What a fabulous and unique crime duo. The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. Why? Read on… my review is below the book description.

Award-winning crime novelist Abir Mukherjee is back with another brilliant mystery featuring police detective Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surrender-Not Banerjee, set in 1920s Calcutta.

Calcutta, 1923

The Shadows of Men: Wyndham and Banerjee Book 5 (Wyndham and Banerjee series) by [Abir Mukherjee]

When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can the officers of the Imperial Police Force—Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-Not” Banerjee—track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this remarkable series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08LW5CPH6
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pegasus Crime (November 11, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 11, 2021

I was thrilled to be offered a copy of The Shadows of Men as I hadn’t read anything by this author before. Although this is book 5 in the series, it reads as a standalone and certainly didn’t undermine my reading experience in the least. Set in Raj-era India, you can bet your last rupee, this author is one of the best to bring historical details about colonial Calcutta to life.

The Shadows of Men: A Novel (Wyndham & Banerjee Mysteries) by [Abir Mukherjee]

We are thrust into the life of Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee, who takes us back to 1923 and the “eternal shroud of industrial smog” of Calcutta. In his humble way, he navigates British rule (gentlemen’s clubs and cricket grounds) and although some scenes of entitlement are cringe worthy, they are strikingly accurate for the period. There are so many descriptions I loved, not to mention internal monologue and observations which, at times, made me laugh out loud. For example: “How was I to explain to Lord Taggart that, while we all might look the same to him, a Hindu following Gulmohamed into the Muslim parts of town would stick out as much as he would at a meeting of the Women’s Institute.” To see life through his eyes was a privilege, and the author’s voice served to make me feel as if I was in safe and dependable hands.

The doggedly determined Captain Sam Wyndham, whose dry British wit and eternal optimism seems to drive him to the root of the problem. No matter what challenges he faces, you can’t help having complete faith in his skill. The pressures between upper and lower castes and Hindus and Muslims continues to escalate, and with Banerjee in a jam, Wyndham’s day just got worse. How will he ever reinstate Banerjee’s freedom? By putting himself in harm’s way to save his backside, that’s how.

The case takes him to Bombay and again, beautiful descriptions abound. I was treated to vivid characters; Miss Colah, Cyrus Irani, Cecily Parsons, and I particularly enjoyed the Englishmen armed with a drink and a cigar, “the brave men of the King’s Own Bombay Gin drinkers” — another dazzling display of brilliant writing. You can’t shy away from the haves and the have nots, the sheer opulence in contrast to the simplicity of everyone else. But crammed between these sweat inducing layers is the suspense, and I couldn’t read to the end fast enough.

Sam Wyndham and Surrender-not Banerjee are one of the most unique crime duos I’ve come across in a long time. I hope they will continue for many books to come. Many thanks to the author and to Harvill Secker, Vintage and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.

Other books by this author:

Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll, published by Thomas & Mercer @TeresaDriscoll @AmazonPub #mysteryandthrillers #blog #review

I was thrilled to be offered an advance copy of Her Perfect Family by the author. Like all Teresa Driscoll’s books, the writing style is easy to read, fast-paced and with enough description to drop you right into the action.

Description:

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of I Am Watching You. The perfect family? Or the perfect lie?

Her Perfect Family by [Teresa Driscoll]

It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.

PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed. But who? As Matthew starts to investigate, he finds more and more layers obscuring the truth. He even begins to suspect the Hartleys are hiding something big—from him and from each other.

While Gemma lies in hospital in a coma, her would-be killer is still out there. Can Matthew unravel the family’s secrets before the attacker strikes again?

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08N5YFL78
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thomas & Mercer (November 1, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 1, 2021

I was thrilled to be offered an advance copy of Her Perfect Family by the author. Like all Teresa Driscoll’s books, the writing style is easy to read, fast-paced and with enough description to drop you right into the action. You can’t help relishing such an addictive read, a brilliantly sustained psychological suspense.

From a well-chosen pink dress in the prologue to blood-red spatters in Chapter 1, this was a frightening opening for me. And at such a public occasion where families and children were present. Pomp and pageantry turned to mayhem and unspeakable horror—a parent’s worst nightmare. This is an injury that will require enormous strength to tell a patient and if that’s not enough, a heartrending mystery to unravel.

The book is written from several points of view — the mother, the private investigator (PI Matthew Hill is my personal favourite and DI Melanie Sanders), the father, the daughter, all with their own stories to tell. Yet everybody has something to hide and, as more secrets come to light, you can’t help feeling you’ve been deceived somewhere along the line, and not necessarily by the character you thought. About 78% through the book I thought I’d guessed the shooter, but I was wrong.

This is a highly accomplished thriller, a very frightening one with a backdrop of evil you hope never to encounter. Driscoll expertly weaves her stories together in unexpected and clever ways. This book has every thriller’s trifecta: love, marriage and murder.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author Teresa Driscoll for the privilege of reading this book.

@AmazonPub @TeresaDriscoll #mysteryandthrillers

Review

“Intriguing. Different. I raced through it beyond my usual ‘lights-out’ time. You simply HAVE to read to the end to find out what happens.” —Jane Corry, Sunday Times bestselling author

From the Publisher

I devoured Her Perfect Family in one sitting, unable to put the book down! If you love twisty and gripping thrillers, then bestselling author Teresa Driscoll’s brand-new psychological suspense novel will have you sitting up all night, desperate to find out what happens next.

Can you imagine watching your daughter get shot on what is supposed to be her proudest day? Gemma Hartley is graduating from university. Rachel and Ed Hartley are in attendance and prepared for a day full of hope and glittering futures. Until their perfect moment turns into a nightmare. With a detective on the scene and a heart-wrenching mystery to uncover, PI Matthew Hill realizes that even the most perfect of families have secrets to hide…

In this fast-paced thriller Teresa Driscoll takes you on a breathtaking ride as time ticks away with Gemma’s life hanging the balance. Can the killer be brought to justice before they strike again, or will this perfect day become the Hartleys’ perfect nightmare?

—Victoria Oundjian, Editor

About the Author:

Teresa Driscoll

Teresa Driscoll is a former BBC TV news presenter whose psychological thrillers have sold more than two million copies across the world.


Her first thriller I Am Watching You hit Kindle Number 1 in the UK, USA and Australia and has sold more than a million copies in English alone.


Teresa writes women’s fiction as well as thrillers and her work has been optioned for film and sold for translation in more than 20 territories.
For decades Teresa was a journalist working across newspapers, magazines and television. Covering crime for so long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on the relatives, the friends and the witnesses and it is those ripples she explores now in her darker fiction.


Teresa lives in glorious Devon with her family and blogs regularly about her “writing life” at her website – http://www.teresadriscoll.com.

More Books from this Author:

The Image of Her by Sonia Velton, published by Quercus Books. @Soniavelton @QuercusBooks #reviews #blogs #writingcommunity

A HUGE thank you to Quercus Books, Netgalley and author Sonia Velton for the privilege of receiving an advance copy of this amazing book.

Book Description:

STELLA and CONNIE are strangers, brought together by two traumatic events – cruel twists of fate that happen thousands of miles apart.

Stella lives with her mother, a smothering narcissist. When she succumbs to dementia, the pressures on Stella’s world intensify, culminating in tragedy. As Stella recovers from a near fatal accident, she feels compelled to share her trauma but she finds talking difficult. In her head she confides in Connie because there’s no human being in the world that she feels closer to.

Connie is an expat living in Dubai with her partner, Mark, and their two children. On the face of it she wants for nothing and yet … something about life in this glittering city does not sit well with her. Used to working full time in a career she loves back in England, she struggles to find meaning in the expat life of play-dates and pedicures.

Two women set on a collision course. When they finally link up, it will not be in a way that you, or I, or anyone would ever have expected.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Quercus; 1st edition (July 22, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529406498
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529406498

I was thrilled to receive a copy of this contemporary upmarket thriller. Although I hadn’t read anything by Sonia Velton, I knew by the standard of the writing and pace it would be an enjoyable read. The plot follows two points of view, Stella and Connie — one living in England and the other an expat mother living in Dubai. I had no idea how these two lives would intersect, but I did get the sense the book would touch on many relevant and soul destroying issues.

Stella, a recluse after a near fatal accident, is healing slowly. Even makeup can’t cover the scars on her face or the fractured stranger she has become. She misses going to the library, a connection to the outside world. She has little in common with Connie, a happily married mother of two living in the UAE. Stella, written in first person narrative, confides in Connie through her thoughts, and at the same time struggles with the abuse she receives from her controlling mother. She watches Connie through the lens of social media — a privileged housewife who seems to have everything. But as the dual narrative unravels, it’s easy to see how underneath it all both women are shackled to disillusionment, their lives eroding with each page.

Connie is a mother and a wife. Her feelings of isolation are due to Mark working late and somewhat disengaged with the kids. She feels unsupported and that their once close solid relationship is unravelling. One perfect example is the school fete where Mark, partly due to a work-do hangover, is desperate to leave. Rosamie, the Filipino nanny, is working to pay for Gabriel’s education. With Marijo in trouble comes another set of problems for Rosamie. Even with the kafala system being reformed, it can’t protect all the migrant workers against abuse. But Stella has an idea. For me, this provided a tinge of excitement, a possible turning point.

What bond or common heritage do these women share? A tragic and yet inspiring read that is dedicated to an astonishingly brave woman. The compassion the reader has for each character is the mark of excellent writing and the tension kept me engaged till the emotional end.

 #TheImageofHer #NetGalley

About the Author

Sonia Velton

Sonia Velton has been a solicitor in Hong Kong, a Robert Schuman Scholar in Luxembourg and spent eight years being an expat Mum of three in Dubai. She now lives in Kent.

Her first novel, BLACKBERRY AND WILD ROSE was short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, long-listed for the HWA Debut Crown and has been optioned for film.

Her second book, THE IMAGE OF HER, is a literary thriller about two women whose lives come together in a way that is both chilling and awe-inspiring.

Other books by Sonia Velton