Suicide Thursday by Will Carver, published by Orenda Books. @will_carver @OrendaBooks #BlogTour @RandomTTours #review

I was extremely excited to be invited on Will Carver’s Book Tour for his new book, Suicide Thursday. This is another wild ride that will have his readers enthralled!

Book Description:

A disenchanted man struggles to get beyond the first chapter of the books he’s writing, and to separate fact from fiction in his own life. His friend’s suicide changes everything … The mind-blowing, heart-rending new thriller from cult bestselling author Will Carver.

Eli Hagin can’t finish anything.

He hates his job, but can’t seem to quit. He doesn’t want to be with his girlfriend, but doesn’t know how end things with her, either. Eli wants to write a novel, but he’s never taken a story beyond the first chapter.

Eli also has trouble separating reality from fiction.

When his best friend kills himself, Eli is motivated, for the first time in his life, to finally end something himself, just as Mike did…

Except sessions with his therapist suggest that Eli’s most recent ‘first chapters’ are not as fictitious as he had intended … and a series of text messages that Mike received before his death point to something much, much darker…

‘One of the most exciting authors in Britain’ Daily Express

‘Weirdly page-turning’ Sunday Times

‘This book is most memorable for its unrepentant darkness…’ Telegraph

‘Wickedly fun’ Crime Monthly

_________________________________________

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B59NYJF7
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Orenda Books (November 24, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 24, 2022

Suicide Thursday by Will Carver is one of the hardest books I’ve ever reviewed. So I’m going explain how I felt, rather than try to put this in any kind of intelligent format. Anything by this legendary master of crime fiction is always beautifully written and wickedly funny. He delivers the kind of superlative and daring storytelling his readers expect—a darkly delicious page-turner you can’t put down.

Mike has ended his life. He has efficiently and meticulously succeeded in something Eli Hagan never could. Eli may want to end many things, but he certainly couldn’t do this. As he and Jackie survey the scene, the description of someone who may have tried to reverse what he’d done gave me the creeps. It also gutted me and the mental residue stayed with me for hours. Thus ends a perfect threesome, which now becomes a reluctant twosome. A bleak beginning to a story with so many questions which are addressed in the three days leading up to Mike’s suicide.

Eli hates his job at DoTrue, a computer manufacturer in which he is a publicist. He counts down the seconds before leaving work where his day really begins in the pub. With his obsessive need to create, Eli is a writer, a prolific “starter” of books with no incentive to finish them. His fake therapist, the only person he can trust, provides a sounding board for all his pent-up frustrations, and true to form feels authentic to what all writers do. Talk to themselves. He wants to break up with Jackie, but hasn’t enough mettle to pull it off. In any case, this appears to be a moot point. She’s great for him in so many ways, except for her friendship with Mike, which does muddy the waters a little.

The book is interspersed with texts from two people where one—the encourager—is engaged in what could be described as 2nd degree manslaughter. It’s this malevolent backing that not only filled me with rage, but also may trigger some readers. The chapters with Jackie and her cat resemble “Needless Street” where we are privy to Descartes cattish thoughts. This added the right amount of light relief to tip the scale back again. I couldn’t decide if I liked Eli, or if I was simply entertained by his dry wit and kept up with him for the ride. The characters each have an equal amount of endearing qualities as despicable, and this is what makes Carver’s books weirdly funny and mesmerising. They border on provocative, usually about obsessions that spiral out of the control and unmasking the dirtier, darker side of human nature. All in all, they are oh-so cleverly done, you can’t get enough!

Thank you to Orenda Books, Will Carver and Anne Cater for the privilege of reading an advance copy of this book.

About the Author:

Will Carver is the bestselling author of the January Series – Girl 4 (2011), The Two (2012), The Killer Inside (2013), Dead Set (2013) – and the critically acclaimed Detective Pace series, which includes Good Samaritans (2018), Nothing Important Happened Today (2019) and Hinton Hollow Death Trip (2020), all of which were selected as books of the year in mainstream international press. The books in this series have also been longlisted/shortlisted for the Amazon Readers Independent Voice Award, Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award, Not The Booker Prize and the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award. Will spent his early years living in Germany, but returned at age eleven. He studied theatre and television at King Alfred’s Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition business and lives in Reading with his children.

More Books by this Author:

Salamati: Hamed’s Persian Kitchen: Recipes and Stories from Iran to the Other Side of the World by Hamed Allahyari and Dani Valent, published by Murdoch Books UK #Salamati, @MurdochBooksUK @DaniValent @HamedAllahyari @RandomTTours

This is one of those delicious, go-to cookbooks that you’ll want to try for yourself! Whether it’s brunch, lunch, snack time, dinner, or dessert . . . these are recipes you will be excited to share at your table. Plenty of mouth-watering photos to show you how it’s done and best of all, Hamed’s life, his food, his Persia.

Book Description:

A heartwarming story of resilience, homesickness, and good Persian cooking in 70 accessible recipes

Hamed Allahyari cooks to connect—for that joyful moment you can say “salamati” (Farsi for “health” and “cheers”) around the table. The food of his native Tehran is a resonant and delicious gift, and a way of staying bonded to a country he hasn’t returned to for a decade.

Hamed’s food is anchored in tradition but accessible to all. The recipes are simple, celebratory, appealing, flexible, and full of flavor. As well as working as a chef and caterer, Hamed has road-tested his dishes at hundreds of cooking classes: he melds Persian culinary culture and an understanding of Western palates to create recipes that are truly his—and now ours to share.

Beyond the recipes, Salamati is a gateway to Persia. “It’s sharing my culture,” says Hamed. “It’s my dream that everyone tries Persian food. And with my food, they come into my family. They are sitting with me, with my grandparents, parents, and cousins, talking, sharing, and enjoying the feeling of being together.”

This book is a ‘must’ to own if you want to fully enjoy the unique flavours, sights and smells of food anchored in the Persian tradition. Who doesn’t want to taste these scrumptious recipes? The photos are to die for and the overall presentation—a view through the window of Hamed’s Persian kitchen—takes me all the way around the world to where those beautiful spices flow.

The foreword by Dani Valent tells us about Hamed’s fortitude, resilience and spirit. How, as the son of an army general, living a disciplined life, he eventually fled Iran with nothing except the recipes from his home locked in his head and heart. He traveled to Indonesia with his girlfriend and then by fishing boat to Christmas Island. Finally, after several months, they were released into the Melbourne community and Hamed’s dream of opening a restaurant was about to come true. After working at Hyperstar, a large supermarket with a restaurant and deli, to starting a coffee shop (tea and shisha), Hamed was well on his way to running the inspiring Salama Tea.

I love this book because it brings the mystical essence of Persian home cooking to your dining table. The method and ingredients make is easy to create classic dishes like Tompom Omelettes for breakfast and dips such as Mast Laboo (beetroot) and Dolmeh (stuffed vine leaves). Then there’s lamb and eggplant casserole, flatbreads and Persian burgers. Soups and salads and stew, and a list of Hamed’s favourites. I particularly like the sound of broad bean pilaf and lamb shanks, and the salmon pilaf (fish being a favourite of mine) and always those beautiful pomegranate jewels!

Don’t forget the sweets: Baghlava is probably everyone’s favourite—I know it’s mine—and the colours on that Persian Love Cake are divine. There are too many delicious things to name, but I want to try all of it. Because of Hamed’s spirit, we are the lucky ones to partake in his feast and we too are kept warm and inspired by his incredible gift. For that, I’m so grateful.

Thank you to the author Hamed Allahyari, Dani Valent, Random Things Tours and publisher Murdoch Books for the privilege of reading this remarkable cookbook.

About the Author:

Hamed Allahyari was born in Iran and arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2012. His modest Melbourne restaurant SalamaTea is a hard-won sanctuary, a business that fuels his immigrant dream as well as a place for sharing pride in Persian cooking.

Hamed continues to work closely with organisations that help Asylum Seekers. He is much loved in Melbourne food circles for his advocacy for other refugees as well as support for food service operators during the pandemic.

Welcome to:

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten, published by One More Chapter, HarperCollins, @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK @RandomTTours

I was so excited to receive Noelle Holten’s new noir crime book 6 Ripley Avenue, a gripping thriller of secrets and lies. Holten is the author of Dead Inside, Dead Wrong, Dead Perfect, Dead Secret and Dead Mercy, a series I absolutely love, so I new this was going to be FABULOUS!

Book Description:

ONE HOUSE
EIGHT KILLERS
NO WITNESSES

Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license.

At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

Don’t miss the first nerve-shredding standalone thriller from Noelle Holten, author of the Maggie Jamieson series.

Praise for Noelle Holten:

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin

‘Kept me hooked’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘Gritty, dark and chilling’ Mel Sherratt

‘Unputdownable’ M. W. Craven

No wonder this book is trending in the reading charts. It is a pretty unsettling and creepy read that quickly grabbed my attention with its story and alluring characters. 6 Ripley Avenue is the talented Noelle Holten’s first standalone psychological thriller. With a unique plot line, this book will interest crime fiction lovers.

6 Ripley House, a probation hostel where UKs most violent offenders are housed, is not a popular place amongst the residents of the area. Most notably Helen Burgess, still raw from the death of her husband, who started her neighbourhood watch scheme. But when Danny Wells, a convicted criminal, is killed in the early hours, things intensify. This is a serious problem for Jeanette Macey, Senior Probation Officer and manager of the premises. The surveillance equipment failed to record anything of significance due to neglect, and with Jeanette’s drill—if it isn’t recorded, it didn’t happen—they are lost without proof.

Enter freelance investigative journalist Sloane Armstrong, who is already well-versed in the hostel’s goings-on. I liked her immensely. Plenty of backbone and humour, all the ingredients that make up a gutsy investigator. With so many high-risk offenders housed in the hostel, you’d think the culprit couldn’t be far away. But Helen and Sloane begin their investigation at their own risk, at one point avoiding Jeanette pressing charges. It becomes clear Jeanette is unaware of the illegal activities taking place, even with the intense level of scrutiny they’re experiencing.

This book provides a realistic glimpse into a life only Holten knows about. Her background qualifies her to write not only her Maggie Jamieson crime thrillers but 6 Ripley Avenue as well. Just when you think you have worked out the plot—BAM! Another bend in the road appears. Sinister, evocative, fascinating and very addictive, are just a few of the many characteristics of this book. Written in a clear, crisp style, this book’s structure alternates between five different perspectives. Not an easy task, especially keeping voices distinct. But hats off to the author because it paid off.

The mysteries of the story were well devised and I hope Holten continues venturing into the psychological thriller genre. I’d definitely pick up whatever she writes next.

Thank you Netgalley, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and Noelle Holten for the privilege of reading this advance reader copy. Many thanks to Random Things Tours for including me in this amazing blog tour.

About the Author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 6 Ripley Avenue is her first stand-alone crime thriller.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkBtt

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/

Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @author_noelleholten

Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk  

Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

Other books by this Author:

#RandomThingsTours #Bloggers #Reviewers

Hope To Die by Cara Hunter, published by Penguin UK, @PenguinUKBooks, @CaraHunterBooks @LouNyuar #review #blogtour #writingcommunity

It looks like a burglary gone wrong, but DI Adam Fawley suspects there’s something more to it.

When the police discover a connection to a high-profile case from years ago, involving a child’s murder and an alleged miscarriage of justice, the press go wild.

Suddenly Fawley’s team are under more scrutiny than ever before. And when you dig up the past, you’re sure to find a few skeletons…

The sixth twisty, up-all-night thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling Cara Hunter. For fans of Shari Lapena, Claire Douglas and Lisa Jewell.


WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

Authors can’t get enough of Cara Hunter


‘An intelligent and immersive thriller with a gritty human story’ Janice Hallett, The Appeal

‘A great premise, tight plotting, and characters who live beyond the page’ JP Delaney, Playing Nice

‘A clever, fascinating book’ Araminta Hall, Hidden Depths

‘If you start, you won’t be able to stop’
 Nicci French, The Unheard

‘A masterclass in how to write crime fiction’
 John Marrs, The Vacation

‘The DI Adam Fawley series just keeps getting better and better’ Victoria Selman, Truly, Darkly, Deeply

‘Twist follows twist at a breathtaking pace’ Daily Mail

Hope To Die by Cara Hunter is one of the best police procedurals I’ve read so far. With thorough police work and demanding research, here’s one in which I feel confident. The author certainly knows her stuff.

Inspired by a real case, this twisty mystery begins with a police call to a remote farmhouse in the middle of the night. The intruder, who has no identification, has been shot in the face at close range, and on the face of it, all appears cut and dry. But with lack of fingerprints and nothing stolen, including inconsistences in the home owner’s stories, DI Adam Fawley is hard pressed to believe this is simply a burglary gone wrong.

Alternating chapters and a written police interview allow us to examine witness statements. But none of what the Swann’s say seems to add up. Not when Richard Swann decides to confront the intruder himself with a gun—possibly not locked in the safe at the time—and so conveniently at hand. But where are his night clothes, considering a shot like that would have provided a whole heap of back-spatter?

The writing style and characterisation are top notch. It’s not often I find a book so engaging from page one, but this one is original and authentic. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the first in the series, each of these books act as standalones. I wasn’t sure if the section breaks were in fact chapter breaks since this is an advance reader copy, but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. It upped the pace and provided the unputdownable quality I crave.

Thank you to Lou Nyuar at Penguin, Cara Hunter and Netgalley for the privilege of receiving an advance review copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cara Hunter is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling crime novels Close to HomeIn the DarkNo Way OutAll the Rage and The Whole Truth all featuring DI Adam Fawley and his Oxford-based police team. Close to Home was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and was shortlisted for Crime Book of the Year in the British Book Awards 2019. No Way Out was selected by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 best crime novels since 1945. And The Whole Truth was a Richard and Judy pick in 2021. Cara’s novels have sold more than a million copies worldwide, and the TV rights to the series have now been acquired by the Fremantle group. She lives in Oxford, on a street not unlike those featured in her books.

OTHER BOOKS BY CARA HUNTER:

Find Cara’s books here

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: