The Art of Loving You by Amelia Henley, published by HQ (Harper Collins Publishers Ltd) @MsAmeliaHenley @HQstories #blogger #review

Having read a few psychological thrillers by this author, I thought I’d try this lovely romance. Henley’s writing style is fluid, easy to read and she’s a marvelous story-teller. It was a pleasure to delve into Libby’s life.

Book Description:

They were so in love . . .
And then life changed forever . . .
Will they find happiness again?

Libby and Jack are the happiest they’ve ever been. Thanks to their dear friend, eighty-year-old Sid, they’ve just bought their first house together, and it’s the beginning of the life they’ve always dreamed of.

But the universe has other plans for Libby and Jack and a devastating twist of fate shatters their world.
 
All of a sudden life is looking very different, and unlikely though it seems, might Sid be the one person who can help Libby and Jack move forward when what they loved the most has been lost?
 
The Art of Loving You is a beautiful love story for our times. Romantic and uplifting, it will break your heart and then put it back together again.

* * * *

Praise for Amelia Henley:

‘A love story with a definite difference . . . intensely emotional’
Best

‘Beautifully written and plotted. Get ready for the final chapter – you have been warned’
Candis

‘Intriguing, unusual and intensely romantic’
Sunday Mirror

General Fiction (Adult) Romance Women’s Fiction
Pub Date 22 Jul 2021
EDITIONEbook
ISBN9780008375782
PRICE£3.99 (GBP)

Elisabeth Emerson (Libby) and Jack are about to start a new life together. With a new home that needs renovation, they are excited and planning their future. But when Jack meets with a tragic incident, all their dreams come crashing down. Libby, who doesn’t know what to expect, believes Jack will recover and all will go back to the way it was. But all their wishbone wishes come tumbling down and although Sid is there to comfort her, Libby is heartbroken. To add insult to injury, Jack’s parents are determined to have the last say.

This sudden change of events changed the mood of the book which is a thumbs up to the brilliant writing. As events begin to unfold, the book becomes raw and emotional. One life full to the brim with plans for the future, another heading off to his next adventure like the butterfly. The suspense of each chapter is what keeps me turning the page, and although the book is a romance novel, the pace is reminiscent of the thrillers Henley pens under different name. We can all resonate with the guilt of going out to get something for a patient, those precious few moment when something life-changing could happen and the intense what-ifs if it does. True to Henley’s style, a medical condition and a string of mood swings add to the mystery and sets her protagonist on her path to healing.

Libby’s reminder, a beautiful painting, is permission to let go for the guilt and to move on. Her journal is testament to Jack’s remarkable presence, his sacrifice and strength of helps her to recover. Liam is her project now and it’s to him she focuses all her energy. I loved Sid, although much of his backstory made me cry. Grief and restoration is at the heart of this book and the strength to move forward together. The house, a character in itself, begins to find its lustre and love may spring again in the most unexpected places.

This book brings you wonderful characters with engaging storylines and if by chance you’ve forgotten how to believe in love, forgiveness and faith in humanity, then this book’s for you!

Thank you to the publisher, HQ, the author, Amelia Henley and Netgalley for the privilege of reading an advance reader copy.

About the Author

Amelia Henley

Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories.

Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.

‘The Life We Almost Had’ is the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley and it’s out now.

Other books by this Author:

The Beresford by Will Carver, published by Orenda Books. @OrendaBooks @will_carver #review #blog

The Beresford by [Will Carver]

I absolutely loved Carver’s Detective Sergeant Pace books, so I knew I’d be in for a treat with this one! Solid writing that takes you to the tipping point. There’s no subject this author doesn’t tackle. Looks are so deceiving…

Description:

Everything stays the same for the tenants of The Beresford, a grand old apartment building just outside the city … until the doorbell rings… Will Carver returns with an eerie, deliciously and uncomfortably dark standalone thriller.

_______________

Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.

There’s a routine at The Beresford.

For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.

Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate, Sythe, no longer does. Because Abe just killed him.

In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers.

And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.

Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…

Eerie, dark, superbly twisted and majestically plotted, The Beresford is the stunning standalone thriller from one of crime fiction’s most exciting names.

I’ve read a few of Will Carver’s books and every story is dark, fresh and unique. The most memorable book for me was Nothing Important Happened Today, but I think The Beresford beats it. This mesmeric and devilish novel is otherworldly and burrows into the marrow. It’s appallingly believable and paints a thought-provoking picture of mind control. Because everyone who stays at The Beresford is running from something. The question is, do they ever really leave?

Mrs May is omniscient, even down to the 60 second run-up to the doorbell. She is the gatekeeper, the guardian of souls, almost. Things happen at The Beresford, unexplained things that make you wonder if all the violence is simply where the carrion-eating live. A stopping place, or the end of the road. You take your pick. But what this grandiose building isn’t, is a peaceful stopping place for weary travellers, even though the price is right. Perhaps if something is too good to be true, it generally is.

You can’t help liking Abe; a gentleman, eager to help, willing to befriend. A man whose restful sojourn is quickly turned upside down and a brief love affair that changes him completely. But it’s his clever and somewhat farcical concealment of his dealings that kept me glued to the pages. That, and the transformation of Gail, a new tenant, pregnant and running from an abusive man. She is certainly put to the test. Protecting the unborn child is foremost in her mind and who can blame her. The treatment she received from her partner may set off sparks — triggers — perhaps, so this book isn’t for everyone.

You know what you’re in for when you open this book. It can get a little heave-ho in parts, so leave the bathroom door open and the toilet seat up. I almost lost my dinner in a few places. The ravenous and covetous Beresford swallows another tenant and then another and then another. This roller-coaster ride of nefarious transactions doesn’t falter and I was left with one question: whose soul will be bought next and at what price?

Not everyone will bond with this gruesomely brutal story. It’s what you come to expect when reading anything remotely Carver-esque. His sharp scrutiny of human nature and black comedy kept me turning the pages. Think of a train with no driver hurtling towards a precipice, doors locked, no way out. It really is one of the most twisted rides you’ll ever take.

Will you enjoy your stay at The Beresford? There’s only one way to find out.

Thank you to the author, Will Carver, the publisher, Orenda Books, for the privilege of reading this book.  

About the Author:

Will Carver

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:

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, published by Celadon Books, Orion Publishing Group. #mystery #thriller @AlexMichaelides, @CeladonBooks #blog #review

The Maidens: A Novel by [Alex Michaelides]

Having read The Silent Patient last year – a hard act to follow – I was thrilled to receive a copy of The Maidens. A pool of suspects you love to hate and a protagonist willing to put herself at risk in order to solve a murder. What’s not to like?

Book Description:

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

What people are saying:

“Stunning… The intelligent, cerebral plot finds contemporary parallels in Euripides’s tragedies, Jacobean dramas such as The Duchess of Malfi, and Tennyson’s poetry. The devastating ending shows just how little the troubled Mariana knows about the human psyche or herself. Michaelides is on a roll.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A deliciously dark, elegant, utterly compulsive readwith a twist that blew my mind. I loved this even more than I loved The Silent Patient and that’s saying something!”
Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession, that further cements “Michaelides as a major player in the field” (Publishers Weekly)

I travelled back to Cambridge, to its boathouses and punts, and to an elitist academic world. The setting? St Christopher’s College Cambridge where Mariana met her late husband. Coffee shops, the porter’s lodge, Combination Rooms, streets filled with graduates and rooms set in an older part of the college drop you right there. Interiors, where paper is everywhere, scribbled writing and mathematical formulae — all of which will be familiar to former graduates of the university.

With Greek mythology and psychology at its core, including Tennyson quotes to add an extra layer, grieving widow and group therapist, Mariana, sets out to solve a mystery. A classmate of niece Zoe has been murdered. She is part of a secret society known as the Maidens and an acolyte of Edward Fosca. Still in love with Sebastian — now a ghost in much the same way Tennyson loved Hallam — Mariana is desperate to be left alone to follow her investigation. Although her method begins in earnest, she is challenged at every turn. Postcards (or calling cards) depicting the sacrifice of Iphigenia by Agamemnon, amongst others, and handwritten in Ancient Greek add to the evidences she must wade through before jumping to her final conclusion.

Fred’s persistent premonitions were creepy. I would have dismissed him in much the same way Mariana did. The scene of her visiting his room in Trinity felt a little rushed and I’d like to have seen this developed more. Still, you will be inclined to keep him on your list of suspects. I couldn’t get the visual of Morris with Serena in the churchyard out of my mind. As for Fosca and his fragile devotees, I found myself getting more and more exasperated by his smiling face, and the Maidens’ supposed naïveté. He almost reminded me of Diomedes in The Silent Patient with his faint air of theatrical impresario.

I was surprised CI Sangha didn’t press charges towards the end. A slap on the wrist and a warning might not have been believable, especially if poking around in an investigation (and following individuals) amounts to stalking. But it did lend more time to the narrative. A few characters with painful pasts kept the red herrings going. Hidden layers make up the fabric of this crime and I say “bravo” to the author for his research and ingenuity. For me, some sensory elements were missing and at times I felt like an outsider looking in. It might have been the writing style which at times informed rather than evoked and I wasn’t as immersed with some of the characters as I’d hoped.

The Maidens is a gripping, propulsive read with all the hallmarks of being another bestseller. Thank you to @Netgalley and @OrionBooks and author Alex Michaelides for the privilege of reading an advance copy of this book.

Other Books by this Author:

Witness X by S E Moorhead, Published by Orion. @semoorhead #Blog #Review @piperverlag @TrapezeBooks @Orionboos

SOME CRIMES CAN’T BE SOLVED IN ONE LIFETIME.

“Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. A dark and gripping crime novel set in a convincing near future – SE Moorhead is the future of crime writing.” STEPHEN BAXTER

Witness X: ‘Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner’ Stephen Baxter by [SE Moorhead]

THE PAST. Fourteen years ago, the police caught a notorious serial killer who abducted two victims during the month of February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

THE PRESENT. But when another body is discovered, the race is on to catch the real killer before he abducts his second victim. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses.

THE FUTURE. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

This is the story of how Kyra tries to save a past she cannot change and a future she cannot allow. A genre-bending thriller for readers who enjoy books by Clare North, Stephen King and John Marrs.

‘A fast-paced, near-future, psycho-thriller, Witness X has got ‘soon to be a Netflix series’ written all over it.’ Reader review

‘Thrilling, unnerving but ultimately satisfying – you will not be disappointed.’ Reader review

Set in the near-future, Witness X is an intelligent and highly inventive take on the traditional serial killer thriller.―Ashley Dyer, author of Splinter in the Blood

Nice, tightly plotted whodunit that’s both sobering and entertaining. Amazon Reviewer – S. E. Moorhead has written an excellent debut in this more than plausible sci-fi police procedural that raises questions about what’s ethical as technology advances. Dr. Kyra Sullivan is the type of character that you want more of and makes me hope for sequels.

Witness X by S E Moorhead – A mind-bending thriller – coming out in paperback in US on May 25th.

I was very excited to receive an advance copy of this amazing book. Delivered in the past, the present and the future, Doctor Kyra Sullivan finds herself the midst of mortar fire and a scene of violence and carnage. The year is 2035 and she sits on a recliner in the CarterTech lab, wearing a headset. Through Brownrigg’s body, she feels fear, sees what he sees and hears what he hears — a memory transference procedure she has invented. This makes for a compulsive page-turner with prose that moves along at breakneck speed.

Seeing into Brownrigg’s past, not only confirms how useful this technology is but how it could easily get into the wrong hands. For me, this is positively chilling and the terror mounts. Originally made for the criminal justice system, Brownrigg feels it would be better served to tackle terrorism to gain intel that might prevent an attack and save lives. Kyra isn’t so sure, while Carter, the business side of the partnership, has the interests of the company to heart. There is one devastating question; is it possible to inherit someone else’s physical traits whilst being in their memories? This would certainly be my deepest fear.  

This is a time where bio-chips and tracking devices make a subject’s whereabouts easy to spot. Brain-hacking sounds frightening, but very plausible given the speed of technology today. Haunted by the Mizpah Murderer, Kyra can’t help thinking Lomas isn’t the right man. With her profiler background, she’s charged with interviewing the man who could have butchered her sister.

The journey she takes to discover the perpetrator is viscerally exciting. Moorhead has great skill in creating believable characters and thrusting them into seemingly impossible situations. The plot is carefully layered, trapping us into the dark paranoia of her world. It’s been described as an apocalyptic dystopian thriller with hints of Blade Runner and its long-buried secrets. This is a suspense worth remembering and I believe the author has yielded her most imaginative and popular work yet.

Biography

SE Moorhead

Born in Liverpool, S.E.Moorhead has told stories since childhood and uses writing as bubblegum for her over-active brain – to keep it out of trouble. Fascinated by meaning, motivation and mystery, she studied Theology at university.


Over the last twenty five years, apart from teaching in secondary school, S.E.Moorhead has attained a black belt in kickboxing, worked as a chaplain, established a Justice and Peace youth group, and written articles for newspapers and magazines about her work in education and religion.

She still lives in her beloved hometown with her husband Seán and two sons.

Amazon Author Page

The Source by Sarah Sultoon, published by Orenda Books #review #Blog @SultoonSarah @OrendaBooks

The Source by [Sarah Sultoon]

I was so excited to take part in The Source blog tour, an unforgettable debut with sharp writing and a brilliant plot. Even more exciting that this first book is currently in development for television. Written in two points of view, it takes the reader to London in 2006 as seen through Marie’s eyes and to Warchester in 1996 in Carly’s world. With its cast of hard-hitting and uncompromising characters, I was curious to know who was behind this gruesome ring.

Book Description:

A young TV journalist is forced to revisit her harrowing past when she’s thrust into a sex-trafficking investigation in her hometown. A startling, searing debut thriller by award-winning CNN journalist Sarah Sultoon.

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier…

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth … and justice.

A riveting, searing and devastatingly dark thriller, The Source is also a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience … an immense, tense and thought-provoking debut that you will never, ever forget.

Product details

  • ASIN : B08NXT7DL9
  • Publisher : Orenda Books (February 15, 2021)
  • Publication date : February 15, 2021

Marie is a junior TV journalist working with a crew to expose a gang of sex traffickers. Even though Dominic stashes a camera in his pants in case he gets frisked, the footage they capture on camera is only a coded exchange that doesn’t incriminate the perpetrators. Viewers need a victim. Someone they can root for. When the police commissioner reopens a billion pound investigation into the British Army, Marie knows new information on a cover-up could bring down half the government.

Carly is thirteen and struggling with a bleak home life. Her mother is unable to take care of her baby sister and the home is a wreck. Without her squaddie brother’s help they’d be destitute. The life they lead is distressing and you can’t help feeling a nudge of pity at every page. A three year-old left in dirty clothes, unchanged and covered in rashes, latterly to be taken to hospital for a high fever. Rach teaching Carly all she knows and introducing her to a dark world that forces her to grow up too fast. This is where I was desperate for Carly’s life to change and for someone to come to her aid. I wanted to slap her brother, a sergeant desperate to keep face rather than protect his sister. But he’s afraid, same as Carly.

I wasn’t sure if I liked Dominic until I realised his story mirrors Marie’s. The nugget of a bond forms around their separate lives, a friendship that embraces hidden truths. They understand what sacrifices it takes to keep secrets. Each personality is rugged, perhaps more the nature of TV journalists, and Marie’s inner monologue puts us right beside her, seeing what she sees and feeling her pain. I am truly impressed by how the threads of this book wrap so tightly around the reader, it’s impossible to let go. Even though some parts are hard to read, they are subtly described.

The writing is razor sharp and the plot is thought-provoking. I don’t think there was one thing I didn’t like about this book. The timeline is easy to read, never the distracting array of different dates and years of other books in this genre tend to depict. It flowed well. There will be that unforgetable residue long after putting the book down. Thank you to Orenda, Anne Cater and author Sarah Sultoon for the privilege of reading this book.

About the Author

Sarah Sultoon is a novelist and journalist, whose prior work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate degree in languages, chosen mainly so she could spend time itinerantly travelling the world. She likes running, Indian food, cocktails, playing sport with her children and throwing a ball for her dog, order dependent on when the cocktails are consumed. The Source is her first novel and is currently in development for television with Lime Pictures.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson, Published by William Morrow and Custom House (23 Mar 2021) General Fiction (Adult) Mystery & Thrillers @WmMorrowBooks @PeterSwanson3

Every Vow You Break: A Novel by [Peter Swanson]

A bride’s dream honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a man with whom she’s had a regrettable one-night stand shows up in this electrifying psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of Eight Perfect Murders.

Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. He’s a good guy, stable, level-headed, kind—a refreshing twist from her previous relationships.

But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life.

Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something much, much more. Something special. Something real—and he’s tracked her down to prove it.

Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.

What people are saying:

“Probably what you need right now is a good murder mystery. One that is bookish, engrossing, not overly gory and impossible to solve. Peter Swanson delivers all of this in Eight Perfect Murders… Swanson drops in lovely clues, but good luck figuring it out. — Minneapolis Star Tribune on Eight Perfect Murders

“Fiendishly clever catnip for any lover of classic crime fiction.” — Seattle Times on Eight Perfect Murders

“Engagingly original. . . . This [is a] multilayered mystery that brims with duplicity, betrayal and revenge—all bubbling slowly to the surface. . . . Swanson has a bent for revenge and murder. Fans won’t be disappointed.” — USA Today on Eight Perfect Murders

“The wintry setting and eerily cool narration, together with trust-no-one twists and garish murders, will satisfy thriller readers; fans of classic mysteries by Agatha Christie, Ira Levin, and John D. MacDonald will enjoy… You’ll stay to the finish of this one.” — Library Journal

“With mounting tension and fraying nerves, it careens to the final stunning conclusion. A true tour de force.” — Lisa Gardner on Eight Perfect Murders

I love Peter Swanson’s books and Every Vow You Break is another brilliant read. His writing style is easy, fast-paced and with enough description to drop you right into the action.

Abigail Baskin, who works for a small press, is enjoying her bachelorette weekend. Engaged to generous, solicitous Bruce Lamb, she seems to have found her Prince Charming. Though he maybe a little dour, he’s loaded and nothing is too much for Abigail. But when she meets a handsome stranger and decides on a one-night stand days before her wedding, her life begins to unravel. Desperately trying to push the ill-fated night out of her mind, she continues with her wedding plans. But the stranger appears at a café and at the wedding ceremony. To make matters worse, he is also staying at the same island retreat as Abigail and Bruce. Evil keeps knocking at her door.

The island itself is every man’s dream. Waiters ready (rather too ready) to take her order no matter where she is and at first Abigail is outnumbered by men. A woman, Jill, shows up and begins to get a little too friendly, whispering the same frightening scenarios as Abigail’s. Something isn’t right and she’s definitely someone I would hold at arm’s length. Who wants to share a secret like that? Is this all part of a conspiracy? Or is Jill as much of a victim as Abigail? As the tension rises, Abigail is swept on a tide of deception and secrets she has no hope of escaping. It’s a question of coming clean with her husband or getting rid of the threat on her own.

This is a book I couldn’t put down. A very frightening book with a backdrop of evil you hope never to encounter. The signs were there, each ramping up to the grand finale. The helplessness Abigail and Jill face, the sheer terror of what happens next. I could only scream run! I felt sickened by the scene, almost to the point of closing the book. I was hoping that it wouldn’t turn into a ghastly assault, a fight to the death. A bow and arrow act from the Hunger Games springs to mind and men and dogs in hot pursuit.

I love this book. Not so much for its uniqueness, but because the ride was cleverly written and everybody seemed to have something to hide. As the plot unravels and more strange things begin to occur, you can’t help feeling you’ve been deceived somewhere along the line, and not necessarily by the person you thought.

A suspenseful murder mystery for lovers of classic crime fiction and fans of Patricia Highsmith. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher William Morrow and the author Peter Swanson for the privilege of reading this book.

Image

About the Author:

Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.

Other Books by Peter Swanson:

The Family Friend by C. C. MacDonald, published by Harvill Secker (4 March 2021) @ccmacdwriter @HarvillSecker @PenguinUKBooks @vintagebooks #TheFamilyFriend #NetGalley

From the author of Happy Ever After comes an unmissable new psychological thriller about a famous Insta-Mum influencer and what happens when a someone starts to stalk her every move…

Erin lives an idyllic life by the seaside with her baby boy and handsome Australian fiancée. She’s upbeat and happy – a natural mum. At least that’s what her thousands of followers on Instagram think. 

In the real world, Erin is struggling with anxiety and finding it difficult to connect with her screaming son. So when a famous agent offers to make her the biggest instamum out there, she’s over the moon. And when Amanda, a family friend who’s visiting from Australia, says she’ll move in and babysit to help make it happen, it seems like the stars have finally aligned for Erin’s exciting new career. 

But when a devastatingly revealing video is posted online by an anonymous troll, Erin’s brought crashing back to earth. As everything she’s worked for starts to slip away, Erin must find out how far she can trust those closest to her.

Praise for HAPPY EVER AFTER:

**Picked as a 2020 ‘Unmissable Debut’ by the Daily Express**

‘Kept me gripped and kept me guessing’ Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said

‘Excellent domestic noir, chillingly plausible… I loved the ending’ Jo Spain, author of The Confession

An absorbing story, a bunch of unexpected twists, great writing. I totally lost myself in this book’ John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Erin Braune is struggling with provincial life, missing her dissolute friends and a wailing ball of rage she finds hard to love. The baby descriptions are so on point — Bobby’s face almost fluorescent, more and more mucus sludging out of his face — it’s hard not to laugh. But you can also ‘hear’ the screaming and feel Erin’s desperation. She is financially reliant on her fiancé and with no job, she is saddled with student debt.

Rafael Donadoni – Raf – spends more time with baby Bobby, sleeping with him at night and unable to understand why Erin is so disengaged. The tension in their relationship is palpable and at times uncomfortable. Eggshell-fragile Amanda’s presence doesn’t help. She’s too mellow, too good with Bobby, too in control. The whole dynamic is unnerving.

While Erin appears on brand with her parent/toddler support group, she is screaming inside. It’s her Instagram followers that keep her afloat and her posts are relatable, shareable and funny. She longs to talk to her followers, anything to numb Bobby’s constant screaming. She misses her brother, Alex, whose Richmond life is perfect and a mother, who doesn’t think much of Raf. Why was Erin’s acting career botched? It’s easy to root for Erin when there’s no one else for her to turn to.

Grace’s pitch has landed Erin a place on the MotherBoard podcast, things begin to look up. Celebrity guests and mega-influencers could be a huge thing for Erin’s profile. Again, Amanda steps in to babysit and Erin finds herself with the best agent she could possibly hope for. Until the video. The one thing she dreads the most. All eyes are on Erin and her addiction to her phone, how toxic social media is, how it’s destroying her. With coercive and controlling behaviour at the heart of this story, it’s easy to come away feeling the same trauma some of these characters have experienced and to ask yourself the question; who’s threatening who?

It’s a brilliantly written book by an author well worth watching. Thank you to Netgalley, Random House UK Vintage and author CC MacDonald for the privilege of reading this book.

C. C. MacDonald

About the Author:

Readers, hello.

I’m a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actor. I live in Margate, AKA Shoreditch-on-Sea, with my wife, two small children and a co-dependent cockapoo called Frankie.

Happy Ever After is my first novel and I’m incredibly excited to share it with you in January 2020. It’s a thrilling story about guilt, blame, how becoming a parent changes you and transforms your relationship and the pitfalls of pursuing an idealised family life. There was a huge amount I wanted to explore in this book. The seismic psychological change of parenting, the mass exodus of freelancers from London to places like Margate and Hastings, the way that childcare staff are treated by parents, the casual cruelty of privileged teenagers, my irrational hatred of pigeons… But I mainly wanted to write a book that a reader wanted to read, and an ending that had them swanning off to recommend the book to their friends.

These are my all time favourites:
Book – 1984
Film – Chinatown
TV – Succession
Album – Station to Station
Play – The Seagull
Computer game: Football Manager (I know. Awful.)
Ice-cream – rum-raisin
Pasta shape – fusilli

Other books by the author:

Deadly Cry (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 13) by Angela Marsons, published by @Bookouture @WriteAngie

I was jumping for joy when I saw the 13th instalment of the Kim Stone series available on Netgalley. I can’t believe it’s been that many books. This time the tough, no-nonsense Kim Stone is faced with a case full of diversions that are more baffling at every page. In this book, Kim appears to have put her past behind her and she seems stable and well-adjusted, adding further charm to her thorny personality.

Book description:

You have to stop me from hurting anyone else. I don’t want to do these horrible things. Help me before I’m forced to do it again. And I will do it again because I have no choice. I’ve never had a choice.

Deadly Cry: An absolutely gripping crime thriller packed with suspense (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 13) by [Angela  Marsons]

In a busy shopping centre, a little girl clutches a teddy bear, clinging to it in the absence of her mother, Katrina. Hours later, Katrina’s body is discovered in an abandoned building. For Detective Kim Stone, it looks like a quick, functional kill. But Kim’s instincts tell her there’s more to this senseless murder than meets the eye. What was the motive for killing a young mother out shopping with her child?

Days later, a second victim is found in a local park, her neck broken just like Katrina’s and her six-year-old son missing.

With her colleague, Detective Stacey Wood, working on another unsolved crime and a member of the team grieving the loss of a close relative, Kim is struggling to make inroads on what is fast becoming a complex case. And when a handwritten letter from the killer lands on Kim’s desk addressed to her, and pleading for help, she knows time is running out to bring the little boy home alive.

With the support of a handwriting analyst and profiler, Kim and the team begin to get inside the mind of the killer and make a shocking discovery.

Some of the victims have scratch marks on their wrists.

But these are no random scratches. The killer is using them to communicate with someone. The question is… with whom?

And if Kim doesn’t find them soon, another innocent soul will die.

The multi-million-copy bestselling Detective Kim Stone series is every bit as addictive, original and exciting as readers say and you’ll be hooked from the very first page. Nobody does it better than the Queen of Crime, Angela Marsons.

Our favourite Black Country detective, is bummed to be attending a meeting to discuss security arrangements for a visiting celebrity. But when a four-year-old girl is found abandoned in a shopping centre the pace begins to accelerate. As Kim says, better a missing mother than a missing child. But in this case, the tragedy is brutal. It’s a hard-hitting storyline that is gripping from start to finish.

A body found a hundred meters from Shop N Save turns out to be twenty-five-year-old Katrina Nock. Stone is angry the mother has been discarded amongst building debris with her neck broken. Was she leading some kind of double life? Charged with giving the bad news to the family, Stone learns that Katrina suffered anxiety and depression, but there is something more sinister afoot.

As Kim, Stacey, Bryant and Penn work on leads – some which include unsolved cases with other police teams – there are personal issues each must come to term with. Although there is plenty of dark humour to soften the heartbreak, this case doesn’t give the reader much of a breather. And that’s a good thing because galloping through the book to find the twisted perpetrator is all part of the challenge. We see the return of Alison, the behaviourist and the charismatic reporter Frost, who is developing into someone you can’t help rooting for. Penn’s loss was palpable, something with which every reader will resonate.

One of the things I love about Marson’s writing is the clarity. You burn through her books at lightning speed and I’m constantly having to tell myself to slow down so I don’t miss the details. She’s created wholly original characters and a story that is the very definition of a page-turner and unputdownable. The plot is thick with intense imagery and nail-biting terror. What really ramped it up for me were those who didn’t always get it right, who, although highly trained, still had their heads turned the wrong way. I’m not the only one!! Thank you to Netgalley, Bookouture and author Angela Marsons for the privilege of receiving an advance copy of this book.

What people are saying:

Whoopee The queen of crime is back…this book is a reminder to all her fans what a brilliant crime series this is…Unlike some long running crimes series, each book always brings something new to the table, whether it be its characters, the plot, or jaw dropping moments that take the reader by surprise.’ The Book Review Café, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Utterly fabulous! I loved this book so much. The whole series is fantastic and it just gets better and better with every book. Read this in one sitting as I was literally glued to it. Highly recommend, if I could give it more than 5 stars I would.’ Linda Strong Book Reviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Angela Marsons writes the type of books that I will literally drop everything just so I can read it.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I honestly don’t know how Angela Marsons gets better and better with each book…My jaw dropped over and over again and I’m just sitting here so shocked at the end!’ With A Book In Our Hand, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I could read Kim Stone books every day and never get bored, I read this in a day as couldn’t put it down.’ NetGalley reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Angela Marsons is the Queen of Crime, and every police team needs a Kim Stone! With a strong, fast paced storyline, this book will bring tears to your eyes, then have you covering those same eyes for fear of what may happen on the next page!!’ stardustbookreviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Reading this series is like catching up with old friends…Yet another brilliant work by the amazing Angela Marsons!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh how much have I missed Kim Stone… you are guaranteed a story that will grab a hold of you from the start and keep you invested in the outcome right to the very last page.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quite simply, Angela Marsons is THE QUEEN of Crime Fiction…Every book of Angie’s is a masterpiece of storytelling, each so different in theme and incredibly enjoyable to read.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author:

Angela Marsons

Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 4 million in 5 years.

She lives in Worcestershire with her partner and their 2 cheeky Golden Retrievers.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 28 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone and the translation of Dead Souls, La Verita Sepolte, recently won the prestigious Primo Bancarella award.

More books by Angela Marsons:

Shadow Sands: A Kate Marshall Thriller – Book 2 by Robert Bryndza, published by Thomas & Mercer. @RobertBryndza @AmazonPub @kirsteenastor @NetGalley #thriller #review #bestsellers

Another knife-edge thriller that unfolds with cut-throat ferocity! This is the second book in the Kate Marshall series, an ultra-satisfying, seat-of-your-pants action mystery with a corkscrewing plot.

An Amazon Charts bestselling series.

THE UNMISSABLE NEW THRILLER FROM THE INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE GIRL IN THE ICE AND NINE ELMS ROBERT BRYNDZA

The moors are a perfect hiding place for a serial killer. And a chilling return to the past for nascent private investigator Kate Marshall in a pulse-racing thriller by the author of Nine Elms.

Criminology academic Kate Marshall is on a scuba jaunt with her son when they dive toward a shocking discovery: the body of a teenage boy entangled below the surface of the Shadow Sands reservoir. The detective chief inspector’s too-quick narrative of a tragic drowning doesn’t add up, and when Kate follows the evidence, it leads to a darker discovery.

The victim is only the latest in a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances linked to the moorlands—and a mythic phantom said to hide in the rolling fog. When a researcher of urban legends vanishes without a trace, Kate and her associate Tristan Harper must act fast and look deep if they hope to find her alive.

But the elusive serial killer they’re hunting isn’t the only one a step ahead of Kate and Tristan. Someone else is making dead certain that the secrets of Shadow Sands stay buried.

Review
The book opens with a UK regional swimming champion being attacked by an unknown assailant at Shadow Sands reservoir. Two days later, forty-two-year-old Kate Marshall and her teenage son, Jake, are swimming in the same waters, taking pictures of a sunken village — only to stumble on a gruesome find, something that Kate is rather good at.

SHADOW SANDSKate becomes embroiled in the case at the request of the victims mother. With the help of Tristen Harper and the mortician, it becomes clear the Kendal boys death was no accident. Geraint Jones’ melancholic statement and Alan Herman’s refusal to comment on time of death make this an eerie case—that and the police’s rapid decision to rule accidental death.

There’s clearly something much bigger going on with witnesses about to give statements and then winding up dead. The ending, as with all Bryndza’s books threw me for a loop. I’m loving the PI stance to Kate’s career and I’m hoping to see her getting up to all kinds of ticks without the oppressive rules of a police department to hinder her. Another ACE read.

This is one of those books that gives you goose pimples, a few sniffles and sniggers. Loved the cappuccino/Al Pacino comment. Oh, and Dylan and Thomas. It explores the darkest criminal minds and puts killers where you least expect to find them.

Bryndza’s writing is always clear, well researched. His understanding of forensics and police procedural always makes me feel I’m in reliable hands. His descriptions of the area: Kate’s two-storey house in Thurlow Bay and the edgy, dark imagery of the crime scene is sure to stay with you for a very long time.

This series is maddeningly addictive and soaks up every dark pleasure and every nail-biting terror and provides a protagonist you definitely want to root for.

Thank you to the author Robert Bryndza, Netgalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.

What people are saying:

‘Robert Bryndza knows how to keep the pages – and your stomach – turning’ – The Times

 ‘It is impossible not to root for the feisty, flawed Kate’ – Daily Mail

 ‘So chilling, with truly terrifying characters and a hard-hitting storyline that is gripping from start to finish’ – Rachel Abbott

About the Author

Robert Bryndza began his career training at the Guildford School of Acting in the U.K. He spent six years as an actor, doing all kinds of strange jobs in between, which was the perfect training for being an author. He began to write during a long period of unemployment, first comedy sketches, a show which he took to the Edinburgh Festival, and then four romantic comedy novels which he self-published, and they became Amazon charts bestsellers selling over 250,000 copies.

His debut crime thriller The Girl in the Ice was the first book in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over 1 million copies in the English language, and won the Dead Good Reader Award for best kick-ass female character at the 2016 U.K Harrogate Crime Festival. Erika Foster has gone on to kick-ass in five further books; The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets. The series was twice nominated in Goodreads Choice Awards (Mystery and Thriller category) in 2016 for The Girl in the Ice, and in 2017 for Last Breath. Robert’s books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language, and have been translated into 29 languages.

Nine Elms, the first book in his new Kate Marshall private detective series was published late in 2019 and was an instant Amazon USA no.1 bestseller, an Amazon UK top 10 bestseller and topped bestselling charts around the world. The second book in the series, Shadow Sands, will be published in November 2020. Robert is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about Robert at http://www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert’s new book release mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

(Simply cut-and-paste that address into your browser. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)

Other books by Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza Book page

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @HarperCollinsUK @0neMoreChapter_ #blog #review @Netgalley @BOTBSPublicity

The reigning queen of noir crime is back with another addictive read! I was so thrilled to be included in this blog tour. A sparkling, confident book that will stay with me for months to come. I can still hear the tap, tap, tap, in my head and the sickening silence of a victim who cannot speak or move. It’s a story guaranteed to make you look over your shoulder.

Book description:

Dead Perfect: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with dark and jaw-dropping twists (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 3) by [Noelle Holten]

 

Click here

 

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls?

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

  • Publisher: One More Chapter (October 16, 2020)
  • Publication Date: October 16, 2020
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ASIN: B085ZSTY37

 

Review

It’s a tough day for Maggie and standing with Dr Blake in the crime-scene tent confirms that this recent victim bears a striking resemblance to her friend. The case is as gruesome as it gets. The Jane Doe is between twenty-five and thirty-five, has dyed black hair, and her eyes and mouth have been sewn shut. It’s the doll-like quality that makes my stomach turn and the killer’s silent statement that is his gruesome signature.

Maggie and DS Nathan Wright trawl through copious details, interviewing likely suspects and checking every line of enquiry. Even the forensic department is under scrutiny. I don’t blame Kate for feeling like a paranoid lunatic as she suspects everyone with whom she comes in contact. As Dr Blake takes them through the findings, secrets are so interlocked, you wonder if they are going to be able to hack their way through this seamless mosaic of lies.

A villain, marking his victims and staking his claim will do your head in, but coloured contact lenses confirm his psychotic obsession. He watches his victims, learns their habits and then he strikes. You really can’t take your eyes off him for one minute. But who is this elusive killer? Is he a med school dropout? Or a keen observer of online medical ops? Living dolls is his jam, a protector for a princess. With the murders of Tracy Holloway, Kelsey Gilbey and Catherine Hill, who was stalked for over a year before she was abducted, things don’t look good for Kate.

An insidious sense of dread propels you to a very startling conclusion. Blood may well be thicker than water but in this case, it’s mashed with lies. As Nathan says, this particular stalker has managed to disguise his presence expertly as he stalked his prey.

Inscrutable, intriguing characters bear the qualities we all crave in a thriller. A dark-hearted, quintessential Holten that will keep you up for hours!

Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers, One More Chapter, author Noelle Holten and Netgalley for an advance reader copy of this book. And to Sarah Hardy, blog tour organizer extraordinaire for including me in another round of Maggie Jamieson.

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 a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside is her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK, an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/
Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

Other books by Noelle Holten

Noelle Holton 3 books