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

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

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

Description:

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

Her Perfect Family by [Teresa Driscoll]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@AmazonPub @TeresaDriscoll #mysteryandthrillers

Review

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

From the Publisher

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

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

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

—Victoria Oundjian, Editor

About the Author:

Teresa Driscoll

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


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


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


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

More Books from this Author:

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

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

Book Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 #TheImageofHer #NetGalley

About the Author

Sonia Velton

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

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

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

Other books by Sonia Velton

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:

One By One by Ruth Ware, Published by Random House, Gallery/Scout Press, @RuthWareWriter @GalleryBooks @ScoutPressBooks #Review #blog

WOOHOO! One By One publishes today. I was thrilled to receive an advance copy and having loved all of Ruth Ware’s books to date, this was a real treat! You are bound to devour this locked-door mystery setup in one sitting and it will keep you guessing through the very last page.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation.” —David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Diabolically clever.” —Riley Sager, author of Final Girls

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

One by One by [Ruth Ware]

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

“Especially timely, given that the terror of isolation is at its heart… This is And Then There Were None rendered for the twenty-first century.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“Tempestuous . . . [a] claustrophobic, adrenaline-fueled cat-and-mouse game.” —Publishers Weekly

“Hilarious, well plotted, and vintage Ware, this one is not to be missed.”
—CrimeReads

“Ruth Ware’s Hitchcockian thrillers have yet to disappoint.”
PopSugar

“Ware does what she does best: Gives us a familiar locked-door mystery setup and lets the tension and suspicion marinate until they reach fever pitch. Another win for Ware… Simply masterful.”
—Kirkus

The Turn of the Key was not her first book, but its sweep of starred reviews and awards sets up One by One to be a most anticipated thriller of 2020.”
Library Journal

Anything by Ruth Ware is a huge treat and this book certainly lives up to its hype. Told from dual points of view — Erin, the chalet girl and Liz, socially anxious, fish-out-of-water misfit, enables you to get both an inside and an outside perspective to the story.  Ware certainly lives with her imagined characters for a while, knows them inside and out before committing them to paper. These intricate layers for me are so necessary to fully enjoy a book.

The writing is fluid and hard to put down.  The format in the opening chapters is very different to her past books and begins by introducing nine colleagues of a tech company called Snoop; an app described as ‘voyeurism for your ears.’

The guests are staying in the luxury French ski resort of St Antoine with views to die for. But when a snow forecast threatens to become a snowpocalypse (Snowmaggedon) this desirable setting has the potential to become — yes, you’ve guessed it, a little hamlet with no way out and a group of people trapped together. The only access is via funicular railway or a blue run to the centre of the village. It might well be a beautiful place  with its peaks and pistes and great skiing, but not when inclement weather makes it inaccessible by helicopter. I’m already sensing tension and claustrophobia, especially in a low of minus 20.

After a meeting in the den where the employees have a difference of opinion over the future of Snoop, tempers begin to flare, giving us a reason to be on high alert. As the guests are picked off one by one you hope the characters you like survive and the ones you don’t get what’s coming to them. But it’s not quite as cut and dry as that. Each guest is either a have or a have not, sleek, witty, beautiful, born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Whereas one ‘unwraps secrets carried for three years,’ someone underestimated that you think might needs further examination. So much food for thought.

Ware has done a brilliant job of holding these guests hostage in freezing conditions, dwindling heating and food to add to the ever growing list of worries. A terrible sense of abandonment and being cut off from the outside world increases the threat, hostility and suspicion building tension. She always writes about ordinary people in frightening situations and has expert knowledge of the .com boom. Adding a character who allows toxic practices to take root within this company brings a clever variation to the archetype.

A fantabulous read! Highly recommended.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author Ruth Ware and the publisher Random House (Vintage Publishing) for the privilege of reading an advance copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs Westaway have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times, and she is published in more than 40 languages. She lives on the south coast of England, with her family.

Visit http://www.ruthware.com to find out more, or find her on facebook or twitter as @RuthWareWriter

OTHER BOOKS BY RUTH WARE

Invisible Girl: A Novel by Lisa Jewell, published by Simon and Schuster (Atria) #netgalley #domestic #thriller #blog #review @lisajewelluk @SimonBooks

I loved Invisible Girl. It’s a captivating thriller, where a reader’s instincts are vital to uncover the real suspects. It deals with sinister themes and some of the darkest pits of human nature. With a final bone-chilling revelation, it’s best not to lay bets on one person. Everyone is a suspect because everyone has something to hide.

Book Description:

The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

Invisible Girl: A Novel by [Lisa Jewell]In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).

 

Review

 

Set in north London, Saffyre Maddox is seventeen and still carrying the scars of an assault that occurred seven years prior, and at an age too innocent to comprehend the damage done to her. The therapist she once used lives nearby and through her interior monologue we see secrets in his life and a brewing deceit which Saffyre feels she must unravel. Camping out in the wasteland near his home at night, she watches him and is well-attuned to his comings and goings. As women continue to be attacked and sexual assault crimes are on the rise, someone in Saffyre’s street must be guilty of these crimes, especially after Saffyre disappears.

Cate is married to Roan, the therapist who once treated Saffyre. Cate appears to have the perfect life, but her striking child psychologist husband won’t forgive her for an incident a year ago, and yet here he is with secrets of his own. Cate’s paranoia over Roan’s life is well drawn, and there were times when I wondered if I were being led down a rabbit hole with more surprises at the end of the trail. Suspense is maintained throughout this novel and it’s hard to tear yourself away even for a moment.

I have to say one of my favourite characters was Owen Pick, who is in his thirties and lives with his aunt. His relationship with his father is tainted by memories of what happened between him and his mother many years ago. But with the incel culture at its heart, he is flung into an online friendship which delves into the haves and the have nots, beauty and not so beautiful, and the dangerous manner in which they protect their genes from dying out altogether.

Although a reader can resonate with many of the qualities, exclusions and rejections of this type, the subject matter is so dark, it’s frightening. Owen Pick is subjected to such intrusive scrutiny, you wonder if he will ever recover. If reporters can report whatever they like, we know the target of their articles is permanently blacklisted.

Other favourite characters: The fox, whose hunger and curiousness is scattered throughout the narrative, and Josh for understanding Saffyre’s homelessness and pain. Descriptions of urban nature are ones to savour. It was a solid five-star read for me from one of the best writers in this genre.

Thank you to the publisher, Random House, to the author, Lisa Jewell, and to Netgalley for the privilege of reading this book.

About the Author:

Lisa JewellLisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone and the UK instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller The Family Upstairs, as well as other much loved novels such as Watching You, I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into over twenty five languages. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

More books by Lisa Jewell:

Lisa Jewell

 

 

 

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver, published by Orenda Books. @will_carver @OrendaBooks #blog #review @annecater

Another exciting tale from a brilliant writer! A gripping read that explores the nature of evil and his relentless pursuit to stir the pot. While the small town of Hinton Hollow’s residents smolder with renewed passion, energy and vice, the story takes one twist after another until reality itself is called into question, and everything they knew about love and hope will change.

Book Description

Five days in the history of a small rural town, visited and infected by darkness, are recounted by Evil itself. A stunning high-concept thriller from the bestselling author of Good Samaritansand Nothing Important Happened Today.

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

Review

Hinton Hollow Death Trip follows Detective Sergeant Pace to his old stamping ground. He is hoping for peace. But peace is the last thing he is going to get. Something sinister follows him there, blowing in on an ill wind. And it’s here to stay.

This book, written from the perspective of Evil itself, is a dark, brooding tale that casts a malevolent pall around the residents of Hinton Hollow. A select group of people whose secrets are laid bare and whose lives are tossed into the air as if they were dice.

Evil is the game show host. He dishes out strife and turmoil at the drop of a hat. And he’s very good at it.

Little Henry Wallace, alone on the train, isn’t afraid. Like a good boy, he’s not to talk to anyone. The note around his neck says it all. Darren works in an abattoir but are his vile actions his own, or has evil whispered in his ear? Dorothy Reilly is eating her way to heart failure. It’s only a matter of time. The Hardings don’t interact, until Evil waves a hand. Why did Annie throw a brick through the florist window? The most frightening of these is the Brady family and the man with a gun.

DS Pace is apprehensive about returning to Hinton Hollow, and I don’t blame him. There’s a lot to greet him when he gets there. Will he return Maeve’s call? Or will she be permanently banished to voicemail? He can’t forget the people who jumped from Tower Bridge and he’s running with no idea Evil is right there with him, the invisible shadow behind him.

All the people who are affected by this blast of doom are somehow intertwined, from the flower arranger — who prepared the wreath for Oz’s father’s grave four years ago — to the unsuspecting Faith Brady where nothing important had happened that day. But it would, something so horrific and something you’d never imagine because Evil dances around them all.

To me this book has a Dekker-esque feel. I’m thinking of Showdown in his Paradise series and almost eerily reminiscent of Peretti’s This Present Darkness. Where it differs, is that Hinton Hollow Death Trip is psychological warfare rather than spiritual, and takes place in a secular, true-to-life setting. Strong, unforgettable characters and a carefully constructed plot make this the next HUGE bestseller in its genre. A wickedly smart page-turner that reveals the thin line between psychosis and insanity. It will keep you glued to its pages and guessing wrong until its breathless ending.

So many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books, Will Carver and Anne Cater for allowing me the privilege of reading this book.

What other people are saying:

‘Carver as one of the most exciting authors in Britain. After this, he’ll have his own cult following’ Daily Express

‘Weirdly page-turning’ Sunday Times

‘Laying bare our 21st-century weaknesses and dilemmas, Carver has created a highly original state-of-the-nation novel’ Literary Review

‘Arguably the most original crime novel published this year’ Independent

‘At once fantastical and appallingly plausible; this mesmeric novel paints a thought-provoking if depressing picture of modern life’ Guardian

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

‘Unlike anything else you’ll read this year’ Heat

‘Utterly mesmerising;’ Crime Monthly

About the Author:

BLOG TOUR: Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver - NBWill Carver lives in Reading, though his younger years were spent in various parts of West Germany. He is the author of four books in the JANUARY DAVID thriller series – GIRL 4 (UK: Arrow, 2011), THE TWO (UK: Arrow, 2012), DEAD SET (UK: Arrow, 2013) and THE KILLER INSIDE (UK: Arrow, 2013).

Carver likes to work his body as much as his mind and runs his own fitness and nutrition company, though he prefers to talk about his writing more than how he consumes adequate protein as a vegan. 

‘I was blown away by this gripping book. I sense Carver will break out of genre boundaries and become a literary voice to be reckoned with.’ —Sarah Pinborough

‘There is a vivid – almost cinematic – quality to the writing. It is intense and makes for uncomfortable yet compulsive reading.’ — News of the World

 

Will Carver other books

 

Blood Red City by Rod Reynolds @OrendaBooks @Rod_WR #crimeactionfiction #review #blog @annecater

Once again, I find myself praising Orenda Books for introducing me to another fabulous writer. I’m blown away by this compelling thriller that dishes out cliff-edge tension. A pacey read with so many blind alleys you feel dizzy with excitement. It’s the kind of story you could inhale in a leisurely few hours.

Book Description:

When crusading journalist Lydia Wright is sent a video of an apparent murder on a London train, she thinks she’s found the story to revive her career. But she can’t find a victim, much less the killers, and the only witness has disappeared. Wary she’s fallen for fake news, she begins to doubt her instincts—until a sinister call suggests that she’s not the only one interested in the crime. Michael Stringer deals in information—and doesn’t care on which side of the law he finds himself. But the murder on the train has left him exposed, and now he’ll stop at nothing to discover what Lydia knows. When their paths collide, Lydia finds the story leads through a nightmare world, where money, power and politics intersect, and information is the only thing more dangerous than a bullet. Blood Red City twists and feints to a superb, unexpected ending that will leave you breathless.

 

  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Orenda Books (April 11, 2020)
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2020
  • ASIN: B082P734LB

Review

Journalist Lydia Wright works the graveyard shift on the showbiz desk. She has only been with the company twelve months and receives a video of an assault on the Northern line of the London Underground. An empty carriage and a man struggling for his life, a slowly unfurling nightmare that had me biting my nails down to the quick. There is no indication of who’d sent it, or any reason why Lydia had been targeted to receive it. Fake news? Maybe not.

With no indication of who the killers might be, gutsy Lydia meets her friend Tammy Hodgson, a former investigative journalist at the same paper, who’s brief meeting with the victim ‘Joe the banker’ has left her nervous. A money laundering scheme begins to unravel, while at the same time, promising a story worthy of a comeback. But will Lydia jump on the same bandwagon if her life is at risk? Working on the 13th floor could be seen as unlucky in some cultures, but maybe her luck is about to change.

To me Lydia is someone you care about. Her die-hard mentality gives a reason to keep going when everything tells her to give up. Following every lead, her tenacity never fails and I suppose you could put it down to a journo’s unmistakable determination to see it through to the end. The visceral prose draws you right in and with one revelation after another, it’s hard to put the book down. This is what kept me hooked.

Written in Reynold’s unique descriptive style, this is not an offering to be missed. There’s just the right amount of backstory not to bog you down and I enjoyed the way he toys with your expectations right up until the packs-a-punch ending. The dialogue is top-notch. I’m not sure I’ve seen it done better. As befits a crime action book of this nature, it’s the twists that make this novel such an exciting and surprising reading experience, and I enjoyed keeping company with these exceptional characters. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone is working on a screen play to bring Blood Red City out as a film sometime soon. Highly recommended.

Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books, Anne Cater for including me on this blog tour, and author Rod Reynolds for an advance copy of this fabulous book.

About the Author:

www.davidhigham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/ybtpde...Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series. His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books ‘Pitch-perfect American noir.’ A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books will publish his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City. Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters. Contact him:

twitter: @Rod_WR
email: rodreynoldsauthor@gmail.com

What people are saying:

‘Brutal, brilliant and razor sharp. Blood Red City is pure adrenaline rush from the first page to the last’ Chris Whitaker

‘A searing, white-hot journey through the dark underbelly of modern London. Bristling with tension, danger and seamed with the constant threat of violence … Blood Red City confirms Rod Reynolds status as one of the greatest crime talents of his generation’ Tim Baker

‘An outstanding page-turner that ratchets up the tension as it builds via a labyrinthine plot towards a satisfying and well-crafted climax … relevant and at times alarming, Blood Red City slaloms its way through the world of social media, geopolitics and hi-tech innovation with compelling conviction’ G.J. Minett

‘A well-researched, complex and fully realised story with three-dimensional lead characters. The creeping tension and mistrust is palpable and there’s an absolutely cracking end reveal’ Shots Magazine

More Books By Rod Reynolds

Rod Reynolds

Blood Red City BT Poster (2)

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones, published by Minotaur Books @realsandiejones @MinotaurBooks @MacmillanUSA #review #blog #domestic #thriller #writingcommunity

WOW! An absolute corker of a read. For those with a devilish MIL and a partner blinded by the manipulative dealings of his mother, this roguishly relatable book is one for you. So addictive, you won’t be able to put it down!

Book Description:

REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“One of the most twisted and entertaining plots.—Reese Witherspoon

“Whiplash-inducing.”—New York Times Book Review
“Such fun you’ll cheer [Emily’s] chutzpah.”—PEOPLE
“This thriller will hit close to home.”—Refinery29

The most twisty, addictive and gripping debut thriller you’ll read this year.

HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.
BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.
AND SHE’LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman will have you questioning her on every page, in Sandie Jones’ chilling psychological suspense about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go.

The Other Woman: A Novel by [Sandie Jones]

Click for link here:

  • Print Length: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (August 21, 2018)
  • Publication Date: August 21, 2018
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • ASIN: B079DW9LVX

Review

 

Well and truly HOOKED! Plenty of twists and turns and, in parts, some dark humour to take away the edge. A fast read that left me breathless and one I couldn’t put down.

The Other Woman is an emotional character study about the destructive triangle of girlfriend, boyfriend and potential mother-in-law from hell. Trusting and very much in love, Emily is sold on Adam—the perfect man, but not nearly as sold on his mother, Pammie. Manipulative and doting, no one is good enough for Adam and Pammie wants to keep it that way. But is the cost worth the effort? As Emily becomes more determined, we see Pammie struggling to maintain first place. It quickly becomes a fight to the death.

Emily sees through the charade but can never stay ahead of the game. Frustrated she turns to Adam for support, but he is oblivious to his mother’s psychotic and manipulative personality and refuses to get involved. It seems almost unbelievable at times, as does Emily’s failure to act when Adam won’t support her. As their relationship peaks and troughs, clashes with Pammie become all too frequent, and I began to wonder how dangerous Pammie is.

The storyline is cleverly structured, and it’s impossible to imagine how twisted the ending can be. The journey camouflages the true motives of these exceptional people, with supporting characters such as James, Adam’s brother, who fights for Emily’s attention. This bid to pull her away from his brother seems dangerous and doomed from the start, what with Adam’s palpable jealousy, regardless of his behaviour. This adds an extra layer to the plot which is advancing at warp speed, increasing in tension and viciousness. Will Pammie never cease to turn up at functions like a bad penny? And how much pain can one person possibly inflict?

I had to wonder why headstrong Emily stuck it out for so long. Was Adam really worth it? Many of us would have tossed him to the curb before now, but I began to wonder if her focus swayed from Adam to outmaneuvering the intrusive and competitive Pammie. I have to hand it to Pammie, she goes to great lengths to destroy Emily’s reputation so Adam will dump her once and for all. But he whatever mistakes he makes, he keeps crawling back and Emily keeps forgiving him. But for how long? That’s what kept me reading.

It’s deliciously sinister, and somewhat reminiscent of Annie Wilkes’ in Misery—a psychotic fan who holds an author captive in the same way Pammie holds Emily captive. But what other weapons does Emily have in her arsenal to beat her nemesis? And is she up for the task? You’ll just have to read the book.

A gripping and compulsive read. Congratulations to the author on this debut novel. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next read.

About the Author:

Sandie Jones Jones has been a freelance journalist for over 20 years, interviewing celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Isla Fisher, Simon Cowell and Naomie Harris.

Her debut novel, The Other Woman, is a psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between a woman and her partner’s mother.

If Sandie wasn’t an author she’d be an interior designer as she has an unhealthy obsession with wallpaper and cushions!

She lives in London, England, with her husband and three children.

Other books by Sandie Jones:

Sandie Jones - The Other Woman

DEAD WRONG by Noelle Holton @KillerReads @HarperCollins #bookreview #vigilantejustice #crime

WOW! Another fabulous read from Noelle Holten. Dead Wrong is the second book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, a firecracker of a read and a solid page-turner.

Book Description:

Dead Wrong: A completely addictive and gripping serial killer thriller (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 2) by [Holten, Noelle]The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…

They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…

But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.

Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

Book Links:

  British flag UK here  US flag  US here

Publisher: One More Chapter (March 14, 2020)

Publication Date: March 14, 2020

Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

Review

In this second installment, the series starts with DC Maggie Jamieson’s new case involving a serial killer who has a penchant for drugging his victims and using dismemberment as a means to clean up his crime scene. Nicknamed “The Chopper,” his MO is strikingly similar to that of The Raven, someone Jamieson put behind bars a long time ago. But when another victim is found bearing his unforgettable hallmark, she doesn’t understand how he could be responsible.

There is so much wisdom in Holten’s writing. Her 18 years as a probation officer provide a good understanding of procedure and buffs up every twist and cliff hanger available. You feel as if you’re right there with Maggie and her team as she painstakingly pores through evidence, while The Raven, a monster and sadist, is appealing to be set free. You can’t help questioning whether Jamieson did, in fact, put away the right man. There are times when my brain started to work overtime, convinced that something wasn’t right. Who really is the master manipulator and who did commit these recent crimes?

Jamieson isn’t typecast. You can’t categorize her as a run-of-the-mill of crime fighter. She’s an independent, roll up your sleeves and get on with it type, even though there are small cracks in her armour. She is determined to crack a crime no matter what it takes, and with little home life to speak of, she is freer than most to achieve that goal. This characteristic is more common than people think for those working areas of justice and law enforcement. It require long hours and very little sleep, not something that pairs well with raising small children and nurturing a relationship. Without all that to clutter up the narrative, I found no distractions in the plot that other books of this type tend to use as fillers. Holten’s research and experience have given credence to the plot, giving the book the added depth most readers crave.

The support team working with Jamieson were invaluable. A special nod to Bethany, DI Rutherford, and DS Nathan. Although The Raven played Jamieson up to the bitter end, I was hoping with every page I turned that she’d have him in an arm-lock in the nick of time. Kudos to Holten for writing such convincing characters who don’t deviate from their distinctive and arresting personalities. (No pun intended.)

Overall tension is further enhanced by assertive writing, well-plotted twists and a few red herrings along the way. The ending will leaving you gasping for the next book.

Many thanks to the publisher, @KillerReads @HarperCollins and to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review. And thank you to @BOTBSPublicity for letting me be part of this fabulous 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 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 Holten