#BookReview THE MURDER GAME by RACHEL ABBOT #TheMurderGame

ABOUT THE BOOK

A BRAND NEW STEPHANIE KING NOVEL, FROM THE +3 MILLION COPY-BESTSELLING QUEEN OF PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS

A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’s wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.

But no one was married that day.

Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?

He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.

What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?

PUBLISHED BY WILDFIRE BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

waterstones

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

A really gripping murder mystery!! It didn’t take long for me to fall under the spell of the characters and the rather strange situation they find themselves in!

A year ago they all meet up for a wedding at the home of Lucas, a very wealthy man and friend of Matt, who brings his wife Jemma along. And then things get strange! There’s an uneasy feeling amongst the group with memories of the past resurfacing to cause more ripples of resentment and upset. Then a tragedy on the morning of the wedding sends shockwaves amongst them all.

So when they’re invited back a year later, they are left wondering what is Lucas up to and his plan for a ‘murder game’ seems all the more worrying and threatens more bad feelings and unease.

Stephanie King is sent to investigate the tragedy on the day of the wedding, and is following up on another story when she stumbles across the same guests a year later – things definitely aren’t adding up to her and watching her try to piece together all the pieces to see if 2 different cases have a link to the goings on a year ago was fascinating.

I really enjoyed the tension throughout this book! The story is told from a number of different of viewpoints so you really get a good insight into the different characters and threads of the story as they unfold. You really could sense the apprehension from the guests as they go back a year later, and my opinion on motives and the different personalities involved kept changing as little bits of information were released about their past behaviour. Some of the stories were quite horrific and traumatic and it all led brilliantly to a pulsating and shocking ending! 

★★★★

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#BookReview THE GUEST LIST by LUCY FOLEY

ABOUT THE BOOK

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the author of The Hunting Party.


The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

PUBLISHED BY HARPERCOLLINS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Goldsboro Books – signed first edition

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

I found this to be the perfect example of a page turner! The more I read, the more I wanted to know!! It builds up brilliantly, allowing you a look at the story unfolding from different points of view and letting you try to work out just how it would all play out – I thought I’d guessed it but I was wrong!!

A wedding party travels to Ireland and what should be a celebration turns into disaster with the murder of one of the party – you don’t find out who until much later and that helps build up the tension as there are a lot of people bearing grudges! Add alcohol to the mix and the masks come off and long standing tension needs to be resolved! And boy does it get resolved!!

Told from the point of view from the bride, the best man, the bridesmaid, the plus one and the wedding planner, it’s a story that springs backwards and forwards seamlessly as the before, during and after are played out and it’s often not pretty! Squabbles, resentment and revenge are brought to the fore! And with a bad storm approaching, there’s an undercurrent of doom hanging over everybody!

My favourite characters were Hannah (the plus one) and Olivia (the bridesmaid) as they were the characters I found the most relatable and down to earth! They were down to earth, while some other characters were in danger of disappearing up their own backsides!! Dealing with their own issues, they found the company of each other a safe space to be and could open up easily to one another.

With alcohol flowing, and a toxic male environment it doesn’t take long before secrets of the past are revealed adding to the drama of the weekend and I enjoyed the tension building immensely and can’t wait to see what Lucy Foley has in store for us with her next book!!

★★★★★

#BookReview #20BooksOfSummer The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes

And she’s back on track again with a book finished from her original list! Well done me!! This was one of the #large books I had on the list – nearly 500 pages – and now means that Book 6 has now been ticked off from the 20 Books of Summer list!! Wahoo!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation. 

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, was found murdered in the privy behind the dissenting chapel she had regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The community was appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the autopsy revealed that Harriet was six months pregnant. 

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, the novel unfolds from the viewpoints of each of the main characters, each of whom have a reason to want her dead. Harriet Monckton had at least three lovers and several people were suspected of her murder, including her close companion and fellow teacher, Miss Frances Williams. The scandal ripped through the community, the murderer was never found and for years the inhabitants of Bromley slept less soundly. 

This rich, robust novel is full of suggestion and suspicion, with the innocent looking guilty and the guilty hiding behind their piety. It is also a novel that exposes the perilous position of unmarried women, the scandal of sex out of wedlock and the hypocrisy of upstanding, church-going folk.

published by Myriad Editions

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £10.91

hive.co.uk £11.45

whsmith  £10.49

paperback edition due out 18th July 2019

MY REVIEW

Wow! One of those books that just seems to consume you from the first page to the last, and I am just so glad to have spent time getting to know of Harriet Monckton and hearing what might have been.

It’s a story based on a true story – the horrific murder of Harriet shocked those in Bromley at the time – and having it brought to life through this book allows the reader to be horrified too. I loved the inventive way the story was told – through the eyes of the main 4 suspects – and their insight into their relationships with Harriet, their backgrounds and it really gives you different perspectives and I often found myself changing my view on who I thought was more likely to have been involved. 

It builds up slowly from the moment when Harriet goes missing to when her body is found and the reactions of those suspected and closest to her to the terrible news. Their backstories are enthralling in their own right as you really get a grip of what they’ve faced in life and how that reflects in their behaviour now. But the water gets muddier the longer the investigation and inquest goes on as masks begin to slip and I had my suspicions about them all! The inclusion of the ‘ diary’ of Harriet takes the story then to another level as her views on the world she sees around her seemed to be quite different from those we’d already heard from

The voices of the past really do come to life in this book and I just found myself totally caught up in the time in history and the drama. The story is never rushed so the attention to detail was exquisite and it’s one of those books that is going to stay with me for quite a while. 

A tragic story brilliantly told.

★★★★★