#BookReview TRAP FOR CINDERELLA by SEBASTIEN JAPRISOT



ABOUT THE BOOK


A racy, chilling noir mystery of mistaken identity, deception, and greed by the author of A Very Long Engagement.A suspicious fire consumes a beach house at a southern French resort. Two young women — friends on the surface but deep down foes — are trapped inside. One is rich, the other poor. One is killed and the other survives, burned beyond recognition and in a state of total amnesia. Plastic surgery gives her a new pretty face, but it can not restore her memory of her identity. Who is she? The heiress or her friend? A killer or an intended victim? Only one person knows the truth about the betrayal and hair-raising terror which took place that night. And she is not about to give it away…Winner of France’s most prestigious crime-fiction award, Trap for Cinderella is an engrossing tour de force by a master of mystery and deception.


PUBLISHED BY GALLIC BOOKS


PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website
Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

The book opens with a woman in a hospital room, not knowing why she’s there or who she is! And that mystery continues throughout the book in a really clever and engaging way, as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together after an horrific house fire that claimed the life of a friend, and left her with very few memories.

From her time spent in hospital, where the medical staff would just call her ‘mummy’, to the presence of Jeanne, the woman who used to take care of her pre-fire, and is there for her now to guide her back to some kind of normality. You do begin to wonder if she’s a help or hindrance at times though! As she informs her of a portrait of a none too pleasant person! A Disagreeable attitude and poor behaviour, it seems being liked was low on her list of priorities. And what of her friend who died in the fire?

As she starts to investigate certain names in her past, she begins to question who is telling her the truth of her life before. As a reader, your spidey senses are also tingling as the various accounts of her life just muddy the water and wonder about the motives involved for maybe being a little loose with the truth!

I really enjoyed the mystery and darkness of it all, along with the devious minds of the characters! I’m not sure you’d want to be friends with any of them as lying seemed to come too easily to some!


★★★★

My thanks to Gallic Books for sending me an advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET by CATRIONA WARD @ViperBooks


ABOUT THE BOOK


This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.

In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…

PUBLISHED BY VIPER BOOKS


PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon

blackwell’s – signed edition

hive.co.uk


MY REVIEW


If, like me, you like your books dark, twisted and unpredictable then this is the book for you! It’s billed as a gothic thriller, but I’d add psychological horror to the mix as well – it’s a real mind f*** in all the best possible ways!!

And that of course makes it very difficult to review without giving anything away! It centres around a house that is next to the woods. There’s a man, Ted, who lives there with his daughter and a talking cat Olivia – genius move adding a voice to the cat by the way!! – and very little is known about him. He keeps himself to himself – he was a suspect in a horrific crime years ago and that has left him wary of everybody. His pleasure in life is to feed the birds. And one day, these birds are poisoned in his garden…. his nightmares begin again and he feels like he is being watched.

Dee moves into the area, desperate to find news of her sister who went missing many years ago. She is convinced Ted knows something about it and will do all she can to find out the truth.

What follows is a fascinating and disturbing story that flits between now and then, as the past sets the tone for the present and the fates of characters play out in chilling fashion – a real stuff of nightmares!!

It’s one of those books that I can’t wait to go back and read all over again! Brilliant!!


★★★★★

My thanks to Viper Books for the advanced copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview Death and the Seaside by Alison Moore

ABOUT THE BOOK

With an abandoned degree behind her and a thirtieth birthday approaching, amateur writer Bonnie Falls moves out of her parents’ home into a nearby flat. Her landlady, Sylvia Slythe, takes an interest in Bonnie, encouraging her to finish one of her stories, in which a young woman moves to the seaside, where she comes under strange influences. As summer approaches, Sylvia suggests to Bonnie that, as neither of them has anyone else to go on holiday with, they should go away together – to the seaside, perhaps.

The new novel from the author of the Man Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse is a tense and moreish confection of semiotics, suggestibility and creative writing with real psychological depth and, in Bonnie Falls and Sylvia Slythe, two unforgettable characters.

Publisher – Salt Publishing

Paperback, 176 pages

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Salt Publishing

Hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

For the first half of this book I was really unsure of it! It just wasn’t going anywhere…. And then boom! It all clicked into place and I couldn’t get enough of it! A very cleverly written book with such a dark undercurrent, that is quite unsettling to read and it quietly pulls you into the menacing world created within.

Bonnie is a pretty unremarkable character – she is kind of resigned to a quiet life, she’s a worrier and full of self doubt and receives very little praise from her parents or those around her, and her only way of escaping is to write. She has created a story based on a character called Susan and the book dips in and out of the chapters she has written and the lines start blurring between Bonnie and Susan and you wonder if fiction is fact, or vice versa! When she becomes friends with her landlady, Sylvia, she finally receives some positive interaction with another human being, as Syliva encourages her to finish writing her novel and is very interested in creating the right atmosphere for Bonnie to get into character. Bonnie is also plagued by notes containing the word ‘Jump’ on them and you start to get glimpses into her mind where she prefers to be in rooms on the ground floor and what drove her to have episodes in her childhood where she jumps off piers she visits – all very bizarre.

I loved the way the creepy factor gets increased as the story goes on. You always have a rather unpleasant feeling about what is happening around Bonnie and her writing, and especially the way she is treated by people she comes into contact with. The pace is slow which did take a while for me to come to terms with, but it made sense by the end of why I think the author approached telling the story this way!

I listened to the audio version of this and really enjoyed the way the story was told, especially the second half!

✵✵✵✵✵

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney – Book Review


My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

MY REVIEW

WOW!!  That was my first response in finishing this book last night!! If you are looking for a book that totally messes with your head, leaves you unwilling to trust any of the characters and unable to believe what people close to you are capable of – then look no further!! This is the book for you! I loved it!!


Told in the ‘Now’, ‘Then’ and ‘Before’ we see a story unfold full of family drama, secrets, lies and so much more!

Amber is in a coma – she knows she’s in a coma and we hear her thoughts as she tries to uncover what has happened and what is happening to her. We go back to a week earlier when wheels are set in motion that leads up to this event, and we also go back to extracts from a childhood diary and how a friendship begins and what lengths friends go to when someone they care about is in danger.

I really didn’t know who to trust throughout this thriller as all the characters have some very unlikeable traits, and the perspective of Amber while she is in a coma is a fascinating one as she hears everything going on around her and listens to those who visit her.  As she tries to put together the pieces that lead up to her accident you understand the anguish she has gone through and is still going through as she tries to make sense of it all.

 
The pace of the story is judged perfectly – never goes too fast, or never seems to drag – and you are just left wanting more as each chapter goes by and a new secret, or lie, is revealed!

2017 is turning into another great year for top psychological thrillers full of twists and turns that keep you guessing from start to finish!!