#BookReview SUNDIAL by CATRIONA WARD #Sundial

ABOUT THE BOOK

You can’t escape the desert. You can’t escape Sundial.

Rob fears for her daughters. For Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. For Annie, because she fears what Callie might do to her. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her of the family she left behind. She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is afraid of her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely. To tell her secrets about her past that both disturb and excite her. And Callie is beginning to wonder if only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

From the bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street comes a stunning thriller exploring the toxicity of the mother-daughter bond, and the power of the past to twist the present.

PUBLISHED BY VIPER BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell’s – signed edition

MY REVIEW

The Queen of tension, darkness and horror is back! And I loved every single minute of it – even if it did take me down some very dark paths! I’m not easily shocked but this book had those moments that leave you gasping! And wondering where the flip the story would lead you to next!!

At the heart of the story is a family where all is not well. Mum, Dad and 2 daughters and the exploration of family dynamics within that group. It also looks into the past of the characters so you can see where some of their irrational behaviour comes from. The parents came from unstable backgrounds and that childlike approach becomes only too clear in the way they can be so cruel to their children. Rob sees something in the girls, Callie especially, that scares her so takes her on a trip to the Mojave desert and all becomes clearer why as we see it’s where Rob grew up and had things in her own childhood to deal with.

It’s a story that is meant to make you feel uneasy!! There are some very dark subjects explored and through the characters you get to see things from different perspectives and feel just how toxic a situation can become from past traumas. It’s a wonderful exploration into the different sides of people and what they can be hiding and how it all comes out in the end, no matter how hard they try to escape it.

The pace is wonderful – it builds up slowly and then bursts into life with revelations galore. It is disturbing but that just made it even more exciting for me. The author wasn’t too scared to push a few boundaries and explore the darker side of life and how personalities are formed and acted upon. Loved it!!

★★★★★

#BookReview A BURNING LIE by CLAIRE SHELDON @RubyFiction #PublicationDay

ABOUT THE BOOK

When a deadly explosion brings secrets and lies to light …


A city shaken to its foundations by a fire in a well-known music venue. A nightclub owner seemingly more concerned about money than the lives of the young people who fill the dancefloor at the end of every week. A dangerous bomber still on the loose.


All things that Detective Jen Garner must face in her first week of local level policing whilst trying to start afresh and finally make a break with her past.


Working alongside DI Chris Jackson, it’s crucial that Jen connects the dots to bring the culprit to justice. But it seems that everywhere Jen turns there is somebody with something to hide – and whilst she and her team attempt to unravel a web of lies years in the making, could the bomber be getting ready to strike again?

PUBLISHED BY RUBY FICTION

PURCHASE LINKS

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burning-Lie-chilling-detective-thriller-ebook/dp/B09VQ4BZPM/ 

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/a-burning-lie/id1614657973

Kobo: A Burning Lie eBook by Claire Sheldon – 9781912550708 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Google: A Burning Lie by Claire Sheldon – Books on Google Play

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-burning-lie-claire-sheldon/1141233577?ean=2940160887210

MY REVIEW

The 3rd in the Lisa Carter Files series, but easily read as a standalone and it’s another pulsating thriller from Claire Sheldon, as we follow the very likeable and relatable characters she’s created, as they struggle with a case that has left a music venue blown up and 22 victims.

DI Chris Jackson, and Detective Jen Garner team up again to solve the mystery in front of them, and all while dealing with their own personal issues. Chris Jackson has an illness hanging over him and he’s really struggling to come to terms with it and the impact it will have on him both personally and professionally. And Jen is facing the battle between raising a family and wanting to carry on working and trying to get the balance right of not bringing work home with her – very difficult when she’s involved in such time consuming cases.

And this case is a big mystery as initially there appear to be no motive so it’s a big case of ruling people in and ruling people out, interviewing everyone there and delving into their pasts. Who has got something to hide?! I love how well they work together and the meticulous approach to the issues in front of them eventually proves to be successful and the conclusion was shocking and thrilling in equal measures!!

I love the mix of personal and work life in these books, they make it seem more real and showing the human side of the police! Their lives don’t just go on hold because they’re working a big case! Hoping there’ll be more installments as I love keeping up with these characters!! A great read!!

★★★★★

#BookReview WHEN I WAS TEN by FIONA CUMMINS #Audiobook

ABOUT THE BOOK

Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were murdered in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Ten-year-old Sara Carter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister Shannon Carter, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened on that blood-soaked night – with devastating consequences for them all.

PUBLISHED BY PAN MACMILLAN

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book – brilliant narration and really kept hold of your attention through to the last page!

A book to shock! What a story! This was one of those books that I was a little apprehensive going in to after hearing so many good things, but once I was involved with the story – which gets you straight away! – I just couldn’t bear to stop reading, to find out the lead up to the shocking events and the reverberations that they caused many years later.

The story is told in a now and then way – so we get to understand that a shocking crime took place many years ago that gripped the nation, when a young girl murdered her parents with scissors. There was a big court case, lots of media attention – and now that attention is back as the journalists start sniffing around to do a follow up story knowing that the perpetrator has been released with a new identity. We get the story from the family point of view and the journalists too – and the moral dilemmas they face.

This was a tense read throughout! Parts of the story horrified me and really put a different outlook on the story for me and really showed how the past impacted on the lives those involved were now living. And it really shows how appearances can be very deceptive!!

There are shocking twists throughout and I loved the way the characters were allowed to get their personalities and viewpoints across as it really gave you a better understanding of what happened then, and how the events of that night never left them alone! Brilliant!

★★★★★

#BookReview DARE TO KNOW by JAMES KENNEDY



ABOUT THE BOOK


Dark Matter meets Annihilation in this mind-bending and emotional speculative thriller set in a world where the exact moment of your death can be predicted–for a price.

Our narrator is the most talented salesman at Dare to Know, a prestigious and enigmatic company in the death-prediction business. While he has mastered the art of death, the rest of his life is an abject failure. Divorced, estranged from his sons, and broke, he’s driven to violate the cardinal rule of his business by forecasting his own death day. The problem: apparently he died 23 minutes ago.

The only person who can confirm his prediction is Julia, the woman he loved and lost during his rise up the ranks of Dare to Know. As he travels across the country to see her, our narrator is forced to confront his past, the choices he’s made, and the terrifying truth about the company he works for–and his role there.

Highly ambitious and totally immersive, this adrenaline-fueled thriller explores the destructive power of knowledge and collapses the boundaries between reality, myth, and conspiracy as it races toward its stunning conclusion.


PUBLISHED BY QUIRK BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon


MY REVIEW


If you  like your books weird, twisty and to be a bit of a mind f***, then this is the book for you!! I loved it! It has the power to entertain, confuse and to make you think…. would you want to know when you were going to die?!


In this book, there’s a group who can predict  your death date and have turned it into a business.  The only rule of the death prediction business is not to calculate your own death date…. the book narrator breaks this rule and is left dealing with the consequences.
It took me a while to get into the style of writing, but once I’d connected with it, I really enjoyed the way the story played out.  The narrator takes you through each stage – as he deals with his disastrous life whilst looking back at those moments in his life that made him who he has become – the school friendships, relationships, his random thoughts and hates.  This is alongside the internal battle he’s having with himself of trying to make sense of it all, and should he do his own death date.  He knows he shouldn’t but just can’t shake the feeling off that he NEEDS to know.


I really enjoyed the frenetic pace of this book – it flits from one thought to another, from the now to the past and you really get a sense of his confused state of mind.  How his arrogance and complacency can be a help and a hindrance!


The twists were well thought out, and I loved the randomness of his mind!  It’s a book that I raced through and loved the uniqueness of it all!  It makes you think outside of the box and challenges you!


★★★★


My thanks to the team at Black Crow PR for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview MRS MARCH by VIRGINIA FEITO



ABOUT THE BOOK


Shirley Jackson meets Ottessa Moshfegh meets My Sister the Serial Killer in a brilliantly unsettling and darkly funny debut novel full of suspense and paranoia

George March’s latest novel is a smash hit. None could be prouder than Mrs. March, his dutiful wife, who revels in his accolades and relishes the lifestyle and status his success brings.

A creature of routine and decorum, Mrs. March lives an exquisitely controlled existence on the Upper East Side. Every morning begins the same way, with a visit to her favourite patisserie to buy a loaf of
olive bread, but her latest trip proves to be her last when she suffers an indignity from which she may never recover: an assumption by the shopkeeper that the protagonist in George March’s new book –
a pathetic sex worker, more a figure of derision than desire – is based on Mrs. March.

One casual remark robs Mrs. March not only of her beloved olive bread but of the belief that she knew everything about her husband – and herself – sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey, one
that starts within the pages of a book but may very well uncover both a killer and the long-buried secrets of Mrs. March’s past.

A razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity and the smothering weight of expectations, Mrs. March heralds the arrival of a wicked and wonderful new voice.


PUBLISHED BY FOURTH ESTATE

PURCHASE LINK


Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

This was a slow burner of a book, but it grabbed me completely. I found it to be quiet and unassuming at times, but a devastating character study of a woman clearly struggling with her mind and the depths that paranoia take her to.

Mrs March is the wife of a very successful author, bringing them both a very comfortable life. Her husband is away a lot so she seems to fill her days with shopping, parties – and overthinking! And it was a comment overhead about a character in her husbands book, that triggers another wave of self doubt and leads her on a path of distrust. She starts to see the book wherever she is, almost like it is taunting her.

The story looks at her past, how she met George and how their relationship blossomed to how it is now, and alludes to her having lived a troubled childhood too. You are never quite sure with her narration just how much to believe, and when she starts to believe that her husband is involved with the disappearance of a woman where he recently stayed, we get to witness just how her damaged mind processes the possibilities and the lengths she’ll go to prove his guilt.

There’s such a sadness about the characters involved in this book – it’s all about appearance and status, and how a simple throwaway comment can impact on the outlook of somebody who obviously has been damaged in the past due to her upbringing.

I know this book has split opinions, and it’s definitely not a ‘light’ read but I found it to be captivating in a dark and disturbing way!

★★★★★

#BlogTour LIES LIKE WILDFIRE by JENNIFER LYNN ALVAREZ #BookReview #TheWriteReads @The_WriteReads @penguinplatform #LiesLikeWildfire #UltimateBlogTour



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful LIES LIKE WILDFIRE by JENNIFER LYNN ALVAREZ..  My thanks to the author, publisher and The Write Reads for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK


An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.

In Gap Mountain, California, everyone knows about fire season. And no one is more vigilant than 18-year-old Hannah Warner, the sheriff’s daughter and aspiring FBI agent. That is until this summer. When Hannah and her best friends accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, their instinct is to lie to the police and the fire investigators.

But as the blaze roars through their rural town and towards Yosemite National Park, Hannah’s friends begin to crack and she finds herself going to extreme lengths to protect their secret. Because sometimes good people do bad things. And if there’s one thing people hate, it’s liars.


PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN

PURCHASE ORDER

Amazon


MY REVIEW

This is a thrilling, and chilling!, YA novel that explores the dark sides of youth, where the consequences of their action spirals out of control!  And what follows is the story of lies,tension, regrets and betrayals and I thoroughly enjoyed it – I can already picture the drama series on TV!!


A group of friends are out in the woods and accidentally start a fire – the impact of which is deadly! They don’t want to admit responsibility for their actions so they make a pact to stay silent – they weren’t there. They saw nothing.  But that involves trying to cover their tracks and soon cracks start to appear in their stories, and as the death toll rises, the conscience of some of the group starts to get the better of them… much to the disgust of others.


This is a really clever book as it covers so many relevant topics of the time – the dangers of using flames in a dry area and how quickly that can spread and how the local areas have to deal with the devastation of one reckless act.  It does get  very dark at times but really does show the impact of peer pressure and how selfish some people can be to save their own backsides.  


It is fast paced and disturbing but a gripping read showing the impact of a rash decision that leads to such devastating consequences for so many innocent people.  How quickly life can change…..


★★★★

#BlogTour FOR YOUR OWN GOOD by SAMANTHA DOWNING #BookReview #foryourowngood #samanthadowning @smariedowning @michaeljbooks

Delighted to be with you today as the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the fabulously thrilling FOR YOUR OWN GOOD by SAMANTHA DOWNING.  
My thanks to the author and publisher for letting me be part of the tour and sharing my thoughts!


ABOUT THE BOOK




SOME LESSONS CAN BE DEADLY . . . The unputdownable new thriller from the author of international sensation and Richard & Judy pick, MY LOVELY WIFE

‘Dark, sly and delicious . . . totally original – and totally compelling’ 
JP DELANEY, bestselling author of PLAYING NICE
 Samantha Downing is totally the real deal. Wry and dark and witty and clever’ SARAH PINBOROUGH, bestselling author of BEHIND HER EYES
‘Wonderfully dark and twisty. I raced through it, desperate to know how it would end’ BA PARIS
_______

Teddy Crutcher won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy. Everyone thinks he’s brilliant.
Only you know the truth.

They all smile when he tells us his wife couldn’t be more proud.
But no-one has seen her in a while.

They’re impressed when he doesn’t let anything distract him – even the tragic death of a school parent.
Even when the whispers start, saying it was murder.

You’re sure Teddy is hiding something about what happened that day.

You’re sure you can prove it.

But you didn’t stop to think that when it comes to catching a killer, there’s no place more dangerous than just one step behind . . .
_______

‘An irresistibly tale tale of parents, pupils and poison: the American dream turned suburban nightmare’ TM LOGAN

‘A brilliant psychological black comedy with a really fresh feel, packed with sly observation and outrageous twists’ DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED BY  MICHAEL JOSEPH

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW


I have never known a book full of so many twisted, devious characters… no wonder I loved it!!  This is one of those stories that leave you horrified, excited, appalled and thoroughly entertained from page one to the last!!


Teddy, a teacher, is at the heart of the story and he has very particular ways to get the best out of his students.  Many don’t agree with those ways but it gets results! He just finds himself taking it to another level at times and it’s shocking to see how devious he is!!
Add to the mix desperate parents trying to get the best for their children – by any means necessary! – and students who have their own ways of being devious, and you’re left with a school that hits the headlines for all the wrong reasons!!


The story excels through its’ use of using different characters to tell their side of the stories! They’re all a little unhinged and that just adds to the fun of it all!  From staff to students, there’s such a dark undertone throughout, and as a reader you are just puzzled as to where the story is going and just how far things will be taken!! And believe me, they’re taken to the edge!!


Teddy knows he has the futures of his students in his hands and he plays up to that in how he tries to control matters.  Everyone needs to dance to his tune … or else!The darkness comes in the form of murder, and we’re left with the task of working out who committed the murders, and why others are taking the blame!! 

 I loved the madness of the storyline, the extreme characters and the chilling outcome! It is one of those books that you find very hard to put down once you start reading – the crazy keeps calling you back!!  Terrific thriller!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THAT NIGHT by GILLIAN McALLISTER #BookReview #ThatNight @GillianMAuthor


 Delighted to be with you today as part of the exciting Blog Tour for the fabulous THAT NIGHT by GILLIAN McALLISTER! My thanks to the author and publisher for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!!


ABOUT THE BOOK


What would you do to protect your family?

ANYTHING.

That night everything changed.

The night Frannie commited a murder, but she didn’t mean to…

That night we helped her bury the body, what else could we do?

One hot summers night in Italy, Joe and Cathy Plant receive a phone call that will change their lives forever.

Their sister Frannie has killed a man, and she needs their help.

They were always close, some might say too close, siblings who worked together, lived next door to each other

And now they’ve buried a body together…

But when they return to England, Frannie, Joe and Cathy become tangled in lies in they’ve been telling,

to the police, to their friends, to each other…

But if you can’t trust your family, who can you trust?

PUBLISHED BY MICHAEL JOSEPH

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

I think this is the first Gillian McAllister book I’ve read – it most defnitely will not be the last!! I found this to be one of those books that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you read, and she has created  a set of characters and circumstances that just get you thinking ‘what would I do in that situation?!’.

This is a book about siblings and just how far you’d go to help your family out!! Frannie, Cathy and Joe are siblings and have always been close.  And that bond is pushed to the limit when on holiday Frannie calls them frantically to ask for help as she’s just murdered a man – but she didn’t mean to!!

Through each of their viewpoints we are witness to the action before, during and after as we see the toll the events of that night take on them personally and how they deal with the consequences. And just how easy it seems to be to tell lie after lie to protect someone they love!

I loved the twists throughout! The setting just adds to the story as what is supposed to be an idyllic escape from reality, turns into a real life nightmare that continues to plague them as the net closes as they return home.  You don’t always like the characters and how they deal with the situation, but you can’t help but be gripped by the plot and piecing the story together to work out just where the heck it’s going!! And I wasn’t disappointed as it made me gasp quite a few times!!

★★★★

#BookReview RIDER ON THE RAIN by SEBASTIEN JAPRISOT @BelgraviaB



ABOUT THE BOOK

He is suddenly and monstrously there, and his mask disguises nothing . . .

The bus never stops in Le Cap-des-Pins. Not in autumn, when the small Riviera resort is deserted. Except today, when a man with a red bag and a disconcerting stare steps out into the rain.

His arrival will throw the life of young housewife Mellie Mau into disarray. After surviving a horrific attack, she has a dark secret to hide. But a stranger at a wedding, the enigmatic American Harry Dobbs, is determined to get the truth out of her, leading her into a game of cat and mouse with dangerous consequences …

A cool, stylish and twisty thriller from cult French noir writer Sébastien Japrisot.

Praise for Rider on the Rain
‘Japrisot writes with warmth and has a gift for rendering almost every character instantly likable.’ New Yorker
 ‘A magician who lays out the truth on the page.’ Le Monde
Praise for Sébastien Japrisot 
‘With an instantly recognisable style and great story-telling techniques, he might be called the Graham Greene of France’ The Independent 
‘The most welcome talent since the early Simenons’ New York Times 
‘Utterly captivating’ The Guardian 
‘A cordon bleu mixture of suspense, sex, trick psychology and fast action’ Publishers Weekly 
‘Diabolically clever’ Anita Brookner, author of Hotel du Lac
‘Japrisot holds a unique place in contemporary fiction. With the quality and originality of his writing, he has hugely contributed to breaking down the barrier between crime fiction and literary fiction’ Le Monde 
‘A marvellous storyteller’ Télérama
‘Unreeled with the taut, confident shaping of a grand master … Funny, awful, first-rate. A rich and resonant sonata in black, astutely suspended between mythic tragedy and the grubby pathos of nagging everyday life’ Kirkus Reviews 

PUBLISHED BY GALLIC PRESS

PURCHASE LINK


BELGRAVIA BOOKS

MY REVIEW

For a short novel, this is a story that packs a punch! It’s very dark and has sinister undertones, and I loved it!

Set in France, in a small riviera resort, this is the story of a housewife, Mellie, who is subjected to an horrific attack by a man who recently shows up in town. You really sense the fear she feels when she’s attacked in her own home, and that horror continues into the next door as he sticks around… you’ll find yourself totally on her side with how she deals with this ‘man’.

And what follows is the aftermath, and the presence of an American in town who seems a little too interested in Mellie and this man – you wonder what his motive is. He’s asking way too many questions and she wonders if she can trust him.

There’s a lot of dodgy, darker goings on in this book and that intrigue kept me hooked throughout. Pulsating, thrilling and twisted – my kind of book! 

★★★★

My thanks to Gallic Press for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview THE ANATOMY OF DESIRE by L.R.DORN #TheAnatomyOfDesire

ABOUT THE BOOK


A modern tale of American striving, social media stardom, a fatal love triangle, and a young woman on trial for murder—a mesmerizing reimagining of Theodore Dreiser’s classic novel of crime and punishment, An American Tragedy.

Claire Griffith seems to have it all, a thriving career, a gorgeous, successful boyfriend, a glamorous circle of friends. She always knew she was destined for more than the life her deeply conservative parents preached to her. Arriving in Los Angeles as a flat broke teenager, she has risen to become a popular fitness coach and social media influencer. Having rebranded herself as Cleo Ray, she stands on the threshold of achieving her most cherished dreams.

One summer day, Cleo and a young woman named Beck Alden set off in a canoe on a quiet, picture-perfect mountain lake. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water, her face cut and bruised, and Cleo is missing. Authorities suspect foul play and news about Cleo’s involvement goes viral. Who was Beck and what was the nature of her and Cleo’s relationship? Was Beck an infatuated follower who took things too far? If Cleo is innocent, why did she run? Was it an accident? Or was it murder?

As evidence of Cleo’s secret life surfaces, the world begins to see just how hard she strived to get to the top— and how fast and far the fall is from celebrity to infamy.

L. R. Dorn’s reimagining of Theodore Dreiser’s novel, told in the form of a true crime docuseries a la Serial and The Jinx—with characters speaking through the “transcripts” of recorded interviews—The Anatomy of Desire exposes the ambition, sexual passion, and dark side of success that readers will find as achingly poignant as they did a century ago.


PUBLISHED BY ORION BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


AMAZON

MY REVIEW


OOh this was a delicious read! It has it all! A real true crime feel, the impact of social media, tons of scandal and plenty of flawed characters!! I absolutely raced through it and didn’t want it to end!

Cleo is a fitness influencer! Living a seemingly charmed life online, all seems to be perfect in her world. That dream world soon becomes a nightmare when she is out in a canoe with a friend, the friend is later found dead and Cleo goes missing….. why did she run? What has she got to hide? What exactly did happen on that canoe?? You get to play along as you read trying to guess what did happen as it all plays out in the form of a true crime documentary and the book is based around the trial, alongside looking back at the build up to that day and what went on between Cleo and Rebecca.

When Cleo is found in the woods and arrested, the whole world gets interested in the case. She’s presumed guilty because she ran, and social media is a reflection of the clamour for this case and the trial to follow. But there’s more to this story than meets the eye, so be prepared for plenty of twists and turns!

The girls friendship, their families past, the current relationships – they are all explored and delved into via the trial. You really feel like you’re watching it on Court TV as new revelations are thrown into the mix that make you change your mind as to where you think the guilt lies! Utterly absorbing!!


★★★★★


My thanks to Alainna Georgiou for my advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.