Posted in Book Review, Crime, Noir, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Shadow Friend Alex North 4*#Review @writer_north @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview #psychological #suspense #Crime #Supernatural #horror #TheShadowFriend

The victim was his friend. So was the murderer.

Twenty-five years ago, troubled teenager Charlie Crabtree committed a shocking and unprovoked murder.

For Paul Adams, it’s a day he’ll never forget. He’s never forgiven himself for his part in what happened to his friend and classmate. He’s never gone back home.

But when his elderly mother has a fall, it’s finally time to stop running.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. A copycat killer has struck, bringing back painful memories. Paul’s mother insists there’s something in the house.

And someone is following him.

Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterwards, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again . . .

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I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK – Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story which is a fusion of genres is atmospheric, poignant and resonates.

Paul returns to his home village twenty-five years after a murder that left one boy dead, one a killer and the other gone without a trace. Paul’s viewpoint is both past and present. A recent murder introduces the police procedural element with the detective’s point of view.

This is a contemporary gothic style story. It’s creepy with elements of horror, poignant and mysterious. Slow pacing builds the suspense and makes the horror elements more intense.

This is a niche read, but for those, it appeals to, it’s addictive and memorable.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Mystery, Romance

The Lie Hilary Boyd 4*#Review @HilaryBoyd @PenguinUKBooks @MichaelJBooks #BookReview #TheLie

I just thought you should know who you’re married to . . .’

Romy and Michael had it all. 30 years of marriage, two wonderful sons and a beautiful home.

Until a letter arrives containing a shocking accusation, and everything falls apart.

Fleeing to an idyllic countryside village to find time to think, Romy finds herself drawn to Finch, a handsome stranger with a tragic past. Is this a chance to start again?

But then the phone rings: Michael is in hospital. He says he needs her help . . .

From the No.1 bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park.

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I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK- Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an intense family drama. It explores the fragility of relationships and the damage caused by lies and dark secrets. Romy and Michael are a successful couple although she’s undoubtedly put her husband’s career as a barrister above her career aspirations she’s happy until she receives a letter. It makes her question her belief in her husband, her life to date. What should she do?

The ensuing moral dilemma damages her marriage and forces her to leave. Second chances avail themselves, but a life-changing event forces Romy to return to her former life and face the consequences.

Driven by vivid characters, this is an absorbing story full of darkness and mystery. Romy’s role as a mother defines her and almost forces her into a prison-like existence. Clever twists and contemporary issues make this story relevant.

The pacing is slow, but this fortifies the suspense, and the powerful ending is worth the angst.