Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Domestic Thriller, Gothic Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Woman in the Woods Lisa Hall 4*#Review @LisaHallAuthor @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #Psychological #Suspense #Gothic #domesticthriller #TheWomanintheWoods

Is her family in danger?

When Allie moves to a quaint old cottage with her husband, it’s their dream home. Nestled in the village of Pluckley, it seems a perfect haven in which to raise their two children. But Pluckley has a reputation. It’s known as England’s most haunted village. And not long after the birth of their new son, Allie begins to notice strange things…   
 
What’s the flash of white she sees moving quickly through the woods to the back of their house? And what’s the strange scratching noise coming from the chimney?
 
As Allie discovers more about the history of their new home, she uncovers a story of witchcraft and superstition, which casts a long shadow into the present day. And not everything is as it seems. Her family might well be in danger, but it’s a danger none of them could have foreseen…
 

Bestseller Lisa Hall’s The Woman in the Woods is full of creeping unease and nerve-wracking tension, and will have readers on the edge of their seats…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Allie and her family move into a countryside house, it seems idyllic, but strange things begin to happen. When she finds out about the haunted status of the house and village Allie starts to wonder if they are safe.

Allie is an unreliable protagonist, but the reader feels empathy. Allie’s increasingly fragile mental state and emotional vulnerability raise questions in the reader’s mind about the validity of Allie’s perception of events. Vivid sensory imagery draws the reader into Allie’s fearful world.

There is an ethos of simmering menace that intensifies with each strange event. Impactful twists interwoven with gothic and paranormal elements make this a compelling and chilling story.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Travel

The Chateau Catherine Cooper 4*#Review @catherinecooper @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #TheChateau #France #CrimeFiction #domestic #noir #psychological #suspense #MurderMystery #Relationships #Secrets #BookReview

They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…

A glamorous chateau

Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.

A couple on the brink

The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.

A secret that is bound to come out…

Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Set in a glamorous region of France renowned for its Chateaux, this is a twisty and menacing fusion of murder mystery and psychological suspense. Aura and Nick are living the French dream but can their relationship survive their past? The ex-pat community are welcoming, but not everyone wishes them well. The book begins with a party that ends tragically. The reader is taken back to the time preceding the party and Aura and Nick’s first few weeks. The main protagonists’ Aura and Nick, both give their viewpoints at different times. Neither are easy to like, and both are unreliable.

The chateau is a work in progress with a menacing ethos that the children pick up on. Pertinent additional points of view are injected into the story to add intrigue. Well-plotted twists and timely reveals are balanced with misdirections, multiple suspects and unreliable narrators, making the ending climactic.

Catherine Cooper

Catherine Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels, and skiing who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian among others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Noir, Thriller

Whisper Cottage  Anne Wyn Clark 4* #Review @EAClarkAuthor  @AvonBooksUK #gothic #thriller #domestic #noir #suspense #WhisperCottage @rararesources #HearTheWhispers

When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start.

Their new home is run-down compared to their neighbour’s, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend.   Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.  

Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home? 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The opening chapter of this story takes the reader back to 1964 and a domestic scene, relatable yet with sinister implications. Time moves forward to 2012 when Stina and her partner move into Whisper Cottage. Stina’s unplanned pregnancy, the catalyst for the country move. Immediately there are echoes with the book’s beginning, and you wonder if they too will feel the pressures of raising a young child.

This is an atmospheric story with hints of supernatural events and the possibility of mental health issues for the young expectant mother. Stina is an unreliable protagonist. The reader is never sure if she sees what she thinks she does. The villagers’ archaic reaction to Stina’s neighbour is complex, disturbing and believable.

The intricate world-building slows the pace but is integral to the story’s authenticity. The plot twists are impactful. This is an intriguing gothic style mystery with hints of domestic noir and psychological suspense.

Anne Wyn Clark lives in the UK, in the Midlands, with her husband, son and a feisty chinchilla. She has three (now grown-up) children and five grandchildren. She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that…) and cake – and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions. She is passionate about animals and their welfare. Whilst she has enjoyed writing for many years, a love of all things gothic inspired her to try her hand at producing something dark and twisty, culminating in the haunting Whisper Cottage.

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Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

Circle of Betrayal Ruth O’Neill 4* #Review @ruthoneill1 #psychologicalsuspense #domestic #BookReview #kindleunlimited #AuthorInterview

Lena Farnham has it all: a job she loves, a wonderful husband, a huge house, and a baby about to arrive. She’s the happiest she’s ever been, and she can’t believe how lucky she is.

Unfortunately, Lena’s luck is about to run out.

Someone is following her, and not only that – they’re leaving frightening messages, and threatening her perfect life. Even worse? Her husband Sean doesn’t believe any of it.

When the baby finally arrives, however, Lena’s follower is the least of her worries. Everything in her life is about to change, but why? What did she do to deserve this? And what isn’t Sean telling her?

Lena embarks on a journey to uncover the lies, deceit, and betrayal from the one person she loves and trusts the most… her husband.

Even the most perfect people can have dark pasts – and even darker secrets. 

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

This story has an addictive quality essential for psychological suspense.

Lena is an unreliable protagonist, but this only becomes clear as the story progresses. She’s easy to empathise with. Sean, the love of Lena’s life, has secrets and is unlikeable. Various other viewpoints give the reader an omnipotent view.

Some of the plot twists are easy to discern, but there are suspenseful elements in this story. The more developed characters’ motivations make this an absorbing read. There is some repetition from the many viewpoints. Less information would make the plot more edgy and intense.

This disturbing, domestic psychological suspense immerses the reader in the characters’ lives. Its implications are immense and resonate.

I read this book on Kindle Unlimited.

Q&A with Ruth O’Neill

Which comes first when you are creating your novel, characters, plot or setting? Why is this?

For me personally, I always begin with the plot I like to know where I am going before I create my characters. Although I do have a strong idea as to how my characters will be integrated into my story, I do not really develop all aspects of their personality until the story unfolds and I can tweak their character to match what is happening.

What are the inspirations for your latest book, Circle of Betrayal?

I was inspired to write this book because I wanted to write a story about characters that have domestic noir issues. I love this genre, so for me it was incredibly exciting creating a story that turns into a minefield of betrayal and deception.

How do you make your dialogue authentic?

This is one of the most difficult things for me to develop; I would say that I’ve learnt a lot from reading different authors where dialogue was a strong part of their stories. This helped me understand how to allow dialogue to develop and be interesting. Dialogue must sound like it does in real life, so I do spend considerable time reading aloud what is being said and this helps me keep the flow of conversation realistic.

Why do you write psychological suspense?

I`ve always enjoyed reading such stories before I became an author, so it seemed a natural progression to combine my personal interest to my writing. I love the challenge of trying to keep readers glued to the page and keeping them guessing. Writing about the dark truths, lies, cheating, manipulation, and heinous crimes that happen under the veneer of everyday lives, and writing a plot full of twist and turns allows me to enter the minds of readers allowing them to wonder what’s going to happen next.

Describe your latest release in five words and say why they epitomise your story.

Tense, Twisty, Domestic, Captivating & Heart-breaking. These five words, including the title of my new release, Circle of Betrayal, epitomise what my story is really about as they are all integrated into the background of my story. They become more apparent as the revealing revelations come to a climax.

Can you share what the best things about being a writer are?

I find writing very therapeutic, my first book, Sunshine and Tears, was a story I developed from my own personal experiences, and I found it extremely rewarding. After so much positive feedback about the book and with so many ideas floating around in my head it seemed natural to just develop these ideas into books. The best thing about being a writer is being able to take so many of these ideas into a different world in which readers can become totally immersed in.

Receiving positive reviews from readers who have enjoyed my books gives me a real lift and being part of the writing community is enriching. I’ve made many friends in the last six years I’ve been writing and it feels amazing when I connect with people through my writing.

What are you currently writing?

I’m working on a new psychological thriller about three sisters. It’s a dark story with dark undertones which will hopefully drag the reader in and never let themgo!  

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Domestic Thriller, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

The Serial Killer’s Wife Alice Hunter 5*#Review #DidSheKnow @AvonBooksUK @Alice_Hunter_1 #BlogTour #BookReview #CrimeFiction #psychsuspense #Lies #Secrets DomesticSuspense #TheSerialKillersWife

They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The intensity of this twisty psychological suspense builds with every page turn. Then the secrets begin to unfold, and you can’t stop reading. You have to know, what next?

Told mainly from Beth and Tom’s viewpoints, this story gives the reader insight into the main players, but you’re never sure if they are truthful, and the mystery deepens. A well-written plot makes it easy to read. Beth is so shocked by the police investigation into her husband it’s hard not to empathise with her.

The suspense builds believably and relentlessly. With each revelation, another question is raised. The ending draws all the plot strands together with some notable twists that resonate.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, New Books, Psychological Suspense

The Perfect Nanny Karen Clarke, Amanda Brittany 4*#Review @HQStories @karenclarke123 @amandajbrittany @ThePSAA #psychsuspense #ThePerfectNanny #Revenge #BlogTour #BookReview

You trust her with your home, your husband, your baby… but she is about to destroy it all.

Sophy Pemberton is struggling to cope with the pressures of becoming a new mother. Her new-born son never settles in her arms and the unrelenting tiredness from late night feeds is all consuming.

So, when Liv Granger from the mother and baby group offers her services as a nanny, Sophy is overcome with relief. Now she can finally get some sleep… She can stop failing at being a mother.

But Liv has a secret. She is convinced that Sophy was accountable for her brother’s tragic death and she has been searching for her for years. And now that Liv’s found her, she’s outraged Sophy seems oblivious to the pain she has caused her family.

Sophy’s perfect house, perfect husband and perfect baby are too much for Liv to bear… and she’s going to make her pay.

THE PERFECT NANNY is an utterly gripping and suspenseful novel that will have you turning the pages long into the night!

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is psychological suspense with a domestic setting that is told from two viewpoints Liv and Sophy.

Liv is targeting Sophy as she seeks revenge for the death of her brother. Sophy is struggling with motherhood, not helped by an over-enthusiastic mother-in-law and a constant state of exhaustion.

This is a multi-layered story, and whilst the revenge sub-plot is predictable, there is menace simmering elsewhere. Liv and Sophy are unreliable protagonists, but they are both victims, and the story has many poignant moments. Steady suspense building leads to a climactic ending with shocking twists and unlikely alliances. The story has a final terrible twist that resonates.

KAREN CLARKE writes romantic comedy novels and psychological suspense. When she’s not writing, she reads a lot, enjoys walking – which is good for plot-wrangling and ideas, watching Netflix, baking and eating cakes. And then more walking to work off the cakes.

AMANDA BRITTANY is the bestselling author of Her Last Lie and Tell the Truth, and her third psychological thriller, Traces of Her, was published in October 2019. Her debut, Her Last Lie, has raised almost £8,000 so far for Cancer Research UK from her eBook royalties, in memory of her sister. When she’s not writing, Amanda loves reading, walking, travelling and going to the theatre.