Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Psychological Thriller

One Perfect Morning Pamela Crane 4*#Review @MentalMommyPam @AvonBooksUK #BookReview #AudioBook #Friendship #Secrets #HarperCollinsAudio #domestic #noir #PsychologicalThriller #OnePerfectMorning

She’s made her bed, and now he’s lying dead in it…

Mackenzie, Robin and Lily have been inseparable since college. Twenty years on, they all live in the same neighbourhood with their perfect homes, perfect families, perfect lives.

But in their idyllic suburban town, no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors. For each of these women is crumbling under the weight of a secret, a betrayal, a lie.

And when the worst happens, will the unbreakable bond of their friendship survive, though it’s started to fray at the edges?

One dead husband. Three women with motives. And they’re all best friends who have each other’s backs – or do they…?

A sharp, twisty and utterly addictive suspense novel.

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received a an audiobook from Avon Books UK – Harper Collins Audio UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I listened to an audiobook copy of this story, which is absorbing and enjoyable.

The narrator is professional and brings each of the characters to life through her different voices. It’s easy to feel part of the dialogue with her narration.

The story begins on the precipice of something awful and then goes back in time to discover what events lead to this moment. Predominately told from three points of view it explores the women’s longstanding friendship and the secrets they hide with each other and alone.

The characters are diverse and relatable you are invested in their lives. You empathise with them because of their flaws and mistakes. The logical plot has many twists and features domestic abuse, rape, and murder. The crimes are heinous, but not overly graphic, but the emotional and physical damage is believable.

The conclusion ties up any loose ends and gives hope, and possible future dilemmas for Lily, Mackenzie and Robin.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

My Darling Amanda Robson 4* #Review @AmandaRauthor #Audiobook #Narrators Laura Costello Matt Addis @themattaddis #Psychological #suspense #domestic #noir AudibleUK #BookReview #HarperCollinsAudio @AvonBooksUK #MyDarling

A new couple moves in next door.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

I watched you move in and thought we might be friends.

I saw you watching from the window – and knew I’d have to keep you away from my husband.

I started to trust you. Confide in you.

I started to mistrust you. Suspect you.

I was confused when I blacked out after an evening at your place. Was I really that drunk?

I came up with a plan. A plan to make you both pay . . .

Sexy and sinister – this book will keep you up all night . . .

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received an audiobook copy of this book from Harper Collins Audio – Avon in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is compelling domestic suspense that is well suited to the audiobook media. The narration is professional, and it’s easy to differentiate the characters. It’s helpful to have a male narrator for Alastair as he appears so frequently. Told from Jade, Emma and Alastair’s points of view this is a twisted story of abuse, betrayal, relationships, and revenge.

Although the adult characters are hard to empathise, they are believable and fascinating., Jade has mental health issues, and it’s her actions that precipitate the events that follow. Emma is also emotionally fragile. Alastair has severe anger issues which make him prone to violence. Thomas is the least well defined of the characters.

Detailed and intricate the plot’s many twists make it difficult to visualise the ending. The conclusion is probably as just as it can be, but the last one standing is not necessarily a good person.

This is an addictive book to listen to, even though the characters are few and the settings domestic, the sometimes shocking plot twists and suspenseful ethos make this a story that you have to finish.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Mystery, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller

Siren Song Rebecca McKinney 5*#Review Harrison Jones and Amy Bell Mystery @BexMcKinney @lovebooksgroup #SirenSong #lovebookstours #Psychic #Detective #PsychologicalThriller #Crime

A man who glimpses other people’s inner worlds, and a woman who can foresee death. Can they trace a missing girl before the worst happens?

Harrison Jones is a university lecturer with a secret: he moonlights as a psychic detective. Amy Bell is a paramedic who has the uncanny knack of knowing things are going to happen before they do. From their first accidental meeting on an Edinburgh bridge, both of their lives are destined to change.

Harrison invites Amy to help him investigate the disappearance of a beautiful young singer. The search will lead them into the murky world of human trafficking, from Edinburgh to the streets of Athens, and into the darkest corners of the human mind…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A book like this succeeds on the quality of its characters, and these are easy to empathise, intelligent and relatable. Harrison is a university lecturer in social anthropology he meets Amy at a low point in her life and saves her. Amy is a paramedic, and ex-military with similar psychic skills to Harrison agrees to work with him to find a missing girl.

The dynamic between Amy and Harrison is believable. A formidable team, stronger together than apart. The case is a noir crime. The immersive writing style draws the reader, into a world of abuse, and trafficking. The well-paced plot has twists and uses vivid imagery to portray psychic experience and settings.

There is a poignant ethos which illustrates the despair of the victims with claustrophobic intensity.

Despite the sadness, this book is enjoyable, and the suspense builds to a justifiable conclusion.

Rebecca McKinney is a writer, therapist and community development practitioner, living and working in Midlothian, Scotland. She shares her home with her husband, two teenagers, three cats, and a growing collection of musical instruments.

Previous novels:

The Angel in the Stone: shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize, 2017: Sandstone Press

Blast Radius: 2015: Sandstone Press

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Noir, Political Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Lost Leona Deakin 5*#Review Dr Bloom @LeonaDeakin1 @TransworldBooks #Psychological #Suspense #Military #thriller #Conspiracy #Political #BookReview #Lost #weekendread #SaturdayThoughts

There is an explosion at a military ball. The casualties are rushed to hospital in eight ambulances, but only seven vehicles arrive. Captain Harry Peterson is missing.

His girlfriend calls upon her old friend Dr Augusta Bloom to support the investigation. But no one can work out if there is a connection between the bomb and the disappearance.

When Harry is eventually discovered three days later, they hope he holds the answers to their questions. But he can’t remember a single thing.

Without any clues, will Dr Bloom find herself lost in this puzzle too?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second in the Dr Bloom series has a military theme but remains psychological suspense. Bloom’s help is requested by Karene when her partner a Captain in the Navy goes missing after an explosion at a military ball. The reader gains an omnipotent view of the story as it unfolds but who can be trusted and are all the players in plain sight?

The dynamic between Bloom and Marcus remains troubled after Seraphine, but can they still be an effective investigation team? There are noir elements in this fast-paced story and the insidious menace of Seraphine and her sinister game plan. Flawed, intelligent character gives his story its addictive quality. The plot has many players and twists that leave you gasping at times.

The best kind of psychological suspense with a strong conspiracy and political theme that one imagines will develop in the books to come.

Read my review of Gone book 1 in the Dr Bloom series

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Horror Fiction, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller

Mindworm David Pollard 4* #Review @dpollardauthor @rararesources #paranormal #PsychologicalThriller #Crime #Mindworm #BlogTour #BookReview #horror #paranormal

The placid life of a college librarian is plunged into a desperate fight for survival when he witnesses the death of his only friend. Suddenly he is forced to confront disturbing changes in his nature and appetites and their consequences. Suspected of murder and pursued by an implacable police detective he runs – but is he running from the law or from himself?

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a strange and sometimes horrific story about a man’s metamorphosis into a mind devouring creature.  It starts with a road trip on a desert highway, the man is running, but you don’t know why. When the man stops, for the night, the shocks begin.

The story is short and pacy and doesn’t give you time to reflect. It conveys the sense of confusion and despair well. The characters are believable but don’t have a detailed backstory, as befits a story in the horror fiction genre.

Mindworm is a disturbing well written novella.

After more than forty years of paid employment David Pollard retired to glorious Hereford and immersed himself in the theatrical activities of the county. He is currently Chair of Hereford County Drama Festival.

David  sees himself as a teller of tales – he is a playwright, author of short stories and novels. He has a preference for dark and dystopian material. He is also an actor and theatrical director. Among the many authors admired by David is Robert Louis Stevenson – for his website David adopted the appellation Tuistala – Samoan for ‘Teller of Tales’ which the Samoan people called RLS.

Several of David’s plays have been published by Lazybee Scripts – one of which ‘Aspects of a Betrayal’ was shortlisted for the Kenneth Branagh prize at the Windsor Fringe Festival.

David has two works published on KDP/Amazon:

‘His Cat and Other Strange Tales’ – a collection of macabre short stories

‘The Alienation of Ludovic Weiss’ – a psychological thriller

The third book ‘Mindworm ‘ is scheduled for publication in September 2020

When not writing, directing or acting David runs a podcast platform for the streaming of radio plays and short story readings – Hand to Mouth Sound Theatre.

For relaxation David reads voraciously with a liking for history and thriller fiction. He also enjoys country walks of the strolling variety.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Psychological Thriller

Three D. A. Mishani 4*#Review #Audiobook #PsychologicalThriller #Israel #Translator Jessica Cohen #Narrator LucyPaterson @HachetteAudioUK #DAMishani @riverrunbooks @QuercusBooks

Three tells the stories of three women: Orna, a divorced single-mother looking for a new relationship; Emilia, a Latvian immigrant on a spiritual search; and Ella, married and mother of three, returning to University to write her thesis. All of them will meet the same man. His name is Gil. He won’t tell them the whole truth about himself – but they don’t tell him everything either.

Tense, twisted and surprising, Three is a daring new form of psychological thriller. It is a declaration of war against the normalisation of death and violence. Slowly but surely, you see the danger each woman walks into. What you won’t see is the trap being laid – until it snaps shut.

Audible UK Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story works well, as an audiobook, the writing style is very descriptive and detailed. Told from the viewpoints of three women all with secrets and less than perfect lives it develops into an addictive thriller and you empathise with the victims.

The reader gets to know the three women intimately, but little is known about the antagonist, only what he chooses to share. The conclusion of the first part is shocking. The second part begins and appears to have little connection to what precedes it. When the common link emerges, the reader knows what will happen next, but not how or when increasing the intensity and suspensefulness.

The narrator voices the characters well, although some of the accents are confusing. The setting in Israel gives the story its uniqueness, and the translation captures the story’s essence. The plot twists are well-written, and there is a satisfying end to the story.

The vulnerability of the victims and the underlying menace of the seemingly ordinary antagonist make this a chilling and compulsive audiobook.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Friendship, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Do Her No Harm Naomi Joy 5*#Review @naomijoyauthor @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #Secrets #Lies #DomesticSuspense #Friendship #DoHerNoHarm

One unsolved murder. A best friend determined to right the wrongs of the past.

On the 21st August Tabitha Rice disappeared without a trace. All the signs point to murder, but no signs point to a murderer. The easiest answer is her husband, Rick. But he protests his innocence and there is little proof he is the murderer.

Annabella knows there is more to the story than what the police are telling. Tabitha was her best friend and she vows to uncover the truth.

As Annabella delves further into the past, she uncovers sides to Tabitha that she never saw coming, and she finds herself asking the question… Was this murder? Or is there more to Tabitha Rice’s story than meets the eye?

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

My Thoughts…

This is an intense domestic suspense story. It explores how ordinary people become dark and dangerous.

The story begins with an intriguing situation, full of dramatic irony, the reader knows something is wrong, but the protagonist doesn’t. The story is multi-viewpoint both past, and present. The characters are unreliable protagonists, but they are relatable, and you sympathise with their situations at times. The historic viewpoint illuminates the characters’ motivations, but not all of them until the end.

The author cleverly reveals enough information to make the reader believe they know the twist, but they don’t as there is more than one, which makes this absorbing to the last page.

Naomi Joy

Naomi Joy is a pen name of a young PR professional who was formerly an account director at a prestigious PR firm in London. Writing from experience, she draws the reader in to the darker side of the uptown and glamorous, presenting realism that is life or death, unreliable and thrilling to page-turn.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, International Thriller, Noir, Political Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

I Am The Night Ethan Cross 4*#Review The Ackerman Thrillers, 1 @EthanCrossBooks @AriesFiction @HoZ_Books #CrimeFiction #Thriller #BlogTour #BookReview #Suspense #conspiracy #IAmTheNight

The night is dark. My soul is darker.

Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. are both killers. But while Williams is tortured by the deaths he has caused, Ackerman takes pleasure in his murders.

Williams is a former New York City homicide detective.

Ackerman is a serial killer.

And both men are about to become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of US government. They will be plunged deep into a hellish underworld of murderers and killers. They will find that there is more that connects them than divides them… and that their lives depend on it.

Amazon Aries Store Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Aries Fiction – Head of Zeus via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Violence is integral to this thriller, vividly depicted throughout, so be warned. This is more than a thriller about a serial killer and the ex-cop chasing him, both antagonist and protagonist are pawns in an immoral political game.

Flawed and relatable characters and a suspenseful and twisty plot make this an addictive read. The sense of menace pervades this story on many levels. The serial killer is evil, but the darkness, extends much wider, even the good characters have noir traits.

This is a grisly and gripping thriller that will satisfy the requirements of most thriller readers.

Ethan Cross

Ethan Cross’s Shepherd thrillers are international bestsellers. Before becoming a full time writer, he was a computer programmer, a Chief Technology Officer and a Marketing Director for a New York publisher. He lives in Illinois with his wife, three kids, and two Shih Tzus.

Twitter Website

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Last To Know by Jo Furniss 4*#Review @Jo_Furniss @AmazonPub @RandomTTours #LakeUnionPublishing #Suspense #detective ##FamilyDrama #PsychologicalThriller #secrets #BookReview #BlogTour #MondayBlogs

A family’s past pursues them like a shadow in this riveting and emotional novel of psychological suspense by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of All the Little Children.

American journalist Rose Kynaston has just relocated to the childhood home of her husband, Dylan, in the English village of his youth. There’s a lot for Rose to get used to in Hurtwood. Like the family’s crumbling mansion, inhabited by Dylan’s reclusive mother, and the treacherous hill it sits upon, a place of both sinister folklore and present dangers.

Then there are the unwelcoming villagers, who only whisper the name Kynaston—like some dreadful secret, a curse. Everyone knows what happened at Hurtwood House twenty years ago. Everyone except Rose. And now that Dylan is back, so are rumors about his past.

When an archaeological dig unearths human remains on the hill, local police sergeant Ellie Trevelyan vows to solve a cold case that has cast a chill over Hurtwood for decades.

As Ellie works to separate rumor from fact, Rose must fight to clear the name of the man she loves. But how can Rose keep her family safe if she is the last to know the truth?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the Lake Union Publishing in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Dylan, American Rose and their son return to his childhood home in Shropshire. The weather is terrible, the house run down and no one makes them welcome. Rose discovers the family is mired in scandal and is determined to find the truth.

Police Sergeant Ellie Trevelyan faces upheaval in her career and family life. The story told from the two women’s viewpoint explores an unsolved cold case and finds it’s not the only crime.

The sense of mistrust and menace is portrayed well in this story. The plot is well-paced, and reveals its secrets gradually, allowing the reader to learn things at pace with Ellie and Rose. This is an emotional and poignant tale of abuse, lies and loss. The characters are flawed and relatable. The is ending is both climactic and informative.

Jo Furniss

After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the United Kingdom, she spent seven years in Singapore and also lived in Switzerland and Cameroon.

As a journalist, Jo worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including Monocle and the Economist. She has edited books for a Nobel laureate and the palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University.

Jo’s debut novel, All the Little Children, was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Extract, Family Drama, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Guilty Wife Nina Manning 5*#Review @ninamanning78 @BoldwoodBooks #PsychologicalThriller #Domestic #Suspense #Family #Guilt #boldwoodbloggers #TheGuiltyWife @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #SundayReads #SundayMorning

One woman’s past could cost her everything…

Frankie Keegan is struggling.
While she tries to make strides in her career, life at home is slowly unravelling as she is haunted by the secrets of her past.


Someone else remembers…
As the dark nights draw in, the anniversary of the loss of her brother looms and Frankie is drawn back to the memories of that fateful night 20 years previously. As she descends into a guilt-ridden state, she begins to suspect that someone else is also remembering that night and they are determined to terrify her…

Can she confront her past before it’s too late?

From the international bestselling author of The Daughter In Law, a gripping psychological thriller about family, secrecy and grief – with a twist you won’t see coming.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The suspense grips you in this story from the first words and keeps its hold until the dramatic conclusion.

Frankie’s never recovered from the accident twenty years ago that took her brother. She’s moved on with life, but the grief and guilt remain festering. A functioning alcoholic with her marriage in trouble, she’s a flawed, and unreliable protagonist but you want her to find peace.

Plot-driven this is a detailed story told from Frankie’s viewpoints both past and present. Everyone in her life has their agenda. As the story progresses, it’s hard to know who to trust. The story’s addictive quality keeps you reading, thinking you know what’s going to happen next.

The compelling characters all have a purpose often to confuse the reader. I did realise what was happening late on in the story, but the dramatic ending still resonated.

This is a poignant tale about the payback of youthful indiscretions and damaged minds.

TheGuilty Wife – Nina Manning – Extract

Prologue

I stood at the top of the stairs and held my breath as my anxiety spiked and my heart pounded in my throat. But I could no longer hear the noise that had drawn me there. As I stood, my foot perched ready to take the first step, I wondered if perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me. Maybe the events of the last few days had finally caught up with me. But faces were hovering in front of me. Those people I had trusted. And those who I had hurt.

All those years ago I was trying so hard to make a difference in any way I could. But I was young. And I was foolish. I knew the past would never be able to bury itself, and I had not been able to rest for twenty years because the horrors of that day would stay with me until I took my final breath.

But now it was time to face the past head on. I tightened my grip on my weapon and began the descent to the kitchen. I knew I was now in grave danger. I knew that I had to protect my children and face the person who had found their way into my home.

Nina Manning

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

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Read my review of The Daughter in Law

First published as Her Darkest Fear 26 March 20