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 Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, New Books, Parenting and Famlies

We Are Not Like Them Christine Pride and Jo Piazza 4* #Review @jopiazza #ChristinePride @HQStories #HQNewVoices #WANLT #Women #Race #Mothers #Love #Betrayal #Friendship #injustice #literaryfiction #prejudice #courage #forgiveness #WeAreNotLikeThem

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story explores injustice, prejudice and race in an insightful way from the perspective of an interracial friendship. The beginning is poignant and fills the reader with anger at the injustice of the indiscriminate shooting of a young black male. Immediately the question, would the victim be lying there dying if he was white, is at the forefront of the reader’s mind.

Then the two female protagonists are introduced, Jen is a homemaker, Riley, a successful broadcast journalist, Jen is white, Riley is black, and they have been friends since childhood. The repercussions of the shooting are delivered to them independently, but as Jen runs and leaves Riley questioning, both sense this the end of something.

Their friendship has survived the years by avoidance of potentially divisive issues which the shooting and its fallout bring to the fore. Inequalities exist in Jen and Riley’s relationship. Riley is the giver, Jen is the taker, and this is significant for what follows.

The story explores contemporary issues. It strives to present everyone’s viewpoints whether this is successful is open for debate. Well written, and eloquent it engages the reader and provokes thinking.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, New Books, Psychological Suspense

Last Girl Ghosted Lisa Unger 4*#Review @lisaunger @HQStories #BookReview #psychologicalsuspense #BlogTour #LastGirlGhosted

You trusted him with your secret…and then he vanished.

When Wren Greenwood meets a good-looking stranger from a dating app, she expects a casual fling – but they connect immediately. Adam Harper is her perfect match.

She falls for him.

She confides in him.

And then he disappears… his profiles deleted, his phone disconnected, his Manhattan apartment emptied.

First, Wren blames herself. Then she hears about the other girls – girls who fell in love with Adam, and are now missing.

Wren needs answers, but as she follows the breadcrumb trail Adam left behind, it leads back to her own dark past. Suddenly, she’s no longer sure if she’s predator or prey.

She only knows one thing: whatever it takes, she’ll be the last girl he ever ghosts…

This unforgettable thriller will keep you hooked until the very final twist. 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a complex novel with contemporary themes and a sinister, unsettling ethos that resonates. Wren is intelligent and successful but has never found the one. Encouraged by her friend, she joins the world of online dating and meets Adam, who appears to be a soulmate. Then he ghosts her, and she wants to know why. The story moves between the past and present. The suspense builds as new characters and discoveries emerge. Wren and Adam are multi-layered characters who immerse the reader in their stories. This is a gripping read that intrigues and engages to the end.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Crime, Detective

Buried Lies Jenny O’Brien #CoverReveal @ScribblerJB @HQStories #CrimeFiction #DetectiveGabyDarin #MondayBlogs #BuriedLies

HER PARTNER. HER SON. SHE’S NEXT.

Hannah Thomas returns home one morning to every mother’s worst nightmare: a missing child and a dead fiancé. When DI Gaby Darin questions her, Hannah insists she can’t think of anyone who’d want to hurt her family – and yet it all feels disturbingly personal. 

Mere hours into the investigation, a second body is found. As Gaby and her team dig into the victims’ lives, they hit dead ends at every turn – particularly when it comes to Hannah’s past. What is the grieving woman hiding? 

But when Gaby stumbles upon Hannah’s tragic secret, it doesn’t bring her any closer to the truth. Can she connect the dots before the killer strikes again?

Amazon UK

Jenny O’Brien

Born in Dublin, Jenny O’Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.
In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer. Readers can find out more about Jenny and her books on her blog

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Books in series reading order, although each is stand-alone:-

  • Silent Cry (Gaby Darin Book One)
  • Darkest Night ( Gaby Darin Book Two)
  • Fallen Angel (Gaby Darin Book Three)
  • Lost Souls (Gaby Darin Book Four)
  • Buried Lies (Gaby Darin Book Five)              

Click on book title link to read my reviews.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, New Books, Noir, Scandinavian Crime, Suspense

Last One Alive Karin Nordin 4*#Review @KNordinAuthor @HQStories #Detective #ScandiCrime #Noir #Sweden #suspense #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview #LastOneAlive #KjeldNygaard

They survived once. Can he save them this time?

When Detective Kjeld Nygaard is called to the discovery of a body in the burnt-out shell of a house, his heart sinks. He never wanted to see this house again. The house of a notorious serial killer. The house where he rescued Louisa Karlsson from being murdered.

But when they discover the body is in fact Louisa, the mystery deepens. It can’t be the old serial killer. He’s dead.

Then another body is found, again killed in the exact place where Kjeld saved them from another murderer. Another survivor dead.

With the clock ticking Kjeld and his partner Detective Esme Jansson are desperate to stop any more survivors from being murdered. But every clue they find leads to a dead end. Why is the killer picking off people Kjeld rescued? Could it be connected to another of his previous cases?

When Kjeld’s daughter is kidnapped – it’s a race against time to save her life. Can Kjeld stop the killer without paying the ultimate price or will he be the last one alive?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Chilling and claustrophobic, the second book in the Detective Kjeld Nygaard Scandi crime series draws the reader into a disturbing world of death. Attacks on survivors trouble Kjeld, as he struggles with guilt over his personal life and his connections to a serial killer. The dynamic between Kjedl and Esme, his partner, is believably written. We discover more about Esme’s personal life and find, she too, has secrets. The story intensifies as Kjeld tries to unravel the murders with their disturbing personal connection.

The story is rooted in Scandinavia, and this adds an engaging dimension, coupled with the complexly flawed protagonists, the menacing murders and the twisty plot.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

#TheTherapist B.A.Paris #Audio #BlogTour 5*#Review @BAParisAuthor @HQStories #psychological #Suspense #domestic #relationships #secrets #lies #friendships #BookReview #PsychSuspense #audiogram #AudioQandA

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it.

Her neighbours are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

Amazon UK

B.A. Paris Q&A 4

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

My Thoughts…

The Therapist is an addictive blend of cleverly crafted characters, nail-biting psychological suspense and a puzzling plot. Alice and Leo move into the exclusive gated development in London to begin their lives together. Alice is unsure if London life will suit her, but Leo wants to live in London, and she wants to see more of him.

Told exclusively from Alice’s perspective, she soon reveals herself as an unreliable protagonist. A past family tragedy still defines her life, and she sees the change of lifestyle as a way of living again. Alice dislikes The Circle’s sinister ethos. A series of unexpected revelations intensify her emotional vulnerability to breaking point. Everyone has secrets, and Alice isn’t sure who she can trust. The house’s tragic history immerses Alice until her life starts to unravel, pushing her relentlessly towards danger.

Short passages from the past with undefinable characters intensify the sense of menace and suspense towards the climactic, twisted conclusion. The final shocking twist is well disguised. This is a book you won’t want to put down. It will have you checking you’ve locked the doors.

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

Next of Kin Kia Abdullah 5*#Review @HQStories @KiaAbdullah #CrimeFiction #LegalThriller #CourtroomDrama #NextofKin #BlogTour #BookReview #FamilyDrama #women #Secrets #Lies #psychsuspense

ON AN ORDINARY WORKING DAY…

Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. His son’s nursery has called to ask where little Max is.

YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE…

Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done.

IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE…

What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is a fusion of family drama, moral dilemma, legal thriller and psychological suspense. All the elements are believably woven into an addictive, poignant human drama with unexpected twists and unreliable protagonists.

The characters are flawed and relatable, but the two sisters draw the reader’s empathy as they face an unparalleled tragedy. Divided into three parts, the tragedy and aftermath, the courtroom drama and the unexpected twists. The story deals with an emotive subject sensitively. It focuses on the two sisters and their husbands and the police officer investigating the case.

It is an impactful and well-paced story that immerses the reader in an unthinkable situation and lets them draw their conclusions. The unreliable protagonist element adds doubt.

The final twists are shattering in a story that shocks throughout.

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

Rock Paper Scissors Alice Feeney 5*#Review @HQStories @alicewriterland #RockPaperScissors #psychologicalsuspense #Marriage #anniversary #Relationships #secrets #lies #Holiday #BookReview #publicationday

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Reading this story is like opening Pandora’s box, compelling, creepy and full of unexpected consequences.

In an attempt to rescue their marriage after ten years, Amelia and Adam head to the remote Scottish Highlands. It’s clear from the beginning both have secrets and that they dislike each other. The setting is atmospheric and claustrophobic, and the writer’s excellent use of sensory imagery immerses the reader in the gothic setting.

Told from Amelia, Adam and later Robin’s viewpoints, the reader has an omnipotent view of the character’s motivations, but all three are unreliable, so who can you trust? There is also a series of secret letters which give the reader something to think about.

As the story progresses, the twists intensify. This story keeps you gripped until the very last word. You unravel part of the truth, but there is always more to discover. The characters are complex, damaged by their pasts, and have many unlikeable traits. Despite these, this story has a poignant ethos drawing the reader’s empathy.

The ending is believable, impactful and thought-provoking.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Romance

The Last Daughter Nicola Cornick 5* #Review @NicolaCornick @HQStories #HistFic #timeslip #WaroftheRoses #supernatural #romance #Mystery #intrigue #secrets #family #BlogTour #BookReview #TheLastDaughter

A secret hidden in the past.A family bound by a dark legacy…

Ever since her sister disappeared eleven years ago, Serena Warren has been running from a ghost, haunted by what she can’t remember about that night.

When Caitlin’s body is discovered, Serena returns to her grandfather’s house, nestled beside the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall in Oxfordshire, determined to uncover the truth. But in returning to the place of her childhood summers, Serena stands poised at the brink of a startling discovery – one that will tie her family to a centuries-old secret…

Taking readers from the present day to the Wars of the Roses in the 1400s, and with an enthralling mystery at its heart, The Last Daughter is a spellbinding novel about family secrets.
____

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A dual timeline novel set in Oxfordshire following the lives of Anne Lovell during the War of the Roses historical period and Serena, in current times, drawn to the area when her twin sister’s body is discovered. The two stories are linked believably, and the supernatural element is well written.

The historical element brings this tumultuous period of English history to vibrant life. The intrigue, mysteries and politics are dramatised fascinatingly. Serena tries to discover what happened to her sister as she researches her family history. Her memories return as she connects with the place and its past.

This is an absorbing story, both timelines draw the reader into their worlds, and the connections between the two are perfectly woven.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Historical Crime Fiction

Arrowood and The Meeting House Murders Mick Finlay 4* #Review @mickfinlay2 @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #HistoricalCrimeFiction #Victorian #London

Nowhere to hide.
London, 1879. As winter grips the city, a group of African travellers seek sanctuary inside the walls of the Quaker Meeting House. They are being hunted by a ruthless showman, who is forcing them to perform in his ethnic exhibition in the London Aquarium.


Nowhere to turn.
Private investigator William Arrowood and his assistant Barnett agree to help the travellers avoid capture. But when they arrive at the Meeting House, they find a scene of devastation. Two people have been murdered and the others have fled into the night.


Nowhere to run.
The hunt for the real killer leads Arrowood into the dark heart of Victorian London. A shadowy world of freak shows, violence and betrayal, where there are no good choices and only the slimmest chance of survival… 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A disturbing, late Victorian tale that explores colonialism, depravity, poverty and racism from the point of view of Norman Barnett, assistant to private inquiry agent William Arrowood. In a twisty plot where nothing is what it seems, Arrowood seeks justice.

This well-researched story focuses on the inhumanity of colonialism and the hidden side of Victorian England and its Empire. Vibrant characters draw the reader into a grim Victorian world. The author’s note on his historical research sets the story in context.

The criminal investigation is clever, but it’s the ethos and the inequalities and terrible injustices that resonate.