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

My Little Girl Shalini Boland 5*#Review @ShaliniBoland @Bookouture #Family #Secrets #Lies #Friendship #BookReview #psychsuspense #MyLittleGirl #FridayReads

Your daughter is missing. Did someone close to you take her?

Seven-year-old Beatrice has gone missing. Her mother Claire’s whole world has been turned upside down in just one moment and she can’t stop shaking. She’s desperate to find her precious daughter, but nothing about the day she disappeared makes sense…

The mother-in-law: Jill was meant to be looking after Beatrice. She says she didn’t take her eyes off the little girl but her version of events doesn’t add up… Claire has never got on with her, so why should she trust her now?

The husband: He should have been with their only child. Instead, he changed the plans without telling Claire. She didn’t think there were any secrets between them, but maybe she was wrong?

The first wife: Laurel has always been jealous of Claire’s family. Has her husband’s ex-wife taken her daughter?

Which one of them is lying? And who really knows where Beatrice is?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling read. The author’s ability to take a traumatic incident and weave an ethos of menace and suspense is what makes her stories so addictive. Told from multi viewpoints, the reader gains insight into the two unreliable protagonists and the unknown antagonist.

The family unit is scrutinised, and the devastation a missing child causes is convincingly written. The believably written relationship dynamics immerse the reader into the characters’ traumatised world. The story keeps its secrets well, and although I did work out the antagonist, the author still has the final word.

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

Vanished James Delargy 4* #Review @JDelargyAuthor @simonschusterUK #Vanished #BlogTour #BookReview @RandomTTours #PschSuspense #Thriller #Detective #Australia

From the groundbreaking author of 55 comes an extraordinary new thriller…

The Kane family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son, relocate from Perth to Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert to start over again, free from their chequered past. 
 
The town seems like the perfect getaway: Peaceful. Quiet. Remote. Somewhere they won’t be found.  
 
But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if the town is coming back to life. 
 
But the family can’t leave. No one can talk sense into them.
 
And now, no one can talk to them at all.
 
They’ve simply vanished. 
 
Now it’s up to Detective Emmaline Taylor to find them… before it’s too late. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an atmospheric, intriguing fusion of psychological thriller and police procedural. Written from multi viewpoints, it allows the reader an omnipotent insight into events both past and present from the unreliable protagonists’ viewpoint and that of the detective leading the investigation into their disappearance.

Based on betrayal, deceit and secrets, most of the characters are hard to like as they exhibit the worst side of humanity. The suspense-building uses sensory imagery to immerse the reader into the barren and unforgiving setting. This allows the reader insight into what the characters perceive and how it feels. Even ordinary occurrences are disturbing in the right circumstances.

The final twists are impactful and poignant.

James Delargy

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

Two Wrongs Mel McGrath 4*#Review @HQStories #Psychological #suspense #Revenge #TwoWrongs #BlogTour #BookReview #urban #fiction

One girl jumped. And then another followed… 

In the city of Bristol, young women are dying in mysterious circumstances. The deaths look like suicides – but are they something more sinister? Honor is terrified that her daughter might be next.  

But as she looks for clues as to what really happened to the girls, she stumbles upon a link to a dark secret in her own past – one that she’s kept from her daughter.  

Now Honor has the chance to avenge her child for the terrible events of years ago. But how far will she go to protect her daughter and right the wrongs done to her family? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is slow-building psychological suspense that explores important contemporary themes through the three different character viewpoints. It begins dramatically, but it’s what lies beneath that makes this addictive reading. The mother-daughter dynamic is well written and counterbalances the abuse, betrayal and deceit revealed.

The three main characters are carefully and realistically crafted, and they drive this story forward.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Murder Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Romance, Suspense

The Wife Who Knew Too Much Michele Campbell 5* #Review @MCampbellBooks @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #TheWifeWhoKnewTooMuch #CrimeFiction #PsychologicalThriller #DomesticSuspense #Detective

A decadent summer thriller about marriages tainted by ambition, wealth, and desire.

He said it was forever. HE LIED.

She’s in too deep….

Meet the first Mrs Ford. Beautiful. Accomplished. Wealthy beyond imagination. Married to a much younger man. And now… dead.

Meet the second Mrs Ford. Waitress. Small-town girl. Married to a man she never forgot, from an affair ten years before. And now, she’s wealthy beyond imagination.

But who is Connor Ford? Two wives loved him, and knew him as only wives can…

Who is the victim? Who is the villain? And who will be next to die?

Set amongst the glittering mansions of the Hamptons, The Wife Who Knew Too Much is a decadent thriller about the lives of those who will do anything for love and money

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This domestic suspense story explores the human consequences of love, money and power. It embroils the reader in an intricately built world of abuse, deceit and lust with believable characters and insidious suspense.

Told from two perspectives; journal entries from Nina, the first Mrs Ford and Tabitha, the second Mrs Ford’s past and present points of view. The story draws the reader into two parallel worlds of the rich and poor and explores what someone will do for power and wealth. Tabitha and Nina are both unreliable protagonists, but they both engender the reader’s empathy. Connor is weak and driven by the need for money and not as easy to like. The cast of secondary characters all add to the story and provide its plot twists.

The fast-paced plot builds a world of betrayal and division. It blends introspection and criminal investigation to deliver an absorbing story. I guessed part of the outcome, but that adds to the enjoyment, and the poignant conclusion is both realistic and satisfying.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Housemate Nina Manning 4*#Review @ninamanning78 @BoldwoodBooks Narrator #HelenKeeley #PsychologicalThriller #Domestic #Suspense #Guilt #Obsession #boldwoodbloggers #Audiobook #Review #TheHousemate @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads #FridayThoughts

The perfect life? …Or the perfect lie?

When Regi moves into her new house share, she’s ready for a clean slate. A new home. A new routine. A new identity…

Desperate to escape the shadow of her past that follows her everywhere she goes, Regi finds the ideal distraction in the perfect lives of others on social media.

But as innocent scrolling turns into an unhealthy obsession, Regi will soon learn that seeking perfection comes at a price…

A gripping psychological suspense from the international bestselling author of The Daughter In Law.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story demonstrates the claustrophobic and immersive qualities of psychological suspense so well. It begins with a traumatic incident in Regi’s life. The reader knows this is important but not why. Regi’s painful past and mental health issues define her and make everyday life difficult. Her housemates are younger but supportive. The story believably depicts Regis’ OCD, but its repetitive nature is emotionally draining on the reader and slows the pace.

The narrator produces an excellent interpretation of the story and its nuances.

Regi is a complex character, an unreliable protagonist with secrets. The suspense building is good, there are menacing undertones, and some clever changes in plot direction that keep the listener guessing. The focus on social media gives this story an immediacy and relevance.

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

Read my review of The Guilty Wife

Posted in Book Review, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Wife Shalini Boland 5*#Review @ShaliniBoland @Bookouture #Family #Secrets #Lies #BookReview #psychological #suspense #TheWife #MondayBlogs #noir

Zoe fainted on her wedding day, and she never knew why. She’s always felt sure something bad happened. Ten years later, she’s going to find out what…

It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Zoe was sitting in her hotel room, in her perfect white dress, looking forward to the moment when she would make kind, handsome Toby her husband.

Then, there was a blank.

They said she must have fainted, overcome with emotion. But nothing felt quite right afterwards. Did something happen in that missing time?

Now, Toby and Zoe have two beautiful children and a perfect life. They’re planning their ten-year anniversary party for their family and friends. The invitations have been sent, the food ordered. They’re going back to the grand hotel where they got married.

But as the anniversary gets closer, it becomes clear not everyone is looking forward to celebrating. She catches Toby lying about where he’s been. One of her best friends seems to be ignoring her. And someone is spreading stories that might stop the party from happening at all.

Zoe is increasingly sure that she doesn’t have the full story. But does she want to know the truth, if it will destroy everything?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The Wife is another edge of your seat, intriguing read from this author.

Zoe cannot remember part of her wedding day, it’s not bothered her unduly, but as she organises her tenth wedding celebration, her life starts to unravel, and she’s not sure why.

This is a family drama with touches of noir, especially as the plot reveals the true events surrounding Zoe’s memory loss. The clues are there, and I did work out part of the mystery, but this increased my enjoyment of the story.

The pacing is perfect, the characters layered and hiding secrets and the final revelations breathtaking.

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

Do Her No Harm Naomi Joy #GuestPost @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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Guest Post Naomi Joy -The inspiration behind Do Her No Harm

My novel Do Her No Harm – a play on the Hippocratic oath declaration Primum non nocere, ‘first, do no harm’ – was inspired by the current state of the non-surgical cosmetics industry in Britain. It’s not very well known, and it certainly surprised me, that in the UK, it is legal for procedures like Botox and dermal fillers to be injected by anyone, regardless of their training or experience.[1]

I was equally stunned to find out that Botulinum toxin – Botox – is the most poisonous biological substance known to humankind[2] – a couple of teaspoons would be enough to kill everyone in the UK – and yet it is so routinely used in an industry that is not currently well regulated.

The industry has seen a boom in recent years thanks, in part, to Instagram. The perfect pouts and filtered faces created in clinics across the country have led an increasing number of people to seek out cheap cosmetic surgery in order to emulate what they see on the platform. As a result, an increasing number are suffering the serious consequences of being injected by untrained and unprofessional individuals. In 2018, Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners, received a whopping 934 complaints from patients regarding unregistered practitioners.

Another documentary, The Botox Bust, took this one step further and found beauticians across the country happy to give Botox to an undercover reporter without a valid prescription, and a struck-off doctor supplying Botox over the phone. The BBC’s One Show found that 17 out of 23 providers visited were happy to offer lip fillers to a 15-year-old.

I found all of this fascinating and just knew I had to write about it. In Do Her No Harm we meet Annabella, an aesthetic nurse who uses these toxins every day. In fact, her entire personality has been shaped by cosmetic procedures, nipping and tucking each time she wants to reinvent herself. With the news that her best friend, Tabitha, is missing, Annabella’s life begins to spiral: her only focus finding out what happened to Tabitha and bringing her kidnapper to justice.


[1] https://www.saveface.co.uk/about-us/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1128745/

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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Read my review of Do Her No Harm

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 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 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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