Posted in Book Review

4*Review: Stalker – Lisa Stone

 

Someone is always watching…

Derek Flint is a loner. He lives with his mother and spends his
evenings watching his clients on the CCTV cameras he has installed inside their homes. He likes their companionship – even if it’s through a screen.

When a series of crimes hit Derek’s neighbourhood, DC Beth Mayes begins to suspect he’s involved. How does he know so much about the victims’ lives? Why won’t he let anyone into his office? And what is his mother hiding in that strange, lonely house?

As the crimes become more violent, Beth must race against the clock to find out who is behind the attacks. Will she uncover the truth in time? And is Derek more dangerous than even she has guessed? 

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Reading the blurb to this techno-thriller, you would be forgiven for thinking you are about to read a 21st-Century ‘Psycho’ but don’t be fooled.

A convoluted plot takes you in one direction in an almost predictable way but then leads you down an even darker road before reaching an action-filled conclusion. Even with all the twists, it’s the characters rather than the plot’s complexity that make this a readable thriller.

Derek Flint, a loner, still living with his mother is a voyeur but does he do more than watch? Initially, it appears that Derek is not a good person, but as the story progresses, you discover he is more naive than evil, but he still has the key to the crime wave hitting his hometown. Detective Constables Beth and Matt have a good team dynamic, and they’re a credible police presence in the novel.

Well researched crime description with believable characters that develop within the plot’s sinister ethos, created by cleverly built suspense. An original  21st- century angle on the Stalker trope.

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

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour: Kate Ryder – Summer in a Cornish Cove – 5*Review

Oliver Foxley is an acclaimed movie star and global heartthrob. But under the glare of the spotlight his ‘perfect’ life – and marriage -is slowly starting to crumble.

Cara Penhaligon is a struggling young Cornish artist and widowed mother of two children. Life has been unbearably harsh to Cara, but meeting Oliver might just give her a second chance at the happiness she deserves. As each begins to heal the other, the pieces of Oliver’s frustrating jigsaw puzzle effortlessly fall into place. But as the Cornish summer draws to a close, Oliver faces the toughest of choices, and no one emerges quite as they were at the start.

 Links to buy

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2GdSsDC

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/summer-in-a-cornish-cove

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2I7acRB

iBooks: https://apple.co/2GbnobS

 

 

My Thoughts…

This story is so much more than the holiday romance the title suggests. The cove is a special place, aesthetically beautiful but with a tightly knit community looking out for one another. Not all of the inhabitants were born there, but they all recognise its importance.

Oliver is a famous actor, but like most people, he has both a public and private face. He battles endogenous depression, so at odds with his extrovert persona as an actor. His wife fiercely protects his image and their family but doesn’t understand this side of him. Cara is a working artist, whose talent knows no bounds but is restricted by her need to be there for her young family since the untimely death of her young husband.

The storytelling in this book is first class, instantly drawing you into the cove’s community, visualising the coastal setting and wanting to know more about the people who live there. The intricate plot reveals Cara and Oliver’s stories until serendipity draws them together. Internal conflict is paramount in this story but interspersed with mystery, suspense and romance. The characters are well written and believable, and more than one is a little sinister.

The final chapters are heartrending and poignant and maintain Cara and Oliver’s authenticity.

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

Kate Ryder has worked in a number of industries including publishing, mainly as a proof-reader/copy editor and writer for a national newspaper, magazines and publishing houses. A member of the New Writers Scheme with the Romantic Novelists Association, in 2013 she published her debut novel, ‘The Forgotten Promise’, a timeslip romance and mysterious ghost story, which was shortlisted for Choc Lit’s 2016 “Search for a Star” and also honoured with a Chill with a Book “Book of the Month” Award. Kate lives in a renovated 200-year-old sawmill in the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

 

Posted in Book Review

Our Kind of Cruelty Araminta Hall – 4* Review

Most of us spend our whole lives searching for the person who’ll make us feel complete.

But Mike and Verity know they’re different. They’ve found their soulmate, and nothing can tear them apart.

Not even the man Verity is marrying.

Because they play a secret game, one they call ‘the Crave’, to demonstrate what they both know: that Verity needs Mike, and Mike alone. But Mike knows that Verity’s impending marriage will raise the stakes of their game higher than ever before.

Because this time, for Mike and Verity to stay together, someone has to die…

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

‘Our Kind of Cruelty’ is an unusual psychological thriller. The relentless plot isn’t full of the usual twists and misinformation.

Told from Mike’s point of view, the outcome is inevitable, but it’s the events that lead up to this that make this dark thriller absorbing and chilling. Drawn into the mind of a damaged man, whose obsession with Verity, his girlfriend since university colours every action, plan and thought. Mike is blinkered and driven; Verity is his only reference point. He lacks insight concerning everything outside the bubble that contains the two of them.

The first two-thirds of the story is overlong. While it is essential to relive Mike’s version of events, his lack of self-worth, his abusive childhood and his obsession with Verity make for exhausting reading and condensing this would make the story an easier read.

Mike’s character is undoubtedly well- written, but he lives in a warped reality, and it’s hard to empathise. Verity’s point of view is unknown, her action may be indicative of her differing perspective, but Mike’s perception of them always comes back to the two of them being inseparable.

It’s not until the book’s last third that the pacing picks up and the real point of the story becomes clear. The legal courtroom scenes are realistic and riveting, the lawyer’s cross-examination of their clients are fascinating. Mike’s barrister’s direction of his client illustrates that knowing how to play the legal game doesn’t necessarily equate to justice.The ending is suitably unsettling and highlights the inequities of the legal and other social systems, despite equality laws.

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

Posted in Book Review

5* Review- Touched to the Depths – Elsa Winckler

The final book in the ‘Touched’ series

is a nail biting read.

 

 

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BLURB

He was the photographer, she the model and on a sunny beach on Mahé, she stole his heart. But Darryn isn’t ready for the powerful feelings Hannah elicits, so when another photographer implies he’s also slept with Hannah, Darryn uses it as the perfect excuse to walk away.

But when they meet again, he can’t ignore his instincts—Hannah is in danger. Lies and threats make targets of them both, and faced with a situation of pure terror, Darryn is forced to realize he’ll do anything to protect her. And to keep her with him, always…

Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review -1

Touched to the depths

Finally, ‘Touched to the Depths’ explores the tantalising mystery hinted at in the first three books. With sinister elements, this story is darker than the earlier stories. Hannah is a model whose life has been lived in the shadows, since an unfortunate event two years previously. Her brief but passionate liaison with Darryn, the dark and moody Cavallo brother is part of the reason but Hannah’s secret is much darker and threatens her and those she loves.
There is a delicate balance of back-story and present day in this book, which elaborates on scenes from earlier stories but this time from Hannah’s point of view. Her secretive behaviour is borne out of love for her family and the surly Darryn but is it safe to share her secrets or must she face the danger alone?
There is a strong psychological thriller element in this final story due the unbalanced mental state of the antagonist. This coupled with Hannah’s independence and fierce loyalty to those she loves makes for a page turning read. Danger lurks in every page and Hannah although courageous is an exasperating heroine at times.
Darryn is the last Cavallo brother to admit he is in love and this almost costs him his future happiness. His arrogance and dismissal of Hannah’s career proves to be a major source of conflict and one that must be resolved if they are ever to be happy.
This is a great finale to an enjoyable series.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Touched to the depths by Elsa Winckler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Touched to the depths by Elsa Winckler

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5* Review: The Waiting Game – Eve Devon

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 Five years ago a madman stalked her. Kidnapped her. Tattooed her.

When security expert Cameron Dexter—the man Brooke Bennett once loved—appears unexpectedly at her door with terrifying news, the former musician discovers she can no longer hide from her past. After five years, her vicious kidnapper is out of prison and on the hunt—for Brooke.

Now he’s returned to complete his art.

Cam failed to protect Brooke once before. Now he’d rather die than let her be captured. With her life at stake, Cam vows to keep her hidden and safe. Brooke, however, is done with running. Unlike Cam, she wants to stand and fight. Emotions both old and new roil between them, but addressing their heated past must wait. Together they set a trap in London to catch a killer. But they soon discover the enemy wears many faces.

And waiting is no longer an option…

 

The Waiting GameMy Review

 
‘The Waiting Game’ is a twisty, well paced story with a damaged but so courageous heroine – Brooke and a sexy, guilt ridden hero – Cam. Hooked from the first chapter I read this book in a couple of hours.
The stalker element in this story is menacing. The author conveys Brooke’s horrific experiences cleverly without resorting to descriptions of gratuitous violence. Sharing Brooke’s point of view brings the fear and lack of control she experiences vividly to life. The plot has lots of twists and a few nasty surprises for Brooke and Cam.
Cam’s need for control is a symptom of his guilt complex which proves an almost insurmountable barrier for Brooke to climb. The chemistry between the couple as Cam refuses to let his passion override his duty is sizzling. The emotional bond between the couple is tangible they so deserve their happy ending but will they get it?
Well written secondary characters enhance the story’s realistic edge. I would love to read Ellie and Alex’s stories.
The balance of romance and suspense in ‘The Waiting Game’ makes it an enthralling read.

The Waiting Game by Eve Devon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Waiting Game by Eve Devon
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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Closing In – Sue Fortin

 

 

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Helen has had to leave everything she’s ever known behind; her home, her family, even her own name.

Now, returning to the UK as Ellen Newman, she moves to a small coastal village, working as a nanny for Donovan, a criminal psychologist. Attractive, caring and protective, this single father and his sweet daughter are a world away from Ellen’s brutal past. She thinks she’s escaped. She thinks she’s safe.

But Ellen can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong.

Strange incidents begin to plague her new family, and their house of calm is about to become one of suspicion and fear. Who can be trusted? Who is the target? Who is closing in?

 

Closing InMy Review

‘Closing In’ is an atmospheric, romantic thriller.

Helen needs to escape but we don’t know why. She changes her name by deed poll to Ellen and walks away from her life and Toby her ex boyfriend.

Ellen’s new life is working out. She secures a job in sleepy seaside town as nanny to a sweet little girl who has a kind and desirable dad. Donovan’s love for his daughter defines him and makes him even more attractive to Ellen. His job as a criminal psychologist is a complication. Courageous despite her low self image Ellen is determined to enjoy a better life. Ellen’s inner battle as she strives to overcome her fears and find the true self is enthralling.

A series of untoward occurrences threatens their idyll but who is the target? This is a clever psychological thriller full of false clues and intrigue. The antagonist is menacing. The secondary characters enhance the mystery and tension in the plot.

‘Closing In’ is a beautifully written romance interwoven with dark elements of suspense which will hold your interest until the last page.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley.

Closing In by Sue Fortin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Closing In by Sue Fortin

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