Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour: Theresa Talbot – The Lost Children – 5*Review

TV journalist and media darling Oonagh O’Neil can sense a sinister coverup from the moment an elderly priest dies on the altar of his Glasgow church. Especially as his death comes as she is about to expose the shocking truth behind the closure of a Magdalene Institution. The Church has already tried to suppress what happened to decades of forgotten women. Is someone also covering their tracks?

DI Alec Davies is appointed to investigate the priest’s death. He and Oonagh go way back. But what secrets lie behind the derelict Institution’s doors? What sparked the infamous three-day riot that closed it? And what happened to the girls that survived the institution and vowed to stay friends forever?

From Ireland to Scotland.

From life to death.

 Links to buy

 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2pFMSUo

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2GzG9oE

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

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

My Thoughts…

A high profile investigative journalist, the death of a priest and past secrets of abuse and injustice make this mystery thriller an enthralling read.
‘The Lost Children’ is written in dual timelines, the terrible lives of the young girls in the Magdalene Institution in the late 1950s in Galway and Glasgow inform the investigation and mystery explored by Oonagh O’Neil and DI Alec Davies in 2000 Glasgow.

The chapters from the 1950’s are harrowing reading, the abuse suffered by young girls forced into the Magdalene institutions is compounded by their imprisonment and torture when they are there. These young unmarried pregnant girls treated like criminals for being victims of abuse and an uncaring, judgemental society. Their stories are written sensitively and backed up with social history that makes them believable characters.

Oonagh, a successful journalist produces a series of exposes into the seedier areas of Glasgow and British society. Her ongoing investigation into the Magdalene institutions coincides with the death of an old priest who is part of her inquiry, what follows is the gradual revelation of the mysteries and a collision of characters seemingly unconnected as the story progresses.

Oonagh is a dedicated journalist, still grieving for her father, she doesn’t suffer fools, but she is loyal and trustworthy. Her polished outer shell hides a tender heart which she keeps well hidden. Her personal life is complicated, and she has a surprisingly deep friendship with DI Alec Davies a hardened Glasgow cop.

In the year 2000 chapters there are multiple storylines; a frustrated priest, a seedy journalist, cynical police and a successful doctor all have their own stories, but these are necessary to the plot and part of its perfectly pitched ending.

Realistic characters, a well-researched plot tempered with mystery and surprises make this a riveting, crime based thriller.

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

Theresa Talbot is a BBC broadcaster and freelance producer. A former radio news editor, she also hosted The Beechgrove Potting Shed on BBC Radio Scotland, but for many, she will be most familiar as the voice of the station’s Traffic & Travel. Late 2014 saw the publication of her first book, This Is What I Look Like, a humorous memoir covering everything from working with Andy Williams to rescuing chickens and discovering nuns hidden in gardens. She’s much in demand at book festivals, both as an author and as a chairperson.

Website: http://theresatalbot.com.websitebuilder.prositehosting.co.uk/

Twitter: @Theresa_Talbot

Facebook: Theresa Talbot

 

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Posted in Book Review

The Wife – The Complete Series – M.L.Roberts 5* Review

I loved ‘The Wife’, series by M.L.Roberts and now all four parts are available in one book.

Michael and Ellie are that couple.

The ones who have it all.

Success, charm, trust…but no relationship is perfect, and the events of the past cast a shadow over their charmed life together.

When lecturer Michael starts to mentor a new student, Ellie fears that history is repeating itself. As paranoia takes its ugly hold, it’s clear some things just can’t be forgotten…or forgiven.

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

 There is a skilful build-up of psychological tension and believable characters. The intense storytelling makes it hard to tell what is real and what is in the main character’s mind, breathtaking suspense and drama. 

Ellie’s tragic past is revealed, which explains much about her current state of mind and motivation. The story is told entirely from Ellie’s point of view, but the actions of others, who touch her life are essential to this story. 

The psychological tension is ramped up. Is  Michael the real villain of this? Or is it all in Ellie’s troubled mind? Maybe Liam isn’t the selfless, knight in shining armour Ellie believes him to be? Ellie thinks she is in control but is she? There are so many questions in this story, which has a dark, sinister ethos. Ellie is in danger but is she her own enemy or is there someone else controlling her life for their own ends. 

Paranoia or intuition, which is it that makes Ellie believe her husband is lying to her? The final chapters of this enthralling, psychological thriller, keep its secrets almost to the end. When you think you know everything there is another breathtaking revelation that leaves you with a chill down your spine.

Ellie’s mental health continues to deteriorate, her marriage to Michael reaches the breaking point, but Liam is more than willing to take his place. Is this what she wants? Ellie’s not sure about anything, but her need for the truth.The outcome of the terrible night that destroyed her is played out, and we find out why she can’t put it out of her mind. While this is not a surprise, it does give you further pieces towards solving the psychological puzzle.

The story continues with its twisty plot. Will Ellie learn the truth or is it all in her mind, the fall out from her night of terror. All is revealed in a nail-biting end to an original, gripping story.

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

 

Posted in Book Review

Bring Me Back B. A. Paris 5*Review

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The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

Amazon

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

Fast-paced, totally addictive suspense fiction that draws you in from the first lie until the final terrifying twist. Written from Finn and his missing girlfriend’s point of view, you learn their past and current thoughts, without slowing down the story.

Finn is troubled he has a shady past that occasionally resurfaces with devasting results, his obsessive love of Layla his missing girlfriend makes him an obvious suspect in her disappearance but his well-placed lies and excellent legal advice leave him free to rebuild his life.  Twelve years later, Finn has moved on, but random events collide to make him believe the past hasn’t done with him yet.

Focusing on Finn, his current girlfriend, a longtime friend and ex-girlfriend, the cast of this sinister thriller is small. As the menace escalates, Finn cannot trust anyone, and this sense of isolation builds his anger to boiling point.

The gripping final chapters reveal an unexpected twist, with horrific consequences for the story’s major players. I guessed this before the end, but even then, the ultimate revelation is not quite as I envisaged. For me, part of the enjoyment is trying to foresee the outcome before the story’s end. 

The tagline #forgetsleep is true. I read this book through the night yesterday.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Behind A Closed Door – Adele O’Neill Blog Tour: 4* Review

Behind a Closed Door blog tour banner

What if everything in your life was a lie? An emotionally tense story of love, loyalty, betrayal and revenge. 

DUBLIN – For the past two years, Jill Ryan has tried to keep her darkest secrets deeply buried and remain relatively anonymous. Haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her life together, Jill soon realises that the last person she can trust is herself.

KILKENNY – Only Heather Martin knows the lengths her husband will go to teach her a lesson and Heather has had enough. Faced with the impossible choice of saving herself or staying to care for her ailing father, Heather has a choice to make. But does she have what it takes to survive?

When Detectives Louise Kennedy in Dublin and Tony Kelly in Kilkenny begin to investigate, their dark discoveries collide unravelling a complex web of secrets that stretch far and wide.

Behind A Closed Door cover

Links to buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ocWAgk

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2EMCq7n

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2HvfxD1

iBooks: https://apple.co/2EZ1Cqs

 

My Thoughts…

‘Behind A Closed Door’, is an emotionally harrowing story of domestic abuse, family loyalty and friendship. Two female characters are the focus of the story, one in Kilkenny two years previously and one in present-day Dublin. Both are loyal women, who have suffered domestic abuse. Timeslip between the two time periods and locations is seamless and moves the story along at a readable pace.
Character-driven this story centres on a small number of individuals, and their respective lives, cleverly linked. However, it is numerous plot twists later that the full picture is apparent. Sinister intent underscores this story; the antagonist is hateful and your empathy for the victim without question. While the suspense is well-written the major plot twist is not hard to solve, but this doesn’t detract from the story’s menace and the believable dilemmas and conflicts the protagonists face.

‘Behind A Closed Door’ highlights in a sensitive way the horror of domestic abuse using realistic characters and situations.

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

O'Neill_Adele

Having lived and worked in the UK and Dublin since college, Adele now lives in her hometown in Co. Wicklow with her husband and two teenage daughters. She writes overlooking the Irish Sea and is an active member of the Wexford Literary Festival committee.

Twitter: @Adelesbooks

Facebook: AdeleONeillBooks

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Missing Presumed – D.S. Manon #1 – Susie Steiner – 4 *Review

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.

Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

 Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

A good crime mystery is defined by its detective. Manon Bradshaw is a complex, compelling creature who ensures you keep turning the pages even when the plot is a little pedestrian in parts.

I liked the carefully layered plot, which gradually gives the reader more pieces in the jigsaw, only to add tragic events and new characters which complicate rather than inform. It would have been so easy to write a sensationalised ending but ‘Missing, Presumed’, stays true to its credible roots and is believable. The story’s women’s fiction element is strong and makes it worth reading.The suspense is well written but this is more about familial relationships and friendships than criminals.

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

Posted in Book Review

The Girl Before – J.P. Delaney – 5* Review

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?
Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

The Girl Before

Two young women, one in the past and one in the present, whose lives intertwine, as the past threatens to overwhelm the present.
The suspense grips you from the first page, each woman has so many secrets and emotional damage and the clean, simple lines of 1 Folgate Street, offers a new start, the slate wiped clean and they are desperate to take the solace it offers, whatever the cost.

The girls’ past histories draw you in. The suspense intensifies as Jane discovers what happened to Emma, the woman who lived there before her and the secrets surrounding her.

The women’s characters are fascinating and tragic.

The enigmatic owner and architect of 1 Folgate Street is mysterious and menacing. Yet, sometimes it’s the familiar that presents the most danger.  

There are lots of grey areas in this story, open to the reader’s own interpretation, which keep you turning the pages and make you wonder if you really have understood, who did what. 

A story that will keep you enthralled to the end.
I received a copy of this story from Quercus Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

J.P. Delaney

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Posted in Book Review, Sampler

The Girl Before – J.P. Delaney – 5* Review- Sampler

cover101612-medium

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?
Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

The Girl Before

Review of Sampler:

Two young women, one in the past and one in the present, whose lives intertwine, as the past threatens to overwhelm the present.
The suspense grips you from the first page, each woman has so many secrets and emotional damage and the clean, simple lines of 1 Folgate Street, offers a new start, the slate wiped clean and they are desperate to take the solace it offers, whatever the cost.
The sampler reveals enough about the girls’ past to draw you in. The suspense intensifies as Jane discovers what happened to Emma, the woman who lived there before her and the secrets surrounding her.
The women’s characters are fascinating and tragic. The enigmatic owner and architect of 1 Folgate Street is mysterious and menacing. A story that will keep you enthralled to the end.
I received a sampler of this story from Quercus Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

J.P. Delaney

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Posted in Book Review

300 Days of Sun – Deborah Lawrenson – 4* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But beneath the crumbling façade of Moorish buildings, Joanna soon realizes, Faro has a seedy underbelly, its economy compromised by corruption. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a child’s kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago.

Joanna’s subsequent search leads her to Ian Rylands, an English expat who cryptically insists she will find answers in The Alliance, a novel written by American Esta Hartford. The book recounts an American couple’s experience in Portugal during World War II, and their entanglements both personal and professional with their German enemies. Only Rylands insists the book isn’t fiction, and as Joanna reads deeper into The Alliance, she begins to suspect that Esta Hartford’s story and Nathan Emberlin’s may indeed converge in Faro — where the past not only casts a long shadow but still exerts a very present danger.

Buy Links  - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

300 Days of Sun

 

This is a clever novel merging the past and present seamlessly. As a reader, you become an investigative journalist, without having to move from your armchair. The setting is dramatic, yet has a simplicity, which contrasts wonderfully with the corrupt elements discussed in the novel.
At a crossroads in her life, Joanna leaves the difficulties of her career and love life behind when she takes a language course in beautiful Portugal. Attraction and intrigue draw Joanna to Nathan. He embroils her in his mission to discover the mysteries of his past.
The pace is a little slow to begin with but it’s worth the wait, as the past collides with the present in alarmingly ways that make this book hard to put down. There is a story within a story as time slips back to WW2 and the fascinating, dangerous place Portugal was during this period, giving this novel an original twist. The plot and characters are authentic and vivid, you can imagine these people, behaving in this way. This is not a romance, there is no happy ever after but a believable, satisfying conclusion to the mysteries, with just a few threads left dangling to let you draw your own conclusions.
Joanna is a good heroine who I think could have further adventures both in the present and the past.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson

Deborah Lawrenson

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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

Elsa Winckler
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Posted in Book Review

Echoes of Time -The Guernsey Novels Book 5 – Anne Allen – 5* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…
1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.
All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake.
Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-
but there’s a price to pay. . .
2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…
Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.
Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?

Buy Links  - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

Echoes of Time (The Guernsey Novels Book 5)

 

All the ‘Guernsey Novels’ are defined by their memorable characters, vivid setting and intriguing plots, ‘Echoes of Time’, has all of these qualities and something extra that makes it a gripping and worthwhile read.
The cross over and parallels between Guernsey’s past and present are explored in greater detail in this story and Natalie, who returns to the island after a traumatic incident, experiences life in war torn Guernsey, in a most disturbing way. Escaping her past Natalie witnesses a woman’s life with a startling similarity to her own, is her subconscious playing tricks on her or is what she dreams and experiences real? The mystery enfolds in 2010 with flashbacks and time slip to occupied Guernsey in World War Two. The historical element is well researched and often anecdotal and blends with the present in a believable, easy to read way.
Characters’ flaws make them authentic and human. Natalie finds friendship when she most needs it but will become something more and is she brave enough to let it?
A poignant, well written tale, set on a beautiful island, perfect for holiday reading and anytime you want to escape.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Echoes of Time by Anne Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Echoes of Time (The Guernsey Novels Book 5) by Anne Allen

Anne Allen

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