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

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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.

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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

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

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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

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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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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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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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

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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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4* Review: The French Retreat – Sue Fortin (Falling for France #1)

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Blurb 2016- 2

Losing her job and her home, wasn’t on Marcie Grainger’s wish list for the new year. In a bid to reassess her life, she heads off to the only place she has ever felt content – her brother’s farmhouse retreat in rural France.

Marcie isn’t the only one looking to escape. Ex-soldier Will hopes the gentle pace of French life will help to banish the ghosts of his past and offer him the fresh start he desires.

However, all is not what it seems at The Retreat. Fuelled by a string of strange happenings and local rumours, Will and Marcie are pushed together as they try to discover who or what is behind it all. In so doing, they are faced with a moral dilemma and question if doing wrong is doing right?

The French Retreat is a story of human compassion, hope and love.

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review

The French Retreat (French Mystery Series Book 1)

Marcie and the establishment have come to blows when she seeks solace in France, at her brother’s aptly name home, ‘The Retreat’. The mystery starts when she meets Will, an ex soldier who is staying at the retreat. Will’s attraction to Marcie is undeniable but can it overcome the demons he is battling?
The vividly described setting is lovely and makes the perfect backdrop for the mystery that unfolds. Although the plot isn’t complex, there are enough twists to make you think one thing, when in fact the truth is something else entirely. The fast paced story keeps you interested and the moral dilemma it poses, makes you wonder what you would do faced with the same set of circumstances. The unsurprising, romantic ending, is satisfying and sets the scene perfectly for book 2.

 

The French Retreat by Sue Fortin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The French Retreat (French Mystery Series Book 1) by Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin

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Amber Alert Series – Sara Schoen – Blog Tour – 4* Review

Amber Alert Series Banner

I’ve reviewed the three books in the Amber Alert Series , here’s what the books are about.

AmberAlertSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Anna was taken…

Taken from her home to live out a sick game that a guy has been playing for the last ten years.

With no certainty that anyone is looking for her, and seemingly hours away from home, she’s forced to play housewife with a man that has had twelve other ‘wives’.

Each of them now dead…

With 12 rules and the obvious exits blocked, from the previous girls attempts to flee. Is Anna’s only way out to play along and become a ‘loving wife’? Or will she die during the chase?

Would anyone even know what happened to her?

Or would she be labeled as a runaway?

And where is she in the first place?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter.

Goodreads

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

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AbductedSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Audrey Thomas had been raised by overprotective parents and is sick of it…

After the kidnapping and recovery of her mother, Anna Cowles, eighteen years ago, parents had a harsh awakening as they realized any child could be taken for any reason.

New laws were set in place to protect children, but those same children, ignored the rules and went out of their way to get into trouble.

Audrey has always done what she wanted, no matter what the consequences were…

But what happens when her choices lead her to being taken by the one man people feared everyday for the last eighteen years, right up to his execution.

Will she make it out like her mother did?

Or will she suffer the fate of the previous twelve girls?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter.

Goodreads

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

ApprehendedSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

There’s a copycat on the loose, and he’s playing the part of the notorious Steve Bennett, a serial kidnapper and killer.

Twelve known girls have already been taken from over the country, but none have returned. With the orignial house of the mass kidnapper and murderer destroyed, where is he hiding the girls?

Are any of them still alive or is he living up to Steve Bennett’s MO and killing them off before getting a new girl?

Are these girls his wives or are they something much worse? Jessi Sparks is about to find out for herself.

This is the case she has been waiting for, and she won’t let it slip through her fingers. She will risk everything to finally put an end to mass kidnappings, but will she risk her own life just to finally finish this?

Goodreads

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

 

Excerpt - 1

“No! Andy…please!”
I was roughly shoved into the back of a black car. The door slammed shut, the front door opened soon after and he got in. There was a click, as the car was locked. He threw the car into forward, and took off at an insane speed leaving everyone I knew and cared for behind.
I watched in terror as trees whizzed by, leaving the familiar surroundings behind as the road went from pavement to dirt and the buildings were replaced with large trees and fallen branches. I didn’t know where we were going, but I wanted to go home. The locks wouldn’t budge; the child safety lock prevented my escape the moment he had locked me in this god-forsaken car. I had lost my phone in the struggle, and I was stuck in here.
There were scratch marks and dark spots on the seat. It looked as though someone had tried to claw their way out and I couldn’t blame them. Every hair on my neck were standing on end with fear blazing through me. My throat was sore from the screaming, but all the drivers had ignored my pleas for help. They simply kept driving without another sideways glance in my direction.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked again, my voice hoarse from the screams and crying. It was answered the same way, with silence that slowly crept in and made me shudder.
“Shut up!’
“Where are we going?”
“Be a good girl and take orders. Now shut up!”
I wished more than anything to be back at home and under my bed, away from him. The road turned to gravel as we came upon a rundown house, its shudders were falling of the hinges, but what caught me was the windows were boarded up. To prevent escape, I felt a shiver travel up my spine as the car came to a slow stop.
He got out of the car and didn’t unlock the doors until he was at the door. That small click would have brought me relief at any point in the car ride other than now. I pushed against the other side of the car as he reached one long hand in and grabbed me by my ankle and roughly yank me out of the car on to the gravel. A scream ripped through my throat as the gravel cut into my skin and my head hit the side of the car.
“Get up!” he ordered. My head was spinning from everything that had happened, but when I didn’t move, he moved me.
His hand grabbed take a large chunk of my hair before he lifted me out of the car, ignoring my cries of pain. He roughly dragged me to the house, I couldn’t get my feet to walk and fell often.
The door was solid, he had to slam his body against the wooden blockade and force it open. There was a creak as it slowly opened from his blows, and he threw me inside onto the hardwood floor. There was no carpet, anywhere It would be possible to hear every step from anywhere in the home. The house was bare to the bones, the walls held no photos or phones, rooms remained empty of furniture unless it was bolted to the ground. A new wave of fear ripped through me in realization that he had done this before, he had taken precautions for it.

Mystery Thriller My Review

Amber Alert
Written from a first person point of view, the reader immediately experiences all the emotions of Anna, the lead character in this suspenseful story. There is a naivety to the writing, which is in stark contrast the horrors revealed as the plot progresses. Anna is a courageous character and from her vivid description and reactions it’s easy to imagine her terror. This is peek through your fingers suspense as Anna realises few people can be trusted. There are some lovely relationships formed in this story between unlikely individuals thrown together by circumstance. The ending is thrilling and makes you want to see what happens next.

Abducted
This story is set many years after the conclusion of Amber Alert; it deals with similar themes but doesn’t have the menace of the first book in the series, although there is plenty of mystery and suspense. The story is complete but reading the first book in the series ‘Amber Alert’ is essential to appreciate the danger faced by the heroine. Again full of unusual relationships this book provides a steady link between the ‘Amber Alert’ and ‘Apprehended’ the last book in the series.

Apprehended
The final book of the ‘Amber Alert series’ completes the story started twenty years previously. Another serial kidnapper and possibly murderer is taking young women. Whilst there are similarities with the antagonist in the first book, the copycat has subtle differences. There is a suspenseful twist that takes the story in an unexpected direction. The characters’ emotions convey the horrors of their abduction and avoid the need for overly graphic descriptions. The ‘love at first sight’ theme continues in ‘Apprehended’. The ending completes the series in a satisfying way.
I received copies of the books in this series from the author in return for honest reviews.

Author Bio -1

 

9790618 (1)Sara Schoen began writing in middle school, but did not officially dedicate herself to writing until high school when encouraged by her writing partner. Before then, Sara had not thought about trying to publish her works because it seemed unlikely that anyone would take a chance on someone so young. Despite her previous thoughts, she published her first book, Amber Alert, at the age of nineteen, and began rewriting and editing a spy series that she spent years writing when she was younger. With a lot of hard work and determination, now that same series, which is close to her heart, is a bestseller.
Sara is a Biology Major with a minor in Environmental Science and a minor in Spanish at James Madison University, and spends her time writing, studying, and ghost hunting. While writing is a great hobby that turned into a passion to share with others, school is her priority.
Throughout her publishing journey, Sara has had an amazing support system from her family, friends, and significant other, who were with her every step of the way. She hopes to continue to write, and wants to inspire others to reach for their dreams no matter how far they may seem. She truly believes that dreams can come true at any age, if you put in effort and chase after what you want.

Links -1

 
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Other Books by Sara Schoen

Guarded Secrets Series:

Suicide Mission (FREE)

Covert Operations 

Left for Dead 

Waking Up Blank  

 

Books by Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson

The Dying Game 

 Deadly Hallows 

Bad Publicity  

5* Review : Carissa Ann Lynch – have you seen This Girl? – The Flocksdale Files #1

Adult Theme

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Wendi Wise is a troubled young woman who snorts her breakfast through a straw and spends more time in rehab than in the real world…

Her life is seemingly out of control.

But now she has a plan.

That plan involves a sharp set of butcher knives.

She’s going back to where all of her troubles began…

Flocksdale.

Wendi was lured away from a local skating rink, at the age of thirteen, and held captive in a place she calls ‘The House of Horrors.’ Dumped off blindfolded on the side of a dirt road, Wendi soon discovered that she was addicted to the drugs they fed her while she was captive.

Too scared to go home, and having a new habit to deal with, she hopped on a bus, vanishing from the family she loved.

Vanishing from Flocksdale…

The town of Flocksdale is littered with fliers with a grainy image of young Wendi, and the words ‘Have You Seen This Girl?’ written below.

Now, eight years later, she’s on a mission—a mission to find the mysterious house from her youth and the monsters who dwell inside it.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Currently Free to download on Amazon

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Mystery Thriller My Review

 

Have You Seen This Girl (Flocksdale Files Book 1)This is a gripping, often shocking, suspenseful, mystery thriller, exploring the adult themes of abduction, child abuse and murder. Written from the first person point of view of a teenage girl and then a young woman, Wendi Wise’s story doesn’t graphically describe the abuse she suffers. Yet it manages to convey its horror vividly, through Wendi’s feelings at the time and subsequent addiction, as a result of the abuse she has suffered.
This story is dark but as it progresses it lightens, as Wendi’s emotional strength allows her to rebuild her shattered life. Some of the characters restore your faith in human nature but most are truly demonic. This is an edge of your seat read, who can she trust? Will getting revenge destroy her fragile mind? The ending is realistic and provides hope in a dark world. The quality of the writing, and the complex characters, definitely makes this book worth reading.
I downloaded a free copy of this book from Amazon UK.

Have You Seen This Girl by Carissa Ann Lynch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Have You Seen This Girl (Flocksdale Files Book 1) by Carissa Ann Lynch

Carissa Ann Lynch
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