Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Murder Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Hide Nell Pattison 4*#Review #Narrator David Thorpe, Sherry Baines , Alex Wingfield, Nick Biadon, Clare-Louise English, Billy Ashcroft, Beth Eyre @Writer_Nell @AvonBooksUK #HarperCollinsUKAudio #Hide #Suspense #Thriller #Mystery #Audiobook #Review

Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…

The winter hike is meant to bring their nature group together.
Emily, the sister who never lets her hearing loss hold her back.
Lauren, the sister who always feels a step behind.
Morna, who doesn’t get on with Lauren.
Ben, whose feelings for Emily border on obsession.
Dan, the quiet newcomer to the group.
Kai, who isn’t just on the hike to enjoy the wildlife.
And Alec, the one who knows all their secrets.

As the sun sets, a gunshot rings out on the nature reserve.
One of the seven is dead. And one of their number killed them…

Amazon Audible Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Harper Collins UK Audio (Avon ) via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This a character driven, claustrophobic, complex thriller set on a remote nature reserve in Winter. There are seven main characters who meet as a nature group. They appear diverse and unconnected except for the group but as the story progresses their connections emerge.

The characters are hard to empathise with and all have secrets from each other. The suspense is cleverly created using the characters’ interactions, the setting and the weather. It takes a while to get into the story but once each character speaks and the tension between them grows, it’s addictive listening.

The actors portraying the characters bring the story to life and this book works well in an audio format.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Detective, Family Drama, Folk Tales, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Replacement Melanie Golding – 5* #Review – @HQStories @mk_golding #detective #Folklore #suspense #mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads #TheReplacement

When a small child is found wandering alone, the local shopkeepers call the authorities immediately. Twenty minutes later, the girl’s mother turns up, panicked and distraught. It doesn’t take long to clear things up, and mother and daughter are soon reunited and sent on their way.

Miles away, the body of a man is discovered, floating in a bathtub, but the most surprising discovery of all is that he isn’t dead. Despite his injuries, he is very much alive.

Two seemingly unrelated events. But as DS Harper begins to investigate, disturbing truths start to come to light that connects the man to the mother and child, and suddenly it’s not clear where the danger truly lies. Harper must find out, and quickly. Because someone, or something, is closing in and she needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late…

Weaving together the trademark folklore inspiration that readers loved in Little Darlings, with the procedural narrative force of a brilliant mystery, this is the excellent and unnerving new novel from Melanie Golding.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A twisty noir that weaves legend and reality into a compelling tale that menaces and mystifies. The relationships are complex and form the basis of this story that defies belief. The protagonists are easy to empathise with, and this keeps you turning the pages. The chapters are pacy and absorbing. An authentic police investigation conducted against a network of strong emotional bonds and powerful unseen forces makes this story appealing on many levels.

Strong female relationships, mystery and myth deliver an addictive reading experience.

Read my review of Little Darlings

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, New Books, Psychologist, Suspense, Thriller

Bring Her Home S. A. Dunphy 5*#Review #BoyleandKeneally @dunphyshane1 @bookouture #IrishCrimeFiction #CrimeFiction#Detective #CriminalPsychologist #Suspense #Folklore #CrimeNoir #BookReview #BringHerHome #MondayBlogs

She had taken only one step towards the hotel when she heard the car door opening, and then something had her by the shoulders in a grip like steel. Penny tried to fight, but it was no good. The last thing she heard as consciousness drifted away was the whisper of a familiar song…

In a small town on Ireland’s west coast, a young woman named Penelope O’Dwyer leaves a restaurant. It should take five minutes to walk back to where she’s staying. In those five minutes she disappears without a trace.

It’s a few days before the tape arrives. The kidnapper’s face is masked, his voice distorted, but no one doubts for a second he will follow through on his threat: a ritual murder at the end of October – and after that, many more murders to come. Penelope has two weeks to live. And the police don’t have a single lead.

Detective Seamus Keneally insists they need help. Especially when imprisoned murderer Frederick Morgan offers vital information connecting this case to a series of historic murders. But he will only speak to one person: criminal behaviourist Jessie Boyle. Jessie is still grieving after a brutal tragedy that cut her career in London short – but right now, she’s the only chance Penelope has.

Morgan claims this is the work of a serial killer who’s been working in the shadows for longer than the police have ever realised. Now Jessie must use all her instincts and insight to get inside the mind of a criminal more ruthless than any she’s faced in her career – before the evil that has secretly stalked Ireland for decades is unleashed again.

A totally breathtaking and chilling crime thriller that will keep you gripped to the very last page.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is such an atmospheric crime thriller full of emotion and suspense. Vibrant characters Boyle and Keneally have a believable team dynamic. Set in Ireland, the setting adds to the suspenseful ethos with hints of the supernatural interwoven with Irish folklore.

There is an overriding menace in this story. It’s explored but not resolved in this story, making the reader want to know how it will develop. The fast pacing adds to the story’s addictive quality, and Jessie Boyle has secrets but is easy to like. Seamus Keneally seems to be more open with less to hide and is the perfect contrast for his partner.

Terri, the historical researcher and technical expert, has a poignant past. Dawn, the Police Commissioner, has a history with Jessie. Both have complex pasts that add depth to the story.

Authentic and well-paced, this is an immersive read that is hard to put down.

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Lighthouse Fran Dorricott  #CoverReveal @franwritesstuff  @AvonBooksUK #suspense #gothic #preorder #3February2022 #TheLighthouse

No one expected them to go there. The question is: will any of them leave?

Six friends travel to a remote island north of the Scottish Highlands for an old school reunion. They’ve rented The Lighthouse – a stunning, now abandoned building that was once notorious for deaths at sea.

On the first evening, someone goes missing. The group search all through the night to no avail. But when the five remaining friends return to the lighthouse early the next morning, they are shocked to find James inside. He’s looks terrified – but won’t say a word about where he’s been.

The party vow to put the strange night behind them and enjoy the rest of their stay, but when more unexplained things begin to occur, tensions escalate. It’s clear James knows something, but nothing will persuade him to give up the secrets of the island. Is he protecting his friends from a terrible truth, or leading them into more danger?

Amazon UK

#TheLighthouse

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Gothic Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

My Sweet Girl Amanda Jayatissa 4*#Review @AmandaJayatissa @HodderBooks @BerkleyPub #BookReview #MySweetGirl #psychological #suspense #PsychologicalThriller #friendship #secrets #family #contemporaryfiction

A girl in a new country.

A dark secret left behind.

A dead body which might tell all.

Ever since she was adopted from an orphanage in Sri Lanka, Paloma has led a privileged Californian life: the best schools, a generous allowance and parents so perfect that Paloma fears she’ll never live up to them.

Now at thirty, Paloma has managed to disappoint her parents so thoroughly that their relationship will never recover. Unemployed and friendless, the only person still talking to her is Arun – the Indian man subletting her spare room. That is until Arun discovers Paloma’s darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her fragile place in this country, and the next day is found face down in a pool of blood.

On finding Arun’s body Paloma flees her apartment. But by the time the police arrive, there’s no body to be found or signs of struggle – and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.

The police may be quick to dismiss everything, but Paloma knows what she saw. Is this tangled up in her childhood in Sri Lanka and the desperate actions she took to leave so many years ago? And did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?


Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

An intense and twisty psychological thriller told in dual timelines. Present-day San Francisco finds Paloma’s life in a desperate freefall. The reasons why gradually emerge intricately tied to her childhood in an orphanage in Sri Lanka. Paloma is an unreliable protagonist, drinking too much alcohol whilst taking prescription drugs for her mental health issues. She is intelligent and likeable but is on a self-destructive path. There is a resonating, supernatural element in this story. Beginning in her past Sri Lankan life, becoming increasingly disturbing in her adult life. Delusional, a clever revengeful illusion, or something more menacing? The reader doesn’t know until the final revelations.

Relentless pacing keeps the reader turning the pages. It allows little time to peruse the evidence. The plot keeps its secrets well the reveals are few but impactful. Amidst the sinister and supernatural,` there is a poignant ethos surrounding the main protagonist. It shows her loneliness and vulnerability.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Noir, Thriller

Whisper Cottage  Anne Wyn Clark 4* #Review @EAClarkAuthor  @AvonBooksUK #gothic #thriller #domestic #noir #suspense #WhisperCottage @rararesources #HearTheWhispers

When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start.

Their new home is run-down compared to their neighbour’s, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend.   Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.  

Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The opening chapter of this story takes the reader back to 1964 and a domestic scene, relatable yet with sinister implications. Time moves forward to 2012 when Stina and her partner move into Whisper Cottage. Stina’s unplanned pregnancy, the catalyst for the country move. Immediately there are echoes with the book’s beginning, and you wonder if they too will feel the pressures of raising a young child.

This is an atmospheric story with hints of supernatural events and the possibility of mental health issues for the young expectant mother. Stina is an unreliable protagonist. The reader is never sure if she sees what she thinks she does. The villagers’ archaic reaction to Stina’s neighbour is complex, disturbing and believable.

The intricate world-building slows the pace but is integral to the story’s authenticity. The plot twists are impactful. This is an intriguing gothic style mystery with hints of domestic noir and psychological suspense.

Anne Wyn Clark lives in the UK, in the Midlands, with her husband, son and a feisty chinchilla. She has three (now grown-up) children and five grandchildren. She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that…) and cake – and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions. She is passionate about animals and their welfare. Whilst she has enjoyed writing for many years, a love of all things gothic inspired her to try her hand at producing something dark and twisty, culminating in the haunting Whisper Cottage.

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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 Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Couple at No. 9 Claire Douglas 5* #Review @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks @Dougieclaire #PsychologicalThriller #Crime #FamilyDrama #suspense #preorder

It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found . . .

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO

When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body – two bodies, in fact.

POLICE INVESTIGATE

Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – her grandmother, Rose.

OWNER QUESTIONED

Rose is in a care home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police but it is clear she remembers something.

A KILLER AT LARGE?

As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

What happened thirty years ago?

Why did no one miss the victims?

What part did her grandmother play?

And is Saffy now in danger?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Penguin UK Books – Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric, chilling and poignant, this psychological suspense is a page-turning read. It’s a family drama spanning three generations with timeslips back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, a time I lived through.

The main protagonists are flawed and relatable, making the menacing events and revelations resonate. The twists are impactful with some, easier to work out than others. The balance of pacing and the gradual revealing of the lies and secrets keeps the reader absorbed until the end.

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

The Man on Hackpen Hill J.S. Monroe 5* #Review @HoZ_Books @JSThrillers #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #Detective #Noir #Suspense #psychsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #TheManonHackpenHill #preorder #2September

It isn’t unusual for crop circles to appear overnight on Hackpen Hill. In this part of Wiltshire, where golden wheat fields stretch for miles, the locals have got used to discovering strange mathematical patterns stamped into the earth.

But this time, it’s different. Not only because this particular design of dramatic spiralling hexagons has never been seen before. But because of the dead body positioned precisely in the centre of the circle. DI Silas Hart, of Swindon Police, is at a loss.

Only Jim, a scientist at secretive government laboratory Porton Down, knows the chilling truth about the man on Hackpen Hill. And he wants Bella, a trainee journalist on her first ever story, to tell the world. But Silas has other ideas – and a boss intent on a cover up.

As Bella and Jim race against time, dark forces conspire against them, leading them to confront the reality of their own past and a world in which nothing is as it seems.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has an intrinsic sense of authenticity, which is in itself chilling given the disturbing elements it explores. It features the detective team of Silas and Strover, a familiar combination if you’ve read the authors other psychological thrillers. It begins with a disquieting prologue that sets the scene for what follows. Bella leaves Oxford for a fledgling career in journalism. Her complex past unfolds as the story progresses. Silas and Strover are investigating a death in a crop circle which leads them into the fields of secret laboratories and mental health issues. Jim meets Bella in a Wiltshire pub, accidentally he believes at first.

The story is told from these points of view. The police investigation is absorbing and allows the reader to make their deductions. Bella and Jim are both unreliable protagonists, but they are easy to empathise with. The plot is fast-paced with its short chapters. The use of sensory imagery makes the events easy to imagine. The plot twists are impactful. The story changes perspective dramatically but realistically and is addictive reading. The climactic ending is satisfying, delivering action, poignancy and positivity for the main protagonists.

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Read my review of Forget My Name

Read my review of The Other You

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.