Top Five Friday with The Book Review Café #Thrillers

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Today on Top Five Friday I’ve choosen my five top thriller reads, again this was a difficult one but after some thought these are still some of my favourite books in this genre.

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The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

What I found fascinating about The Theseus Pardox is, that although it isn’t my usual type of book,I found it to be a compelling read. David Videcette is a uniquely gifted story-teller, who draw’s the reader in by writing a chillingly and credible tale based on real circumstances, it’s so well written it’s difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

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The Killing Game by J. S. Carol

The Killing Game is a highly addictive read, in fact I felt I needed therapy after finishing it, as this book left me with a hell of a book hangover! I couldn’t bear to put it down. In my humble opinion The Killing Games has the hallmarks of a Hollywood blockbuster, with a highly original plot, action a plenty, and bucketfuls of suspense this is the perfect action thriller novel.

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All Fall Down by Tom Bale

Tom Bale should write a masterclass on how to bring suspense to a novel, All Fall Down is packed to the brim with it, as the story unfolds you soon realise the family are being watched, and the author very cleverly adds chapters told by an anonymous narrator which literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, these chapters were full of malice and intrigue, so much so I found myself holding my breath as I wondered what lay in store for the family.

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My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Elwood

When I first saw the title of this book I conjured up so many different scenarios but oh my god I couldn’t have been more wrong! New author on the block Nuala Ellwood has certainly written a disturbing and spine chilling tale that I found impossible to put down once I started reading.

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See How They Run by Tom Bale

Tom Bale has written an absolutely fantastic book, I felt like I was on a roller coaster with no let up in pace (cliched I know, but in this case very true), I truly loved every heart stopping page of See How They Run, With a well defined plot that was taut and original in content it’s a compulsive read, and one I could not put down until I reached the nail biting conclusion .

You can read all my reviews for these fabulous books here…

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2015/12/28/author-interview-the-theseus-paradox-by-david-videcette/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/17/blog-tour-the-killing-game-by-j-s-carol-jamescarolbooks-review-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/09/04/blog-tour-all-fall-down-by-tom-bale-interview-review/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/11/04/blog-tour-my-sisters-bones-by-nuala-elwood-review-nualawrites/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/05/05/see-how-they-run-by-tom-bale/

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Claire aka Brizzlelassbooks

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Today I’m thrilled to have fellow book blogger Claire who blogs over at http://brizzlelassbooks.com answer those dreaded #TopFiveThursday questions. Claire’s reviews focus mainly on Fantasy and Romance and although I don’t normally read books in these genres I still love reading Claire’s reviews. If you haven’t already found Claire’s blog trust me it’s well worth visit  and amazingly she posts new content most days.

Top 5 books you read in 2016?

The Copper Cat Trilogy by Jen Williams – a bit of a cheat as it’s a trilogy but it totally blew my mind, Jen Williams created a cast of characters that were so vivid and not always likeable but had everything I wanted from my fantasy characters I was in awe. I don’t think I’ve ever read just under 2000 pages so quickly before!

Chasing Embers by James Bennett – This was a solid urban fantasy with a very reluctant hero in the form of a dragon who I well and truly fell in love with, which anyone who knows me will not be surprised about as I’m completely obsessed with dragons!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – This is one of the most unexpected and magical books I have ever read. It is unique and special. it’s going to be huge and will be one I’ll read again and again.

Poison City by Paul Crilley – An urban fantasy set in South Africa, with an alcoholic talking dog, this absolutely had to be included. It’s part crime novel, if you count that the crime is solving a supernatural murder involving vampires and demons. This book whilst having a very serious side is also an absolute hoot.

The Summer Goddess by Joanne Hall – This is a high fantasy novel, it has a heroine who just gets no luck at all, despite that she pushes on and fights her backside off to find a solution for her people which is what set her on this road to bad luck. Unlike a lot of novels where everything seems to go ok with a few blips this one is just the worst possible outcome at every turn and it’s painful to read but that’s what makes it so good.

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Jen Williams

Robin Hobb

Anne Rice

Margaret Atwood

Joanne Harris

Top 5 books you want to read in 2017?

Skull Sworn by Brian Staveley

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

Raising Fire by James Bennett

Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley Beaulieu

Way Down Dark by J P Smythe

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

Don’t overcomplicate it, especially at first

Choose the books you like and will enjoy, don’t get sucked into reading things just because they are available, it’s easy to feel obliged and start feeling really overwhelmed.

Enjoy the community, book bloggers are some of the nicest and friendliest out there

Enjoy yourself.

If it becomes a chore take a break.

Top 5 book blogs you follow?

MyChestnutReadingTree – https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/

Between The Lines – https://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/

Ali The Dragon Slayer – http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/

Rather Too Fond of Books – https://rathertoofondofbooks.com/

By Hook or By Book – https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/

IMG_1637.JPGClaire blogs about Fantasy and Romance books at BrizzleLass Books. In a previous life she was a marketing and social media consultant but is now a mental health volunteer at a local charity in a bid to change career paths and work in the sector. Claire is a huge geek and if she isn’t neck deep in a book can be found watching something involving dragons or vikings on TV, listening to heavy metal, or playing something involving swords or magic on the playstation.

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Links:     Twitter      Goodreads     Instagram     Facebook     Google +

My thanks to Claire for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer #TopFiveThursday

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney #BookReview @alicewriterland @HQstories

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Book description

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

img_1258OMG! What a fabulous and twisted read Sometime I Lie is, there is nothing more satisfying than reading a psychological thriller that well and truly messes with your head, and a word of warning here this is one that will leave your head spinning. The market is saturated with psychological thrillers at the moment and on the whole most of the ones I have read have been a decent read, but tend to lack the “thrilling” element I’ve come to expect from such books, but I’m happy to report that Sometime I Lie has the “thrilling” element I crave, it’s also dark and very, very sinister so from the opening chapter I was well and truly hooked.

From the book description it’s evident that Amber is not going to be a reliable narrator, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint. I’m particularly fond of such narrators as you are never quite sure what is real or where the truth lies. As Amber lies in coma there is a deep sense of malevolence that radiates from every page. The characters surrounding Amber as she lies vulnerable all come under close scrutiny and you can’t help but become suspicious of everyone of them at some point in this very deceitful tale. I really thought I had worked out where this story was heading, but fortunately the author wrong footed me at every turn. You know something terrible as happened to Amber but the why’s and how’s are intricately revealed layer by devious layer.

I could go on and on about this book, it really was that good! but in doing so I could give away spoilers which is never my intention, so what I would say this is definitely one of those books you need to read for yourself. It’s difficult to believe this is Alice Feeney’s debut novel it’s an highly addictive and compelling read, deliciously plotted with twist and turns galore I devoured this book in just over a day and it’s definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Sometimes I Lie the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the third book of 2017 to get this award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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Print Length: 279 pages

Publisher: HQ (23 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

**Weekly Wrap Up**

 

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This week I’ve managed to read three books, ok two plus a novella but it’s still a 100% better than last week. Stepping away from social media for a day really helped and in fact it worked so well I’m going to make it a regular event. Thanks to awesome book blogger Renee over at http://itsbooktalk.com who came up with the tag #StepawayTuesday, I will not go near social media on a Tuesday.

Personally I found it worked for me as I really do spend to many hours trawling social media when I could be reading. I did miss reading fellow bloggers awesome reviews, and yes it meant that I missed the most exciting news of the year Last Breath by Robert Bryndza was up on NetGalley shocker! But on the plus side I now have three reviews for the books I’ve read this week.

Books I’ve read this week

Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

 

ARC’s I’ve received this week

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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Book description

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the bad boy, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the jock, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

I’m so excited to read the next book in the Erika Foster series, anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of Robert and have been known to go a bit overboard with my reviews for this awesome series 🙈

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Book description

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

Other news from the book review café

I was so excited (an understatement) to see my quote included on the book jacket for my favourite author on the planet Robert Bryndza’s The Girl In The Ice, yes it’s in Spanish and No I can’t translate it so if you can help please feel free to leave me a comment in this post 😂

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/13/rupture-by-ragnar-jonasson-bookreview-orendabooks-ragnarjo/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/16/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-renee-aka-itsbooktalk/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/17/topfive-with-the-book-review-cafe-crimethrillers-standalones/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/18/blog-tour-six-stories-by-matt-wesolowski-bookreview-concretekraken-orendabooks/

Next week on the book review café

It’s a surprise! or what I really mean is I’m still working out which reviews to schedule next week😂😂

 

 

**Blog Tour** Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski #BookReview @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on the Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski blog tour, not only am I excited to being sharing my review for this simply fabulous crime thriller, but it’s also my first blog tour for one of my favourite publishers Orenda Books, so a big thank you to the awesome Karen Sullivan for letting me be part of this blog tour and for all the fabulous books she’s sent me over the last year or so.

Book description

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure.

In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame … As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

img_1258If you are looking for a new and different type of thriller to read look no further than Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski it’s a classic murder mystery with a modern twist. The story is told through podcasts, which immediately piqued my interest, as it’s such a highly original concept to use in story telling. In the series of six interviews journalist Scott King investigates the truth surrounding the death of teenager Tom Jefferies who died two decades previously, each interview focuses on one of the friends who was there at the time, you exactly feel like your eavesdropping on someone’s conversation rather than reading the transcript from each podcast, uncomfortable maybe, but you just can’t pull yourself away. What follows is a captivating read that I found impossible to put down, and one I pretty much read in one sitting.

Six Stories is a penetrating and intelligent looks at the dynamics of a tight-knit group of teenagers and their subsequent behaviour. Each character has a story to tell some are more reliable narrators than others, but that’s what I absolutely loved about this book the author lets the reader reach their own conclusion as he skilfully reveals more about the events surrounding Tom’s death. The author expertly explores teenager behaviour, the emotions, feelings and confusion are very credible (yes I can just about remember my teen age years!), and like them or loathe them all the characters are superbly depicted.

Matt Wesolowski expertly pulls back the layers, revealing more in each interview, as the plot thickens I feel a genuine sense of unease take hold which stayed with me until the novel reached its conclusion. The author has has a unique writing style he sets the scene and creates an atmosphere that is both disturbing and eerie, beautifully descriptive, Scarclaw Fell is a place which will capture your imagination as you conjure up images that will both horrify and haunt you.

This book made for a unpredictable read as it was pretty much impossible to second guess this brilliantly told story, so I felt a constant sense of unease from the first page until the last. Unsettling and disturbing, the actions of the all too human characters lead to a tense and shocking conclusion that left me breathless. Six Stories is like no other book I have ever read it’s highly original and superbly executed, and makes for an absorbing and thrilling read. Matt Wesolowski is a refreshing and powerful new voice in crime fiction and is certainly one to watch out for.

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Orenda (15 Mar. 2017)

img_1639Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more.

His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.

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Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Matt-Wesolowski-1424984807729101/

https://twitter.com/concretekraken?lang=en

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Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

 

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#TopFive with the book review café #crimethrillers #standalones

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Today on the book review cafe I’m sharing my top five crime books that are stand-alones, yet again there are so many brilliant books that could fit this category , but after much pondering these are the books I came up with.

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Rattle by Fiona Cummings

I actually loved this book and it’s a MUST READ for fans of crime thrillers and if you like them Dark then you are going to love it too. Rattle is a chilling and inventive debut from a very talented author, and with a serial killer (the bone collector) that made my blood run cold.

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Bloq by Alan Jones

Bloq at times is a very disturbing read, it’s also dark and full of suspense, well plotted with characters who were so realistic I shed a tear for them,I totally bought into their story.
a highly entertaining novel, that has plenty of nail biting moments to keep me captivated until the last page.

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My Girl by Jack Jordan

I found My Girl to be a chilling and captivating read. Yes it was shocking and very disturbing in parts but it did add to the plot making for a riveting read.

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 Untouchable by Sibel Hodge

Inspired by real UK police investigations this book unfortunately makes for a very credible and heart breaking read as it explores the issues of abuse and the high end of society having the money and power to cover up their atrocities. Dark and disturbing this book gripped me from the first page.

Flowers For The Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite

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Flowers For the Dead is very different to most of the crime thrillers I have read, mainly because the reader takes a terrifying and Spine-chilling look into the dark and deviant mind of a serial killer.

 You can see my reviews for these superb books here……

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/03/25/bloq-by-alan-jones

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/06/09/blog-tour-my-girl-by-jack-jordan-guest-post/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/12/15/rattle-by-fiona-cummins-review-fionaanncummins-2017mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/11/untouchable-by-sibel-hodge-review-sibelhodge/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2015/11/16/flowers-for-the-dead-by-barbara-copperthwaite-authors-question-and-answers/

 

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Renee aka Itsbooktalk

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Today I’m thrilled to have the awesome Renee from http://itsbooktalk.com answer my #TopFiveThursday questions. Renee’s blog is one I follow religiously, she reviews most genres so her blogs got something for every type of reader. I love her honest and to the point reviews. If you haven’t come across Renee’s blog already, why not pop over and take a look at some of her fab reviews you won’t be disappointed I promise.

Top 5 Books you read in 2016?

It’s really hard to narrow it down to just 5 but I’ll give it a go.

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I Found You by Lisa Jewell ( read in 2016 but being published April 25, 2017)

The Trespasser by Tana French

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Sharon Bolton

Dennis Lehane

John Hart

David Nicholls

Lisa Gardner

Each of these authors brings to the table consistently engaging storytelling, realistic multi-dimensional characters and plots that will leave you staying up late to finish one more chapter. These are my auto buy authors, I don’t even need to read a synopsis, I’m reading whatever they publish!

Top 5 Books you want to read before the end of 2017?

Since We Fell By Dennis Lehane

Round Midnight by Laura McBride

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

Sirens by Joseph Knox

The Green Mile By Stephen King

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

Well I’m pretty new so I don’t know how much advice I can give yet but here are some of the strategies I try to follow:

Become comfortable with social media, especially Twitter

Write honest reviews. If you have a critique of a book, be very mindful that the author is often reading what you’re writing so be respectful yet constructive in your feedback

Don’t compare your blog to others, everyone has their own unique style and way of writing so find yours

Make your blog visually appealing by not cluttering it up with too many widgets

Engage in the blogging community by reading and commenting on others blogs. This has been the BEST part of blogging for me, I’ve met some truly amazing book lovers and there’s always someone willing to chat about books

Top 5 blogs you follow?

There are so many wonderful blogs that I try to read daily but these are ones I never miss visiting

Amy at https://novelgossip.com

Janel at https://keeperofpages.wordpress.com

Annie at https://themisstery.com

Sam at https://cluesandreviews.wordpress.com

Chelsea at https://thesuspenseisthrillingme.com

img_1615I’m Renee. Wife and mom to two teenage boys which never gets boring. I’ve been passionate about reading since I was very young .Back then I carried a book everywhere, today I carry my Kindle everywhere so my hundreds of books go where I go.

Reading is not my only obsession when it comes to books though, I also love talking about what I’ve read and loved, what I want to read, favorite authors and debut authors…all things books!

I started my blog as a way of reviewing and recommending books all in one spot. Among my friends, I seem to have become the go to person for book recommendations for the past several years which led me to starting my own book club…5 1/2 years later and we’re still going strong with monthly books and wine!:).

I thought it would be fun to put my reviews and recommendations in one place for all my friends to check out and at the same time interact with other book loving people out in the blogosphere.

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Links: Blog     Twitter     Instagram      I’m also on goodreads under the email itsbboktalk@gmail.com

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My thanks to Renee and all you other awesome  bloggers for taking time out of your busy schedules to answer #TopFiveThursday, without you all this feature would have never took off.