**Blog tour**Little Liar by Clare Boyd #BookReview @Bookouture @ClaireBoydClark

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of two stops on the Little Liar by Clare Boyd blog tour, you can catch my partner in crime (pun intended😂) Neats review over at The Haphazardous Hippo

Little Liar was published on the 1st February by one of my very favourite publishers Bookouture, so you don’t even have to wait to get a copy, pop over to Amazon and “click”. Before I share my review, what’s the book about? Read it on…….

Book description

The perfect family… or the perfect lie?

To the outside world, Gemma Bradley has it all – a doting husband, high-flying career and two delightful kids – but inside the four walls of her tastefully renovated home, she is a mother at her wits end who has given too many last warnings and counted to ten too many times.

When a child’s scream pierces the night, Gemma’s neighbour does what anyone would do: she calls the police. She wants to make sure that Rosie, the little girl next door, is safe.

Gemma knows she hasn’t done anything wrong, but the more she fights to defend the family she loves, the more her flawless life begins to crumble around her. Is the carefully guarded secret she’s been keeping suddenly in danger of breaking free?

When Rosie disappears, Gemma thinks she only has herself to blame. That is, until she discovers that Rosie has been keeping dark secrets of her own in a pink plastic diary.

Distraught and terrified, Gemma doesn’t know where to turn. The only thing she knows is that her daughter’s life is in danger…

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If you are thinking about becoming a parent anytime soon a word of warning you may want to give Little Liar a wide berth! Motherhood is often portrayed unrealistically in fiction, full time working mum, always manages to balance work V  home life perfectly, the children are the perfect “little cherubs”, but not in this book! Clare Boyd writes a very different and troubling tale of the challenges and the stormy side of being a mother.

Little Liar could be based on homes up and down the country, a child has a tantrum, (I’m sure every parent can relate to this at some point) screams the place down and a “kindly” neighbour reports the incident to the police, convinced the child is in danger. Unfortunately for Gemma, Mira a “helpful” neighbour hears Gemma’s daughter Rosie screaming and reports her concerns to the police, and so begins a train of events that will have far reaching and life changing consequences for both Gemma and Mira.

Essentially Little Liar is more Domestic Noir than a psychological thriller but don’t let that put you off, I personally enjoy this type of novel when it’s done well and considering this is the author’s debut novel I think she has done a remarkable job. The tension radiating from her characters is constant, rather like a cauldron you can feel the emotions bubbling away and at some point as the reader you know all these emotions are going to boil over, to the how and the why that’s for you as the reader to find out. At times I felt like like a voyeur watching Gemma’s family in crisis, some of Gemma’s actions towards her daughter made me feel uncomfortable,  but that said it certainly helped to create a disquieting read. Little Liar is one of those books that couldn’t be considered fast paced, it’s more subtle, slowly building on the suspense and tension and drawing the reader in.

As the title suggests most of the characters have something to lie about, and it’s these lies that make the basis of a very intriguing plot. If I’m honest it was difficult to find any empathy for any of the characters including Rosie, but this did not distract from the read. At times I could sense Gemma’s frustration and Rosie like many ten year olds knew exactly how to push her mothers buttons to provoke a reaction. Little Liar explores the sometimes difficult relationship between mother and child, the emotions, the guilt and the constant pressure to be the “best mother”. Well written with drama aplenty Little Liar is a thought provoking read that encompasses moral dilemmas that are relevant to today’s society. I think Little Liar is one of those books that will divide readers, I think some will love it and others not so, but then that’s the beauty of books, no two opinions are the same, personally I enjoyed Little Liar and look forward to seeing what Clare Boyd comes up with next.

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 410 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (1 Feb. 2018)

About the author

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Clare lives with her husband and their two daughters in Surrey, where her little green shed at the bottom of the garden provides a haven for her writing life. Before becoming a writer, she enjoyed a career in television, as a researcher in documentaries and then as a script editor in drama at the BBC and Channel Four, where her love of storytelling took hold.
https://twitter.com/ClareBoydClark

My thanks to Kim Nash and Bookouture for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

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**Blog tour** Force Of Nature by Jane Harper #BookReview @Janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK

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Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for the Force Of Nature by Jane Harper. I was a huge fan of the first book in the series THE DRY and it’s a book I would highly recommend. If you are looking for a different type of crime thriller that doesn’t involve a serial killer or gruesome scenes that you are going to love The Force Of Nature, so what’s it about? Read on to find out

Book description

FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK…

Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice’s welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.
Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

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Force Of Nature by Jane Harper is the second book in a series featuring Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk, yes it can be read as a standalone but if like me you prefer to start a series at the beginning I would highly recommend you read The Dry first. From the start this book has such a different feel to it, we leave the blistering heat and claustrophobic setting of a small town in the outback and move to the cold, wet and hostile environment of the remote Giralang Range. The author has a flair for describing her settings in great detail, so much so that you feel you are there amid the harsh terrain, the howling winds and the torrential rain, the sense of isolation the author evokes is palatable from the start.

Can you imagine trekking through the wilderness with your work colleagues? Putting your trust in them? Reliant on each other to survive? All in the name of “team building” no? well that’s pretty much the premise for this book. Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen are called to the Giralang Range, when Alice one of the team members goes missing. Force Of Nature is told in alternating timelines, you have chapters that take the reader back in time to follow the women on their hike, and then you have chapters featuring Aaron and Carmen in the present assisting the search and slowly revealing the details of Alice’s disappearance.

Force Of Nature reminds me very much of the traditional “whodunnit”, where the focus is more on the characters and guessing whose behind the skullduggery and the why, rather than the fast paced, gruesome crime thrillers many of us are use to reading. Jane Harper focuses her time on building on the tension and suspense, which some readers may find off putting, but personally I enjoyed the more sedate pace.

As Jane Harper reveals more details of the five women life’s I found myself scrutinising everyone of them with suspicion. The author very realistically portrays the woman’s behaviour and emotions set against the backdrop of an isolated environment where their instinct to survive far outweighs their allegiance to their work colleagues. Force Of Nature is a complex tale that explores themes such as grudges, bullying and family ties, shrouded in mystery and secrets, that draw the reader in making for an engrossing read. Force Of Nature is a book I would recommend to those who enjoy a crime thriller with a heart and aren’t a fan of the more gruesome crime thrillers that are on the market.

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (26 Sept. 2017)

My thanks to the publishers for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

About the author

Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year, the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 2017.

Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.

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