Author Archives: lollyrugs

About lollyrugs

Hi and welcome to my blog, I love reading and always have a book or my kindle on the go. I love reading crime/psychological thrillers, but I will read most genres if a book takes my fancy. If you would like me to review a book for you please send me a email, although I cannot guarantee to review a book if it has a tight deadline due to work commitments. As a new blogger I would be grateful for any hints or tips established bloggers could give me, so feel free to email me. Thanks for calling in and hope you enjoy my reviews

The book review café #BookChallenge 2019 #HelpNeeded #SOS

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This year I’m hoping to widen my horizons and read more books out of my comfort zone, it maybe a new author to me, a book in a different genre, or so on, as I mainly read and love my crime and psychological thrillers this could be a huge challenge for me 🙈

So here’s the thing I’ve seen the book bingo challenge but I wanted mine to be different, if I had my way it would consist of crime thrillers and more crime thrillers. So then I had an idea I thought I would ask all you lovely followers of my blog to come up with some themes to fill my challenge card up with. Here is an example of the one on Goodreads…..

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Mine will consist of a 16 book challenge which I hope to complete by the end of the year (although this could end in a epic fail, and I could still be trying to complete it in ten years time, have you seen my ARC pile?😂😂) Also I will be including **one free square** which will be a book of my choice and hopefully make the challenge less challenging.

I would love it if you could suggest a category and before I start my challenge I will post my grid along with the persons name who came up with the idea.  So get your thinking caps on and all ideas and comments greatly appreciated.

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#TheSilentPatient by Alex Michaelides (@AlexMichaelides @OrionBooks) #2019MustReads @BenWillisUK #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. Read on for my thoughts but first the book description……… 

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Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…. 

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Now and then a book comes a long that causes a huge stir and unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the last few months, then you will know The Silent Patient, the debut novel from Alex Michaelides is the book everyone is talking about. I must admit I can see why, it’s a unique and a very disturbing character based psychological thriller, but how I loved it. The author sure knows how to weave a tangled web, and then keep the reader in his clutches with a well- plotted story. It’s one that pulls you in from the shocking opening chapter and keeps you captivated all the way to it’s explosive conclusion. I literally read this book in a day, the tension mounted as each chapter ended making this an impossible book to put down. Mark my words this book is going to be a HUGE hit.

Alicia is a Patient in The Grove a secure forensic unit for the murder of her husband, she has not spoken a word since his death and Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who believes he is the one to make her speak of what happened on that fateful night.  The author uses an intriguing concept As Alice refuses to talk after her husband’s murder, the reader is reliant on Theo’s interpretations of her thoughts and emotions, although the reader is privy to Alice’s journal which explores her life before Theo’s Murder. Even without a voice Alice is a strong protagonist, rather like Theo, you the reader are desperate to hear her voice and hear her side of the story. Theo is a man with his own secrets and troubled past, which make him an compelling character. The scenes between Theo and Alice crackle with tension, at times it felt like a battle of wits, as Alice battled to stay silent and Theo’s dogged determination to make her speak, these scenes give a sense of unease which grow as the story unfolds.

Anyone who reads psychological thrillers will expect there to be “twist” or two, after all isn’t that part of the reason we read these type of books? It’s the element of “surprise” that I always look forward to, it can turn an “enjoyable” read into a “OMFG I loved this book” type of read, so take a bow Alex Michaelides The Silent Patient definitely took me by surprise in fact I’m sure my jaw hit the floor at some point! I had an inkling where the plot was heading, but I guess I do not have the same twisted imagination as the author, he well and truly hood winked me, but so brilliantly executed. The Silent Patient is an assured debut from Alex Michaelides, he’s definitely an author to watch out for. Highly recommend if you enjoy a dark, shocking psychological thriller that will leave you speechless (excuse the pun!) 

  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (7 Feb. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

It will come as no surprise but I’m giving The Silent Patient my shiny Book hangover 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 read, an original  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.

 

You Belong To Me by Mark Tilbury **BlogBlitz** #BookReview @#MTilburyAuthor @Bloodhoundbook

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for You Belong To Me by Mark Tilbury. If you are one of those readers who enjoy a hard-hitting  crime thriller, that’s dark and disturbing, then I may just have the book for you. Read on for my review, but first the book description……   

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Can two wrongs ever make a right?

The police never found fifteen-year-old Ellie Hutton. She vanished ten years ago after walking home from school along a disused railway track. But Danny Sheppard knows exactly what happened to her. She is dead and buried in a field near Lassiter’s Brook. 

Now Cassie Rafferty has gone missing. Same age. Similar circumstances. And Danny also knows what has happened to her. Can Danny fight his demons and tell the truth this time? Or will history repeat itself and leave another innocent girl dead?    

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There are authors whose books I read I consider to have a vivid imagination, and then there’s Mark Tilbury! An author who I consider to have a very twisted imagination, and I mean that as a compliment. The author has a knack of creating characters and plots that highlight the worse traits of human nature, that push the boundaries, but hell they make for a spine chilling read and You Belong To Me was no exception. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the supernatural element normally found in his books, but it has another of his trademarks an antagonist whose a vicious bully and a cruel excuse for a human being. The author explores the dark recesses of his character’s mind, and this is where the author comes into his own. This is an antagonist with the most twisted mind, it’s the characters the author creates which makes his books all the more creepy and disconcerting to read.

You Belong To Me opens with the disappearance of fifteen-year-Of Cassie Rafferty, her disappearance is similar to that of Ellie Hutton who vanished ten years earlier, and who was never found. At the same time of Cassie’s disappearance Danny Sheppard, gets in touch with three of his childhood school friends. Four very troubled men are forced to unite, it soon becomes clear that each of the men has endured difficult times in their childhood, trying to escape the past through a fog of drugs, alcohol and medication, but why the reunion? What secrets are the four men hiding? These were the questions I kept asking myself.

I thought the author did a fabulous job in creating four characters who were very troubled, the boys now grown men have very carried their guilt from the past with them into adulthood, leading to some very destructive behaviour, drugs and alcohol, and difficulties forming relationships. The author doesn’t shy away from describing their destructive behaviour, but in doing so you couldnt help feeling some sympathy for these four flawed men. Although some readers may question the credibility of their decisions, I’m very much of the thinking “it’s a fictional book” so  I’m happy to stretch the realms of my own imagination.

As the author deftly reveals the disturbing secrets that changed the life’s of four school boys forever I felt many a chill run down by spine, as the tale grew more alarming and far more ominous.  Despite this being a disturbing read which touches on addiction, bullying and depression Tilbury manages to inject some dark humour into the story which balances the plot perfectly. Not only did the ending seem very fitting, but it took me by surprise which always heightens my enjoyment of a read.  Highly recommended to those who enjoy an addictive, violent, and intense as hell read.

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (4 Feb. 2019)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

About the Author:

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Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had six novels published by Bloodhound Books, including his most recent release, You Belong To Me.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar, and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.

Social Media Links:

Author website: http://www.marktilbury.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Tilbury/e/B00X7R10I4/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/marktilburyauthor/

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/MTilburyAuthor @MTilburyAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marktilburyauthor/ @marktilburyauthor

Don’t forget to check out my fellow bloggers reviews

My thanks to the author, Emma Welton and bloghound books for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased review. 

The book review café book of the month **January 2019**

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Hallelujah January 2019 is finally over, is it just me or did January seem to go on forever? It’s the 1st of February which can only mean one thing, it’s time for me to choose my book of the month.

As only one who follows my blog will know I’m rubbish at narrowing it down to one book and more often than not I’ve chosen two or in some months three! I have had a srtrict word with myself, and this year I’m going to try and keep to just the one book of the month as the title suggests, let’s see how that goes 😂

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To be honest I read some fabulous books in January, but there is one book that really stood out. It’s a book that I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  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. So without further ado here is my ONE book of the month…….

The Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

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Matt Wesolowski has the unique ability to write a book that mixes genres but at the same time he creates a story that is credible yet memorising in its telling. With a powerful plot, which is intense to say the least, this book made for one of the most thought provoking reads I’ve read in a long time. Changeling, in fact the whole series of Six Stories has to be one of the most exciting and innovative reads EVER written, and that’s not something I normally write in ANY review. You can read my full review here….Changeling #SixStories by Matt Wesolowski #BookReview @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken #BookHangoverAward

Highly Recommended

Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier #BookReview #BookShelfReads @JenniferHillier @CorvusBooks

#SpareRoom by Dreda Say Mitchell #BlogBlitz @DredaMitchell @BloodhoundBook #MustReads

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Books I’m hoping to read in February

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A little ambitious you maybe thinking 😂🙈, but you never know. I do really need to make a dent in my NetGalley shelf as some how or other it’s got into double figures something I never let happen! But there are so many fabulous books due to be released this year that I just can’t resist. So I’m on a self induced Netgalley ban until I’m down to single figures (watch this space, as I have zilch will power concerning adding new books to my TBR pile!)

 

 

Apple Of My Eye by Claire Allan #MustReads2019 @ClaireAllan @AvonBooksUK

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Apple Of My Eye by Claire Allan. I do love a twisted psychological thriller and this one definitely fits the bill. Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description…… 

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When a mysterious note arrives for seven months pregnant nurse Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

 

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Having read Her Name was Rose, I was looking forward to reading Claire Allan’s latest psychological offering, Apple of my Eye and it’s fair to say it did not disappoint. Books classed as a psychological thriller are two a penny, so I’m always looking for something in a book of this genre that makes it standout from the crowd, it may be the characters, the plot or something entirely different. For me the one thing that makes this book memorable is the author’s ability to misdirect the reader at every turn of the page. Apple Of My Eye is a book that’s crammed with mystery, there’s an overwhelming sense of menace that radiates from the pages of this addictive read. 

Being pregnant should be an enjoyable experience, a time to prepare for motherhood, unfortunately that’s not the case for Eliana, she spends her pregnancy crippled by self doubt. Adding to her anxiety is Eli’s distant relationship with her husband Martin. Matters aren’t helped when she receives a cryptic note suggesting that her husband is cheating on her. As jealousy, paranoia and tension build, an emotionally fragile Eli’s becomes suspicious of everyone around her. When her overbearing mother comes to stay, she convinces Eli to go back to Belfast with her, and it’s at this point the story takes a very disturbing turn. 

Narrated from the POV of Eli, her mother Angela and the mysterious Louise, it’s the chapters told from Louise POV that add a sense of dread to the plot. Claire Allan creates suspicion and mistrust through her storytelling, you find yourself wary of those closest to Eli, looking for clues to the “who” is causing so much trouble for Eli. Halfway through reading this book I had a theory to the culprit and their motives and unfortunately I was correct, so the element of surprise I was expecting never materialised, but never the less I felt a frisson of excitement as the author finally revealed all. Apple Of My Eye is a psychological thriller with a dark heart, it’s a book that begs to be read in one hugely satisfying sitting. Highly recommended

  •  Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (24 Jan. 2019)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

#SpareRoom by Dreda Say Mitchell #BlogBlitz @DredaMitchell @BloodhoundBook #MustReads

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell. I’m a huge fan of the author’s crime thrillers, and now the author has branched out and written a psychological thriller, it’s definitely one readers of this genre are going to love, read on for my thoughts………

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Beautiful double room to let to single person

Lisa, a troubled young woman with a past, can’t believe her luck when she finds a beautiful room to rent in a large house. The live-in owners are a kind and welcoming couple. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note hidden in her room. But when the couple insist this man didn’t exist and that Lisa is their first tenant, Lisa begins to doubt herself.

Compelled to undercover the secrets of the man who lived in the room before her, Lisa is alarmed when increasingly disturbing incidents start to happen. Someone doesn’t want Lisa to find out the truth.

As the four walls of this house and its secrets begin to close in on Lisa, she descends into a hellish hall of mirrors where she’s not sure what’s real and what’s not as she claws her way towards the truth… Did this room already claim one victim? Is it about to take another?

 

My review

Dreda Say Mitchell is one of my favourite gritty crime thriller authors, so I was thrilled to receive a copy of her latest book Spare Room. I must admit I picked up this book with some trepidation as the author has moved away from her normal genre and written a psychological thriller. I’m thrilled to report that not only has the author written a corker of a psychological thriller, it’s one that makes you question everything you read.  Mitchell has incorporated all the elements that make for a fabulous read, unreliable narrators, a complex plot that makes you question every characters part in this deliciously, dark creepy tale, that becomes more disturbing with each turn of the page. 

“Beautiful single room to let to a single person” an innocent ad, or so you would think, but as any psychological thriller lover will know this doesn’t bode well for a prospective lodger, in this case Lisa who has so many issues a psychologist would rub their hands with glee. I wondered if this book would be similar to Single White Female, but it soon becomes clear that this book is very different in every way. When Lisa takes a room with live-in owners Martha and Jack, life appears to be good, but when Lisa finds a suicide note hidden in her room from a previous tenant, things take a very disturbing turn, one where appearances can be deceptive, and the adage “trust no one” comes into play.

I love an unreliable narrator and they don’t come more unreliable than Lisa, her story is not one than can be taken at face value, she appears unstable and deluded at times, but it’s this untrustworthiness that makes Spare Room such a twisted read. I really felt for Lisa there’s a sense of malevolence and manipulation from those around her, or is this what she wants us to believe? Only by reading the book will you know. There were other characters in this book I detested for reasons I will not go into here (no spoilers) but they added tension to the overall plot.  

Mitchell manipulates the reader at every turn, as I finished each chapter the tone of the book grew darker and yet I needed to read on, to sort the truth from the lies, the good from the bad. Spare Room is full of twists I did not see coming, which always add to my overall enjoyment of a read, there’s nothing worse than guessing correctly the direction a read is taking. Mitchell takes familiar subjects such as deception, manipulation and buried secrets and incorporates them into an assured psychological thriller that’s both compelling and original in its telling.  Highly recommended

About the author

Dreda Say Mitchell is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer, broadcaster, campaigner, and journalist. Since her sixth book she has been co-writing with Tony Mason. She is the author of eleven novels, with her debut awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio including Question Time, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, The Stephen Nolan Show, Front Row and Woman’s Hour and numerous others. She has presented Radio 4’s Open Book. Dreda was named one of Britain’s 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek in association with Nokia. She was the 2011 chair of the Harrogate Crime Fiction Festival. Dreda and Tony’s work is currently in development for TV. She was born and raised in the East End of London where she continues to live.  

Social Media Links:

Website: www.dredasaymitchell.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DredaMitchell

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DredaSayMitchell

Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour………..

The Girl In The Letter by Emily Gunnis #BookReview @EmilyGunnis @Phoebe_Swinburn @headlinepg

Today I’m sharing my review for The Girl In The Letter by Emily Gunnis. I  took a step away from Serial Killers, Murder and Crime before Christmas! As I wanted to read something slightly different. I read so many lovely reviews of this book I just knew it was one I had to read for myself. **Warning** this book should come with a box of tissues.

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A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late. 

Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…

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After I finished reading The Girl In The Letter by Emily Gunnis I was left with a heavy heart, not because I didn’t enjoy the book, in fact it was quite the opposite, it made for a highly emotional read, it’s a book that is based on disturbing historical facts and for me personally this made the read far more poignant, knowing that the terrible things that happened to unmarried mothers in the book actually occurred. It’s hard to imagine an unmarried mother being sent away by her family to give birth to her baby, a family more concerned about the stigma surrounding illegitimacy, than their own child’s well being.  A woman forced to live in the most awful conditions, abused, and then forced to hand their babies over for adoption. The Girl In The Letter certainly makes for a hard hitting and emotional  read.

Single mother journalist Sam Harper discovers  some heartbreaking letters from a girl called Ivy which are linked to a now derelict mother and baby home, St Margaret’s which was run by nuns. Sam like any good journalist realises there’s a story to be told, as she begins to investigate she doesn’t just see it as a job, she becomes emotionally involved and is determined to share Ivy’s story not only for Ivy and all the other mother condemned to St Margaret’s, but for the baby’s snatched from their mothers.

It’s the letters that make this book such an emotionally charged read,  you get a sense of the stigma surrounding unmarried mothers, you feel Ivy’s pain, fear and her love for a baby she will never be allowed to keep. It’s difficult to believe that the very nuns who were there to support unmarried mothers were beyond cruel,  punishing them for their “sins”, both physically and mentally, but as historical documents show this was very much the case, and makes Ivy’s story all the more credible and one which is unbearably sad.  

Emily Gunnis writes with such conviction and emotion that it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction, the two blend  perfectly together resulting in an emotionally charged read. The letters, the harrowing and heart breaking scenes, and the overwhelming need to find out what happened to Ivy will keep you captivated until the last page. This is Emily Gunnis debut novel which really surprised me, as it’s a very accomplished debut, not only is it beautifully written, but it’s a book that sensitively looks at a subject that’s been buried for far to long. Highly recommended.

  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Review (1 Aug. 2018)

 Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

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