Category Archives: A.L. Bird

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Have I got news for you, I hope you are sitting comfortable as I’m sure my news will shock some of you! I’m thrilled to report I’ve read three books this week, and still managed to fit in a 39 hour working week! I surprised myself this week and may have to go and have a lie down to get over the shock now I’ve shared my book news with you all 😂😂

Books I read this week

The Detriment by David Videcette

The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

I’m just starting a fourth book which I’m really excited about for so many reasons, it’s going to be a first for the book review café and I’m so excited but also very nervous about it,  but for now my lips are sealed 🤐🤐

Book post I received this week

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Book description

A happy child.

Every parent knows the world can be scary. Lawyer Jen Sutton knows it better than most. And she’ll go to any length to protect her son from what – and who – lies outside their front door.

A loving mother.

Some might say she’s being over-protective. But isn’t it a mother’s duty to protect her child from harm?

A family built on a lie.

Jen has kept her secrets safe. Until the postcard arrives, signed by the one person she hoped would never catch up with her… and her new case begins to feel a little too close to home.

One thing is clear: Jen has been found.

Now, she faces a choice. Run, and lose everything? Or fight – and risk her son discovering the truth.

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Book description

Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything.

When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death.

Mick’s played both sides of Philadelphia’s courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he’ll need every one of them to win.

But as the trial progresses, he’s disturbed by developments that confirm his deepest fears. This trial, one that already hits too close to home, may jeopardize his firm, his family—everything. Now Mick’s only way out is to mastermind the most brilliant defense he’s ever spun, one that will cross every legal and moral boundary.

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Book description

Punk rocker, bird nerd and book lover Rob Bell had a full, happy life. He had a loving wife, a big-bottomed dog named Daisy and a career as a respected science journalist. But beneath the carefully cultivated air of machoism and the need to help other people, he struggled with mental health and a drug addiction that began as a means to self-medicate his illness. In 2015, he ended his life in New Zealand on a winter’s night.

But what happened? How did a middle-class Catholic boy from the suburbs, who had an ocean of people who loved him, and a brain the size of a planet, end up dying alone by his own hand? How did it get to this point?

In the search to find out about the man she loved, and how he arrived at that desperate, dark moment, Poorna Bell, Executive Editor of The Huffington Post UK, went on a journey spanning New Zealand, India and England to discover more about him.

A month after his death, she shared her personal tragedy in an open letter to Rob on the site, which went on to be read by hundreds of thousands of people across the world. This is Poorna’s story, not only of how she met the man of her dreams and fell in love, but also Rob’s story and how he suffered with depression since childhood and had secretly been battling addiction as a means to cope with the illness.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 and a staggering 1 in 4 of us will experience mental illness disease at some point in our lives, but the stigma surrounding mental health means that millions still suffer in silence.

Chase the Rainbow is an affecting, poetic, and deeply personal journey which teaches to seek hope and happiness, even in the most tragic of circumstances. Shattering the stigma surrounding depression and suicide, Poorna Bell challenges us talk about what we most fear, and to better understand the personal struggles of those closest to us.

I haven’t requested any ARC’s from Netgalley as my percentage is 82% and I hope to read a few more from my pile and get it higher, until them I’m still on a self imposed book buying ban and I think this is the third week I haven’t bought any books! But I’m sure I will more than make up for it at some point.

Last week on the book review café

Good Girl Gone by KT Finch #MiniReview | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/16/good-girl-gone-by-kt-finch-minireview/

#TopFiveThursday With #BookBlogger Dee aka noveldeelights @BookaholicDee | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/15/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-dee-aka-noveldeelights-bookaholicdee/

Each Little Lie by Tom Bale #BookReview @tOmbale @bookouture | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/14/each-little-lie-by-tom-bale-bookreview-tombale-bookouture/

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards #BookReview @mredwards | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/12/the-lucky-ones-by-mark-edwards-bookreview-mredwards/

Next week on the book review café

**Blog tour** The Woman In The Wood #BookReview and content

The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher #BookReview

The Detriment by David Videcette #BookReview

#TopFiveThursday

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well another week over and done with,  and I’m thrilled to report I’ve read two books this week (yes you’ve read that right!) and I’ve actually started on my third. I would like to thank fellow blogger Dee over at http://www.noveldeelights.com who has shown great sympathy for my plight, NOT! For some reason my reading slump has caused her a great deal of merriment, I wonder if that’s because I was about to rename my blog “the one book review café” 😂😂

Just in case anyone thinks I’m worried about the amount of books I’m reading I’m not. It doesn’t matter if I read one book or ten in a week, it’s still a book read. I must admit cutting back on blog tours has given me a sense of freedom, it’s liberating to pick up a book I want to read rather than having to read. I’ve actually turned down 15 blog tours this week for May,  June and July but I’m determined to give myself a break from them.

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I’ve also lost my fellow guest reviewer Jo who has finally decided to set up her own blog over at http://overtherainbowbookblog.wordpress.com, please check out her blog and give her a follow. I wish Jo all the best with her blog and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for the reviews she’s allowed me to share, the lovely Dee has offered to help out on the weeks I can only manage to read one book a week 😂😂

Books I’ve read this week

I just started reading Exquisite by Sarah Stovell and I’m already hooked. I also read He Said She Said and The Night Visitor, I loved one of these two books,  and the other one I struggled with on so many levels. To find out which one it was you can check out my reviews for both books next week.

ARC’s I received this week

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Book description

A happy child.

Every parent knows the world can be scary. Lawyer Jen Sutton knows it better than most. And she’ll go to any length to protect her son from what – and who – lies outside their front door.

A loving mother.

Some might say she’s being over-protective. But isn’t it a mother’s duty to protect her child from harm?

A family built on a lie.

Jen has kept her secrets safe. Until the postcard arrives, signed by the one person she hoped would never catch up with her… and her new case begins to feel a little too close to home.

One thing is clear: Jen has been found.

Now, she faces a choice. Run, and lose everything? Or fight – and risk her son discovering the truth.

Don’t Say a Word is the electrifying new psychological thriller from AL Bird – perfect for fans of CL Taylor and Sue Fortin.

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Book description

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

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Book description

Seven year old Tony has two choices: to live or to die.

Tony Bruno just wants to fit in, but the bullies at his school are cruel and relentless. At home, he leans on his mother Teresa for strength and comfort, but she’s no match for his father, Carmen. His father, a fighter and bully himself, hates Tony. He is embarrassed by the child for not fighting back and wishes that Tony was never born.

Then as a teen, in one act of blind courage, Tony fights back shifting the balance of power with his peers. Even after Tony sets things straight with the neighborhood boys, his father continues to terrorize him.

At school, Tony is now respected by his classmates. One day he stands up for a bullied kid named, Salvatore, and the boys become friends. One night, Salvatore commits a horrific crime and Tony suffers the consequences of his friends’ actions. Tony’s punishment changes the course of his life.

All alone and nowhere to call home, Tony sets out to find the life he longs for, one filled with love and acceptance. But nothing comes easily for him, and he is forced to draw upon strength from deep within to survive.

From the dark world he lives in, Tony does unimaginable things to leave his unwanted life behind.

Mean Little People is a haunting story of one bullied child deprived of love and taunted by corrupt individuals along his journey. Tony’s story will make you question the balance between good and evil.

Book Post I received this week

Twist Of The Knife by Becky Masterman

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

The Killing Grounds by Jack Ford

Last week on the book review café

**Blog tour** Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff #Bookreview #Guestpost
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/19/blog-tour-not-your-average-nurse-by-maggie-groff-bookreview-guestpost-transworldbooks-rosiemargesson/

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Jen Lucas aka jenmedsbookreviews
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/18/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-jen-lucas-aka-jenmedsbookreviews/

Sweet Pea by C J Skuse #Bookreview #Guestreview by @JoannaLouisePar
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/05/15/sweet-pea-by-c-j-skuse-bookreview-guestreview-by-joannalouisepar-hqstories/

Next week on the book review café

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly #Review

The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins #Review

#TopFiveThursday with another awesome book blogger

**Blog tour**  Reconciliation For The Dead by Paul E. Hardisty #GuestPost

Other news from the book review café

IMG_1980I’m thrilled to have been nominated for the Best Book Blogger Award in the 2017 ANNUAL BLOGGERS BASH AWARDS, and if you happen to be reading this and nominated me “thank you”😘😘. I can honestly say “hand on heart” I really don’t expect to win, have you seen who I’m up against? Some truly awesome bloggers/blogs, but it’s given me such a huge boost to be nominated.

I also think there are some hugely awesome book bloggers out there who aren’t up for the awards but should be, they put their heart and souls into their blog and probably lots of tears too (if there anything like me), although these awards are great I do feel they can have a negative effect on bloggers who don’t get the recognisation they so deserve and make them question why that are blogging. A word from the wise (it happens once in a blue moon😂)to these bloggers, keep doing what you are doing, share your love of the books you love and most of all carry on with your awesome blogs, awards aren’t everything, when I first started blogging I never got nominated for anything.

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If you would like to vote for your favourite blogger I’ve included the links, there are numerous different categories to choose from and if I could I would vote for everyone of them.

http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/05/18/2017-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-voting-open-bloggersbash-bloggersbash/

**Blog Tour** The Good Mother by A.L. Bird

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Today is the last day of the Blog Tour for The Good Mother By A.L Bird and if you love a dark and disturbing psychological thriller then you may want to get yourself a copy

Book description 

The greatest bond. The darkest betrayal.

Susan wakes up alone in a room she doesn’t recognise, with no memory of how she got there. She only knows that she is trapped, and her daughter is missing.

The relief that engulfs her when she hears her daughter’s voice through the wall is quickly replaced by fear.

The person who has imprisoned her has her daughter, too.

Devising a plan to keep her daughter safe, Susan begins to get closer to her unknown captor. And suddenly, she realises that she has met him before.

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Read what people are saying about The Good Mother

‘if you like psychological thrillers this one will keep you guessing till the end’ – Elaine Makri, Goodreads

 ‘Nothing in this story is quite what it appears, readers are sure to be surprised at least once in this twisty thriller’ – Rosemary Smith, Goodreads

‘From the start this was chilling and made my heart beat extra fast. A psychological thriller with lots of tension…Could not put it down! No spoilers but highly recommend it. 5*****’ – Laurel Cherkas, Goodreads

About the author

A.L. Bird lives in London, where she divides her time between writing and working as a lawyer. The Good Mother is her major psychological thriller for Carina UK, the fourth novel she’s written for the imprint. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London, and is also an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course, which she studied under Richard Skinner. Amy is a member of the Crime Writers’Association.

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Links to A.L. Bird

Goodreads    Twitter

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Susan and her daughter, Cara, are both imprisoned in the same house but in different rooms. The captor seems familiar, how did they get there? Why are the being kept? And what does their captor want? Are all questions that run through Susan’s head. The Good Mother is told mostly from Susan’s point of view, but we also get snippets from Cara, the captor and Cara’s best friend Alice, who appears to know more than she is letting on. The first thing I should say about The Good Mother is it should come with a health warning, as this book seriously messes with your head!

At times I found myself bewildered by the plot, as it was difficult to see where it was leading, and it appeared distorted in parts. I also found the writing style to be quite a distraction, very simply written with very short sentences (which bugged the hell out of me to begin with, but once I got to about half way I got use to this style of writing), but after reading the whole book I understand exactly why that style is appropriate, although at times I found it distracted me from really enjoying this book.

As to the characters I found it difficult to have any empathy for Susan or Cara, as I really couldn’t connect to them. I think this was because there was no real depth to them and I felt I only got to know them superficially, I prefer a character to get inside my head and mess with my emotions, so I found it hard to find any empathy for the predicament they find themselves in. The Good Mother feels very claustrophobic and intense at times, as the plot takes place mostly in a one room.

By the time I got to the halfway mark way I really was no closer to guessing where the plot was heading, than when I started the book, and that’s the thing that makes The Good Mother such a compelling read. As the reader you find yourself desperate to find out where the plot could possibly be going as the story becomes even more bewildering, I found myself struggling to put the book down, a very clever and twisted ploy by A L Bird in my humble opinion, and it certainly paid off! Back at the half way point I was convinced I would give The Good Mother 3 stars, but then that all changed when the pieces began to fit together, and damn me there were so many twists and turns I found myself shaking my head with disbelief.

I’m convinced readers of The Good Mother will either love it or hate it, and I’m sure there will be lots of opinions on which camp people fall into on social media once the book is released. The author has come up with a very original plot, and cleverly used her writing skills to draw the reader in and keep them reading to the last page. If you are looking for a fast paced read, then I’m not sure this is the book for you, but if you enjoy a tense psychological thriller which builds on the tension, and seriously messes with your head then you may want to add this book to your collection.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers Carina for my ARC in exchange for an honest review

4 ☕️☕️☕️☕️out of 5

Paperback: 384 pages

Publisher: Carina (28 April 2016)

Kindle

Paperback

 

**Stacking the Shelves**

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Here’s my round up of stacking the Shelves hosted by http://tyngasreviews.com/. Stacking the Shelves highlight books which have been received In a week. Paper books, e-books, ARC’s received, books bought or borrowed, are all included.

ARC

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

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Book description

your husband was murdered,
And you were a witness,
How do you explain it when he appears on your nanny cam?
You thought you trusted him.
Now you can’t even trust yourself.

Dark secrets and a terrifying hunt for the truth lie at the heart of this gripping new thriller

The Lost by Claire McGowan

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Book description

Not everyone who’s missing is lost
When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker.

Not everyone who’s lost wants to be found
Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What’s the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town’s dark past- including the reasons her own mother went missing years before?

Nothing is what it seems
As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it’s better not to find what you’ve lost.

The Dead Ground by Claire McGowan

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Book description

A stolen baby. A murdered woman. A decades-old atrocity. Something connects them all…

A month before Christmas, and Ballyterrin on the Irish border lies under a thick pall of snow. When a newborn baby goes missing from hospital, it’s all too close to home for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, who’s wrestling with the hardest decision of her life.

Then a woman is found in a stone circle with her stomach cut open and it’s clear a brutal killer is on the loose.

As another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula is caught up in the hunt for a killer no one can trace, who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The Dead Ground will leave you gasping for breath as Paula discovers every decision she makes really is a matter of life and death…

The Good Mother by A.L. Bird

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Book description

The greatest bond. The darkest betrayal.
Susan wakes up alone in a room she doesn’t recognise, with no memory of how she got there. She only knows that she is trapped, and her daughter is missing.

The relief that engulfs her when she hears her daughter’s voice through the wall is quickly replaced by fear, knowing that whoever has imprisoned her has her daughter, too.

Devising a plan to keep her daughter safe, Susan begins to get closer to her unknown captor. And suddenly, she realises that she has met him before.

The Good Mother is a dark and disturbing psychological thriller for fans of C L Taylor, Kathryn Croft and S K Tremayne.

Sleep Sister by Laura Elliot

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Book description

childhoods destroyed.

One story they will never tell.

Until now.

Beth ran away from her family when she was a teenager. She left behind a terrible evil that took her innocence. She also left behind her sister, Sara.

When Beth returns home, she is shocked to discover her terrible secret is not just hers alone…she shares it with Sara. Under the shadow of a remote headland, the sisters make an oath they promise never to break.

Eva’s birth is a mystery that remains unsolved. Years later with her marriage in ruins, and her future uncertain, she realizes that to move forward with her life, she must first understand her past.

But while Eva is drawing closer to the truth about her roots, Beth and Sara’s lives are falling apart, crushed under the weight of the secret they carry. They must confront the past and face the darkness once more. But this time, their story will be heard.

The St. Tropez Lonely Hearts Club

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Book description

Description
Contessa Carlotta di Ponti, stunningly beautiful and filthy rich, has finally escaped her abusive marriage and is looking to find true love in St. Tropez.

The party season kicks off with a spectacular bash at billionaire Harry Silver’s palatial mansion, but tragedy soon strikes. Could seemingly innocuous events – a bad oyster, a fatal wasp sting, a faulty funicular – mean something more sinister for the bejewelled citizens of St. Tropez?

It is up to glamorous detective Gabrielle Poulpe to save the day and find the murderer in their midst or life on St. Tropez as its residents know it could be over forever. Can Gabrielle find the culprit before it’s too late?

Join the wealthy and the fabulous in the ultimate playground of the rich and the famous, for sun, sin, sex and scandal as they battle a threat from within…

A Mothers Secret by Renita D’Silva

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Book description
What if you discovered that everything you knew about yourself was a lie?
When pregnant Jaya loses her mother, then her baby son Arun in a tragic cot death, her world crashes down. Overcome by grief and guilt, she begins to search for answers – to the enigma of her lonely, distant mother, and her mysterious past in India.

Looking through her mother’s belongings, she finds two diaries and old photographs, carrying the smoky aroma of fire. A young boy smiles out at Jaya from every photograph – and in one, a family stand proudly in front of a sprawling mansion. Who is this child? And why did her mother treasure this memento of a regal family lost to the past?

As Jaya starts to read the diaries, their secrets lead her back to India, to the ruin of a once grand house on a hill. There, Kali, a mad old lady, will unlock the story of a devastating lie and a fire that tore a family apart.

Nothing though will prepare Jaya for the house’s final revelation, which will change everything Jaya knew about herself.

That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson 

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Book description 

Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she’ll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay…

I am determined not to buy any books (we will see how long that lasts!), until I have made a dent in my TBR pile.

Please free to leave a comment if you have read any of these books, or let me know what books you’ve received this week.