Category Archives: Amanda Jennings

**Guest Review by Virginia King** In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings 

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In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings has been on my TBR pile for a while now, but unfortunately I just have not had the time to read it (hopefully I will do one day soon). Fortunately Virginia King, an author herself, offered to do a guest review for the book review cafe and I took her up on her kind offer, you can read more about Virgina, at the bottom of this post

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings – 4-Star Review by Virginia King

As many reviewers have already written, In Her Wake is a unique mystery with a chilling scenario, an adventurous plot, and many creative twists that keep the reader guessing until the very end.

Things I loved about the book:

I adored the character of Dawn and thought she was very well drawn in all her inconsistencies. She was a great foil for Bella who was rather wooden for the first part of the book (for good reasons but I found her hard to relate to).

In Her Wake doesn’t follow a textbook story arc and this was refreshing. There’s even a fairly major plot thread that’s unresolved at the end, adding realism to the story – life’s events don’t always get tied up with a bow. And the final reveals were very surprising and well handled, linking back to a very cleverly planted hint early on that I didn’t see coming and making sense of the questions I had about the plausibility of past events.

The slightly surreal moments and mythical links are wonderful, bringing drama and depth to the emotional landscape. I’m also a great fan of playing with names, and that’s another inspired and surprising element in the book.

My criticisms have led to the four-star rating.

I love first person narrators because I can see inside their heads. It’s a chance to be flipped into fresh perspectives as the narrator wrangles with the circumstances that life throws at them. But Bella’s view of events in the first part of the book, although understandable, was largely ‘numb’ and after the revelations about her past she flipped from belief to disbelief and back again repetitively, which rendered her mental anguish dull for me. I needed to see more psychological exploration of such a dramatic disclosure, however wobbly and fleeting. This changed when new characters entered Bella’s life.

The chapters told from Henry’s point of view never quite gave me the intended insights into his motivation – I didn’t get the passion that bordered on obsession, so the justification for the past actions wasn’t there for me, until the very end.
The above criticisms are personal ones. In Her Wake is a page-turner with unexpected and satisfying twists and a unique adventure into one woman’s journey.

About Virginia King

When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came to create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a strange woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard until Selkie Moon turned up. All she had to do was jump, the first sentence said. Soon Virginia was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.
Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.

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Virginia King, Author of the Selkie Moon Mystery Series

WEBSITE
FACEBOOK

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The First Lie Amazon UK
The Second Path Amazon UK
Many thanks to Virginia King for her guest post

If you would like write a guest review for the book review cafe please feel free to contact me via my contact details on my blog page. 

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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I thought I would have a change and do a weekly wrap up post rather than a Stacking the shelves post, so here it is…..

I’m on a weeks holiday at the moment and not been well, so on the downside I haven’t been up to much, but every cloud has a silver lining and all that jazz, and I have have managed to read 6 books

In to Deep by Samantha Haynes

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you can read my review here……. In too Deep Review

Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn

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I am taking part in the blog tour so check back on Friday the 20th May for my review, I did really enjoy this “feel good read”

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

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My review will be up shortly for The Night Stalker, but I will say I absolutely loved this book

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton

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Again I will be posting my review soon, and Sharon Bolton is on form with Daisy In Chains

Blanket Of Blood by Eileen Wharton

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You can read my review here ……Blanket Of Blood Book Review

My Girl by Jack Jordan

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This is another book I’m reading and reviewing for the My Girl blog tour, you will be able to read my review on Thursday 16th June, if you love a dark and twisted crime thriller I would highly recommend you get a copy of My Girl

I bought three books this week, I use to read loads of real crime books, and so after seeing these posted on a thread on Facebook I decided to treat myself (well it is my birthday this weekend)
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Coming next week on the book review cafe

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Author interview with Mary-Jane Riley

Review for Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton 

Guest review by Virginia King for In Her Wake by Amanda Jenning 

Review for Play Dead by Angela Marsons

 

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 the past week. Paper books, e-books, ARC’s received, books bought or borrowed, are all included.

ARC

White Is The Coldest Colour by John Nicholl

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Book description

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.
It would be great if you could leave me a comment about some of the books you’ve received this week or let me know if you have read any of the books on my list, and what you thought of them. Many thanks

When Evil Calls Your Name by John Nicholl

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Book description

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay hidden forever…

When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a personal journal exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.
Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. She begins writing and holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.

The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell

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Book description

I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson

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Book description

Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.
Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him.
The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman – shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik, where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all. Dark, chilling and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from an undeniable new talent.

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

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Book description 

A perfect life … until she discovered it wasn’t her own

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life. Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family – and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home.

How To Be Brave by Louise Beech

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Book description

This is a novel about how stories bring magic to our lives. Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat where an ancestor survived for fifty days. Natalie struggles when nine-year-old daughter Rose is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and refuses her life-saving injections and blood tests. When they begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar they realise he has something for them – his diary. Only by using her imagination, newspaper clippings, letters and this diary will Natalie share the true story of Grandad Colin’s survival at sea, and help her daughter cope with her illness and, indeed, survive. This is a haunting, beautifully written, tenderly told story that wonderfully weaves together a contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life through the medium storytelling with an extraordinary story of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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Book description

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race upstairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

Books I’ve bought

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Behind Closed Doors by Kathryn Croft

In this dark psychological thriller, Olivia Taylor believes she has suffered the worst life can throw at her after the break-up of her marriage. Full of hope, she starts a new life with her nine-year-old daughter, Ellie, only to find the worst is yet to come.

Meeting Michael Crossman is the beginning of an unspeakable nightmare for Olivia and her world slowly unravels.

It is only through the re-telling of her story that we piece together what has led her to become a mere shadow of the woman she once was.

While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green

 

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Book description 

One, two, three . . . Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa’s family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn’t a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa’s little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?

Unravelled by Anna Scanlon

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Book description

Aliz and her twin sister, Hajna, are enjoying their playful, carefree and comfortable life with their parents in Szeged, Hungary just before the Nazis invade. Seemingly overnight, their lives change drastically as they are transported to the ghetto on the outskirts of the city and then to Auschwitz to be used in Mengele’s deadly twin experiments. After several months of brutal torture, Aliz is liberated to find that she is the only survivor in her family. At not even 11 years old, Aliz must make the journey to San Francisco alone, an entire world away from everything she’s known, in order to live with her only known relatives whom she has never met– a depressed aunt and teenage cousin who is more than ready to escape her mother’s melancholy. Told through the eyes of both Aliz and her cousin Isabelle, Unravelled tells a powerful story of survival, hope, family and the lives war and genocide haunt long after liberation. It is a truly moving piece of historical fiction, based heavily on historical facts.