Category Archives: Barbara Copperthwaite

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite #BookReview @BCopperthwait @Bookouture


Book description

There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

My review

This is pretty much how I must have looked when I finished Her Last Secret……


OMG I must applaud Barbara Copperthwaite what a fabulous and twisted psychological thriller Her Last Secret turned out to be. Christmas is a time for families, to make memories, surrounded by unwrapped presents and feeling uncomfortable from eating too much rich food, but then I picked up Her Last Secret and all those Cosy thoughts were obliterated before I even got to the first chapter. Her Last Secret opens when the police are called to the Thomas’s London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

The reader is taken back a few days before the tragedy, and through various family member’s POV you learn of the disturbing secrets they kept from each other. The Thomas’s  appear to be the “perfect” family living the “dream”, but then the author peels back the layers and reveals a very different picture, some of the characters turned out to be flawed, weak and very unlikable, this is a family whose life was awash with untold secrets and resentment. Some of the characters I loved and some I loathed but they all had one thing in common at different points through this book I found I didn’t trust any of them, (well apart from the adorable Mouse, who deserves a mention because she was just so damn cute) which made for a very disconcerting read.

I do enjoy a book so much more when I find myself experiencing numerous emotions throughout the read, and even better when the emotions are ones I wasn’t expecting to feel. There are many  emotive themes running through this book, you can’t help but feel overwhelming  saddness at what happens  when you are unable to share your thoughts and fears  with those closest to you.

This isn’t a fast paced book by any means, but I’m glad it wasn’t as Barbara Copperthwaite spends time intricately unravelling the mysteries of this family, which in turn heightens the suspense of what’s to come, you know it’s going to be bad, but to the why and wherefore’s, well let’s just say they were definitely worth the wait. I do enjoy a book that challenges me to guess the outcome, just when I thought I had it all figured out Barbara Copperthwaite threw an almighty curveball that left me reeling. Shocking, sad and very twisted this is definitely a book I would highly recommend.

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 408 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (13 Oct. 2017)


**Cover Reveal** Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite @Bookouture @BCopperthwait

This evening I’m thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Her Last Secret by the awesome author Barbara Copperthwaite. Her Last Secret is published by one of my very favourite publishing companies Bookouture and as usual they have come up with a fabulous and seriously creepy cover.

Her Last Secret is published on the 13th October 2017, but you can pre-order it in the link further down this post. 

Before we get to the big reveal, here’s the book description

There are some secrets you can never tell.
The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.
But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

And with no further ado here’s the cover………..



I think Her Last Secret sounds like another gripping read from Bookouture and I do love this cover, personally I can’t wait to read this book.

Pre-order:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

Barbara is the author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD. Both have been Amazon best sellers. Her latest book, THE DARKEST LIES, was published by Bookouture on 12 May 2017

Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

To find out more about Barbara’s novels, go to 

Or follow @BCopperthwait on Twitter. 

To find out more about Barbara go to



I’m back with a **Weekly Wrap Up**


Well I’m back after nearly a two week break from social media and blogging (apart from the blog tour posts I already agreed to) and I must say its done me the world of good, no frantically trying to share and retweet posts, spending hours trawling through social media in fact it just reinforced to me how much time I spend on my iPad when I could be reading.

I worked Monday-Friday throughout the experiment and still managed to read, wait for it………..8 books and I’m half way through the 9th.……..yes the book review café has found her reading mojo and what a treasure trove of books I’ve read. Some of theses books are for blog tours in May, so I really achieved a lot in my two weeks off…… blog tour reviews, books that have been sat on my bookshelf that I’ve really wanted to read, and new to me authors. So I definitely feel a social media break every now and then works for me.

Books I read

Books I’ve bought


Certain criminal cases have a life of their own. Despite the passage of years they continue their hold on the public imagination, either because of the personalities involved, the depravity of the crime, doubts over whether justice was done, or the tantalizing fact that no one was ever caught…

Now John Douglas, the foremost investigative analyst and criminal profiler of our time, turns his attention to eight of the greatest mysteries in the history of crime, including those of Jack the Ripper, The Boston Strangler and JonBenet Ramsey. Taking a fresh look at the established facts, Douglas and Olshaker dismantle the conventional wisdom regarding these most notorious of crimes and rebuild them – with astonishing results.



1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.



Toni, the surviving teenager, is found delirious, wandering the muddy fields. She has been drugged and it’s uncertain whether she’ll survive. She says she saw her friend Emily being dragged away from the party. But no one knows who Emily is or even if she’s still alive. . .
Meanwhile the drowned body of another girl has been found on an isolated beach.
And how does this all relate to the shocking disappearance of a little girl nearly a decade ago, a crime which was never solved? The girl’s mother is putting immense pressure on the police to re-open the high-profile case.


DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evansof the Fenland police are stretched to the limit as they try to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice.
There is evidence of an illegal drinking club run by a shadowy group of men, who are grooming teenagers. And the team come across a sinister former hospital called Windrush which seems to house many dark secrets.
Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the shocking ending.



The past is never far away.

Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.

Now an adult, Michael wakes up in hospital from a coma suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.

Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.

With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.

But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.

Can Michael ever escape the past?

Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?

And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?

I couldn’t resist adding Remember Me by Lynda Renham to my TBR pile after reading Jo’s fabulous review for this book over at


A new neighbour becomes a new friend. She looks up to you. She admires you, but is it you she wants? You begin to wonder if she wants your husband, or even your child. But then you realise, she wants your life.

When Sharni and Tom move into 24 The Pines, it seems like Clare and Chris have the perfect neighbours. Sharni is always there to help, especially with childcare for Clare’s two-year-old, Ben. But Clare can’t shake off the feelings of anxiety that assail her whenever Sharni is near. Is Clare just being overprotective, or are her feelings justified? As Sharni‘s influence touches everyone around her, Clare finds herself fighting for her sanity as well her family.

ARC’s I’ve received

Last week on the book review café

Next week on the book review café

Cover reveal and a fabulous Giveaway The Art Of Fear by Pamela Crane

**Blog tour** Sleep Tight by the awesome Caroline Mitchell

The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury #Review

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #Review

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton #Review

#TopFive with the book review café #crimethrillers #standalones


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.


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.


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.


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.


 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


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……


**End Of The Year Wrap Up **


Well I for one will be glad to see the back of 2016, for many reasons this hasn’t been the best year I’ve ever had. I’m going to embrace 2017 though and make it my year to take on new challenges.

Now I’m not one for New Years resolutions I always fail at the first hurdle (usually the 2nd of January 😂), but I am hoping to do a couple of things regarding my reading and my blog

  • Read some books from my TBR pile, which I’m desperate to get through
  • cut down on blog tours, as there’s too much pressure to read a book in a limited time
  • Only request one book at a time on NetGalley (this ones going to be hard)
  • if I’m not enjoying a book, I DON’T have to finish it, after all there are far too many amazing books out there to waste time on a duff one!
  • learn to say “no” it’s ok NOT to agree to read and review every book that comes my way (my new mantra😂)
  • Read more books by authors that are new to me, I’ve already got a couple lined up… watch this space!

Although I haven’t compiled a list of my top reads, here are just some of the books I really enjoyed this year and would highly recommend.

My top five most read posts

You can read the reviews here……

My First read of 2017

My first read of 2017 is Snatched From Home by Graham Smith, this is a book that has been sat on my TBR pile for a while, it’s also by an author I haven’t read yet which means I’ve already started on my goals for 2017


Books I’ve read to watch out for in 2017
As the end of the year approaches I would like to say a huge thank you to each and everyone of you who follows my blog and wish you all a fabulous New Year and hope all your dreams come true.
Lorraine x x x



**Author interview** Barbara Copperthwaite Author of Flowers For the Dead



I am thrilled to have Barbara Copperthwaite author of Flowers For The Dead drop by The book Review Cafe, to answer some questions about her very dark and compelling book. I read Flowers for the Dead, and was blown away by it, its one of the best books I’ve read this year, you can see why in my review, further down the page, so with no further ado, I introduce you to Barbara Copperthwaite



Hi Barbara and welcome to The Book Review Cafe, I’m so excited to have you here,  can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Despite writing about crime, I’m actually a very cheery person! But I’ve spent over twenty years as a journalist, interviewing people who have been victims of crime, either directly or through the loss of loved ones. As a result of people bravely and generously sharing their experiences with me, I know a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrongdoing. That’s why my novels are not simply about the criminal act, but the repercussions they have; people are always at the heart of my thrillers.

I also briefly worked in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow’s category A men’s high security jail, where I met a number of charismatic perpetrators of crime. I realised it really is not possible to judge a book by its cover – or a person by their façade. This is what fascinates me.
When not plotting murder (figuratively speaking, of course) I love to hide behind a camera and take wildlife photographs. It’s incredibly relaxing.

What made you choose the theme for Flowers For The Dead, and where do you find your inspiration from?

Inspiration for Flowers For The Dead came in the form of a pint of milk, believe it or not!
I was living alone at the time, and was working very long hours as a magazine editor. Tiredness was making me a little absent-minded, and I thought I needed to buy some milk, but when I checked my fridge I had a full carton beside the almost empty one. I didn’t remember buying it, but just shrugged.
‘Oh, well, it must have been me because there’s no one else it could be!’ I thought. ‘Unless it’s a crazed stalker breaking in and buying me milk.’

Although I laughed, I couldn’t shake the idea of how creepy it would be to have someone breaking into my home doing ‘nice’ things for me. Slowly but surely, Adam was born.
The themes developed alongside the book. At first, I simply thought of Adam having a sort of garden of remembrance for his victims. Then came the idea of burying trophies beneath the flowers.
One day I was having a conversation with my sister, and she mentioned Yoko Ono’s Box of Smile. That really sparked my imagination…

As Adam developed, and I fleshed out his biography, it made sense that he would be shy and have difficulty communicating. He’s an old-fashioned man, so I decided he would choose an old-fashioned form of communication – flowers.

I am interested in what research you did for Flowers For The Dead prior to writing it? As you certainly present the reader with an in depth and frightening look into the mind of a serial killer and stalking.

I have reams of research on my laptop. As a journalist, research is second nature to me, and so I’ll do a mixture of things:
* Look at real life case studies: for example, Adam dyes his hair a shade darker, in order to look paler when grieving. This is actually something Jeremy Bamber is believed to have done after killing his family. It was so melodramatic yet calculating; I couldn’t resist using it.
* Talk to contacts in the police and legal world.
* Check with therapists, counselors and psychologists I know, to ensure I’m getting the correct motivations and reactions in my characters.
* I also Google like crazy, reading FBI reports and so on.
Learning the meaning of flowers was particularly fascinating. It’s a very genteel language that was great fun to subvert to more sinister use.
What genuinely shocked me during my research, though, was how easy and cheap it is to buy locksmith equipment and surveillance items. I was also stunned to discover that it is possible to turn a mobile phone or any other device with voice recognition software or a microphone into a ‘bug’. So that includes televisions that you ‘speak’ to, many laptops and tablets, smartphones etc.
Back in 2006 the FBI used a crime family’s devices against them, in order to gather evidence then successfully prosecute in court. These days anyone can do it by buying the right software on the internet. The programme will allow someone to eavesdrop on phone calls, get details on text messages, remotely control the phone using SMS, track the location of the phone with GPS and log the phone’s activities. It will also allow them to use the phone as a listening device and hear what is happening in the surrounding area. Scary stuff!

Do you outline your stories before you write them or do you let the plot and characters lead the way?

It’s a mixture of both, really. I have a skeleton plan that I write out, with points along the way that I know will definitely happen, but I don’t know how to get there until I start writing.

I write mini-biographies for every character, so that I totally understand them and know their background. Even if the information doesn’t make it into the book, it gives them a much more realistic and rounded feeling.

Each character is also given a key word that sums up their personality. Laura’s was ‘stubborn’.
As for the ending of the novel, I normally change my mind about that a lot as I write, until an idea arrives that instantly settles and feels exactly right. That generally happens about halfway through the first draft.

How long did it take to get your first book published?

I’m self-published, so it didn’t take long at all! It makes me sad that some self published authors produce work that hasn’t even been spell-checked, let alone edited, as that makes it much harder for the rest of us. And there are some amazing self published authors out there!

I take my writing very seriously, and after I’ve finished drafting my copy, I pay for an editor who is very well respected in the industry to work on it. Once it has gone through that process, it is proof-read for errors. Everything that a publishing house does to a novel happens to my work, too. I want my readers to enjoy a great, professional novel.

The fact that my books have been reviewed by magazines such as Bella, and newspapers such as the Sunday Mirror (beating Lee Child, to be their Choice Read of the Week) hopefully shows what a good job has been done. That, and the lovely reviews readers are giving me.

If you couldn’t write books what would you do for a living?

Writing isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am. I can’t imagine not doing it. If I had to do something else, though, I’d love to be a wildlife photographer. It’s a hobby of mine, and something I’m very passionate about. But honestly, if I couldn’t earn money from writing, I’d do any job and still write in the evenings anyway. Is that cheating?

Describe your books in 5 words?

Dark, gripping, twisted yet touching.

What authors/books do you read in your spare time?

I’ve always been a bookworm. As a child I used to climb a tree so I wouldn’t be disturbed while reading! I’m one of those people who loves to reread favourites: Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens; Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen; Far From The Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy; Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert; The Talented Mr Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith.

I’m also a huge fan of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. In homage to Rebecca, I chose never to name my character in Invisible, which was a fantastic device for showing just how invisible she had become in her own life.

Although I do have these favourites, I also love discovering new authors such as: Clare Mackintosh (I Let You Go), Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train), Ben McPherson (A Line of Blood), and Claire Kendal (The Book of You). I recently finished Peter Swanson’s ‘The Kind Worth Killing’, which I thought was brilliant.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently writing my third novel. It’s about a woman coping with the murder of her child, which is threatening to tear her marriage apart. Inevitably, nothing is as it seems. There are a lot of twists and turns in this one – and not all of them I know about yet!
After that, I’ll be writing a book featuring Detective Sergeant Mike Bishop as the lead character. He has proved to be a real hit with readers of Flowers For The Dead, with lots of people asking me if they could see more of him. There’s a great story taking shape in my head right now, with lots of drama in store for him…

Kindle or book? 

Both! It depends entirely on what I’m doing and also the type of book I’m reading. I love the convenience of Kindle – who wants to lug heavy books on the commute to work or on holiday? But there are some books I have to own in physical format. My old favourites, the books I revisit, are always hardbacks or paperbacks.

To find out more about the novels INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD

or follow @BCopperthwait on Twitter.

To find out more about Barbara

My thanks to Barbara Copperwaite for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions.


About the author

Barbara Copperthwaite is a bestselling author of psychological crime fiction. Her debut, INVISIBLE, went on sale last year and became an Amazon Top Ten best seller. FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD has been equally successful, charting as soon as it was released.
She was raised in Lincolnshire, beside the sea and in the countryside. There, she became a lover of both the written word and the great outdoors. A journalist with twenty years’ experience, who has been editor of a number of national magazines in the UK, her fascination with crime really began during a brief spell working in a men’s prison many years ago.
When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.
Barbara now lives in Birmingham with her partner, and their dog, Scamp.

Book Description

Adam Bourne is a serial killer who thinks he is a saviour. When he murders young women and cuts off their lips, he believes he has done it to make them happy.

How did he become warped from the sensitive four-year-old who adored his gran and the fairy tales she read to him? What turned him into a monster who stalks his victims? And what is he trying to say with the bouquets he sends?

When he meets Laura Weir, Adam weaves a fairy tale romance around them. A tale she has no idea she is part of. As he hatches his twisted plan for their fairy tale ending, can anyone stop him before he creates the ultimate sacrifice to love?


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. Through alternating chapters we learn of Adams childhood and the terrible events that have shaped him into the serial killer he is today. I felt a wide spectrum of emotions whilst reading about Adam, he is such a complicated character, in parts I felt over whelming sadness for him and yet at other times I loathed the person he had become. Barbara has managed to capture the essence of a serial killer, which whilst very disturbing kept me gripped to the very last page.

As Flower For the Dead unfolds we meet Laura, Adams next victim. As he stalks her we learn a lot about Laura she is very vulnerable after loosing her whole family in a car crash, the perfect “victim” for Adam. As Laura becomes the victim of Adams affections things take a dark turn and Through Laura’s eyes we can feel her terror as she is stalked by Adam. Laura’s fear is tangible and makes for an uncomfortable read at times, it’s easy to see how the behaviour of a stalker escalates, terrifying their victims and making them feel helpless.

Flowers For the Dead is a very well constructed story, as the reader you are the only one who knows the “real” Adam and that can make for a uncomfortable read,at times I found myself rooting for Adam. How could I feel like this about a monster who also happens to be a serial killer your wondering? Well you are so drawn into Adams story that at times I felt a guilty compassion for him, and all he had been through. The characters are so utterly compelling, as is the story I guarantee you won’t be able to put this book down.

I find it hard to believe this is only Barbara Copperthwaits second book, as it was so well written, it certainly kept me up late into the night as I really didn’t want to put it down, Flowers For The Dead  is utterly compelling and original in its content. I found it difficult to believe Barbara hasn’t been signed up by a publisher after writing this book (there loss in my opinion).

5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5