The Walls by Hollie Overton #BookReview

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Book description

What if you could get away with murder?

Single mom Kristy Tucker works as press agent for the Texas Department of Corrections – handling everything on death row, from inmate interviews to chronicling the last moments during an execution. Her job exposes Kristy to the worst of humanity and it’s one that’s beginning to take its toll.

So when Kristy meets Lance Dobson, her son’s martial arts instructor, she believed she finally found her happy ending. She was wrong.

Kristy soon discovers that Lance is a monster. Forced to endure his verbal and physical abuse, Kristy is serving her own life sentence . . . unless she’s willing to take matters into her hands. Perfectly poised to exploit the criminal justice system she knows so well, Kristy sets out to get rid of Lance – permanently.

IMG_2357There are plenty of psychological thrillers on the market that deal with domestic abuse and I’ve read a large majority of them, so I’m always looking for something that makes a story “unique”, a book that stands out from the crowd. The Walls connection to death row makes this book original and I really had high hopes for the latest book by Hollie Overton as it’s a book that explores domestic violence, the morality of murder and how far one woman will go to protect her family.

Personally I found The Walls a slow burner, in the authors defence she spends the time developing her characters and their background. We learn how Kristy is a single mum working as a Public Information Officer for the Texas Dept of Corrections, dealing with death row inmates, housed in The Walls. Her life pretty much revolves around her job, her teen age son and her elderly father. So when the charming Lance enters her life, Kirsten thinks she’s found her “happy ever after” but things take a sinster and dangerous turn and Kirsty soon realises she’s made the biggest mistake of her life. Kirsty thought the biggest monsters were the ones behind “The Walls” but she soon learns that’s not necessarily true.

It was interesting to see how Kristy’s opinions of the Death Row inmates changed as Lance’s violence and mind games escalated. I should point out at this point although this book deals with a difficult subject the author never goes over board, but just gives enough detail to show how abuse both mental and physical escalates. The letters that Kristy receives from an inmate highlight the injustices that exist within the walks, but it’s these letters that give her the strength and determination to do everything she can to protect herself and her family.

Although I enjoyed The Walls and it made for a quick read I did feel this book lacked the “thrilling” element, I really thought the author was going to throw in an almighty twist but unfortunately it never came to light. Although the story gathers momentum and suspense at the half way mark I was expecting something more. I’m sure there will be many readers who will rave about this book and I can see why, but I think because I read so many books in this genre I expected more thrills and chills, I want to finish a book thinking “WOW” unfortunately this wasn’t the case. I think I sometimes expect to much from a book and it’s author, and I definitely think The Walls is one of those books where I’m going to be in the minority.

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

Amazon U S 🇺🇸

Hardcover: 416 pages

Publisher: Century (10 Aug. 2017)

🍂🎃🍁Fall Activities Book Tag🍂🎃🍁

 

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Its not often these days I get the time to take part in book tags, but after I was tagged by the fabulous Sharon over at ChapterInMyLife I thought it would definitely be a fun tag to take part in.

Scroll down to the bottom to see who I’m tagging – and if your name is mentioned, please comment below and send me a link to your post (no pressure to take part, I know how busy everyone is).To take part then simply have a look at the books I have chosen for each title; then you chose your book – I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

APPLE PICKING (A book on your TBR pile that looks so good you can’t wait to take a bite out of it!)

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RagDoll by Daniel Cole 

I’m desperate to read this one and I love the cover, it’s near the The top of my TBR and I can’t wait to read it

CORN MAZE (A book that is fun to get lost in)

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow

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I mostly read crime and psychological thrillers but every now and then I like to pick up a book that helps me to escape for a couple of hours and Christie Barlow is the author I always turn to when I’m looking for a fun read

HAUNTED HOUSE (A Book that scares you silly)

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It by Stephen King

I read this book years ago and I’m sure this book is where my fear of clowns originated from basically  there’s this murderous monster clown invisible to adults who feeds on children in a small Maine town.. I couldn’t read this book now it would seriously scare me! and how can anyone think clowns are funny, I think there anything but! A certain author mentioning no names (Caroline Mitchel) seems to have great delight in sending me clown GIF I can’t think why!

PUMPKIN PATCH (last book you picked up/purchased)

Snatched From Home and I Know Your Secret by Graham Smith

I bought two books at the same time after I read Noelle’s rave reviews for them over at CrimeBookJunkie

SCENIC DRIVES (a book that is lyrically beautiful)
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Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop

This one is on my TBR pile and just looking at the cover, the beautiful photographs and the descriptive writing it conjures up images of Greece

PUMPKIN CARVING (A book you didn’t enjoy so much and you wouldn’t mind carving up!)

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Baby Doll by Hollie Overton some bloggers raved over this book, but I really struggled with this one and found it a mediocre read and the characters just grated on me

DRINKING APPLE CIDER (A book to curl up under the covers with)

Robert Bryndza 

Any of the of the books in the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, I love his books he’s probably my favourite author at the moment and I totally loose myself once I start reading one his books.

JUMPING IN A PILE OF LEAVES (A book that reminds you of your childhood)

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Any book by Enid Blyton reminds me of my childhood I use to save up my pocket money to buy them, I loved all her books. Whilst looking for a photo to add to this post I was shocked…. WHAT have they done to the covers? the new updated covers are hideous! I loved the retro look of the original ones

SCARY MOVIE NIGHT (favourite spooky read)

Time To Die by Caroline Mitchell 

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This is the second book in the Jennifer Knight series which has a paranormal element to it, add to the mix ravens (which terrify me!) and it made for a very spooky read.

I tag………

Emma  at http://damppebbles.com

Emma at http://www.emmathelittlebookworm.wordpress.com

Janel at http://keeperofpages.wordpress.com

kaisha at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com

Jo at https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com

and anyone else who is reading this and wants to take part

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**Weekly Wrap Up Post **

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Well it’s time for my weekly wrap up, last week I was so engrossed in reading The Stepmother by Claire Seeber I completely forgot to do one. This week I have read four books and started on my fifth book, which is exceptionally good going for me.

Books I’ve read this week

Consequences by RC Bridgestock

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Whyte Lies by KC Acton

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The Stepmother by Claire Seeber

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Shallow Waters by Rebecca Bradley

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Made To Be Broken by Rebecca Bradley

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Books I’ve bought This week

I’ve been really, really good and ONLY bought ONE book this week, and that’s because I have such a huge pile of books I’m desperate to read sitting on my TBR pile. I’ve also decided to cut back on the blog tours, as I’ve done so many lately it’s hard to fit in books that I’m desperate to read that are sitting gather dust on my TBR pile

With Deadly Intent by KA Richardson

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Last week on The Book Review Café

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton You can read my review here

WWW Wednesday You can see my post here

My Girl by Jack Jordan Blog Tour, including a guest post from the very talented Jack Jordan

You can see Jack’s Guest post, and my review here

The Caller by MA Comley and Tara Lyons Blog Tour including a guest post from Tara Lyons, one half of this very talented duo You can read Tara’s Guest post and my review here

Arcs I’ve received this week

I’m trying to be really good and not request any ARC’s from NetGalley until my TBR pile has diminished but I did have a couple of  little slips…….

Can You #ReadWithoutPrejudice

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Book Description
There are two points in life when we are all equal: at the moment of birth and at the moment of death. It is how we live in between that defines us.
Delicately balanced.
Perfectly crafted.
Beautifully written.
We want you to immerse yourself in this dazzling novel, free from any preconceptions that a cover, title or author can bring.
We ask you simply to #readwithoutprejudice.

I love the thought of reading a book that you nothing about, let alone who wrote it . I have taken a quick look at it and I think I know who the author is but I’m not telling 

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I was approached by the publishers to review this ARC, it’s top secret and hasn’t even got a cover yet, and because I love this authors books (NO it’s not Robert  Bryndza, I’m a huge fan in case you didn’t know) I jumped at the chance, that’s all I can tell you my lips are sealed 🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐

Next week on the book review café

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Q & A with Lisa Hall where we will be discussing the hell of all “twists”

Blog tour for When The Killing Starts by RC Bridgestock including a fascinating guest post and my review

The Stepmother by Claire Seeber review

Shallow Waters by Rebecca Bradley review

The Book Review café  blogging news

I have one more book to read for a Blog Tour in July All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker, and then I’m really looking forward to reading some of the books of my very dusty TBR pile. I love doing blog tours and get really excited about them, and before I know it I have agreed to do 7-8 blog tours in one month, which is great, but then I find myself panicking that I won’t get all the book tour books read in time, and have very little time in between to read the books I really want to read which is why I’m going to try and cut back on the blog tours **watch this space**

I was really excited to see Louise Jensen’s header on Twitter just happens to be a quote from my review for her debut novel The Sister, things like this make my day as a blogger

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Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

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Book Description

Lily has been abducted from outside her high-school gates.

For eight long years she’s been locked away from the outside world. During that time she’s changed from a girl into a woman. She’s had a baby.

And now she has seized her chance and escaped.

Running for her life, with her daughter in her arms, she returns to her family and the life she used to know – to her much-loved twin sister Abby, her mum, her high-school boyfriend – and her freedom.

But is it possible to go back?

Lily’s perfect life as a teenager doesn’t exist any more. Since she’s been gone, her family’s lives have changed too, in ways she never could have imagined.

Her return, and the revelation of who took her, will send shockwaves through the whole community.

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After reading the book description for Baby Doll by Hollie Overton I was desperate to get my hands on a copy of this book, and lo and behold I got approved to read an ARC. There are numerous books on the market that deal with abductions and the experiences of victims, but the author takes a very different approach, and the book starts when Lily escapes the evil and manipulating clutches of her captor. Baby Doll explores the issues of a victim attempting to rebuild her life after eight years locked away from the outside world, it also explores how such abductions alter the life of family, friends and the local community, and the far reaching consequences of such an hideous act.

Told in the third person, the story is narrated from the perspectives of Lily, Her sister and her mum and occasionally from the abductor himself, a controlling psychopath who appears to have no remorse for the crimes he has committed. Although I did enjoy the plot of Baby Doll I felt the author tried to include the points of view of too many characters, and unfortunately in my opinion this meant they lacked any real depth. I felt I never really got to know Lily and despite the terrible abuse she suffered, we only seem to find out Lily’s thoughts and feelings on a superficial level. Lily’s emotional journey was credible, but I couldn’t drum up any real empathy for her or the family, thinking about it I felt the author provided the reader with a thrilling and exciting storyline, but by focusing her attention on the plot her characters lacked the depth I look for in a novel.

Baby Doll starts off really well I found the storyline fascinating and at times gripping, but sadly halfway through I found it a mediocre read, and then for the last quarter of the book the pace picked up and I found it gripping once again, with a few twist and turns thrown in that I never saw coming. There were a couple of times I found the plot to be “over the top” and unrealistic, but hey that’s just my humble opinion. I feel the author has written a very promising debut with an original take on abduction, and I’m sure there will be plenty of readers who will love Baby Doll and rave about it, and I can understand why this novel will appeal to readers, but for me I can’t fully appreciate a book if I am unable to embrace the characters and feel some connection with them.

3.5 out of 5

Publisher: Century (30 Jun. 2016)

Kindle

Hardcover

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well it’s that time of the time of the week again, where does the time go? Answers on a postcard please. So today it’s my weekly wrap up and I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to read more than one book again this week, I finished one, read one and just started on my third book this week  not bad considering I’ve been on lates this week so struggle to find anytime to read.

Outside Looking In by Michael Wood

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I’ve really been looking forward to reading the latest release from Michael Wood, it’s the second in the DCI Matilda Darke series, and I loved it, you will be able to read my review on Monday 4th July as part of the blog tour

The Caller by M. A. Comley and Tara Lyons

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This is the first collaboration from authors M.A. Comley and Tara Lyons, and again I really enjoyed this new crime series, again this ones for a blog tour so you will be able to read my review on Friday 17th June 

When The Killing Starts by R C Bridgestock

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This is the 7th book in the series and it’s a cracker! If you love a gritty police procedure book you will love this, and yes this book is for the blog tour you can catch my review on Friday 24th June

Books I’ve bought

I’ve been really, really good and only bought one book this week, and that’s because I have such a huge pile of books I’m desperate to read sitting on my TBR pile

Beautiful by Anita Waller

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Last week On the book review café

Blog tour and Guest post for The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza, You can read my review and guest post from Robert Bryndza here

Blog tour for The Safe Word by Karen Long, You can read my review here

My book of the month May 2016, You can see my book of the month here
Review for the Hatching by Ezekiel Boone, You can see my review here

Arc’s I’ve received this week

Whyte lies by KC Acton

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

Cut To The Bone by Alex Cann

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Review for The Sister by Louise Jenson

Review for S Is For Stranger by Louise Stone

A special guest review for The Last Good Girl by Alison Leotta

Blog tour for When He Fell by Kate Hewitt

Blogging news from the book review café

I just had to share this in my weekly round up, I was estatic to see Robert Bryndza used a quote from my review for The Night Stalker as his header on his very own Twitter page, how exciting is that?

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What books have you been reading this week? I would love to know, please feel free to leave a comment