Category Archives: Samantha Hayes

The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes @samhayes @Bookouture #BlogBlitz #MustRead

Today I’m thrilled to be on the #BlogBlitz for The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes. I have to say “blog blitz or no blog blitz”  I would still be raving about this book I absolutely loved this twisted tale. You can read on for my thoughts but first the book description……..

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Loving husband? Or total stranger?

When Ella wakes up in a hospital following a hit-and-run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon…

But Ella has never been married.

In fact, she has lived alone her whole adult life; working hard, rarely socialising, quietly harbouring a terrible secret from her past.

Fear sweeps through Ella when she instantly recognises the man who enters the ward. He is not her husband, but she knows that she must do as he says and play the part of dutiful wife. What choice does she have? He was there the night of the fire, he knows her secret too…

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Oh my freaking god! What a fabulous and compelling  read The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes turned out to be.  I must be honest when I read the book description I wasn’t convinced it would be an original read, as I’ve read numerous psychological thrillers where the protagonist wakes up from a coma with no memory,  but what makes this one so different is in the telling of a very twisted and disturbing tale. I must mention the author has surpassed herself and this is definitely the best book I’ve read by the author YET! As to Hayes imagination it’s twisted and very, very devious, but I absolutely loved this shocker of a book.  

When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit-and-run incident, her loving and caring husband Jacob is there, eager for her to get well and move into their new home, there’s only one problem Ella has no recollection of marrying Jacob! Who is the man who claims to be married to Ella? And what hold does he have over Ella?  You immediately sense the tension between the the couple, there’s something off about their relationship that raises alarm bells, and I couldn’t wait to read on and find out what secrets this strange couple were hiding.  

Ella is a character I found mystifying,  a woman whose mantra is “home,work, sleep” keeps work colleagues at a arms length and appears to have no friends or family,  but Hayes deftly pulls back the layers of this complex character and you realise there maybe a very good reason for her odd behaviour. There are sporadic chapters that delve into Ella’s past and these were the ones I found the most disturbing, Hayes manages to inject a sense of foreboding into each chapter which made this read all the more compelling. As for Jacob, oh how I loathed him, this is a man with not one redeeming feature, he’s cruel, manipulative, he literally made my skin crawl, as for his backstory it’s a shocker and one that left me stunned, as to the why, well you are just going to have to read the book and find out for yourself.

If I had one small niggle it would be the fact that I thought Ella could have done more to save herself from a very dangerous situation  (vague I know but I would hate to give away spoilers) although the author does give a plausible reason for her behaviour so I was happy to push the boundaries of my own imagination. The Liar’s Wife has to be one of the most exciting psychological thrillers I’ve read this year, it incorporates all the elements I love in a read, mystery, suspense horror, and drama. Would I recommend this book? Definitely even if it means you have to beg, steal or borrow it (on second thoughts just buy it you won’t disappointed I promise).

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving  The Liar’s Wife the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. 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 kept me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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  • Print Length: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (22 Nov. 2018)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US🇺🇸

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Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.

Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003 and her ninth novel, THE REUNION, was published February 2018.  Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on ‘real life fiction’. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, ‘What if this happened to me or my family?’ 

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING says “We’re big fans of Samantha Hayes. Her believable psychological thrillers are completely gripping…”

To find out more, visit her website www.samanthahayes.co.uk

Or connect with Samantha on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaHayesAuthor

And she’s on Twitter @samhayes

Follow the blog tour……….

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The Reunion by Samantha Hayes #BookReview @Bookouture @samhayes

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Book description

They were all there the day your sister went missing… 
Who is lying? Who is next?

THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.

Eleanor never came back.

NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.

When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…

If you love Sue Fortin, Gillian Flynn and The Girl on the Train, this psychological thriller packed full of twists and turns will be impossible to put down.

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What a little cracker The Reunion turned out to be, when I first started reading this book I admit I had some reservations, there seems to be an abundance of children going missing crime/psychological thrillers on the market at the moment, and the pessimist in me wasn’t convinced that author Samantha Hayes would be able to put an original spin on a well used subject, but somehow she does.

The book begins with the disappearance of teenager Eleanor, whilst spending the day at the beach with her brother, sister and their friends. Fast forward twenty one years and her family are still no closer to knowing what happened to her all those years ago. Dad, Patrick is now suffering from Alzheimers, and daughter Claire decides that a reunion of friends and family could help her dad with his memory issues. As the group of friends are reunited they find themselves plunged into a further nightmare as shocking secrets are slowly revealed.

If I’m honest I thought the first half of the book was very slow, the time is spent introducing the reader to the array of characters and building on the mystery and suspense surrounding Eleanor’s disappearance. I can’t say I was a fan of any of the characters, some of them appeared shallow, others were just downright unlikable, and I did find myself questioning their behaviour and some of the choices they made at times, the only character I could summon up any sympathy for was Eleanor, but that said it did not stop me enjoying this book. The author manages to ramp up the tension by creating characters that are almost impossible to trust.

The Reunion has some great twists and red herrings to make this an intense and a heart pounding  read, yes I pretty much guessed one of the major twist early on in the book, but I would never have guessed the motive or some of the other devious sub plots, and I did have a couple of “OMG” moments towards the end where the author surprised me which always enhances my enjoyment of a book. If I had to say one thing it would be that a few things were left unanswered by the time I reached the end of The Reunion but never the less it still made for an intriguing read.

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 410 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (9 Feb. 2018

 

 

**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

 

In Too Deep by Samantha Haynes

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Book description

Four months ago, Rick went out to buy a newspaper. He never came back.

His wife, Gina, is struggling to deal with her loss, and her daughter’s mood swings are getting worse. Then she receives a phone call from a woman at a country hotel, confirming details of a booking Rick made before he vanished.

Desperate to find out more about his disappearance, Gina and her daughter take the trip. But there is something very strange about the hotel, and the family that run it.

Soon Gina is unsure that Rick even made the booking – but one thing is clear: both mother and daughter are in serious danger.


I can’t believe this is the first book I’ve read by Samantha Hayes, but it’s safe to say it won’t be my last! In Too Deep is full of mystery and Intrigue and oh what a tangled web the author weaves. When the story begins it seems it’s going to be a “run of the mill husbands gone missing kind of book”, but it’s anything BUT! We are introduced to Gina whose husband is missing, she is struggling to find answers to his disappearance and cope with life in general “after Rick”. Hannah the daughter also is struggling to cope with life, after she finds out a secret that leaves her devastated.

Told from the alternative perspectives of Gina And Hannah, you get a real feel for the characters, they are very well developed with plenty of depth. This is a family whose lives are built on lies and shows how bad things happen to the nicest people, you really begin to wonder how much more heartbreak Gina will have to cope with. As the plot unfolds I did wonder where it was going, as it took so many twist and turns along the way. I did manage to work out some of the answers by the halfway mark, but this in no way distracted from my enjoyment of the book.

Samantha Haynes has written a gripping psychological thriller, well plotted and intriguing right up until the dramatic and explosive conclusion. I was going to give In Too Deep 5 stars, but I had a few small gripes, some of what happens (I don’t want to give away any spoilers here) seemed a little far fetched, and also the ending left me wanting more, as it left some questions unanswered, so for these reasons I’m giving it 4 out of 5.

4☕️☕️☕️☕️ Out of 5

Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: Century (5 May 2016)

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**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

Blue Wicked by Alan Jones

 

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Blue Wicked is Alan Jones’ second gritty Glasgow crime novel. The tortured corpses of young alcoholics and drug addicts are turning up in Glasgow and only unlikely investigator Eddie Henderson seems to know why. When he tries to tell the police, his information is ridiculed and he’s told to stop wasting their time. One officer, junior detective Catherine Douglas, believes him, and together they set out to discover why the dregs of Glasgow’s underbelly are being found, dead and mutilated.

The Cabinet Maker by Alan Jones

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Book description 

The cabinetmaker, Alan Jones’ first novel, tells of one man’s fight for justice when the law fails him. When his only son is brutally murdered, and the thugs who killed him walk free, he devotes his life to bringing the killers to justice. It’s young Glasgow detective John McDaid’s first murder case. He forms an unlikely friendship with the cabinetmaker, founded on their desire to see the killers punished, their love of amateur football, and by John’s introduction by the cabinetmaker to a lifelong passion for fine furniture. This is the story of their relationship, the cabinetmaker’s quest for justice, and the detective’s search for the truth.

Bone By Bone by Sajida Kay

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Book description

Laura loves her daughter more than anything in the world.

But nine-year-old daughter Autumn is being bullied. Laura feels helpless.

When Autumn fails to return home from school one day, Laura goes looking for her. She finds a crowd of older children taunting her little girl.

In the heat of the moment, Laura makes a terrible choice. A choice that will have devastating consequences for her and her daughter…

The Wrong Hand by Jane Jago

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Book description

We all make mistakes. Moments that change us and the path we are on irrevocably. For Rachel Allen it was the moment that she let her son’s hand slip from hers. For Danny Simpson and Graham Harris it was the moment one of them took it. Seven years ago Danny and Graham were just children themselves, angry, marginalized and unguided. That was, until they committed a crime so heinous that three families were left devastated. They were no longer just boys. They were monsters. Released from juvenile detention, it is time for the boys, now men, to start again; new names, new people. But they can never escape who they are or what they did. And their own families, now notorious; the Allens, destroyed with grief; and the country at large have never been able to forget. They will always be running. They will always be hiding. But are some mistakes too large, the ripples to far reaching, to outrun forever?

See How They Run by Tom Bale

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Book description

How far would you go to save your family?

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

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Book description

The compelling new psychological suspense novel, from the author of Until You’re Mine, Before You Die and You Belong to Me. Perfect for fans of S J Watson and Sophie Hannah.

Your husband goes out to buy a newspaper. He never comes back.

Months later, an unexpected phone call puts you and your daughter in unimaginable danger.

Even if he were still alive, your husband can’t save you now.

He told you way too many lies for that.

The Blood On My Hands by Shannon O’Leary

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Book description

Set in 1960s and ‘70s Australia, The Blood on My Hands is the dramatic tale of Shannon O’Leary’s childhood years. O’Leary grew up under the shadow of horrific domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, and serial murder. Her story is one of courageous resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors.

The responses of those whom O’Leary and her immediate family reach out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. Relatives are afraid to bring disgrace to the family’s good name, nuns condemn the child’s objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevent the police from interfering unless someone is killed.

The Blood on My Hands is a heartbreaking—yet riveting—narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding, and the strength and courage it takes, not just to survive and escape, but to flourish and thrive.

When I Lost You by Kelly Rimmer

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Book description

Do you ever wish you had the chance to meet someone again for the first time?

When Leo and Molly met and married, they believed they were invincible. Together they could take on the world. But Leo,a war correspondent, lives for life on the edge, and when he takes a step into the unknown, tragedy strikes and he loses his memory. Molly rushes to help him fill in the gaps and soon they start falling in love all over again.

The trouble is, Molly is hiding something. Something big. The devoted wife at Leo’s bedside is a sham; Leo and Molly’s marriage was on the rocks long before Leo’s accident.

The closer Molly gets to her husband the more scared she becomes that he will remember. As Leo’s memory begins to trickle back will Molly lose the man she loves for a second time?

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The Missing by C.L. Taylor 

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Book description 

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.

But should you…?

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…

Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott

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Book description 

When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.

But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.

When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?

She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her.

Books I won

Over on Crime Book Club I won not one but two books by L J Ross and lots of other goodies, I just had to include a photo of my prize’s don’t you just love them? Many thanks to Shell Baker and LJ Ross for my fab prize

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These are the two books I won and book descriptions

Holy Island by LJ Ross

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Book description
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.

When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.

Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set on the spectacular Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, cut off from the English mainland by a tidal causeway.

Sycamore Gap by L J Ross

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Book description

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan’s job to piece together her past.

Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable.

Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian’s Wall country in Northumberland.

I have been really good this week and not bought one book, so I have kept to my “not buying any more books until my TBR piles gone down”…. Mind you looking at all the fantastic ARC books I’ve received this week my TBR pile won’t be diminishing anytime soon.

Please feel free to leave a comment, have you read any of the above books? Did you love/hate them? Which ones would you like to read?