#TopFive with the book review café #crimethrillers #standalones

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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

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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……

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/03/25/bloq-by-alan-jones

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/06/09/blog-tour-my-girl-by-jack-jordan-guest-post/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/12/15/rattle-by-fiona-cummins-review-fionaanncummins-2017mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/11/untouchable-by-sibel-hodge-review-sibelhodge/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2015/11/16/flowers-for-the-dead-by-barbara-copperthwaite-authors-question-and-answers/

 

**End Of The Year Wrap Up **

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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…..so 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……

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/11/author-interview-behind-closed-doors-by-b-a-paris/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/08/behind-closed-doors-by-b-a-paris/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/01/26/tainted-love-by-kimberley-chambers/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/02/26/between-you-and-me-by-lisa-hall/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/06/10/the-sister-by-louise-jenson/

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

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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

 

 

Duplicity by Sibel Hodge #Review @Sibelhodge

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Book description

There are three sides to every story: Yours. Mine. And the truth…

Max and Alissa have a fairy tale life—newlywed, madly in love and enviously rich. Then Max is brutally stabbed to death at their home and Alissa, miraculously, escapes with her life. But why was she spared?

The hunt for the killer begins, uncovering a number of leads—was Max’s incredible wealth the motive? Had his shady business practices finally caught up with him? Or was it a stalker with a dangerous obsession?

Devoted friends rally around gentle, sweet Alissa as she is left to mourn the loss of her husband and pick up her life. But not everyone is who they seem…Deep-rooted jealousies, secrets and twisted love lie just beneath the surface, and not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

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Earlier this year I read Untouchable by Sibel Hodge, and it’s a book that sits very comfortable on my top reads of 2016 pile, so I have been eagerly anticipating the authors latest book. The first thing I have to say about Duplicity is very different to her last book, it’s no where near as gritty or as dark, and call me warped if you like but these are the books I seem to really enjoy. Don’t get me wrong Duplicity is an engaging and intriguing read, it’s just feels very different to the authors previous book.

Max and Alissa have the perfect life that is until the day Max is stabbed to death, as the hunt for the killer begins Sibel Hodge takes the reader on a journey where jealousy, obsession and secrets all merge to make for a suspense fuelled read. If I’m honest the first half of this book I found to be a slow burner, I like a book to grab me by the throats and not let go until the very last page. It’s only as I hit the second half of Duplicity that the plot picks up the pace and takes an unexpected twist, and flipping heck I never seen it coming! Don’t you just love it when a book does that? and from then on in I was hooked.

The author has created well developed characters I found Alissa to be the most intriguing, she is one complex character, but I can’t say too much about her for fear of giving away spoilers. DS Carter is another character who adds substance to the plot, this is a man struggling to cope with his own grief, as well as being forced to work alongside acting DI Richard Wilmott, their relationship is one based on distrust and dislike and the dynamics between the two add authenticity to their characters. As Carter investigates the case, disregarding orders from Wilmott the friction between the pair is obvious, but Carter is like a dog with a bone and is prepared to put his job at risk to find the killer. The chapters that are narrated by an unknown voice give you an insight into a very disturbed individual, and these were the chapters I found to be the darkest and most chilling.

As suspicion falls on numerous characters, I thought I was one step ahead, but I couldn’t have been more wrong in fact It turned out I was always one step behind, and this is down to the authors incredible way of misleading the reader at every turn. Yes I had an issue with the first half of the novel, but come the second half Sibel Hodge more than redeems herself, and I found myself totally engrossed in Duplicity and every red herring the author threw at me. I think Duplicity proves that the very talented Sibel Hodge is able to write not only an original novel, but one that is very different to her previous books and yet still maintain detail, plot and suspense. If you enjoy a thriller with mystery a plenty then I would highly recommend you get yourself a copy of Duplicity.

4.5 out of 5

Paperback: 314 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (December 27, 2016)

Amazon UK  🇬🇧 Amazon US  🇺🇸

#BookOfThe Month October 2016 @michaelJmalone1 @orendaBooks

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As it’s the last day of October today (Happy Halloween by the way 🎃🕸👻🎃) I thought I would post my book of the month for October 2016. 

I’ve read some fabulous books this month and four books got my special “gold star award“, books that I consider be an outstanding read. I really can’t recommend theses books highly enough and they are certainly worthy of being added to any crime thrillers TBR pile they include……..

Dark Waters by Robert Bryndza

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land 

The Killing Game by J.S. Carol

Untouchable by Sibel Hodge

But there’s one book that stands out  for me it covered ever aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grip until I reached the very last page, it also made me cry as it was heartbreaking, but dark and very sinister, so If you haven’t already guessed my book of the month is……..

A Suitable Lie By Michael J Malone

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Book description

Some secrets should never be kept… Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own.

When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.

A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…

My thanks to Karen over at Orenda books and Michael J Malone for giving me the chance to read this fabulous book. 

You can read my full review here…..
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/26/a-suitable-lie-by-michael-j-malone-michaeljmalone1-orendabooks-review/

Or you can buy a copy here…….

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Suitable-Lie-Michael-J-Malone-ebook/dp/B01BOGQDJ0

 

Untouchable by Sibel Hodge #Review @sibelhodge

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Book description

~ Inspired by real UK police investigations, this book contains scenes which some readers may find disturbing ~~

It’s Maya and Jamie’s anniversary, and she waits with excitement for him to return home for a celebratory dinner. There’s a knock at the door. It’s the police. Jamie has been found hanging in a local wood.

His death is ruled a suicide, but Maya doesn’t believe Jamie would take his own life. Something isn’t right. Someone has broken into her house. Someone is watching her. And someone has gone to great lengths to cover up what Jamie was doing before he died.

Maya’s grief turns to suspicion, and as she begins to investigate the weeks leading up to Jamie’s death, her trail leads her to a place known as “The Big House” and the horrific secrets within. Secrets people will stop at nothing to keep hidden. People linked to the heart of the Establishment who think they’re untouchable.

Now Maya has a dangerous decision to make. How far is she prepared to go to reveal the truth?

img_1258First of all I have to say Untouchables is one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year, it’s dark, it’s gritty and very disturbing. Maya and Jamie appear to have the perfect relationship and planning for the future, until one day Maya gets a knock on the door telling her Jamie is dead, as far as the police are concerned it’s a case of suicide, but despite Maya’s overwhelming sense of shock and grief things just don’t add up, and it’s not long before Maya begins looking into Jamie’s past for answers, and so begins a dark and harrowing tale that will draw you in and keep you in its grips until the very last page.

Sibel Hodge has created very real characters rich in detail, I couldn’t help becoming attached to Maya whose grief and determination to find out the truth made her a very likeable and intriguing protagonist. The POV alternate between Maya and James certainly made this book all the more intriguing . The chapters told from James POV are both heart breaking and disturbing, they mostly explore his childhood and the horrific secrets he kept hidden from Maya. Jamie’s story is not one for the faint hearted it’s a miserable tale of abuse, but I would say in the authors defence it’s not overly Graphic, and Sybil Hodge deals with the subject with real empathy.

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. How many times have you read or heard about such cover ups? I for one have read numerous cases and this is what makes Untouchables such a dark and seriously disturbing read, I for one felt so many emotions reading this book especially knowing such harrowing events are still going on today.

This is certainly not a book I would describe as a light read due to the subject matter, but it’s a story well told and one I would definitely describe it as gripping and very dark. It’s a compelling read and one that evoked very strong emotions due to the nature of the abuse, yes it’s harrowing and very upsetting but unfortunately such events are very much part of society today, and I believe the author has highlighted this with sympathy and understanding. Untouchables will certainly be added to my top reads of 2016, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a psychological read, although I do feel “enjoy” is not a word that can be used comfortably with this book as its so both heartbreakingly credible and harrowing.

I won’t be giving Untouchables 5 stars, but I will be giving it the very prestigious GOLD STAR AWARD. I give this award to a book I feel covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grips until I reached the very last page, and this book certainly had all these things and more.

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Paperback: 396 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (28 July 2016)

Amazon UK

**Holiday Reads September 2016**

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Hello the book review café is back, did you miss me? Probably not!! Well here I am anyway and I thought I would share my holiday reads with you all. I’m glad to say I had the most relaxing holiday ever in Portugal, and I managed to read TEN whole books, yes you read that right! It’s the most I’ve ever read in such a short time, and my god I read some real corkers. I’m super excited that I have made a dent in my Netgalley reads (six of the books were Netgalley reads), and now I just need to try and stay away from requesting any books until I’ve posted my reviews, and my shelf will be reasonable (watch this space, note I said TRY😂🙈). Just in case you are wondering what I read I’ve included a list. As a blogger I like to write my review straight away, so I’m feeling slightly sick at the thought of having to write ten reviews, and trying to remember everything I want to include in my review. So don’t expect them any time soon 😀😀……so here are the books I read

Ward Zero by Linda Huber

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Anything For Her by Jack Jordan

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Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow

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Untouchable by Sybil Hodge

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The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe

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Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

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Hide And Seek by M J Arlidge

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No Way Back by M J Arlidge

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