#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Claire at A Knights Reads @clairekreads

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Today I’m over the moon to have the simply awesome Claire take part in #TopFiveThursday. Claire has recently started her own book blog Aknightsreads but before that She was a guest reviewer on the fabulous Crimebookjunkie. I’m sure you are already following Claire’s blog and her fab reviews, and if not, why not? It’s a site I would highly recommend if you are looking for new books to read. So without further ado here’s the lovely Claire’s #TopFiveThursday…..8C8B109A-8EEF-40CB-8C60-95CD8603E424

Top five books you’ve read so far this year?

Past Echoes by Graham Smith

The Fourth Monkey by JD Barker

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton 

Beneath The Surface by Sibel Hodge

The Aladdin Trial by Abi Silver

 Top five authors you think everyone should read?

Louise Beech

Rob Sinclair

Caroline Mitchell

Sheryl Browne

M.W. Craven

Top five books you want to read before the year is out?

Sleeper 13 by Rob Sinclair

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven

Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

 Top five tips you would give to new bloggers?

Don’t be afraid to say no

Make sure you have a review policy

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Embrace the book blogging community, we’re a friendly and supportive bunch

Blogging is not a competition – it’s all about the #booklove

 Top five blogs you follow? 

I’ve picked five different ones 

https://booksfromdusktilldawn.blog/blog/ 

https://noveldeelights.com/

https://thequietknitterer.wordpress.com/

https://tracyshephard.wordpress.com/

https://hookedfrompageoneblog.wordpress.com/

Who is Claire? Can you tell us a little about yourself?

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I’m Claire and I’m a book addict.  I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember.  I’ve been properly blogging since the beginning of February 2018 and before that I was guest reviewer on the fantastic Crimebookjunkie Book Blog. I live just outside Leeds with my two sons and hubby.  I work in the rather enthralling world of pensions and to calm myself down from all that excitement, I spend my evenings reading crime fiction with the odd bit of something else thrown in for good measure.

Social media links

Twitter – @clairekreads

Facebook – A Knight’s Reads @aknightsreads

My thanks to Claire for taking part in #TopFiveThursday 

The book review cafe book of the month **July 2018**

WOW what a scorcher July turned out to be, it’s very strange but I’ve been struggling to read in this hot weather, I only managed to read one book last week, and I feel I can no longer call myself a book blogger😢. Hopefully things will improve this month.

As it’s the first of August it’s time to choose my book books of the month I really should rename this feature. I read so many fabulous books in July it’s impossible to choose just ONE book yet again so I’m sharing my TWO books of the month, good job “it’s my blog my rules” 😂 so without further ado here are the books I found to be outstanding reads last month in no particular order………

 

In The Dark by Cara Hunter

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Definitely one of the best crime thrillers I’ve read this year, with a compelling narrative, twists galore and oodles of deceit, I have a feeling In The Dark is going to be a HUGE success and one of this summers MUST reads. Highly recommended. You can read my full review here….. In The Dark by Cara Hunter #MustReads @CaraHunterBooks @penguinrandom @PenguinUKBooks

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

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Sometimes as a reader a book comes along that blows me away, it doesn’t happen very often I must say. There are books I love and books I will treasure forever and The Lion Tamer Who Lost by the superbly talented Louise Beech falls into the latter.  As far as I’m concerned Louise Beech is the “queen” of story telling, this novel was such a compelling and emotive read, and so beautifully written I’m not convinced anything I write will convey how truly wonderful this book was. Full review here…..The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech #SummerMustReads @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks

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You can read my reviews for my highly recommended reads here…

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager #BookReview @penguinrandom @riley_sager #SummerReads

**Blog blitz** #BeforeIMetHim by John Nicholl @Nicholl06 @Bloodhoundbook

**Blog tour** #NowYouSeeHer by Heidi Perks @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing #SummerReads

Her Name Was Rose By Claire Allan #SummerReads @AvonBooksUK

**Blog blitz** Portraits Of The Dead by John Nicholl @nicholl06 @BloodhoundBook

Into The Darkness by Sibel Hodge @sibelhodge #BookReview

Books I’m hoping to read this month

I’m being optimistic here and hoping to read more books this month, well I can live in hope 😂🙈

 

 

 

 

Unwrapping the #BookPost with the book review café

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Today I’m back sharing my #BookPost with you all. I’m trying to NOT buy any books this month in the hope I can catch up on my ARC reads, NetGalley shelf and my own TBR pile. Mind you I’m just adding all the books I’m drooling over to my “wish list” and will have a spending spree at some point I just know it 😂🙈📚📚📚📚

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood

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Book description

Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness of your living room. As soon as you get home, he will kill you – hang you by the neck – and make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

He knows your darkest secrets.
The police are running out of time. DCI Matilda Darke is facing her worst nightmare: a serial killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice, whose campaign of violence is spreading fear throughout the city.

And he is closer than you think.
As the body count rises, Matilda is personally targeted and even her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

Good Samaritans by Will Carver

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Book description

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritansmarks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearce

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Book description

Twenty-three year old Katy Speed is fascinated by the house across the street. The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, other times they have children.

Hilda, Katy’s mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders if these mysterious visitors have just been released from prison. Is Gloria secretly bringing criminals, or worse, into the heart of the community?

Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained visitors must be responsible until her father is arrested and charged with murder. Have the police arrested the correct person? Are the rest of the street safe? Can Katy find the truth before it’s too late?

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks

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Book description

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

Blood And Ivy by Paul Collins

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Book description

On 23 November 1849, in the heart of Boston, one of the city’s richest men vanished. Dr. George Parkman, who owned much of Boston’s West End, was last seen that afternoon visiting his alma mater, Harvard Medical School. Police scoured city tenements and the harbour but a Harvard janitor held a much darker suspicion: that their ruthless benefactor had not left the Medical School building. His shocking discovery engulfed America in one of its most infamous trials, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. John White Webster, Harvard’s professor of chemistry. A baffling case of red herrings, grave robbing and dismemberment; it became a landmark in the use of medical forensics. Rich in characters and atmosphere, Blood & Ivy explores the fatal entanglement of new science and old money in one of America’s greatest murder mysteries.

Do No Harm by L V Hay

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Book description

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

Dead Of Night by Michael Stanley

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Book description

When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything…
Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it…
Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller that exposes one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent…

Curiocity

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Curiocity is a London book unlike any other. Its 26 chapters weave together facts, myths, stories, riddles, essays, diagrams, illustrations and itineraries to explore every aspect of life in the capital. At the heart of each chapter is a hand-drawn map, charting everything from thecity’s islands and underground spaces, to its erogenous zones and dystopian futures. Taking you from Atlas to Zones, via Congestion, Folkmoot, Pearls and Xenophilia, Curiocity will transform the way you see London.

Trap by Lilia Sigurdardottir

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Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.
Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.
With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

The Choice by Edith Eger

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‘Little dancer’, Mengele says, ‘dance for me’

‘One of those rare and eternal stories you don’t want to end and that leave you forever changed’ Desmond Tutu

In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.

The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience.

The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager #BookReview @penguinrandom @riley_sager #SummerReads

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Today I’m sharing my review for The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager another one of my most anticipated reads of the year, before I share my review here’s the book description

Have you ever played two truths and a lie?

Emma has. Her first summer away from home, she learned how to play the game. And she learned how to lie.

Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned . . .

Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime.

Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all… 

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Riley Sager is back with a cracker of a crime thriller,  I was a huge fan of his debut novel Final Girls , Last Time I Lied is intense, addictive, and such a Compelling read . I do love the way the authors books are written, they very much remind me of the 1980’s scarey  movies I was so fond of back in the day, minus the dramatic music of course! A word of **Warning** once you pick this book up prepared to drop everything else, full of misdirection and deceit it’s a book that’s nigh on impossible to put down. One thing I will say if you loved Final Girls for the horror/slasher vibe running through it, you may find The Last Time I Lied slightly disappointing as this book isn’t as dark, but never the less I still found it a really enjoyable read.

Years after Emma’s three friends went into the woods and disappeared, she returns to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale, hoping to find out what really happened to the three young girls. Oh how I absolutely adore an unreliable and troubled narrator, and boy does Emma fit the bill perfectly. Her story is one of teenage lies and mental illness, which make this book so unpredictable. Last Time I Lied is told  through past and present chapters, all I will say is the author is a master in deception, so good luck with trying to separate fact from fiction, as I didn’t even get close to working out where this tale was heading.  

Although some may consider the start to be a slow one, it’s definitely worth persevering, Riley Sager firstly sets the tone and atmosphere of the story helped along by Camp Nightingale the perfect location for a crime come horror thriller, with a cinematic narrative it feels like you are actually watching a movie rather than reading a book. With an underlying sense of menace running through its pages Last Time I Lied is definitely one to be read during day light hours. As a huge crime thriller reader there is nothing I like more satisfying than an author  taking me by surprise, now this could be an unexpected plot twist or something else entirely, and the author managed both, to the “why” or the “what” my lips are sealed. Highly recommend.

  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (12 July 2018)

 

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧          Amazon US 🇺🇸

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#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Katie at Katie’s Book Cave @katiejones88

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome book blogger Katie who blogs over at Katiesbookcave It’s Katie’s turn to answer those pesky #TopFiveThursday questions.
Katie reviews a wide range of genres on her blog  including varied –  psychological thrillers, chick lit, romance, some fantasy, and historical fiction. If you haven’t already checked out her blog it’s definitely worth a look, and I’m sure after reading some of her reviews you will find even more books to add to the huge TBR pile, sorry not sorry 😂
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Top five books you’ve read so far this year?
1. Beneath an Indian Sky – Renita D’Silva
2. White is the Coldest Colour – John Nicholl
3. We Were the Salt of the Sea – Roxanne Bouchard
4. The Holiday Cottage by the Sea – Holly Martin
5. Nothing Bad Happens Here – Nikki Crutchley
Wow that was hard!

 

Top five authors you think everyone should read? 

1. John Nicholl
2. Renita D’Silva
3. Emma Tallon
4. Harriet Evans
5. Tasmina Perry
Top five books you want to read before the year is out?
1. You Were Made for This – Michelle Sacks
2. The Craftsman – Sharon Bolton
3. The Tall Man – Phoebe Locke
4. The Date – Louise Jenson
5. The Secret – KL Slater

 

 Top five tips you would give to new book bloggers?

1. Don’t be afraid to say no – don’t say yes to every book request that comes your way. I only agree to ones I would have bought myself if I wasn’t blogging.
2. Make sure you leave enough time to read and draft your post before you publish it. This is especially true for blog tours and blitzes.
3. If you’re struggling with a book – talk to the publisher or tour host, they will understand that not everyone will love the book. Although that leads on to my next tip…
4. Only review books you have an inclining that you will enjoy. Yes it’s good to try new authors and genres but if you absolutely hate sci-fi for example, don’t agree to review a sci-fi book.
5. Make friends, your fellow bloggers love new faces to speak to and have new recommendations. Everyone is so friendly so don’t be afraid to like and share other people’s blogs. You’re not in competition with each other!
Top five blogs you follow?
Who is Katie? Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 
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I’m Katie, I’m 29 and by day I’m a support worker for adults with learning disabilities but my night I’m a bookworm/book blogger! I live in Nottinghamshire so don’t be afraid to say hi if you see me around!
I’ve always loved to read and I was always envious of people’s book blogs. Luckily my partner helped set mine up in January 2018 and I’m so glad he helped me! The past 6 months have been amazing and I have loved every second of being a blogger, especially since my blog was nominated in the best newcomer category at this years Bloggers Bash (thank you everyone!)
When I’m not reading, you’ll find me travelling, in bookstores, drinking wine, watching Netflix and generally being outside in nature.
Social media:
Twitter: @katiejones88
Instagram: @katiesbookcavereviews
My blog:
Katie’s Book Cave
My thanks to Katie for taking part in #TopFiveThursday

**Blog blitz** #BeforeIMetHim by John Nicholl @Nicholl06 @Bloodhoundbook

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Today I’m thrilled to share my review of Before I Met Him by John Nicholl as part of the blog blitz. If you’re a fan of dark, gritty crime thrillers then look no further they don’t come much darker than this one.  I mean just look at the cover it’s enough to give you nightmares,  but what a fab cover. Read on for my thoughts but first the book description……

John Nicholl - Before I Met Him_cover

Every once in a while the hunters become the hunted…
When Rebecca’s childhood abuser avoids prosecution, it sets her on a path to revenge and soon she is handing out retribution on any man who preys on the innocent.
The twenty-three-year-old poses as a child online and sets her trap, luring one predatory sex offender after another to their deaths.
When a severed head is found washed up on a windswept estuary beach, DI Gravel and his team are called in to investigate.
In what might be his toughest case yet, DI Gravel finds himself asking if vigilante justice is ever justified…
Read this chilling new psychological thriller and decide for yourself.

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John Nicholl isn’t afraid to write stories that challenge and shock, he pushes the boundaries of what we expect, if anything Before I Met Him is his most shocking and disturbing book yet. This book deals with a very tough subject child abuse, and for that reason I’m not sure this book will be to everyone’s taste, it’s definitely not one for the faint-hearted as they are some pretty detailed scenes that are grim and very violent. Rebecca’s childhood is left in shatters when her abuser escapes justice. Fast forward seventeen years and Rebecca wants her revenge what follows is a dark and very disturbing tale.

Before I Met Him is a book about vengeance and getting revenge on the worse kind of people, that commit the most abhorrent crimes. It’s very clear from John Nicholl’s writing that he is extremely knowledgeable in both police matters and child abuse, so although Before I Met Him makes for a grim read, it also unfortunately makes for a very credible one in parts. The author gives an ugly insight into the minds of the predators who carry out the most heinous crimes, as a reader you can only hope these men get “their just deserts”.

Before I Met Him is a very dark psychological thriller there no doubt about that, but it’s also fraught with tension and the sense of evil radiating from the pages is palatable. Before I Met Him shows that nothing is black and white, sometimes the lines between become blurred, what happens when the justice system fails the very people it’s there to protect? Is it ever acceptable for someone to take the law into their own hands to seek justice? these were questions I found myself thinking about as I read this book, it’s a controversial story that I’m sure will raise many a debate amongst it’s readers. This novel is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste It’s shocking and makes for a disconcerting read, so would I recommend it? Yes but only to those with a strong disposition.

Buying links:  add links

About the author

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John Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, has written six darkly psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon # 1 bestseller. John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild, with a second expected in August 2018. He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.

John is represented by Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA.

You can find out more about John and his books at: http://www.johnnicholl.com

Links:

Facebook
 

 

You can follow the rest of the tour and see what my fellow partners in crime (excuse the pun) have to say about Before I Met Him in the tour poster below……

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**Blog tour** #NowYouSeeHer by Heidi Perks @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing #SummerReads

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the Blog tour for Now You See Her by Heidi Perks, I have a feeling this is going to be one of the most talked about reads this summer. Before I share my review here’s the book description……

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She’s playing at the school fete with your children. You pull out your phone, scroll through Facebook, and look up again.

NOW YOU DON’T

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

E1F3660A-E5FA-4419-8451-16F1D13B7348Three year old Alice goes missing, hardly an original theme you might think and to some degree I would agree with you,  but then Heidi Perks comes along and turns what could have been another “run of the mill” psychological thriller into something very special. Imagine being asked to look after your best friends child and then you lose them, what would be worse losing  your own child or someone else’s? that’s pretty much the premise for Now You See Her. Friendships are tested, scrutinised And dissected, fingers of suspicion are pointed, making Now You See Her a suspense fuelled and very compelling read.  

Unusual in a book with this theme the main focus isn’t on the police investigation but centres around the two main characters Charlotte and her best friend Harriet, both flawed, with very different personalities. The author explores their unlikely friendship and as she scratches away at the surface she deftly pulls the threads of their friendship apart. I found my feelings towards both characters constantly shifting as more details about them were revealed, I found myself distrustful of both characters at different points of the story, which certainly added to my enjoyment of this book. There’s one character who deserves a mention without giving too much away, they made my skin crawl and my hackles rise,  definitely a testament to the author’s writing skills that a character could get under my skin and stir up emotions I wasn’t expecting.  

Now You See Her alternates in chapters between Charlotte and Harriet and move back and forth between events before and after Alice’s disappearance. Sometimes I can struggle with this format, but not this time this form of story telling actually made this book a more enjoyable read as I found myself constantly second guessing things. I did have a niggling feeling I knew where the plot was heading and although I guessed correctly the author still managed to surprise me on one or more occasions.  

I wouldn’t consider Now You See Her to be action packed, but like many psychological thrillers the emphasis is very much on the characters, you will find yourself doubting them, questioning their motives, and desperately turning the pages to get to the truth. With familiar themes of deception, manipulation and secrets Now You See Her is a book I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy a psychological thriller with intriguing characters. Personally I think this book is the perfect beach read,  and I can definitely see this being one of the most talked about books this summer.  

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Century (26 July 2018)

Buying links :    Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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Heidi Perks was born in 1973. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and two children.

Heidi graduated from Bournemouth University in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Retail Management, and then enjoyed a career in Marketing before leaving in 2012 to focus on both bringing up her family and writing.

Heidi successfully applied for a place on the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative online Novel Writing Course and after that dedicated her time to completing her first novel, Beneath The Surface.

She has a huge interest in what makes people tick and loves to write about family relationships, especially where some of the characters are slightly dysfunctional. 

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