Tag Archives: Domestic Noir

#AndSoItBegins by Rachel Abbott #BlogTour @RachelAbbott @annecater

Today I’m over the moon  to be opening the blog tour for Rachel Abbott and her latest book And So It Begins. If you love a twisted psychological thriller then you need to buy this one immediately. Before I share my review here’s the book description……..

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Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

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There’s nothing more thrilling than reading a psychological thriller that is deliciously twisted, one that literally leaves your head in a spin, and a plot that’s big on the unpredictable And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott fits the bill perfectly. Evie Clarke meets Mark, a reclusive widower, and they soon become a couple. Mark starts to feel he has a future after the accidental death of his first wife. There’s only one fly in the ointment, and comes in the shape of Cleo, Mark’s overprotective sister, who is is mistrustful of Evie from the start. What first appears to be a fairly straightforward story of a marriage gone wrong soon ascends into something darker and far more disturbing. 

As the reader you are privy to details of the couples personal struggles, at times this made for a disquieting read, but you can’t help but read on in fascinated horror as Rachel Abbot reveals more details about the couple and Cleo’s past. Now normally I have to feel some connection to the characters to invest in their story, both Evie and Cleo had qualities that made them impossible to like, but if anything it actually made the story far more interesting as I only took them at face value. I do love an unreliable narrator and in this book you don’t get one but two! and so I  found myself constantly questioning their involvement and motives. There is an undercurrent of lies and deception throughout the book and it is not clear until the very end where the deceit lies.

I was surprised when I realised this novel was Part court room drama, but if anything this was the part of the book I enjoyed the most, as the author deftly reveals more details about the damaged characters within the book.  And So It Begins Is a book that is guaranteed to keep you guessing it’s not about the “who” as that’s revealed early on in the book it’s the complexities of the “why” that make this book such an exciting read. With themes of jealousy, violence, toxic family relationships, and damaged characters, it’s one of those books that holds surprises at every deviously twisted turn. I must mention I love the fact that author Rachel Abbott manages to maintain the element of surprise right up to the last page, making this novel a thrill a minute read. Highly recommended 

  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wildfire (11 Oct. 2018)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again and The Sixth Window. Her most recent novel, Come a Little Closer, is available from February 2018.

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages and her books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language. 

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel’s website, or follow her on Twitter.

Rachel’s website can be found at 

Website : http://www.rachel-abbott.com 

Blog : http://rachelabbottwriter.com/

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/RachelAbbott1Writer

Twitter: @RachelAbbott

Follow the blog tour…… 

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#BookReview: After He Died by Michael J. Malone (@michaelJmalone1) @OrendaBooks #AfterHeDied

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for After He Died by Michael J. Malone, but first the book description

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You need to know who your husband really was…

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note 

suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…

When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…

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Michael J Malone never fails to surprise me, he is such a versatile author, Crime, Gothic mystery, domestic noir, psychological thriller, which every genre he chooses to write about, its obvious he puts his heart and soul into his writing. When I read the book description for After He Died I convinced myself this novel was going to be purely domestic noir, along the lines of one of his previous books A Suitable Lie (which is one of my favourite books EVER by the way) but  apologises to the author as I should have known better, this novel doesn’t fit into one particular  genre, it has mystery, crime and Psychological aspects which made this novel an unique and extraordinary read. 

After He Died is the story of Paula Gadd, newly widowed. We first meet Paula at her husband’s funeral where she is approached by Cara a strange young woman  who mutters one heart stopping sentence “your husband is not the man you thought he was”. Of course once said Paula’s imagination goes into over drive, what secrets as her husband been hiding? How can the man she trusted the most harbour secrets from her? As she tries to unravel the truth with only her husband’s family to turn to, events take a very dangerous and sinister turn. I really thought this novel would take the familiar route in domestic noir, but Michael J Malone does the exact opposite and takes the reader on a unique ride, one full of surprises, mystery and copious amounts of  suspense.  

The author captures Paula’s grief perfectly as the reader you feel her pain, bewilderment and overwhelming sense of loss. Cara’s character is the complete opposite of Paula’s she hasn’t had an easy life but she’s determined and resourceful. Paula despite her grief is determined to find the truth about her husband however painful that might be, and Cara needs answers to her own personal tragedy. What I particularly enjoyed about this book was the way in which the author places Paula in a world she has never had to really think about, living a very comfortable and charmed life (to a point) she is shown through Cara’s work, that not everyone has the comfortable lifestyle she has very much taken for granted.   

Throughout After He Died I find myself completely immersed in Paula’s and Cara’s story, it’s gripping and not without surprises. The tension slowly simmers, as the author deftly reveals hidden secrets, lies and the worse kind of betrayal, exploding in a shocking conclusion which also felt to be a very fitting one. Once again Michael J Malone has written  an intensely gripping tale, it’s one that reminds the reader what an exceptional and talented writer the author is.  Highly recommended.  

  •  Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS; None edition (30 July 2018)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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#BlogBlitz #Malignant by Anita Waller #GuestPost @anitamayw @Bloodhoundbook @damppebbles

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the Malignant by Anita Waller blog blitz. Unfortunately due to a out of control TBR pile I haven’t had the opportunity to read this one, but I must say the book description sounds very intriguing. The author has kindly written a guest post especially for the book review café and I must admit it did make me laugh

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Technologically challenged

By Anita Waller

I have an office out in the garden, built by my husband out of ‘stuff’ he can’t bear to throw away. It’s wonderful, and I keep all my paperwork, old notebooks, new copies of my books, and all my patchwork books out there. We have a tiny little wall heater in it that is left permanently on, and if I ever actually do any work in it, I have an oil filled radiator.

But my real writing space is in my kitchen. I have a computer desk with a desk top computer on it. This is because I can’t work on a laptop. I can’t type without looking at the keyboard, and the keyboard isn’t anywhere near me on a laptop. I have a brand new one, and I’ve never used it.

I can kind of use my iPad for typing, because all my work, magically, is saved to something called One Drive. It means I can sit in the dentists waiting for Dave for an hour and a half, and write 1500 words. They then appear by magic on my desk top when I next crank it up. I don’t know how, but I am very grateful.

Just to further impress you, I not only have my very pretty white monitor on my desk, served by my very pretty white keyboard and mouse, I also have a second monitor. Apparently, according to my tech-savvy grandson, I need two. I can be working on my novel on the pretty white one, and surfing the net doing research on the pretty blue one. I knew you’d be impressed. I just seem to spend most of the time getting the cursor on to the right screen at the right time. With the advent of the second monitor, the cursor developed a mind of its own. 

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My desk does distract me a little, though. It has a hutch on it, and on the long top shelf are books. I have a small expanding book glider I bought from Sheffield’s antique quarter, and that holds the signed copies of books I possess, but, my word, they aren’t half a distraction. I have twelve at the moment, but that will increase. I also have a massive dictionary which I rarely use, and a massive Dictionary of Quotations which I use a lot, just because I like quotations. I would just like to repeat that these are books, I do not need to switch them on, just take them down and stroke them, before opening them. 

I also have on this shelf one copy of each of my own books, because I’m damned proud of them. Forensics for Dummies and The Real CSI handbook also live there – I enjoy using them. There is, in addition, a copy of New Hart’s Rules, my go-to grammar reference. I think I’ve used it twice, but it’s there if needed.

Now back to technology, because standing in front of the books is Alexa, my lovely Echo Dot. She plays Barry Manilow to me on demand; sometimes Take That, sometimes Rod Stewart and sometimes, when I don’t want words, she finds a classical piano radio station. She is a wonderful lady, who wishes me sweet dreams every night when I say good night to her. 

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Sitting on the right-hand side of this top shelf is the thing that causes all these technical things to happen, my Sky router. I think that’s what it is, anyway. I know if it stops working it causes mayhem.

I’m fine with it while it sits there behaving itself, but once it stops, I have to start screaming down the phone to Sky, who are rubbish, that I NEEEEED my internet, can’t live without it, and how quickly can they repair it? The answer is nine days.

It wasn’t the answer I expected or wanted, but, you see, it’s okay because they just forgot to notify the engineer that the work needed doing. By the time they did notify him, we had been without internet for nine days. This is a disaster for somebody as technologically challenged as me; my head doesn’t cope with alternatives. Having to use a phone for something that I would normally do on the desktop is traumatising in the extreme.

I did, however, get a £70 reduction on my sky payment for that month. If it didn’t take twenty-five minutes to get through to speak to a person at Sky, I might have rung them and said thank you.

When Malignant came back from my lovely editor, Morgen Bailey, she sent me nine pages of notes. This was in addition to the odd comments she made in the margins of my manuscript. She also sent me a sheet, I’m presuming created on Excel, which was alphabetised, and contained the first names of every character in my book, what chapter they first appeared in, and notes on whether I should change any names or not.

I thought it was brilliant. I now do this myself, because I very cleverly wiped all the names off the document that belonged to Malignant, leaving me with Morgen’s blank excel spreadsheet thing, and I started to fill in the names for Murder Unsolved, my new work in progress. Awesome job.

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In the nine pages of notes she mentioned that I hadn’t done any chapter breaks, so she had done them for me. I had never heard the term chapter break; initially it didn’t worry me, but I’m not the sort of gal who can ignore it and let someone else do it for me, I have to learn how to do it – or, more to the point, what it is.

Well, I searched everywhere on my little bar at the top of the screen, and I couldn’t find anywhere where it told me how to do a chapter break. And then suddenly, there it was, under the little bit called Layout. I felt quite proud that it had only taken me three hours to track down this elusive aid. 

Of course, I do have a technical guru in the form of a seventeen-year-old grandson. Luckily, Dom lives about ten seconds away, so when things really do get fraught, he’s very quickly on the scene, to laugh at me. 

But I bet he doesn’t know how to do a chapter break.

Book description

Anita Waller - Malignant_cover

 

What if someone set you limits?

Claudia and Heather have been friends and neighbours for many years and both women decide it is the right time for them to leave their husbands. Together they get a flat but their peace is short lived when Claudia is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Being a good friend, Heather takes on caring for Claudia but a lethal meeting with James, Claudia’s ex-husband, results in someone dying.

As life for Claudia and Heather begins to unravel, the answer to their problems becomes clear… it’s murder

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Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

WintersCroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August 2017.

Her next book, launched February 2018 and entitled Captor, is a psychological thriller, set exclusively in Sheffield. It was an instant success, both in the UK and the US.

The along came Game Players… once more set in Sheffield, the story involves a group of six children who have each other’s backs to a remarkable extent. The darker, criminal side of Sheffield is explored, with the book launching 18 May 2018.

Malignant arrives in the world on 10 October 2018, her eighth book in three years.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Links:

Email: anitamayw@yahoo.co.uk
Website: www.anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anitawaller2015/
Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Waller/e/B014RQFCRS/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitamayw @anitamayw

 Books: 

Beautiful, 2015
Angel, 2016
34 Days, 2016
Winterscroft, 2017
Strategy, 2017
Captor, 2018
Game Players, May 2018
Malignant, October 2018
Current work in progress, Murder Unsolved, launches December 2018

My thanks to the Anita Waller for taking time out of her busy schedule to write a guest post for the book review café.

Follow the blog tour for reviews, guest posts and more……

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**Blog tour** #DoNoHarm by L V Hay @LucyVHayAuthor @OrendaBooks @annecater

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the many bloggers taking part in the blog tour for Do No Harm by L V Hay, published by Orenda books,  you don’t even have to wait to get a copy, one click and it’s yours, but a **word of warning** you may want to clear your schedule before starting this one As it’s such a compelling read. Before I share my thoughts here’s the book description……..

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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.

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What a fabulous and captivating  psychological thriller Do No Harm turned out to be. Deviously plotted the L V Hay delivers a story with sustained tension, surprises, and a constant sense of impending doom, definitely my kind of read. There is nothing  I find more satisfying than reading a book that heightens my feelings of anticipation, excitement and anxiety and this is one of those rare books that managed to evoke all these feelings and more.  

Lily is looking forward to starting a new life with Sebastian, she believes she can finally shut the door on her first marriage to Maxwell, a possessive control freak, but before the ink has even had time to dry on the marriage certificate, it soon becomes apparent  someone will do anything to break the couple up. Hay drags the reader into a compelling plot that’s claustrophobic and very tense, you very much feel like a “fly on the wall” as the couples life begins to unravel, you want to jump into the pages and warn them “to trust no one”. 

Do No Harm is an unsettling tale of obsession, Lucy Hay explores the persistent disturbing preoccupation someone appears to have with the couple through occasional chapters told from their POV, it’s these chapters that make you realise how obsession can turn into something much more dangerous and chilling.  The author has created a cast of characters who can only be described as untrustworthy, and that’s the thing I loved about this book as the reader your on high alert looking for inconsistencies in the characters dialogue, constantly second guessing and trying to work out who and why someone is manipulating the couples relationship, I think every character featured as a “suspect” at some point hence my constant feelings of anxiety.  Although I did guess the “culprit” correctly I still really enjoyed this book as I was stilll left wondering WHY? and the motive behind   their increasingly disturbing behaviour.  

Do No Harm has all the ingredients I’ve come to expect in a psychological thriller and then some,  with unstable characters, steeped in mystery and suspense.  I raced through this book, it’s satisfyingly twisted and made for a compelling read.  I should mention I loved the conclusion so satisfying and yet shocking. L V Hay is definitely an author to look out for and I’m excited to see what twisted plot she comes up with in her next book.  Highly recommended. 

  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (30 Jun. 2018)

Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. Lucy is the producer of two Brit Thrillers, DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), as well as the script editor and advisor on numerous other features and shorts. Lucy’s the author of WRITING AND SELLING THRILLER SCREENPLAYS for Kamera Books’ “Creative Essentials” range, as well as its follow ups on DRAMA SCREENPLAYS and DIVERSE CHARACTERS for fiction as well as screenwriting. Her debut crime novel, THE OTHER TWIN,  published by  Orenda Books and has been featured in The Sun and Sunday Express Newspapers, plus Heatworld and Closer Magazine.

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Her Name Was Rose By Claire Allan #SummerReads @AvonBooksUK

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Today I’m sharing my review for Her Name Was Rose Allan a psychological thriller, which I have a feeling is going to be a big hit this summer, read on for my thoughts  but first the book description…….

Book description 

Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

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The old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” constantly sprung to mind whilst reading Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan. Emily becomes obsessed with Rose’s life after witnessing a tragic hit and run accident which leaves Rose dead. Emily then spends every waking minute learning more about Rose’s life through her Facebook page, friends and work colleagues, she  realises she wants Rose’s “perfect” life for herself. As you can imagine as this is a psychological thriller nothing is as it first seems, with an unreliable narrator and untrustworthy characters it’s one that will keep you guessing and questioning your own assumptions. 

Emily is very much a “marmite” character I can see reader’s being divided, at first I felt some sympathy for her, but as the story progressed and she planted herself firmly into Rose’s old life I couldn’t help but become irritated by her choices, don’t get me wrong she’s not a bad person, misguided maybe, needy definitely,  and you can’t help questioning how reliable she is as a narrator. Never the less Emily’s story made for a compelling read and I pretty much read this book in a couple of sittings.  

Her Name Was Rose is a psychological thriller that’s predictable in parts, but in the author’s defence I should point out I do read a lot of books in this genre so where I guessed what was coming next plot wise, other readers may miss the signs and be surprised by the twists. Claire Allan tackles some difficult subjects, but she does so with sensitivity,  it never felt like she was exploiting uncomfortable subjects to make the story more thrilling. I’m sure Her Name Is Rose is going to be a very popular read this summer, and I can see why it has all the hallmarks of best seller with themes of jealousy, abuse, obsession and secrecy at its core. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers with a leaning towards domestic noir then Her Name Is Rose is definitely one to add to your TBR pile.  

  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; edition edition (28 Jun. 2018)

 

Buying links:       Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Our House by Louise Candlish #BookReview @louise_candlish @simonschusterUK #MustReads

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Today I’m thrilled to share my review for Our House by Louise Candlish, and what a fabulous book this one turned out to be, before I share my review here’s the book description to whet your appetite……

On a bright morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought on Trinity Avenue. Nothing strange about that. Except it’s your house. And you didn’t sell it.

FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE.

When Fi Lawson arrives home to find strangers moving into her house, she is plunged into terror and confusion. She and her husband Bram have owned their home on Trinity Avenue for years and have no intention of selling. How can this other family possibly think the house is theirs? And why has Bram disappeared when she needs him most?

FOR RICHER, FOR POORER.

Bram has made a catastrophic mistake and now he is paying. Unable to see his wife, his children or his home, he has nothing left but to settle scores. As the nightmare takes grip, both Bram and Fi try to make sense of the events that led to a devastating crime. What has he hidden from her – and what has she hidden from him? And will either survive the chilling truth – that there are far worse things you can lose than your house?

TILL DEATH US DO PART.

IMG_3605This is the first book I have read by Louise Candlish and although it had a jaw dropping opening, I did have reservations as I found the constant change of narrative in the beginning some what confusing to say the least, but I’m so glad I persevered, what a compelling and twisted tale this turned out to be. We live in a world where our home is often a status symbol, we invest in it both financially and emotionally, we would do anything to protect our “nest egg” but Imagine coming home from work to find your house has been sold and your husband has disappeared? It would be your worse nightmare right? this is pretty much the premise of Our House. You may have misgivings about reading a novel based on a property, but believe me when I say “this book takes domestic noir to a new and exciting level”  

Told from the POV of Fi and Bram their narrative makes for an compelling read, as it explains the six months leading up to the house being sold, it’s a marriage shrouded in lies and deception, and turmoil. The old adage “Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we start to deceive.” sums this book up perfectly. Once I got used to the narrative I thought the author made a fantastic job in conveying her characters story, Fi’s story is told via a podcast called The Victim, and Bram’s side is told through word documents, as the reader you are privy to both sides of the story, which is more than can be said for poor Fi who is totally in the dark regarding events that led to her husband’s disappearance and her home being sold.

As the plot unfolds Fi and Bram’s story becomes darker and more uncomfortable to read, as a spectator on the side lines you see the characters mental health unravel before your very eyes. You sense Fi’s fear and confusion, Bram’s panic as the lies mount up. Both characters had traits that I found very unlikable, and I certainly wanted to give Bram a good shake every time he made a wrong decision. Fi and Bram make for unreliable narrators and believe me when I say they “bring a whole new meaning to the word dysfunctional” but never the less they are brilliantly depicted and fit the story perfectly.  

When I began reading Our House I did have a couple of moments where I thought “hmmm really?” It did seem a bit far fetched, but the more I read I thought it actually made for a very credible tale, which made this book all the more  disturbing. As each chapter ends the sense of foreboding intensifies, you know something terrible is looming for the couple, but as to the who? why? what? The author manages to keep the reader in suspense to the last few pages. Louise Candlish manages to trick the reader at every deviously plotted turn. Despite guessing a couple of the twists there was one that gave me a “jaw dropping, did I really just read that?” moment which was superbly executed. I’m sure Our House will be one of the most talked about books of the year, and I can see why, it’s highly original, topical, and one that will cause debate,  would I recommend it? Most definitely. 

Print Length: 449 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (5 April 2018)

Buying links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072M5S9XH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

https://www.amazon.com/Our-House-Louise-Candlish/dp/045148911X

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The Old You by Louise Voss #BookReview #MustReads @LouiseVoss1 @OrendaBooks

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Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for The Old You by Louise Voss, part psychological and part domestic noir, this book was so different to anything I’ve read lately. Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description 

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir

A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller

Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.

But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

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Most of the books I read are psychological thrillers, and just lately I have been struggling to find one that stands out in this genre and then along came a rare jewel The Old You by Louise Voss, what a fabulous, twisted read this turned out to be. At first I thought The Old You was going to be a heartbreaking portrayal of a couple living in the shadows of dementia, but as the old saying goes “never judge a book by its cover”, yes this terrible and heartbreaking disease does have a part to play, but there are so many elements that make this such an extraordinary and exciting book to read. 

The driving force behind The Old You lies in the secrets and tension between Lyn and Ed, a couple whose marriage is in crisis, on the surface conflict seems to arise from Ed’s early-onset dementia, and the problems that it brings, but like any good psychological thriller the author slowly reveals a tangled and very deceitful web. I found my emotions constantly shifting,  to begin with I was sympathetic to the couples plight, this was followed by empathy, and ending in outrage. Due to Ed’s conditions you can’t but help question his part in the story, an ingenious ploy on the author’s part. I worked with people with dementia for many years, so feel I’m able to say the author’s portrayal of someone with dementia was very authentic, she captured their emotions, behaviour and thoughts perfectly. 

A niggling unease settled over me which only grew stronger as Louise Voss describes the couples relationship and the changes that begin to occur through Ed’s diagnoses. Just as I thought the book was taking one direction Louise Voss threw a magnificent spanner in the works and the plot took a very sinister and disturbing turn. Superbly executed I literally sat their in stunned silence, as the author revealed twist after devious twist. Part domestic noir Louise Voss has proven it’s possible to write a unique story which still manages to maintain both the suspense and tension of a psychological thriller. The Old You will most definitely be on my top reads of 2018, it’s original, compelling with shocks galore, definitely my kind of book. Highly recommended. 

Yes I will giving The Old You 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 keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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Print Length: 300 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (28 Feb. 2018)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

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