The Fourth Monkey by J.D.Barker @jdbarker #Bookreview #4MK

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Book description

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorised the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realise he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.

img_1258Oh my god I absolutely loved The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker, what a deliciously dark and utterly gripping novel this one turned out to be. I’m the first to admit you can’t beat a good serial killer in a crime thriller (hmmm I’m not sure what a psychologist would make of that) but believe me when I say they don’t come more twisted than the  The Fourth Money (or 4MK as they are known) but it certainly made for a brilliant read. Masterfully written,  fast-paced thriller this novel made for a rivetting read.  I’m not going to go into plot details as I would hate to spoil the read for others and it’s definitely one of those “the less you know, the more thrilling the read”

The novel is told mainly from Detective Sam Porter POV and from 4MK’s diary. This diary tells the story of a serial killer, beginning with their childhood you learn of the events that shaped them into the evil and depraved monster they became. It was these chapters that I found the most unsettling they are seriously twisted and imaginative, to read how a small child turns into a psychopath serial killer made for a very disturbing and chilling read, but I found myself compelled to learn more about this sick individual. Yes it is pretty graphic in parts, but very much in keeping with the plot and characters.

Deviously plotted with twists galore this J.D. Barker has written a story that challenges and shock, he certainly  isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what we expect. He writes with grit, enthusiasm and passion and manages to deliver on all fronts. The Fourth Monkey has been compared to 7even and Silence Of The Lambs, and I can see why, thanks to the plot, an unforgettable serial killer and scenes that would unsettle the most hardened crime thriller reader it really does have the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. Highly recommended and I can definitely see why this novel is being billed as one of the most anticipated releases of 2017. 

Hardcover: 416 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (27 Jun. 2017)

Links to pre-order:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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I will be giving The Fourth Monkey 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 good read, fantastic 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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**Blog Tour** Block 46 by Johana Gustawasson #BookReview @OrendaBooks @JoGustawasson  

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Book description

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina. Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s. Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again. Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French true-crime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light. Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

img_1258Nothing, and I mean nothing could have prepared me for Block 46 by Johana Gustawasson, if you are looking for a unique, nail biting and gripping tale look no further than this book, it’s going to sound cliched but it literally left me speechless (not an easy task let me tell you!). Block 46 has been translated seamlessly from the original French by Maxim Jakubowski, and it’s so well translated you don’t think for one minute it’s been written in anything but English. 
Block 46 begins with the death of a young jewellery designer. When a young boy’s body is discovered with similar wounds, it seems that there is a deviant serial killer on the loose, but how do the murders link to the 1940s Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany? From the outset Block 46 is a dark and disconcerting tale that begs to be read in one sitting. The narrative moves effortlessly between the present day investigation and 1944. The chapters told from Buchenwald Concentration Camp bring the sheer barbarity of what happened there to life, heartbreakingly realistic the author describes the scenes vividly but with great empathy. It was impossible to work out how the author could possibly bring the two timelines together, but she does in the most spectacular of fashions.

The author has created one hell of an antagonist, their the worse kind of monster, and one that will send shivers down your spine, and yet I couldn’t help wanting to learn more about this twisted and depraved soul. Every location is expertly depicted, steeped in atmosphere, horror and suspense, which made for a thrilling read. Despite this book being a dark and disturbing read I was surprised that the writing is both descriptive and beautiful, you really don’t expect that with a crime thriller, but it works, in fact I think it made the book all the more chilling.

Without hesitation this book has already made it to my top reads of 2017. Why? Because it’s a rich and harrowing story of the psychology of evil, good versus bad, death versus life, it’s complex, fast paced, and disturbing, all the elements that make a crime read stand out from the norm. Gripping from the first page, Block 46 will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to its shocking conclusion, that I can guarantee.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Block 46 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 good read, fantastic 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. Personally I will be waiting for Johana Gustawasson’s next book with baited breath, I’m just hoping we don’t have to wait to long. 
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My thanks to Karen over at Orenda books for giving me the opportunity to read this superb book.

Print Length: 300 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (5 Feb. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Born in 1978 in Marseille, France, and a graduate of Political Sciences, Johana Gustawsson was a journalist for television and French press. She now lives in London, England.

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http://johanagustawsson.com/category/johana-gustawsson-en/

you can follow the rest of the tour for reviews, giveaways and guest posts

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The Book Review Café #BookOfTheMonth April 2017

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Now we’re in May it’s time for me to look back at the books I  read and reviewed  in April and choose my Book Of The Month.

The Book Of The Month is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. It goes to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review.

I read some outstanding books in April, but there were two books that really stood out for me this month. As I wasn’t able to choose between these two books I’ve decided to share the award.  These books had all the elements I look for when reading, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense. So without further ado here are my books of the month and there absolute crackers……………

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The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury

Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury Is definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017, it’s dark and very disturbing due to the difficult subject it covers.  This is certainly a book that packs a punch, its gut wrenching and makes for an uncomfortable read at times but it’s also offers so much more, it’s a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse. You can read my full review here……..

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/17/the-abattoir-of-dreams-by-mark-tilbury-bookreview-bloodhoundbook-mtilburyauthor/

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Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Last Breath is a truly dark, disturbing and most definitely a gripping read, one that will make your heart pound and the paranoia kick in, but my god it’s definitely worth the ride. What I particularly like about this series is how original each book has been from the last and how each story offers something unique, which is why Robert Bryndza continues to be one of my very favourite authors on the planet.

You can read my full review here……
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/16/blog-tour-last-breath-by-robert-bryndza-bookreview-bookouture-robertbryndza/

As I mentioned earlier I really did read some fantastic books in April, so I’m also including the books I would highly recommend if you are looking for a gripping read………..

 

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Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton 

The Quiet Man by James Carol

You can read my reviews for the above books here………

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/21/blog-tour-sleep-tight-by-caroline-mitchell-review-bookouture-caroline_writes/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/19/dead-souls-by-angela-marsons-bookreview-bookouture-writeangie/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/18/dead-woman-walking-by-sharon-bolton-bookreview-authorsjbolton/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/28/the-quiet-man-by-james-carol-bookreview-jamescarolbooks-faberbooks/

**Blog Tour** Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell #Review @Bookouture @Caroline_Writes

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Today I’m literally jumping up and down with excitement because it’s my turn on the blog tour for Sleep Tight by the awesome Caroline Mitchell and I can finally share my review for this brilliant and gripping crime thriller.

Sleep Tight was published yesterday by one of my favourite publishers Bookouture so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy just head over to Amazon and “click”. If you love a gripping crime series then you really don’t want to miss one. So without further ado here’s my review

Book description

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.
A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.
Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.
Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

img_12581-2-3 and breathe…… OMG Caroline Mitchell’s writing never fails to amaze me. Sleep Tight is the second book in this not to be missed series featuring Detective Ruby Preston. It’s going to sound cliched but it really is the authors best book yet, I kid you not! It’s twisted, menacing and damn right creepy, with an antagonist who makes most fictional serial killers look like choir boys in comparison. When the serial killer is someone who admires Jack the Ripper’s work, and poses his victims as fairytale princesses you just know you are in for a hell of a ride and the author does not disappoint, no sirree she takes the reader on a dark and twisted ride and I loved every minute of it.

Detective Ruby Preston is back and I must admit I’m becoming very fond of her, she’s feisty, funny, and she’s complex, there’s the law abiding Detective who seeks out justice and then there’s Ruby whose involvement with crime lord Nathan forces her to take unnecessary risks and ignore procedures to protect him. Ruby’s relationship with Nathan doesn’t bode well for future books in the series as I’m sure she’s going to find her career in jeopardy, as her work and private life appear to be heading for a spectacular collision.

Sleep Tight feels darker than the first book in the series Love You To Death I think this is due the nature of the crimes, a serial killer whose victims faces are transformed into perverse fairytale heroines, it  doesn’t make for a happy read, but it certainly makes for a spine chilling one. Caroline Mitchell manages to turn the fairytale stories I remember reading into something gruesome and terrifying.

The reasoning behind the killings are multi-layered and complex and just as I thought I had it all worked out Caroline Mitchell threw in some very devious twists. The author takes a bold step in my opinion and reveals the Killers identity fairly early on in the book now I’m not sure about you but that can sometimes spoil a read for me, but did it hell! in fact knowing who the killer was added layer upon layer of tension and suspense.

Sleep Tight is a compelling read and one that begs to be read in one sitting, at times I find my heart pounding as the body count mounted, Caroline Mitchell builds on the suspense until the very last chapter. As Sleep Tight reached it’s dramatic and heart stopping conclusion I found myself completely wrapped up in the story, so much so I find myself holding my breath in anticipation of what was still to come. 

As I’ve said before I’m a huge fan of this authors descriptive style of writing, especially around the crime scenes you feel your right there alongside Ruby, conjuring up images that stayed with me as I read. Sleep Tight has all the ingredients I love in a crime thriller and more thrilling plot, fabulous characters and a serial killer who chills you to the bone. A word of warning once you’ve read Sleep Tight those old familiar fairytales will never seem the same again. It’s going to sound cliched but I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for someone looking for an original crime story but with all the hallmarks of a truly thrilling tale. Personally I can’t wait for the next book in this highly gripping series, so Caroline Mitchell if you happen to read this, is there any chance you could write any faster? 

Print Length: 345 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (20 April 2017)

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Sleep Tight the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is award is given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic 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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About Caroline Mitchell

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.
Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive newsletter only competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj

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Links:

www.caroline-writes.com

https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/

https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

You can get your copy of Sleep Tight here……… Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

There are some awesome book bloggers on the Sleep Tight blog tour so I’ve included the blog tour poster so you can keep track…..

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Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #BookReview @bookouture @writeangie

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Book description

The truth was dead and buried…until now.

When a collection of human bones is unearthed during a routine archaeological dig, a Black Country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene for Detective Kim Stone.

As the bones are sorted, it becomes clear that the grave contains more than one victim. The bodies hint at unimaginable horror, bearing the markings of bullet holes and animal traps.

Forced to work alongside Detective Travis, with whom she shares a troubled past, Kim begins to uncover a dark secretive relationship between the families who own the land in which the bodies were found.

But while Kim is immersed in one of the most complicated investigations she’s ever led, her team are caught up in a spate of sickening hate crimes. Kim is close to revealing the truth behind the murders, yet soon finds one of her own is in jeopardy – and the clock is ticking. Can she solve the case and save them from grave danger – before it’s too late?

img_1258Dead Souls is the sixth book in the Kim Stone series, now normally when I get to this point in a book series I find it can lose its shine, things become predictable, the writing repetitive, well you get the picture. Fortunately this isn’t the case with Dead Souls by the super talented Angela Marsons. If anything this book is much darker than previous books
and just as gripping, it’s a cliche but this really is the best book in the series yet, and that takes some doing as each book has been an exceptional read.

Angela Marsons takes a bold step in my humble opinion and changes the dynamics in Kim’s team, as she is forced to work a separate case to her colleagues. In Dead Souls her team come into their own and you feel like you get to know each character in the team as individuals foibles and all and rather that distract from the plot, it actually gave a fresh approach to the series. Of course Kim Stone still has a large part to play and she’s still one of my favourite crime series detectives, as she doesn’t hold back with her thoughts or opinions, throughout this series she has always come across as a control freak, but in Dead Souls she has to allow her team to make decisions for themselves which may just make or break the team.

Dead Souls deals with a very topical and disturbing subject, which at times made for an uncomfortable read, but at the same time it’s one that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let you go to the last heart pumping chapter. As you would expect Angela Marsons masterfully builds on the suspense and intrigue, so much so I really couldn’t swipe the pages on my kindle quick enough as I attempted and failed miserably to guess where this dark and thrilling tale was leading. It’s obvious from the off the author has researched the subject of this novel in great depth which makes for an authentic and disconcerting read.

What I like about Angela Marsons is that she writes stories that challenge and shock, she isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what we expect. She writes with grit, enthusiasm and passion and manages to deliver on all fronts. Would I recommend this book? Hell yes I certainly would, and personally I’m off to hibernate until the next book in this thrilling series is published.

Print Length: 387 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (28 April 2017)

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Dead Souls the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is award is given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic 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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You can pre-order your copy of Dead Souls here……

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

**Blog Tour** Last Breath by Robert Bryndza #BookReview @Bookouture @RobertBryndza

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Today I’m super excited and it’s not just because I’ve got a  mountain of Easter Eggs to eat my way through, but it’s also the day I’m able to share my review for the fabulous and gripping Last Breath by Robert Bryndza. Last Breath was published by Bookouture on the 12th of April so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy of the 4th book in the series, and if you haven’t already read the previous books in the series I would highly recommend each and everyone of them.

Book description

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual. Establishing his trust with the victims by forming online relationships questions her own ability to solve the case her abrasive side makes way for a much more vulnerable Erika

img_1258As anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of Robert Bryndza and have been known to be a tad over enthusiastic with my reviews so I will keep it fairly short plot 5 ⭐characters 5⭐, did I like it? 💯% yes! Job done!

But just in case you really want to know what I thought of Last Breath feel free to read on…………

Oh my giddy aunt Robert Bryndza never fails to surprise me, just when I convinced myself the Detective Erika Foster series couldn’t possibly get any better, he delivers another belter of a book. Last Breath is the 4th book in the Detective Erika Foster series and although it can be read as a standalone I would recommend you read this series in order just because there such a cracking good read. I’m going to say it again but this is definitely the best book in the series (until the next book anyway). Each time this author writes a book he raises the bar and I’m not sure how he’s going to top this one but I have no doubt he will.

The author doesn’t hold back and Last Breath opens with a spine chilling prologue that pretty much sets the pace for this gripping read. When the body of a tortured young woman is found in a dumpster it’s up to Erika and her team to find the killer before he finds new victims, but first she will have to fight to secure her place on the investigation team. It’s great to see Erika back she’s a character whom I’ve come to love, in many ways she’s your typical fictional detective, she’s feisty, isn’t afraid to kick ass, but over the series the author has developed her vulnerable side and in Last Breath we see a side of her personality I really wasn’t expecting.

As I suspected the author has created one sick and sadistic individual, this is a serial killer who will chill you to the bone, as to their motive for committing such heinous crimes they really are a twisted soul. A serial killer stalking their victims on social media, makes for a very credible plot. After all how often do you look at social media sites and wonder why people share so much of their personal life on line for everyone to see, it’s frightening to see how much you can learn about a person without them even being aware of unwelcome visitors trawling their posts. In fact I became so paranoid after reading Last Breath I checked all my own personal settings on social media!

Robert Bryndza doesn’t waste words he takes the reader to the heart of the story, as I said before his writing is so descriptive it brings Last Breath to life, especially the crime scenes, they are so vivid you feel like your there amid the horrific scenes, so much so my stomach was churning at times. The authors style of writing leaves you with a constant sense of unease and foreboding which you just can’t shake off no matter how hard you try.

Last Breath is a truly dark, disturbing and most definitely a gripping read, one that will make your heart pound and the paranoia kick in, but my god it’s definitely worth the ride. What I particularly like about this series is how original each book has been from the last and how each story offers something unique, which is why Robert Bryndza continues to be one of my very favourite authors on the planet.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Last Breath the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is the authors third book to get this award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic 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: 281 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (12 April 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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About the author

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and you can now buy the fourth, Last Breath which was published on April 12th 2017.

Robert’s books have sold over 1.7 million copies, and have been translated into 26 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

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You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

If you want to follow the rest of the blog tour……

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Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney #BookReview @alicewriterland @HQstories

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Book description

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

img_1258OMG! What a fabulous and twisted read Sometime I Lie is, there is nothing more satisfying than reading a psychological thriller that well and truly messes with your head, and a word of warning here this is one that will leave your head spinning. The market is saturated with psychological thrillers at the moment and on the whole most of the ones I have read have been a decent read, but tend to lack the “thrilling” element I’ve come to expect from such books, but I’m happy to report that Sometime I Lie has the “thrilling” element I crave, it’s also dark and very, very sinister so from the opening chapter I was well and truly hooked.

From the book description it’s evident that Amber is not going to be a reliable narrator, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint. I’m particularly fond of such narrators as you are never quite sure what is real or where the truth lies. As Amber lies in coma there is a deep sense of malevolence that radiates from every page. The characters surrounding Amber as she lies vulnerable all come under close scrutiny and you can’t help but become suspicious of everyone of them at some point in this very deceitful tale. I really thought I had worked out where this story was heading, but fortunately the author wrong footed me at every turn. You know something terrible as happened to Amber but the why’s and how’s are intricately revealed layer by devious layer.

I could go on and on about this book, it really was that good! but in doing so I could give away spoilers which is never my intention, so what I would say this is definitely one of those books you need to read for yourself. It’s difficult to believe this is Alice Feeney’s debut novel it’s an highly addictive and compelling read, deliciously plotted with twist and turns galore I devoured this book in just over a day and it’s definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Sometimes I Lie the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the third book of 2017 to get this award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic 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: 279 pages

Publisher: HQ (23 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧