Tag Archives: #MustReads2018

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

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

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Loving husband? Or total stranger?

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

But Ella has never been married.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving  The Liar’s Wife the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and kept me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US🇺🇸

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

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

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

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

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

And she’s on Twitter @samhayes

Follow the blog tour……….

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The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste #BookReview @simonschusterUK @LucaVeste

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Growing up in a small village we had our own urban myth which involved a railway tunnel and the grey lady who haunted it, we dared each other to go through it, we scared each other with tales of a lady who wished harm on others. It was terrifying at the time being surrounded by darkness and waiting for the grey lady to appear, and even now just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine. The Bone Keeper brought back all those childhood memories and certainly made for a disconcerting read, so first the book description and then read on for my thoughts……

Book description

What if the figure that haunted your nightmares as child, the myth of the man in the woods, was real?

He’ll slice your flesh.
Your bones he’ll keep.

Twenty years ago, four teenagers went exploring in the local woods, trying to find to the supposed home of The Bone Keeper. Only three returned.

Now, a woman is found wandering the streets of Liverpool, horrifically injured, claiming to have fled the Bone Keeper.  Investigating officer DC Louise Henderson must convince sceptical colleagues that this urban myth might be flesh and blood.  But when a body is unearthed in the woodland the woman has fled from, the case takes on a much darker tone.

The disappeared have been found. And their killer is watching every move the police make.

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Sometimes as an avid reader of crime thrillers I could kick myself, some authors are on my radar but I never find the time to get to their books due to an overwhelming TBR pile. Lucas Veste is one such author and the reason I’m kicking myself? I picked up The Bone Keeper expecting a run of the mill crime thriller, but boy was I wrong this book has all the ingredients I love in a crime thriller, but it also holds an element of surprise as this book actually gave me the heebie-jeebies with its creepy children’s rhyme and an urban myth that plays on people’s fears, think the bogey man crossed with the worse kind of killer and your half way there.

All you need to know about this seriously creepy book is in the book description, all I’m going to say is The Bone Keeper is a stand-alone which means no missing out on a back story or character development. Some books convince you from the opening chapter that you are in for a hell of a read, but I was hooked way before that the chilling rhyme at the start of this book captured my attention and then I just had to read on.

As this is the first book I have read by Lucas Vesta I can’t compare it to his previous books but I’m very impressed with his writing, it’s descriptive and my god he knows how to set the scene, from the off the reader is on tenterhooks, the sense of something dark lingering in the shadows adds more than an air of menace to the plot. Although a crime thriller I think The Bone Keeper also has elements of horror running through it, infusing the two together added to the overall tension.

The authors writing was so convincing I found myself constantly checking the doors were locked, I do love it when an author is able to make me paranoid and terrified about my own safety through their descriptive writing! This review may appear vague regarding the plot and characters but it’s a book I feel you will appreciate more for not knowing to much about it. The Bone Keeper is definitely a book I would recommend to crime thriller readers, especially if you like me you prefer the darker more gruesome variety.

Buying links:      Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (8 Mar. 2018)

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**Blog tour** Hydra by Matt Wesolowski @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the Hydra by Matt Wesolowski blog tour. Hydra has to be one of the most original crime thrillers I’ve read in a long time, it’s definitely a book I will be recommending to anyone and everyone. Hydra is published by one of my very favourite publishers Orenda Books, you can buy it now for the kindle or the paperback version is available from the 15th January 2018. 

My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Ann Cater for my ARC of Hydra, and for allowing me to be part of this awesome blog tour. 

Book description

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the ‘Macleod Massacre’.

Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose `Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out.

As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden `games’, online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.

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Hydra oh WOW this has to be one of the most original and creepiest books I’ve read EVER! I loved Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski, but I loved Hydra more, it simply oozes menace from the opening chapter. Hydra is part crime thriller with more than a dose of the supernatural thrown in, and it’s a novel that’s guaranteed to capture the reader’s imagination. From the start the reader knows who committed the crime, it’s the “why” that the author explores in his series of six intriguing pod casts. Each one gives the reader a different perspectives of Arla, but which one is true? As Scott King, an investigative journalist slowly unravels a very deeply unsettling and disturbing tale I felt the first stirrings of fear that seeped into my bones and pretty much stayed with me until I reached the ending of this is wickedly creepy book.

Matt Wesolowski is a genius in my opinion using pod casts to narrate the story made Hydra a compelling read. As a reader I felt very much part of this book as the pod casts came to life through the authors incredible writing, so I actually felt like I was listening to them rather than reading them. If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to give me the heebie-jeebies it’s children in a fictional book, not your garden-variety ones, but the ones who have an aura of malevolence surrounding them, there right here in what has to be one of the  most hair raising books I have EVER read . The author introduces the reader to the black-eyed children,(not a spoiler, as it’s in the book description) who scared the living day lights out of me, so much so I had nightmares about them! I found myself gripped by an irrational fear that stayed with me long after I put Hydra down, in my opinion that’s testament to the authors remarkable writing skill.

With more than a hint of the super natural Hydra is a character study of a very troubled teenager, throughout you can’t help wondering what events caused Arla to commit such a terrible crime. Despite all this Hydra is such a beautifully written book, and considering it deals with some very ugly and disturbing subjects which I’m not going to go into as I would hate to spoil the read for others, the author tackles them with sensitivity and understanding. I think Matt Wesolowski has done a remarkable job in creating a novel that is both atmospheric and deliciously dark, it also has a modern twist to it which makes it very readable, and make an idea book club read, there is so much to discuss and debate. In my opinion the author has written a crime thriller that’s exciting, unpredictable, deceptive and down right menacing. Hydra is a must read and one I would highly recommend, despite it only being January I have a feeling this one is a BIG contender for my top reads of 2018 already!

I’m giving Hydra the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the first one of the year. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous 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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Buying links:   Amazon US 🇺🇸              Amazon UK 🇬🇧

Print Length: 320 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (24 Dec. 2017)

About the author

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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more.

His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015, and his winning thriller, Six Stories, achieved massive critical acclaim, was a number-one bestseller in ebook, and was sold to Hollywood for a major motion picture. He is currently working on another installment in the Six Stories series.

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