Tag Archives: Mystery

No Escape by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @bookouture

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of No Escape by Casey Kelleher, read on for my thoughts…..

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The one place she never wanted to go back to. The one place she can’t escape.

When she was just five years old, Lucy Murphy witnessed her mother’s brutal murder in their home on London’s notorious Griffin Estate. The case was never solved. Now a newly qualified police officer, Lucy has been given her first job: she’s going back to the Griffin Estate.

She is there to protect the estate’s vulnerable residents, including Shannon and Kian Winters, two kids struggling to deal with their alcoholic mother. Fifteen-year-old Shannon is working every spare hour to keep a roof over their heads, but thirteen-year-old Kian has fallen under the sway of gang leader Jax Priestly. And now Jax has plans for Shannon too…

As Lucy gets to know Kian and Shannon she becomes determined not to let the two teenagers become Jax’s victims. But time is running out. Jax is out of control, and the gang’s violent reprisals are escalating. Can Lucy face down her own demons in time to prevent a tragedy? As a child, she already witnessed the murder of one innocent person. It will take all her courage and training to stop another.

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Casey Kelleher is one author whose books I turn to when I’m looking for my ‘grit lit fix’ I’m a huge fan of stories that delve into the murky world of crime. For me personally this type of book has to have an engrossing story line that features violence, feuds, and family. Even better if it’s a tale of survival against the odds. Guess what? No Escape the latest book by the author has it all, and so much more to offer. No Escape is set on the notorious Griffin Estate where crime and violence are very much part of the residents every day life. The plot follows the life’s of Detective Lucy Murphy,  Fifteen-year-old Shannon and her thirteen-year-old brother Kian.

The author has created some remarkable characters. My heart went out to Shannon and Kian, the responsibilities they have forced upon them through living with an alcoholic mum, mean they’ve had to grow up fast. The lack of parental supervision means Kian is the ideal candidate to be recruited by wannabe gangster Jax and the Griffin boys. Newly qualified police officer, Lucy Murphy is another character who I warmed to, despite witnessing her mothers horrific murder at five years old, she doesn’t come across as a victim, quite the opposite, as she’s determined to make a difference to the life’s of kids like Shannon and Kian. There is also a superb supporting cast, some I grew to loathe, but there were others that pulled on the heartstrings, offering hope in the most depressing circumstances.

Casey Kelleher takes the readers into the seedy and murky world of the criminals at work on the Griffin Estate it’s not pretty, it’s violent, grubby and sometimes very disturbing, the scenes, the violence, the gangs that prey on the vulnerable residents of the estate give this book an authentic feel to the read. The author draws you into this world; you feel the fear and emotions of the residents, experience their frustrations and pain, the Estate comes alive thanks to the authors descriptive writing. I really enjoyed No Escape with its vibrant characters and gritty, authentic plot. Casey Kelleher’s writing goes from strength to strength and I’m keeping everything crossed this is the first book in a series featuring Lucy Murphy and the Estate.  Highly recommended

  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (2 Jun. 2020)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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The Curator by M.W. Craven #Review @MWCravenUK @BethWright26 @TheCrimeVault #TheCurator #TeamPoe #TeamTilly

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for The Curator by M.W. Craven the third book in the Washington Poe series, and one of my most anticipated reads of 2020.

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It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetised, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

 And nothing will ever be the same again . . ..

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Woohoo Poe and Tilly are back in one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, The Curator. This has to be one of my favourite British crime series EVER! The Curator opens with a macabre murder scene, it’s gruesome and shocking, but the perfect opening to what I think is the best book in the series so far. Don’t get me wrong each book has been a fantastic read, but the authors writing goes from strength to strength. The plot lines are a work of a genius, they lure you in and keep you gripped until the very last sentence of this compelling series.

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with their most challenging case yet, it’s one that throws up more questions than answers, more suspects than victims. Why is a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria? Why were some victims anaesthetised, while others died in appalling agony? The investigation is such a complex one, that it tests Poe and Tilly investigation skills to the limit. I could rattle on all day about the plot, but in doing so I would giveaway spoilers, so all I will say it’s a cracking plot, modern and fast paced, and seriously twisted! 

The Curator like every other book in this series is as much about the characters as the plot. The relationship between the dynamic duo Poe and Tilly is stronger than ever, their unique personalities compliment each other perfectly. Poe is complex, charismatic, whereas the wonderful Tilly is naïve, painfully honest and just as complex. The dialogue between the couple is endearing, charming and funny, but it’s these moments that add light to the darkness of the plot. They are both such fabulous depicted, compelling characters they are one of the reasons this series is a must read for me.

M. W. Craven has written another fabulous addition to this series, throughout The Curator the plot is complex, clever and engrossing, just as you think the dynamic duo have the serial killer in their grips, the author throws in a twist that propels the story in a very different direction. One of the things I enjoy the most in a crime thriller is when the author can write a story that not only keeps you engrossed but one that also keeps you constantly guessing, never revealing too much in one go to spoil the read. For me this crime series has it all brilliant  characters, exceptional writing, twisted plots, gory crime scenes, and the most evil killers. The Curator is now firmly my favourite book in the series until the next book anyway! Highly Recommend.

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (4 Jun. 2020)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the publishers and the author for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

About the author

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M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

Website: mwcraven.com
Twitter: @MWCravenUK

 

Other books in the series

The Last One To See Her by a Mark Tilbury #BookReview #BlogTour @MTilburyAuthor 

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for The Last One To See Her by Mark Tilbury, one of the authors I turn to when I’m looking for a dark twisted read.

Don’t forget to check out my partner in crime (excuse the pun!) review the awesome Linda Hill at https://lindasbookbag.com/

Before you read my review here’s the book description….

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He says he is innocent. So why did he lie?

Mathew Hillock was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive. When her dead body turns up four days later in his garden shed, the police think he’s guilty of her murder. So do most people in the town. But there’s no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.

Battling the weight of public opinion and mental illness due to a childhood head trauma, he sinks into a deep depression.

Can Mathew do what the police failed to do and find evidence linking the real killer to the crime?

The Last One to See Her is a terrifying story of what happens when you’re accused of a crime and no one believes you are innocent.

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I’ve long been a fan of Mark Tilbury’s writing, he’s an author whose books I always look forward to. The Last One To See Her is the latest offering from Tilbury took me by surprise, in the best possible way might I add! The author is best known for writing books that veer towards the dark side, and this book is as dark as the night sky, but what I wasn’t expecting was the heart-rending, gut punching, all too human characters that make this book such a fascinating read .Mathew Hillock has learning difficulties caused by a head trauma as a child, here’s a character who I immediately warmed to, in fact it’s fair to say at times I had to swallow the lump in my throat! He’s a gentle giant, naïve, vulnerable, and doesn’t see the world the same as others, when he’s stressed he has blank episodes, and retreats to his ‘cave’ a safe haven that’s free of danger and evil.

Unfortunately for Matthew he was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive, and it’s not long before he becomes the main suspect in the case. Matthew begins to question if he could be in some way connected to the crime, as when he has his ‘blackouts’ has has no recollection of them. Tilbury gives a distressing insight into Matthew’s world and how frightening life is for him once he becomes the main suspect in the case. Matthews naivety, his relationships with his older brother Gareth, Tortilla (his pet Tortoise) and his grandfather, plus his gentle humour, add a well needed dose of warmth to this dark tale. To balance the ‘good’ characters, the author has created some real sick ones, they will make your skin crawl, and your blood boil, it’s a case of good versus evil!

At first I thought The Last One To See Her would be a straight forward Psychological thriller, but we’re talking Mark Tilbury here! and it isn’t long before the plot moves to the dark, gritty side, one that fans of this author have come to love and enjoy. This has to be my favourite book by the author, it has all the elements I enjoy in a thriller, an excellent plot, strongly depicted characters, tension, scenes that shock, gut punching ones where you really feel for the main character, and a hell of a twist.  An excellent read that I would highly recommend to crime thriller lovers.

  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Tilbury Publishing (4 Jun. 2020)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

After being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had seven novels published by Bloodhound Books. His latest novel, The Last One To See Her will be published 4th June 2020.

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.

Mark Tilbury – Author of dark psychological thrillers.

Website: http://www.marktilbury.com

E-mail newsletter subscription: http://eepurl.com/bNSvJn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marktilburyauthor/

Twitter: @MTilburyAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marktilburyauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/marktilbury

My thanks to the author for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Follow the blog tour……

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The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel #BookReview @amyengle @niamh_anderson @HodderFiction #AuthorInterview #BlogTour

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for The Familiar Dark by Amy Engle. If you enjoyed the authors debut novel The Ronake Girls, then you definitely need to read this one. I’m also sharing an author interview that Amy kindly agreed too.

Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description.

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‘In other places, the murder of two little girls would have blanketed the entire town in horror. Here, it was just another bad day.’

Eve Taggert’s life has been spent steadily climbing away from her roots. Her mother, a hard and cruel woman who dragged her up in a rundown trailer park, was not who she wanted to be to her own daughter, Junie.

But 12-year old Junie is now dead. Found next to the body of her best friend in the park of their small, broken town. Eve has nothing left but who she used to be.

Despite the corrupt police force that patrol her dirt-poor town deep in the Missouri Ozarks, Eve is going to find what happened to her daughter. Even if it means using her own mother’s cruel brand of strength to unearth secrets that don’t want to be discovered and face truths it might be better not to know.

Everyone is a suspect.

Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will answer for her daughter’s murder.

From the bestselling author of The Roanoke Girls, The Familiar Dark is a spellbinding story about the bonds of family as well as a story about how even the darkest and most terrifying of places can provide the comfort of home. The Familiar Dark will blow you away.

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The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel opens with an unusual start to this harrowing tale, it begins at ‘the end’, it’s a powerful and haunting start to the book, and leaves the reader in no doubt that it will not be a ‘happy ever after’ kind of read. The authors poetic prose seem almost at odds with this stark plot, that features drug abuse, rural town poverty and abuse, and yet the two blend perfectly together creating a spellbinding story about the complexities of family relationships, and how even the most dysfunctional families can pull together in the face of adversary.

Set in the small rundown down town of Barren Springs in the Missouri Ozarks, tells the heartbreaking and brutal story of Eve, a young mother whose daughter is one of two 12-year-old girls found murdered in the towns dilapidated park.  The only way Eve can stop herself drowning in grief is to seek vengeance for her daughter’s Junie’s murder, a path that leads Eve to the town’s seedy criminal underbelly. A path that will open up old childhood wounds, as Eva’s own traumatic past comes back to haunt her. Eve’s relationship with her mother is based on neglect and abuse, she’s always been determined  to become her mother’s daughter, but without Junie, and with vengeance firmly on her mind, Eve finds that she is more like her mother than she cares to admit. 

The author vividly describes the experience of growing up in Barren Springs, a dirt poor town, where people live in trailers, patched up with tape, it’s town people are mostly drug addicts, and people live hand to mouth, living for their next fix of crystal meths and heroin. The town is as much a character as Eve. The town feels claustrophobic, seedy, and unclean, it’s a town everyone wants to escape from, but poverty and addiction keeps them in its clutches, it’s a place where the life is sucked out of you. Eve is a character that immediately finds her way into your heart, as her grief takes her through a spectrum of emotions, you feel her anger, and her pain, and her need for vengeance, these emotions are raw and intense, The relationship between Eve and her mother is a difficult one, and yet a bond is created through grief and wanting to do the right thing in the most appalling situation.

Despite its subject matter this book has a hidden depth, it explores the complexities of relationships, and dysfunctional families with sensitivity and incredible insight. Amy Engel’s visceral style of writing makes each of her novels memorable, The Familiar Dark and Eva’s tragic tale will stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. If you are looking for the ‘usual whodunnit’  then this may not be the book for you. If you enjoy a book that is very much character driven, with a dark heart then look no further. Highly recommend.

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (31 Mar. 2020)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Hi Amy I’m thrilled to welcome you to the book review café. The Familiar Dark revolves around such a difficult subject matter – a mother grieving for her daughter, lost in the worst of circumstances. As a mother yourself, how did you find the writing process? 

I had a hard time writing this book, I’m not going to lie. My daughter is only a few years older than Junie and there were times I had to walk away from the book for hours or even days at a time. It was incredibly stressful and painful to put myself in the shoes of Eve and imagine the aftermath of losing a child, especially in such a brutal and senseless way. 

As a former criminal defence attorney from a small town, how much of what you write comes from what you have lived?

I’m actually not from a small town; I was born in Lawrence, Kansas, but lived the vast majority of my childhood and adult life in cities. But my mom was from a very small town in Kansas and her grandparents lived there until I was in college, so I spent a lot of time in that environment and it served as fodder for my previous nove, The Roanoke Girls. The Missouri Ozarks, the setting of The Familiar Dark, is also a place I’ve spent a lot of time. It’s important to me that my books be set in places I know well. I like the settings to feel almost like another character in the story. I want readers to really be able to picture the environment, even if it’s someplace they’ve never visited.

The Familiar Dark is your second adult novel, coming after your bestselling The Roanoke Girls and fantastic young adult series The Book of Ivy. Did you prefer the writing process for young adult or adult fiction?

For me, the writing process wasn’t that different between genres. I always start with characters, and that doesn’t change whether I’m writing for adults or young adults. I do think, however, that adult novels allow for a little more exploration of the dark side of life, which seems to be my wheelhouse. 

Who is your favourite author?

Stephen King, hands down. And I love Tana French, as well. And Dennis Lehane. This list could go on forever.

What are your future writing plans?

I’m working on a new novel right now. It’s dark psychological suspense set in rural Kansas and involves a woman who is serving a life sentence for the murders of her entire family when she was a teenager. 

About the author

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Amy Engel is a former criminal defence attorney living in Missouri with her family. Her debut adult novel, The Roanoke Girls, was a #1 ebook bestseller, a Richard and Judy book club pick and has sold 100,000 copies across formats to date. The Familiar Dark is her second adult novel.

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review, and my thanks to the author for her interview.

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Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten #BookReview @nholten40 #BlogTour @KillerReads @0neMoreChapter @BOTBSPublicity @HarperCollins #MustReads

Today I’m over the moon to be taking part in the blog tour for Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten. One of my most anticipated reads of the year, was it worth the wait?  you can read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……

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The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…

They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…

But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.

Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

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I have been impatiently awaiting Dead Wrong, the second book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, it seems like forever since I read Dead Inside by author Noelle Holten. The author knows how to draw the reader in from the off, even more so when you realise one of Raven’s victims is named after you! I would forgive you for thinking this could sway my review, but you would be dead wrong! (See what I did there?). Personally I think Dead Wrong is even better than the first book in the series, it’s what I would describe as a ‘heart-pounding, page-turner with a dark, gritty heart’.

Raven, admitted he killed three women and is serving a life sentence for his crimes, but fast forward to present time and body parts of his said victims start turning up, so he must be innocent right? And Raven makes an appeal to the courts to be set free, so begins a nightmare for DC Maggie Jamieson’s, as she attempts to solve the case once and for all. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a crime thriller that features a chilling but intriguing serial killer, and Raven is one such character, he lacks remorse, he’s callous, a master of manipulation, and a pathological liar. The heart of the plot focuses on Raven toying with Maggie, is he lying? Or is he mentally ill? Was he coerced by Maggie, admitting to crimes he didn’t commit? So many questions, but for those of us who love playing the amateur detective, it’s the perfect crime read to get those brain cells working. 

Hallelujah! DC Maggie Jamieson isn’t your standard stereotype you often find in a crime thriller, she’s not an alcoholic, nor is her character bogged down by personal problems or a shady past which makes a refreshing change. That doesn’t mean Maggie lacks depth, on the contrary her character is continuing to develop, she’s relentless in her pursuit for the truth, committed,  and has literally no personal life, I’m sure there are a lot of DC’s who can relate to that!  It’s obvious the author has an incredible insight into the justice system and the way different agencies work together, which adds an authentic feel to the plot, I find some crime thrillers lack this vital ingredient, mostly because authors have relied heavily on research, rather than personal experiences. 

Dismembered victims turning up in pieces made for a gristly read, but these scenes are paramount to the plot, and add a profound sense of tension to the overall plot. Like any good crime thriller there are many read herrings, and well-plotted twists, and that ending! Let’s just say it will leave readers desperate for the next book in the series. Noelle Holten’s writing goes from strength to strength, her writings bold and confident, she has a vivid imagination, her plots are exciting and gripping. If ever there was someone who was born to write crime thrillers, it’s this author. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a crime thriller. 

  •  Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: One More Chapter (14 March 2020)

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon USA 🇺🇸

About the author

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Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast.

Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the book love via her blog. 

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/

Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk  

Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

My thanks to the publishers and the author my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

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The Other People by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks #MustReads

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for The Other People by C.J. Tudor. I had no expectations for this book. I picked it up meaning to read a couple of chapters, but then I read another one, and then another one, and I was hooked! You can read on for my thoughts, but first the book description…

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She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window.

She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’

It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.

He never sees her again.

Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them.

Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows what they will do if they ever catch up with her and Alice.

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It’s not often these days I read a book in “one sitting” but that’s what happened with The Other People by C.J. Tudor. I wasn’t sure what to expect, all I knew was what I read in the book description, ‘A man travels up and down the motorway, searching for a car that took his young daughter Izzy’, which meant I had no expectations for this book. I picked it up meaning to read a couple of chapters, but then I read another one, and then another one, and I was hooked! The Other People is a thriller that captured my imagination, it’s dark, very creepy, and completely gripping.

I’m not going to rehash the plot details, for me this book held so many surprises,  I would hate to spoil the read for others. Gabe is a character that I honestly felt for, he’s a man drowning in grief, after losing his daughter Izzy, his grief is palatable, as he clutches at the proverbial straw, he’s convinced he’s seen his little girl’s face in the rear window of a car. No one believes him,  but he’s determined to keep looking come hell or high water. I felt my heart pounding as Gabe’s own investigation took him into ‘danger territory’, the tension grew tenfold, my nails took a beating as I nervously bit on them in anticipation of what lay a head.

The Other People is told from multiple POV so it’s evident all the characters have a connection someway or another, all I will say ‘is the best of luck working out how they fit together’. The author moves flawlessly between the different POV, never sharing too much, so the reader is left second guessing where the plot is headed. This book has so many elements it’s Part mystery/suspense, with a hint of the supernatural, all these elements fit perfectly together creating a creepy, thought-provoking and very clever, and riveting read. 

Like other books from the author it has a supernatural element running through it, but it’s not the main focus,  but  hell the ‘ Clickety, clack’ sent shivers down my spine, and that’s all I’m saying! Some reviews I read have compared The Other People to the The Chain . I have to disagree, this book is so much better,  the story is frighteningly plausible, the tension never waivers, and the characters are far more likeable. I found I was fully immersed and totally intrigued until the very last page. A brilliant read that has more twist and turns than a roller coaster, my recommendation? Buy yourself a copy and buckle up for a hell of a ride.

  • Print Length: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (23 Jan. 2020)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon USA 🇺🇸

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley #BookReview #TheGuestList @lucyfoleytweets @HarperCollinsUK

Today I’m thrilled to share my review for The Guest List by Lucy Foley, I have a feeling this book is going to be one of this year’s hits. Read on for my thoughts but first the book description…….

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A REMOTE ISLAND. AN INVITATION TO DIE FOR.

A gripping, twisty murder mystery thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.

Old friends.

Past grudges.

Happy families.

Hidden jealousies.

Thirteen guests.

One body.

The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.

One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .

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Welcome to the wedding of the year.…I love a wedding, the romance, the chance to wear a new outfit and enjoy celebrating the union of two people,  but I’m so glad I didn’t receive an invitation to this wedding! No sooner have the celebrations begun, the unthinkable happens, a murder of all things! I’m not sure about you but I’ve been to some weddings that might have got a touch out of hand, but I can’t say I’ve ever attended one where there’s been a murder, so much for the ‘happy ever after’ it’s more of a case of ‘death do us part’. The Guest Party is the latest offering from Lucy Foley, and what an extremely entertaining, atmospheric murder mystery this book turned out to be.

The Guest List follows the high profile wedding of television presenter Will Slater and online magazine publisher Julia Keegan, the setting is a storm-swept island off Irish coast. The island gives the book an ominous atmosphere, it’s a bleak setting and one that’s shrouded in ghostly folklore. The story moves from the present to the past and back again. It is told from the perspective of multiple characters, this could have made the plot a muddled one, but this style of storytelling works really well I thought it added tension and mystery to the read. Like any wedding there are guests that are unpleasant, in this case it’s the ushers who are a bunch of arrogant bullies, entitled private old-public schoolboys who have a dangerous pack mentality,  not the most endearing qualities I have to say, but it’s their fears, secrets, lies and amidst the drink and drug fuelled wedding festivities which add an ominous air of impending doom.

There’s a mounting sense of unease as secrets from the past mix in a cauldron of anger, resentment, guilt and jealousy. There are a number of suspects, which made this book even more enjoyable to read, I felt like Mrs Marple as I discounted one suspect after another, although I must  admit I wasn’t surprised when the killer was unveiled. Another aspect I really enjoyed about this novel is the fact the murder victim isn’t revealed until the last few chapters, the author leads you down many a dead end, before we reach that point. The Guest List is a slow burner, but like any good author Lucy Foley uses this time to give the reader the background and dynamics of the characters, which builds on the tension and suspense.  I really enjoyed this deliciously dark murder mystery, it’s one I will definitely be recommending to fans of this genre. 

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (20 Feb. 2020)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧

My thanks to the publishers for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. 

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