Tag Archives: Psychological thriller

**Blog tour** #BeforeHerEyes by Jack Jordan @JackJordanBooks @CorvusBooks #Must Reads2018

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I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for one of my most anticipated reads of the year Before Her Eyes by Jack Jordan. If you enjoy a psychological thriller with lots of twists and a gripping story line look no further, read on for me review, but firstly the book description……

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She can’t see the killer

But the killer can see her…

Naomi Hannah has been blind since birth. Struggling with living in a small, claustrophobic town, Naomi contemplates ending her life. But then she stumbles across the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. She senses someone else there at the scene – watching her. 

Naomi may not be able to see the killer’s face, but she is still the only person who can identify him.

As the police begin hunting the person responsible and more victims are discovered, Naomi is forced to answer the question on which her fate hangs: why did the killer let her live?

In a town this small, the murderer must be close, perhaps even before her very eyes…

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“Oh, what a tangled web Jack Jordan weaves when first he practice to deceive” and boy does he deceive in the best possible way, what a gripping and compelling read Before Her Eyes turned out to be,  this book rattles along like a express train, giving the reader no time to breathe. Full of misdirection and unreliable characters I can honestly say “this is definitely the authors best book yet”. Perhaps a **word of warning** from the wise (cough!) clear your schedule, lock the doors, it’s one of those books that the slightest irritation will bug the life out of you. 

What I loved about this book was it felt far more menacing than most psychological thrillers I read, partly because the protagonist Naomi is blind, this adds a creepy vibe to the whole plot as you realise the killer is hiding in “plain sight”  I felt the hairs on the back on my neck stand on end as things became far more sinister. When Naomi stumbles across a body, and knows there is someone there in the shadows watching her, her sense of fear and anxiety were palatable,  countless times I found myself holding my breath on her behalf. This turned out to be a nerve wrecking book, as the author puts Naomi in jeopardy on more than one occasion.  Before Her Eyes is fraught with tension and feels very claustrophobic thanks to the “small town, living in everyone’s pockets” setting and Naomi’s condition.  

Detective Markus Campbell is at the centre of the police investigation and he’s certainly got his work cut out with a cold case and more victims being discovered, but he’s determined to get to the truth and protect Naomi. Jack Jordan deviously keeps  the attention of the reader deliberately focused on the numerous red herrings and false motives in order to conceal the identity of the murderer, and my god he does it with confidence and flair. The author teases the reader by throwing numerous “suspects” into the ring, just when I thought I had it all worked out it and had the culprit  firmly in sight, he deviously twisted the knife (excuse the poor pun) and made me question everything I had read.  

As reviews go I’m keeping this one vague as I would hate to spoil the read for others, but I do hope this review will pique your interest enough to pick this book up. With an original premise Before Her Eyes made for a terrifying and atmospheric thriller, I literally read this book in one hugely satisfying sitting. As psychological thrillers go this is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year, I really enjoyed the element of surprise that I can find sometimes lacking in this genre.  Highly recommended.

 This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving Before Her Eyes 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: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (16 Aug. 2018)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Jack Jordan is the global number one bestselling author of Anything for Her (2015), My Girl (2016), A Woman Scorned (2018), and Before Her Eyes (2018). 

To find out more about Jack, enter numerous annual giveaways to win signed copies of his books, and be one of the first to hear of new book releases and news, follow him here:

Facebook: JackJordanOfficial

Twitter: @JackJordanBooks

Instagram: @JackJordan_Author

Goodreads: JackJordanOfficial

If my review hasn’t convinced you to buy this  book, you may want to check out my fellow book bloggers  reviews…..

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

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

Have you ever played two truths and a lie?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧          Amazon US 🇺🇸

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

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

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

NOW YOU DON’T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying links :    Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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

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

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

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

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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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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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The book review café’s book of the month **May 2018**

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Can you believe we’re nearly half way through the year? No me neither. As it’s the first of June it’s time to choose my book books of the month I really should rename this feature. I read so many fabulous books in May it’s impossible to choose just ONE book yet again so I’m sharing my THREE books of the month, good job “it’s my blog my rules” 😂 so without further ado here are the books I found to be outstanding reads this month in no particular order………

Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson

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Children going missing are a well used topic for crime fiction,  so what’s so special about this one I can hear you ask? OMFG where shall I begin, I literally loved this crime thriller, the characters, the plot, the writing, the pacing, every element of this book was on spot on. I’m not going to beat about the bush Don’t Make A Sound will definitely be on my top reads of 2018, it’s compelling, gripping and one of the best crime thrillers I’ve read this year. You can read my full review here…Don’t Make A Sound by David Jackson #BookReview #MustReads @Author_Dave @BonnierZaffre

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

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I must admit I picked up Cross Her Heart with trepidation, I absolutely loved Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, you know the one I mean, it’s the one you probably saw all over social media with the #WTFhash tag. This one comes with the tag Don’t Trust Her Books, and never a truer word was written! I thought I pretty much had this book all worked by the first half, but then wham bam the author very deviously pulled the rug out from under me, not once but on several occasions. Brilliantly twisted, unsettling yet compelling this is a must read for fans of psychological thrillers. Full review can be found here……Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough @SarahPinborough @HarperCollinsUK #MustReads #Don’tTrustHerBooks,

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons

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Oh my giddy aunt Angela Marsons never fails to amaze me after reading every book in the series I have always said “it’s the best one yet” and guess what Dying Truth is definitely “the best one yet” . Here’s an author who has an incredible knack of making each book read like a “first” with heart thumping, exciting story lines that get under your skin, which stay with you long after you reach the last thrilling page. One word I never expect to use in a crime thriller read is “emotional” but Angela Marsons latest read broke me, I ended up a sobbing wreck not a pretty sight let me tell you!  Full review here……Dying Truth by Angela Marsons #BookReview @WriteAngie @Bookouture #MustReads

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Books I’m hoping to read this month

This month I’m hoping to read some of my own personal TBR pile as well as a couple of ARC’s

 

 

And finally I’ve decided to include a poll I would love to know which of my three books of the month you would have choosen as your book of the month?