RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Mystery

Blog Tour: The Silent Girls by Ann Troup..

Posted on

 

I’m very excited to have the pleasure of being the last stop for the The Silent Girls blog tour. A fantastic book written by an equally fantastic writer.  This is my first Ann Troup read so without further ado,let’s find out more about this new and vibrant author. 

Author Bio:

  

Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.

Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.
She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.
In a former incarnation she was psychiatric nurse, an experience which frequently informs her writing. She has also owned a cafe and an art/craft gallery. Now she only makes bacon sandwiches as a sideline, but does continue to dabble with clay, paint, paper, textiles, glue…you name it. Occasionally she may decide to give away some of these creations (you have been warned!).
More about Ann and her books can be found in the following places:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads 


Blurb:

What if everything you knew was a lie…

This house has a past that won’t stay hidden, and it is time for the dead to speak.

Returning to Number 17, Coronation Square, Edie is shocked to find the place she remembers from childhood reeks of mould and decay. After her aunt Dolly’s death Edie must clear out the home on a street known for five vicious murders many years ago, but under the dirt and grime of years of neglect lurk dangerous truths.

For in this dark house there is misery, sin and dark secrets that can no longer stay hidden. The truth must come out.

Finding herself dragged back into the horrific murders of the past, Edie must find out what really happened all those years ago. But as Edie uncovers the history of the family she had all but forgotten, she begins to wonder if sometimes it isn’t best to leave them buried.

An unforgettable and addictive story, perfect for fans of Lesley Thomson, Diane Chamberlain and Tracy Buchanan. 


Review:

When I first came across came this book, I was intrigued by the cover and title, somehow a part of me knew straight away that there’s going to be something special about this book and I as I finished the last page, I was happy that my initial perspective was spot on. 

The story revolves around our protagonist Edie, who returns to Coronation Sqaure only to find herself tangled in a web of deceit that started long before. 5 murders, solved and forgotten. Or were they? As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that there’s much more to the stories behind the murders than what has been told and we join Edie as she searches for answers no one seems to know. 

As the lead, Edie was near enough perfect. She was full of strength, responsibility, leadership and love that allowed her character to be three dimensional. Her character growth was a joy to read. The decisions she makes and conclusions she came to highlighted the realism in this novel. Obviously it’s fiction, but that added element of realism really made the suspense that much better. I also enjoyed her interactions with the secondary characters, good and bad. 

I was pleasantly surprised with her writing style. I admit the first few chapters were a bit slow for me but after that Ann’s writing really picked up and the story began to flow seamlessly. Ann excelled in her setting. The descriptions were so vivid and I enjoyed learning about Coronation Square and everything that was weird and wonderful about it.

Overall, I found the novel a good suspense read that grips you from beginning to end.  There were enough twists and turns to keep me hooked and I found the plot to be very strong and it held the book together. I look forward to more from Ann and I will definitely go back and read her debut. 

Overall Rating: 8/10
Thank you for stopping by my blog today, be sure to check out the previous stops on what was an incredible blog tour! 

  

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells..

Posted on

A1AB3rq5nCL

Blurb:

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic – girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble – Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons – graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine – the more she is convinced not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

Review:

Firstly, thank you to Pan Macmillan for giving me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. The Bones of You is a hauntingly good debut by Debbie Howells that has enough twists and secrets to keep the reader entertained from start to finish.

At the beginning of the novel we meet our protagonist Kate and life seems to be going well for her until she hears that one of her daughter’s friends, Rosie Anderson, has gone missing. The plot of the novel revolves around Rosie’s death, the usual who, what and why but with a brilliant and dark twist. If you’re looking for a typical ‘whodunnit’ suspense than look elsewhere because this novel is so much more than that. It explores the lives of each and every character spoken of in the story and gives the reader an in depth description of the lives they led and the lives they let others believe they were living. Rosie lived a seemingly perfect life with a perfect family but all that is thrown into question when Kate starts to scratch the surface of the Andersons’ family lives. Not everything is what it seems and no one can be trusted, least of all Rosie’s family.

I initially felt that the concept held a slight similarity to that of Gone Girl with regards to the ideal domesticated life turning out to be a nightmare, however as I read further on I felt that in terms of characterisation and narrative this novel held its own place as a psychological thriller.

The narrative is told from mostly Kate’s perspective with Rosie filling in the rest of the story in flashbacks that gave a brilliant insight into the reality of Rosie’s life and that of her family’s. When reading Kate’s perspective I, at times, really felt the pace of the story drag and found myself skipping a few pages here and there. I much preferred Rosie’s narrative as it held a lot more of a dynamic and I continuously found myself asking more questions which led to me questioning the motives of nearly every family member as well as that of the supporting characters.

Both Kate and Rosie were endearing characters. I sympathised with them from start to finish and by the time we reached the end of the novel I felt saddened and hoped that Rosie could have had a different ending. The novel touches sensitive subjects and makes us all question just how much we hide from those we love. The portrayal of a chilling domesticated life was without fault and for me it was an incredible debut novel.

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers then this novel is a must read. There is enough suspense, drama and chilling moments to keep you hooked throughout. Although at times slow, there was enough substance within the story to keep it flowing from page to page, which overall made it a very satisfying read. A compelling, well written and thrillingly debut novel. A promising start in this genre for Debbie Howells and I for one will definitely be looking out for more from this author.

Overall Rating: 9/10

The Bones of You releases today so treat yourself to a new voice in psychological thrillers!

For more information about Debbie and her debut novel you can check out her official website or follow her on Goodreads and Twitter.

The Dead Ground by Claire McGowan..

Posted on

The Dead Ground, Claire McGowan

Blurb:

A stolen baby. A murdered woman. A decades-old atrocity. Something connects them all…

A month before Christmas, and Ballyterrin on the Irish border lies under a thick pall of snow. When a newborn baby goes missing from hospital, it’s all too close to home for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, who’s wrestling with the hardest decision of her life.

Then a woman is found in a stone circle with her stomach cut open and it’s clear a brutal killer is on the loose.

As another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula is caught up in the hunt for a killer no one can trace, who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The Dead Ground will leave you gasping for breath as Paula discovers every decision she makes really is a matter of life and death…

Review:

First of all a massive thank you to Headline Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book! This is the first Claire McGowan book I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Dead Ground is a sequel to McGowan’s The Lost and it is a series which follows the journey of forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. I didn’t realise I was reading the sequel until I was already two chapters in. However, Claire does a good job of explaining what happened in the previous book so I wasn’t left feeling confused. This book can be read as a stand-alone but if you like reading things in order, then I recommend you read The Lost book first.

The plot of the book revolves around Paula and her team trying to locate a killer who is stealing newborn babies and murdering pregnant women. There are few sub-plots that run throughout the book which mostly revolve around Paula’s own decision on whether or not to stay pregnant and the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance.

From the get-go I found Paula to be quite independent, resilient and responsible. The dilemmas that she faces were quite realistic to what an average woman who isn’t ready to be a mother would face. To that extent I could empathise with her. Also, Paula does seem to be stuck between two men whom she cares for but at the same doesn’t know if they’re worth it and the irony comes when the father of her baby could be either of these two.

The subject matter in the novel is quite sensitive and just from reading the prologue I found myself quite disturbed because of how grotesque it actually seemed. However, I do firmly believe that Claire dealt with the subject as best as possible and that the events that unfold are necessary for the plot of this book.

The pace of the book is quite slow. I usually like a crime novel to have a lot of action and to be quite fast paced. For me this book wasn’t as fast paced as I thought it would be. Nevertheless, the different twists and turns in the story kept me fully engaged until the end. Also, there are a few things that are left unclear at the end but I’m hoping that’s because Claire is gearing up for a few more books in this series.

If you’re a crime/thriller fiction fan then I would definitely recommend this book. Claire took me on a roller coaster of a journey and I absolutely loved her attention to detail, throughout the book. It will definitely give you a fright, make you squirm and will leave a deep impact on you emotionally.

Overall Rating: 8/10

The book will be releasing on 10th April 2014, so in a few days’ time! If you haven’t read the first do read that too because I’m sure it will be as great as the second. You can pre-order The Dead Ground or purchase The Lost from the following places:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dead-Ground-Paula-Maguire/dp/1472204379

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Ground-Paula-Maguire/dp/1472218566/ref=la_B006WP8O78_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396862880&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Claire-Mcgowan/dp/075538640X

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Paula-Maguire-Claire-McGowan/dp/075538640X/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1542AJNZMB7J60Y4HWRM

You can also follow Claire on twitter here: https://twitter.com/inkstainsclaire

Or if you would like to find out more about Claire’s books, you can check out her website here: http://clairemcgowan.net/