RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Suspense

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.

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth..

Posted on

Precious Thing

Blurb:

Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?

Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever.

They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara’s life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes.

Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you’ve shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.

Review:

sonu's signed book

First of all I’d like to thank the lovely Colette for sending me a signed copy of the book! I was absolutely thrilled to see it in the post, as I’ve heard so much about it. As soon as I received the book, I was immediately hooked and I can honestly say that this is by far the best book I have read this year.

The story revolves around the two protagonists: Rachel and Clara. Two girls who became best-friends when they were young and now in their late-twenties have drifted apart as far as the North and South poles. The story is told in a series of flashbacks, seen from the point of view of our narrator, Rachel. Sometimes the idea of going back and forth can become confusing but Colette delivered it in such an extraordinary way that it added to the suspense of the story and definitely had your brain working at the speed of a train to try and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

The main focal point of the novel is the mystery surrounding Clara’s disappearance. As the reader, we do not actually meet Clara, at first, but we are told about her through Rachel’s flashbacks. How they became friends, how they went onto become best-friends and how eventually they drifted apart. Hints are dropped at various points in the story which suggest why they drifted apart but the full truth isn’t revealed until near the end.

The suspense in the book is immense. It kept me hooked from start to finish. Being a psychological thriller, the story really played with my mind and I began to get irritated with myself for not being able to solve the mystery. Having said that, I was pleased that the mystery remained just that until Colette wanted it to be revealed to us. This tells me what an extraordinary writer and storyteller Colette is. Her writing flowed smoothly throughout and the pace was just right and kept the tension building as I turned over every page. It definitely made the story more enjoyable.

Lies, deception and betrayal are all common themes that run throughout the story and the reader is completely hooked into a trap so cunning, I didn’t see it coming until I was near the end. The story makes you question just how close you are to your own friends and who can you really trust? To what extent would you go in order to help the person you loved or thought you loved? So many questions were arisen and once the answers were revealed, the reader was left shocked to the core.

As for the two best-friends, I’m not sure how I felt about both at the end. Throughout the book I felt sympathy for both but when the truth came to light, I felt a lot of disgust as well. Actions have consequences and unfortunately for both Rachel and Clara, those consequences were dire. Many have said that this book is a thriller. Yes, it most definitely is. It’s a cunningly, sinister thriller that traps you in such a way that it renders you speechless.

Crime/suspense fans, do not miss out on an exceptional novel that will have you questioning everything you have ever believed in. Colette has created a mastermind of a story and what makes it even more amazing is that it’s Colette’s debut. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on Colette’s next books. In the meantime do yourself a favour and pick up a copy, you will not regret it!

Overall Rating: 10/10

If you would like to find out more about Colette’s book and upcoming books, you can do so on her official website. If you would like to find out more about Colette, you can follow her on twitter.

Justice for Abby by Cate Beauman

Posted on

02 Justice For Abby_ebook_1600

Blurb:

Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

Review:

Justice for Abby is the latest (sixth) book in Cate’s The Bodyguard’s of L.A. County Series. After reading the first book, Morgan’s Hunter, I became a huge fan and followed every character’s journey through each book. When I found out that the next book would be about Abby and Jerrod (supporting characters in the previous books) I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. This book can be read as a standalone but I would recommend you read all the books in the series as they are fantastic and it also makes your reading experience more enjoyable. I can gladly say that like the rest, this book did not disappoint either.

Readers first meet both Abby and Jerrod in the fourth book, Forever Alexa. Abby is kidnapped by a Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring and her sister Alexa, family friend Jackson and US Marshal Jerrod come to her rescue. Readers are once again re-introduced to the pair in this book and it’s in this book that we see how Abby is recovering following her horrific ordeal. Jerrod now works was as an agent for Ethan Cooke’s Security and is given the task to keep Abby safe until her trial begins but there are a lot of people who want her dead. As Abby and Jerrod become closer the level of danger surrounding them increases and leaves the reader anticipating what will happen next.

I absolutely adored Abby’s character. After everything she went through, she still holds on to the belief that everything will be back to normal soon. She’s a bubbly, smart and loyal young woman whom I couldn’t help rooting for. Her love for those around her is what keeps her going and we see her evolve as an individual throughout the book. There’s not much I can say about Jerrod other than the fact that’s he’s perfect. Up until now my favourite Hero from the series was Tucker (who is the protagonist in the 5th book, Waiting for Wren) but that quickly changed when Jerrod came onto the scene. Jerrod, like Abby, evolves as a person as he learns to trust more and accept what’s been given to him. His dedication and loyalty to his job is admirable and his love and care for Abby is delightful. Together, they make a fantastic pairing for this book.

For me, the villains in this book were definitely more creepy and scary than the others. I’m glad that Cate has upped her stance where the villains are concerned because it adds to the suspense in the book overall. The supporting characters do a good job of filling in the gaps and give some much needed light-hearted moments in such an intense book, my favourite was Jerrod’s mother. The pace of the book follows seamlessly in line with the plot and adds to the overall enjoyment of the book.

Cate’s writing is lovely and her attention to detail is fantastic so even if you haven’t read the previous books, you won’t feel confused as everything is explained. The only slight issue I had with the book was with Stone’s character, whom we’re not told enough about and I was hoping to learn more about him but I’m presuming that Cate is going to get to that in her next book, fingers crossed!

However, if you are a romance suspense fan then this book is perfect for you and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It has lots of romance and whole dose of suspense that will take you on a roller coaster of a journey. Justice for Abby will make you cry, laugh, love and learn that sometimes all you need is someone special to help you move on from something terrible. Do not miss out on a fantastic book that is guaranteed to leave a massive smile on your face.

Overall Rating: 9/10

You can find out more about Cate and her books from her official website and/or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Deep Blue Sea by Tasmina Perry..

Posted on

tasmina perry deep blue sea

Blurb:

Beneath the shimmering surface lies a dark secret…

Diana and Julian Denver have the world at their feet. With a blissful marriage, a darling son and beautiful homes in London and the country, Diana’s life, to the outside world, is perfect. But nothing is as it seems…

When Julian dies suddenly and tragically, Diana is convinced there is more to it than meets the eye. She calls on the one person she had never wanted to see again – her sister, Rachel.

A former tabloid reporter, Rachel appears to be living the dream as a diving instructor on a Thai island. The truth is she’s in exile, estranged from her family and driven from her career by Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal.

For Rachel, Diana’s request opens old wounds. But she is determined to make amends for the past, and embarks on a treacherous journey to uncover the truth – wherever it may lead…

Review:

First of all thank you to the lovely people at Headline for providing me with a copy of this book through Bookbridgr. This was the first time I read a Tasmina Perry book and I can’t say it will be my last.

The story revolves around the mystery surrounding the death of Diana’s beloved husband, Julian. Diana, unlike everyone else, questions the way in which he dies and doesn’t believe for a second that everything is what it seems. As such, she calls on her sister Rachel to help her. One sibling helping another in a situation like this is normal but it comes as a surprise to all when Rachel comes to her sister’s aid in the hopes of solving Julian’s mysterious death regardless of the fact that the two sisters haven’t to spoken to one another in years.

From the beginning I was reeled into the story very quickly. We are shown the two different lives lived by two sisters, who in the prologue seem to have the closest relationship, yet now in the present for some reason, are miles apart from one another – physically and mentally. The mystery surrounding their apparent feud immediately had me hooked, as I found myself continuously wondering what could be the cause of their relationship deteoriating to such an extent.

I’m not sure how much I liked either of the sisters at the beginning but I can say that I definitely warmed to both as the plot progressed. For me, the character that had the most growth was Diana. From being reserved to naïve to independent, she blossomed into someone who you could truly appreciate as a person and I loved that she did because a lot of the time my sympathies were with her.

Tasmina puts a lot of detail into the personalities of the two sisters and I was constantly learning new things about both as the story progressed. Of course one the main issues that keeps these two sisters together (and at times apart) is Julian. From flashbacks we learn more about Julian and the type of man he was and why to Diana he seemed perfect and why to Rachel, he was perhaps not so perfect. Then of course his death brings about suspicion as to who he really was as an individual. Was he the man that Diana fell in love with and married or was he the snob that Rachel believed him to be? So many questions were brought up in the novel and they did well to keep my interest in the story going.

The pace of the book was slow, at times, but it reflected the mood of the characters perfectly. Tasmina’s writing is clear and easy to understand. She goes into a lot of detail, in terms of places and her character personalities are quite in depth so I felt as if I had known the protagonists my whole life. Lots of twists and turns kept the plot of the novel intriguing and I certainly didn’t expect the ending as it was and for that I’m certainly glad!

Overall, if you are a romance and women’s literature/family saga fan then this book is perfect for you. There’s suspense, love and a whole lot of family dynamics that keeps the story going and makes it even more brilliant! This book has definitely raised my expectations and I hope that, as soon I as I get my hands on another Tasmina Perry book, it’s as good as this. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this book because you will not regret it!

Overall Rating: 9/10

If you would like to find out more about Tasmina and her books you can do so from her official website and follow her on twitter and facebook.

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/