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review 2018-10-06 00:47
Review: The Wife's Secret by Kerry Wilkinson
The Wife's Secret - Kerry Wilkinson

Published by: Bookouture (10th October 2018)

 

ISBN: 978-1786817075

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis: 

Charley Willis was thirteen years old when her parents were killed in their family home and she was found hiding in a cupboard upstairs. 

Fifteen years later, Charley is marrying Seth Chambers. It should be the happiest day of their lives, a chance for Charley to put her past behind her, but just hours after the ceremony, she is missing.

No one saw her leave. No one knows where she is.

One thing is for certain…Seth is about to discover he doesn’t really know the woman he just married. And his nightmare is only just beginning. 

 

Review:

Oh WOW! I've not read one of Kerry's books for a while and how I've missed them! This deftly woven tale of intrigue caught my attention from the get go and completely ensnared me. I wasn't prepared for what was to unfold as the dramatic plot shared its darkest secrets, told from the perspectives of both Charley's husband Seth, in the present day, and Charley herself, via flashbacks. 

 

With more twists and turns than your average rollercoaster, The Wife's Secret will have you reading way past your bedtime and questioning every disappearance you will ever hear about again. It's full of suspense, familial tension and the author's brilliant attention to detail make this truly outstanding. 

 

 

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review 2018-09-29 02:00
Review: The Wife Before Me by Laura Elliot
The Wife Before Me - Laura Elliot

Published by: Bookouture (22nd August 2018)

 

ISBN: 978-1786816153

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 3*

 

Synopsis:

One evening as the sun is setting, Amelia Madison’s car slides into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Her body is never found.

Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison. She is grieving the loss of her mother, he is grieving for his wife. Together they can help each other.

Now Elena is living with Nicholas. But Elena doesn’t really know him. She doesn’t know what he is capable of.

And she doesn’t know what really happened to Amelia.

Until the day she discovers the torn page of a letter and the words she reads chill her to the bone.

Elena must find the person who wrote these letters if she is to save herself.

 

Review:

When I haven't enjoyed a book as much as averages review scores tend to suggest, I do something that's rather out of character for me, and read those other reviews prior to writing my own, in case I've completely missed the point, or fallen asleep at a crucial moment and awoken later having omitted to read some vital shred of the plot that ties the whole book together. 

 

The Wife Before Me has some rave reviews, but I felt so disappointed with it. Some aspects of it I thought were well done, such as the domestic violence. As a survivor and also someone who has worked in DV, I found it to be realistic. However, I found it confusing at times and it was difficult to work out who was narrating. The ending was the biggest disappointment of all, it seemed so illogical. I read the last sentence and, I kid you not, actually said out loud "What?! Is that it?!" I found it contrived and it also felt rushed. 

 

Thanks to Bookouture for the ARC via Netgalley. This is my unbiased opinion. 

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review 2018-01-22 00:49
Review: A Daughter's Courage by Renita D'Silva
A Daughter's Courage - Renita D'Silva

Published by: Bookouture (26th May 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1786811783

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis:

1929. When a passionate love affair threatens to leave Lucy in disgrace, she chooses a respectable marriage over a life of shame. With her husband, coffee-plantation-owner James, she travels to her new home in India, leaving her troubled past behind her.

Everything in India is new to Lucy, from the jewel-coloured fabrics to the exotic spices. When her path crosses that of Gowri, a young woman who tends the temple on the plantation’s edge, Lucy is curious to find out more about her, and the events that lead her to live in isolation from her family…

 

Now. With her career in shatters and her heart broken by the man she thought was her future, Kayva flees from bustling Mumbai to her home town. A crumbling temple has been discovered in a village nearby, and with it letters detailing its tragic history – desperate pleas from a young woman called Gowri.

 

As Kavya learns of Gowri and Lucy’s painful story, she begins to understand the terrible sacrifices that were made and the decision the two women took that changed their lives forever. Can the secrets of the past help Kavya to rebuild her life?

 

Review:

Wow. What a myriad of emotions A Daughter's Courage evokes. I am feeling so many different things right now! This book is so touching, heartbreakingly sad yet uplifting and heartwarming. This isn't a book that I'd typically pick up and read, it was recommended to me by my very good friend, and fellow book blogger, Jules (who I'm so pleased to see get a mention in the book acknowledgements :))

 

The three main characters, Lucy, Gowri and Kavya are all so well written. They are such distinct personalities and so different from each other. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Gowri, her soul shines through. Lucy is so different from Gowri and I just couldn't wait to find out where the story would go next. When the two women meet, the interaction is so brilliantly described, it really felt as if I was stood right there, breathing in the rich Indian aromas as I witnessed the meeting. Kavya is different again and thoroughly modern. I really enjoyed how the threads of their individual stories intertwined and then came together.

 

India really came to life from 'the pages' (my kindle) as it was just depicted in such a wonderful way. The colours, from the jewel brights of the saris to the dirty brown of the mud, everything felt as though I was actually seeing it myself. Renita D'Silva has such a fantastic way with words. I also loved all the descriptions of the food that Gowri and the others were preparing; I've taken notes! A Daughter's Courage may have been the first of the author's books that I've read but it certainly won't be the last! Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the ARC, and to Jules Mortimer for another great recommendation.  

 

 

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review 2017-10-23 01:07
Review: Murder Game (Detective Ruby Preston #3) by Caroline Mitchell
Murder Game: A gripping serial killer thriller you won't be able to put down (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 3) - Caroline Mitchell

Published by: Bookouture (31st October 2017)

 

ISBN: 9781786811622

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis:

A killer is playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead. 

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die. 

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby asks her gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to set up a dangerous meeting to allow her to see into the twisted mind of a murderer.

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team becomes. Is he really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining her up to be his next victim?

 

Review:

Wow! Every time I finish one of Caroline Mitchell's books I'm aware that I've spent the most part on the edge of my seat, mouth hanging open in shock and my heart hammering away! This was a real page turner with such a captivating plot. You can't help but like the fantastic Ruby Preston, who I absolutely ADORE. She's intelligently written and utterly captivating. I really like how her relationships with Nathan and daughter Cathy are interwoven with the case. It gives such a personal perspective in contrast to the professional side of Ruby and makes for a superbly well rounded character.

 

The case is shocking yet fascinating, like the scene of a car crash. The author is an expert at those twists and turns we just don't see coming...and there are plenty here. The story is intricate, dark and gripping, with great attention to detail. I was more than a little annoyed when life interrupted my reading time (much too often!) and I'm now eagerly awaiting my next fix of Detective Ruby Preston! Thanks to Bookouture for providing an ARC via NetGalley in return for my honest review.

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review 2017-04-25 12:14
Blog Tour for The Lost Children (D. I. Lucy Harwin #1) by Helen Phifer: My Review
The Lost Children - Helen Phifer

 

Lizzy pulled the covers over her head. Then she realised what was being dragged behind the person with the torch. She rammed her fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…

For decades, The Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now – when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to a gurney... 

Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging wrongs. 

What disturbing secrets lie within the asylum’s walls? Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children.

As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose? 

An absolutely terrifying and gripping thriller that will chill readers of MJ Arlidge, Angela Marsons and Rachel Abbott to the bone. 
 
Published by: Bookouture (21 March 2017)
 
ISBN: 978-1786811752
 
My rating: 5*
 
My review:
There are a lot of fantastic female crime writers around at the moment, and Helen Phifer proves she is no exception with this compelling introduction to Detective Lucy Harwin, who I absolutely LOVED from the outset! With her bright red hair, no-nonsense attitude and tattoos, I get the feeling we'd get on like a house on fire! I really like the way we get glimpses of her personal life and past as well as her work life. The same goes for her sergeant, Mattie Jackson. Lucy's personality shines through, and her relationship with Mattie, is brilliantly written. Their are comical moments that are a welcome relief among the chilling terror of the case they are working on. As for Lucy and Mattie...I think they are my new favourite police twosome.
 
The case itself is horrific and told both in the present time and from the perspective of a child in the asylum in 1975. It is completely gripping and I simply couldn't put it down. There are lots of twists and turns, it felt like I was on a rollercoaster! I was utterly mesmerised by the plot and the amazing attention to detail. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and find out what is in store next for Lucy and Mattie.
 
 
Buy The Lost Children:
 
About Helen Phifer

Helen Phifer’s love of reading began with Enid Blyton, before progressing on to Laura Ingals Wilder and scaring herself with Steven King. If she can’t write for any particular reason she finds herself getting itchy fingers and really irritable. She loves reading as much as writing and is also very fond of chocolate, Prosecco, The Lake District, New York, white Zinfandel wine, my children and grandchildren, my friends, porn star martini cocktails, Stephen King, watching scary films, Marilyn Monroe, Melissa McCarthy, Idris Elba, Simon Baker, Spandau Ballet, The Munsters and coffee. In no particular order.

 

Catch the rest of the blog tour here:

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