Sunday, 18 February 2018

Review - The Second Child by Caroline Bond

The Second Child by Caroline Bond
Publisher: Corvus
Release date: 22 March 2018
Back cover blurb: Why do you love your child? Is it because they’re a straight A student, a talented footballer? Or is it simply because they’re yours? Sarah and Phil love both their children, James and Lauren. The couple have the same hopes and aspirations as any parent. But their expectations are shattered when they discover that their perfect baby daughter has been born with a flaw; a tiny, but life-changing glitch that is destined to shape her future, and theirs, irrevocably. Over time the family adapt and even thrive. Then one day a blood test casts doubt on the very basis of their family. Lauren is not Phil’s child. Suddenly, their precious family is on the brink of destruction. But the truth they face is far more complex and challenging than simple infidelity. It tests their capacity to love, each other and their children, and it raises the question of what makes – and what breaks – a family.

Sarah and Phil’s happy family life is tuned upside down, after a blood test in their disabled daughter  Lauren's, regular routine, reveals something very out of the ordinary.

Something so shocking, and incomprehensible, that it surely can’t be real.

Or can it?

Lauren is not Phil's daughter.

As he struggles to comes to terms with his wife's potential infidelity, despite her protestations of innocence, another grenade is hurled in their direction.

Lauren is quite possibly not their biological daughter at all. 

From deep suspicion to unprecedented shock, Phil realises that he must pull himself together and quickly. The family need each other now more than ever.

They need to discover the truth, whatever that might be, and they must try not to fall apart whilst uncovering it.

The Second Child is available from 22 March 2018.
You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to and the publishers who sent me an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Blog tour - Writing Challenge (Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott)

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Come A Little Closer. Rachel Abbott has written the opening paragraph to a dark and twisty thriller and challenged bloggers to finish the story. Armed with just the opening paragraph and four key objects from Come a Little Closer, we have to finish the story she started. *Rachel’s part is in bold. 

Gemma had been afraid of the dark for as long as she could remember. As a child, she had blamed the cold, ancient house they had lived in – its endless corridors had too many closed doors for people to hide behind, too many secrets concealed in the shadows. But now there was no excuse. Her flat was modern, open, with huge windows.

It made no difference, though. Each night of the long winter months as she stood outside the block, she imagined all the doors she would have to pass before she reached her own, wondering if the lights in the hallway would be working, or whether they would flicker and go out, leaving her blind in the inky black void. Alone with her fear.

Perhaps she had always known that this day would come. She took a deep breath and stepped into the silent entrance, her heels tapping out a warning that she was coming on the polished concrete floor of the long corridor.*

As Gemma approached the flat and fumbled for her keys in her oversized handbag a glow from light of her smartphone caught her eye. Plucking the phone from its dedicated pocket she smiled at the notification and logged in to the app to read the Facebook post her best friend had tagged her in.

“Wish you were here....”

Selina smiling in the selfie with what looked like a glass of sweet sherry in her hand.

Only Selina thought Gemma to herself as she closed the app and shoved the phone back in her bag. If only I could get away... Selina was abroad somewhere, Gemma couldn’t recall exactly where, she was always jetting off somewhere.

Gemma finally let herself into her flat and flicked the light switch in the pitch black hallway. She cursed to herself when nothing happened and the hallway is still in darkness. The single lightbulb unwilling to cooperate. Thoughts of the bath she was planning to have vanish from her mind as her irrational fear of the dark takes over.


Gemma called out into the empty hallway knowing there was no one there but feeling petrified all the same.



Gemma jumps about a foot in the air before realising it’s her mother’s voice on the answering machine, coming from the living room. The sound magnified in the darkness when Gemma was already scared half to death.

What does she want now? Gemma thought rather uncharitably. Couldn’t it wait? Her mother’s voice at least encourages Gemma to leave the darkened hallway.

She successfully flicks the light switch in the living room bathing the room in harsh lighting, which some would hate, but Gemma prefers it that way. She crosses the room to play back the message and is once more frozen to the spot in fear.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour:

Come A Little Closer is available to buy now via Amazon online

My Review will follow soon.

Come A Little Closer:

Release date: 15 February 2018

Publisher: Black Dot

Back cover blurb: They will be coming soon. They come every night. They will be coming soon. They come every night. Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said. Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said. These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family… When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die? Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?

About the Author:

Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again and The Sixth Window. Her most recent novel, Come a Little Closer, is available from February 2018.

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages and her books have sold over 2.8 million copies in the English language.

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel’s website, or follow her on Twitter.
Rachel’s website can be found at

Website :
Blog :
Facebook :
Twitter: @RachelAbbott

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Blog Tour - Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Publisher: Little Brown UK
Release date: 8 February 2018
Back cover blurb: FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK...  Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them. Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side. The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with. Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

The Dry was one of my favourite novels of 2018 so I had high expectations for Force of Nature and I was not disappointed.

Force of Nature opens with the focus on five women and five men from family firm, BaileyTennant on a corporate retreat (read expensive team building exercise) to the Giralang Ranges. Equipped only with camping equipment, maps, compasses and enough food and water for surviving in the outback for three days. 

The two groups are sent their separate ways. The men arriving back at base three days later, with plenty of jokes about women’s navigational skills and timekeeping. The jokes soon stop as only four women make it to the final checkpoint, arriving several hours late. 

Alice Russell is missing and most of the women injured in one form or another. Just what happened out there?

When Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk is woken in the middle of the night by his police partner Carmen, he assumes it’s related to the investigation they are working on together into BaileyTennants. It is, but not in the way he’d imagined.

When he turns on the TV to see reports of “Missing Alice Russell” his heart sinks. Have the police put the key witness in a monumental whistleblowing case in danger? Fall and Carmen head to Giralang Ranges to join the hunt for Alice.

The four women who were on the corporate retreat with her all have very different stories to tell. Each one insistent that Alice left the group of her own accord and it was nothing to do with them. FLj is certain none of them are telling the truth, but who is hiding what and why?

What really happened to Alice Russell ? Well you'll have to read for yourself to find out...

Force of Nature is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who sent me an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Don't forget to check out my follow blog tour hosts;

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Review - Close To Home by Cara Hunter

Close to Home by Cara Hunter
Publisher: Penguin 
Release date: 14 December 2017
Back cver blurb: SOMEONE TOOK DAISY MASON... SOMEONE YOU KNOW. The RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB pick everyone is raving about, this pulse-pounding thriller about the search for a missing child is perfect for fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR. 'One of the best crime thrillers I have ever read' Kathryn Croft HOW CAN A CHILD GO MISSING WITHOUT A TRACE? Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything - or at least that's what they're saying. DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it's someone the victim knew. That means someone is lying... And that Daisy's time is running out.

Close To Home was a novel that continually surprised me. Just when I thought I knew exactly what was coming next, a surprise twist was thrown in taking the novel in a new direction.

The first novel of a new series featuring DI Adam Farley, I look forward to reading more from this author.

When Eight year old Daisy Mason goes missing from a family BBQ, DI Adam Farley is one of the first on the scene. His suspicions are immediately drawn to the family, in cases like these someone close to home usually knows something however much they profess not to.

Naturally the police are keen to find out who the last person to see Daisy was, and the last known time she was seen. Easy enough you would think, as Daisy was dressed in fancy dress, as a Daisy!

However it seems that eight year old girls are fans of dressing up and that Daisy wasn’t in a Daisy costume after all, and no one seems to know what she was wearing that evening having swapped costumes with a friend but not telling anyone.

Was Daisy even at the party? Did she come home from school that day? What secret was she keeping from her best friends?

These are all questions that DI Farley needs answering, and fast, if Daisy is to be found alive.

Close to home I think is the only novel I’ve ever read that doesn’t have specific chapters and I did find this a little odd to begin with, but once I’d gotten used to it I realised it’s purpose. Sometimes harrowing details are interspersed with Social media content and police interviews, I don’t think this novel would have worked any other way. 

Close To Home is available now via Amazon online and all good books shops.

Thank You to the publishers who sent me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Review - The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Release date: 8 February 2018
Back cover blurb: Do you remember when you believed in magic? It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is a place of hope and enchantment. The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles of their own. Into this family business comes young Cathy Wray, running away from a shameful past. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that the Emporium has secrets of its own… 

When Cathy Wray runs from her family, after seeing an advert in the newspaper for helpers at Papa Jack's emporium, she is scared but cautiously optimistic for the future.

The advert that entices her would be intriguing to most:
Help Wanted: Are you lost? Are you afraid? Are you a child at heart? So are we...

The emporium is a magical toy store which opens with the first frost of winter and closes with the flowering of the first snowdrops. At the heart of the emporium is owner Jekabs Godman (Papa Jack).

Papa Jack along with his sons, Emil and Kaspar make wonderful toys, with more than just a touch of magic; toy soliders that seem to have their own personality and can seemingly fight battles on their own, Patchwork dogs and other animals that seem to be alive, and toy boxes that are bigger on the inside than on the outside.

Cathy has never worked in any sort of shop at all, much less a wonderful shop with a fascinating and brilliant reputation as London’s ‘premier merchant of toys and childhood paraphernalia’. Papa Jack takes a chance on Cathy when she turns up unwittingly one opening night, their busiest of the year.

She expects only to stay for one ‘season’ but the magic of the store captures Cathy’s heart at a time when she is at her most desperate. Her life is turned upside down by the emporium but that’s really all I can say without giving anymore away.

The Toymakers is a magical novel that will truly capture your imagination and really does has something for everyone.

The Toymakers is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who sent me an advanced proof copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Review - Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama trans. Louise Heal Kawai

Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama trans. Louise Heal Kawai
Publisher: Quercus Books
Release date: 8 February 2018
Back cover blurb: 1985. Kazumasa Yuuki, a seasoned reporter at the North Kanto Times, runs a daily gauntlet against the power struggles and office politics that plague its newsroom. But when an air disaster of unprecedented scale occurs on the paper's doorstep, its staff are united by an unimaginable horror, and a once-in-a-lifetime scoop. 2003. Seventeen years later, Yuuki remembers the adrenaline-fuelled, emotionally charged seven days that changed his and his colleagues' lives. He does so while making good on a promise he made that fateful week - one that holds the key to its last unsolved mystery, and represents Yuuki's final, unconquered fear.

Seventeen is the second of Hideo Yokoyama’s translated novels that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and if anything I enjoyed it more than the first, which is not always the case with second novels, particularly translated ones.

Japan Airlines (JAL) Flight 123 provides the background for this novel which centres around Kazumasa Yuuki, a reporter for the North Kanto Times (NKT). Yuuki is about to embark on a climbing expedition with his best friend at the paper Anzai when disaster strikes.

A jumbo jet has crashed, literally on the newspapers doorstep with an unprecedented loss of life.

Seventeen years later and Yuuki is about to try the same expedition again with Anzai's son. Just getting to the bottom of the mountain throws him back in time to that fateful week in which disaster struck Japan.

Described as an investigative thriller set in the aftermath of an air disaster, Seventeen isn’t a thriller as we would perhaps usually know them in the UK, but there is something with this novel that left me unable to put it down. 

I’ve previously read that Hideo Yokoyama regards the crime as the least interesting part of the stories he tells. The crime in this novel could be perceived as the horrific crash that causes the investigation that NKT are keen to get to the heart of, or it could be the way that these events are covered by NKT and other news channels.

Whatever the crime, the way that Hideo Yokoyama tells the story is certainly the most interesting I've read in a while...

Seventeen is available from 8 February 2018.
You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.