Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Review - the Escape by C.L. Taylor

The Escape by C.L. Taylor
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Release date: 23 March 2017
Rating: *****
Back cover blurb: Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…" When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't. The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise. What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

C.L. Taylor's novels get better every time. Her Fourth is no exception.

Jo Blackmore is easily startled. An agoraphobic suffering with extreme anxiety, after the premature death of her unborn son. she must stay strong for her two year old daughter Elise.

When a stranger, Paula asks Jo for a lift, Jo's first instinct is to say 'No'.

But Paula gets into the car anyway.

She has a glove belonging to Jo's daughter Elise, and she knows both her and her husbands name. But how? She claims to have a Son loving on the same street as the Blackmore's but Jo is convinced that this is a lie, and a manages to throw Paula out of the car and avoid giving her a lift.

Somehow she knows that this isn't the last of Paula she's going to see.

After picking Elise up from nursery in an anxious state, Jo wants to call the Police, but Max persuades her not to. Jo knows he thinks she is being irrational because of her anxiety, but she does understand where he's coming from. Even if she doesn't agree with him.

When Paula turns up practically on Jo's doorstep, Jo realises that both she and her daughter and in extreme danger.

But who on earth is Paula? And what does she want with them?

Max is no help, Jo knows that the more hysterical she becomes, the less inclined he is to believe her. Jo knows that she only has one option, to get away.

But even then will she be truly safe?

The Escape is a truly gripping novel that will make you question who you can really trust. Highly recommended.

The Escape is available from 23 March 2017.
You can pre-order it now via Amazon online.

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

Monday, 20 March 2017

Review - The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Review - Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey

Let the Dead speak by Jane Casey
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release date: 9 March 2017
Rating: *****
Back cover blurb: When an 18-year-old girl returns home to find her house covered in blood and her mother missing, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth..When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds Kate, her mother, missing and the house covered in blood. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder. Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. In the absence of a body, she and maverick detective Josh Derwent turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter definitely has something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighbourhood’s favourite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat or is there more behind the charismatic fa├žade? As the accusations fly, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of conflicting testimonies, none of which quite add up. Who is lying, who is not? The answer could lead them to the truth about Kate Emery, and save the life of someone else.

Let the Dead speak is Detective Maeve Kerrigan novel Number 7, and the first one of Jane Casey's novels that I've had the pleasure of reading. It is a novel that has a dark and foreboding atmosphere right from it's outset.

When Eighteen Year Old Chloe Emery returns home early from a weekend away with her Father to find her family home saturated in blood, her Mother nowhere to be found.

It is a living nightmare.

Chloe has led a sheltered live since her parents split years previously. Her Mother Kate is ridiculously overprotective and wants Chloe to rely solely upon her. Growing up Chloe has been assessed by many different psychologists, her Mother keen to pin a diagnosis on her, the psychologists coming to the conclusion that Chloe has a mental age of someone much younger.

When DS Maeve Kerrigan arrives at the scene, Chloe is immediately removed from the house, deep in shock, she is sent across the road to stay with her religious neighbours the Norris's. With her colleague Josh Derwent to assist, Maeve begins a thorough search of the bloodied house.

It is clearly the scene of a horrific murder.

But where on earth is Kate's body?

And more importantly who has killed her?

With no body and seemingly no motive for Kate's murder, everyone on the street where she lived is a suspect as well as her ex-husband, his new wife and their children. DS Kerrigan and her team must work quickly to find her killer before anyone else is put in danger.

Let the Dead Speak is a gripping novel with plenty of surprises for even the most prolific crime thriller reader.

Let The Dead Speak is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who invited me to view this title via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Review - The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott

The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott
Publisher: Black Dot Publishing
Release date: 21 February 2017
Rating: ****
Back cover blurb: THE TRUTH HURTS – BUT LIES ARE DEADLY. After eighteen months of grieving for her husband Bernie, killed in a horrific hit and run accident, Natalie Gray has found love with her husband’s best friend - Ed Cooper - and has moved herself and fifteen-year-old daughter, Scarlett, into his home. But Natalie begins to suspect Ed has a dark side - and even darker intentions. Desperate to get her daughter to a place of safety, she and Scarlett move to a new home that holds secrets of its own. But has removing Scarlett from one potential threat placed her in far greater danger? DCI Tom Douglas is also chasing the truth, as his investigation into the suicide of a teenage girl draws him ever closer to Natalie and Scarlett. But will he be too late to protect them from the peril they face, or from the truths that will tear their lives apart?

The Sixth Window is another brilliant novel from Rachel Abbott. From it's dramatic opening to its chilling conclusion it's a novel that will grip you from start to finish.

Bernie Gray, a respected Police Officer is tragically killed in a hit and run. A year later his widow Natalie and daughter Scarlett are living with Bernie's best friend, Ed.

Also a police officer, Ed makes Natalie feel safe. Until something happens to make Natalie question if Ed is all he appears to be and how well she really knows her late husband's best friend.
Moving her and Scarlett across Manchester away from Ed's home, seems like a good idea to Natalie. She needs to be close to her daughter and she needs to be away from Ed. Finding a small flat for the both of them, seems like a perfect solution.
When the investigation into Bernie's death is reopened, Natalie is pleased. She wants to bring whoever killed her husband to justice. Scarlett is not so sure, for she is harbouring a secret about her Father and an argument they had on the morning he was killed.
She is certain that her Father was having an affair, and doesn't want her Mother to ever have to find out. Bernie was put on a pedestal by Natalie and Scarlett doesn't see why death should change this.
But as the investigation gathers pace, and the world around Scarlett is changing, she realises that she can't hold on to secrets forever.
Alongside the investigation into Bernie Gray's death, DCI Tom Douglas investigates a teen suicide. It seems the most unlikely of coincidences, but something brings the two investigations together in a way that no one would have believed possible.
Gripping from the outset, the Sixth Window is a novel that demands the readers attention, and will probably still have it long after it's been finished.

The Sixth Window is available now via Amazon online.

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

Friday, 10 March 2017

Review - The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty

The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Release date: February 2017
Rating: ****
Back cover blurb: Joni, Trina, Deb and Eden. Best friends since the first day of school. Best friends, they liked to say, forever. But now they are in their thirties and real life - husbands, children, work - has got in the way. So, resurrecting their annual trip away, Joni has an idea, something to help them reconnect. Each woman will write an anonymous letter, sharing with their friends the things that are really going on in their lives. But as the confessions come tumbling out, Joni starts to feel the certainty of their decades-long friendships slip from her fingers. Anger. Accusations. Desires. Deceit. And then she finds another letter. One that was never supposed to be read. A fifth letter. Containing a secret so big that its writer had tried to destroy it. And now Joni is starting to wonder, did she ever really know her friends at all? 

The Fifth Letter is the first Nicola Moriarty novel that I have read, I understand in fact that it is her debut, and a mighty fine debut it is.

The Fifth Letter follows a group of four women, who've been friends since School. They holiday annually together and have remained great friends through great change; university/college, marriages, miscarriage, infertility etc.

It is whilst on one of these annual trips that the group of friends decide to write the others an anonymous letter. There will be four letters, one from each of the individuals to the others in the group.

A confession to something that no one else knows, despite their closeness. Something that they have hidden from the others for years.

What starts of as a bit of a drunken joke, quickly becomes serious, and one of the four gets up in the middle of the night to destroy her original letter and write another. With good reason. Her original letter is vicious, poisonous even, towards another in the group.

Realising her mistake, she vows to get rid of the first letter that she has written. But when you are with a group of friends so close, is it really possible to hide your darkest secrets from them?

For a good while I was certain that I knew who had written the Fifth letter (turns out I was eventually right) but the author kept me guessing with a good few twists and turns before revealing it's author.

The Fifth Letter is available 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.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Review - Quieter than killing by Sarah Hilary

Quieter than killing by Sarah Hilary
Publisher: Headline
Release date: 9 March 2017
Rating: *****
back cover blurb: Sometimes staying silent is the only way to survive. 'You only ever ask that. Why did I do it? You never ask what they did.' The winter cold is biting, and a series of assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out into the frosty, mean streets of London far more than they'd like. The attacks seem random, but when Marnie's family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by a child - and someone who knows all about her. It will take a prison visit to her foster brother, Stephen, to help Marnie see the connections - and to force both her and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. For how can a damaged child really leave their past behind them?
I'm not sure how she does it, but somehow each of Sarah Hilary's novels surpasses the one before. Quieter than killing is the fourth instalment in the DI Marnie Rome series. They can be read alone, but I would recommend you get your hands on the others if you can - purely because they are so good!

A series of violent attacks has left two people seriously injured and another dead. All have previous criminal convictions so it seems an easy enough case for Rome and Jake. Find the vigilante, arrest them, job done.

If only....

When Marnie Rome's former family home is attacked, her tenants left badly beaten, it appears that there may be links to Marnie's foster brother, Stephen. But he is safely behind bars having committed a heinous crime years earlier.
Marnie reluctantly pays Stephen a visit, and gets more than she bargained for. Everything is pointing to his involvement, and when she questions him around this, he tells her that she needs to start looking closer to home.
His suggestion is ludicrous to Marnie, what he is proposing happened, that led him to his original crime. But with a murder investigation underway, and very little to go on, Marnie is forced to take into account every single thing she is told.
Whether she believes it to be true or not...
Quieter than killing allows us to get closer to Rome and Jake than we have been previously allowed, and what we already know about them is reiterated. They are both equally determined to come to the right result no matter whether that means compromising relationships, colleagues opinions of them, or having sleepless nights.
They are the ultimate team. And thank goodness they are for the case they are tasked with solving in this novel. Equally chilling (in more ways than one) and thrilling, Quieter than killing is possibly my favourite Sarah Hilary novel yet, and that ending?! Well, I literally cannot wait for book Five!

Quieter Than Killing is available from 9 March 2017.
You can pre-order it now via Amazon online.

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