Friday, 21 July 2017

Review - Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls by Riley Sager
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Release date: 13 July 2017
Rating: *****
Back cover blurb: Each girl survived an unthinkable horror. Now someone wants them dead... They were called The Final Girls. Three young women who survived unimaginable horror. Three victims of separate massacres grouped together by the press. Three strangers bound by similar traumas. Lisa. Quincy. Samantha. When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same. 

Final Girls is a book that I've had on my virtual shelf for such a long time, waiting for the chance to be read properly - because I'd heard so many good things about it, that I wanted to take the time to read it slowly.

Ha! Impossible...

Final Girls is one of those novels, those page-turners that you just can't get enough of.

It is most definitely not a slow read. It is brilliant.

Quincy Carpenter aka Quinn is a successful baking blogger, living with her partner in a plush apartment that is worlds away from the tragedy of her past.

Quinn is also a 'final girl' - the lone survivor of a brutal murderous attack in which of all her college friends were killed.

So named after the last often lone female standing in horror movies, Quinn shares this accolade with two others, Lisa Milner and Samantha Boyd. She has never met either of them, but has kept tabs on them via the media.

When something terrible is reported to have happened to Lisa Milner, Quinn fears that she and Samantha may be in danger. Samantha turns up at Quinn's unannounced just days later and both of their lives are turned upside down once again.

Final Girls is an unexpected triumph of a novel - not to be missed!

Final Girls is available 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.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Review - Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry
Publisher: Penguin
Release date: 29 June 2017
Rating: **** and a half
Back cover blurb: Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning. Within an hour, one of them is dead. Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it. Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right. But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day. And only another life will do...

Blood Sisters is another brilliant novel from Jane Corry, author of My Husband's wife. The focus of this novel is on two sisters who couldn't be more different from each other are tied together by the events of the past.

Art teacher Alison runs a number of successful courses when she sees an advert for a job in a local prison. Although it is severely outside of her comfort zone, she decides to apply for the role anyway. No one is more surprised than Alison herself when she gets the job.

Kitty, lives in a care home, severely brain damaged after a tragic accident. Unable to speak or communicate clearly she regularly takes out her frustration on the other care home residents and staff. She can still think for herself, and is determined that she will one day speak again and tell everyone about the past.

Alison and Kitty couldn't be any more different. This novel is told from both sisters perspectives and I think this is essential in this particular novel for really getting under the characters skin. I'll be honest, neither Alison or Kitty are particularly agreeable - for differing reasons.

I found my loyalties were torn between the two of them as more twists and turns in the plot were unfolded, and by the end of the novel I really didn't like either of them.

Blood Sisters isn't just about Alison and Kitty though. Is it about female relationships, family trust and revenge. If you want something predictable, this isn't the novel for you, there are so many twists and turns and the revelations keep coming right until the final chapters, which is just how I like it!

Blood Sisters is 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.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

[Blog Tour] Review - Do not become alarmed by Maile Meloy

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
Publisher: Penguin
Release date: 6 July 2017
Rating: ****
Back cover blurb: When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship's safety. One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone. What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents - now turning on one another and blaming themselves - try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

Do Not Become Alarmed when the last minute shore excursion goes horribly wrong.

I mean, why on earth would you!?

Unless you'd done something to be ashamed of.

Unless you felt that everything that had gone wrong was somehow your fault...

When Liv decides to take her friend and cousin Nora on a luxury cruise with their respective families, she thinks that it will be a welcome holiday for them all. The adults all work hard all year round, and deserve to spend time with their kids.

And what better adventure for the kids than a cruise where they'll get to see so many more sights than a regular holiday. Sure the excusrsions can be a little pricey, but they are worth it, or do the families are led to believe.

Another couples presence at the dinner table one evening leads the mothers and fathers in different directions. The Dad's to play Golf and the Mum's with the kids on a zip wire adventure. It isn't until they go ashore and split that they wonder if it was the right thing to do.

A chain of unexpected events very quickly leads them to realise that it was most certainly the wrong thing to do. But it's too late to lay blame with any of the decision makers when your kids have seemingly vanished into thin air. They should be sticking together to help each other.

But as they begin searching for their children, the guilt and blame take over, and they begin to wonder if they ever really each other at all ...

Do Not Become Alarmed is available from Amazon online and al 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 follow the rest of the blog tour:

Friday, 14 July 2017

[Blog tour] Review - Ice Lake by John A Lenahan

Ice Lake by John A Lenahan
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release date: 15 June 2017
Back cover blurb: An electrifying debut crime novel and the first in the Harry Cull Series, set in the dark woods of North-Eastern Pennsylvania. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Peter May. A BODY IN THE WOODS. Deep in the woods of North-Eastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, once in the back of the head, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him. A MAN ON THE CASE. When psychologist Harry Cull arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation, he begins to unravel a web of lies and deceit that leads from the close-knit community to the dark heart of the Fracking industry. A KILLER ON THE HUNT. It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

Ice Lake is a brilliant debut crime novel and I'm thrilled that it's set to be a series because I'm a little bit in love with Harry Cull. He's just brilliant! 

Harry is a former cop turned psychologist who finds himself in the picturesque town of Ice Lake helping an old friend out "unofficially" with a murder investigation.

Trooper Cirba and Harry met in Vegas years before and struck up an unlikely friendship.

Ice Lake is a close knit community where outsiders are not necessarily made welcome. The murder victim Billy, wasn't exactly a golden child, he was well known to local police, but no one would have wished him dead.

Or so the locals think.

And that's where the mystery begins...

Because someone so obviously did want Billy dead. It seems that just when he might have been trying to educate himself and make a better life for himself, that he was discovering things that perhaps weren't supposed to be discovered.

And that made him a target for those who wanted those secrets to kept forever.

I loved the small town relationships in this novel, the relationships between Trooper Cirba and Harry, between the grumpy store owner Todd and Harry, and in particular the relationship between Harry and MJ, Harry's temporary (and very good looking) ext door neighbour.

Harry's willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done, even if that might be a little unorthodox, really warmed me to him as a character and I can't wait to see what he might get up to next. Roll on book no 2!

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

Ice Lake is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

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

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Review - Don't close your eyes by Holy Seddon

Don't Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon
Publisher: Atlantic Books (Corvus)
Release Date: 6 July 2017
Rating: **** and a half
Back cover blurb: Robin and Sarah weren't the closest of twins. They weren't even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another. Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches - watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn't... And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted - the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she's just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can't be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister. But Sarah isn't the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship...

The title of this novel, is worth heeding. This is novel that you don't want to miss a single second of. It is utterly gripping, twisted and brilliant.

Robin and Sarah are non identical twins whose world is torn apart by their mothers affair with a friend's father. But it appears the twins are the only ones who didn't see it coming, and their father has a rather 'cosy' relationship with the very same friend's mother.

Soon the two families merge and the twins father is more or less blackmailed into letting one of them move away with their mother to the United States of America where her new parter has landed a successful job.

The twins friend, Callum and Robin are to stay in the UK with Robin's father and Callum's mother. Robin is obviously distraught that her sister is leaving, but a little bit secretly pleased that she gets Callum all to herself as a friend, and no longer has to share him with her twin.

Fast forward a decade or so, and as singer, lead guitarist and songwriter in rock band, Working Wife, Robin has it all. Until one day her life crashes down around her ears. Now Robin is agoraphobic and hasn't left her home since abandoning her band in the middle of a tour.

Sarah has the life she's always wanted, a good looking man, beautiful baby. But she can't forget the past. And if the truth be known is a little jealous of her twin sister's success.

Told from both girls' perspectives, in both the present day and through the past, its clear that all is not as it seems for either of them, both growing up and in the present day.

But just how damaged are they by the past?

And can either of them ever truly move on?

Don't Close Your Eye is available 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.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

[Blog tour] Guest Post - 'The Setting' by Matthew Richardson

Today I am delighted to welcome Matthew Richardson to my blog, author of My Name Is Nobody.

In his guest post below Matthew talks about the setting of his novel.


On first arriving in Westminster there is one thing you notice above all others – the size of it. On the TV screen, it all looks vast and separate: the sweep of the Houses of Parliament, the long procession of Whitehall, and the stateliness of Buckingham Palace. In reality, those separate parts are within touching distance. People often talk about the ‘Westminster village’, except this is a village with a difference.

Within minutes of each other you have: the monarchy (Buckingham Palace), the government (Whitehall), the parliament (Palace of Westminster), the media (Millbank) and the intelligence services (Thames House and Vauxhall Cross).

You can comfortably stroll through the five key centres of power that shape everything in modern Britain – from whether we go to war to the details of our day to day lives. Behind the elegant fa├žade, thousands of people are engaged in the most secretive business in the land. It’s Midsomer with the nuclear codes.

When I set out to write My Name is Nobody, I wanted to capture the intimacy of it all. That meant taking the reader behind the curtain and showing how everything connected: from the elegant rooms inside the Palace of Westminster to the bustling chaos of the Red Lion pub. I now had my canvas.

That, in turn, gave me my story idea. Could you have both the feel of a small-town thriller while setting it at the heart of the world’s most global city? I wanted to show how, at any one time, you are rubbing shoulders with generals, journalists, spies and politicians. And how one event can ricochet through a community, affecting the lives of everyone within reach.

By putting the setting and the story idea together, I had my novel.

My Name Is Nobody is available from 13 July 2017.

You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour - and look out for my review, coming soon!