Friday, 24 April 2015

Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review....

This story is based and set in Haven where not much really happens until D.C. Jennifer Knight is called out to deal with a routine stabbing between a local down and out drug dealer Johnny Mallet and a well known retired criminal Mike Stone, she doesn't think anything of it except a drug deal gone bad.
But something isn't right here.  Jennifer's questioning of herself throughout this book, is Jennifer losing it or is there something else happening? As the body count rises, there's something more  Is someone trying to send her a message from beyond the grave and if so, who??

And then there's Frank, Caroline has put so much depth and thought into this character that at times I could feel him beside me, breathing on me (maybe I shouldn't have read it at night in bed) but at times you can't help feeling a bit sorry for him and I was feeling this way when reading it.

The characters worked so well together, Jennifer with her neglected childhood and her own secrets and Will her partner and their special connection.  I loved them both, they'd a great working relationship that came across really well in the story and there were a few parts where I was laughing at the two of them with the banter they were having with each other.

When I first read the blurb about this book and that it was paranormal, I was a bit apprehensive about it as I don't really think paranormal works well in books but how wrong was I!?  This was a fantastic debut novel by Caroline Mitchell.  It was certainly a creepy story that had me hooked from the prologue, an excellent thriller, Caroline was able to add a certain twist to the story that I wasn't expecting and took me completely out of my comfort zone.  There were parts in the book I could feel my heart thumping so it's definitely not for the fainthearted.  I am really looking forward to Caroline's next book already where I'm hoping it won't be too long until another DC Jennifer Knight Novel is upon us (no pressure).

This is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is published on 24th April  2015.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis

Thanks to I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review...

There had always been the six of us, since they met at university twenty-five years ago, they'd faced everything together. Break-ups, marriages, motherhood and death. They were closer than sisters, their lives bled into each other.  But that was before the night of the reunion. The night of exposed secrets and jagged accusations. The night when everything changed.

And then they were five.....

This is the first book that I've read by Tina Seskis, I didn't realise that this book was previously released and published under the title A SERPENTINE AFFAIR. I really enjoyed this book from the very first page, the style of writing was perfect as the story flowed really well throughout. It reminded me alot of been in been in college, hanging out with friends where we'd continue to be lifelong friends.

This was no way a chic-lit book, more of a thriller as the chapters gathered pace and webs of lies were spun and secrets kept that they all hoped would be kept that way forever. I really liked the way the chapters were set in both the past and the present as it explained how these girls became friends.

I would recommend this for readers who like thrillers or mysteries with a twist but if you're looking for a read about love, friendship and how far people will go to keep secrets buried then grab this book, curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and a large bar of chocolate and sink into the story.

When We Were Friends will available on Kindle and published in paperback on 23rd April 2015.

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary


Thanks to & Headline I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.....

The story opens with a prologue from five years ago where two little boys were put in and left in an underground bunker. Now, in the present their bodies have been found and it's up to DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jakes to find out who put them there and why they did.  Nobody likes a case involving small children, but Marnie likes one even less when there's 14 year old boys may be involved; especially when 14 year old boys who may have something in common with the one who killed her parents.
As I had only finished Someone Else's Skin in the past few weeks, it was ideal that I was able to start this so soon after.  This was an absoutely brilliant book, I think even better than Sarah Hilary's debut. I didn't just like it, I absolutely LOVED it and  I will admit that I found parts of the story hard to read and in places it made my skin crawl but it definitely didn't disappoint.

Sarah Hillary has skillfully drawn the threads of the plot together so all the pieces fall into place but leave us with a sense of wanting more and leaves you hungry to see what happens next and I couldn't read it fast enough, it had me gripped from the first few pages right through to the end.  It was very well researched and written too. I'm really looking forward to Sarah's next book already and really hope it won't be too long until it's released.

No Other Darkness is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores from 23rd April 2015.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw

Thanks to Frances Gough and Headline/Tinder Press, I recieved a copy of this in exchange for an honest review....

"In Japan we have a saying: If you want to see your life, you have to see it through the eyes of another. But what if what you see is not what you want to know"

 The story starts off taking us to a rainy Paris where retired police Inspector Jovert receives a letter from a woman claiming to be his daughter.  On that same day, he receives a curious visit from Japanese professor Omura, who wants to tell him a tale of his ward, Fumiko, and his old friend, Ikedo.  As Jovert starts pieceing together the puzzle of Omura's life, he can't help but draw parallels with his own, for he too has lead a life that's been extraordinary and dangerous - and based upon a lie.

This book started off really well and I was gripped and intrigued, it is a very well constructed, a well written novel and while I can appreciate that others could enjoy this book but I’m afraid it left me indifferent.  I found parts of it confusing and found myself flicking back a couple of pages to re-reading it again and I also found myself at times skimming through parts of it also, sadly it wasn't for me as I thought there were too many characters and their stories been intertwined in this novel.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.....

Anna was a good wife, mostly . . .

Meet Anna Benz, an American in her late 30's and  lives with her husband and three young children in Dietlikon, a picture-perfect suburb of Zurich. Anna is a very complicated character who is depressive and narcissistic and has alot of problems where she attends an therapist but is falling apart inside.  In order to escape this she tries to mask it by engaging in short-lived but intense sexual affairs. She lies to everyone, her husband, therapist, friends and her lovers.

Is her affair about to be exposed??  Unfortunately, Anna crosses a line where she sets off a terrible chain of events that ends in an unspeakable tragedy.  Her life crashes down around her, Anna must then discover where one must go when there is no going back.

Yes, I really enjoyed this book but at times it is an uncomfortable read.  It was gripping, extremely sensual with some steamy scenes added in, raw and incredibly sad in parts.  I found I had a little tear in my eye at the end along with shedding a few along the way, so grab this book, curl up on the couch and prepare to have a few lump in your throat moments too.  It definitely didn't disappoint.  I would even go as far to say that Haudfrau IS definitely a must read for book clubs because there is no way a person can read this one without having a strong opinion.

Hausfrau is been compared to being the new Fifty Shades of Grey but I have to disagree, having read all 3 books in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, I thought that Hausfrau was SO much better, it was well written with strong characters and it had a really good, believable story.

This is Jill Alexander Essbaum's debut novel and I look forward to reading her next book (no pressure) but I will definitely read more of her work.

Hausfrau is available on Kindle and from all good bookstores.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Liar's Chair by Rebecca Whitney

Thanks to Same Eades and PanMacmillan I received this in exchange for an honest review.......

Rachel Teller is married to David, they appear to be very happy.  They have everything, the big house and a very successful business where they're partners.

However, David is a very controlling person in the marraige, not an ounce of love is shown by David towards Rachel which fuels their relationship but David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. When Rachel kills a man in a hit and run, the meticulously maintained veneer over their life begins to crack.
When Rachel comes clean and tells David what really happened, he destroys all evidence of the accident and he even insists they continue as normal. Rachel is completely racked with guilt and as her behaviour becomes increasingly self-destructive she not only inflames David's darker side, but also uncovers her own long-suppressed childhood memories of shame.  Can Rachel confront her past and atone for her terrible crime? Not if her husband has anything to do with it......

The Liar's chair is a very clever, yet disturbing, debut novel by Rebecca Whitney, which looks at the psychological turbulence of being trapped in a venomous and toxic marriage.  I didn't like it, I absolutely LOVED it and it definitely didn't disappoint.  I was completely gripped from the first few pages up until I turned the last page and I admit I hated David from the start.  I really can't wait until Rebecca's next book (no pressure) but I will definitely read more of her work.

The Liar's Chair is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Disclaimer by Reneé Knight

Thanks to NetGalley & Transworld Publishers, I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review....

Meet Catherine Ravenscroft, a woman who seems to have an almost perfect and happy life when we first meet her in this novel.  She is married to husband Robert and they both have a successful and high status career – Robert is in law and Catherine in television. They have one grown son, Nicholas, who but he has since moved out.

Not long after moving into their new home, one day Catherine discovers a novel sitting on her beside locker, The Perfect Stranger by EJ Preston, she picks it up to start reading it and to her horror realises that it's about her own life and something that has happened more than 20 years ago, a secret that she has kept.  Who has written it though?  Is someone trying to expose her secret that she's been keeping buried for so long or is it a case of revenge?  Is the secret that Catherine's been keeping the real truth or is there something more sinister to this the secret?  Are secrets best kept buried or should the truth always be told?

This is Reneé Knight's debut novel and what a debut it was, it was like a rollercoaster ride, gripping and it certainly made my pulse race with so many twists and turns which kept me hooked.  I didn't just like it, I LOVED it and it definitely didn't disappoint.  I can't wait until Reneé's next book (no pressure) and I will definitely read more of her work.  I would even go as far to say that this is one the best books I've read so far this year and would HIGHLY recommend it.

This is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and is published on 9th April.