#BookReview The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances #thriller #Netgalley

Laura loves her son, Daniel, and is excited to have him nearby again as he finishes University and moves back to London to start his new job soon. However, she soon realised she won’t have him to herself when he meets and becomes smitten by the beautiful Cherry. Cherry has always wanted to leave her humble beginnings behind and sees Daniel as a way out of what she considers everyday drudgery. 

As Cherry and Laura face off, an avalanche of manipulation ensues driving Laura further from the ones she loves, but how far will Cherry go to get what she wants? 

I loved the chess moves played by Cherry and Laura to monopolise Daniel and I think the politics between them kept me turning the pages. Neither character was particularly likeable but Laura had my sympathy throughout this read. 

However, what I liked less whilst reading this was a sense of overdramatic events and the only character I really was interested in reading about was Cherry’s mum and I wished there was more of her. 

As a psychological thriller this didn’t breach any new barriers but it’s a perfect beach read and is entertaining enough to be recommended. 

Links To Book:

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#BookReview Dominoes by Grace Jelsnik #thriller #Tuesdaybookblog

​Detective Stephen Corcoran turns to his sister, Reggie to catch a particularly brutal killer but Reggie’s connection to the killer works both ways and he knows she is watching. Stephen’s cynical partner, Zack is a seasoned detective and both find themselves in a race against time to catch the killer as they protect Reggie.

I loved this crime thriller for its supernatural angle and the banter between the two detectives. Reggie was a compelling character to read and her complicated and strained relationship with her large family also made this read more interesting. 

I got so caught up in this book, I couldn’t stop reading it until I had reached the end. The romance between Zack and Reggie was well paced and not at all cringeworthy. A definite hit for me from an author I have not read before. 

Links To Book:

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#BookReview The Girl Before by JP Delaney #psychological #thriller

1 Folgarth Street is a minimalist technology ridden monument that the residents of the street hate and the very discerning architect and landlord, rarely leases out to, whom he considers worthy tenants. This psychological thriller tells the story of two women, Emma, a previous tenant and Jane, a prospective tenant of 1 Folgarth Street. As both women pursue their applications to live in the property after major life events and are approved the lease, which comes with a list of 200 rules, affects them in ways that seem to mirror each other, but in a game of many potential pitfalls, who will be the one standing.

This highly publicised psychological thriller is apparently going to have the Hollywood treatment by Ron Howard and although I could see it coming to the screens as more than a passable thriller as a thriller book it didn’t impact on me as strongly as I hoped it would. This may have been due to the two protagonists Emma and Jane not being convincingly the damsel in distress you would feel sorry for and the complex nature of all the characters in the book diluting the surprises of the twists and turns that the plot took.

I didn’t dislike the book, it was a reasonably gripping thriller but it wasn’t the breathtaking affair I hoped it would be.

Links To Book:

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#BookReview Code Breaker: An Alex Hastings Novella by AJ Trevors

Alex Hastings has been gifted in the art or hacking and other technical stuff since his formative years, however, when he got caught it altered his destiny as he was adopted and taught to respect the law. His adopted parent and mentor Tobias changed the course of his life but Alex has never forgotten or forgiven his first mentor and when an opportunity arises to face him again he takes the challenge, but isn’t prepared for the shock of his life which has him on the run in an ultimate battle.

Easy and quick to read, this novella easily captured my imagination and fuelled my curiosity as I rooted for Alex to win the fight against all odds. An interesting series to watch for.

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

Advance #BookReview The Watcher by Ross Armstrong #Thriller

​An avid bird watcher, Lily lives in a new build of flats on the site of a slowly dismantling council estate. Lily is not just watching birds but seems to be an intuitive people watcher. As is usual in London she doesn’t know her neighbours by name but she has assigned them personalities and names based on her observation. When Lily catches a glimpse of something that looks like an assault, she cannot let it go, but wanders unwittingly into the crosshairs of a killer. 

The narrative in this thriller is fishy to say the least from the beginning and I felt a sense of deception or delusion straightaway from Lily. However, as I read on it became harder to distinguish what was perceived and what was real in Lily’s world. I found Lily, nonetheless a compelling and edgy character and it was partially my attachment to her and finding the culprit in the whodunit that kept me turning pages to the end.

My biggest bugbear of this read was the pace which I found slow in places and together with an unreliable narrator made puzzling reading from time to time. However, my overall admiration for the book prevails as a tale intriguingly told.

This book will be available for purchase from 29th December 2016.
Links To Book:

Amazon UK

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Choosing Books

There’s absolutely nowhere else on the planet that my heart swings and sings so much than a bookshop. However, since 2007, my first Kindle e-reader, I leave bookshops mostly empty handed. 

There’s something to be said about volumes of novels laid out in front of you, taking up space and represented in colour. I never know quite where to start when I get in the shop, but find myself gravitating to the book charts. This gives me an idea of what others are reading (and buying). It’s an opportunity to see if I fit into community and it’s popular culture.

I then look at new releases, this section is increasingly familiar as I am fortunate to read a handful of books pre-release and I secretly hope the ones I have loved do well. Next I browse the crime thriller and horror sections, I always fervently hope I will find hidden gems here. 

The literary fiction section has me writing down the most titles I need to read. At this point a fierce debate rages in my head between knowing I could get the book cheaper online or free from my local library and buying the well packaged end products of some very serious marketing.

Before I leave the shop I find myself scanning the miscellaneous products for the ever increasingly rare item, the bookmark. The bookmark seems to have disappeared from the shelves of bookshops and when I do make the effort to ask a sales assistant if they have any, I’m met by the negative and embarrassed quizzical expression, as if the concept of marking where you are in a book is a foreign, if not, taboo practice altogether. 

Finally, I leave before I succumb to buying things that take up space and have little functional purpose. 

Advance #BookReview Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult #literary fiction 

​A powerful story about Ruth, an experienced midwife (or Labor and Delivery Room Nurse as they are called in the U.S), who has been directed to have no involvement in the care of a baby boy because of her race, but when she is left to observe the infant momentarily as the department is shorthanded, he arrests and her care of the baby is questioned leading to her being charged with murder of the infant. 

This is another well-crafted and compelling read from master storyteller, Jodi Picoult, who shows tremendous depth of understanding once again as she delves into the question of racism and equity. The story unfolds from numerous points of view including Ruth, her lawyer and the father of the baby. I found each of these voices very convincing as the characters are well written. 

This book undoubtedly deals with some very unsettling and uncomfortable themes, but I felt enlightened and full of self-reflection once I had finished the book. Although I was consumed about what was going to happen to Ruth, part of me did feel a little sceptical about the escalation of the matter to a criminal court case, but suspending my doubts on the plausibility of the story proceeding in the direction it did, the strength of this read was in the depth of the characters and the issue of race and racism, both active and passive. 

An electrifying legal drama to boot, there’s a lot going on in this novel and I cannot recommend it enough. This book will be available for purchase from the 22nd November 2016.

Links To Book: 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

#BookReview The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards #Thriller

​Sophie returns to work after her daughter is four years old. She has her dream job with children’s book publisher, Jackdaw Books, but the job is tainted by what happened to Sophie at University, something she has kept from coming to mind for fifteen years. Is her new job everything she hoped for, or are darker forces at play looking for revenge?

This psychological thriller was a joy to read and a very polished novel in terms of its editing and the rate of the plot. Parts that were supposed to be atmospherically creepy and suspenseful were so without feeling rushed and the speed of the story didn’t noticeably vary.

I was particularly impressed with reference to earlier work seamlessly slotted into the novel, as an avid reader of Mark Edwards’ books, this was a treat. Also reference to the book in the story whilst I was reading it was very clever and intriguing indeed.

Definitely within the top ten thrillers of my 2016, I highly recommend this dark psychological thriller that will inevitably keep you up at night. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

Library Membership

It’s been years since I had membership of a physical library. Some of my earliest formative memories are of living in Romford, Essex and walking to the library for books with my mother and brother. 

Libraries have always played an important part in my life, up until the time I was no longer inclined to go out. However, in 2015, in a run of positive actions I renewed my passport and driving license allowing me to apply for a library membership.

Birmingham has a number of libraries other than the rather extensive and ornate central library that has come to be identified as a symbol of the city. My husband has a library card and up until recently he took out books for me to read. However, I found my local library in Kings Heath quite overwhelming and also unsatisfactory when it came to finding books I wanted to read.

With my own membership this year, which I completed weeks ago online, I also discovered the online facilities that as me to reserve books from across the city and pick them up from my local library. 

Rather excitedly I got straight onto making sure my online login worked and started reserving books straightaway. My first haul of four library books were a mixture of new books I really wanted to read by favourite authors and books I would have purchased and never read again.

I’m halfway through reading the four books I borrowed and will be returning the two I have read and reviewed. I will be waiting in great anticipation for any of the ten I have currently reserved to become available for collection locally, thus making good use of a valuable local resource. 

Advance Book Review: Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Edie moved away and cut her ties with her Mum seventeen years ago, after something happened that she dares not think about even after all these years. So she is more than alarmed when her old friend, Heather shows up. Heather was also somehow part of events that lead to Edie leaving, but when she suffers with postnatal depression Heather takes care of her and her baby daughter, Maya.

However, unable to put her unease about Heather and their shared past behined, Edie asks her to leave. But soon she starts receiving anonymous phone calls and thinks Heather is stalking her. Does her old friend intend her harm?

Told from two points in time the present and seventeen years ago when the girls met, this gripping psychological thriller fills in the blanks of what happened to Edie and Heather’s friendship but will leave you haunted well after you finish reading the story.

A stunning story told with an ominous edge that will keep you up at night. This book is available for pre-order and will be published on 28 July 2016.

Links To Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads

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