#blogblast #review Dying Breath by @helenphifer1 @bookouture

Dying Breath - Blog Tour

My Review:

I really enjoyed Helen Phifer’s first book, Dark House (previously called The Lost Children) that introduced readers to Lucy Harwin, a feisty detective who feels the pain of murder victims so deeply, so when I heard that the second book in the series was coming out I knew that I had to read it.

And it did not disappoint. In fact, I think that it is an even better read and story. I just loved how the story played out, there were twists and turns aplenty and I often thought that I knew who the baddie was but couldn’t be quite sure. I just loved reading Dying Breath and enjoyed getting to know the characters a bit more, especially Lucy and her sidekick Mattie.

I really don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll keep it simple. Read this book. That is all that you need to know unless you haven’t read Dark House yet, in which case read that first as although this book is absolutely fine to read as a standalone, it’s always better to start at the beginning. I cannot wait for book three to come out now!

Blurb:

Dying-Breath-Kindle

Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.

Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.

Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland.

But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality – a killer is walking the streets of their quiet coastal town.

While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers.

Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer… Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?

 About the Author:

Helen Phifer author picture

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own.

Helen’s debut novel ‘The Ghost House’ was published by Carina UK in October 2013 and went on to become a best seller along with the rest of the Annie Graham series. The Secrets of the Shadows, The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.

The Good Sisters is a standalone horror story which will scare the pants off you or so her lovely readers have told her. It scared Helen when she was writing it so she pretty much agrees with them.

March 2017 saw the release of psychological thriller Dark House (previously called The Lost Children), book 1 in the Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin series. Book 2 – Dying Breath is due for release in Nov 2017.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

Instagram:    https://www.instagram.com/helenphifer

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com

Dying Breath by Helen Phifer is out now and available from  Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

#blogtour The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture

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My review:

Ok, so first off I need to tell you that I really, really enjoyed reading The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland. It wasn’t that it was the best written book or the most amazing storyline but there was something about it that grabbed me and kept me hooked.

I think what made it so good was wondering whether Tessa was actually a reliable witness, was there really a child in her kitchen or was she delusional? And if there was a child then had she really taken it from where he belonged? It is perfectly set up to make the reader unsure of what the truth might actually be as Tessa’s story does sound rather implausible, why would a strange boy be in her kitchen and saying that she was his Mummy? Very clever. Something fishy had to be going on, and sure enough, it was.

The book takes us on a journey with Tessa as she sets out to prove her innocence. Her ex fights her at every turn, seemingly convinced that Tessa is unstable and needs help. But Tessa’s boss believes her and sees something in her that other’s done and he helps her find the truth. I actually really enjoyed reading about Tessa’s relationship with her boss and it was great that she had someone supporting her along the way.

I’ve not given anything away that isn’t in the blurb and so I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I really did enjoy this book and thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books that keep you wondering and guessing and not sure of who to believe. Once again the publishers Bookouture have produced a psychological thriller that is a cracking read.

Blurb:

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‘Are you my mummy?’ 

Tessa Markham comes home to find a little boy in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the child is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the boy. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…

A chilling, unputdownable thriller with a dark twist that will take your breath away and make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and The Sister.

About the Author:

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Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Shalini’s debut psychological thriller THE GIRL FROM THE SEA reached No 1 in the US Audible charts and No 7 in the UK Kindle charts. Her second thriller THE BEST FRIEND reached no 2 in the US Audible charts and No 10 in the Amazon UK Kindle charts. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories and was a Kindle All Star title for several months in a row. Shalini’s recent release THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE reached No 9 in the Kindle UK charts.

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

Shalini is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.

http://www.facebook.com/ShaliniBolandAuthor
http://www.shaliniboland.co.uk
https://twitter.com/ShaliniBoland

The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

#blogtour Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCoperthwait @bookouture

Her Last Secret - Blog Tour

My Review:

Having read and enjoyed the author’s previous books I was looking forward to reading Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite. In fact, I enjoyed her books so much that I agreed to read and review this one without even reading the blurb. I went in totally blind.

The book starts early on Christmas Day, we know that the police have been called to a house after a neighbour heard gunshots and the officer in charge is trying to decide when to go into the house, fearing that a gunman (or woman) might shoot someone in the process.

We then go back in time to a few weeks before Christmas and meet the people who live in the house, Ben and Dominique with their children, teenager Ruby and Mouse, the youngest of the family. As the book goes on we learn that all is not well within the Thomas family, but the question remains, who fired the gun and why?

There are regular chapters that are back in the present day, to the police officer outside their house on Christmas Day. I am not always a fan of chapters that go back and forth in time but it worked incredibly well in Her Last Secret, building the tension and keeping the reader guessing.

I was often sure that I had worked it all out, but of course, I hadn’t. This is not a short book, at 408 pages it is quite lengthy but when reading it on my Kindle I had no idea that it was that long and it certainly never dragged. I only ever wished that it would hurry up because I was desperate to find out what had happened on that Christmas morning.

I thought that Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite combines all of the ingredients needed to make a brilliant psychological thriller. I thoroughly recommend it.

I received a copy of Her Last Secret from the publisher, Bookouture. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Her-Last-Secret-Kindle

There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

About The Author:

barbaracopperthwaite

What people say about Barbara’s books:
“Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,” Sunday Mirror
“Enthralling, tense and moving,” Real People magazine
“Totally gripping, and scarily believable,” Bella magazine

Barbara is the author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD. Both have been Amazon best sellers. She is also the author of THE DARKEST LIES, and her latest book HER LAST SECRET is out on 13 October.

Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCopperthwaite

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCopperthwait

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_barbara_copperthwaite/

Website: www.barbaracopperthwaite.com

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite is out now and available from  Amazon UK and Amazon US.

#review The Foster Child by @JennyBlackhurst @headlinepg

 

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The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst.

 

My Review:

I have enjoyed Jenny Blackhurst’s previous books so I was looking forward to reading The Foster Child.

When Imogen reluctantly returns to her childhood home with her husband she is apprehensive about her new start in a town that she hated and a home that never quite felt like a home. To make matters worse she is also starting a new job, one that she was forced to take after leaving her previous role after something happened with a child that she was treating.

When Imogen is assigned Ellie, a young girl who lost her family in a fire who is now being looked after in a foster home, we know that all is not as it seems when Imogen discovers that her teachers are scared of her and her foster mother thinks that when Ellie gets angry things go wrong and people get hurt.

Imogen defends Ellie and soon oversteps her boundaries, seeing Ellie outside of work hours and taking her shopping for new clothes. While everyone is suspicious of Ellie, Imogen becomes more determined to help her and to show everyone that they are wrong. But are they?

I thought that The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst is brilliantly written and woven, the characters are all believable and the reader is never quite sure what is really going on with Ellie.

What I liked most was that everyone’s behaviour and actions had a reason which helped to make it all so much more real and believable, the author had thought about everything and I couldn’t help but be impressed.

Overall, The Foster Child is a great read that takes the reader on a real journey where you won’t be sure what is really happening, then you’ll think that you worked it out before you realise just how cleverly written The Foster Child is.

Blurb:

The brilliant new novel from Jenny Blackhurst , the #1 eBook bestselling author of HOW I LOST YOU , which Clare Mackintosh called ‘utterly gripping’ and BEFORE I LET YOU IN If you love Louise Jensen’s THE GIFT or SK Tremayne’s THE ICE TWINS you will love this.

When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…

About The Author:

Jenny-Blackhurst-Author-Photo

Jenny Blackhurst lives in Shropshire with her husband, two sons and their dog, Woody. Until recently she worked at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, resigning in August 2017 to follow her dream of becoming a full time writer. These days she watches Netflix in her pjs until mid day and eats chocolate (whilst working on her fourth novel of course).

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst is out on 21st September 2017 and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US to pre-order.

#blogtour Strategy by Anita Waller @anitamayw @bloodhoundbook

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My Review:

This is the third Anita Waller book that I have read and I will definitely be reading more. When I heard that the author had written a sequel to 34 Days, I knew that I had to read it. I had really enjoyed 34 Days and was intrigued to know what had happened after.

I have to admit that when I started to read Strategy I did wonder whether 34 Days had really warranted a sequel, was there really enough left to tell about the Carbrook family? Well, I should have trusted the author and the publishers Bloodhound Books, who have a solid reputation for producing excellent books.

I do recommend that you don’t read Strategy until you have read 34 Days as although the book provides plenty of reminders about what had happened in the first book I think that you would miss out, not only on a great read but also truly understanding the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Strategy, it really did complete the story from 34 Days and, like the original, it provided plenty of twists and turns. It isn’t a long book but it is long enough to suck the reader back into the lives of the Carbrook family, reminding us what the family have been through and truly caring about what happens to them next and once again Waller hasn’t given them an easy ride.

Blurb:

 

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Strategy by Anita Waller

 

How much can one family take?  
Jenny Carbrook murdered three people to make it look as though there was a serial killer at work in Lincoln, when the only person she wanted to kill was Ray Carbrook, her father-in-law, who had raped her the week before her marriage to Mark, Ray’s son.  
Jenny wrote letters detailing her crimes in order to protect everyone she loved, but was forced to go into hiding before retrieving the evidence against her.  Not only did she leave the letters behind but also her young daughter, Grace.  
Now Jenny has a plan, a strategy, to get the letters back. But it’s not only the letters that Jenny has in her sights…

 

About the author:

anitawaller

Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children, Matthew, Siân and Kirsty along with seven grandchildren ranging in age from Brad at 23 down to baby Isaac at 2 ½ years.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. It was all to do with Eric Cantona and leaping over the barrier – don’t ask!
As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

Winterscroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

 While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books will be launching her latest work, Strategy, on 10 August, 2017.

 So where next? Her current work in progress is going by the working title A Legal Issue, and once again is a psychological thriller.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club were particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Links:

Amazon page:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=anita+waller

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/anitawaller2015

Website:  http://anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller

Twitter:   www.twitter.com/anitamayw

 Beautiful:

www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B014RCH5WM/

 Angel:

www.amazon.co.uk/Angel-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B01DR4USZC/

 34 Days:

www.amazon.co.uk/34-Days-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B01IP6YE0M/

 Winterscroft:

www.amazon.co.uk/Winterscroft-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B06XMY3JD3/

 Strategy:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1912175487/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

#review The Second Captive by Maggie James @mjamesfiction @BloodhoundBooks #blogtour

BLOG TOUR (5)

My Review:

The blurb to The Second Captive really appealed to me. The concept of the captive starting to see their kidnapper and keeper not as the enemy but as someone that they care about (Stockholm Syndrome) is fascinating to me.

I found The Second Captive got me into the story really quickly, I wanted to keep reading, no, I had to keep reading, especially once Beth was kidnapped. I had to know how she was going to escape and how was Beth going to cope once she did.

I really liked how the story was told, the first half is told by Beth and her kidnapper Dominic. This meant that we got to understand what was behind his decision to kidnap Beth and keep her in his basement for so long. While I certainly didn’t like Dominic, I did appreciate reading his thoughts and processes. Once Beth manages to escape, and this is no spoiler, we know from the first chapter that she does, the story is told by Beth and her mother, Ursula, with a small amount from Dominic too. This worked really well. I liked that we didn’t hear from Beth’s family while she was missing, it meant that the whole focus of the book was on what was happening inside the cottage that Beth and Dominic lived and that we were never quite sure what efforts had been put in place to find Beth by her family.

Having had every aspect of her life controlled by Dominic it was never going to be easy for Beth once she broke free. Fearing disappointment from her mother Beth tried to keep her ordeal secret, but of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. This was the only part that I thought The Second Captive strayed into the ‘not quite believable’ side, and that was a shame but it didn’t spoil the book in any way.

Overall, I think that The Second Captive by Maggie James is an excellent psychological thriller that will appeal to many readers. I’ll definitely be reading more from Maggie James.

Blurb:

 

Second Captive final

The Second Captive by Maggie James.

 

Beth Sutton is eighteen years old when she is abducted. Held prisoner in a basement, she’s dependent on her captor for food, clothes and her very existence. As the months pass, her hatred towards her imprisoner changes to compassion.

 But Beth cannot forget that her abductor is also a killer. And she has evidence to prove it…

 Then Beth escapes

 Can Beth escape from the prison that she has found herself in?

 And is there a relationship between love and fear?

 

About the author:

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Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

 Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MJamesFiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog

Website: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com

#review: The Honeymoon by @tinaseskis @MichaelJBooks

 

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The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

 

My Review:

I had heard a lot about The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis, but not having read any of her previous books I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

This psychological thriller really does keep the reader guessing. Jemma is on her honeymoon on a beautiful and exclusive island in the Maldives, but it is clear from the start that all is not right with her new marriage, and when her new husband goes missing the reader is unsure whether Jemma’s version that gradually emerges as the book progresses it true, or if she is hiding something.

The book goes back to the start of Jemma’s relationship with Dan when Jemma was really not sure whether he was ‘the one’. As the relationship progresses and we learn more about the backstory I became less and less sure about what was true and what wasn’t. Jemma definitely didn’t seem like a reliable witness.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the book, and I’m happy to admit that I didn’t see the main ones coming. Jemma, as a character was not likeable and there was very little about her that I could like, but that didn’t stop me wanting to know what had happened to her husband and whether she was involved. Another couple on the island provide a bit of light relief, which was welcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Honeymoon, I wanted to keep reading and the twists were great and cleverly done. If you like a twisty, turny book then this is for you! It gets an easy 4.5* from me. I’m off to look at Seskis’s other books.

Blurb:

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?

About the author:

Tina Seskis grew up in Hampshire, before going off to study in the beautiful city of Bath and then moving to London, where she has lived on and off ever since.

Tina’s first novel One Step Too Far was released in 2013, and has since been published in 17 languages in over 60 countries. Her latest novel, The Honeymoon, will finally be released on 1st June 2017.

Tina lives in North London with her husband and son.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis is out now and available from  Amazon UK and Amazon US.