#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:

 

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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 Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait @Bookouture

 

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The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite

 

My Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite as I hadn’t read the blurb before I started to read it. I got it on the because of the author and her reputation for writing great books. Although I have a couple of her books on my Kindle I have yet to read them, but I was keen to read this one.

The storyline is a good one, Melanie’s much-loved daughter goes missing and is soon found beaten and left for dead in the marsh that is close to the village that they live in. Frustrated that the police seem to be getting nowhere, Melanie decides to start investigating what happened herself, aided by an old friend from school who has recently returned to the area. It soon becomes clear that people in the village are hiding things and know more than they will tell, but also that there is someone in the village who is dangerous and it seems that Melanie’s life might be at risk.

The story is cleverly woven and you can’t help but feel compassion for Melanie, even though many of her actions are questionable and she upsets many of the people living around her.

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and the marsh setting becomes so real it is like a character in itself. I will definitely be reading more from Barbara Copperthwaite.

Thank you to the author and publisher, Bookouture, for a copy of The Darkest Lies via Netgalley.

Blurb:

A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.
Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.

About the author:

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Barbara Copperthwaite is an Amazon UK best-selling psychological crime author.
Barbara’s writing career began over 20 years ago when she became a journalist. She has written and edited for a number of national magazines and newspapers.
At the start of her working career she also worked in a men’s maximum security prison. It was there that her fascination with crime began, as she realised that bad guys don’t always seem that bad – and are often charming.
Interviewing real people who have been victims of crime, either directly or through the loss of loved ones, consolidated Barbara’s interest in crime. As a result, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrongdoing. That’s why her novels are not simply about the criminal act, but the repercussions they have. People are always at the heart of her thrillers, along with a genuine ability to get under the skin of even the most evil of characters.
This insight is what has propelled both of her novels, INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD onto Amazon’s bestsellers charts, and led to rave reviews.
To find out more go to:
www.barbaracopperthwaite.com
or
www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCoppert…
or @BCopperthwait on Twitter.

The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour & Review: Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks

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I’m delighted to be part of today’s blog tour for Block 46. Not only is it an excellent book but it is also my first blog tour for the publisher, Orenda Books. Every book of theirs that I have read have been special in some way, and they are definitely a publisher worth watching.

My Review:

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Block 46. I know that the publisher has an incredible record of giving us great books but from the blurb, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be French Noir as the author and the main character are French, or Nordic Noir as most of the book is set in Sweden, or would it be historical fiction as some of the book takes place in Buchenwald Concentration Camp in 1944?

I have to be honest here, I do not read historical fiction, it just doesn’t appeal to me but I do often think that I might be missing out, and this book has confirmed that I probably am. At first, I had absolutely no idea how what happened in Buchenwald could have anything to do with a spate of gruesome murders taking place in the present time but as I got further into the books the chapters that I enjoyed reading the most were those set in the horrors of a German Concentration Camp. Although distressing to read, the story of Erich touched me in a very moving and emotional way, especially when the full story of Erich became clear as the book progressed.

But in the present day, Alexis finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when a good friend is murdered in Sweden, she begins to work with Emily, a well known profiler who has been working on the murders of little boys in London that somehow seems linked to the murder in Sweden.

How are the murders in London linked to the murder in Sweden? And how does all of it link to one man trying to survive the horrors of the holocaust? Well, of course, I’m not going to tell you that, you will need to read the book and find out for yourself, but do read it. It’s a very well written, with strong and believable characters and plenty of twists and turns. It was definitely not what I had been expecting, but I am delighted that it is book one of a new series featuring Alexis and Emily, I look forward to part two.

Thank you to the publisher, Orenda Books, for a copy of Block 46. All thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

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Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina. Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s. Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again. Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald? Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French true-crime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light. Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir. WINNER: Nouvelle Plume D’Argent 2016 For fans of The Missing, Dominique Manotti, Camilla Lackberg, Stieg Larsson

About the Author:

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Born in 1978 in Marseille, France, and a graduate of Political Sciences, Johana Gustawsson was a journalist for television and French press. She now lives in London, England.

Block 46 is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: My Sister and Other Liars by Ruth Dugdall @RuthDugdall

 

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My Sister and Other Liars by Ruth Dugdall.

 

My review:

I am a big Ruth Dugdall fan, not only have I had the pleasure of meeting her, when she was really lovely, but she also happens to be a very good author. Her characters are always interesting and realistic and the plots flow well.

So when I heard about her latest book coming out I really wanted to read it, and thankfully I was lucky enough to get an early copy.

In My Sister and Other Liars, Dugdall tackles a difficult subject and one that is hard to get right. Not only are the main characters teenagers, but they are teenagers with eating disorders. I have worked with teenagers with eating disorders and know how complicated they can be, but Dugdall has once again created great characters who are so accurate that I am sure that some of them must be based on real people.

The story revolves around Sam, she’s 17 and when we meet her she is a long term patient in an NHS unit for teenagers with an eating disorder. She is shut down and we know that she is hiding her story from the other patients, but we don’t know what her story is. As the book progresses Sam starts to tell what happened to one of the staff in the unit and we begin to find out what led to Sam being where she is now.

Not that long ago Sam was a happy teenager, with an older sister that she loved and, although she had some struggles with her parents she was doing ok. Until one day her sister, Jena is brutally attacked. Sam becomes determined to find out who her attacker was and in the process, she uncovers more about her family that she bargained for and her life is changed forever.

I really liked how the story of Sam developed over the book, and how she grew so much as she came to terms with what happened and what she did. I really don’t want to give too much away but if you like your books to have depth and a compelling storyline that keeps you guessing then My Sister and Other Liars is the book for you.

Thank you to Ruth Dugdall and her publishers, Thomas & Mercer, for a copy of My Sister and Other Liars via Netgalley.

Blurb:

Sam is seventeen, starving herself and longing for oblivion. Her sister, Jena, is mentally scarred and desperate to remember. Between them, they share secrets too terrible to recall.

Eighteen months earlier, Sam was still full of hope: hope that she could piece together Jena’s fragmented memory after the vicious attack that changed their family forever. But digging into the past unearthed long-hidden lies and betrayals, and left Sam feeling helpless and alone in a world designed to deceive her.

Now, in a last bid to save her from self-imposed shutdown, Sam’s therapist is helping her confront her memories. But the road to recovery is a dangerous one. Because Sam has not only been lying to her doctors: she’s been hiding dark secrets from herself.

About the author:

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Ruth Dugdall was born in 1971. She holds a BA honours degree in English Literature (Warwick University) and an MA in Social Work (University of East Anglia). She qualified as a probation officer in 1996 and has worked in prison with offenders guilty of serious crimes, including stalking, rape and murder. This has informed her crime writing. Since she started writing, Ruth has won awards in several writing competitions, and has had short stories published in the Winchester Writers’ Conference and the Eva Wiggins Award anthologies.

 

My Sister and Other Liars by Ruth Dugdall is released on 1st May 2017 and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US. If you are an Amazon Prime member in the UK then it is available for free in April 2017 as part of Kindle First.

Book Review: The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse.

 

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The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

 

My Review:

I finished The Idea of You a few days ago but I have found this review quite hard to write. Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the UK and I thought about this book a lot, thinking of the women who would be struggling with the day, thinking of babies that they hadn’t got to hold in their arms.

Lucy is aware of her clock ticking when she meets Jonah, he is slightly older and has a teenage daughter from a previous relationship. They fall in love and get married and both agree that they want to have a baby and are overjoyed when Lucky quickly falls pregnant. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and Lucy lost the baby with an early miscarriage. Subsequent pregnancies ended the same way, each time breaking Lucy’s heart in two.

Since I finished this book I read that the author has personal experience of miscarriage and this did not surprise me, the way that Lucy feels after each loss is so raw and real and I know that many readers have shed many tears reading The Idea of You.

But that doesn’t mean that The Idea of You is a depressing read, there is a lot of love and courage and inspiration in the book. When Lucy’s stepdaughter comes to live with them she struggles with the relationship while at the same time coping with her losses. Lucy has to find an inner strength that she didn’t know that she had while coming to terms with what is happening and things that happened in her past. There is a lot of healing in this book.

What I liked was that this book didn’t have your typical happy ending that so many other books would have, yet the ending is still happy. Whether you have experienced miscarriage or not, this book will give you plenty to think about.

Thank you to Amanda Prowse and her publisher, Lake Union, for the opportunity to read and review The Idea Of You.

Blurb:

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

About the Author:

Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.

The Idea of You is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog tour & review: Winterscroft by Anita Waller.

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I was so excited when I heard that Bloodhound Books were publishing another book by Anita Waller. I had read and really enjoyed one of her previous books, 34 Days, and so I really wanted to read Winterscroft. As is often the case when I read books by authors that I’ve previously read and enjoyed, I didn’t know anything about the book, only that it was by an author that I’ve previously enjoyed and published by a publisher that I trust to release good books.

My 4* review:

Having read and enjoyed the author’s previous book, 34 days, I was keen to read this one. I started it without knowing anything about the book, I hadn’t read the blurb, which is something that is often the case when I read books by authors that I’ve read before. I quite like it that way, I have no expectations and can just enjoy the journey that the book will take me on.

I’m especially pleased that I hadn’t read the blurb for Winterscroft because if I had, I’m not sure that I would have read the book. I don’t believe in ghosts, or unsettled spirits coming back to seek revenge and so I expect that had I read the blurb I probably wouldn’t have read this book.

So I am pleased that I hadn’t read the blurb as I did enjoy this book. I did have to just go with the book and not think too much about how unbelievable it was. This was generally easy to do as it was such a good read, and I loved the characters. Lavender’s family were genuinely lovely, believable and interesting characters who I enjoyed reading about and spending time with.

The author writes well, weaving the story and sucking the reader into the lives of the characters within the book. I liked them, I wanted to read more about them and although I thought that it was all a little bit silly, I wanted to know what was going to happen. In fact, I was very frustrated when the book finished as I wanted to know what was going to happen next and how the family would move on from the events in the book. And, having finished the book, I have found myself thinking of them quite often and wondering how they’re doing. Definitely a sign of a good book and believable characters.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for my copy of Winterscroft by Anita Waller. All thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

When the beautiful Lavender is killed in a tragic car accident her family and fiancee Matt are left devastated. As the year’s pass and wounds begin to heal Matt, who has remained close to Lavenders family, meets Beth and falls in love again. When the happy couple announce their engagement it sparks a series of bizarre and disturbing events. Then when Matt and Beth make plans to wed at Lavenders family home, Winterscroft, the frightening truth becomes apparent. Lavender is back. And she is not happy. From the bestselling author of 34 Days comes a tale of love, death and revenge.

About the Author:

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Anita was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and has lived all her life there. She has three adult children and seven grandchildren ranging in age from 9 months to 21 years. Anita and Dave have been married almost 49 years!

She wrote Beautiful in 1985 and had it accepted for publication. They were the contract stage when the publishing house went into liquidation.

Like many another book it ended up in the loft until two years ago when she resurrected it, retyped all 100,000 words (it was orginally written on an Amstrad 8256 and all she had was a hard copy!) and sent it off to Bloodhound Books.

She is now retired from my life of being a Patchwork Tutor and HGV driver’s wife and concentrates on patchwork for the pleasure of it and writing. She started writing at around the age of 8 – she clearly remembers writing ‘novels’ at that age which were actually short stories split into chapters!

Anita’s genre is murder – but murder with a good reason behind it!

Winterscroft is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil.

 

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Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil.

 

My 4* review:

I have to say that I was very intrigued by the blurb of this book. The idea that your six year old son goes missing, assumed drowned, but then returns from the dead ten years later only a few miles from home, his body telling a horrific story of what he had been through during the last ten years, but his voice appears to have gone, he does not utter a single word, he cannot tell you where he has been or who had taken him.

Emma is the mother of Aiden, the boy who went missing, during the last ten years she has been to hell and back. Her life fell apart but she managed to put herself back together with the help of Jake, her new husband and father to the baby that is growing in her belly. While Emma is overjoyed that Aiden has been found and is back home she is wracked with guilt and suspicion, as Aiden was found so close to home she suspects almost everyone she knows in the small village that she lives in, did they take Aiden?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Silent Child, it’s a great book and will no doubt keep you guessing right to the end. I did feel that the book lost its way a bit in the middle, there was a good chunk where the book pretty much went round in circles, but once it got going again the book did not disappoint.

I read a lot of books, it is easy for me to finish a book and move on to the next one, but this book has stayed with me. I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about Emma, but mainly about Aiden, somehow he got under my skin and a little bit of him has stayed there. He feels very real somehow.

Thank you to TBC for a copy of Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil.

Blurb:

In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son’s red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year – a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned.

His body was never recovered.

Ten years later, Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She’s married, pregnant, and in control again…

… until Aiden returns.

Too traumatized to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Only his body tells the story of his decade-long disappearance. The historic broken bones and injuries cast a mere glimpse into the horrors Aiden has experienced. Aiden never drowned. Aiden was taken.

As Emma attempts to reconnect with her now teenage son, she must unmask the monster who took him away from her. But who, in their tiny village, could be capable of such a crime?

It’s Aiden who has the answers, but he cannot tell the unspeakable.

This dark and disturbing psychological novel will appeal to fans of The Widow and The Butterfly Garden.

 

Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.