#review Broken Branches by @MJonathanLee @HideawayFalls

 

brokenbranches

Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee

 

My Review:

I wasn’t quite sure what I’d think about Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee. There was quite a buildup to me receiving it, with the publisher Hideaway Falls, sending myself and many other book bloggers a fun teaser pack before the book finally landed on my doorstep.

I know that M Jonathan Lee is vocal about mental health issues, a subject close to my heart so I was quite looking forward to reading Broken Branches.

The book centres on Ian who is currently living in a cottage that frankly, sounds rather lovely. He lives with his wife and young son and at first, all seems to be well in the family home. But it soon becomes clear that all is not as it first seems.

There are clearly big problems in Ian’s marriage and Ian himself seems to be obsessed with ‘research’ into his family that has lived in his home for many generations. The story changes between the present day and Ian’s childhood as a boy growing up in the cottage when his father farmed the surrounding land. Ian’s childhood was not a happy one and it becomes clear that the family had been plagued by what they called a curse, and that is what Ian is determined to get to the bottom of with his research.

This book is definitely a slow burner, not a great deal actually happens in the book and much of it is spent within Ian’s mind, a mind that seems to be confused and perhaps very unreliable at telling us what is really happening, and at times it seemed to all be getting a little bit silly.

I liked how the story developed though and the more we got to know about Ian the more unsure I was about whether he was totally mad or well, only slightly mad. The writing is solid and it is easy to read, with plenty to keep the reader guessing and a few twists along the way.

Thank you to the author, and to Hideaway Falls, for a copy of Broken Branches.

Blurb:

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

About the author:

jonathan-lee

M. Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author who was born in South Yorkshire in 1974. He still lives and works in Yorkshire, England and has three children.

Jonathan began writing seriously at the age of 9 at which point he self-published a magazine which ran for six issues and sold more than 500 copies. Since then, he has written a number of short stories and eagerly hoarded away journal after journal of ideas before finally writing The Radio.

The Radio was shortlisted for The Novel Prize 2012 and is his first novel. He is currently touring schools, colleges, prisons and universities talking about creative writing and storytelling.  The Radio continues to receive excellent reviews and film rights are currently being discussed with interested parties. Jonathan appeared at Sheffield’s Off the Shelf literary festival in 2013 and will appear again this year as well as headlining at Doncaster’s Turn the Page festival 2014.

His second novel, The Page was released in February 2015. He has just finished his third novel, A Tiny Feeling of Fear which was released in September 2015. He is currently working on the final part of the ‘The’ trilogy: working title ‘The Knot’ which is due for release in 2016. He is currently signed on a four book deal with boutique publishers, SoloP Publishing based in the north of England.

Broken Branches is out on 27th July 2017 and is available to pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US. You can find out more about the author on his website.

On a little side note, my puppy loved Broken Branches. The photo below shows just how much. She was lucky that she wasn’t rehomed!

IMG_5245

#review: The Honeymoon by @tinaseskis @MichaelJBooks

 

thehoneymoon

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.

Review: Each Little Lie by @T0mBale @Bookouture #blogtour

Each little Lie Blog Tour

My Review:

Regular readers of my blog will know that I like Tom Bale’s books. He has an incredible skill at sucking the reader into the story, making it difficult to put his books down. His book, See How They Run, probably has the best first chapter of any book that I have read, with All Fall Down not far behind. Each Little Lie is a little bit different, although the reader’s interest is piqued, it didn’t have me holding my breath and desperate to read on. But if I didn’t compare it to the previous books then it is still a cracking first chapter.

When Jen decides to do a good dead for her neighbour after she finds his house keys dropped outside his home, she makes a decision that considering she is a character in a Tom Bale book is clearly going to be a mistake. It feels a bit like one of those horror movies where you want to shout ‘don’t run up the stairs’, but Jen doesn’t listen to the reader, and so the scene is set, and Jen’s life will never be the same again.

The story kept me guessing, not only about what was going to happen to poor Jen next but also who was behind making her life so awful and why. She did continue to make some questionable choices and I didn’t find her particularly likeable, but she went through hell and kept fighting, and so I was able to forgive her rather stupid mistake at the beginning of the book.

The characters in the book were great, many weren’t likeable, some were downright creepy and we were never quite sure who to trust. Poor Jen seemed to have particularly bad luck when it comes to attracting dodgy characters, but Bale made a smart decision when he makes her a single parent, and when her son Charlie is at risk, Jen will stop at nothing to fight and protect.

All in all, Each Little Lie is another tension-filled, action-packed book by Tom Bale, he really does have a great skill and I will be reading his books for a long time to come.

Blurb:

Each-Little-Lie-Kindle
UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2qUMvVj 
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2qU9ORi

One split second can destroy your life forever.

Single mother Jen Cornish is just trying to hold things together for the sake of her seven-year-old son Charlie. Until the day when she does an impulsive good deed to help a neighbour, setting off a terrifying chain of events that quickly spirals out of control…

When she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, Jen quickly starts to wonder if someone is playing a cruel game with her – or is she losing her mind?

Desperate to clear her name with the police, she must first untangle a chilling web of lies. But someone is watching her every move – and it isn’t just Jen who is in danger.

They’re watching her child as well.

An unputdownable psychological thriller with plenty of twists that will keep you hooked until the very last page…

About the Author:

Tom Bale
Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full-time. His latest novel is the thriller SEE HOW THEY RUN, published by Bookouture in May 2016.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman @GailHoneyman @HarperCollinsUK

 

eleanoroliphant

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

 

My Review:

At first, I wasn’t really sure what to make of Eleanor Oliphant, I mean the way in which she speaks and thinks is more than a little unusual, but by the end of the book I think that she had a little piece of my heart that will stay Oliphant shaped for quite some time to come.

Eleanor is an incredibly lonely person, she goes to work and drinks too much on the weekends to make the time go faster so that she can go back to work and have something to do. She thinks that her colleagues hate her and spend a lot of their time laughing at her. She has no friends, only her mother who she speaks to on the phone once a week. Which for Eleanor is still too often. Despite all of this, Eleanor thinks that she is happy, she doesn’t feel the need for people in her life, she’s self-sufficient and happy with that. I have to admit that I really empathised with Eleanor, as an introvert I think that Eleanor and I have more than a few things in common.

When Eleanor meets the man of her dreams she thinks that life is going to be getting a lot better. She starts to pay attention to her appearance and to what she’s wearing for the first time, and begins to see and experience things differently. She also finds herself spending time with Raymond, the IT guy from work, he gradually gets Eleanor to open up and they become friends, something new and alien to Eleanor.

When the love of her life turns out to be a lot less perfect that she’d thought, Eleanor plunges into a destructive depression. But with the support of her new friend, and a very supportive boss, Eleanor starts to put her life back together. I couldn’t help but cheer her on, and even feel proud of this fictional character whose funny way of speaking and thinking now felt endearing.

As the book goes on the story behind Eleanor and why she is how she is becomes clear, I think that the reader can’t help but feel sorry for her, but as the book progresses I felt a sense of respect for Eleanor, that she’d survived so much and yet here she was, coming out the other side.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a wonderful book that will hopefully make people think about the people that they know, how much they really know about them, and what struggles they might have that you know nothing about. Loneliness is becoming more and more of a problem in our society, and this book is a wonderful example of how dangerous and destructive it can be. With a debut novel this good, Gail Honeyman is definitely an author to watch!

Thank you to the publisher, Harper Collins UK, for a copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman via Netgalley.

Blurb:

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

About the Author:

gailhoneyman

Gail Honeyman wrote her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, while working a full time job, and it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress. She has also been awarded the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award 2014, and was longlisted for BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines, and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Gail lives in Glasgow.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne @KarenDionne @LittleBrownUK #MarshKing

 

themarshkingsdaughter

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne.

 

My Review:

I’d heard quite a lot about The Marsh King’s Daughter before reading it, all of it good. There’s always a risk when that happens that the book will let you down, so with slight trepidation, and without knowing anything about the story, I started to read.

And boy, what a read it was! I thought that the Marsh King’s Daughter was an incredibly written book, the amount of research that the author must have put into the story is mindblowing.

I really liked that the story was told from Helena’s point of view, going from when she was really young all the way up to an adult and a parent herself. The journey took Helena from a young child, totally unaware of the circumstances of her existence and the world beyond the marsh that she lives in with her mother and father, who she totally idolises as he teaches her how to survive in the wild, to track and hunt animals, and, perhaps most importantly, to disrespect her mother.

But as Helena grows up she can’t help but see flaws in her father, and she begins to see that maybe her mother is stronger than she ever imagined.

The Marsh King’s Daughter is sometimes upsetting and hard to read, the brutality that her father displayed is extreme. What made it even harder to read was how real it felt, I often got so caught up in the story that I was sure that Helena was real and that I was, in fact, reading a true crime book.

Karen Dionne is not an author that I had heard of before The Marsh King’s Daughter but she is certainly an author that I will be looking out for and very keen to read more of. I am completely in awe of how she crafted this book, it is definitely one to add to your reading pile.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of The Marsh King’s Daughter through Netgalley.

Blurb:

The suspense thriller of the year – The Marsh King’s Daughter will captivate you from the start and chill you to the bone.

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

Packed with gripping suspense and powerful storytelling, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a one-more-page, read-in-one-sitting thriller that you’ll remember for ever.

About the Author:

karendionne

Karen Dionne is the author of dark psychological suspense THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER, coming June 13, 2017 from G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and three other novels.

Karen is cofounder of the online writers community Backspace, and organizes the Salt Cay Writers Retreat held every other year on a private island in the Bahamas. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers, where she served on the board of directors as Vice President, Technology.

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne is out on 13th June, 2017 and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait @Bookouture

 

thedarkestlies

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:

barbaracopperthwaite

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.

Review: Behind the Lie by Amanda James @akjames61 @HQDigitalUK

 

behindthelie

Behind the Lie by Amanda James

 

My Review:

I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from Behind the Lie. I haven’t read any of Amanda James’ books before and most of her books seem to be romance books, which is not a genre that I read. This book, however, is not a romance!

Holly has had a troubled past but she’s happily married to the man that saved her and she’s pregnant with twins she’s excited about her future. But when her obstetrician husband tells her that one twin is small and may not survive her seemingly perfect life starts to come apart at the seams.

I have to say that Behind The Lie is fairly predictable, something that I normally hate in a book, but for some reason, this book pulled me in and even though I was sure that I knew where the book was going from very early on, I still really enjoyed reading it and wanted to find out what was going to happen.

I grew to like Holly, and I was definitely rooting for her by the end. Perhaps, as a mother of twins, I felt a stronger connection with the book and character than others, but I do think that Behind the Lie is a good, solid, psychological thriller that many will enjoy reading. I also loved the description of Holly’s beach house in Cornwall, it made me want to escape London!

Overall, Behind The Lie is a solid psychological thriller, the storyline is interesting and engaging and it is well written, I hope that Amanda James writes more psychological thrillers in the future.

Thank you to the author and publishers, HQDigital, for a copy of Behind The Lie via Netgalley.

Blurb:

Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.

Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.

Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.

About the Author:

amandajames

Amanda James (aka Mandy) was born in Sheffield and now lives in Bristol with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing, and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.