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:

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

 

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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.

 

Review: Dead Souls by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture

 

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Dead Souls by Angela Marsons.

Regular readers of this blog will know how much I love Angela Marsons and her DI Kim Stone novels. I’ve read them from the beginning before they became super popular and earned Marsons’ numerous bestsellers in many languages across the world. All of the books are written so that they can be read as a standalone but I strongly suggest that if you have yet to read any Kim Stone books, that you start with Silent Scream, the first book in the series.

 

My Review:

As a huge fan of Angela Marsons and DI Kim Stone, the bar was set very high for this, the sixth book in the series. I’m always excited to read a new Kim Stone book, but a little bit worried that I might not like it.

I certainly didn’t need to worry about Dead Souls. Right from the start, it sucked me in and I absolutely loved reading it. The book talks a lot about hate crimes, something that is not always easy to read but feels so very topical in a post-Brexit world. Marsons had clearly researched the subject at length and this shone through in the writing and storyline and giving the reader plenty to think about.

I loved how Stone was given new challenges and taken away from the comfort of her team and especially her sidekick Bryant. But we also got to know more about the rest of her team which was great, especially Stacey who until now has been a small but important character in the books, this time she got to do a lot more than sitting at her desk searching the computer, it reminded the rest of the team, and the readers, that she is a police officer and not just a computer geek.

Of course, things for Stone and her team don’t go smoothly and the finale is a tense and shocking read. I really don’t know how Marsons manages to keep the standard of writing so high, so many times you start a new series and love it but as time goes on they start to become a bit old and predictable, not so with this series, each one has been a brilliant read and this one, I think, might just be the best yet.

Thank you to the publishers, Bookouture, and the author for a copy of Dead Souls.

Blurb:

The truth was dead and buried…until now.
When a collection of human bones is unearthed during a routine archaeological dig, a Black Country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene for Detective Kim Stone.

As the bones are sorted, it becomes clear that the grave contains more than one victim. The bodies hint at unimaginable horror, bearing the markings of bullet holes and animal traps.

Forced to work alongside Detective Travis, with whom she shares a troubled past, Kim begins to uncover a dark secretive relationship between the families who own the land in which the bodies were found.

But while Kim is immersed in one of the most complicated investigations she’s ever led, her team are caught up in a spate of sickening hate crimes. Kim is close to revealing the truth behind the murders, yet soon finds one of her own is in jeopardy – and the clock is ticking. Can she solve the case and save them from grave danger – before it’s too late?

About the Author:

angiemarsons

Angela is the author of the Kim Stone Crime series. She discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.
Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.
After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.
She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion – Crime.
Angela is now signed to write a total of 16 Kim Stone books for http://bookouture.com and has secured a print deal with Bonnier Zaffre Publishing.

Dead Souls is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

You can read more of my reviews of Angela Marsons’ Kim Stone books here and here and a review of one of her non-crime books here, I also did a Q&A with the author which you can read here.

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:

ruthdugdall

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.

Review: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir @YrsaSig

 

 

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The Legacy

 

My Review:

This is the first book that I’ve read that could be classed Scandi Noir. I know that I’m a bit late to the party with this but better late than never is definitely the case!

I heard the author of The Legacy talking about her latest book on the radio, she read an exert from this book and I did not want her to stop, I wanted to know what happened next so as soon as I could get to my computer I looked the book up and I was delighted to get a copy via Netgalley.

What I hadn’t realised was quite how long this book was. At 464 pages this is not a short book, and as a slow reader, it’s quite a commitment for me to read and it took me a week to read. However, often when I read a long book I get almost resentful of the book and the amount of time that it is taking for me to read, I have so many other books waiting! But that did not happen with The Legacy, although aware that it was loooong I never felt that it should hurry up or get to the point, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish.

While the language was a little different and perhaps slightly simplistic due to the translation from Icelandic to English, I actually quite liked it, it made the book easy to read and a little bit different.

I really liked the main characters in the book, Hulder, the main detective was great and I look forward to getting to know him better in future books in the series, and the same with Freyja who works in The Children’s House, so is involved with a young girl who witnessed her mother being murdered but understandably does not want to talk about what she saw.

The deaths in The Legacy were really quite gruesome but the author skillfully avoided giving us too much detail and let us imagine what happened to the victim, something that I was very grateful for.

I am definitely converted and will be reading more from this author, and hopefully other Icelandic crime authors.

Blurb:

The first in an exciting new series from the author of THE SILENCE OF THE SEA, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for best Scandinavian Crime Novel.

The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?

The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

About the author:

Yrsa Sigurdardottir is an award-winning, best-selling author from Iceland. She began her career writing humorous novels for children but got sick of being funny and found being horrible is much easier. She made her crime fiction debut in 2005 with Last Rituals, the first installment in the Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series and has since been translated into 35 languages. Yrsa has also written several stand-alone thrillers and has a new series coming out in 2017 in the UK. Her work stands “comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world” according to the Times Literary Supplement. Her standalone horror novel, I Remember You will be in theaters in 2017, while adaptation of the Thóra series for English language television is underway.

The latest book to be published in the UK is Why Did You Lie, described by the Sunday Times as “a tour de force”. This was preceded by the 2015 Petrona Award winning Silence of the Sea and Someone to Watch Over Me, chosen by the Sunday Times as the best crime novel published in the UK in 2013.

Yrsa is also a civil engineer and still works as such on geothermal and hydro power plant projects in her native Iceland. She is not in agreement with her co-workers regarding her actual participation in the workplace lately, she states she works 50% but they say 30%. This issue is presently unresolved.

Follow Yrsa on Twitter: @YrsaSig (See what she did there? Saved you a whole lot of confusion while typing her last name)

The Legacy is out now and availble from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf.

 

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Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf.

 

My Review:

I’ve read a few books by the author and have always enjoyed them so I was keen to read Missing Pieces. However, once it was published I read a few reviews by bloggers that I trust that made me unsure about whether I would enjoy it. I normally try not to let reviews influence me but it did mean that Missing Pieces sank down my tbr pile.

It is unfortunate that I kind of wish that it had stayed there. Although the writing was good and it was easy to read with decent characters the story just did not grab me. I think that the reason is that the book gets straight into the story, there is absolutely no getting to know the characters before they’re thrown into turmoil by the events in the book, this meant that I really wasn’t sure what I thought about the main character, Sarah, although as the book went on I liked her less and less, but was she a reliable narrator? That I didn’t know and I think that the book suffered as a result.

When Sarah’s husband’s Aunt is critically ill in hospital after a fall down the stairs in her home Sarah and Jack head to his hometown, somewhere that he hasn’t returned to since he left twenty years ago. Sarah has never met any of Jack’s family and is looking forward to meeting them, she knows that Jack’s parents died in a car accident when Jack was a teenager and his aunt and uncle looked after him and his sister Amy.

However, soon after they arrive it becomes clear to Sarah that maybe she doesn’t know her husband as well as she thought that she did. This is where things got a bit difficult for me, Sarah’s reaction seemed slightly unusual, as did the actions of one of the locals who decided to help Sarah investigate her husband’s past.

If I’m honest I nearly gave up on this book many times, I felt guilty that it had taken me so long to get round to reading this book to review and that kept me going, it is also quite easy to read so I kept going. I was pretty sure that I’d worked things out long before the end, and I’m giving the book an extra half a star because the ending wasn’t quite what I had expected.

I’m not sure what went wrong with the author for this book, as I said I’ve read other books by Heather that I’ve really enjoyed, but next time I will be less keen to read one which is a shame.

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley, I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Missing Pieces is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour & review: An Impossible Dilemma by Netta Newbound.

 

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An Impossible Dilemma by Netta Newbound.

 

I first read this book almost two years ago. I don’t know about you but I suspect that if you showed me a list of books that I read two years ago I’d have a hard time remembering much about most of them, but I would definitely be able to tell you a good deal about An Impossible Dilemma by Netta Newbound as it is a book that has stayed with me. I’m a big fan of the author and I’m delighted that publishers, Bloodhound Books, have decided to publish this previously self-published book, so when I was asked whether I wanted to take part in the blog tour and post my review I jumped at the chance. However, reading the review now I am going to change it, it seems that two years of writing reviews have, hopefully, improved my review writing somewhat, and because I remember the book so well I feel confident that I can give a review that it deserves.

My 5* review:

How far would you go to save your daughter? Would you sacrifice another person in order to save her? That is the question posed by An Impossible Dilemma.

I am a big fan of Netta Newbound, she has a way with writing that sucks the reader in, her characters are believable and although the situation that Victoria finds herself in is anything but normal, I could always understand her actions, even if I don’t think that I could have done the same.

I actually read this book two years ago, but it has stayed with me and despite that and reading many other books in that time, I still remember clearly how I felt reading this book. Newbound once again crafts a gruesome tale, she really does have a way with words and an imagination that is, I think, unrivalled within the crime writing scene. There are a few scenes in An Impossible Dilemma that stay with me to this day.

The book is easy to read and will definitely grip you and suck you in, and it is bound to give you a lot to think about. If you’re a thriller fan then you are sure to enjoy this and if you have yet to read any books by Netta Newbound then this book is sure to convert you. I’m also sure that you will never look at pigs in the same way again!

Blurb:

An Utterly Compelling Psychological Thriller From a Best-selling Author

Would you choose to save your child if it meant someone else had to die?

Victoria and Jonathan Lyons seem to have everything—a perfect marriage, a beautiful daughter, Emily, and a successful business. Until they discover Emily, aged five, has a rare and fatal illness.

Medical trials show that a temporary fix would be to transplant a hormone from a living donor. However in the trials the donors die within twenty four hours. Victoria and Jonathan are forced to accept that their daughter is going to die.

In an unfortunate twist of fate Jonathan is suddenly killed in a farming accident and Victoria turns to her sick father-in-law, Frank, for help.  Then a series of events present Victoria and Frank with a situation that, although illegal, could save Emily.

Will they take their one chance and should they?

A Sinister and Darkly Compelling Psychological Thriller Novel, this book is intended for mature audiences and contains graphic and disturbing imagery.

Netta Newfound is the best-selling author of The Watcher.

An Impossible Dilemma is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

You can read my review of The Watcher, also by Netta Newbound, here.