So, I’m doing a spot of admin and catching up on all things blog when I realise that I have some books that I have read this year that I have not reviewed. Not good and not like me but this year has been a very difficult one where normality has changed. So, better late than never, here is my review for The Date by the lovely Louise Jensen.
I do like a Louise Jensen book, they are easy to read and they always make me think. The Date is no different.
Ali is a normal person, struggling through the ups and downs of life, healing from a relationship and moving forward. But things take a terrible turn for the worst and Ali finds herself incredibly vulnerable and dependent on others, friends gather around and try to help but Ali finds herself more and more isolated. But is her life at risk?
There are twists and turns as Ali struggles to adjust to her new life, but who can she trust and will she work that out before it is too late?
Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of The Date by Louise Jensen. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
One night can change everything.
‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’
Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.
Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…
From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister, The Gift and The Surrogate, The Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.
How exciting is this?!!! Ronnie Turner, a fabulous book blogger has written a book! I can’t begin to say how happy I am for her that she not only wrote the book and finished it (something that I am struggling with) but also got it published with the rather brilliant HQDigital. When Ronnie asked whether her fellow book bloggers wanted to be part of the blog tour for her book we all jumped at the chance, I think that there are about 70 blogs taking part which is pretty crazy! But I’m delighted to be one of them.
I really, really wanted to like Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner but was a little bit scared that I wouldn’t. Thankfully from about page five, I was sucked into the story and for the rest of the book, I was hooked.
The story is told from different points of view with each chapter told by one person. I have to admit that I struggle with multiple characters like that and when there are more than about three or four it takes me a while to get into it and remember who everyone is. I suspect that might be because of my dyslexia but I’m not sure. So although I was enjoying the book and the characters it did take me some time to put it all together.
Some of the chapters were set in the past and others in the current, we have no idea how these stories connect, but we know that they do.
I really liked Maisie, the intensive care nurse who gives everything to her patients and their families, she seemed really nice but there was a vulnerability to her, we knew that there was a sadness there but it takes a while for us to work out the cause.
Miller is a young boy who is, quite frankly, deeply disturbing. I quite enjoyed reading about him because I just knew that he would grow up to be a really evil man and the twisted part of me wanted to know what he was going to do.
And then there was John, a man who loves his wife but is besotted with his daughter Bonnie. John’s world falls apart when Bonnie goes missing, vanishing from their front room. John and his wife are tortured with photos of Bonnie hurt, the police have no idea where she is or who might have her, will they find her in time? I have to admit that at times when reading about Bonnie (and Miller), I wondered about the author and how she had managed to come up with some of it, let alone write about it and put her characters through it.
I have to say that I loved The Lies Between Us, it kept me guessing the whole way through and for a debut novel, it is incredibly accomplished. I cannot wait to read what Ronnie Turner writes next.
Thank you to Ronnie Turner and HQDigital for a copy of Lies Between Us, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
Will they ever learn the truth?
Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .
John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.
Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.
Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.
They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .
A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.
Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.
Ronnie’s debut novel, Lies Between Us, will be published by HQ Digital in October 2018.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book, I like reading books without reading the blurb, or when I read the blurb so long ago that I’ve forgotten it and just know that I want to read the book.
The book starts off brilliantly with an intense scene where Emily sees a woman hit by a car and killed instantly. It sucked me right into the story and I was excited about where the story was going to go next.
Seeing something so horrific will mess anyone up right? But as the book progresses I became unsure of Emily and quite how stable she was. Her way of thinking about things and events seemed so unlike that of people around her so it wasn’t clear who was telling us an accurate account, if anyone was.
When Emily steps into the life of Rose, the woman that she had seen killed, we know that it can’t be a good thing. She’s so desperate for friendship and love, but will that make her blind to what is really going on?
At times I felt frustrated with Emily, she really was incredibly naive, but had she finally found people that cared about her for who she was? People that would finally help her move on with her survivors guilt and the mess that she got herself into?
I really liked how some of the characters in Her Name Was Rose developed, small characters became big characters, nice characters became bad and bad became good. It was cleverly written and played out.
I didn’t really like Emily and I felt that the ending was just a tad too obvious, but I really enjoyed reading My Name Is Rose and I know that this book will appeal to many readers. It certainly appealed to me.
Thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books for a copy of Her Name was Rose by Claire Allan. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
This new Irish voice is bursting onto the scene with her first foray into the thriller genre. This promises to be one of the most exciting debuts of 2018. Perfect for fans of Lianne Moriarty, B. A. Paris, Gillian Flynn and Marian Keyes.
Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.
When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.
And then she makes a decision she can never take back.
Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?
But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.
About the author:
A former journalist and columnist, Claire Allan has been writing fiction since 2006.
An Irish Times bestseller, she has tackled issues from post-natal depression, infertility, and dementia through to writing a based-on-a-true-story book about a couple reunited after 50 years apart. She has now decided to unleash her dark side!
Married with two children, two cats and a mad puppy she is happiest lost in a good book. She has kissed Michael Buble.
Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
I enjoyed The Choice by Jake Cross, it’s a fast-paced read with lots happening, but in order to enjoy this book I think that you really need to just go with the book and not think about how realistic something is (or isn’t).
If you were driving along a road when it is dark and there are no houses or other cars around and suddenly in front of your car was a woman, you slam on the brakes and she begs you to help her, would you help? That’s what Karl is faced with at the start of this book, it is clear that the woman is terrified and so he decides to help her. But it soon becomes clear that people are after the woman and Karl knows that they have seen his van. The woman, Liz, insists that Karl is at risk, that the men she is running from will find him but he dismisses it. She also refuses to go to the police, something that Karl goes along with.
It soon becomes clear that Karl and his pregnant wife are in danger and Karl teams up with Liz to try and survive. This is when things get a little bit far-fetched, but if you ignore that then you’ll enjoy the ride!
Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of The Choice by Jake Cross, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
‘You’ve got to help me,’ she pleads.
On a wet road in the black of night, Karl Seabury is driving home to his pregnant wife. Suddenly, caught in his headlights in the middle of the road is a woman shaking with fright.
The woman says her name is Liz Smith, that her home was attacked, and that she was the only one to escape.
In a split-second decision, Karl decides to help her to safety. But Liz is hiding a dark secret and now his good deed has put his family in terrible danger…
An absolutely unputdownable thriller, with twist after twist after twist, that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, John Marrs and Harlan Coben.
About The Author:
Jake has been making stuff up from a real early age. His parents never believed his silly lies when he was young, so he still has no idea why he thought he could invent a decent story as an adult. But he kept trying, and here we are. THE CHOICE is his first novel, the first of three thrillers to be published by Bookouture, and he hopes you like it. If you don’t, he at least hopes you don’t ask for a refund.
Ok, so this review could be very, very short. Basically, all that I will say in it can be summed up in these few words ‘It is bloody brilliant and you should read it.’
If you’d like to know a little bit more about the book then keep reading, no spoilers obviously, but if not then you get the gist and that is all that you need to know.
I’d heard a lot about The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor and was desperate to read it, I just couldn’t wait until publication day so I totally abused my position as a book blogger and begged the publisher to let me read it earlier. Luckily for me, they were very obliging. I was so excited when it landed on my Kindle that I started to read it straight away and once I started I struggled to stop. It was just so so good I couldn’t put it down! Forget the washing/cleaning/cooking/shopping/kids/pets/work/tv/sleep/anything, it won’t get done until you finish reading this book. I’m a slow reader and I read it in two days, sleep didn’t matter, I just had to keep reading.
That this book is a debut is incredibly impressive, the writing is solid and the plot is twisted and well written, the characters are believable and realistic. It’s pretty much as close to a perfect book as you can get.
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for each other as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing will ever be the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out his other friends got the same messages, they think it could be a prank… until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.
About The Author:
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.
She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.
In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.
While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.
She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’
The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’
She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.
She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.
Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.
She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.
She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.
Everyone calls her Caz.
The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor is released on 11th January 2018 and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
I was immediately attracted to the blurb of The Child Finder by Rene Denfield. The thought of someone whose job was to track missing children was interesting and something that I really wanted to read.
Naomi Cottle is an unusual character, I didn’t find her particularly likeable but she was certainly interesting and her backstory was intriguing. Although the story focuses on Madison, a young child who went missing three years ago in an isolated wood while looking for a Christmas Tree with her parents, we also find out about some of the children that Naomi has found previously which helps to add depth to the story and also a sense of urgency. And we hear from Madison herself, finding out where she has been for three years and how she has managed to survive.
The concept is great and I did enjoy reading it, but I didn’t think that it was particularly well written. This didn’t spoil the read for me though and it was a real journey in many ways as while tracking Madison, Naomi is forced to confront her past as it brings up some of her own childhood that she has blocked out and feels scared to remember, but also aware that it is something that she needs to do in order to stop running from her past.
I really don’t want to give too much away, but this is a great read that I really enjoyed. If you like psychological thrillers then this is a book for you.
Naomi Cottle finds missing children. When the police have given up their search and an investigation stalls, families call her. She possesses a rare, intuitive sense, born out of her own harrowing experience that allows her to succeed when others have failed.
Young Madison Culver has been missing for three years. She vanished on a family trip to the mountainous forests of Oregon, where they’d gone to cut down a tree for Christmas. Soon after she disappeared, blizzards swept the region and the authorities presumed she died from exposure.
But Naomi knows that Madison isn’t dead. Can she find the child – and also find out why this particular case is stirring the shadows of her own memories? Could her future be bound to this girl in a way she doesn’t understand?
About The Author:
Rene Denfield is the bestselling author of THE ENCHANTED and THE CHILD FINDER. Her lyrical fiction has won numerous awards including the prestigious French Prix, an ALA Medal for Excellence and an IMPAC listing. In addition to writing, Rene works as a licensed investigator. She has worked hundreds of cases, including missing persons, and was the Chief Investigator at the public defender’s office. The child of a difficult history herself, Rene has dedicated her life to helping others. She has been a foster-adoptive parent for 20 years, and is the happy mother to three children she adopted from foster care.
The Child Finder by Rene Denfield is out in the UK on 11th January 2018 and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK. Or you can order the hardback from Amazon US now.
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!
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 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.