Blog Tour Book Review: Frailty

frailty

Title: Frailty
Author: Betsy Reavley
Publisher: Bloodhounds Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

How far would you go to protect your family?

Danny and Libby are about to face every parent’s worst nightmare.

When eight-year-old Hope Bird disappears without a trace, from the quiet village she lives in, life for her family will never be the same again. Her parents know she would never have gone off alone and the police have no idea where she is. Then a child’s shoe is discovered and the case takes an unexpected turn. Soon a suspect is identified but this is only the beginning.

Will they ever find Hope?

My stop on the Frailty Blog Tour! #bloghounds

I was in awe of Betsy’s first book The Optician’s Wife and Frailty is another stunning read. The story hit me hard and I felt so wrapped up in the investigation to find Hope it’s a testament to Betsy’s fantastic ability to grip you until the very last page.

Very interesting characters, this book doesn’t try to convince you to see the very best in people it reminds you that there are people out there fuelled by money and leeching off the traumatic events a family can go through. It also reminds you some families are dysfunctional, with parents that are distanced even in the worse of times and how alcohol can become an unnecessary comfort. I loved reading about people who felt very real, flaws and all laid bare.

I was hit by the grief weighing the family down in their search for Hope and I find it amazing how clearly that sinking feeling in your gut grabs you, making the story feel more personal than you just being a spectator.

Mostly told from mother Libby’s point of view, you also see snippets from Hope’s point of view and it made my heart ache. Betsy keeps the suspense going right until the very end and I had no idea what was going to happen – completely unpredictable! Some shock moments scattered throughout to keep your mind working overtime.

If you’re looking for a real psychological thriller, this is the book for you.

Have a box of Kleenex nearby!

Rating:
four stars

The rest of the stops on the blog tour, check them out!…

frailty-blog-tour

 

Blog Tour Book Review: 34 Days

34days.jpg

Title: 34 Days
Author: Anita Waller
Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Synopsis:

Anna and Ray have been married for thirty-five years. They are parents and grandparents and appear to be a normal couple. But behind closed doors something isn’t right.

On the day of their wedding anniversary Anna makes a decision that changes everything and throws her family into turmoil. Anna will discover that she is not the only one who has suffered and by leaving Ray she sparks a series of events so awful that it might just end in murder…

My stop on the 34 Days Blog Tour! Welcome and I hope you enjoy my review.

An unusual and intriguing plot! Very cleverly written with some interesting characters, I could feel tension building as events unravelled and it has brilliant shock factor.

After the first chapter I could have guessed a millions times over where the story would take me but I would never have hit the nail on the head!

There are some characters I didn’t find likeable but the point of the story was understanding the relationships and seeing what made people tick and there was plenty to keep your brain busy working out who you loved and who irritated the living daylights out of you! Great to bring the characters to life in this way to give you such a strong opinion.

I was on edge wondering if secrets would be revealed at the wrong moment, then lulled into a false sense of security before being thrown straight back on edge it’s like being lost in a maze and worrying what you’ll see around every corner.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but the twist had me give that theatrical gasp which sounds so cheesy!! It’s worth a read to see a unique story with some intense and unforgettable moments.

Looking forward to seeing what Anita Waller will come up with next with that crazy imagination!

Rating:
four stars

Check out the rest of the the tour from the #bloghounds…34 days.jpg

 

 

 

Blog Tour Book Review: Candles and Roses

candles

Title: Candles and Roses
Author: Alex Walters
Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Synopsis:

Who will live and who will die? 

DI Alec McKay is a man haunted by the loss of his daughter.  As he obsesses over a missing person case that is going nowhere, McKay’s investigation is interrupted when bodies start appearing on the Scottish Black Isle. Soon McKay and his team start to identify a disturbing pattern behind the killings.

Why are candles and roses placed around the bodies?

What is this twisted murderer trying to achieve?

While the police follow their own leads, a young woman who discovered the first victim begins an investigation of her own.

As the case unfolds McKay will be forced to face his own demons.

To catch the killer McKay must discover the true motive and untangle the web of truth and lies.

Candles and Roses is the first book in the explosive new DI McKay Series.  

Terrific debut novel! DI Alec McKay is a brilliant character and I already can’t wait to see more of him. An interesting plot that had me turning the pages long after I’d told myself ‘only a couple of chapters’ – I found I’d finished half the book in one sitting and was running late to meet a friend for dinner!

You see the victims point of view as the murders take place which is really unusual and so gripping. This set me on edge as you begin to get that looming sense of dread, internally screaming at the characters not to put themselves in a dangerous situation, knowing how it will end.

Real nail biting stuff – seriously, I have none left. I felt more part of the investigation instead of feeling like an observer watching the progress throughout the story so my emotions were running high as they were trying to find the culprit. I spent most of the book shouting at characters for different things which is testament to how the writing and flow of the book dragged me in and didn’t release me until I finished that final page.

Perfect ending and I won’t say anymore on that – you’ll have to read it!

Rating:
four and a half star

The rest of the blog tour from the #bloghounds…

candles-and-roses

Blog Tour Book Review: Time to Play

time to play.jpg

Title: Time to Play
Author: K A Richardson
Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Synopsis:

DI Alistair McKay is still reeling from the ‘one that got away’ but when he is called to deal with a potential murder at the water side, he must put his personal worries aside.

As police diver, Marlo Buchanan, starts pulling bodies out of the water, it becomes clear that something isn’t right.

Someone is torturing young girls and dumping them in the local reservoir.

Then the body of a man is discovered and Mackay and Buchanan are pulled into the seedy underworld of human trafficking.

As the team race against the clock tensions start to run high.

Can they overcome their personal demons to work together?

And will they find the killer before he strikes again?

The team are back in the third novel from the gripping North East Police series.

I didn’t know at first that this was the third book of a series! This can most definitely be read as a standalone but I will 100% be going back to read the first two.

I’ve never read about a Police Diving Team before and I found this fascinating – so interesting to find out how this operates. I was immediately pulled in by the two main characters, Ali and Marlo, who are extremely likeable and relatable. They are both suffering separately from past events and the way they are written just makes you feel like you have an understanding of them as a whole and you can’t help but root for them to find love!

Fantastic storytelling and K A Richardson deals with revealing the devastation of human trafficking in an honest and stark way. There is no holding back on the descriptive violence and on more than one occasion I was wincing because it just felt so real.  My heart sank as I began to understand the realism behind the story and the desperate situations children find themselves in.

Gritty and moving, there are many layers to Time to Play and the story combined with the characters will have you flying through the pages.

Also, it’s only 99p at the moment in the Kindle Store! Go for it!

Rating:

four stars

The rest of the stops on the blog tour… #bloghounds

timeto-play

Blog Tour Book Review: Lazy Blood

lazy-blood

Title: Lazy Blood
Author: Ross Greenwood
Publisher: Bloodhound Books

My stop on the Lazy Blood blog tour! Thrilled to be part of it and chuffed to be bits to be part of the #bloghounds group.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Did you make friends at school?
Are they still your friends now?
Do you trust them?
Will is on his way to prison. His life is a mess, but who is to blame?

Set over thirty years, Lazy Blood is a dramatic tale of the endurance of friendship, the frailty of life, the drama of love and how they can all be ruined by broken people, random events and idle choices.

Where do I start?!

Superb storytelling. You meet Will, Darren, Aiden and Carl as schoolboys and travel through with them to adulthood – and the level of detail poured in to every character makes sure you are entirely wrapped up in their journey. I could barely put the book down I was gripped from the first few pages right to the very end and I can’t remember the last time I felt so connected to a character as I did with Will.

Dark, gritty, but with the theme of friendship shining through and some genuinely laugh out loud moments this book will tug at your heartstrings as much as it will want you to throw it across the room in frustration!

The story progresses perfectly through time and captures the hardships that life can throw at you, and this really did make me pause for thought. I think Ross Greenwood has a special talent for engaging the reader and I can’t wait to read his next book this is a terrific debut!

Rating:
four and a half star

Here are the rest of the stops on the blog tour take a look at the other reviews, author interviews and a giveaway for tomorrow’s stop! 

 

New Lazy Blood Flyer.jpg

Book Review: Baby Doll

baby doll

Title: Baby Doll
Author: Hollie Overton
To Be Published: 12th July 2016
Publisher: Random House UK, Cornerstone

Many thanks to Random House UK, Cornerstone and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

You’ve been held captive in one room, mentally and physically abused every day, since you were sixteen years old.

Then, one night, you realize your captor has left the door to your cell unlocked.

For the first time in eight years, you’re free.

This is about what happens next …

Lily knows that she must bring the man who nearly ruined her life – her good-looking high-school teacher – to justice. But she never imagined that reconnecting with her family would be just as difficult. Reclaiming her relationship with her twin sister, her mother, and her high school sweetheart who is in love with her sister may be Lily’s greatest challenge. After all they’ve been through, can Lily and her family find their way back after this life-altering trauma?

Can I give this six stars? An emotional, poignant and powerful read. I thought it was so interesting that the story starts after Lily’s escape from her confinement. The relationships are well developed between the characters, I was full invested and deeply moved by Lily’s journey to return to some kind of ‘norm’. Lily is a fighter and so well written this is one of my favourite reads of 2016 so far.

I felt absolutely savage towards Rick and he is the scariest type of monster out there with the way he presents himself and what goes on behind closed doors. My heart was in my mouth at points and the way the story is told is absolutely riveting.

The relationship between Lily and her twin sister Abby is heart-warming, and so genuine as Hollie Overton is a twin herself. I was moved to tears reading about their first reunion and I was particularly hit by the struggle Abby had been through missing her sister for so many years with no idea what had taken her away.

I have to say Abby is my favourite character, with her fierce passion and fiery personality – I could picture her so clearly and her fragile state of mind was poured out to me with such emotion that I have to commend Overton for her fantastic writing skills.

By the end of the book I was left feeling so lucky to be part of a loving family and especially grateful for my three older sisters who I know I have a strong bond with. The sign of a fantastic book is one that you think about long after you have finished reading that final page.

Rating:

five stars

TBR List March/April

Wow I have a lot of amazing books to read over the end of March and spilling into April! After a very busy couple of months am desperately trying to salvage some reading time!

Some of my most looked forward to reading:
In Too Deep – Samantha Hayes
The Missing – C.L.Taylor
The Last One – Alexandra Oliva
The Good Mother – A.L.Bird


I’ve just started reading David Videcette’s The Theseus Paradox, a crime thriller based on the London 7/7 bombings of 2005. David is a former Scotland Yard investigator who worked on the London bombings and I cannot wait to read and review this – the reviews I’ve seen so far have been absolutely outstanding!

the theseus paradox
Any of these on your reading list? Or if you’ve already read these let me know which one I should go for next after The Theseus Paradox!

Book Review: The Girl in the Ice

the girl in the ice

Title: The Girl in the Ice
Author: Robert Bryndza
Published: 12th February 2016
Publisher: Bookouture

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

Fantastic debut in a new police procedural series. Mysterious, dramatic and absolutely gripping. DCI Erika Foster is such a brilliant character; her back-story had me hooked and I rooted for her with her investigation – Bryndza is a hugely talented writer. In fact, I would happily read a prequel of this book to find out more about Erika’s past and what actually happened with the investigation that went wrong and led to the death of her husband.

The twist at the end took me by complete surprise and don’t you just love it when a book can do that? (And I’m usually so suspicious of everyone at some point I get on the right track to guessing the end). I had fun pointing the finger at a number of characters throughout and the plot is terrific, you are pulled in from the get go desperate to know what vicious creature is responsible for the girl in the ice.

Descriptive writing was absolutely nailed to make you feel as though you are there when the bodies are found, I could literally feel my heart pounding at so many moments. If you are a fan of police procedural thrillers I promise that The Girl in the Ice will not disappoint.

Bryndza is currently writing the next novel ‘The Night Stalker’ and I cannot wait to read it!

Rating:
five stars

Book Review: Viral

viral

Title: Viral
Author: Helen Fitzgerald
To Be Published: 4th February 2016
Publisher: Faber and Faber

Many thanks to Helen Fitzgerald, Faber and Faber and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Leah and her adopted sister, Su, go on holiday to Magaluf with friends. Su is the opposite of Leah – studious, organised and in control. But it’s Leah that comes home from Magaluf while Su goes in to hiding. A drunken video of her performing a sex act in a bar goes viral and Su can’t face coming home. Ruth is both the girls mum and a court judge and she is furious. How could Leah let this happen? And more importantly, how she can find Su to bring her home?

I was hooked immediately with a shocking opening line – honest and unabashed. A pacey read; I quite literally could not put this down. A modern subject matter which makes you question your own morals about sharing online video content and whether you think about the individual when you watch and discuss video’s like this.

I fell in love with Su. I felt her shame and despair and was on the edge of my seat wishing that in the end everything would be okay. This is a compelling and thought-provoking modern read exploring the impact of public humiliation on a family. At times, this made for some difficult reading. You can’t help but imagine yourself and your family if something like this ever happened to you and it sharply made me understand how important it is to have loyal friends and family to listen to all sides of the story.

Su and her family have a distinct lack of control during this dramatic episode and are locked in a comprehensive and convincing struggle. A story of this nature was intended to provoke thought rather than give you a traditional happy ending, which it certainly did. Absolutely fascinating to read – moving, uncomfortable but unputdownable.

Rating:
four stars

Indie Book Review: After Dad

after dad

Title: After Dad
Author: Ralph Cohen
Published: 13th January 2014
Publisher: Tattersall Press

Many thanks to Ralph Cohen for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

This heart-wrenching story follows an American family in the 1960’s dealing with the sudden loss of husband and father, Frank Kovacek. A great void is left in the family and you see how widow Ruth and children Jenny, Margot and Toby continue to be influenced by Frank, such a powerful figure even in death.

‘What made it so hard was that the place looked like he’d just left it. The floor was covered with sawdust and wood shavings, and tools were scattered all over the place. There was even a long narrow board clamped to a sawhorse, as if he’d tightened it down only seconds ago. It was almost as if the room was holding its breath, just waiting for him to come back’

Hugely character driven, you see each family member’s personal journey and attempt to deal with grief. It’s written in such a way that you attach yourself to each character before you even realise it – I laughed, sobbed and prayed for the children in particular to go out there and make something of themselves. Cohen has brought these characters to life; I could feel the struggle with grief deep within the pages.

This book made me conscious of how precious memories are and I was confronted with this need to make sure I savour every moment I have with my family because we really don’t know how long we have. It’s outstanding that a book can hit you like this and make you connect with it so personally – Ralph Cohen really is a stunningly talented writer.

The end was haunting for me. I’d become really attached to Toby and I could feel how affected he was by the loss of his dad at such a young, impressionable age. His cheekiness had me. And his story broke my heart, to the point where I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days – powerful stuff.

I couldn’t even think about giving this anything less than 5 stars. Outstanding.

Rating:
five stars