Book Review: I See You

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Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK
Published: 28th July 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:

You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you’re going.

You’re not alone.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .

I cannot recommend this book enough. I thought it would be really hard to follow on from I Let You Go which is in my top 10 books I have ever read but Clare Mackintosh has more than managed to add I See You to the list.

An intense, scarily believable (and exceptionally clever) plot full of heart-stopping twists and real emotions; I almost forgot to breathe at so many points. Clare’s writing skills really are second to none; she has a real talent for engaging the reader. The suspense devoured me and I ended up finishing the book within a day and a half – I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I cancelled all my weekend plans and raced through it (worth it).

Zoe’s character is fantastic; she is imperfect just like most of the population and you can really identify with her and the way she tries to deal with the extraordinary circumstances she finds herself in. Reading those short chapters from the perpetrator’s point of view was so gripping and had my hairs standing on end – creepy, dark and terrifyingly realistic.

Lastly, the most beautiful cover of a book I have ever seen! I will treasure this on my bookshelf.

Huge thanks to Tracy from TBC and the publishers for the ARC.

Rating:
five stars

Blog Tour Book Review: The Good Kind of Bad

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Title: The Good Kind of Bad
Author: Rita Brassington
Published: 28th November 2015
Publisher: Rita Brassington!

I am thrilled to be part of this blog tour and to share my review for a fabulous read.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Secrets don’t stay secret for long…

She spent her whole life being the perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend, and was all ready to become the perfect wife.

But after ditching her fiancé at the altar and escaping to Chicago, she marries smouldering stranger Joe Petrozzi three weeks after meeting him in a bar. At least this time, there’s no chance of cold feet.

Married life starts out great: there’s the new job, a gorgeous, enigmatic husband and money’s not an issue.

So what if she’s kept a few secrets from Joe – like where all her money came from. Joe’s been keeping secrets from her, too.

But his might just get her killed.

Intriguing, fast-paced, shocking and full of suspense. This story packs a punch… and then some!

Layers of depth to the characters, I was hooked from the get go falling in to (the new!) Mrs Petrozzi’s world and feeling as though I were personally travelling alongside her getting to know the mysterious Joe Petrozzi after a whirlwind wedding! I genuinely couldn’t guess where the plot was taking me and there’s something magical about letting yourself just get absolutely lost in a really good book.

Rita is a clever, skillful writer and got me good with the twists and turns – I got those great shock moments and this is one of those books where at the time of reading I was constantly talking about it to everyone around me (if it takes me by surprise I just have to tell someone about it!). Ultimately the sign of great writing and I can imagine this being made into a FAB film.

Original, interesting and some moving themes covered. Domestic violence and mental health was dealt with sensitively and felt incredibly realistic; I was on the absolute edge of my seat during the final chapters.

I’ll most certainly be on the lookout for what Rita releases next!

Rating:

four stars

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Book Review: The Silent Twin

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Title:
The Silent Twin
Author: Caroline Mitchell
To Be Published: 14th April 2016
Publisher: Bookouture

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

Goodreads Synopsis:

I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

I was absolutely hooked right from the very start.  An interesting plot and I really enjoyed the supernatural twist. You seamlessly get pulled in to each character so you feel like you know them really well… but be prepared that nothing is ever as it first appears to be!

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Complex, dark and utterly compelling. It takes a skilled writer to capture emotion so perfectly, with action that effortlessly flew me from start to finish I can’t remember the last time I read a book so quickly! DC Jennifer Knight is a fantastic character, so likeable as I understood her caring nature and happily traveled alongside her as she tried to fit misshapen jigsaw pieces together to find Abigail. This book contains some seriously edge-of-your-seat stuff… be prepared for the ride!

The only reason I have given 4 instead of 5 stars is that I was DESPERATE for there to have been more depth to the paranormal angle as it was soooo intriguing!

Let me know what you thought of the book! Did you love the paranormal slant?

Rating:

four stars

Book Review: The Girl You Lost

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Title: The Girl You Lost
Author: Kathryn Croft
To Be Published: 5th February 2016
Publisher: Bookouture

Many thanks to NetGalley, Kathryn Croft and Bookouture for the ARC in return for an honest review. 

Eighteen years ago Simone Porter’s gorgeous baby girl, Helena, was abducted when she was just six month’s old. Simone and Matt supported one another through the following years of grief and torment, staying together and praying that one day they would find out what happened to their daughter.

And then a young woman named Grace tracks Simone down and tells her that she has information about Helena. Can Grace be trusted? Before she can decide, Grace disappears without a trace. Simone embarks on a journey to try and find the woman who might be the key to finding Helena but the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her journey becomes…

This book is nothing short of mind-blowing because there is no doubt you will be kept guessing right until the very end. The dark theme of child abduction had me gripped from the first few pages, and at no point does the story disappoint. Love a good twist? Then this is the ULTIMATE thriller for you and you need to buy this when it comes out shortly on the 5th of February!

Your perceptions will change throughout the book, it’s a whirlwind of betrayal, deception and hope. A fantastic plot which makes you question your sense of right and wrong and leaves you wondering what you would do if faced with the same situation.

Simone is such a great character, there is real depth to her and I understood her motives and the way she approached her journey from start to finish. In fact, there’s also amazing depth to every character you are introduced to. They are completely individual, time has been spent on making sure you’re able to visualise them all and get a sense of either liking them, mistrusting them or even just being suspicious of their behaviour at different points – all part of keeping you guessing until the VERY last second.

When I read those last few jaw-dropping (trust me) pages and it all came together, I made such a commotion my partner ran in to the room to ask if I was ok – any book that can give such a reaction cannot be any less than a 5 star!

Rating:
five stars

 

Book Review: Missing Pieces

Missing Pieces

Title: Missing Pieces
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
To Be Published: February 2016
Publisher: Harlequin (US & Canada)

Many thanks to Harlequin (US & Canada) and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The story starts with Sarah Quinlan following her husband, Jack, back to Penny Gate, Iowa, after he learns that his Aunt Julia has been in a serious accident. It’s the first time Jack has returned to Penny Gate following the death of his mother over 20 years ago. Sarah feels uneasy learning things about Jack that she hasn’t seen evidence of throughout the whole of their marriage – what happens when you start to believe that everything you know about your husband seems to a lie? A story that shows you the consequences of keeping secrets from loved ones.

If you’re a fan of a classic ‘whodunit’ this book will be perfect for you and your mind will be working overtime to figure out who the villain is – there are so many to point the finger at!
However, I felt that this book had a slightly slow start. I wasn’t immediately drawn to the narrator Sarah; her relationship with Jack seemed strange as there was a distinct lack of communication for a married couple of 20 years. Perhaps Jack needed to be distant to highlight the past he was hiding?

‘It seemed wrong, almost unholy, to be intruding on this very private moment in Jack’s life. But there was no turning back now. She had to hear the rest.’

The suspense as family secrets were revealed was excellent, I was pulled into the mystery and genuinely had no idea who was responsible for the savage killings so the ending gave me that great ‘gasp’ moment – brilliant shock power. Sarah and some other characters were slightly lacking (although I can’t go into detail because of possible spoilers), however I was leaning towards a 5* review.

Rating:
four stars

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood

 

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My thanks to Random House UK, Vintage Publishing and NetGalley for the copy in return for an honest review.

A hen party gone wrong. Nora, a crime fiction writer, comes across an e-mail inviting her to a hen party. But she hasn’t spoken to the hen in ten years. Why has she been invited? Nora decides to go and she finds herself with an odd group of people; she realizes she’s made the wrong decision – and then there is a murder. Waking up in hospital and unable to remember what happened, she has to dig deep and try and fit the missing pieces of the puzzle together…

For me, the ending was the best part of the book. It brought together loose ends, with all my lingering questions being answered.

I just didn’t understand or connect with some of the characters, quite a few of them feeling one dimensional. I did find Nora’s character likeable but I struggled with the idea of a six month relationship causing so much heartache ten years on. I also found it strange Nora would feel compelled to accept an invite from someone she’d had such little contact with for a number of years.

The motive for murder made sense to me when everything came together and there were elements of suspense which kept me turning the pages. I had fun imagining each character as the killer as there were quite a few possibilities so the reveal was a good surprise!

Ruth Ware managed to build tension really well throughout but I wasn’t captivated by this thriller like I have been with others in the genre.

Rating:
three stars

Have you read this book? Let me know if you had a different opinion to me!

Book Review: The Girl in the Red Coat

The girl in the red coat
This debut novel by Katie Hamer has the trappings of a thriller. Eight year old Carmel, an imaginative and curious young girl, is lured away by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather after becoming separated from her mother, Beth, at a local children’s festival. As time passes, Carmel begins to realise that this man believes she has a special gift…

Told through the voices of the grieving mother and the missing daughter, it keeps you turning pages to find out if they will ever be reunited.

I am so glad that I gave this book a go. I started to get a sense of what it means to be brave, and how the definition isn’t limited to the ‘knight in shining armour’ stereotype. Bravery is lots of things, and sometimes it simply means taking that step towards moving forward in a difficult period of time and not letting time stand still.

‘Courage, I told myself, courage. Courage, I made one foot go in front of the other. Courage, up the steps. I found the room number, courage, I opened the door’

This beautifully written novel gives you an imaginative insight into the world as an 8 year old might see it. It is incredibly moving and I felt protective of Carmel throughout her extraordinary journey, which in turn fuelled my sense of how Carmel’s mother, Beth, was feeling as the days turned in to months and months turned in to years.

Is it important to feel so strongly about the characters in a book? Of course it is, you can’t fall in love with every character and I think your sense of like and dislike can teach you things about yourself based on your decision-making. I despised Dennis from start to finish, for his way of manipulating his actions to make them seem just. Tension crackled through the pages as Carmel struggled to adjust to fit in as part of a new and unusual ‘family’. My only wish was for a more solid and just end to the novel; I wanted to see punishment for Dennis stealing years that should have been for Beth to share with Carmel as she blossomed from a girl in to a young woman.

‘As he grows up her name will be that of a girl from a fairy tale. He’ll grow up and the world moves on, and on and on. I glimpsed something, the future moving in a blur ahead’

I believe we read to books to find out about who we are. The writing is open and honest and the thoughts running through the minds of the characters are realistic, the characters could just walk off the page. The essence of the book isn’t the classic ‘whodunnit’ and why, it’s a story and love and loss and how a mother and daughter cope with their separation.

Rating:
stars for review

Have you read The Girl in the Red Coat? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!