When a young woman disappears, seemingly abducted, local vet Jenny is more concerned than most. Jenny has managed to distance herself from her traumatic past, changing her name and building a life for herself where nobody knows the truth. Olivia’s disappearance has changed all that, however, as it bears a resemblance to a case she is very familiar with: the murders committed by her father when she was younger. Someone knows what happened and is taunting her, but who?
The Serial Killer’s Daughter starts with a great hook and I was immediately drawn in to the story. Jenny is the ultimate unreliable narrator, and from the start of the book, we are left wondering if she knows more about the disappearance or whether she is, indeed, being set up by someone from her past. Once we find out about the blackouts she is having, this muddies the water further – has she done something during a blackout that she, herself, is even unaware of?
Despite the uncertainty surrounding her involvement, I had great sympathy for Jenny and what she had gone through as a child. As the book progresses, we get to find out more about her father’s crimes and how this has affected her whole life. Is murder in her blood? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
With thanks to Avon Books UK and Net Galley for my ARC.
Emily Toller has tried to put what happened to her at university out of her mind, the memories being too traumatic to think about. An invitation to a reunion stirs it all up and, for the first time, she contemplates facing her fears and returning to Cambridge. Has the time finally come to expose the truth and exact revenge on those who have made her life hell?
The Reunion is told from Emily’s perspective in two time frames: the present and her time at Cambridge University. I’ve always liked this way of telling a story and Polly Phillips uses this technique with expertise, whetting our appetite with events in the present then taking us back to the past to discover exactly led to this situation.
The characterisation is superb and I particularly enjoyed seeing the contrast in the personalities of certain characters from the present compared to their past. We know from quite early on that something happened that changed Emily, taking her from a promising Cambridge undergraduate to a woman who feels she has underachieved. What we don’t know, however, is what it was, and this is where the author’s superb plotting comes into play. It would have been easy to drop hints throughout the book but, instead, we are kept waiting to discover the truth about that fateful night in Cambridge. Desperate to find out the truth, I read The Reunion in a couple of sittings!
There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, most of which I didn’t see coming, making this one of the least predictable books I have read in a while. This is the first Polly Phillips book I have read but it certainly won’t be the last.
With thanks to Simon & Schuster and Tracy Fenton for organising the blog tour.
Izzy’s gift could also be described as a curse. Her strong empathetic abilities mean that she can read the emotions of those around her and can tell when they are lying. When a local girl goes missing and her school’s caretaker appears on television interview discussing what he saw, Izzy immediately knows he is lying. Informing the police, she knows that it is unlikely she will be taken seriously so despite being discouraged, she begins to investigate, putting herself in potential danger and alienating herself from the few people she has on her side.
One of the things I like most about David Jackson’s writing is his ability to come up with novel concepts for a plot. In No Secrets, what could have been a straightforward police procedural is turned completely on its head with the main character being a concerned member of the public with no connection to the missing girl. Izzy is a great character who I actually cared about and although she was clearly, at times, putting herself in danger, I could see why she refused to give up on her search for the truth.
There is also a fantastic supporting cast of characters with Josh, the police officer tasked with investigating the case, being a particular favourite. His scenes with Izzy were a joy to read, filled with humour and sadness. This is a stark contrast to several of the other characters whose scenes made my skin crawl!
Although this is very much a character-driven novel, there is also a gripping plot that kept me hooked right until the last page, testing my emotions as we discover exactly what has been happening. The prologue definitely whetted my appetite for what was to come and I was not disappointed in what was to be a well-written, breath-taking read.
With thanks to Viper Books and Net Galley for my ARC.
Walking in her new neighbourhood, Detective Erika Foster stumbles upon the brutal murder of true-crime podcaster, Vicky Clarke. Before she died, Vicky was working on a new episode about a sexual predator who operates in student halls of residence around London. Discovering that her episode notes are missing, it leads the detective to believe that Vicky had uncovered some vital evidence, culminating in her death. The case takes a sudden turn when the body of a second woman is found in the same building, leaving Erika questioning everything she thought she knew. Can she find the killer before they strike again?
It has been long four years since the last Erika Foster book but she is back, and definitely back with a bang! It took no time at all to reacquaint myself with the characters but first time readers of this series will be happy to know that this could be read as a standalone. I did enjoy the little reference to the author’s Kate Marshall series though!
Robert Bryndza always has the knack of grabbing your attention and he has certainly done the same in Fatal Witness, with a prologue that details a particularly gruesome murder. This immediately drew me in to the story, prompting me to wonder what could have taken place prior to this to warrant such a violent death.
The plot continues to be chilling throughout as Erika uncovers what the woman was working on and tries to make connections to her death. The case is not a simple one, however, and there are plenty of twists that surprise both the police and the reader, each one delivered perfectly by the author. There are enough suspects to keep you guessing, culminating in a satisfying, if violent, denouement.
I had been longing for a new Erika Foster book and was not let down! Fatal Witness is a gripping page turner that had my heart racing. Hopefully it won’t be another four years before the next one!
With thanks to Raven Street Publishing and Net Galley for my ARC.
World War Two has started and Justice Jones has a new mystery to solve as she believes that there is a spy in their midst. This is a fantastic series for those of us brought up on the books of Enid Blyton.
When Olivia is released from prison after serving time for attempting to have her husband killed, she only has one thing on her mind: to clear her name. This is a twisted plot that makes us ask who we can really trust.
The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Alice Hunter
When a woman goes missing and strange things start being left on her doorstep, Jenny is perturbed. She’s spent her life hiding the true identity of her father and yet someone clearly knows who he is. The crime is chillingly close to what her father did all those years ago – what if she is more like him than she realises…
Books I Have Acquired
THEY BELIEVE HIS LIES. SHE KNOWS THE TRUTH.
You can’t lie to Izzy Lambert. Her highly developed empathic abilities allow her to read people’s emotions with terrifying accuracy – and consequences. As a child her insights sparked her parents’ divorce. As an adult she avoids getting too close to people for fear of what she might learn.
But now young girls are going missing in her town. The police have no suspects but, seeing her old school caretaker interviewed on the news about the story, Izzy comes to a chilling realisation: he knows where the missing girls are. When the police won’t take her seriously despite the lives at stake, she will risk everything to uncover the truth
Tom Harper must catch a traitor intent on disrupting the war effort and bringing terror to the streets of Leeds in this page-turning mystery.
Leeds. December, 1916. Deputy Chief Constable Tom Harper is called out in the middle of the night when a huge explosion rips through a munitions factory supplying war materials, leaving death and destruction in its wake. A month later, matches and paper to start a fire are found in an army clothing depot. It’s a chilling discovery: there’s a saboteur running loose on the streets of Leeds.
As so many give their lives in the trenches, Harper and his men are working harder than ever – and their investigation takes a dark twist with two shootings, at the local steelworks and a hospital. With his back against the wall and the war effort at stake, Harper can’t afford to fail. But can he catch the traitor intent on bringing terror to Leeds?
This Halloween prepare to be terrified with C. J. Tudor’s first collection of short stories.
Featuring eleven twisted tales of the macabre, including:
The Lion at the Gate in which a strange piece of graffiti leads to a terrifying encounter for four school friends . . . Butterfly Island which tells the story of a group of survivors who wash up on a deserted island and make a horrifying discovery . . .
Gloria where a cold-hearted killer encounters a strange young girl at a motorway service station with unexpected consequences . . .]
Prepare for the big chill . . .
An overturned coach full of students. A stranded cable car full of strangers. An isolated chalet full of friends.
Outside, a snowstorm rages. Inside one group, a killer lurks. But which one?
And why is no rescue coming? What are they trying to escape from? And who are the terrifying Whistlers?
A locked-room mystery. A dystopian thriller. A nail-shredding horror.
One mind-bending twist.
THE DRIFT – survival can be murder.
A chance to reconnect. A chance to get revenge . . .
Emily Toller has tried to forget her time at university and the events that led to her suddenly leaving under a cloud. She has done everything she can to forget the shame and the trauma – and the people involved. She has tried to focus on the life she has built with her children and husband, Nick.
But events like that can’t just be forgotten. Not without someone answering for what they’ve done.
When an invitation arrives to a University reunion, everything clicks into place. Emily has a plan.
Because if you can’t forget – why not get revenge?