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thriller

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Georgina (or Geo as she is known) seems to have it all with her high-powered job and wealthy fiance. It all comes crashing down, though, when the body of her high school friend is discovered over a decade after she went missing. Geo’s then boyfriend, Calvin, is found guilty of her murder and Geo is also sentenced for her part in covering it up. Calvin is also convicted of the killings of several others and has now has the moniker Sweetbay Strangler. 

Now, five years later, and Geo is about to be released from prison. She knows that it is going to be hard to readjust to the outside world, but she wasn’t bargaining in having to protect herself from her ex who has escaped from prison. When other bodies are discovered bearing the hallmarks of the Sweetbay Strangler, Geo knows that her own life may be in danger. Are the bodies a message to her and is she going to be the next victim?

Books that grab me from the very first page are few and far between but this was exactly what Jar of Hearts did. We are introduced to Geo, who despite the crime she has been accused of, seems to be an ordinary woman who, for some reason, has helped to conceal the murder of her best friend. We then follow her to prison, and here we witness the first of several disturbing scenes in the book. My heart really went out to Geo as I was sickened by what she had to endure.

The book jumps about in time as we discover what really happened to Angela Wong, Geo’s best friend. Sometimes, this can become a bit confusing but I didn’t find this here. If anything, it helped to build up the suspense in several of  the plot lines: Why did Angela get killed? Where is Calvin? Is Geo the next victim? I found that, as I reached the end of each chapter, I needed to read the next one, then the next one, then the next one…

I love a book where, all of a sudden, you have a ‘lightbulb’ moment when all becomes clear. This definitely happened here, making me actually declare my discovery out loud! Despite this, I did not anticipate what was going to happen at the end – a great twist I did not see coming.

Jar of Hearts is a well-written, twisty thriller that I could not put down. This is the first of Jennifer Hillier’s books that I have read but it will definitely not be the last!

With thanks to Corvus and Readers First for my ARC.

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**BLOG TOUR** Tubing by K A McKeagney

unnamed (1)I’m pleased to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Tubing, the new book from K A McKeagney.

When Polly is seduced by a man on the London Tube, little does she know that this encounter will lead her into the murky world of ‘tubing’ where elicit meetings on the London Underground take place between strangers. Thinking that she can keep her new pastime separate from the rest of her life, things take a sudden turn when she spots the man with a young, pretty blonde. Filled with jealousy, she watches them. Something isn’t right, however, and soon Polly realises how dangerous this phenomenon is. Can she get out before it’s too late or is she already in over her head?

Before I go any further, I am going to write a warning – if you are offended by sexual content, then this book, which I suppose would be categorised as ‘erotic thriller’, is probably not for you. Indeed, for the first half of the book, I was left wondering if I had been misled by the genre as Polly, the lead character, explores the world of ‘tubing’.

At the start of the story, I had some sympathy for Polly who is suffering from a long term eating disorder and is clearly troubled. Having to deal with her mother’s ‘illness’ is also taking its toll although she does appear to have a stable life both at work and with her boyfriend. After the fateful tube ride, however, things changed and I began to despair of her actions as she realised that what she was doing was stupid. After her second tubing encounter, I was almost screaming at her to get out only for her to get drawn in even deeper.

About halfway through the book, the tone changed into something much darker and it finally hits home to Polly just what a dangerous world she is part of. As her paranoia kicks in (with legitimate reason, I might add), her actions become more and more erratic and I began to wonder whether she was going to make it to the end of the book. I was happy with the ending although, in the real world, the story would not conclude here due to her known association with Sebastian.

Tubing  is a quick, easy read that I enjoyed although any future journeys I make on the London Underground will now take on an entirely different meaning!

With thanks to Red Door Publishing for my ARC.

Take a look at the rest of the tour:

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