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**COVER REVEAL** The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter

Today, I’m really pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal for The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter. I love the sound of this book and if it piques your interest too, I’ve included a pre-order link.

So addictive it should come with a warning…

So twisted it’ll keep you up all night… 👀

So plausible it’s terrifying… 😱

The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter is available to pre-order now. Out 27th May. #DidSheKnow?


They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…


Pre-order link: smarturl.it/SerialKillersWifeEB

With thanks to Ellie Pilcher and Harper Collins.

**BLOG TOUR** The Island by C L Taylor

Six teenage friends decide to spend a week on a a remote tropical island, something that, on the face of it, sounds idyllic. This is no ordinary holiday, however, as they will be living off the land with just one guide to help them survive. When the guide has a stroke and dies, the teenagers begin to panic: with no way of getting back to the mainland and with limited means of acquiring food, how will they survive? Soon, when strange things start to happen, they realise that maybe they have more to worry about than they at first thought…

One of my favourite books of last year was Sleep by the same author, which was about a murderer on the remote Scottish island of Rum. I really enjoyed the claustrophobic atmosphere and so when I saw that this one had a similar setting, albeit on a slightly warmer island, I couldn’t wait to read it! I am not a big reader of YA fiction, but I knew that as this was written by C. L. Taylor, I’d love it. I was right!

Although there are some important events leading up to their arrival on the island, it is once they actually got there that I became fully invested in the plot. What seems, initially, like a Bear Grylls-type adventure soon evolves into some kind of Lord of the Flies scenario when their guide tragically dies, leaving them to fend for themselves until someone realises that they are missing. The teenagers soon discover that strange events begin to happen, leaving them to wonder who they can trust. Is there someone else on the island with them or should they be looking amongst themselves for the person who is wreaking havoc?

The setting of the plot really helps to create a sense of foreboding where you wonder how on earth they are going to escape from these hellish conditions. I rushed through the book, desperate to find out how it would end and whether there would still be six teenagers leaving the island or whether any would not make it out alive. I had my suspicions throughout the book about what was actually happening and who was responsible, but was thrown completely off the scent by the author’s great plot.

The Island is a great quick read for anyone wanting a story they can totally immerse themselves in. C. L. Taylor is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

With thanks to HQ and Net Galley for my copy and to Sian Baldwin for organising the blog tour.

**COVER REVEAL** The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

This year has been very strange, and it’s about to become stranger. It’s time for #ChristmasInJuly!
 
As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…
 
Pre-order your copy of The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine for only 99p! Out 29th Oct. ☃️
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims

Mother of two, Ellen, is stressed. Working in IT with two argumentative children, a husband that is quite content snoring in front of the television and a dog that likes to judge, the big 4-0 is fast approaching and she’s exhausted. There must be more to life than this, surely?!

With the constant bad news at the moment, I was in need of something lighthearted to read and I remembered that despite reading books two and three of this series, I’d never read this one. This was also my first foray into the world of the audio book as I decided that this was exactly the sort of book that could accompany me whilst cooking and cleaning in self-isolation!

After reading the other books, it was good to see where all of this began and to be introduced, for the first time, to The Coven (aka the other mummies at the school gate) and her friends and family. Ellen is desperately trying to portray a middle-class images to the other mums, but feels she is thwarted at every turn either by her poorly behaved children or by her husband’s sister and her family. Louisa (or Amaris as she would like to be known) and her family were absolute gems of characters and you could truly visualise Ellen’s disdain of them.

Why Mummy Drinks provided me with many laugh out loud moments and was a much needed distraction from the current situation, read brilliantly by Gabrielle Glaister.

My other reviews:

Why Mummy Swears

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a …!,

Remain Silent by Susie Steiner

Working part time in the cold cases department of the Cambridgeshire police force, DI Manon Bradshaw wasn’t expecting to find herself caught up in another murder case. While out for a walk with her two-year-old son, she finds the body of a Lithuanian immigrant, Lukas Balsys, hanging from a tree. Faced with a conspiracy of silence among the rest of the Lithuanian community, Manon finds herself involved in one of the most complex cases of her career.

Remain Silent is a hard-hitting story of the poor treatment and exploitation of immigrant workers and how they are viewed by certain sectors of society. It was hard not to feel anything other than anger at how these people, leaving their country hoping for a better life, were immediately herded into unsanitary housing, working at the beck and call of cruel gangmasters. While it was understandable that the local residents did not want these people living amongst them due to the filthy conditions of their house, Susie Steiner’s backstories of these immigrants paints most of them in a favourable light, leaving you with nothing but sympathy for their plight.

As in previous books, Manon is an excellent character and is written so well that she could be real. Great at her job but struggling to manage it alongside her family life, her world threatens to collapse when she is given some bad news about a loved one. Again, I loved the realism of this part of the plot as we see the two sides of Manon, struggling internally with the news yet trying to remain pragmatic at the same time. In some books of this genre, the family life of the detective can detract from the plot, but not here. Her adopted son, Fly, who we first met in Missing, Presumed, is a delight of a character and I enjoyed seeing how he is growing up to be a fine young man.

Remain Silent has a gritty plot which, at times, is not for the faint of heart. If you haven’t read any of Susie Steiner’s work before, then I can highly recommend starting with Missing Presumed as once you’ve read that one, you will definitely want to read the rest of the series.

As a footnote, I would just like to say that it’s not often that the acknowledgments of a book move me as much as the ones did in Remain Silent. I would like to wish Susie Steiner all the best for her fight and hope that we see more Manon books for many years to come.

With thanks to Harper Fiction and Net Galley for my ARC. You can pre-order Remain Silent here.

 

 

**BLOG TOUR** The Prized Girl by Amy K Green

After a teenage girl, Jenny,  is found brutally murdered, the police are convinced that the culprit is a man who was an obsessive fan of her work in beauty pageants. Something doesn’t sit right with her older half-sister, Virginia, however, and she undertakes on an investigation of her own. It soon becomes apparent that in a town where everyone seems to know everyone else, there are many people with secrets to hide, Jenny and Virginia included, and soon the suspect list rises. With numerous potential motives coming to light, just exactly who did kill Jenny?

Told from the perspectives of both Jenny and Virginia, we get an insight into the weeks and days leading up to the death of the teenager and also Virginia’s uncovering of what actually happened. I really enjoyed this writing technique, as it helped to create a slow burner of a story which had me constantly asking questions about what had occurred.

This is one of those books where the more you read, the more suspects you encounter, each one with their own motives for wanting Jenny out of the way. My opinions of Jenny changed throughout the book, as initially I felt a great deal of sympathy towards her as she found herself desperate to leave the beauty pageant world. This is a phenomenon that has never sat right with me and I found it interesting that the author addresses my concerns as part of the plot. Jenny undergoes a great transformation as the book progresses and, whilst I was horrified by some of her actions, I could see her need to rebel.

Virginia was a fascinating character, and I found her backstory a very tragic one. Despite the strained relationship she had with her family, the love for her half-sister was evident as she worked tirelessly to find who had killed Jenny. Like the murdered girl, she too had secrets she would prepare to remain hidden, these secrets surfacing and playing a major role in the killing. I enjoyed reading how something that happened a long time ago could create a ripple effect, creating a chain of events that ultimately led to the murder.

The Prized Girl  is a very strong debut from Amy K Green, full of twists and turns that had me gripped right until the end.

With thanks to Sian Baldwin at HQ for my copy of The Prized Girl.

 

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****! by Gill Sims

With her marriage in tatters, Ellen decides to realise her dream of living in a cottage in the country. Unfortunately, the image she has in her head and the reality of rural life couldn’t be further apart! With two teenage children more concerned by the lack of wifi, a new dog that is definitely not Instagrammable and chatty chickens that appear to have an attitude problem, has she bitten off more than she can chew?

This, the third book in the series, sees Ellen at a definite turning point in her life, making it a much more melancholy read than the previous installment, Why Mummy SwearsAs well as the separation from her husband, there are several other traumatic events that Ellen has to endure, affecting her mood throughout the book. One, in particular, had my own heart racing as we see her fearing for the safety of one of her children.

Despite these events, the humour in this book is still there, with numerous laugh out loud moments. I particularly loved Ellen trying to relive her youth, accompanying her daughter to a music festival and having an unfortunate encounter with some body glitter! The love-hate relationship she shares with her teenage daughter, Jane, is very accurate, with her offspring displaying constant embarrassment due to her mother’s antics, despite her friends thinking that she has a cool mum!

Another thing I really liked about this book was the flashbacks it provided from my own childhood! I can definitely remember those rubber shower attachments which would fall off the taps at the worst moment possible, making washing your hair an impossibility!

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****! provided me with much laughter, and if you have not read any of this series before, and are in need of a good laugh, I can highly recommend them.

**BLOG TOUR** A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

After finally building the beach house of her dreams, Caroline Stark feels like she has it all. Little does she know what is around the corner… Finding out that her husband, Jason, has been lying to her, she finds comfort with a man who works in the local bar, but is he who she thinks he is? As her life begins to crumble around her, her lover’s infatuation with her begins to grow and soon she begins to fear for her life. What is the truth and who will make it out alive?

Well, Michele Campbell has definitely written a page-turner in A Stranger on the Beach! Starting off from the perspective of Caroline, alarm bells were ringing straight away as she first encountered Aiden. It was understandable how, after being humiliated by her husband, she would find herself attracted to the younger man. As we found out more about Aiden, those alarm bells were ringing louder as I willed her to put an end to their dalliance before something serious happened.

Now this is where my head nearly exploded! After spending the first part of the book reading about and fearing for Caroline, we started to get the story from Aiden’s perspective, and what a perspective it was! All of a sudden, we were reading two accounts of the same event, each telling a completely different story. So, who was telling the truth? Was Caroline in fear for her safety or was Aiden hopelessly in love with the older woman? I loved this twist in the plot and I started to desperately search for holes in their stories to try to determine what exactly was happening.

As the story progressed, I did have an inkling as to what was going to happen, but the events were even more twisted than I could imagine. This book definitely shows how we should not always take people at face value and that people are not always who they say they are.

A Stranger on the Beach was one of those books that I could not put down, even taking it with me to read whilst queuing up in the Boxing Day sales! A thrilling, roller-coaster ride of a book with some very unsettling moments, A Stranger on the Beach is a superb read.

With thanks to HQ for my copy and to Jessica Lee for organising the blog tour.

 

**BLOG TOUR** She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

51xSXTTs1CLRose and Bel Enright haven’t had the best start in life. After the death of their parents, they are sent to live with their grandmother who wastes no time in packing them off to boarding school, albeit the exclusive Odell. Heath and Sarah Donovan are also at Odell, but as teachers, starting a new life after a scandal threatened to tear them apart. All is not as it seems at the school, however, and one night there is a murder on campus. Who has been killed and who is the perpetrator? The lives of all involved will never be the same again…

The idea of a boarding school is quite an alien concept to those of us who have never experienced anything of the sort and Odell is definitely not the sort of school I am used to! From the outset, we see the rift beginning between the sisters when Bel, already beginning to go off the rails, ingratiates herself with the ‘cool’ crowd. Rose, on the other hand, is keen to experience all that Odell has to offer, working hard and befriending her tutor, Sarah Donovan. This is a stark contrast to Bel, who is more than keen to develop a friendship with Sarah’s husband, Heath…

From quite early on in the book, we learn that the murdered person is one of the sisters, but we do not know which one. This was very clever as, due to the way the story progresses, both had a motive to kill the other one, and, indeed, there may be more people who would want to see one, or both, of the sisters dead. As both of the sisters find themselves deeper into situations beyond their control, the tension mounts and there is a definite sense of foreboding. One part of the book, in particular, left a nasty taste in the mouth – the incident leading up to the major rift between the sisters. I do not want to go into detail as I do not want to spoil the plot, but I will say that I was incensed by the attitude of some of the adults in the book who did not seem to think that there was anything wrong with what happened.

Throughout the book, I had the most sympathy for Sarah Donovan, a woman trying to bring up her family and work in a particularly demanding job, not knowing if there is any truth to the whispers that are spreading round the school. I willed her to investigate further and found myself fearful that something untoward was going to happen to her.

She Was the Quiet One was a fantastic fast-paced read that shows how quickly life as we know it can change as a result of the decisions we make. Highly recommended.

With thanks to Joe Thomas at HQ / Harper Collins for allowing me to review this fantastic book.

 

 

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