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Sarah Pinborough

Monthly Roundup: April 2018

Although this month has seen me read books from the crime/thriller genre, I’ve read a bit of an eclectic mix including a book set in Victorian England, some Scandi Noir and even an erotic thriller! My book of the month is definitely the latest Kim Stone book, Dying Truth, by Angela Marsons. Talk about an ending!!

Books I’ve Read

The Gaslight Stalker by David Field

The first in a new Victorian crime series sees a young seamstress becoming embroiled in the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. An easy read and an interesting take on a well-known historic crime.

 

If He Wakes by Zoe Lea

An easy-to-read psychological thriller which asks the question, how well do you know your partner? Shocking in parts, If He Wakes has some great twists that make you change your perceptions of the people you are reading about.

 

The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo

The fifth in the Harry Hole series and probably my favourite so far. Harry’s problems are getting worse yet his experience with serial killers is essential as there appears to be one on the streets of Oslo. Some great twists make this a fast-paced, clever read.

 

5992b77e545d4f8fa328f444823272b3Dead and Gone by D. L. Michaels

The first in a new police procedural series featuring DI Annie Parker has a bit of a twist. Instead of her being the sole protagonist, we also follow the very different lives of Paula and Sarah knowing that, at some point, all of their stories will intertwine. Review will follow as part of the blog tour.

 

Cross Her HeartCross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

The long-awaited follow-up to Behind Her Eyes is a tale of how even if you think you know someone well, secrets are always lurking beneath the surface. A shocking plot with plenty of twists and turns.

 

51x4+VX3izLDying Truth by Angela Marsons

The eighth book in the Kim Stone series is, in my opinion, the best so far. Telling the story of strange deaths at an exclusive boarding school, this one will definitely have you gasping in shock at the end!

 

4128bR3P03LTubing by K A McKeagney

An erotic thriller that shows the dangers of getting involved in something you don’t really understand. A fast-paced read that makes you wonder what really goes on in the packed trains of the London Underground!

 

Books I’ve Acquired

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DI Kelly Porter is back. But will this new case push her beyond her limits?

On a peaceful summer’s morning in the Lake District, a woman’s body is discovered outside a church. She’s been murdered and a brutal, symbolic act performed on her corpse. DI Kelly Porter is in charge of the team investigating the crime, and is determined to bring the killer to justice. But as more deaths occur it is clear this is the work of a disturbed, dangerous and determined individual. Can Kelly put the puzzle pieces together before the danger comes closer to home?

 

51SXPfKJzFL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_When Superintendent Tom Harper’s wife is threatened during an election campaign, the hunt for the attacker turns personal.

Leeds, England. October, 1897. Superintendent Harper is proud of his wife Annabelle. She’s one of seven women selected to stand for election as a Poor Law Guardian. But even as the campaign begins, Annabelle and the other female candidates start to receive anonymous letters from someone who believes a woman’s place lies firmly in the home.

The threats escalate into outright violence when an explosion rips through the church hall where Annabelle is due to hold a meeting – with fatal consequences. The only piece of evidence Harper has is a scrap of paper left at the scene containing a fragment from an old folk song. But what is its significance?

As polling day approaches and the attacks increase in menace and intensity, Harper knows he’s in a race against time to uncover the culprit before more deaths follow. With the lives of his wife and daughter at risk, the political becomes cruelly personal …

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You can only hide for so long…

Lizzie Bradshaw. A student from the Lake District, forced to work away from home, who witnesses a terrible crime. But who will ultimately pay the price?

Emma Taylor. A mother, a wife, and a woman with a dangerous secret. Can she keep her beloved family safely together?

Stella Taylor. A disaffected teenager, determined to discover what her mother is hiding. But how far will she go to uncover the truth?

And one man, powerful, manipulative and cunning, who controls all their destinies.

 

As we enter a new month, I’d like to re-share my review of the amazing Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson, which is published on 3rd May. With over a third of the year gone, this is still my favourite book of 2018 so far, so give it a read if you haven’t done so already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Lisa is protective of her daughter, Ava. Maybe over-protective. That’s what Ava thinks anyway. All Ava wants to do is spend time with her friends doing the sort of things other teenage girls do. She has a secret, though, and it is one that spells danger. Lisa, on the other hand, prefers to keep herself to herself, classing Marilyn, a work colleague, as her only friend. Both of these women also have secrets but which of them has a secret so dark that its discovery could change the life of everyone forever?

Sarah Pinborough’s previous book, Behind Her Eyes, was one of last year’s most talked about books, partly due to the #WTFthatending hashtag that was all over social media. It was a book that certainly divided opinion but as someone who really enjoyed it, I was excited to see what Sarah would come up with next.

Lisa and Marilyn are all incredibly flawed characters and it was easy to see how they found themselves drawn towards each other. While Marilyn’s secret is not too difficult to figure out, Lisa’s is truly shocking and not one I saw coming at all. This reveal turned the book on its head and made me question everything I had read. It is hard to say too much without giving away the plot but it is very clever writing from Sarah Pinborough to make you like and loathe a character at the same time.

Ava’s story was probably the one that disturbed me the most as, from the start, there was a sense of foreboding as she communicated with an unknown ‘friend’ on Facebook. Although it was inevitable that this liaison would come to no good, it was not in the way I expected. Another clever piece of writing that, once again, highlights the dangers of social media.

While Cross Her Heart does not make you gasp in the same way as Behind Her Eyes, there are definitely enough twists and turns to keep you guessing due to all of the secrets being kept by the three main protagonists. I loved how the author dropped in a bit of information almost in a blasé fashion, making me wonder if I’d somehow missed a bit of the plot, only for it to be addressed later.

Cross Her Heart is a great read. With thanks to Harper Collins UK and Net Galley for the ARC.

 

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

91TOUwUDzNLIt’s 1986 and Eddie and his group of friends (Hoppo, Fat Gav, Metal Mickey and Nicky) are doing the sort of things that all 12-year-olds do: riding their bikes, hanging around in playgrounds, writing secret messages using chalks… Things change forever when, after following a trail of drawings depicting chalk men, they find a dismembered body in the woods.

Fast forward thirty years and the murder is still fresh in the minds of all those involved. Still living at the house he shared with his parents, Eddie is drawn back in when a face from the past reappears and he starts noticing the chalk men once again. Not quite sure whether to believe what he is seeing, another death spurs him into trying to discover exactly what happened all those years ago.

There has been so much online buzz about this book and it even got a mention in a recent talk by the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers so I thought it was about time I saw for myself what all the fuss was about. Am I so glad I did! The book grabbed me from the very first page and I found it very difficult to put down. I particularly liked the chapters set in 1986 as it evoked numerous childhood memories. I am thankful that my childhood was much less eventful than the children in this story however!

The Chalk Man is told from the perspective of Eddie and we get to see how events in 1986 have shaped both his future and that of all those involved. That year is certainly a memorable one for the children as, in addition to them finding the body, there is a fairground accident, a pro-life campaign and a serious assault to deal with. Perhaps, though, one of the most shocking parts of the book for me was the incident between Eddie and Sean, Metal Mickey’s brother. It is hard to say too much without revealing any spoilers but my heart really went out to Eddie for what he went through both during the event and also afterwards.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the book is how so many seemingly separate events all link together. This made for a very tight, well-written plot with no loose ends. I did fear that one thing had been overlooked but the closing scenes certainly put paid to that idea! Last year, social media was awash with the hashtag #WTFThatEnding with regards to the book Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. The same hashtag could certainly apply here as I actually gasped when I realised how it was going to end! Even though it was a shock, however, it was completely true to what we’d come to know about Eddie and made perfect sense.

Even at this early stage, The Chalk Man promises to be one of the big hits of 2018 and I would not be surprised if a television or film company picks it up. As I was reading, I was reminded on several occasions of The Five, a Sky TV Drama created by Harlan Coben, and thought it amusing that he was actually name checked in the book!

It is hard to believe that this is the author’s debut novel and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

With thanks to Penguin UK – Michael Joseph and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

 

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

img_0999Single mum Louise is content with her life until she meets David. Young, attractive and interested in her, she can’t believe her luck. Then she meets her new boss and, to her horror, it’s the same man. What makes matters worse, is that she also meets and befriends his wife, Adele. It doesn’t take Louise long to realise that there is something very wrong with their marriage but who is telling the truth? Is David the dangerous control freak he is being made out to be and is Adele as weak and vulnerable as she claims?

There has been a lot of online buzz about this book and so I felt I had to see what all the fuss was about myself. Although the blurb clearly states that there is going to be a killer twist, I was certainly not prepared for what it was! Knowing that there was going to be a twist, I spent most of the book desperately searching for clues to no avail – this is something that cannot be predicted!

It is quite hard to review this book without giving anything away, but I will say that the story is told mainly from the perspectives of Louise and Adele, both in the present and in the past. The characters are well-written and the author does a fantastic job in steering you away from the truth so that when that ending does come it hits you hard!

Behind Her Eyes was not the book I expected, but this is a good thing! It’s not often I am completely wrong-footed by a book so well done Sarah Pinborough! My advice would be to read other reviews of this book sparingly as there are a few spoilers out there…

With thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins for the ARC.

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